July 4 – Independence Day – “it’s independence day, I’m free”
All American Day. The flight was late, so I spent an hour reading through the history o the American flag – simply fascinating.
I could see a 12 seater propeller plane from the gates. There was a family of 4 nearby, the mother was so afraid to walk into the small plane and was causing a small commotion – lucky for her it was not our plane. Ours was a 8 seater propeller plane behind it. I was travelling with some special flowers i had received the Friday prior. Sat next to a casanova in training – he was a sophomore in College. Very amusing kid and I wished him all the best in his budding career.
My best pal was meeting me at Buffalo international Airport: I told her that in case she could not recognize me in the crowd, I would be the beautiful brown girl.
Independence Day Party – too much fun – fierce fireworks. Met artist Margaret Harte. She is 85, feisty, has, “proud to be a Democrat” sticker on her card, and had lots of truths to espouse. Bought a first original painting from her.
Niagara Falls. Maid of the Mist (boat trip to the edge of the Falls)! Simply spectacular! We had to wear hooded blue raincoats – very fashnionable. I did opt for the wet hair look – it’s the water off the Niagara Falls after all!
Boating on Lake Erie/ Niagara River. And yes, yours truly steered over waves, through the International Bridge, Peace Bridge, and Grand Island Bridge. I had the best time! Oh and given that we were next to the Canadian border, someone made the ‘joke’ to the effect, “Nazli, they are looking out for terrorists/ illegal immigrants”. Later he said, “Nazli you are so cool that you don’t get upset at these jokes.” He misunderstood – I never find racism/ ignorance funny … but out of respect to my friend/ host, I hold back from commenting on this.
Anyway, in the evening we went to the Blue Room Bar – a local Buffalo joint. I was warned that the locals were not very open-minded (no!) But it was actually a lovely place, I was with my good friends and one of the “locals” even announced that I was the classiest woman he had ever met and he was falling in love with me (girls, it’s raining men in Buffalo).
The people in Buffalo are real nice folks. Can’t wait to visit the second largest city in NY state again.
Drove up for the university reunion with my best pal, singing to a tape made 10 years ago (“i gotta a man”, “rhythm of love”, “all cried out”, spanish version of “i’m too sexy” …) And the special flowers were still with me.
Reunion with college pals! Thousand Islands, New York.
There is an island called Heart Island on which is the unfinished Boldt Castle. George Boldt was having it built for his wife, Louise. But she died and he had all construction stopped, heart broken. Personally, I would settle for emeralds for now😉.
Class picnic next to the building where I had senior Engineering lab with people I had known when they had been as green as me (ok, I was the greenest of the bunch).
And then downtown – acquainting, reacquainting – I’ll leave it at that
Oh and there was one guy who was in utter disbelief that I actually had a doctorate – but then he also had one eye brow shaven off while we were in school. Which reminds me that I had mistakenly carried a shaving thing and nail clippers in my carry-on beauty bag on the flight. But no one said anything – probably they had not received the memo on brown people being terrorists/ illegal immigrants .
July 9 – Oh Zizou, we still love you!
Campus, downtown, bicentennial fair celebration, bubble tea, stocked up on alumni gear.
While at a store I saw a lady with 3 small children. She looked familiar. She left the store and then came back to exchange her purchase while I was waiting at the register.
“You look familiar”
“I know, so do you – I know you. I cut your hair”
“Oh – 11 years ago! I am so excited to see you! How are you? I remember you were just married then”
“I recognized your voice and I knew I knew you. I am good! These are my kids”
My heart was so touched. We took pictures and her 10 year old daughter and I are now pen pals.
Downtown for another night out. There was a girl with a particular Arabic tattoo on the back of her neck. I asked her if she knew what it meant and why she had it marked on her neck. Her response; “yes and because it’s cool”. I would have settled for, “it’s my prerogative to have a bulls eye on my neck”
Went boating again on Lake Erie/ Niagara River – 2 shades tanner but no terrorist jokes this time. Great company.
Birthday party, old friends, chatted with the best pal till 2:30 AM and up at 5:00 AM for 8:00 AM flight.
Oh you will not believe this, but on the flight back, I came across a college Senior who was also brushing up on his casanova skills. I laughed. There must have been a casanova convention somewhere or clearly men like the “brown terrorist/ illegal immigrant” look.
Battle of the Boyne – N. Ireland, 1690