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At our wedding party



My new family in Boise, Idaho



In our garden with an amazing
Century Plant




WIFTI SUMMIT


Ray Romano with Doris Roberts
and Patricia Heaton


At the WIFTI Summit
closing night party



UPDATE, February 2006:


Jim and I decided to make our situation permanent and April 20th, 2005 is the date that the State of California assigned our official Domestic Partnership. We have a wonderful scroll with a gold seal on it. We had a celebration with thirty friends in May at a local Italian restaurant (to find out more, see the WHAT'S NEW update page) and went to Washington, D.C. on a mini-honeymoon.

It was a great trip and we managed, in just a few days, to visit The Holocaust Museum, The Indian Museum, The Space Museum, The Vietnam Memorial, Vietnam Nurses Memorial, The Korean War Memorial, World War II Memorial and the Fine Arts Museum. My dear friends from NYC, Laura Fieber and husband, Dennis Minogue joined us in D.C. and we all stayed at The Tabard Inn, the oldest continuously operating hotel in Washington. We also ate at some amazing restaurants...

Mini-honeymoon in
Washington. D.C.

The Tabard Inn

Jim and I in front of
Smithsonian Institute

California marker at the World War II
Memorial in Washington


Later in May, Jim arranged for us to visit his daughter Val and son-in-law Dave in Boise, Idaho on the occasion of his grandson, Chris's graduation from High School. Chris starts college in the fall and is going to be a Vet. I'm already dreaming of him working one of the check-points of the Iditarod in the distant future.

In May I started a six month job for Women In Film, as coordinator of their upcoming International Summit. It was hard at first to get back into a schedule of going into an office from 9 AM to 6 PM every day, but I soon got used to it. It was a challenging job, very detail-oriented, but we had a great committee and the months sped by.

We moved Jim's daughter Amanda in July to Denver in two cars, with a cat in one and a bicycle on the back of the other. Jim gave up his large apartment in our complex and took over Amanda's smaller one, which now became his office as well as a guest apartment for us.

Finally, the WIFTI International Summit took place in Los Angeles at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Century City. On Oct. 29, 30, 31 and Nov. 1. Four days of panels, screenings, networking, parties, special events. It was well attended with women from the film and TV industry worldwide. Laura and Peggy came out from NYC to attend (we had been together at the Summit in New Zealand) and Laura became the first person to use the "guest" apartment. The closing night party featured the three women from Everybody Loves Raymond, getting a "Women of Achievement Award" and Ray Romano came and gave out the prizes. Immediately after the Summit, I produced a panel for the American Film Market on behalf of WIF, as I had done in previous years.



Seeing Old Delhi
by bicycle rickshaw


BHUTAN

On the plane from Nepal to Bhutan
you could see Mt. Everest


Archery is Bhutan's national sport

Colorful altar in Bhutan

Prayer flags are everywhere!

To ensure fertility, penises are painted on the outside of houses. We saw many variations.


Bhutan kids love to have
their pictures taken


I rode a small horse to
a mountaintop monastery


INDIA


Elephant "taxi" to fort
up above Jaipur



The ladies of Rajasthan
were colorful


The handsome men
of Rajasthan


Early morning at the Taj Mahal.
It was cold.


The Temples of Khajaharo
have erotic carvings
A few days after that I left for a long-planned trip to India and Bhutan. This trip with OAT had been arranged before Jim and I lived together and we were now facing a 25 day separation.

I flew first to New Delhi (via NYC and London) and after two days of looking around that amazing city, the small tour group that I had joined flew on Air Bhutan to Paro, via Kapmandu in Nepal. I had long dreamed of visiting the Kingdom of Bhutan but the altitude had worried me. But on the Peru trip a few years ago, I discovered Diamox, a pill which, if taken daily, removes all the symptoms of altitude sickness. We were met by our local guide and the 13 of us fit nicely into a small mini-bus. Our driver was cheerful; the scenery beautiful, the weather surprisingly warm for November and off we went to Thimphu, the capital of the country. The King and his four queens live in Thimphu. Years ago, he had married 4 sisters at the same time and they each had their own palace, located on the same hillside a little out of town.


This building houses a school,
a monastery and the county seat...

...inside, the woodwork was beautiful.

A beautiful archway to a temple

The temple wall sparkled with mirrors


Bhutan
is sensory overload, with the music, smells, scenery, art, wooden carved buildings and interesting food. (Tastes sort of half Chinese, half Indian). The people themselves are very good looking and all wear traditional garb by government decree. Archery is their national sport and we were able to watch early morning practice in a field just behind our hotel. When they hit the target, some 300 feet away, the team does a little dance.

We visited forts, museums, schools, libraries in this remote and mountainous world. I rode a small horse up to a monastery. The roads were narrow and only partially paved, but our driver was amazing. I hated to leave Bhutan but it was time to move on.

We flew back to Delhi and a few days later drove to Jaipur, in Rajasthan. We rode elephants up to a red fort, shopped at wonderful street markets and moving further west visiting the Ranthambore Sanctuary where we had the good luck to see two tigers in the wild. We had the chance to ride a train in India as well as local planes as we criss-crossed the northern part of the country. Arriving in Agra, we were able to see the Taj Mahal at dawn as well as later on in the day. The amazing temples of Khajuraho were next, with their exotic and erotic carvings.

Another small plane ride and we arrived in Varanasi, which was the highlight of the Indian trip for me. After a hair-raising ride in a bicycle taxi across town towards the Ganges River, so crowded with people we had to walk the last mile, we approached a spectacular festival on the banks of the river. Priests with fire and drums were blessing the waters, which are known as "Mother Ganga" to the Indians. Transferring to small boats we watched the ceremony from the river. We also put lighted candles sitting on flowers into the water.


Our group poses in front of
the Taj Mahal

We met a beautiful bride
getting married at our hotel


We returned the next morning to take a pre-dawn boat ride, watching the sun rise on the river, the many people bathing on its banks and several cremations which were also taking place at various "ghats" along the river. Afterwards the ashes would be thrown into the waters.

Finally it was time to come home and the 30 plus hours to get from Delhi to London to NYC (where I missed the connection to LA) were stressful. But there was my wonderful Jim waiting for me at the airport, both of us having suffered from this long separation more than anticipated. I promised Jim I would never go away alone for that long period of time again.

There was a beautiful Century Plant sprouting in the garden of our apartment complex waiting for me. It only blooms once every 35-40 years!


June and Jim getting into the Xmas spirit

Val and Dave at Xmas

Amanda working on our Xmas present

JR Weeks' first Christmas

Meeting Grandpa


We went to Boise, Idaho to spend Christmas with Jim's family there and Jim's other daughter, Amanda, joined us from Denver. Jim's son, Geoffrey, living in Denver, had a new baby and he and wife, Marissa, couldn't make the "family reunion," but we made it to Denver late January and got to meet baby JR Weeks in person. Does this make me a grandmother for the first time in my life?


Keep tuned for more adventures...