Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Posh (adjective): Meaning elegant, fashionable, and expensive.

“a swish pastry shop on the Rue du Bac"- Julia Child

A popular theory holds that the word is derived from the initials of “Port Out, Starboard Home,” the cooler, and thus more expensive, side of ships traveling between England and India in the mid-19th century. The acronym POSH was supposedly stamped on the tickets of first-class passengers traveling on that side of ships owned by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.


As the jet flew over the quilted landscape of farmland, deserts, mountains and valleys we turned our soft, leather, sofa-like seats to face each other and gathered around the highly varnished cherry wood table. The interior designer (hereunto referred to as “Mr. Precious”, because of his stunning good looks, smart fashion sense, and utterly impeccable taste…), laid out sketches for custom made crew uniforms, fabric samples, logo samples, plans for the yachts website and played a DVD on his ultra-high-tech, miniature laptop of an “art concept” for the interior of the yacht (photos of paintings, sculptures, etc. to choose from to decorate each room). Never could I have imagined how much detail is involved as they discussed in length the minutia of logos, colors, look-and-feel of everything from the stitching on the t-shirts to invitations and ideas for the launch party. The launch party being a grand event at the ship yard, spread over the course of a weekend, with friends and family flown in from out of town to see the yacht as it is lowered into the water for the first time, and as a thank you to the hundreds of workers, designers and engineers that have spent almost three years turning a vision into reality (and thank god, I won’t have to cater it!). My head was spinning. Even if I had unstinted amounts of disposable income, combing over the details of such an enormous project would send me to a white padded room, in something that resembled a chefs jacket but with excessively long sleeves that conveniently buckle behind the back. But then, that’s why I’m the chef – my attention span and mind for details really only lasts for as long as it takes to get something from the stove to the plate (and never mind that I'm a few bucks short).

After a fuel stop in Montana, the plane arrived in Washington. We flew over Pugets Sound. Cargo ships moved in and out of the Sound, foamy white trails snaked their path across the smooth-as-glass, deep green waters. We rolled into an uneventful landing on the Boeing landing strip, checked into our quaint little luxury hotel and made a plan to meet for an early breakfast the next morning before heading to the shipyard. Like ‘The Night Before Christmas’, I lay in bed while visions of Mega-Yachts danced in my head. Seconds felt like minutes, minutes felt like hours and morning could not come fast enough…

After breakfast in the hotel lobby we departed for the shipyard. Starbucks coffee shops blighted the landscape like a bad case chicken pox on a three-year-old. We arrived at the shipyard and were greeted by a team of designers, engineers and executives. In the conference room a two-foot miniature of the yacht sat on the table next to of a stack of giant AutoCAD drawings of foredecks, aft decks, the sky lounge, guest quarters, the galley, etc. along with an agenda of topics to be discussed in the meeting with Mr. and Mrs. X.

I was filled with anticipation, but thought it prudent not to let my A.D.D. get the best of me as the greetings and hand shaking seamed to stretch on and on. Fortunately, Mrs. X was filled with even more anticipation and I breathed a sigh of relief when she turned to me and said, “god, I just want to see the boat!” and a moment later Mr. X said, “why don’t we go see the yacht first and the have the meeting afterward?”. Excellent idea.

More to come…

1 comment:

tammy said...

"visions of mega-yachts danced in my head" LOVE IT! what an exciting adventure you've embarked on HO! HO! HO! (and a bottle of rum....no...wait....wrong story eh?!)

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