A Sparkling Vintage Life


Z is for Zephyr

By Publisher: Lyman Cox-Photograph: Western Pacific Railroad. – eBay itemcard frontcard backeBay itemcard front, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18202438

In casting about for a good Z-word, I landed on “zephyr,” which means “a gentle breeze from the west” or “any of various lightweight fabrics and articles of clothing.” It comes from the Greek god Zephyrus, god of the west wind.I thought that second definition was especially appealing; I’d never heard of “zephyr” in relation to clothing. In my research I found little information about the clothing-type zephyr, but I did chance upon the California Zephyr, and that will suit just dandy as we close out the AtoZ Challenge for this month.

The California Zephyr had its origins in 1939 with a train called the Exposition Flyer, which carried passengers to the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. At first the Flyer was meant to be temporary, but it proved so popular that it was kept in operation. In 1949 it was updated and given the name California Zephyr. The hostesses were called “Zephyrettes.” A joint project of the CB&Q, Denver and Rio Grande Western, and Western Pacific Railroads, the California Zephyr ran from Chicago to Denver to Salt Lake City to Oakland. It ceased operations for a time in 1970. Today’s California Zephyr, run by Amtrak, follows largely the same route as the original east to Salt Lake City.

Here’s a delightful travelogue of the luxurious California Zephyr. in the 1950s.

E is for Enchanted April

Photo source: Goodreads.com

This month the Sparkling Vintage Ladies’ Reading Circle is reading, appropriately enough, The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. I’ve not read this book before, although I’ve seen a movie version a few years ago (there have been at least two films made of the story).

The book was published in 1922 and follows four women who leave the dismal early-spring weather of Britain for the sunny climate of Italy. Strangers to each other, they’re joined by the common purpose of renting a villa. I’m looking forward to reading about four distinct characters and how they change and grow during their sojourn together. I hope I’m not disappointed.¬†Come join us if you’d like to talk about the book.

Today I’m looking out on a gray, wet, chilly day. The idea of a vacation to somewhere warm is very appealing at the moment. The Enchanted April takes place in Portofino, which sounds appealing. But if I could choose any warm destination in the world, I think I would choose the south of France. I spent one day in Biarritz, long ago, but it was rainy and cold in the off-season. I think I would like to see it again in all its summery glory.

If you could whisk away to someplace warm and sunny, where would you go?