Sunday, April 09, 2006

Australia, Ashlee Simpson and My Brilliant, Gifted Husband /

Some husbands are handy around the house, good at fixing things, perhaps knowledgeable about cars or plumbing. Some husbands are aspiring chefs, willing and able to whip up gourmet dinners after work or entertain weekend guests with their culinary creativity. My husband? He has a rare, wonderful, and simple skill that I'd never trade for anything: He's a super-human genius-level celebrity spotter. Whether it's mega-star Shania Twain hiding in a dark theater with a baseball hat pulled low, or micro-star reality TV contestant Jordis Unga walking down Melrose -- Bryan's sixth sense will activate, ensuring that the famous person is viewed, identified, and passed on to me for approach.

(I know I've written about this before in passing, but I really do think Bryan deserves a special nod for spotting a second celebrity only 2.25 months into our travels.)

It happened yesterday afternoon, in the middle of two days of Australian-style fun courtesy of our recurring travel pals Clare and Andy, with whom we were lucky enough to meet up in our third country in a row. (Clare and Andy are staying here with a great Aussie couple named James and Annie, who happen to be wine merchants who invite people like us to their homes for massive feasts of grilled seafood, and then the next night, quail and chorizo and strawberry salad and fancy ice cream desserts -- each served, of course, with an endless array of amazing reds and whites and followed by hours of card-play.)

It was Sunday, and the six of us had just arrived in famous Bondi Beach after attending an Australian-rules football game in Sydney. We were outside on the deck of a trendy little Italian restaurant, watching the enormous waves crash on the beach and the beautiful, glamourous things come and go. Of course, if it weren't for Bryan, none of us would have noticed none other than the younger sister of one Ms. Jessica Simpson enter the place: She came and went so quickly we could only assume she'd stopped in merely to use the facilities. She had a large bodyguard, a few female attendees, and a disappointingly nondescript white van. She wore a sheer, beachy white dress and a leopard-print scarf in her hair. She was small.

I will never know if, given the time, Ashlee would've bested Shania in the picture-taking category -- but we did warm to her after Andy yelled over the railing, "I PREFER YOUR SISTER!" and she merely looked up, smiled and shrugged.

Bryan, thank you for bringing this wonderful talent into our lives. I know others appreciate it as well, and your modesty and willingness to share the fruits of your gift are commendable. I am hoping we haven't exceeded our international celebrity sighting quota quite yet, so you'll have time to shine once (or twice) again during our travels.

Thanks also to James and Annie, gracious weekend hosts and wine merchants extraordinaire, and Clare and Andy, fellow travelers and good luck harbingers. We'll see you (with or without Ashlee) at the next stop.



At 5:33 PM, bryan said...

I am humbled by Allyson's praise of my "gift", and it was pretty awesome seeing Ashlee (especially her reaction to "I prefer your sister" ... she seemed a bit offended/embarassed) and watching the 23ft. surf at Bondi Beach (the biggest in 30 years ... according to one paper). Our friends and hosts were truly amazing all weekend, and we had a great two days with the four of them.

Now, I just hope to see either Elle McPherson or Russell Crowe before leaving Oz. That would definitely make my day (and Allyson's too!).

At 11:02 PM, Miss Sue P said...

Really, you are the perfect couple - an amazing combination of observing and recounting.

At 7:16 AM, jennymu said...

Ahhh, I just read this morning that Ashlee was there to host the MTV Australian Music Video Awards. Go Bryan!

At 8:59 AM, john said...

it must be so difficult, to be so far away and out of your element, both of you. :)

let it now be known across the world, amongst all celebrities of Earth: you can run, but you cannot hide. the B&A team *will* find you.


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