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Five Reasons to Be Happy in Andalasia (and One Thing to Miss from Reality)

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1 - True Love

Nancy was a romantic at heart--she had the romance novels, all hidden away where Robert would never see them, to prove it--but she was still firmly planted in reality. Flowers, doves, an old-fashioned ball with fancy costumes, she loved every moment of that, but she also knew that she and Robert were the same people who had been doing this careful grownup relationship thing for five years now. And she knew, when she saw him with Giselle, that playing it safe with a good guy wasn't going to work out for her.

And then her eyes met Edward's over that lost shoe and she knew that that wasn't the only option she had. She knew what it would mean to go with Edward, and for once she thought, Hell yes.

She knew it didn't work like that--not in reality. But when she ran hand in hand with him to the portal to Andalasia, she knew what she was choosing. If it took moving to a magical kingdom to be sure that that bloom of love on a magical night could last forever... right then, Nancy was willing to take that leap.

And it worked. Every time she met Edward's eyes, she knew she had made the right choice. True love was real here--more real than anything else, really, which took a little getting used to.

2 - Fashion Design

Nancy would have said there was nothing better than working in fashion in New York, but designing clothes in Andalasia was a whole other experience. Somehow getting from an idea to an actual garment took less time than settling a coffee order back in New York; she had no problems getting whatever materials she wanted, and the bevy of forest animals were way more enthusiastic and easier to work with than any interns Nancy had ever employed.

There wasn't any real mass production in Andalasia, but that meant that every time Nancy designed something--for herself, for Edward, for the palace staff and guards, for Red and Snow and other women she met--it was unique and perfect for that person. She didn't have to worry about scaling sizes or sourcing thousands of buttons. She just had to make one person happy, and that made fashion more fun than it had been since she was dressing up her dolls as a kid.

Plus, in a year or two she was going to introduce blue jeans and really blow everyone's minds.

3 - True Love's Kiss

Even before their wedding the morning after she and Edward arrived in Andalasia, Nancy had worked out that a few kisses were all he'd ever exchanged with Giselle. In fact, those few kisses were the only ones Edward had ever exchanged with anyone, let alone anything else, and even so he assured her that they paled in comparison to the true love's kiss the two of them shared.

Which was all well and good, but left Nancy wondering if the wedding night was going to turn out to be, well, PG-rated.

It turned out she really, really shouldn't have worried. Edward was happy to take directions and also happy to try out true love's kiss on all kinds of body parts, in all kinds of positions. And a lifetime's frustrated enthusiasm for kissing meant he was ready to go all night. And why shouldn't they? This was their bed, in their castle, in their kingdom, and they had all the time in the world to perfect their kissing. Among other things.

4 - Hair Care

There were no bad hair days in Andalasia. Nancy honestly was not sure what to make of her hair being this cooperative--was it even her hair if she didn't have to deep-condition it into submission on a regular basis? But she wasn't going to question the way her clothes fit perfectly or the fact that songbirds helped her bathe and dress every morning, so she wasn't going to question the hair thing, either.

5 - Happily Ever After

Nancy had always wanted kids--it had been one of the things she liked about Robert, or at least one of the ideas she had about Robert that she liked. He hadn't actually seemed to be in any hurry to get on with that part of their life together, and Nancy had always been left wondering about all the logistics instead of happily anticipating it. Would Robert decide he didn't want a kid with her? What would happen with her job? How would Morgan react to a little half-brother or half-sister when she'd never liked Nancy that much?

But that was all different with Edward. They were king and queen, and everyone from Edward on down took it as read that they were going to need to make at least one or two little princes or princesses for Andalasia. Edward was excited about it, even, showing off the various royal nurseries and shyly asking if she thought they could have maybe two or three, so they wouldn't be as lonely as he had been, growing up. Nancy was happy to say yes.

All the true love's kissing that went into trying was fantastic--and when Nancy realized that she was pregnant it turned out that the magic of Andalasia was still thoroughly on her side, because being pregnant in Andalasia was a breeze. She glowed! She developed a cute belly she could design clothes around, but no swollen ankles or other unsightly symptoms. And everyone was eager to offer her interesting bits of food and charms and clothes. Red came by with Snow and Aurora and a detailed list of things not to do regarding fairies and magic, so Nancy was feeling like she had a pretty good grip on how to keep the happily-ever-after going.

On the other hand...

The only real drawback to Andalasia was that Nancy couldn't get a decent bagel in the kingdom to save her life. But even that wasn't so bad--it gave her an excuse to make visits back through the portal and show Edward more of New York, the first few months after she arrived. (The forest animals fixed up a pair of official-looking coveralls and a hard hat for each of them to wear on the trip, so they hardly even got stared at climbing out into Times Square anymore.)

Then Nancy got pregnant, and developed what she considered a sensible fear of abruptly developing every feature of a pregnancy in Reality as soon as she crossed the border. And, of course, she also started craving bagels. Constantly.

But that was all right too. It just meant she had an even better excuse to invite Giselle and Morgan to come and visit regularly. Giselle, being Giselle, had no trouble arriving in Andalasia with the bagels still steaming on the inside. When she brought pizza, it was still hot when they got to the palace.

Morgan was a lot happier visiting the queen of Andalasia than she'd ever been about spending time with her dad's girlfriend--although, Giselle being Giselle, she and Morgan got along adorably well. Nancy and Giselle made new dresses for Morgan when she visited, and Morgan and Giselle told Nancy all about what was happening in Reality, which, week by week, seemed farther away and less important. It would be a while before she wanted to take the baby there to explore, Nancy thought.

But that was all right. She had everything she needed right here in Andalasia.