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TRAVEL IS BROADENING
19 August 2006
So, if I'm not going to fly anywhere any more, might as well reminisce about all the travel I've done in my lifetime, right? I found Google Hacks, which has some fun things for Google (want to figure out when is the best time to visit a place? ask Google Hacks)
I thought it interesting to check the countries I've visited and the states I've visited. Of course, on this map, it looks like I've visited a lot of the countries, when in fact I may only have visited a small corner of a place. There is a big wide world out there that I have yet to see, and probably never will. The Netherlands is such a small country it doesn't even show on this map...but we went there.
I never ever thought I would have the opportunity to visit a foreign country. It's the one good thing my father, in his death, did for me. He left a small bank account but things were so bad between us when he died that I didn't want his money. I split half of it among the kids and used the other half to take us all to England and Ireland.
Wow getting a passport. What a big deal. And I remember so clearly standing in front of Heathrow Airport and realizing that I was actually standing on foreign soil. At that time Ned had already spent a year in Brasil. I don't remember if Jeri had spent 6 weeks in Germany yet or not, but clearly the generation of my children were traveling around the world with a lot more abandon than I ever dreamed I would.
Walt and I fell in love with England and Ireland and, when we returned to the States, began to realize that "international travel" was within our means, if we watched expenses. It led to several other trips to England (even once with my mother and the Lamplighters, to a festival in Buxton), Ireland and Scotland...and even a day in Paris.
And of course, never in my wildest imgination did I dream I would travel as far as Australia.
We've done a bit better on visiting states, and obviously this map shows that I'm more a coastal person than an interior one.
So many memories associated with this map. Going to Alaska to visit Char and Mike, when they lived there. Jeri had spent a summer living with them, ending with working at the state fair, where she was in charge of pregnant goats. I remember watching balloons float up the Matanuska valley in a balloon rally, being called to the hog barn in the middle of the night when one of the hogs went into labor (Char's daughter was working with the hogs while Jeri was working with goats). Seeing the huge produce on display--blueberries the size of ping pong balls and pumpkins that were hundreds of pounds in size. Things grow bigger when you have 24 hours of sunlight!
We did the western states Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah on a trip to ride a steam train from Durango to Silverton in Colorado. That was the only time I saw the Grand Canyon and, because we were "rushing 5 days to catch a train," we only had two hours to appreciate the grandeur of this natural wonder.
We returned to Denver several times, the most memorable trip of which must have been the weekend that I met all of the people who were fans of The Last Session.
Three years before, I passed through Denver on the way to Boulder, Colorado, the first gathering of our Compuserve group of women, who have all remained friends for such a long time. The group has also met in Seattle, in Washington, DC.,
Then there was the trip to South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore, when Ned fell out of a tree in Ashland, Montana and broke his leg.
I never had any desire to visit Texas, but I went to Houston in July, no less to help take care of my friend, Bill, who was dying of AIDS. Later my friend Lynn moved there and I've been in Houston more times than I ever anticipated.
Who goes to Ohio? Us. Jeri did summer stock at Weathervane Playhouse in Newark, Ohio and we went there for two summers to see some of the productions. It was my first chance to see fireflies and to meet Georgia Griffith in person.
We visited Tulsa, Oklahoma after Gilbert died. I went there alone to see the house that his niece bought with the money she inherited from Gilbert, and then Walt and I returned when Rachel was having her bat mitzvah.
We've been to Hawaii several times, since Walt was raised there, Mike had been transferred from Alaska and was now stationed there for a time, and Marta's mother lives on the Big Island. Our travels around Oahu in 1992 were different from mosts tourists how many tourists seek out the Little League field or University High School?
But one of the more memorable trips was a trip we took to Kauai in 1997 with some Brasilian friends, who covered most of our lodging expenses.
I've really been fortunate to see a lot of this country and a bit of the world as well. My father died without ever having been on an airplane. When I was growing up, travel was the sort of thing only "rich" people did I'm glad that normal people like us have now realized it's possible to see the world and not break the bank!
It's just too bad that it's now so unpleasant
to get on an airplane that it makes me want to avoid it at all costs.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Kalbarri National Park, in Western Australia