Sunday, October 28, 2012

...from sea to shining sea...

I've seen a lot of the U.S.A. and I've enjoyed it.  I've been to maybe 40 of the states in some way, at some time, and I've travelled through many as an adult.

Who knew that driving coast-to-coast could be so exhilarating, as well as tiring?  I drove three, 15 hour days from Central Florida to Los Angeles, California in 2005 and 2006.  Somewhere around 2800 miles one way is an awesome journey.  I would stop on either side of Texas along I-10 because Texas in itself was a 15 hour ride.  Imagine the effort to get to the west coast when the settlers were moving that way.  They did not have roads, but they might have had trails.

I suspect a lot of people never travel far from their home state, unless they're going to Disney parks or Universal parks or maybe even Sea World.  My first year in the U.S.A., we travelled from the San Francisco bay area to Indiana for Christmas with my adoptive mum's family.  We did this in a 1960 VW Beetle over U.S. 40, I believe, since there were no interstate highways at the time.  Imagine the Rocky Mountains in the winter, especially in a car with very little power.  It was actually the best car when there was bad weather.  My adoptive parents used to talk about all the big cars that slid off the road, while they were able to continue.

I would think that a car ride would be better than plane travel, especially after all the new restrictions and security checks.  I just want to be able to stop to photograph something or stop to get ice cream--when I want.  Yes, the price of gasoline is high, but so is the price of jet fuel and because of that, a plane ticket.  Of course, I won't be driving to Hawaii any time soon.  When I first travelled from Japan to the U.S.A., it was on a ship.  I was sandwiched between some Toyota cars and Sony transistor radios.  Okay, so I'm joking about that last part, slightly.  I learned to walk aboard ship, which is probably why I tend to be more steady on a subway train that on concrete.

In the next week or two, I'm heading to Philadelphia and then, to Central Florida.  I'm not sure whether I'm getting away or just trying to resolve the past.  The food in Philly is great, and the sunshine in Central Florida is great.  I can say that I enjoy Philadelphia because the people are genuine.  You know where you stand with people without question.  They don't like you--they tell you.  Here, and in most of the country, I think you find out because three other people know about what that person said.

People in other parts of the country can say bad about Philly, New York, and New Jersey but being open with people is less stressful than keeping it all inside you.  Besides, the food gets a lot of the passion because of it, most likely.  Tell me where there is better (American) Italian food than in that area?  There isn't any.

The whole country is full of great things to see and do.  I'm not talking about the world's biggest ball of twine, but there are so many great people who have done and are doing great things all over the country.  You don't even have to look at dams or steer a raft on the rapids of a river.  Meeting people along the way can be an adventure.  Not everyone is like those people on television or in the movies--even the people in Southern California.

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