I had a big birthday this summer, but I still feel as bewildered and bedazzled as I was when I was fifteen. I think, at least back in my day when I was cheated out of the fun of an IPad, an IPod and an IPhone, I had I huge fantasy life. That fantasy life included Ray Davies, Glenn Gould and Pierre Trudeau falling madly in love with me. Those fools.
(I still don’t own any of those IThings. but I know my son-in-law could hook me up.)
In my early twenties I saved my money — 1000 bucks, and it financed four months in Europe. London, Paris, Rome, Florence. Viarreggio. Oh, for the romance of one’s early twenties! Yeah, I picked up a husband over the breakfast table at the Locanda Anna in Florence.
It stabs me, I mean it stabs me to the heart to know that without an enormous creative effort from me and huge economic luck, , I’ll never see St. Paul Covent Garden again. I’ll never see the Pyramids, Ankhor Wat (forgive the bad spelling!) and Machu Picchu, Or Venice. Or NYC.
Maybe this is a list of the possibles:
Spillsville, Iowa. Antonin Dvorak lived in Spillsville for a year and wrote “The Symphony From the New World” there. I want to smell the air he breathed. I love Dvorak, and I adore annoying my husband by saying “He’s better than Brahms!” (He is.)
Columbus, IN. Here’s the deal from Travel and Leisure:Travel + Leisure magazine said:
“Designed by legendary architect Eero Saarinen, the J. Irwin & Xenia Miller House ranks alongside Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, and Philip Johnson’s Glass House as a hallmark of Modernist design. It was completed in 1957, but unlike those residences, it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful Modernist gardens in the United States, created by landscape architect Dan Kiley.“
Nauvoo, IL, the stop off point for the Mormons on the way to Salt Lake City. Freaky, but worth it.
Hannibal, MO. Mark Twain, period paragraph.
But my big North American travel dream is to get to Newfoundland, that wild and crazy place endowed with huge history, fat fish, cliffs, meadows and sea. And L’Anse Meadow, a Viking settlement whose existence has haunted my dreams since I was ten. (Of course, I’d have driven around Cape Breton Island,checked out Halifax, hopped the ferry to PEI where I’d visit Green Gables and gorge on shellfish and potatoes before I got to The Rock.)
Closer to home, there are Arthur/Arcola, the Amana Colonies and the Indiana Limberlost of Gene Stratton Porter. I have a huge crush on mounds, especially if they’re in the shape of animals — do I have to go to North Dakota to see one? (Attention Dale Simpson Jr.)
I’m laughing. Seems like my trip to Newfoundland will cost as much as a trip to Rome. I want it anyway, and I want to rent some goofy SUV and go with my father,my husband, my daughter, and my son-in-law.
And please, if you have any touristic advice — chat on.