Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Call me old fashioned, but I’m still awestruck by the wonders of air travel. To be able to wake up in Oakland and fly to Salt Lake City for breakfast or to New York for an evening concert. Or as was the case yesterday, work half a day, have a leisurely lunch in Oakland, and be in Austin TX by bedtime. Almost 2000 miles in less than five hours.

Yesterday I was at the library, enveloped by fog and cold, attending to all the minutiae of working, homeowning, calendars ,and entanglements. Today I’m sitting on the deck of my sons' house, aclimating to the sweltering Austin summer, and catching up with family members I haven't seen for many months. The warm breeze stirs up unfamiliar aromas and the catches the sound of the freeway, the birds and the train in the distance. All similar to the sounds of home and, yet, different. Christiaan and I sit on the deck compare gardening in Texas and California.

I have made this Oakland-Austin trip many times by plane, and two times by car. The wonders of air travel are just that, wonderful, and most of those trips I could not make unless I travelled by air. But given the choice I'd take ground travel any time. I love the freedom of taking to the road, with or without a map and traveling my own route, in my own time. I love to sense the changes in landscape, in temperature, in humidity, in the quality of light. I love stop along the way at gas stations or fast food joints (aren't they all these days?), and size up the local culture, whatever I can from this small sample.

All the culture that is at all interesting anymore is between between airports, right down there next to the earth.


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