Archive for the ‘Cross Country’ Category

Part two of last year’s travels. I eventually reached the big X in the sky but there is still a long way to go. The days were long and would seem lonely. But they were a sort of meditation. I had traveled most of this route to the west at various times before. Revisiting and rethinking were in order.

Shuffle off to Buffalo and places beyond. Day two on the road. X marks the spot. Whether they are contrails or chem trails we won’t discuss here, but I am headed out towards the big X in the sky.


The geese don’t need a marker. They know where they are going. Shifting, dancing, flowing through the air they create lines, arrows and wedges as they trade places on their trip. I head straight down the highway, straight west.

What is that big X? Does it mean the sky is the limit?

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This was originally posted on March 9, 2010 as I started my trip across the United States. As this is the year anniversary, I thought I would repost my travels. It has been an interesting year with lots of lessons and experiences.

A new adventure begins today. I am on the move to the west coast. The car is packed, the gps is programmed, plenty of music and podcasts are loaded on my ipod. After a teary goodbye to my friends, I’m ready to go.

Monday is truck day so I have plenty of company on the expressway. But traffic is moving along nicely. The Canadian geese are on their own higway flying north. However the funniest sight I saw all day (unfortunately I couldn’t get a photo) was a big truck-dump truck size-filled with pancakes.

At first I couldn’t figure out what they were but as I pulled up I could see there were hundreds and hundreds of pancakes in the bed of the truck. WTF! Pancakes! Where in the world was he going with a truck load of pancakes. Mind you now they were not pancakes in boxes. These were just pancakes, bare pancakes stacked up. Not a bottle of maple syrup in sight. Maybe he had a pig farm and the little oinkers were going to have a treat. Bacon and pancakes. Ha!

Another question. Who made all those pancakes and why? Why so many pancakes that they would be left over for someone to haul away? I guess I will never know. What do you think?

Tomorrow is another adventure.

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Come visit LosAngeles with me.

Getty Villa, Griffith Park Observatory, Huntington Library and Gardens, various street scenes, Chinatown, volcanoes (not in any particular order)

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A little slide show of the delicious and adventurous eating we did in Thailand. Yum. Are you hungry yet? Remember to click the next button.

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I’ve been challenged by the members of my blogging group to do this. I resisted at first because I was sure I couldn’t come up with 25 interesting things I wanted to share. I hope this is at least somewhat amusing for you. Why don’t you try it too?

1.  I love to travel, just about anywhere.

2. Outside of America I have been to England, Wales, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Spain, Austria, Lichtenstein, Thailand, Italy, Denmark, Canada, Mexico. Monoco, Switzerland. (see #1)

3. I have Bachelor of Music from Lawrence University, A Master of Music from the University of Texas and a couple more years at Yale all in flute performance.

4. I love to garden, but only flowers not veggies.

5. Blogging is my new passion.

6. I once ran into Bruce Willis-literally. He is really tall.

7. Charles Nelson Reilly was a colleague of mine. He was one fantastic opera director. And really funny too. I miss him terribly.

8. I didn’t get married till I was 34. No longer though.

9. I am the production manager for the one man play Muse of Fire

10. I drive a manual transmission car and always have.

11. I was taught to drive by a race car driver (see #10)

12. I have lived in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Texas. Connecticut, Maine and Washington. (see #1)

13. My favorite part time job ever was working at Walmart, in the dressing room. Yea, really. It was a tourist town and I was able to speak with people from all over the world. (see #1 and # 2)

14. I enjoy taking photographs of interesting things but I don’t call myself a photographer.

15. I collect china from defunct restaurants, but only if it has the logo on it.

16. Beautiful things make me cry.

17. Kirtan, Krishna Das changed my life.

18. Lobster, lobster and more lobster please.

19 I studied with Jean Pierre Rampal

 20. I have not been to Wyoming, Montana, Alabama, South Dakota, Idaho, Nebraska, Alaska, Hawaii. Georgia, or South Carolina (see #1)

21.I love crayons-the Crayola box of 64 with the sharpener. During college finals we bought coloring books and new crayons, sat on the student lounge floor and colored away our stresses. The heck with practicing.

22. I have been to Maine, so have nothing to fear thanks to Maestro Charles Bruck. Thank you for sitting on my shoulder.

23. I still believe in Santa Claus and dragons.

24. I am 3 degrees of separation from Johannes Brahms, 2 degrees from Igor Stravinsky.

25. I want to travel to India, Egypt, Morroco, Kenya, Japan, Peru. What the heck, and  the rest of the world I haven’t been to yet. I’d love living in stateroom on a Cunard ocean liner and hopping on and off when I felt like it. (see #1)  I have travelled on the QE1 and QM1 so I know what I am talking about.

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I am not talking about the rosy-breasted, first sighting of the spring. I am talking about the season’s last holiday event in our family. On the Sunday after Christmas, or the following Sunday if it was too close to the big day, the aunts, uncles and cousins had a big party. It was a moveable feast. Correction, we were the ones who moved, not the feast itself.

Each family was in charge of one part of the meal. The first family provided the before dinner drinks. This was still the era of cocktails and Mad Men. Second family had the salad course, third family hosted the main course. Dessert came next and was the responsibility of the fourth family. And finally there were the after dinner drinks supplied by the fifth family. Which part of the meal you hosted was rotated each year.

The outstanding feature of this get together was that each course was held in a different house, hence the term round robin. As you can imagine, it was an all day affair even though we all lived in the same metropolitan area. I heard this week from the son of one of my cousins that this tradition remains alive amongst his friends as the Christmas Tree Crawl.

Unlike the night before Christmas, this party centered around eating and drinking. It is cold in Wisconsin and folks enjoy a good meal. You might think that all this drinking and driving would be a problem. But actually everyone was pretty moderate, so worry not. And there was plenty food and time between each house.

When the cousins were all young the parents must have had quite a time bundling, unbundling and rebundling everyone in their snow suits to travel from place to place. We however, didn’t think about such necessities as a problem. It was always a great adventure for us. What a relief it must have been when we could all take care of our own bundling.

One of the best parts of the day for us kids was the travel between homes. You would rarely travel with your own parents. If you did there would always be a cousin with you. We sang Christmas carols at the top of our lungs as we drove to the next house. Our hot breath frosted up the car windows. Then we would draw pictures on the windows, snow men, angels, our names, messages such as Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The red, green and amber of the traffic lights glowed in the frost. We judged the displays of holiday lights as we passed.

When we arrived, each household would show off what had been found under the tree from Santa. One family always had a train around the tree which was great fun. Most everyone had a piano or accordion in the house (this was after all, Wisconsin) and there was more singing and dancing too, by the end of the day. And of course there was the eating.

By the end of the day the parents were exhausted. Us kids were totally wired from all the Christmas cookies. The only thing left of the feast was dirty dishes and our full bellies.

Eventually,  as we all grew older the round robin ceased to exist. But it continues to be a favorite memory for all of us. Actually the essence of round robin still exists. Every summer as many cousins as are able, get together at a lake side retreat for a weekend of fun.

Long live the Round Robin.


all rightsreserved DianeKern2011

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Visiting the Temple of the Four Faced Buddha in Bangkok we found people giving thanks to the accompaniment of musicians and dancers. This temple is located across the street from the area where the Red Shirts protested in the recent unrest.

While shopping in the Chatuchuk weekend market a melodious noise drew me around the corner to a shop in the Chinese area. Wind chimes of all kinds! There are approximately 9,000 shops in this gigantic market. You can find just about anything you want, clothes, jewelry, furniture, household goods, food….etcetera, etcetera and so forth.

Around every corner in Thailand there is something to dazzle the eyes and engage the senses.

all rights reserved Diane Kern 2010

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