Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lost In America: This Ain't No Digest

Greetings! Or as they say in Massachusetts, "Wicked Hi!"

6-10-08Hello friends and family (of which you should consider yourself both)! I write to you from the shady porch of a house in Newfane, Vermont, where the current temperature appears to be "wilt." Liz and I are entering the second week of our westward tour which, thus far, has involved going north and east; only one of those directions fits the prescription of our trip, but we're wily that way.

We started driving north on 270 last Monday, Liz snoozing off the morning's rush and I thinking about Leaving Maryland For A While. As the hills got hillier, the knot of morning traffic unravelled, and the Appalachians of Pennsylvania drew themselves up under the wheels of my truck, I readjusted my butt on the seat and stuck my arm like Superman out the window.

Pennsylvania was a rocky blur. Our first stop was Rochester to visit Mark "Airzooka" McAllister and his homebrew emporium. Mark brews a damn good beer. I hope he turns out to be as good a doctor as he is a brewer. The Airzooka, if you're wondering, is a device that shoots out a concentrated ball of ... you guessed it ... air. Being hit by one of these has been described as "being punched by a ghost." They work great on squirrels.

After a couple nights in Rochester, we zipped over to a rustic house on Hatch Lake, near Hamilton, NY. Liz and I took a lovely bike ride (yes, we brought our bikes along) into town and found The Steepest Hill In The World on the way. That night we saw the latest (and probably the last) installment of the Indiana Jones movies. I had forgotten about the silly religious/supernatural/face-melting events, and seeing these effects, including Harrison Ford's jowls, with more dots-per-inch than ever just made them sillier. During the dark bits, Liz clung to my arm the way the girlfriend clings to the boyfriend's arm during the dark bits in a movie theater. It was classic, if not reflexive.

From Hatch Lake we went southwest to Ithaca to stay the night with a friend of Liz's from her study abroad program. Kaile lives in the house she grew up in, right on Cayuga Lake. The house has many sets of stairs inside and out, and lots of things hanging from the ceiling and walls, and lots of flowers everywhere, and at least 174 bedrooms. We went, with Kaile's 13-year-old dachsund Chili, to a gorge. It was quite dashing. The next morning we left for Providence and hung out with my uncle Dave ("Dadui") and his wife Victoria; my aunt, as it were. And now we're hanging out in cabins on hills in Vermont with our friends Jesse and Caitlin! Wow!

If you were to trace our trip to this point, the line would look like we're trying to draw a hammer. We aren't really, and you'll have to forgive us because we are Lost in America. Our goal is to visit as many people as possible, and not to drive for at least a day for every day of driving. We're going to Burlington on Friday or Saturday, and heading (finally) west through Canada on Monday. I'm not going to reveal the rest of the trip because that would make this series of e-mails "We Know Where We're Going America," and that's just a mouthful of bunk.

Oh! I have to tell you about this dream I had: I was supposed to be playing a guitar solo with the Blake High School Jazz Band, but Frank Zappa was playing a concert at the same time, so I guiltily skipped out on the solo and tried to see the show. I wound up late for the show, only catching the last number, a highly-harmonized choral version of "The Duke of Prunes," that rocked. After the show I found Frank at a party and shook his hand. He gave a very weak handshake. Too bad.

So I'm living the dream, dreaming the life, and theing dream life. I hope THAT YOU are too! I will probably put these things up on a blog soon where I can put up pictures, because I've taken some pictures that you should probably see that will stimulate your ocules more than these paragraphs. If you don't want these e-mails, you should tell me and I'll try to take you off the list.

Much love, sweaty hugs, and good vibraphones,

Aaron... er, Lost In America

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