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This website chronicles our trip around the world in 2006. It has lots of photos, videos and stories. We invite you to come in, relax and enjoy the scenery.
~Lee and Sachi LeFever
A first for both of us. Better than we expected. Breathtaking.
Do you remember the episode of The Flintstones where they went to the Grand Canyon and it was only a few inches deep? Sachi just said "Do you remember that Flintst-" I had to interrupt with "Meee tooo!" We are the Flintstones generation.
(Updated: Hah. I just learned that this is the near-exact story line
to the movie "Cars".)
It's a little sad really. Interstate 40, in 1966, opened and either took over Route 66 beteen Okalahoma and LA or made it obsolete. The charm of the trip down the route is taking in the windblown, broken down and rusty atomosphere of towns that didn't exactly prosper as I-40 came into the world. Now they are decaying relics of another age of single story motels, neon, big cars and 19 cent gas. Americana at its best. I just met an old guy running a gas station in Holbrook Az. He's had the I-40-adjascent station for 54 years (before 40 existed). I said "I hope you've got someone lined up to keep her going for another 50." His reply was a matter-of-fact "I don't". This old guy and his station are a dying breed. I'm excited that we have the chance to come through here before this whole swathe of earth is completely covered in shiny Chevrons, KFCs and Best Westerns.
I suppose this is our 23rd time zone crossing of the year, into New Mexican Mountain Time and out of Texan Central Time.
I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't take extra hours like this for granted. They may tell you at Day Light Savings Time to change your clocks at 2am on Sunday morning - but don't listen to the propaganda. That hour is *your* hour and you can use it how you like. Maybe you'd prefer to use it right after breakfast and have extra time to read the paper. Maybe you want to sleep an hour later or go to bed an hour earlier. My advice is to use it wisely.
For instance, one time Sachi and I waited almost 6 whole days to use an hour of day light savings time. We rented a car in Italy and arrived in Rome on a Friday. On Saturday we met our friend Robin and had a highlight of a day. For the next 5 days we travelled up the Italian coast and finally back to Milan to catch a train to Geneva. When we reached the station on the following Thursday, we noticed something perplexing: the train station clock displayed a time that was one full hour earlier than our watches. How could this be?
As it turns out, the time changed the prior Saturday at 2am - 5 days prior. We had been living in a world that was an hour before us the whole time and had no clue. With no where else to go, we huddled outside an espresso cafe, sat on our bags and spent the hour, OUR hour, shivering as we watched the minutes tick past before boarding our train. This was not a good way to spend our hour and I hope will serve as a reminder to others.
A defining factor of Southern culture: college sports rivalries. We watched a bit of the Oklahoma/Nebraska game last night and heard that Wake Forest won the ACC championship and UNC beat #1 ranked Ohio State and Kentucky in basketball. My team is UNC and it's fun to have the American sports back on the agenda. I never did get into cricket really.
We do love Seattle and plan to be there for a while, but it seems that many of our friends have chosen to move on to other places. Of course, this gives us more people to visit along the way.
Shawn and Laura, who both lived in Chapel Hill, NC for a while, lived in Seattle for most of our time there and become some of our best friends. We stayed with them for a night and nearly came to blows over who would buy dinner (Shawn won) :-). It was awesome to see them and their dog Herbie. Such great people. Shawn is modest about his work in the music industry, but has a room full of gold records, including one of the amazing Garden State Soundtrack. I was plotting how to fit it in my bag. This is us in their Atlanta neighborhood.
Next we trekked up to Rome, in northwestern Georgia to see a guy named Charles whom we both worked with in Seattle and became close friends over the years. Charles is good people - not a mean bone in his body and someone you can count on always. After moving around the country and even being a cop for a while, Charles has returned to his roots and is working at the very same hospital where he was born in Rome Georgia. The is Sachi and Charles...
I realization that I just had this morning is that I've changed the way I'm viewing the regions of America. Formerly, I might travel to the south and say "that is soooo southern". Now, I'm more likely to say "that is sooo American". It's like we've been saying that a place is sooo Italian, or sooo Japanese or sooo Russian and now we can more easily recognize the elements of America that make it so very American.
We've only traveled a small way across, but we've found some great examples...
This is my uncle's deer stand in southern Virginia, dubbed "the condo":
A gas station in Aalabama.
Directly in front of the Rome, Georgia city hall is this is peculiar statue of the Italian Rome's founders Romulus and Remus, suckling away at their legendary caretaker.
The plaque under it reads:
This statue of the Capitoline Wolf, as a forecast of prosperity and glory, was sent from Ancient Rome to New Rome, during the consulship Benito Mussolini, in the year 1929.
Apparently the statue was hidden during World War II and replaced after the war.
We're staying with our friends from Seattle, Shawn and Laura who live in a sweet bungalow near Little Five Points in Atlanta while Shawn is in law school. It's so nice to be with old friends again - and their pets. The picture above is Herbie, certainly one of the best looking dogs around.