Sunday, June 11, 2017

     After three weeks on the road with Mr. Wonderful, we have both decided that not only do we love to travel, but we love to travel in our roadster, top down. I look forward to breathing the air, feeling the wind through my hair, seeing the blue sky and identifying cloud creatures. Yes, there are times I am sure my life will end as he careens around the hairpin turns, me screaming, “It’s my life too!” but overall, it’s the only way I want to see the world.

     We have friends who actually don’t like to travel. Although we respect everyone’s right to spend their leisure time as they choose, we wonder if they realize what they are missing. 

To be face-to-face with a bison one day and engage in a conversation with a 54-year-old multi-millionaire who has decided to go to college for the first time—these are the perks of travel. To stand on top of a mountain, smell the wild flowers, see the snow sparkle in the sunlight off the peaks, these are the reasons we put our hands together in prayer.

     Mr. Wonderful and I love to learn. So far on this trip, we have spent two days in the New Orleans World War II Museum learning more about the strategies and atrocities of a period of history to which we were both born. We have visited large cities and tiny one-horse towns, and we’ve imagined how it would feel living in any of them. What would it be like to live in a town without a Walgreens or a Mc Donald’s? How would it feel to know your nearest neighbor was ten miles away but to wake up with the snow-capped mountains welcoming the sunrise every morning? What would it be like going to work as a wait person in a log cabin restaurant the size of our laundry room serving customers who come from every state in the union? How would it feel to never have to deal with a traffic jam or a line at the post office? 

     Yesterday, we drove over 300 miles from The Grand Tetons to Glacier National Park. Until we got close to the park, we barely saw a house. Montana’s landscape is very unusual. There are miles and miles of road that run straight as an arrow with literally nothing on either side. There are endless miles of farmland, an occasional ranch, open plains, cow-dotted flats, raked and manicured dirt, and then, suddenly, a gorgeous forest with sculptured rocks and emerald streams will emerge out of nowhere. I have read very little on this trip, as the topography is a story in itself, and I don’t want to miss the next chapter. 

     Last night, we had a marvelous dinner at a lovely country club in Whitefish where we are staying at a brand new Hampton Inn. Our suite is like one we’ve paid hundreds of dollars for in big cities like Chicago. After dinner, we drove around this charming little town and said to each other, “If it didn’t snow, I could live here.” The city is pristine with western log-cabin-type architecture, and the entire area is surrounded by tree-covered mountains. The public golf course is one of the most beautiful we have seen. I was even tempted to check out the greens fees, and I haven’t picked up a club for over 12 years. 

    Arriving back at the hotel, we turned on HBO and watched The Accountant. Nothing like Ben Affleck to end your day, especially as he plays a lunatic killer with Aspergers. It was only fitting, however, with our technological magic touch that in the final scene when the brothers meet for the first time in years that the signal goes out. I started laughing so hard. These things don’t happen only in Wilmington or Sarasota, and just when Ben applies a tourniquet with one hand, his sniper rifle in the other. Who knew? 

(Photos are the trip into Glacier.