Apr 28 2009

Remembering – Revisited

I’m completely fascinated by the six degrees of separation concept. Each of us can so easily be entwined in the lives of one another and sometimes not even know how great an impact we have made. I try to make sure the people who touch my life, know it.

Last week would mark two years since I wrote a blog about a woman, Momma Carrie, a lifelong family friend, who shaped important parts of my life. I wrote about her the day after I learned she passed away. The blog, which is now archived stories only, since I have launched this Vagablonde Traveling site, is dated April 19, 2007 – and though I think of her often, I did not think about her on this day last week.

Today I came home to find a new comment on this 2 yr. old blog. I finished reading the comment and then took a few quick, short breaths, goosebumps raised on my arms, and yet – I was not entirely surprised that this would happen. Keith likes to sing Harry Chapin’s All My Life’s a Circle, and, ya, that’s just how I feel. Do you want to read it? Here is the link:


Allen and Carrie Martini on one of their many adventures

Apr 23 2009

April 23, 2009

We’ve left Maryland, heading South toward Florida. For more than one hundred miles we have been laughing over billboards with silly enticements to get us to stop at what surely is a highlight on RoadsideAmerica.com. I guess we’re just drawn to this kinda stuff, there’s a similar attraction on I-90 in South Dakota, Wall Drug, we couldn’t resist stopping there last spring either. This area was originally founded as a beer stand back in 1950, expanded to sell trinkets and kitsch items the area now covers more than a square mile. One hint for the researchers out there – to support himself through college, the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke used to work summers here. Where am I? First five correct answers will be awarded a souvenir.

Billboards along the way include:

Keep America Green! Bring Money!

Everything old is new again!

Time for a PAWS?

ROCKET CITY! The Fireworks Supermarket

Keep yelling, kids! (They’ll stop.)

And, my all time favorite (be sure to check back tomorrow and see the video) –

You Never Sausage a Place! You’re Always a Wiener at….Pedro’s South of the Border.

Here is a three minute video capturing some of the billboards along the I-95, though they are hard to read I do say most of them out loud as we pass.

Pedro’s South of the Border is the right answer. This game is now closed

Apr 10 2009

April 10, 2009

This small building was built in 1863. Washington was a Civil War boomtown, and this business was thriving, enjoying great popularity. That is, until it’s fate was sealed on April 14, 1865, when President Abraham Lincoln was shot here by John Wilkes Booth.

Where am I?

Ford’s Theatre
America’s most famous theatre.


This game is now closed.

Apr 9 2009

April 9, 2009

As you might know, I’m in the greater D.C. area for the month of April. Today I am touring downtown, see if you can guess where.

Towards the end of the War of 1812 our U.S. Capitol was burned, as part of what is called The Burning of Washington in August 1814. Thomas Jefferson sold a private collection to the U.S. Government to help rebuild what had been destroyed of a particular section. Jefferson’s items and much, much more were moved to a new Italian Renaissance-style building in 1897, where it remains today. This building houses the world’s largest collection of this sort. There are two names for this building.

Where am I?


Library of Congress – Thomas Jefferson Building

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition, With Malice Toward None, is on display in the building. My favorite items in museums are the handwritten letters and notes. To read some of Lincolns sentiment in his own handwriting was captivating for me. Of course, his Inaugural Bible 1861, Barack Obama’s Inaugural Bible 2009 was one of the highlight antiquities.

This game is now closed.

Apr 8 2009

Celebrating Birthdays

Today is my birthday. I had to do the math, subtracting my birth year, 1970, from 2009 to remind myself what my number is now. Similar to how I get mixed up on the days of the week, usually only knowing that it’s Thursday because Survivor is on, being aware of how “old” I am seems pretty irrelevant – and not very accurate. Even though age doesn’t mean that much to me, I do love my birthday, always have. When people ask those questions, like “What’s your favorite day of the year?” I guess my answer is April 8th. A couple years back April 8th was also Easter Sunday – and when that happens I’m truly all a buzz, because my second favorite day of the year is probably Easter.

There are people who don’t like their birthdays, but I enjoy taking the time to reflect on the day I entered the human race. I also like to take the time to think of my mom, and to thank her for all her hard work to get me here. I’ve often thought a person’s birthday should be more about the woman who gave them life, Lord knows she did all the work! Today is special for me, in that my mom is here visiting me. It’s the first time in years we’ve been together on April 8th. In a few hours we will head to Old Town Alexandria and spend the afternoon at a day spa.

Some birthdays, like some years on this earth, are more memorable than others. Last year it was tacos and beer in Quartzite, AZ. A few years back it was an eight course dinner in Italy, and a gondola ride on the canals of Venice. And that’s just the way I like my life to be – a balance of both ordinary and extraordinary which helps me maintain perspective.

So, today I celebrate having lived on this planet for 39 years. As with every birthday, I look forward to finding more ways to maximize the opportunities I have in life. Working on this blog is one of last years goals, accomplished just in the nick of time. What’s up for 2009 – I’ll continue to improve the ways in which I’m sharing my opportunities in travel. Thanks to all of you for your friendship and support.

Apr 7 2009

Louisianna Plantation tours

Apr 2 2009

April 2, 2009

In 1912 the Mayor of Tokyo gave a gift to a U.S. metropolis, honoring the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and celebrating the continued close relationship between our two cultures. For many years this gift has been celebrated annually. In 1994 the event turned into a two week festival to accommodate more than a million people who come to attend.

What city am I in, what was the gift, and what festival am I attending?

Washington D.C., the gift was 3000 Cherry Trees, the festival is the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This game is now closed. Thank you for playing!

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