Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Outback Has Landed

Hello everybody, & greetings from sodden & flooded Concord, MA! I've been places since last we spoke—thru the rest of Illinois—Indiana—where I had lunch at an old soda fountain in the evocatively named town of Brazil (sorta stopped there thinking of Eberle, who lived in Brazil for awhile)—BBQ sandwich & some wonderful hand-squeezed lemonade—into Ohio, where I stopped Tuesday night, Wednesday—had a delightful visit with Willow & WT of Life at Willow Manordelightful Mexican lunch, visit to a bookstore "with creaky wooden floors," & a pleasant visit at the Manor itself—the pic at the top of the post is yours truly at the Manor! Of course, I was also most happy to see my friends B.N. & her husband Yaakov, who kindly put me up for a couple of days.

From Columbus it was onward across Ohio, thru a corner of West Virginia, with much of Friday spent in Pennsylvania—then trying to get thru the Lincoln Tunnel fro New Jersey into NYC. Had a wonderful Friday evening & Saturday in Astoria, Queens with my old & dear friend Lana Bortolot (see pic). I hadn't seen B.N. in over 20 years, & hadn't seen Lana in about 25 years!

From Astoria, I did a bit of backtracking west up the flooded NY Thruway (one lane closed near
the overflowing Ramapo!) to see my friends Carrie & Marc in a small town in the Catskills—my directions & navigational skills were a bit challenged, but I finally made it to their lovely old farmhouse for a delicious dinner of rack of lamb! Have been eating well—in addition to great home-cooked meals by both B.N. & Lana, I also had some great Indian food in Queens!

Yesterday was spent plowing thru rain east on the NY Thruway & the Mass Pike. I should have internet for the next few days, tho it's going to be a while before I get caught up on blog visits or comments! Welcome, by the way, to the new followers! Usually, there are daily posts to Robert Frost's Banjo, but this trip has put a crimp in that! Glad to have you along.

Will post again later today or tomorrow! Thanks to all for your interest & for hanging thru this "slow" blog period.


  1. Makes me want to take a road trip. Wow! It's epic. Love all the pics of you, of course.

    Hoping this trip will inspire you to write and/or compose. Ya think?

    Stay dry, John!

  2. Hi Reya:

    It's been great--tiring, but great. Yes, I'm sure I'll be writing from this once it all settles in--possibly once I'm back on my own early next week!

  3. Good to hear that high flyin' Outback has landed safely!

  4. Too bad about the weather, but it's nice to see you're connecting and reconnecting with friends. Stay safe!


  5. Your trip description reminds me of those cartoons where someone makes a trek and a dotted line traces their confused, rambling trajectory. Looking forward to hearing more of your impressions of your rambles.

  6. It is fascinating to track your journey. Thanks for keeping us informed of your progress - looking forward to more installments over the next few days whilst you have internet access.

  7. road trips are the best, especially when they entail visits with both old and new friends! and even new, old friends - which is kind of how meeting folks from the bloggyhood is!

    have fun and save some room in your tummy for when you start heading back via cleveland/lakewood!!

    hope the floods and rain are behind you and it will be sun and fair skies from here on out!!

  8. hi john - it's so wonderful to read of your travels - i have always loved road trips - not much i like better - and am about to head south/west to louisiana in a week or so - headed "home" for a bit - anyway, just dropping by to say hello over here -

    happy trails - jenean

  9. Sounds like it's a great trip (when people go on trips round the US I'm always reminded of a book I once read, Travels with Charley). I've got pirates on the brain at the moment, as I'm playing in The Pirates of Penzance this week, but the photo with the swords has a definitely piratical look about it!

  10. John, you look so rested and happy! Travel must agree with you. Thanks for checking in.

  11. Hi everybody!

    Willow: Yes-- a gentle touch-down, weather notwithstanding!

    Kat: It's been just great--kind of a once in a lifetime thing, all things considered!

    Jacqueline: It has had its cartoon aspects! Very much looking to seeing you on Thursday!

    Alan: Thanks! Will do.

    Mouse: As I said to Kat, the connecting/re-connecting aspect of this trip has been amazing! Looking forward to Lakewood, & no worries re: the appetite!

    Jenean: Thanks so much! Hope you have a wonderful trip too.

    Dominic: Hey, the friend I'm visiting in Pittsburgh this weekend has acted in some G&S operettas!

    Karen: Very happy, & sufficiently rested! Thanks.

  12. I'm squinting trying to see some of those book titles in the second photo...

    Glad you're on a wonderful journey!

  13. Glad you finally managed to slog your way east, John! North Andover was just about under water ( as was most of New England! )

    And you stopped by at the Manor!

    But Tuesday saw the sun finally return...beautiful sunrise, it was :)

  14. Hi HKatz & Subby

    HKatz: Let's see--there's Donald Justice & WC Williams & Elizabeth Bishop & Stevens--good stuff! Willow also picked up good stuff at the used bookshop: Montale & Milocsz!

    Subby: It's beautiful up in New England now!


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