WHEREFORE ART THOU?

legoland (41)

Historians believe that William Shakespeare was born on this date in 1564. So we can celebrate the Bard’s 450th birthday today. (Interesting fact: Shakespeare is said to have died on the same date in 1616). His legacy, of course, is unmatched, and it comes not only in the form of his 38 plays. It can also be found in many words that we take for granted today — everything from amazement and besmirch to worthless and zany.

But he left one decidedly American legacy (aside from the above creation at California’s Legoland) — U.S. place names. Many of his iconic characters cling to a certain geographic immortality here in our backyard. So let’s explore some of them:

“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?” – Romeo and Juliet

In this case, “wherefore” actually means “why” and not “where.” Juliet is lamenting her bad luck that her beloved is a member of a rival gang. Still, where is Romeo?

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MAGNETIC ATTRACTIONS

fridge magnets 1

Now that we’ve survived Tax Day, I thought I would discuss collections.

Nearly nineteen years ago, during our first nearly-year-long RV trip, Amy and I memorialized the journey by collecting a couple of things almost everywhere we went—postcards and refrigerator magnets. The postcards are now framed in our den, a collage of memories from a single road trip. But the magnet collection took on a life of its own. We still amass them during each road expedition. They join the others, framed (essentially, as you can see by the photo) in our den, too.

Of course, it’s easy to view it as a rather frivolous assortment of magnetic nonsense. I’ve lost count, but we may have upwards of 150 magnets—from places as varied as House on the Rocks (Wisconsin), Pictured Rocks (Michigan) and Rock City (Tennessee). That’s a decent amount of cash spent on souvenirs. But consider this: It’s about the same amount of money as a single airline ticket. And I have scores of memories associated with this framed piece of frivolity. That’s priceless.

In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that our merry magnets constitute a visual representation of the limitless possibilities of a road trip.

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PHOTOS FROM THE ROAD #3

Brent grew up in Santa Maria, CA, which is known for some tasty grilling, notably, Santa Maria Style chicken or tri-tip. Here he is grilling up a little piece of home.

Brent grew up in Santa Maria, CA, which is known for some tasty grilling, notably, Santa Maria Style chicken or tri-tip. Here he is grilling up a little piece of home.

After a long day of exploring, we are always happy to come home to our RV. Doesn't she look pretty in the light shining through the trees? Our home has become our AWAY.

After a long day of exploring, we are always happy to come home to our RV. Doesn’t she look pretty in the light shining through the trees? Our home has become our AWAY.

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FIVE ROAD TRIP IDEAS THAT REALLY SHOWCASE THE SPRING

Now that spring is officially here, America’s travel options really bloom. There are so many amazing places to visit in the RV that it’s hard to know where to start. Here are a few places that really shine in springtime.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad copy

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THE ELITE EIGHT

Butler, OH (2)
Now that the NCAA basketball tournament has reached into finale, I’m going to complete my own version of March Madness—one that I started in my last post with a 64-town tournament featuring the nation’s best community slogans.

Last time, I whittled the 16 town slogans in each geographical bracket down to a terrific two in each. Now it’s time to pick a winner:

First from the East bracket: Spring Lake, Michigan (Where nature smiles for seven miles) vs. Newton Falls, Ohio (The town with zip). Spring Lake manages to squeeze a lot of information—we’re scenic, we cover seven miles—into a six-word phrase. And it’s a happy, rhyming ditty. But I must admit that I’m partial to Newton Falls. I like not only the double meaning, but the inherent risk in embracing it.

From the South bracket: Union Springs, Alabama (Serendipity center of the South) vs. Hico, Texas (Where everybody is somebody). I think I’ll take Union Springs’s alliterative declaration of good fortune over Hico’s good spirit.

So, since the East bracket takes on the South bracket, we have Union Springs against Newton Falls. I’m betting that “the town with zip” offers more zest and less zilch.

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