Part 2 -
Last week I told in my column how we flew to Arizona to drive back a car my husband bought for me. My goal in the last years has been: make the most of opportunities, in this case: discover parts of America I might never see otherwise.
I ended the first part of the story as we turned onto I-70 and headed into Kansas. We drove for hours on a road that never seemed to curve. My husband kept saying, ¨Stop reading your Kindle and look out the window!” Before getting to Kansas City we stopped for the night in a little town. The streets were deserted on a Sunday evening. It felt like Sundays in Spain when people stayed home or in bars watching the soccer game. Finally we found a Chinese restaurant that was about to close but they took us in.
The next day was Kansas City. I loved the vibe; it is a huge city filled with hotels and convention centers along with a young, hip area in the old town section. Everything seemed built on a different, smaller scale than eastern cities like New York or Philadelphia.
Next was St. Louis, Missouri for a quick look at the great steel Gateway Arch. My husband insisted we take the ride to the top. “What? I didn’t know you could go up there.” We waited in line. When it was our turn to enter the tiny elevator cabins, I panicked. I am claustrophobic. Kind strangers encouraged me and helped me through the ride.
The view of St. Louis on the top was great, but more interesting to me was the museum at the base. It takes you back in time experiencing the settling of the West; the journey of the explorers, pioneers, cowboys and Native Americans. Each life-size figure explains their part in building America. For me, a new American, it was a great interactive way to learn history.
The last two days felt long. Approaching home we thought, “are we ever actually going to get there?” Georgina guided us, “At 500 feet turn left…” Georgina was the name we gave to the voice of the car´s GPS. She had been our faithful travel companion since Arizona and put up with our wrong turns without scolding us.
Those last days, I began to see how big my new country actually is. The variety of landscapes, people, cultures and food is something I never understood before, living in Europe. There each country has its culture, here it is all mixed in one big country. Although much of the trip was a blur of cheap motels and Egg Mac Muffins, I felt it was worth getting a glimpse in six and a half days. We arrived back in the Poconos driving up route 33 in the worst rainstorm I had ever experienced. Welcome home!
Christina’s radio show, Tu Voz con Christina, is at 8 a.m. every Sunday on Pocono 96.7. Email: Christina@pocono967.com