La Bimba and I are going on our first trip without The Husband on Sunday. We are flying to Milan where our friend P. is coming to pick us up and bring us to Ticino, Switzerland. Six days in the green valley. Sounds like good medicine.
I used to travel a lot and usually sola. I criss-crossed the US by car many, many times, taking in national parks and burger joints and roadside peach stands. I bumped into people I knew in the middle of nowhere New Mexico, visited close friends, walked through cool rivers, sweated in suffocating deserts, slept in Motel 6s and tents, in lightening storms and sweltering heat. I have been through 45 of the the 50 states. Who wouldn't save Hawaii and Alaska (and Alabama, Oklahoma and Arkansas) for last?
I started romances on road trips and also watched them die. I ate tacos and corn dogs and continental breakfasts (remember R.? watching you sleep, willing you to wake up so we could hit the road and pose for photos with the Cheyenne High football team on green John Deere tractors?). I sang very loudly with a Camel Light hanging out of my lips on Route 66, and wailed like a maniac at Four Corners. I made a fate-altering call from Bluff, Utah, got pulled over in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for driving with too much joy, watched a lightening bolt start in the heavens and hit the dirt in the middle of nowhere Kansas. That's when I learned that a single tree bent over a still pond surrounded by nothing Kansas can be more majestic than the red rock Utah. Abe's Grocery breakfast burritos in Taos, New Mexico. Root beer float somewhere in Arizona. The Baghdad Cafe ostrich burger in Newberry Springs, California, and a buffalo burger in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Geysers. Waterfalls. Stalactites. Mudbugs and beer in a pre-Katrina New Orleans. The life-size replica of the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee. Graceland, of course. And the home for wayward men in Memphis that stood next door to our B&B.
There was the wedding in Eugene, Oregon where I almost fainted holding up the chuppah ("Excuse me, could you hold this for a second?"), and waking up in an enchanted forest outside Bristol, a town that shares a border with Tennessee and Virginia. We had arrived at night, set up camp by flashlight, and woke up under a canopy of dark green by the side of a crystalline lake...I've got to learn the names of some trees.
On a totally unrelated Neapolitan note, The Husband, La Bimba and I went to the comune to get a copy of my residenza, and La Bimba was missing from it. I hadn't thought to "declare" her because I assumed her name would pop up wherever mine did. Instead, because she was born in Naples when I was still a resident in Brooklyn, she was considered una nascità occasionale, which more or less means that the comune di Napoli assumed a New Yorker decided to have her baby in Naples just for kicks. According to Italian law, a baby follows the mother, i.e. takes on her domicile, thus, according to the comune di Napoli and Italia as a whole, The Husband and I live in Naples and La Bimba is holed up in a bachelorette flat in New York.
I hope she'll let us visit now and then. Do you think we should call first?