Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Nifty Fifty... and Quebec!

It's official, boys and girls!  As of last week when I crossed the border into lovely Vermont, I have been to every state in the United States (plus Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands - now I just need to get to Guam)!

I'm not going to do a full-on travelog blog today, but since I have been roadtripping and hiking and sight-seeing all over New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and southern Quebec, here's an economy-sized highlight reel (complete with bullets!  Cuz bullets are awesome!):
  • Niagara Falls!  Which, I'm not gonna lie, the first thing I thought when I looked at it was "Dude, I would totally bungee jump off that."
  • The Berkshires!  Gorgeous and charming.  I rambled through Great Barrington (near the school where I went to a summer program as a kid!) and swung by for an afternoon concert in the sunshine at Tanglewood (Beethoven and Bartok!  Bliss!). 
  • Vermont!  I did not drink the maple syrup like a shot, even though I was encouraged to do so. 
  • Boston-ish area.  Dude, did you guys know there are beaches that far north?  It made me think of Jaws, not gonna lie.  Wingaersheek (sp?) was all a New England beach should be - complete with Richie's slush - which is like the icee-sorbet desert delicacy of the region. 
  • New Hampshire!  I climbed mountains!  I tripped across a basement jazz club and an outdoor showing of Labyrinth!  My blood was sampled by every mosquito in a thirty mile radius!
  • Montreal!  The last time I was in Montreal, I was so young I barely remembered it.  But this time was fabulous.  I stumbled across a six piece jazz ensemble playing in the pedestrian zone!  Old town was charming, the Notre Dame Basilica was magnificent, climbing Mont Royal was worth every step, but my favorite part?  (Not the poutine, though you have to respect a culture who look at french fries and cheese curds and think, "Nah, too healthy, let's add gravy!")  It was the bikes!  There are these bikes you can rent all over town.  You swipe your little thingy and it undocks the bike, then you ride it wherever you want and dock it in another station across town (you don't even have to do round trip!).  I LOVED biking through Montreal.  Wherever I end up next month, there will be bikes.  Oh yes, there will be bikes!
  • AND, I got to spend time with my favorite pianist and my favorite trombonist!  There was much talk about musicology, genre, inspiration, and deconstruction.  I love artists who devolve into theory.  They make my brain so happy.
And that's all folks...

Up next, all seven continents.  I'm coming for you, Antarctica! 

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