God Bless America ....
God Bless America, Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America,
My home sweet home.
Words and music by Irving Berlin
© Copyright 1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin
© Copyright Renewed 1965, 1966 by Irving Berlin
© Copyright Assigned to the Trustees of the God Bless America Fund International Copyright Secured.
All Rights Reserved.
Marissa and I are now on the last leg of our trip to pick up Mom in Virginia and settle her in our hometown of Adrian Michigan. On the drive today I was thinking about America - no let me be more specific - The United States of America. I have traveled a bit, seen Umbria, Italy and Amboise, France, the length of Chile, and many places in between. I try not to compare Brazil to any of these places and definitely try not to spend all my energy comparing it to the USA, but it invariably happens despite my best efforts.
It is hard to be at home in Friburgo or in Rio de Janeiro, or at home in Houston, or Arizona and not compare the weather, the city streets, the architecture, The Food and to not find that one place pleases more than the others in one way or the other.
This past week we have driven through east Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, a small corner of West Virginia and Maryland, and today Pennsylvania. This land is BEAUTIFUL. There is mile after mile of forests and lakes, marshes and rivers, old and shiny new buildings and bridges, wild flowers and planted gardens, miles of sights that please the eye and the senses.
It doesn't matter if you decide to go north then east or further east before tuning north there are alternative routes through a wide variation of environments, all of them easy to access, and easy to anticipate services and quality of the road.
I have not taken many pictures this trip but my eyes and mind have registered the beauty. The area north of Greenville SC, through the east end of Tennessee is softly rolling hills climbing up the blue ridge mountains, filled with deciduous forest that must blaze in the fall, and as a surprise to me - there are miles and miles of well built, well maintained highways with rest stops along the way, picnic tables, clean restrooms, snacks and pleasing aesthetics.
Brazil's federal road system is well non existent. We have driven from the state of Rio de Janeiro to the state of Minas - about a 7 hour drive - equal to driving from Texas to Mississippi - and once out of the city of Rio the road becomes a narrow, sometimes dirt road, stopping and starting as you wind through one small town after another, there is no federal road in Brazil like the I-10 that stretches from coast to coast in the southern USA allowing for freedom of movement of goods and people from state to state. I have only a few photos - none of them showing you what I saw, the beauty was there over and over - forming in my mind another new bond with my country - the USA. super imposed it over Brasil, would the areas of the two countries be about the same? Both government systems are a federal divided into states, but that is were the two stop being similar. There is NO comparison of the roads once outside the main cities of both countries.