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Monday, June 15, 2009

Home, travel the roads

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.
DSC_4927This 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 DSC_4971Minas - 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.
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DSC_4976  DSC_4968  DSC_4973


  1. What a great post Ginger.
    You've captured the beauty of a country with such a variety of pictures.
    From the first, of the highway meandering through the countryside, to the immaculate looking trucks parked up to rest.
    A country I'd love to visit one day.

  2. Your pictures are lovely, Ginger.Thanks.xx♥

  3. I've got Willie Nelson's voice singing "On the Road Again," in my mind...your comment about the last leg of your trip just brought it into perspective...I joined your blog about the time you were leaving and somehow I just assumed you were just always moving, a line on a map with a camera. Nice trucks, by the way. And you remind me of a road in Mexico...your blog did, I mean. Happy driving!

  4. It's true, I have lived in the states and Canada and driving through the southern states is so beautiful. And I love that transport trucks have to go slower than everybody else. I really wish Canada would adopt this law.

  5. GingerV, I too am effected by the exact same thoughts and emotions that you so wonderfully described in this post. When you live out of the USA and then return there for a short time, you see it all thru different eyes then those that view it on a daily basis. And I fall in love with it all over again each and every time that I am there. It IS beautiful. I tend to see all the small things that one might miss when living there, and I am always in awe at the simple beauty of the fields so wide, and the hills, the roads and how the homes are nestled among the trees along the way. So different then here in Europe. Each country has its fantastic points, and I have fallen in love with Germany and its lovely countryside, but there trully is "no place like home!". Debby

  6. Hi Ginger, I wish I had realized you were passing through PA ---we may have met for a chat. If you were going to MI from VA, you were probably no more than a few miles from me.

    By the way, Brazil is larger than the continental U.S., smaller when you add in Alaska and Hawaii.

    Yes, the U.S. is beautiful, but, like you, I have been few places that I didn't find beautiful in one way or another.

  7. We just returned home from a 5 state tour and it's a most beautiful drive thru the southern states. HOT but beautiful. Beautiful words and pictures.
    Safe travels.