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Laurie Niles

On the road again

July 7, 2010 at 5:41 AM

When Robert and I met some 20 years ago, we knew right away that we had a mutual love...for road trips! It boiled down to approximately this:

“I love you...” happy sigh.

“I love you too.”

“Hit the road?”

“Let's do it!”

In the first year we met, we drove from Bloomington, Indiana, where we lived, to: Los Angeles – in two days; to New York for a friend's wedding; to Orlando...any excuse, we were off.

So it comes as no surprise that our kids also enjoy marathon road trips. Last year we drove from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. and back again, in our Prius, with much meandering. This year, we are headed to the American Northwest, then we'll do a diagonal across the country (Salt Lake City, Omaha, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Orlando...) We don't rent an RV, we go in the Prius, and we are visiting friends and relatives, and even some V.commies!

“I think the best part is getting up when it's still dark and hitting the road,” sighed my son.

“I feel like I now know how to handle 12 hours in the car,” said my daughter, assembling her books, crafts, music, etc.

While we're gone, a cello teacher is living in our home – keeping my fountain flowing and the music going. And my Gagliano is hangin' with its brothers – quite literally. It's on a hook at Marquis Violins, alongside an Alexandro Gagliano. Thanks to my LA violinist friend Michael Ferril and luthier Bill Weaver of Maryland, I'm taking along a nice student violin, a Hiroshi Kono violin made in Tokyo, which sounds like a million bucks. (Considering that a certain Guarneri is going for $18 million, this might not be too much of an exaggeration!) At any rate, it's the best budget sound I've found, and after recommending them to some half-dozen of my students, I've finally taken the plunge to get myself one as well, for those times when I can't use my Italian. This way I can play some Bach, learn Adam DeGraff's Slash tune, improvise to my son's video games and nail down that Dvorak Romance this summer.

But the road, the road, am I happy to be on the road! We set out this morning at 6 a.m. and drove all the way from Pasadena, Calif., to just over the border in Oregon. I had never seen northern California, and I was instantly in love. I've completely redefined my idea of paradise:

I was dazzled by snow-capped Mt. Shasta on a 100-degree day, by mountainsides packed with multiple species of tall evergreen trees, by the deep blue of Shasta Lake...it's gorgeous up here.

Over the next few months I'll be blogging from time to time, especially when I have something music-related or violin-related to share, but sometimes I'll post a blog just to show you a pretty picture. I will not be writing the Community News this summer but will resume this feature in September. If you have a news item – either your own or anything you see in the news that you feel is important to our community – please feel free to post it directly to the Discussion Board under “News,” or to blog about it.

I will leave you with a few more pictures. Happy trails!


From Pauline Lerner
Posted on July 7, 2010 at 8:26 AM

The scenery is beautiful and so are your kids.  Have a great trip, and send us photos whenever you can.


From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on July 7, 2010 at 11:04 AM

 Beautiful pictures, and a lovely area of the country.  Have fun!


From Tom Holzman
Posted on July 7, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Great trip and pics!  Enjoy.


From VJ PITILU
Posted on July 7, 2010 at 5:17 PM

>>And my Gagliano is hangin' with its brothers – quite literally. It's on a hook at Marquis Violins, alongside an Alexandro Gagliano.<<

Does the insurance cover this via a special rider? Does the violin shop allow people to play on it?


From Kelsey Z.
Posted on July 10, 2010 at 1:56 AM

It was totally awesome to see you guys today in one of my all time favourite parts of the world - Vancouver!!

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