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Laurie Niles

Gateway to the East

July 29, 2009 at 3:14 AM

You may know that I'm on a Big Road Trip; and I'm no longer in Kansas.

I passed by the St. Louis arch ("Gateway to the East" in my case?),

We visited old stomping grounds at Indiana University in Bloomington, where we introduced the kids to Mother Bear's Pizza and I dropped in on violin professor Henryk Kowalski:

We also visited the newspaper where Robert and I used to work, the Herald-Times, where I could smell ink in the newsroom (ah, wonderful scent to me!) and we visited with editors Bill Strother and Andrea Murray, who helped turn us into journalists.

We stopped a bit in the Cincinnati area to visit family, among them, the adorable niece-munchkin Madeline:

(Note: yes, I did consume Graeter's ice cream while in the Cincinnati area, vanilla chocolate chip; as well as some Coneys from Skyline.)

Then, we arrived in Washington, D.C., where I didn't realize the motto on the license plates until I saw it:

We have been visiting government sites and also looking at important national treasures at the Smithsonian, such as, well, Kermit the Frog:

And, enough teasing, I saw some Stradivari, like this family of four:

Want to look closer? Here is a detail from the Strad 1687 Ole Bull:

And here's a detail from the Strad Greffuhle, about 1700:

And here is Orville Wright's mandolin, which looks a little like the one I've taken traveling with me. "He sits around and picks at that thing until I can hardly stay in the house," is what his sister, Katharine Wright, said of Orville's playing. I'm not telling you what my family says about mine...

And how could I miss Julia Child's kitchen, after recently reading the fun book, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen?

Here is the family, with a statue of George Washington at the Smithsonian, a statue we know from an illustration in one of our favorite kids' books, George Washington's Breakfast.

Here I am, the steps of the Supreme Court with member and fellow Suzuki teacher Stephanie Flack and members of both of our families.

More later; now we hit the road again, heading south!

From Catie Rinderknecht
Posted on July 29, 2009 at 3:26 AM

The Smithsonian really is delightful!  I went there a couple years ago on a school orchestra/choir trip and had a wonderful time.  Seeing a picture of Kermit again made me smile.  


From Anne Horvath
Posted on July 29, 2009 at 4:03 AM

No pictures of the Graeter's Ice Cream??????

(Insert smiley face here). 

Hope the rest of your trip goes well!


From Stephen Brivati
Posted on July 29, 2009 at 9:53 AM


when I was a kid I had a copy of the Hill book on Stradivarius.  It had beautiful color photos of the Grefhule.  Your photos really took me back!



From Michael Divino
Posted on July 29, 2009 at 2:43 PM

DC is great, isn't it?  Did you pass by the Kennedy Center?

From Royce Faina
Posted on July 30, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Have a beer at the white house?

From Laurie Niles
Posted on July 31, 2009 at 3:55 AM

Alas, no picture of the ice cream, I ate it too fast! And we didn't get to take in anything at the Kennedy Center, though I was able to say hello to my friend, Peter Wilson, who plays in the Marine orchestra. So sorry to have missed hearing them play; we arrived the night they had a concert and Pete was introducing Obama. What a job!

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on August 3, 2009 at 6:52 PM

I've lived in the DC area for a long time, but I've never seen those instruments you photographed.  Where are they?  It would be fun for you and your family to spend a week in DC.  There is so much to see and do here.

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