Published: July 6th 2006July 6th 2006
My father told me a few things that still make sense.
One of these things he murmered while driving just the two of us three thousand two hundred and eighteen miles across the United States and I think we were somewhere in Texas. Well, it felt like Texas because I was hot and uncomfortable and ready to jump out of my skin, and I felt like that alot around my Dad at that age. When you're 15 years old and you're stuck with your Dad driving across the friggin entire country, there's really only one thing that seems to take longer than the conversations and the pregnant pauses and his thunderbolts of wisdom raining down from parental heaven - and that is driving through the state of Texas! Dad was scarffing chicken wings ("they're cheap and damn tasty") he always said, and he took a long breath, he smoked like a chimney but he also like being dramatic, contempated the ramifications of what he was going to confide in me, polished his lips with Piggly Wiggly chicken grease, and exhaled his wisdom. "Nothing is as good as you think it will be, or as bad as you think it is."...as he nodded to himself. I paused, looked out at the complete nothingness that is Texas, and turned to him dripping with just enough sarcasm to almost bust out my own chicken wing dance, and said, "Nor." ...he just grinned. "Yea, Nor, but think about it, you'll see." That's the way it was with my Dad, there was always more to think about.
I found out later what he really meant was that he felt wise realizing the shortcomings of expecting too much from real life, and he wanted to share this with me. But, as I sit here planning my trip and practically shaking from the excitement of knowing I will be one of the few people (I've met 5 so far in my life) who have actually run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. As I pore over photographs and make my plans I realize that I am thrilled beyond my wildest imagination. Reality could not match what I'm feeling right now, the anticipation is palpable, and it's true - when I get off the plane and integrate myself into the city and enjoy my days and nights and absorb everything I can from this trip I will be sitting in that seat again, returning home, saying to myself, "The experience really is rarely as good as the anticipation, the sheer thrill of the unknown, especially if it's a dangerous unknown, and the planning and the dreaming and the negotiating of emotions and fear and elation - but who cares - it's all good!!! After traveling around the world a few times, I look to the planning and anticipation to thrill me as much as the adventure itself. And I do still love chicken wings, and yes, I still hate Texas!
If you want to see some thrilling, and unbelievable, pics that will take your breath away, check out this link to the San Fermin festival website
My travel buddy, Marcus Bitchup
asked me to put a link to his blog on my site too and of course I'm happy to oblige. Having more than one perspective is beneficial to get a better, fuller taste of our adventure, and he's got some great stuff on his site too.