There is a girl who lives way up on the hill in the little sea-side town of Positano, Italy, who dreams great dreams of traveling. There are so many places she wants to see and experience- South America, Africa, India, the list could go on and on. But if you were to climb all the way up to the top of the list of all the places she wants to see, there in first place, you would see “The United States of America.” Not Australia or its outback, not the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, not the sweeping, ancient views of China’s great wall, but the United States of America.
How could she ever choose her sight-seeing priorities in the USA? There are the city-scapes of New York City and Chicago she wants to see; she wants to feel small next to the Rockies, hike in the Smokies, feel the Californian sunshine, and have her breath taken away by the Grand Canyon. Maybe she’ll enjoy a hot dog and a beer at Fenway Park, maybe go to a Bon Jovi concert. She wants to soak up the beauty of autumn in New England and kayak in Glacier National Park. There’s Philadelphia and Miami, and Disney World, and San Antonio and Portland. She wants to see it all, but there is a place she’s determined to see most of all.
She leans against the railing on her sun drenched balcony, fixes her gaze on the horizon and then closes her eyes and pictures her dream destination.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She can almost feel the warm, country air beckoning her, inviting her to dig her toes into the rich soil. She’d roll down the windows of her rental car and let the pungent breezes blow through her hair as she leisurely makes her away back and forth across the county. Maybe she’ll stop at a farm stand and get some home-grown produce. Maybe a whoopie pie. Or a homemade root beer. “It’ll be bliss,” she thinks to herself, “pure bliss.” She’ll marvel at the amazing color green of the young tobacco fields she’s passing by, a color she’s never quite seen before. And the corn, everywhere she looks, there’ll be acres of it, all in straight lines and reaching ever more rapidly towards the sun. She breathes deeply, the smell here, something she’s never quite experienced either, but she knows it must just be what country air smells like, and she’s determined to like it. And at night as she falls asleep the rhythmic clip-clop of the Amish buggies rolling by will be the sweetest lullaby she’s ever heard.
“Maria.” She is awakened suddenly from her reverie there on the balcony by the touch of her sister’s hand on her elbow. “Maria, it’s time to go, we’re already late.” She sighs, pulls her scarf around her shoulders against the evening chill, and follows her sister. Lancaster County has been there for many years, most likely it will continue to exist for a while longer. She can wait.