Road Trip Music

Did you ever make mixed tapes in the past?  Did you ever try and seduce someone with your idea of the perfect set of love songs?  Did you ever create a mixed tape masterpiece for a family member to bring them back to a time to your past together?  Does a song every bring you back to a particular location while on vacation?

Well, a little while back I posted about Road Trip Food.   It got me thinking about Road Trip music.

I vividly remember driving my German friend through California and Arizona choosing appropriate “Road Trip Music” all along the way.  We listened to the Gypsy Kings as we drove through Central California.  We listened to the Beach Boys while traveling through LA.  We listened to U2’s Joshua Tree Album while traveling through Joshua Tree National park in Southern California near Palm Springs.  We listened to Elvis in Las Vegas.  We listened to American Indian mystical music in Sedona.

On subsequent trips to Europe with her we listened to country specific music when traveling through France and Italy.  We also paid special attention to whatever was popular in the country at the time.  I vividly remember a song called “The ketchup song” which to this day I still do not understand.  Europe had to have a flaw and that song was it.  We listened to the Proclaimers in Scotland and Ah-Ha in Germany.  (I was actually fortunate enough to see them in concert while there!)

Traveling through Ireland with my brother I brought Irish CDs with me only to find out the car we rented didn’t have a CD player.  Nonetheless we listened in hotels to Van Morrison, U2, Sinead O’Conner, Thin Lizzy, The Chieftains, Clannad, The Corrs, and Christy Moore.

I was introduced to Ronan Keating who sang, among other songs, “Nothing at all.”  I was familiar with the song from when Alison Krauss sang it and remembered Keith Whitley sang it first.  I pointed this out to a bartender who was singing along to it and he nearly threw me out of the bar for lying to him.  I never did convince him that someone else could have sang it first.

On a road trip with my husband to Utah we knew we would be stuck in the car for two full day’s worth of driving just to get to our main destination.  We ended up getting Farenheit 52 as a book on tape.  It was terrible!  Don’t hate me.  Everyone else in the world seems to love that book…  We had better luck listening to the Serial Podcast about a journalists journey to find the truth behind a murder!  That was an absolutely wonderful way to spend a road trip up and back to visit in-laws in Oregon!

Now-a-days we have Pandora and iTunes and a billion other music options.  It seems mixed tapes are no longer necessary making room for digital “playlists.”  I can tell you I will never bring a physical CD on a flight ever again!  But, I do miss the days where I put a lot of thought in to what music would be played to enhance my trip no matter whether I was driving or flying.

What kind of music do you listen to on the airplane when traveling?  Or what kind of music do you listen to in the car on a road trip?  What songs transport you back in time to a vacation moment you had long ago?

Voodoo Donut – Portland – To go or not to go…

I have a love/hate relationship with places or things as touristy as Voodoo donuts in Portland,Oregon. The idea of it sounds awesome. But, that is where everyone goes, right? I feel like I would miss out on something cool and distinctly “Portland” if I failed to go. But, at the same time waiting in line for 20 minutes for a donut just seems crazy. I don’t even like donuts!

My decision was made for me when the large group I was traveling with ALL wanted to go there. So, we rode the MAX in to town and had a glorious time anticipating which donut all of us would choose. (I chose a delightful vanilla donut with vanilla frosting and small M&Ms on it. One of us chose peanut butter and jelly, another maple bacon, fruit donuts, old fashions, and more…) While waiting in line a street ping pong tournament was happening just outside the store. Passersby could ping pong with the actual Mayor. And, if that wasn’t enough, Voodoo donuts hired a magician to entertain the crowd. (And he wasn’t half bad!)

The highlight for me was watching everyone’s face dig in to their pink box full of specialty picked donuts. Our Danish exchange student Johannes even had to pick the “Tex Ass” challenge, a donut the equivalent of six donuts in size, merely so he could have his picture taken with it. He managed to pack that entire donut away without being sick! (Ahh, to be sixteen with that kind of metabolism again.)

So, was it worth it? I was left with the typical regret one feels after eating a donut. But, the experience was unusual, and fun, and full of energy and totally Portland.

donut family

Portland etc 010

Keep Portland Weird

I love Portland. I love the weather, the food, the beer, the people, McMenamins, the Columbia…but, this time around I found something new. The food cart! I don’t remember seeing them last time I came. If they are new they certainly accessorize Portland’s fun vibe. It’s fun to have so many good choices all within one city block. Our large group got to choose what sounded good to them and we picnicked in a nearby park. Bon appetite!


glorious food