Our logo, with which you're all familiar with due to its permanent presence directly on the right, wasn't just something that fell out of the sky. This brilliant little image was designed by one Eric Perinotti, whose artistic genius and technological prowess were commissioned at the behest of Joey, his fraternity brother from their ol' Phi Sigma Kappa days. It was done out of the kindness of Eric's heart, and spectacularly so, if I may say so.
That said, Eric has inadvertently painted us into somewhat of a corner, in his selection of landmarks for the backdrop of the logo. In choosing these specific sites for their general recognizability, he's also selected seven structures that we have no choice but to pay visits to during our trip.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, Eric picked out some real winners, and we won't have any problem finding our way to them. Let's look into them a little more, going left to right as we English speakers tend to do.
The Golden Gate Bridge. This is a San Francisco landmark, all the way out on the west coast, and therefore the last of these destinations we'll be getting to. But this very famous bridge is the main (only?) thoroughfare into this city full of love and hippies. There's no way we'd avoid San Fran, so this one will be a snap.
The Sears Tower. This monstrous edifice finds itself in Chicago, Il., home to windy weather, deep dish pizza and a hilarious baseball team. The building itself is the largest in North America, and was the largest in the world until 1998. So at least it won't be too difficult to find.
Chicago is a definite must for us, a city that we'll dive into near the halfway point in the trip. Look for a grand ol' photo op with this impressive edifice.
The Gateway Arch. Here we have an unmistakable vista, this magnificent burst of steel and concrete that reaches more than 600 feet into the air. The arch is in St. Louis, home of the blues, where we'll be eagerly milling about for hopefully a couple of days. It is symbolic as the "gateway to the west," which is awfully appropriate for our own intentions. Expect us here in July.
The Capitol Building. You might be wondering how these were spaced out. Thus far we've talked about the last three sites we'll encounter, and now we're at the first one we'll see. Joey said it makes perfect sense, as the left side of the logo represents the west coast, and the right the east. Smartass.
Anyway, at this point we're in DC, touring our nation's capital and scouring around inside any such awesome buildings as this one that we're allowed to enter. I understand security is a little tight these days - we can't exactly walk up and ring the bell. But if we're lucky, we might be able to score a walkthrough.
The Washington Monument. Scratch what I said earlier about the Capitol. Nothing wrong with the Capitol, but this might be the most recognizable structure in the country. This monument, which was once the tallest in the country in the early 1900's, is the symbolic starting point for our trip in Washington, DC. Our journey starts here, on May 31.
The Empire State Building. Here we're in tender, loving New York City, at the building where Buddy the Elf's real father once called his place of employment. This building is particularly famous for its height, the tallest skyscraper in this massive metropolis. Tours are available and may induce a fair amount of nausea on my part, so look forward to that, because I sure don't.
The Statue of Liberty. This beautiful woman was the first glimpse of America for many European immigrants on their way to Ellis island, a gift from the French many, many years ago. Ahh, those were the days, when you'd tell someone you loved them with a statue instead of flowers or jewelry. Those French folk sure do know the way to our hearts.
Lady Liberty has a place in our travels in the second week of June. Look forward to this, and all these other photo ops, when we hit the road.
(From top) Photo by Aslak Raanes courtesy Wikimedia Commons; photo by Kelly Martin courtesy Wikimedia Commons; photo by JNEM Media Services courtesy nps.gov; photo by F. Malotaux courtesy Wikimedia Commons; photo by Daniel Schwen courtesy Wikimedia Commons; photo by P. Banks courtesy nps.gov.