About a month ago we decided it would be a good idea to begin planning our summer. Not wanting to stick with the boring, typical Palo Alto summer that so many of us endure, we decided to make other plans.
The following will be a tale. Not one that has happened yet, but one that we will hopefully discover in the coming months.
Once upon a time there were two bored Palo Alto natives, Eli Weitzman and Parker Devine. As their senior year came to a close, they had a longing. A dream to tour the great country they lived in, the United States of America (USA).
As soon as they made their plans early second semester, they were serious. Careful hours of planning led to a plan of epic proportions. Both attained jobs within weeks of their initial plans. They were saving money. Not for drugs and alcohol, not for food (they shed a few pounds), but for the noble purpose of touring America and learning the ways of rock and roll and the American Spirit™.
Guided by the voice of Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, they purchased a vehicle that would carry them on their journey through the USA. The search for a vehicle had been grueling, but in the end a Volkswagen Westfalia was bestowed upon them by an angelic crack dealer.
The van had character. Rust covered the exterior and torn vinyl covered the interior. That didn’t matter though; it was theirs. The sunroof was permanently open, which would pose a threat to any normal car buyer, but not Parker and Eli. This van was more of an extension of their spiritual connection between these teens and Mother Nature. With their new tool of transportation in hand, our heroes began their tour of the land.
They went south, stopping in Los Angeles for a few nights, sleeping in the luxurious, stained queen-sized bed in the back.
They were truly on their way, passing the Grand Canyon. They even made their way to Florida, something that Captain America could not achieve. As they weaved in and out of states, the destination of their vacation became close enough to believe.
Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Del. appeared like a lighthouse in a foggy, ocean night. The days were long, but to Eli and Parker they could not have lasted longer. Blessed with the spirit of Hathor, the Egyptian music goddess, they listened to Outkast, Weezer, Beck and at one point Parker could have sworn he saw Kurt Cobain.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The festival ended as quickly as it began, and Outkast and Weezer quickly faded into memories. The next part of their journey would become the longest. A 10-day stretch of road through the midwest. To their next destination. It was the home of hipsters, coffee and grunge: Seattle.
The beginning of their journey was tedious. However, their longing for a city, a place of thousands, was not yet reached.
On day ten, their beat-up Westfalia wobbled into Seattle. Similar to the Muslim tradition of a pilgrimage to Mecca, these boys had completed their pilgrimage. The home of Jimi and Kurt smiled as Parker and Eli entered. They stayed there for three days, touring the space needle, countless museums and even visiting Aberdeen, the home of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.
As they finally left, they were on the home stretch of their journey. A two-day stop in Portland marked the last extended stop the pair would take. They lived the Portlandia lifestyle until they finally decided it was time to return to Palo Alto. For Parkerldr, a new generation of the American Spirit™.