In the previous post I proposed the development of an initiative to foster a sense of community by inviting a Route 66 traveler to lunch or dinner. Today I would like to propose that we in the Route 66 community take that one step further by learning basic phrases and words in other languages. 
There are a wide array of free resources on the web that make it easy to study at your convenience. As an example, my dearest friend and I are currently using Dutch Pod 101 to learn a bit of the Dutch language. Additional language lessons are also available through this site.
If you have a favorite resource for learning a language, please let me know. I will share these in a future post.
The international nature of Route 66 gives it a unique vibrancy that I don’t believe can be found anywhere else. In the past two weeks I provided assistance to French tourists, spoke with a gentlemen in New Zealand developing a fall Route 66 tour, signed books for visitors from the Netherlands and Brazil that were filled with palpable excitement about their Route 66 adventure, and sent information about the forthcoming Route 66 International Festival to some folks in Canada upon request. 
On Tuesday evening my dearest friend and I enjoyed an excellent dinner of Mexican food shared with friends from the Netherlands, and an evening walk through the historic district where the conversation turned toward explorations of the National Old Trails Highway, the Beale Wagon Road, and early alignments of Route 66.
From Chicago to Santa Monica, festivals, events, and special exhibitions mirror this vibrancy. The Autry National Center of the American West in Los Angles debuts an extensive and highly anticipated exhibit entitled Route 66: The Road and the Romance next week.
In Tucumcari, its an incredible Rockabilly extravaganza. The ever expanding Route 66 festival in Edwardsville, Illinois takes place in just over a week and it promises to be bigger than ever. Then there is Summerfest in Rolla, Missouri.
Of course, the main event this year takes place in Kingman. The Route 66 International Festival is shaping up to be the event that encapsulates the Route 66 experience, and that sets the stage for this storied highway to assume a new role as the crossroads of the past and future.
Meanwhile, this weekend my dearest friend and I will not be basking in the intoxicating enthusiasm of the Route 66 experience. Instead our focus will be on the more mundane – tying my backside to the chair and initiating the writing of the next book, and continuance of an extensive combination of spring cleaning and home remodeling necessitated by the need for repairs.
Last weekend, after writing the introduction for the latest book, I dusted off the tools and a concerted effort to transform a never ending construction project into a home commenced. Here is a view of the front bathroom at the end of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, reason number 4,245,098 why after more than thirty years of similar adventures, my dearest friend is up for sainthood.     
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