Thursday, July 17, 2014

50 States in 50 Years!

A few years back, Mr UR had the big 5-0 looming. I was nagging encouraging him to plan what he wanted to do to celebrate. Hmmmm....what to do? A trip? A party? A mid-life crisis car? What he came up with was , I thought, brilliant. He needed to visit 10 more states to visit all 50 of the United States - could it be done by the time he turned 51? Could he visit all 50 states by his 50th year? We were gonna give it the old college try!

The first of the 10 states we were headed to was the beautiful state of Hawaii for an anniversary trip.

Hawaii? Check!

The next summer we headed out west for an eight state road trip flying into Denver and hitting Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. Eight states of beautiful scenery. Oh, and lots of family togetherness. Five people in a rented Chevy Impala changing hotels almost nightly. It was the quintessential road trip hitting 3 national parks, one national monument, one olympic site, a hot springs, a rest area that warned about rattlesnakes and not one, but two, gorgeous mountain passes.

Eight more states? Check!

Now it was time for the last state. Alaska. The last frontier. And we weren't just going to cruise there. We were going to travel as the locals do - by ferry. We flew into Juneau and visited there along with Haines, Skagway and Sitka. We saw glaciers, icebergs, bald eagles, totem poles and took a train to what seemed like the top of the world. It was a great ending to a 50 state quest.

Now, you might ask , what counts as a state visit? We had to come up with some parameters. Does a
stopover in an airport count? Nope. Driving through the state without spending a night? Yes. We decided that you had to get a receipt of some sort - stop for a meal, or a beer or a souvenir.  That is our way. You can make your own rules.(Just like playing the license plate game - do trucks count?)

The questions that Mr. UR gets asked all the time about his 50 states by 50 years are:

1. Which state was your favorite?

And his answer is : Hawaii

2. Now what's your next goal?

And the answer is : I don't know.Maybe all the provinces of Canada? Or every continent? Though I think I can safely say that we can take Antarctica off the table. But never say never!

The reactions he gets from people are so different. Everything from "Oh, I wish I would've started doing that" to " I don't get it. What's the big deal about that?" (The latter reaction being from 2 family members who said the exact response word for word.)

By the end of this summer, I , too will have reached all 50 states! Thanks to Mr UR and his brilliant idea, I was able to travel along and visit all the same states he did. My last three are: Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. I must have said those three state names at least 1000 times this year when I tell people about my upcoming vacation. So, if all goes well I will have my picture in front of a sign that says "Welcome to Wisconsin"! Keep coming back - I hope to post that picture soon!

I'm linking up with #FridayPostcards at Head on over and check out some beautiful photos!

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