Monday, July 4, 2011

Ode to the States

I'm not really a patriotic sort of person. To me, the Fourth of July means a day off from work and a lot of Twilight Zone. I didn't wear red, white, and blue today and I skipped the end of the fireworks because I wanted to get back to the Twilight Zone. I don't really like fireworks anyway. But I was thinking about what I could do, blog-style, in honor of today. After all, I have a travel blog and I've visited a lot of places in the United States. So I thought I might share a quick memory about all the states I've visited (plus DC) rather than saying "Yay America" or getting all political. I really just mean a I'll write a sentence or two about a particular memory or place, something quick. And random because in some cases I have lots of great memories. Lest you think I'm partial to my own country, I promise to post something nice about France in ten days. I also may make posts like this a regular feature in an effort to post more. I keep coming up with those though my ideas never really seem to work. Worth a shot, I guess. So here goes, alphabetical order, and I'm doing this in stages. DC is last, just cause. I will be skipping Alaska and Hawaii since I haven't visited either. Ditto for all those other places around the world.

Alabama: Driving along I-10 right on the coast. The road is often causeway-ish and the openness with the water is beautiful (well it was, don't know how it looks now, sadly).

Arizona: The Grand Canyon, misty in the August rain. I was cold and wearing a very large t-shirt--long sleeves on a six year old--because the gift shop didn't sell sweatshirts.

Arkansas: Getting amazingly dirty at Crater of Diamonds State Park. It was hot and muddy and so much fun. I still have the rocks though, sadly, no diamonds.

California: Panning for gold/taking a tour of a gold mine. The drive to the mine entrance was terrifying and I really think we almost went off a cliff. Obviously we didn't.

Colorado: Exploring the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde. Ladders were involved as were steep cliffs, both of which I'm very afraid of. Worth it.

Connecticut: Visiting friends who used to live there. Boring, huh?

Delaware: I remember a very clean bathroom at a rest stop somewhere. Sorry Delaware.

Florida: Wakulla Springs with its alligators, manatees, and lush canopies of trees. Snakes too, but I don't much like them. Cool, refreshing, and beautiful, worlds away from Disney. Not that I don't love Disney... it was a toss-up between this and the original Figment ride at Epcot.

Georgia: Southeastern Georgia is so flat and open it can be a little eerie. During a thunderstorm, I mean. Streaks of lightning light up the purple sky. Driving through that was both scary and incredible.

Idaho: Nice train tracks, very straight and even. I assume, as the train did not derail.

Illinois: The Art Institute of Chicago. Great museum, somewhere I still have a Degas print from their gift shop.

Indiana: The shore along Lake Michigan; the Great Lakes are incredible.

Iowa: Prairie Lights, great independent bookstore right in Iowa City. If you find yourself there, don't miss it!

Kansas: Fields and fields of sunflowers. Words don't do it justice, neither does the picture:

Okay, I'm done for now. I know this was pretty pathetic but, believe it or not, it kinda helps me organize thoughts. So there you have it. The rest to come.