Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Didn't Cheat On This One, But . . .

Visited States

Visited US States Map from TravelBlog

. . . I had to count my childhood to get Oregon and Washington. I wouldn't have done that, but Hub 1.0, who was my travel companion to all of the less-likely-that-I-should-go-to-them states (Nebraska springs to mind; I never imagined I would go to Nebraska!) got to the Pacific Northwest for work, and that raised a tricky question. Guaranteed he and I will never go there together (they're off his list, so he's not heading there any time soon), and I have been there. Heck, I lived near Hanford, Washington for a year as a child; that has to count for something.

This would have been a lot more fun if I'd had a blog in 1998 and added states as we did them. It started with New England; we were in Maine when we saw some obscure state's license plate -- Alaska, maybe. That got Hub 1.0 and me talking about how each state's license plates are different. We started to "collect" them, by which I mean we'd watch for them. We saw a Hawaii on the counter-clockwise Beltway around Washington, D.C., for example. The last one Hub 1.0 saw was South Dakota -- he spotted it in Philadelphia as he was heading to city hall to get our marriage license.

After that, it was easy to talk about seeing all 50 states. For years we believed we could get to them all by the time we turned 50 (we share a birth year, 1956, so we figured Hawaii for my birthday in February, and Alaska in August for his birthday). Instead, we ended our marriage by age 50. But not the travel: all three of us (Starman was part of the picture at this point) went to Nevada (state #46) that autumn. That trip was memorable, as they all were. Some states got shortchanged, though: Florida was a night in a motel near the Georgia border, Indiana was lunch across the Ohio River from Kentucky (I forget if we both walked back across, or just Hub 1.0), and Idaho was literally set foot on. (I'm not kidding about that last one -- we were in Wyoming, near Yellowstone, and we had dinner reservations back in Montana so all we had time to do was cross the Continental Divide into Idaho, open the car door and Hub 1.0 put his foot out onto Idaho soil, or asphalt in this case.)

So, whether Oregon and Washington get an asterisk or not, this map is essentially right: just Alaska and Hawaii to go. We do Alaska this summer -- Hub 1.0's wedding present to us is a cruise for all three of us, preceded by a land excursion to Denali, and followed by a short stay in British Columbia as our thank-you to him.

That just leaves Hawaii!

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