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Visited States

By Brian | July 11, 2008 | Share on Facebook

Inspired by both Ilya and Jason, I proudly present, the States we’ve visited:

create your own personalized map of the USA

In my case, I’ve gone a bit further, and combined the family members onto one map.  As you can see by the key in the lower right, the red states are the ones my wife and I have both visited, the blue states are the ones that only I have visited, the yellow states are the ones that only my wife has visited, and the dots represent the travels of our children (Green representing Avery’s states, Orange representing Brandon’s).

If you’re interested in the requisite state-by-state breakdown, click through the break.

(And if you’re Barack Obama, apologies for the near-coronary.  This is not, in fact, a political map.  Red and Blue were just convenient colors in Photoshop…)

Arizona:  My wife’s parents took her and her brother on the typical “Canyons” vacation that included both Utah and Arizona.  Since I wasn’t there, I’ll only mention that the pictures were cool, and that Jason Bennion would probably be very disappointed with all the things they didn’t see in Utah while they were there.

California:  I have several aunts/uncles/cousins in California, so the family has been there on numerous occasions for Bar Mitzvah’s and the like.  One of those trips, as many of my frequent readers will not be surprised to learn, included Disneyland.  My wife and I also went once before the kids were born and fulfilled the Tourist Pilgrimage requirements (Rodeo Drive, Tour of the Stars’ homes, Hollywood Walk of Fame, dinner at Spago, celebrity sightings, etc.)

Colorado:  Years ago, I attended a business seminar in Denver.  All I remember about it is good food, and Coors field is actually covered with aluminum siding to make it look like a beer can.  Yuk…

Connecticut:  Several visits to family and friends (one with Avery before Brandon was born, making it one of only four states with just one dot).  Also, home of Yale University, a frequent destination while I was a member of The University of Pennsylvania Band.

Delaware:  I worked in Wilmington, Delaware for a short period of time (highlight:  cows crossing the road).  Otherwise, it’s a state we drive through on the way to Virginia.

Florida:  M-I-C….K-E-Y…..M-O-U-S-E.  Need I say more?

Georgia:  The longest part of a family drive to Florida (Sherry and I have both done this separately, before we were married).  I also attended a business conference in Atlanta once.  Buckhead was fun.  The Braves were in the playoffs, and I saw a sign offering tickets to “Tonight’s Playoff Game.”  Let’s just say you don’t see that kind of thing here in New York…

Hawaii:  Our honeymoon.  Maui, Kauai, The Big Island of Hawaii, and Oahu.  Heaven on earth with a nice, straw hat.  The highlights are none of your business.  ;-)

Illinois:  We had friends who lived in Chicago at one point, and went to visit them for a weekend.  Highlights included a Cubs/Mets game at Wrigley Field (“SRO” tickets & we still found awesome seats!), watching a taping of ER, and getting to see all the flowers/candles for Princess Diana (we happened to be there the weekend she was killed).  I also have business colleagues in Chicago, so my current job takes me to the Sears Tower periodically (big, but not as big as the Mall of America – see Minnesota below).

Kansas:  Years ago, I had a 2-day business trip to Kansas City which, to my surprise is located in both Kansas and Missouri (until then, I had assumed that there were two cities in the U.S. named Kansas City, but the river that divides the states actually divides the city as well).  So, in travelling between the hotel, the office, and various restaurants, I was in both states several times.  Highlight:  one of our party ordered the “if you finish the steak it’s free” steaks, finished it, and received comments about it in the office the next day from someone who wasn’t even at dinner with us.  Small town, Kansas City…

Kentucky:  Years ago, my wife went to a business conference in Cincinnati, and got there by flying to Kentucky and then driving the rest of the way.  The most impressive thing I can say about Kentucky is that she remembered why she was there so many years later.

Maine:  Our good friends, Courtney and Steve, got married in Maine, so we were up there for the wedding (again with Avery only – they were married before Brandon was born, so again – only one dot).  Highlights of the trip included the wedding (Duh!), the L.L. Bean outlet store, and the rustic beauty of the place (nice to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.  Your mileage may vary…)

Maryland:  Also a state we drive through on the way to Virginia.  Sherry and I took an actual trip to Baltimore once (Harbor, Aquarium, Babe Ruth’s childhood home.  Meh…), and we’ve gone with friends to Camden Yards (great place to watch a ball game).  Still haven’t taken the kids to the ballpark there.  Must put that on a list…

Massachusetts:  The aforementioned Courtney and Steve live in Boston, so we’ve been there to visit them (and are going back in a few weeks!).  That was before Brandon was born, so again – only one dot.  Also, Harvard University is there, so I’ve made several trips as a member of the University of Pennsylvania Band.  Highlights:  singing bad a cappella in Harvard Square and having Boston residents toss money at us, taking the “T” from one college to another to attend various college parties, etc.

Michigan:  We have cousins in Michigan as well.  The last time we visited, though, was before Brandon was born, so only one dot for Michigan as well.  It’s OK, though, they’ve come to visit us in New Jersey, so everyone has had the opportunity to meet & spend time with everyone else by now…

Minnesota:  More cousins to visit, also with both kids in tow.  Highlights of our trip included the Minnesota State Fair (Everything!  On a Stick!  Also, getting to meet James Lileks & having him mention me in the next day’s Daily Bleat), and the Mall of America (Big.  No really big.  Even bigger than you’re imaging.  Bigger still.  Yeah – that’s about it.  Put it this way:  the indoor amusement park is housed in what used to be the old Minnesota baseball stadium.  And then the mall is built around that.)

Missouri:  See Kansas.

Nevada:  One of my aunts/uncles/cousins lived in Las Vegas for a time, so my wife and I went to visit them once (also pre-kids).  We not only got to see/gamble in the casinos, but my Uncle (since passed away) took us to see Louis Prima and Keely Smith, as well as his favorite casino hotel buffet.  Interestingly, these activities remain more memorable than the casinos…

New Hampshire:  Several trips to Dartmouth college as a member of the University of Pennsylvania Band.  Summary of New Hampshire:  Dartmouth is known as The Big Green.  You’ll note the apparent lack of a noun (Big Green What?!?!?).  Turns out, “Green” is the noun.  The whole state is a big….well, Green.

New Jersey:  Home, sweet home.

New York:  No way to summarize New York in a paragraph.  Suffice to say I work there, and my family and I are there quite often.  If you want to read more about New York, check out my New York, New York category.

North Carolina:  My current job puts me in Charlotte, NC quite often, so I’ve gotten to know the place.  Nice people, nice restaurants, free WiFi in the airport.  Otherwise, meh…  Also, a family vacation to Aruba landed us in Charlotte for a night when we missed a connecting flight home.  So Sherry and the kids have been there as well, but probably only remember the airport and the airline-provided hotel.

Ohio:  See Kentucky.  Although I should also add that one day, I’d love to see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a game at Jacob’s Field in Cleveland (I’m told they’re walking distance from each other).

Pennsylvania:  Home of our alma mater, The University of Pennsylvania (didn’t see that coming, now did you?).  Sherry and I have been back for every Homecoming (Fall) and Alumni Weekend (Spring) since we graduated in 1990/1991.  Our kids began joining us as they were born, and now believe that Penn is the only college in America (not really…but almost.)

Rhode Island:  Home of Brown University, so another state visited courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania Band.  Highlights:  it doesn’t take long to leave.  To be fair, Providence is probably a poor example of Rhode Island.  I’ve heard Newport is gorgeous, but I’ve never been.  Sherry’s been to Rhode Island separately from me, so she’s probably a better judge.  Alas, she doesn’t have a blog.  Sorry, Rhode Island…

South Carolina:  Sherry and I went to Hilton Head with some cousins one year.  Also, we’ve both driven to Florida from the New York area once.  ONCE…

Tennessee:  Another business conference, this time in Nashville.  We stayed in the Opryland Hotel – at the time, at least, the largest hotel under a single roof in the United States.  Why they’d put the largest hotel in Nashville was (and still is) beyond me.  Anyway, we left the hotel one evening and went downtown, which consisted of a (mobbed) TGI Fridays, and a series of really, really awful strip clubs.  Also, a female cab driver (first and only one I’ve seen) who, upon picking us up, immediately asked us whether or not we thought Dolly Parton had had a boob job.  Lovely place, Nashville.  Can’t wait to go back.  Not…

Texas:  I’ve been to Texas twice, both on business (Dallas and Austin).  In Austin, I never left the conference’s hotel.  In Dallas, we took a day and saw the book depository, the grassy knoll, and the requisite kook standing on the knoll with a sign explaining his personal conspiracy theory.  The person I was with had never seen JFK, so we went to Blockbuster that night, and rented both a VCR and the movie, then ordered in pizza and watched it in a Dallas hotel room.  Neither of us had a Blockbuster card before then either, which is why, to this day, my Blockbuster card says “Dallas, TX” on the back.

Utah:  See Arizona.

Vermont:  This blog entry was so easy to write because I’ve been carrying around an electronic list of the states my family and I have visited for years (on various PDA devices).  Vermont is checked for both Sherry and I, but to be honest with you, I cannot, for the life of me, remember when or why we were in Vermont.  Highlights:  None whatsoever.

Virginia:  More friends and family to visit.  Highlights include, well, Washington, DC to be honest.  We’ve done the museums and monuments several times, including this past July 4th weekend. Good fun all around…

Topics: Travel Talk | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Visited States”

  1. The Vast Jeff Wing Conspiracy » Jeff’s annotated states says at July 12th, 2008 at 6:06 pm :
    [...] up on a meme from Brian, where Jeff has been, domestic [...]

  2. Ilya says at July 13th, 2008 at 4:20 am :
    Brian, as usual, your dedication – Photoshop and all – is practically unsurpassed!

  3. jason says at July 13th, 2008 at 5:47 pm :
    Re: the sights of Utah that remain unseen, you can always come back… you sort of know a guy who’s always happy to show people around. ;)

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