Don’t call us, we’ll call you

January 5, 2011

Forty-three down, seven to go . . .

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , — llcall @ 4:00 pm

States, that is.  In the git ‘er done spirit of 2011, I thought I should look again at my states list and think about how I’m going to knock down those last seven. 2009 was quite fruitful in the travel department between establishing much better memories of Oregon (before that my Oregon memories had primarily involved a hospital stay on the 4th of July after getting rammed by a limo traveling at 50 miles per hour — oy!), knocking off Washington and Alaska (some of my long-forgotten post drafts are about our adventures in those states — it’s okay to take two years to blog about your most amazing vacation ever, right?!), and making last-minute trips to Michigan and Texas.  But not surprisingly, 2010 didn’t include much travel outside of visits to my parents’ house for some much-needed baby care. I’ve been secretly plotting how to visit some more states in 2011, but not surprisingly, Neal hasn’t been too keen on my ideas to drive cross-country with a toddler in tow.  Where’s his sense of adventure?  But I’m undeterred . . . I’ve got seven states left and darn it, I’m going to figure out how to get to them.  Some of my possible scenarios:

  1. Before we leave Utah permanently, which will likely be this summer (but then again I said that once before when I graduated from BYU, and Provo seems to have some inexplicable pull that I can never permanently escape), we could drive north to Montana (what are must-see spots in Montana? Anyone, anyone?); head east to North Dakota (same question, even more earnest :)); come back through South Dakota and show Neal the amazing Badlands; with a final stop to see dear Elizabeth in Littleton, CO (they say our room is always ready!).
  2. Fly to Ann Arbor, Michigan to see Todd, Rach, and the little ones; rent a car and drop in on Brandon in Chicago; drive north to Wisconsin (again, what should we hit in Wisconsin?).
  3. Fly to Boston (cause I can’t get within a thousand miles and not get me some Fenway Park and Dawnielle time); drive to New Hampshire; Maine; back down through Vermont; and to Albany to see Vickie.
  4. Fly to North Carolina to see Kaila; drive to D.C. to see my D.C. peeps and be reunited (at least temporarily) with the piece of my heart that permanently resides there.
  5. Fly to Alabama to visit Neal’s parents; drive to Memphis; and down into Mississippi and Louisiana.
  6. Then there’s always the mother of all road-trips: CO-TX-LA-MS-AL-GA-SC-NC-VA-DC-MD-DE-PA-NJ-NY-CT-MA-NH-ME-VT-NY(again)-PA (again)-OH-MI-IN-IL-WI-MN-ND-MT-SD-WY-UT.  (Don’t think I wouldn’t try it — I’ve done crazier things than that, like a road trip to Boston with 3 guys I’d never met before).

So what’s your vote?  Try to knock off all seven in one year?  Take the more measured, regional approach?  Or wait and save up all our travel funds for a blockbuster trip to see Tara in China in 2012 (which Neal has already informed me he will not be accompanying me on — thank goodness I don’t mind taking separate vacations . . . after all, they’re cheaper!)?



  1. Spread it out. The trip to China sounds like a great opportunity. Start your state trips again in a few years. You have to get Addison in on this too, right. Your last seven could be her first.

    Comment by Jo — January 5, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  2. I was distressed by your earlier post to see that you have had a less then pleasant time in Arkansas. We need to change this! Plan on adding it back to your list in the future and we will change your mind, and you’ll see why it is called the Natural State.

    Comment by Emily Larkin — January 5, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

  3. Montana = Glacier National Park during the summer. It’s AMAZING! I don’t know how you are about camping, and I don’t know about lodges but I’m sure there are some somewhere. For hotel options, go to Kalispell.

    If you’re going across Montana on I-90 to North Dakota, the site of Custer’s Last Stand is just off the freeway. Kind of morbid but interesting. When I was there in 2002, they were improving the area to present things from the Native Americans’ perspective, not just a “poor Custer got attacked by those mean Indians” presentation.

    I’m trying to think of any other MUST SEE things for Montana (I lived in Montana for a year in a podunk town between Missoula and Butte) … email to remind me and I’ll think about it some more. There’s a temple in Billings, if you incorporate going to different temples in your travels. And I don’t know anything about North Dakota – I never made it over that far.

    We’re in Vicksburg Mississippi for another 18 months, possibly longer, if you want advice about this part of the country. I’ve been looking up things for Louisiana lately so we can make some weekend trips. We’re 3 hours from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport, depending on which way you drive from our house.

    And that mother of all road trips … I’d do it. Have fun!

    Comment by treen — January 5, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

  4. I VOTE FOR #4!!

    Comment by Andrea — January 5, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  5. As unpatriotic as it sounds, I vote for China in 2012. I think any opportunity to see someone you know living in a foreign country should be seized upon, that way you see all the “touristy” things, but are much more likely to see how people actually live there. For this reason, I requested $200 be put in a Vietnam trip fund for my birthday. One of Derrick’s old mission companions married a Viet-American and they live in Vietnam during the summers so they can help her parents run their hotel. No one else quite understands my drive to go to Vietnam of all places, but they also don’t understand that I became disenchanted with traditional tourism when I was in High School, where all you got was a fake caricature of what a given place was really like.

    Sorry for going on and on, but I was defending this decision to my parents during Christmas vacation. It didn’t quite sink in. So your post was a perfect opportunity for me to vent 😉

    Comment by Jen — January 5, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

  6. Personally, I think all of these trips sound exhausting and I suggest getting a new theme for the year. But, my mommy would opt for the first choice. 🙂

    Comment by Elizabeth — January 6, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  7. I vote for spreading out the joy, so you don’t have to drag Addison around way too much. I know Beth gets super tired of being in her carseat – having been in one for 15 hours made her not very happy.

    PS – the color of your list totally reminded me of those birthing scripts you sent to me last year (the imagine you’re on a rainbow one). It was funny. Matt tried reading those and finally gave up because he couldn’t read them straight without laughing. Anyway, lots of funny memories with those colors.

    Comment by Sabrina — January 6, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  8. #3, #3! I do understand if you pass up the East Coast for China, though. That would be an amazing opportunity!

    Comment by Vickie Blanchard — January 6, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  9. So, which states haven’t you been to?

    You could just say “oh Diane’s been there, she can tell me all about it” -if you haven’t been to North Carolina, Michigan, Louisiana, or Mississippi. On MS though My memories are this- on road trips from Alabama to Louisiana or Texas to visit family we started wondering at ways to detour Mississippi, was it possible to teleport over it? No, no to our continued loathing we had to pass through.

    Comment by diane — January 6, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

  10. Ummmm….I totally vote you visit MA and swing by to vist your dear friends Zack and Shannon!! DUH! I can’t believe we weren’t on the schedule!!! Sure the Red Socks are cool, but who is way cooler? Zack and Shannon, that’s right.

    Comment by Shannon Beckstead — January 11, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  11. Spread them out. You will get more out of the experiance. I love skiing in big sky montana!,

    Comment by carissa — January 11, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

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