Friday, February 10, 2012

States!

Oh dear lord, another list.

This map is COLOR CODED! Neat, huh? I have LIVED in the green ones. Blue stands for states visited for a vacation length of time and orange are the states in which I've at LEAST slept overnight. Pink means I've been there mainly passing through on my way elsewhere. And white are unvisited (including the missing Alaska and Hawaii - never been to either).

I think I can come up with a reasonable chronological list for my 30 state total (going to Colorado this summer will add ZERO states to the list, dammit!). I count states as visited when I am on the ground (no flyovers!) so we have one airport layover and a few from train trips.

  • LOUISIANA - 1962
    • My home state! I only lived here a total of about 14 years, all during my childhood. It seems like such a short amount of time! I haven't been back since 1986. At this point I don't know if I'll ever go back.
    • Since it's currently Mardi Gras season I thought I'd mention that I went to many parades as a kid. I always wanted to be IN one, especially as one of the parade queens or princesses. I don't know how it is now but when I was a kid only the wealthy, connected people got to be on parade floats. My family was neither wealthy nor connected so no float ride for Kelly!
    • I don't have a Southern accent, never have. Part of this is due to the fact that my dad is a Californian and while my mom's accent was definitely Southern it wasn't as strong as some of my relatives, especially the Cajuns!
    • When I moved back in 1979 for my last year in high school, people asked me if I went surfing all the time. Conversely, when we first moved to California people asked if we had alligators everywhere. No and no. The Pacific Ocean is far too cold (I know people do surf but I ain't one of 'em) and alligators were in the zoo, not in New Orleans suburbs.
  • MISSISSIPPI - 1964
    • My baby book has an entry that's HYSTERICAL: "July 24, 1964, Pass Christian, Mississippi: Kelly was very bad - she wouldn't listen and received many whippings!" Um, I was TWO at the time. I am unclear if we spent the day or stayed overnight as it was reasonably close to New Orleans, where we were living at the time.
    • In case anyone cares, Pass Christian is pronounced "Pass Chris-chee-ann" like Biloxi is pronounced "Bill-UX-ee" not "Bill-ox-ee"! (A Southern pet peeve of mine, sorry!)
  • CALIFORNIA - 1966
    • In 1966, my mom took me and my brother Ev to visit my grandmother whom, I'm assuming, hadn't seen us in person yet. I have VERY vague memories of this trip.
    • I moved to California on June 1, 1980 right after high school graduation and lived with the very same grandmother. I have been here ever since.
  • TEXAS - 1974
    • Traveled across, from Houston to El Paso when we moved to California in June 1974. Later that summer we flew back to Louisiana and then drove out AGAIN, this time going from Houston to Dallas-Ft. Worth to Amarillo. When we moved back to Louisiana in 1979 we came through Texas again.
    • Everything in Texas is big. Seriously. It takes DAYS to get across. And it was sot and dry. Texas went on forever. I hope never to see Texas again.
  • NEW MEXICO - 1974
    • Same story as Texas. I have been across it three times. It only takes about a day to get across New Mexico.
  • ARIZONA - 1974
    • Same story as New Mexico, a three time visit.
    • After I went to college my family started taking vacations. They visited the Grand Canyon, Old Tucson, Tombstone, Sedona. I have seen NONE of these places. But I'm not bitter.
  • OREGON - 1978
    • Dad was interested in buying another CPA's practice in Ashland. Earlier in the summer he had taken Ev up to check out the area. When the Ashland opportunity came he took me.
    • We went in the Toyota pickup, which had no air conditioning. I chose to wear all black and I was so hot, especially as we went through the Red Bluff/Redding area. The truck kept overheating and at one point Dad pulled over. We saw a stream on the other side of the fence. Dad took a Pepsi can and climbed over several times to get water for the radiator.
    • Ashland was packed with people, it being Shakespeare Festival time. Dad chose not to pursue buying the practice and we ended up moving to Louisiana the following year instead.
    • I have been to Oregon a couple of other times now, once just last year, because my brother- and sister-in-law live there.
  • NEVADA - 1979
    • A brief overnight stay in 1979 occurred during the move back to Louisiana. Mom and K2 flew to LA and Dad, Ev and I drove (the Toyota pickup was towed behind the Plymouth). We stopped in South Lake Tahoe where my aunt lived. The adults went to the casinos and took us along. I was 17 and Ev was 15. We got signed into the arcade and were stuck there for hours (you weren't allowed to leave without a parent). Ugh. Plus I was so angry about moving between my junior and senior years of high school. Yes, I'm still bitter!
    • I have been to Reno many times since. We used to go at least once a year in the 90s. At some point gambling lost its charm. We are not poor enough to care about winning, nor are we rich enough to want to spend our money on gambling. (Or something like that. I read that in a book and I always forget EXACTLY how it goes.)
  • ALABAMA - 1980
    • Just rode through here on the bus on our way to Florida.
    • Also went through in 1986 during my train trip up the East Coast.
  • FLORIDA - 1980
    • Disney World Grad Nite!
    • Did any of you do this? Disney was open to high school seniors only from 11 pm to 5 am. We had to dress up: dresses for girls and sport coats for boys. For Louisiana seniors Disney World is much closer than Disneyland.
    • Two of the bands that played were KC & the Sunshine Band and Kool & the Gang. I took pictures but I was so far away that you can't see anything.
  • GEORGIA - 1986
    • I was visiting my grandparents in New Orleans for several weeks in the fall. I had one more semester of college left but I was burned out so I took the semester off. I had the opportunity to visit my cousin in North Carolina and my best friend Lady Chardonnay who had just moved to Massachusetts.
    • Amtrak had a plan then that separated the United States into 3 sections. For just $150 you could travel anywhere in one section and make up to three stopovers. New Orleans and Boston were both in the Eastern section so I could go cheaper by train than by air.
    • Georgia was the first new state I crossed, having already been through Mississippi and Alabama in previous years. The train stopped in Atlanta and I got to eat in the dining car while we were there. So I can say I've eaten dinner in Atlanta. It was expensive, crappy train food but still.
  • SOUTH CAROLINA - 1986
    • Went through it, saw nothing. It was nighttime so there was nothing to see. Coming back, same thing.
  • NORTH CAROLINA - 1986
    • My cousin Eric was attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his masters degree. I stopped and stayed with him for three days. He had an apartment that was FILTHY. He drank a lot so I spent my time cleaning the kitchen. This is the last time I ever got together with him. He died a couple of years ago at 47. He had some other health issues but I don't think the years of drinking helped him.
    • In New Orleans the weather was the usual hot and humid: 95 during the day, 75 at night. In Chapel Hill it was 75 during the day and 55 at night.
    • I arrived in Raleigh about midnight and had to catch the train to Boston at midnight three days later. I took a cab to get to the train station. I forget the fare, maybe $7 or $8? I only had a $20 bill. The cab driver said he didn't have change. I said, "I don't have anything smaller." We had a standoff: I was a poor college kid; no way was I going to leave my $12 in change! So I kept sitting in the back of the cab, hiding my panic because I didn't want to miss the train (the next was 24 hours later!). Yes, he finally gave me my change. I can't recall for sure but I don't think he got a tip!
  • VIRGINIA - 1986
    • Just like South Carolina, all I remember is black. I'm sure I slept most of the way through it until we got to Washington DC where I changed trains.
  • MARYLAND - 1986
    • Daylight but went by fast. Absolutely no memory of any of it.
  • DELAWARE - 1986
    • Went by even faster than Maryland!
  • PENNSYLVANIA - 1986
    • I think the train barely touched Pennsylvania because we stopped in Philadelphia which is on the southeast corner. It's not like the Liberty Bell is visible from the train. I saw nothing but scenery.
  • NEW JERSEY - 1986
    • Again, I saw nothing but the kind of scenery one sees from a train on the East Coast. In the West so many sections are sparsely populated and there is so much more actual scenery. In the EAST it's more densely populated. You see people's BACKYARDS and thank god you don't live right near train tracks!
  • NEW YORK - 1986
    • I was very excited to see New York City. The bustle, the city streets and all that. Nope. The train is UNDERGROUND in NYC. I saw NOTHING.
  • CONNECTICUT - 1986
    • It was very pretty. I was getting more and more excited to see Lady C though. One thing about East Coast states: they are small and they go by quickly!
  • RHODE ISLAND - 1986
    • Another pretty state but I saw nothing of importance. And I was ever closer to Boston!
  • MASSACHUSETTS - 1986
    • First, the weather in Massachusetts, as I arrived in early October: Daytime temps were about 55 and nighttime temps were about 35. I was FREEZING the entire time I was there! All I really had were summer clothes: Louisiana in September/early October is still summer weather! Luckily Lady C lent me some things.
    • Lady C was working at that time as a nanny so I stayed with her at the home of her nanny family. Somehow I remember later trips to Massachusetts more clearly than this one. It was pretty short, about 3 or 4 days.
  • WASHINGTON - 1996 or 1997?
    • I went to Spokane for a work seminar on asset management. I'd need to look at the ole calendars to see when I went here. I can narrow it down to 1994 through 1999. I'll update it later.
    • The big thing about Spokane was my fall out of the shower. The floor was an inch or two lower than the level of the tub and when I stepped out I landed on one knee (think Al Jolson's "Mammy" pose). While naked, of course. Got to get some medical tests done care of workman's comp insurance but there was no major injury besides bruising.
  • NEBRASKA - 1996
    • The Bank was changing computer systems so they sent some of us to training in Lincoln for a week. I ordered room service breakfast every morning.
    • The Boy, who was only 3, stayed with my parents (CPA Boy was in his final semester at college, working full-time and a couple of weeks away from taking the CPA exam). When I called to talk to them I mentioned to my mom that football sure seemed to be a big deal around town. Mom's all, "Well, yeah, Nebraska's won the championship the last two years." I had no idea as I pay zero attention to college football. I did buy a Nebraska t-shirt though; it was red and said simply "Nebraska". I splashed bleach on it a couple of years later and ruined it.
  • COLORADO - 1996
    • On our way back from Lincoln we stopped for a layover in Denver's new (at that time) airport. It had lots of moving sidewalks and parts of it were like a shopping mall.
    • I got to spend actual quality time in Colorado in 2008 when we took the train to see K2. He moved to the Denver area for work. We are going again this summer.
  • MISSOURI - 1999
    • Airport layover on my way to visit Lady C. All I saw was the airport.
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE - 1999
    • I flew Southwest Airlines because flights were pretty cheap ($199 round trip!) and it flew to Manchester. Lady C said it was easier to pick me up in New Hampshire than drive to Logan in Boston.
    • We also had lunch in Portsmouth one day.
  • MAINE - 1999
    • We drove just across from New Hampshire to Kittery, a place with a lot of outlet malls. But the big deal was having LOBSTER. In MAINE.
  • UTAH - 2008
    • We took Amtrak when we went to see K2. We stopped at Salt Lake City at about 1 am so we got to see people get on and off the train platform and not much else. We will be driving through in June so we will get to spend the night and see more of Utah then.
  • WYOMING - 2008
    • The train normally does not go through Wyoming but they were working on the usual route. They shunted us north to Wyoming. You could see Interstate 80 from the window. And it was snowing! In June! That was kind of cool. I do not want to live in Wyoming if it snows in June though.
Another pointless tour through my life! That leaves 20 unvisited states: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Vermont, Michigan and Wisconsin. It might be nice to see Hawaii but I really don't like the idea of flying so far over water. And I thought it might be nice to take an Alaskan cruise someday but cruise ships don't seem to be as safe as one might hope these days! I have no real interest in seeing any of the others so it's unlikely I will get to all 50. Oh well.

1 comment:

  1. Among your unvisited states, CPA BOY has slept in Iowa and landed in Minnesota. That is "in" not "with."

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