While we’re making lists…

…of resolutions, or goals, or things to do in the new year…

I’m in kind of a things to see, places to go frame of mind.

View of the road through windshield

From a road trip a very long time ago -- taken from the passenger seat!

While I’d love to go see the pyramids at the Giza plateau, and all the other fabulous wonders of ancient Egypt; and Chartres cathedral and the castles of the Loire valley in France; and the Greek and Roman sites from antiquity, there are still a lot of states I haven’t visited yet, and I’d like to see them first. When I start thinking about the ones I’ve already been to versus the ones I haven’t, the lists seem pretty equal, but let me see.

I’ve been to: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. That leaves: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington (the state), Washington (DC), and Wyoming.

Now that I’ve got them all written down where I can count them I see the lists aren’t even after all. I’ve been in thirty of fifty states, and I mean, on the roads, driving. I’ve flown over some of the same ones, but I wouldn’t count that if that was all. To be honest, I’ve only driven through the southern part of New Mexico — several times — when I was in the Air Force and stationed in Arizona; and I only passed through South Carolina once when I was bringing the Old Guy home from North Carolina. For most of the others, I was there for part of a day, or, more often, for a weekend or longer because of a conference I was attending. I’ve spent the most time in Texas — I won’t say how many years — but I still haven’t seen all of it. I’ve been in Abilene, Midland, and points south and west, but not up into the panhandle.

Kentucky was my home for 14 years, and during the last four, when I worked for the state, I saw more of the state than I had during the previous ten. Kentucky has some great state resort parks with big lodges looking out over beautiful lakes. I recommend to anyone travelling to or through Kentucky to forget the hotels — stay at a park if you can, even if it’s a little out of the way.

While I was stationed in Arizona, I made several trips to California — to San Diego to see the zoo and Sea World, to the Los Angeles area (I went to that zoo, too, and Disneyland of course), and to the Central Valley, where I spent one summer leave with one of my AF buddies at her family home in Newman.  (The photo above is from that trip.) We took a day trip up to San Francisco while we were there, courtesy of her parents, and wandered through Fisherman’s Wharf, gazed out at Alcatraz, then crossed the Oakland Bay Bridge to have dinner in a restaurant overlooking the bay.

I love road trips. Even though there’s a destination waiting at the “end,” there are always surprises along the way, especially along roads I haven’t traveled before. It’s been a long time since I took a trip of the sort I used to, and I miss it. Considering the state of my car, not to mention my finances, it may not happen this year, again, or next, etc. But I can wish.

One response to “While we’re making lists…

  1. I can wish too. I used to take my students on trips to Europe, but the last time I went was almost 30 years ago. Way too long.