States (and Countries)

This post is just for me …

A list of all 50 states (& Washington, DC) of the United States of America to keep track of which ones I have visited and which ones I still need to visit/re-visit.

Visited: 32
Never Visited: 19

Other Countries Visited: 4

I flew into Birmingham, Alabama three summers ago to meet my mom on vacation and we drove from Alabama up to Memphis, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri. I just remember that it was July and very hot and we were a bit hesitant of the towns and gas stations because we were driving through the open country. And we started seeing dead armadillos … the first of 100s on that road trip. Did you know that armadillos have begun migrating north from Texas, like to eat road kill and have syphilis? A lady in Missouri told us this. πŸ™‚ I’m not sure I necessarily need to see Alabama again …

I knew some guys in college that played hockey and were from Anchorage. And my roommate Angie was all set to move their our junior year and work on the gas lines. I would like to drive up the Alcan Highway someday and see Alaska for myself. I also want to eat fresh crab legs like the ones they catch on that show “Most Dangerous Catch”. The one with Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi as the theme song. Bon Jovi makes me want to eat crab. πŸ™‚

Not Yet … I have never seen the Grand Canyon, although I think I may have flown over it. I want to drive on those highways you always see in the movies.

My mother’s family used to vacation in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas when she was a child. She said they would go down there for weeks at a time, go camping and play on this lake. Like a scene out of some golden 50s movie. On our vacation three summers ago, we drove into Arkansas to find this lake and the little town on it’s shores, but sadly the town is now just a hub for sports fisherman and there wasn’t much to see after a drive through. We did stop in a cute little mountain town earlier in the day, got some lunch and went shopping. I bought a pretty purple raku pottery vase to remember the trip. We decided to drive north to Missouri instead of staying in Arkansas as planned. And we continued to see dead armadillos every few miles. Eventually we would burst out laughing at each one as we got slap happy from the long hours of driving.

I have walked through LAX Airport three times – on my way to the South Pacific, on my way home from the South Pacific and on my way home from a hockey trip with the Badgers. We landed at Orange County Airport (The OC!) on our way out there for a five-day hockey trip in January 2004 to play Northeastern University (Boston?) in Long Beach, California. I had my own hotel room and while the team practiced, I visited the Long Beach Aquarium and went on a whale-watching boat trip out towards Catalina Island, but didn’t see any whales. It was still nice to be out on the Pacific ocean on a sunny day in California in January though. The rest of California seemed very full of concrete, traffic and views of nature that were very far away. I had three friends in Cali at the time and no one could visit because a 70-mile roadtrip would take three or four hours and I didn’t have a car. We also saw a Mighty Ducks hockey game in Anaheim. Overall, a fun trip. Especially since we were an ice hockey team in California.

I have been through the Denver airport twice, on my way to/from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Denver is this large city in a prairie that butts right up the mountains. I also drove through Colorado and stayed overnight in Denver on my way home from Wyoming four years ago with my ex-boyfriend Jeff. We were in Jackson Hole, WY for my good friend Caroline’s wedding. We visited his friend Brett, got lost, got in a fight about getting lost and then had really good food at an IHOP before starting the long drive home to Wisconsin.

Nope … And I always have trouble spelling Connecticut.

No … But I always say that line from “Wayne’s World”. We’re in Delaware … I may have driven close to Delaware on the trip home from the Smokey Mountains/Outer Banks.

SPRING BREAK 1997!! Sophomore year, my UW-Stevens Point dorm friends and future housemates Carolina, Angie, Lura and I went to Panama City Beach. We were all underage and a guy in my dorm had just made me a fake the night before we left. We stayed in a hotel next to a Hooters and a Waffle House. We drank a lot of Boone’s Farm and beer. Within 30 minutes of checking in, Lura and I had security knocking on our door because we yelled at some guys on the beach from our balcony. Angie proved she could outdrink our guy friends by downing two bones (yard-long glasses) of beer and then entertained us all at Hooter’s with her rendition of Margaritaville with the karoake guy. We went to lots of dance clubs, my fake worked every time I used it, mainly because no one had really seen many Wisconsin cards. We went on a dolphin-watching trip. Caroline started dating her future husband Tyler. Her future mother-in-law would later sing a song at her wedding describing that “it took a college spring break to bring them together”.

SPRING BREAK 2001!! My mother, sister and I drove to the Florida Keys for vacation together. It was one long-ass road trip, especially the Florida turnpike. The northern keys were gorgeous, we camped the whole trip. Key West was less cool for camping … I think our site was in a mangrove swamp (not kidding) but we enjoyed the sites. We also went scuba diving (just okay) and our car broke down (bad timing belt) so our trip was extended a few days. We still had a great time. We’re excellent campers.

Drove through for previous roadtrips to Florida and then ST. PAT’S TOURNAMENT 2005!! My team and our men’s team both traveled to the St. Patrick’s Day Tournament in Savannah, Georgia. Our first night is a blur of socializing, hilarious lost stories. Spring break for rugby-playing adults. Pinkie ended up on a military base. And then both of our teams won our divisions in the tournament.

Layover at the Honolulu airport on my way to the South Pacific. Approximately midnight to 3 a.m. on a initially-freezing January day in 2000. We landed in Hawaii and were so excited to be somewhere warm and then everyone fell asleep on the floor waiting for our next flight on to Fiji. It was a taste of tropical weather to come. I’d like to one day step out of the airport and see the islands.

No … but I have family there and I hear the parks are awesome. As well as the potatoes.

Too many times to count visiting the land of “FIBs”. Just kidding Illinoisans. Both of my parents were born in Chicago and we still have family there. Chicago was always the big trip to somewhere cool when we were kids. I love the Shedd Aquarium, Michigan Avenue and the Skyline. Now I’m down there for rugby and work regularly. And Tim lived there for college and his master’s degree, so all of his closest friends are down there. He’s actually a FIB himself. He makes me watch Bears games on TV. ugh. The rest of the state is very flat and long.

I had only driven through Indiana on the way to other states until the past year where I’ve been in Elkhart twice for Select-Sides – once Senior, once coaching U-19s. We got a flat tire on our way to Seniors and Nicole and I spent the trip thinking of mascots for our team, such as the “Wisconsin Waterlilies” or “Madison Mooses”. I also spent a nice hour at the Elkhart Sears getting our flat tire patched.

I have surprisingly only been to Iowa twice. The first time was for a road meet with the Badger wrestling team against the Hawkeyes at Carver Arena. It was my first away wrestling meet. Everyone in Iowa knew more about wrestling than me and they all scream PINNNNNNNN!!! very loudly. I also went shopping at the mall there. It was boring. And a dumb guy working at a Country Kitchen made fun of my accent because I’m from Wisconsin. I opted not to point out he worked in a Country Kitchen. And pronounced Wash like Wursh. The second trip was to Dubuque with my ex-boyfriend to see his grandparents’ home just for a day trip. Dubuque has a cool cliff, a casino and a rugby team. I think it has had some hard times but is rebounding. I would be okay if I didn’t have to visit Iowa again.

Long and flat. Driven through on way home from Caroline’s wedding. Ate at a nice Kentucky Fried Chicken in a random Kansas farm town. Made it from one end of Kansas to the other in a day. Probably should visit it again. Was amazed at the endless sky and farms.

Pretty sure I’ve driven through Kentucky, on the way other states. Usually at night. I do remember some mountains. And Waffle Houses.

Drove through it on the way home from Texas but only for a few hours. Would like to see more of the state and eat some real gumbo and shrimp and see New Orleans. Katrina made me very sad. Steel Magnolias is one of my favorite movies to watch on a rainy day.

The only Northeastern state I have visited. Flew there with hockey to play the Maine Black Bears. We had a chartered plane and the flight attendants made us cookies. We also ate lobster. Awesome. There was a very large statue of Paul Bunyan across the street from our hotel. Would like to eat more lobster here.

Nope … It’s on my list of East Coast states to roadtrip. I want to eat crab cakes here.

Nope … and another one I have a hard time spelling. I want to visit Boston and Cape Cod. (Is Cape Cod in Massachusetts?)

Yes, mainly Northern Michigan because it’s closer to Wisconsin (YEAH!). My roommate Angie was from Hurley, Wisconsin on the border of the Upper Peninsula (U.P. or Yoopee hence term Yooper). She had a very thick Yooper accent (Think Fargo). Also played Northern Michigan University for rugby a few times. They had a rugby field near Lake Superior that was always covered in goose poop. I also saw the Ghost Light in Water’s Meet, Michigan. Spookiness. Never visited the southern area of the state until the infamous rugby road trip to play the Detroit Women in a blizzard on Six Mile Road (almost Eminem’s hood!) fondly labeled “Our Trip to Hell” or the trip that cannot be named. I may also have been at the airport on layovers. I think there is a taco bell at the Detroit Airport. My friend Megan is finishing her doctorate at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Not until college and then far too many times for Badger hockey trips and now rugby road trips (including this weekend!). My cousin also lives there. It is five hours away. That is just slightly too far to drive and be comfortable. The Twin Cities seem nice. I also got a bit drunk at a Hooters in the Mall of America in college with my roommate Angie. We were there to see the musical RENT and go christmas shopping, but were hungry for wings. We were the only females in Hooters not working. These little cute old men – ditched by their shopping wives – invited us to play drinking games (Buzz) and shared several pitchers of beer with us. We then went shopping … and bought a lot. I just remember the lack of sales tax confused me.

May be wrong … but pretty sure I have never ever crossed into Mississippi. I also had trouble spelling this as a child because I didn’t know that silly song.

Yes … twice. On the way home Caroline’s wedding to both Kansas City and St. Louis, where Jeff and I ate awesome barbecue at Arthur Bryant’s. Yum. On the road trip with my mom, we stayed overnight in Branson and once we got away from the neon and Vegas-type areas, Branson was actually pretty with it’s hills and lakes. And had a great discount mall. On both trips, I stopped at the Arch in St. Louis to walk around the park and the museum of Lewis and Clark, Westward Expansion, before crossing the Mississippi River back into Illinois and home to Wisconsin. I have yet to tour the Anheuser-Busch Brewery though.

Yes … for about five minutes and one mile on the very northern tip of Yellowstone Park while Jeff and I waited to go horseback-riding during our roadtrip to Caroline’s Wedding in Jackson Hole, WY. We crossed the state line, looked at Montana and then turned around to go back into Wyoming. I would like to go back and see all of the mountains and sky.

Nope … never. Interestingly enough, all roadtrips through that area of the country have circled Nebraska without ever crossing over.

Hopefully someday soon … my college roommate Angie lives in Reno and I have never seen her baby girl yet. Also never visited “The Vegas”. Would like to play Midnight 7s sometime.

New Hampshire
Never … and not sure what I should see there.

New Jersey
I know several people from Joisey. But never visited.

Yes, my brother lived in Santa Fe for a few months, so we flew out there for a long weekend to see him. It was snowy but still kind of warm. Mountains and desert. I bought a handmade turquoise ring from a lady on the main square and a wreath of hot peppers. We also drove on Route 66 for a few miles. We had to fly in a very small puddle jumper from the Denver Airport to Santa Fe. On the flight out of Santa Fe, you could see in the cabin and an alarm went off, scared the shit out of us and then the Pilot said “Just ignore that folks”. Ummm … sure. Would like to go back when I visit the Southwestern States.

New York
Never the state nor the city. Supposed to take my mom to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade someday.

Yes, twice. My first airplane ride was with my friend Megan to visit her grandparents in North Carolina during summer of our sophomore year of high school. They took us to vacation at Ocean Isle, NC. My second trip was a 10-day road trip Jeff and I took in 2002 to the Smokey Mountains and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We went whitewater rafting in Cherokee, North Carolina on the south side of the Smokey Mountains. At the end of the roadtrip, we decided to drive through the Outer Banks and stayed overnight in Hattera, North Carolina and got up to see the sun rise at the Hatteras lighthouse.

Nope … heard it’s cold.

Yes … flew to Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State University) for a hockey trip. Nowhere else, but I like to send Pinkie’s boyfriend Sean stories about weird stuff that happens in Ohio like the one where the wild bear was breaking into homes. I also think it’s funny that the state mascot is a poisonous nut. Really … who is afraid of a nut? Not a Badger, that’s for sure.

I don’t think I have. Never seen the musical either. I also hear there are a lot of tornadoes there.

Yes, when I was little, my parents drove from Wisconsin to Oregon and Washington. I don’t remember much, except visiting my cousin’s and grandparents and seeing a zoo with a rose garden. I also saw wild seals at the ocean. My family still teases me about a moose on the side of the road that I wouldn’t look at because I thought they were teasing me. Would like to go back. Considered college out there.

First for a Badger soccer trip. Altoona and Penn State. Altoona because I got bumped on the ride out with one of our administrators and had to take a crazy cab ride at midnight through the Pennsylvania countryside with all of the windows open and classic rock blasting. It was freezing too. Penn State seemed like a cool school. Good bars with dance floors. Never seen Philadelphia. Also on the last day of the Smokey Mountains road trip to walk around Gettysburg. Pretty countryside, but so many people died there.

Nope … but my friend Meredith lives there now and someday I want to cross this state of the list.

Yes … Charleston and Myrtle Beach as part of the 2002 road trip to the Smokey Mountains. Ate awesome seafood at Hyman’s. Toured the Plantation where they shot North and South. Nice aquarium in Charleston too. Myrtle Beach was totally cheesy. It was also “Black Bike Week” which is different from “White Bike Week”. Harleys versus non-harleys draws different cultural groups. An interesting few days for two whites kids driving a camry through a living DMX video. The beaches were empty so that was cool.

Yes … on the way to Wyoming. Jeff drove overnight through Minnesota, so I had all of South Carolina. Corn Palace at sun rise. Wall Drug and the Badlands for Breakfast. Mount Rushmore and Deadwood for lunch. Devil’s Tower as we got into Wyoming. Pretty and spacious. Liked the 70 mph speed limits. Wall Drug was dumb.

Memphis and Graceland with my mother on our roadtrip three summers ago. Barbecue on Beale Street. More armadillos.

SPRING BREAK 1999!! South Padre Island with my roommate Angie. We only had to play $75 because we were trip leaders for the bus down and back. Plus we were 21. There was a lot of beer, sun and partying. I remember I also went jogging one time. Padre was just okay. We didn’t go much farther than a mile or less away from our condo. There was one night of crossing into Matamoras, Mexico for a pub crawl I could forget. Seeing a wet t-shirt where the water poured over the contestants is dark brown was disgusting.

Never been to the land of the Mormans.

Never been to Vermont.

Yes … drove through on the way home from the Outer Banks. Got stuck in bumper-to-bumper interstate traffic up to Washington, DC on Memorial Day Monday. My friend Nicole lives here.

Part of the road trip with my parents as a kid. Don’t remember much else. Would like to see again.

Yes … for four hours on the last day of the Smokey Mountains road trip to walk through Arlington National Cemetary, see JFK’s eternal flame, the changing of the guard and drive past the White House, etc., which I almost missed. Later drove up to walk around Gettysburg for the afternoon.

No … but my friend Lara is a lawyer down there I think.

Only the coolest state in the nation! I think I’ve been to just about every county …

My college roommate Caroline married her husband Tyler on the side of the Grand Teton mountain range just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming during July of 2003. A bull moose walked into her reception. My ex-boyfriend Jeff and I roadtripped out there and also went to Yellowstone and stayed in the Old Faithful lodge. It was a really memorable trip and I’d love to travel all over that part of the country again.


Here is a list of countries I have visited …

Fiji, Australia, New Zealand – South Pacific study abroad program, spring of 2000. Nearly five months.

Mexico – a few hours on a pub crawl




Filed under blondie, travel

4 responses to “States (and Countries)

  1. Amy

    I highly recommend Maryland crab cakes! Or even better, steamed blue crabs fresh from the Bay with a cold beer. As a Maryland girl I still put Old Bay seasoning on basically everything.

  2. rachel

    Maybe you all should come play New York in the spring (we’ll host) or play in the freezing cold NY 7s tournament and see the Macy’s parade!!

  3. Anonymous

    1.) to spell: Connect – I – Cut
    2.) to visit – just think northern WI but with narrower roads and large stone hedges (beautiful)

    Nebraska – long and boring if you take I-80 but pretty cool if you have time to travel out on Hwy. 30

    Neveda – you need to go to Vegas at least once in your life

    Jersey – been there to see family too. They took me to the Jersey shore.

    NY – your a people person so you’d do OK. I’m not, so I hated NYC. You can hit NJ, NY and Conn all in one pass.

    Canada is pretty cool too and they even let the gays get married.


  4. Blondie

    Spam sucks … spam from costa rican real estate agents sucks more.

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