Friday, January 30, 2009

Seeing the States on a Shoestring

If you've never read any of Patrick McManus' works, you really should. Just not while drinking soda. According to McManus, there are several different types of panic. Of special interest are the Full Bore Linear Panic (FBLP) and Modified Stationary Panic (MSP). Go to the library and read about them. Trust me on this one.

Last night, I experienced what we'll call Sudden Onset Mom Panic (SOMP). It occured to me that, if we're lucky, we only have about 10 more years left with both of the girls at home with us. That's only 10 years to teach them everything we want them to know. 10 years to share all of the things we want them to experience. 10 years to read books, try new foods, visit new places, and laugh together.

Life does not end when the children leave home. I understand that. I also willingly admit that on a small percentage of days, the very idea of an empty nest causes me to start rehearsing the dance of joy in my mind. Yesterday was not one of them. Today is not either.

Wouldn't it be cool if we could find a way to take our two girls to see something in each of the 50 states before they left home? Just let that idea soak in for a minute. Images of historical landmarks and the wonders of God's creation immediately fill the imagination. Followed closely behind by the nightmare of travel exhaustion, a van full of fast food wrappers and the sinking feeling of hemorhaging money.

My parents went to Mammoth Cave on their honeymoon (therein lies a funny story for another time), mostly because my Dad had already been to most of the other typical sightseeing places on family vacations. My husband also has seen a number of the interesting things this nation has to offer. My own travel experience has been a little different. Yes, we did go on family vacations. I distinctly remember more camping than I care too (Sorry, Mom and Dad.). And I have been fortunate to visit a number of places on my own, including a two month trek in the jungle of Venezuela. So I have not been deprived in that department. But I've never seen the Grand Canyon (airline flights don't count), Mount Rushmore, the giant Sequoias, or Washington, D.C. I've never even been to Springfield.

All of this rambling has a point, I promise. DH and I have been discussing the how, where and when of helping our girls to experience a little bit of this great country of ours. All 50 states is probably out of the question. But if we could take one trip during each of the next 10 years, it would be a start. This is where you come in. I very much want to hear your suggestions. So, in the comments, please tell me the 2 or 3 things that you consider "must see" items in your state. We'll figure out the how and when.

Expect more on this topic. :)


  1. In Maine - Acadia, The Fisherman's Memorial (cause he's a relative), must eat lobster, and ride a Windjammer. Walk along the rocky coast and dig for crabs in the seaweed.

    I took a family trip from Maine to Florida - 2 weeks long - we saw Long Island on Easter, visited the Maryland Proving Grounds in the rain, Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Aquarium, Washington DC's monuments (need to go back for the Smithsonian), Hilton Head Lighthouse, 4 Days of Disney World, and Kennedy Space Center. It was exhausting - but my daughter and my husband had never seen any of those things before - it was great seeing them thru they eyes of a nine year old AND a 36 year old!

  2. I say Colorado. Most meaningful vacation of my childhood. :-) We saw Rocky Mountain National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes National Monument, Air Force Academy and Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak (Colorado Springs) ... a great time.

    If you go to Grand Canyon, try to hit Sedona - not so much for the people but for the sheer natural beauty - and Saguaro National Park in Tucson, too.

    We took the kids to Black Hills (SD - Custer SP, Rushmore) and Yellowstone this past summer. They loved it!

  3. We loved seeing you in California yesterday and today but I know you didn't have time to see the special things WE think are must sees in our state: Yosemite Valley and the redwoods on the north coast. We hope you'll get a chance to see them on your next trip.

    ~~Doublesaj & Old Blue~~

  4. That is an interesting blog .Thanks for sharing such a great information with us.
    mon avenir gratuitement


Your feedback means a lot!