MISSION: To visit every state and territory in the U.S. For my mission a visit is greater than a stop over; I wish to explore the natural and cultural environments of these areas. Each of these locations has a story to tell, and I want to find it.

As of February 2018 I have visited all 50 states (and Puerto Rico and 2 island in the US Virgin Islands) at least once.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thought It Was Going To Be A Quiet Month

It has been a crazy few months.  In fact, I have been on the road quite a bit this first half of 2011.  After a particularly hectic summer, has had me on the road more than I have been home, I thought I had a quiet August coming.  Up until recently I only had a short National Park trip planned.  Now, I will be traveling 2 weeks in August.

Today I had to cancel my vacation tickets and tweak my trip.  My original plan had me flying to Vegas to meet a friend, from there we were headed to Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyons.  Last week a trip to Chicago was added to the back end.  The today, a short trip to Denver was added to the front end.  There was no way I was going to be able to make any part of my original plan.

United Airlines was able to credit me the cost of my cancelled ticket, minus $25 (yeah for frequent flyer status).  At first I had heart palpitations - they told me that it was a ridiculous $150 change fee... on a $400 ticket, that was insane.  When I asked, "even for super flyers", she found out that I qualified for a much cheaper change fee.  So glad I asked.  I then purchased a new ticket from Denver to Vegas; that was only $100.  Work will fly me from Vegas  to Chicago.  I can use that credit for a flight later this year...

I have not spent any quality time in Chicago.  I have only been there once for 2 days.  I will take an extra day to sight-see here... I really want to see the Bean (aka the Cloud).  I have already started making a list of the things I want to stuff into Chicago:

  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Art Institute
  • Millennium Park
  • Chicago Architecture Tour
  • Sky Deck at Willis Tower
  • Lakeshore Tour

I can sit back and not worry about the parks... my friend has planned that all out.  We have this crazy schedule of Zion to Bryce to the South Rim.

Not so relaxing, but that is okay.  I get to see some more new stuff.   More parks, more art, more sites... Bring It On!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

All Signs Pointed to Don't Go to Denver!!!!

Ever have that trip where, even before you start, you know the trip is doomed?  Well, that was this trip.  The week after my sister's wedding was a short holiday week and the only time I had before my latest trip to Denver.  I called that office to make sure all was good before I left - and found out they were not.  No problem, right?  That could be worked out.  But, that was just a start.

  • I managed to find the only taxi in the Arlington area that could not get me to Dulles Airport without getting lost.  He took me the wrong direction - practically into DC and then back.  More than doubled the time to get to the airport.  
  • Once there, the world decided to travel all at the same time.  What were all those people doing there that early on a Sunday?
  • And of course TSA flagged me for extra screening.  They kept me so long that I practically missed my flight.
  • Once I made it to Denver, the rental car company I was with for this trip assigned me a car that was no where on the lot.
  • And then the hotel gave me keys that did not work.
I believe in signs and this was definitely not going well.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

NYC for the 4th

The 4th of July - I think BBQs, sun, water (lakes, shores, rivers) and fireworks.  This 4th, I headed "home"ish to the City and for my sister's wedding.  She was getting married in the Park on the craziest of weekends.  A wedding in Central Park on the weekend of the 4th... it worked out perfectly... the weather held out - no humidity, no rain, and the temperature never passed 90.    It was an amazing Saturday.

The wedding we held in the Cop Cot, this adorable ivy covered shelter shaded by various trees up a small hill not far from Strawberry Fields.  The Cop Cot had 2 rows of seating, perfect for the small wedding, and the greenery provided good background and depth for pictures.  After the wedding we headed to Times Square... the city wasn't too crazy, but the tourists were out in the Square... people are always milling around in Times Square.  It amazes me, watching tourists react to the spot.  It has changed so much since we grew up.  More billboards, more lights, closed streets turned into seating areas, a modernized TKTS booth, "cleaner" shopping and and revitalized theatres.  It is easy for forget what a cess-pool 42nd street was.  You did not see many wedding parties back in the day...