Remember the blog project I did in 2010 with three other women? Well, Froggie decided to resurrect it with me and we each got to invite another friend to join us. She invited a mutual friend (someone I met through her) and I invited a friend whose blog I really enjoy reading. So now it's Froggie, Mom of Many, Moma Rock and Merrylandgirl. Hope you enjoy the topics that we'll be exploring!
This week, I picked the topic: Since July 4th is coming up next week, write about anything to do with America. Favorite places to go, favorite songs about America, what makes you American/how living in America has affected your personality, favorite presidents, etc. anything goes!
Before reading ahead, first see what everyone else had to say on this topic:
Mom of Many
A while back, I wrote about my love for America. This time, I want to talk about all the states I've visited; when I was there and why I visited them.
I’ll try to keep this in alphabetical order...
Arizona: Went on an ATV ride in the desert during a trip to Vegas (in 1999) and got a mega-sunburn.
Delaware: Drove through to go between NJ and MD back in 2009, when we were planning out our move. Stopped for dinner during these road trips.
Florida: Many family vacations took place here. We would go to Disney World, Epcot and Sea World whenever we were in Orlando. We also spent lots of vacations at a time-share in Pompano Beach. The last time I was in Florida was a day in Miami before going on a cruise in the beginning of 2000. We visited South Beach at night and checked out some of the cool hotels.
Georgia: If drive-throughs in Delaware count, then airport stop-overs in Atlanta should count too, right? That’s about all I’ve seen of Georgia so far. And I was a kid at the time!
Illinois: I lived here for a little over 30 years. Grew up in Buffalo Grove, went to Illinois State University, lived in Itasca for a while and then made my way back to the BG area, living in Arlington Heights for a few years, as well. My family and a lot of friends are still there, so I go back at least once a year for a visit.
Indiana: My sister went to Butler University in Indianapolis for a while, so I visited her there a few times in the late 90’s. We’d go to Shapiro’s, which is this cafeteria style deli. They have awesome soup and sandwiches! I was also in Indiana for my LASIK surgery. Three hour drive to and from South Bend and my dad had to make the drive twice because one of my eyes was having a problem. When “Will” was at Indiana University in Bloomington, I’d visit him a couple of times.
Kentucky: I went to Louisville in 2000 to visit a friend I had met on a cruise the year before. “Will” came with me, and we also spent time with another mutual friend. It was pretty laid back out there, but felt like any other town in the Midwest.
Maryland: The state I’ve been calling “home” for almost three years. I first visited Maryland when I went to my brother-in-law’s wedding in Baltimore in 2003. Then we’d come out to visit him and his family when he was living in Baltimore, shortly before we moved out this way. We spent a few weekends out here before our actual move, as well.
Michigan: Visited St. Joseph a few times during their art festival weekend (between 2000 and 2006). It’s such a quaint town with some great restaurants. The beach is really nice too. I’ve also been to Detroit, but just in a suburban area for a work meeting. Nothing too exciting.
Missouri: Went to Lake of the Ozarks with my family in 1991. It was another quaint beach town similar to St. Joseph, MI. My maternal grandma was still alive and well at the time and she had a lot of fun there. We had this big pool raft and all the other kids and teenagers there were fighting over it.
Nevada: Only there for a few trips to Las Vegas. I love it there and want to go back again, but preferably when it’s not hot out. First time there was with my first boyfriend in 1995. Then went there with my family for the infamous ATV/sunburn trip in 1999. Went again in 2002 with my family and my husband (who was still just a boyfriend at the time). It was so insanely hot in August though! Saw a lot of cool shows and spent plenty of time indoors! Went back in 2006 with my husband for our two year anniversary.
New Jersey: Lived in Englewood for 2 ½ years (2007-2009). A few things made my time there memorable. Before ever moving to NJ, spent a weekend in Princeton in 2001, visiting some family friends.
New York: First went there in 1996 to visit a friend. Got to tour around the city a bit and spent New Year’s Eve in Times Square. (I’m NEVER doing that again!) Also spent time in northern NY during that trip. Then went back with my mom and sister in 2001 when we visited our friends in NJ. We had a touristy experience which included seeing “The Lion King,” meeting Adam Pascal, and eating a hot dog from a cart. We got to hang out with one of my close friends there too. In 2004, my sister and I went to visit some close friends (including “Will”) and see “Wicked.” In 2006, prior to our move, we visited my mother-in-law in Manhattan and got to see “Company” that weekend. Once we were in NJ, we were up in NY a lot to spend time with my mil or tour around the city. We saw a few more Broadway shows, as well.
North Carolina: Visited my father-in-law a few times and he lives near Charlotte, so we spent some time hanging out in that area.
Ohio: My husband is from Cleveland, so when his mom was still living there, we’d go and visit a lot. We also spent a weekend in Columbus for a friend’s wedding and went to Oxford to visit Miami University, his alma mater. We stopped in Cincinatti during that trip to get ice cream at Graeter’s. Also reunited with a friend whom I hadn’t seen in years.
Oregon: Visited my BFF when she was living there for a short period of time. It was in the winter and the weather made that pretty clear. My first time at Red Robin was out there, as well.
Pennsylvania: My first visit to Pennsylvania was to Lancaster in 2003, to meet the Rabbi who would be marrying us. He’s the father of my sister-in-law, so that just worked well for us. (We weren’t affiliated with a shul at the time.) He wanted to get to know us better, so we spent a Shabbos weekend with him and his family. My bil and sil were there, along with my mil and my mother. It was a very warm and beautiful Shabbos. My sil’s mother is an amazing cook! Afterward, we went to Hershey Park. There was a special nighttime event going on, as it was close to Halloween. Free park admission and $1 rides. People were wearing costumes and someone thought my bil was dressed up in a Rabbi costume. He was wearing his usual clothes. After that trip, we visited my bil and sil when they were living in Lancaster and even spent a Pesach there before we moved to NJ. (It was our first Orthodox Pesach, but the conversation was engaging and the food was fabulous.) We drove through various towns in PA to get to NJ, including Scranton. (Home of Dunder Mifflin.) Last summer, we went to Sesame Place for the first time. It was a lot of fun and I hope we can go back there again sometime.
South Carolina: My father-in-law actually lives in SC, even though we spend most of our time in NC when we visit him. He’s just over the border of the two states, but calling his neighbor down the street is considered long distance.
Texas: Visited my BFF twice when she was living in Fort Worth. Despite how hot it could be, the weather was just right during both of my trips.
Washington DC: I live right by there and love going into the district. It’s such a great city. DC is what won me over originally and the reason I wanted to move out this way. The first time I was there was in 2008, which is when I also fell in love with it.
Wisconsin: I’ve been there many times…overnight camp, Jewish youth group retreats, Indian Princess camp-outs, etc. One of my close friends lived in Madison and I’d go there a lot during my high school and college years. We had fun hanging out in the city/capitol/college town. I went there again with some friends in 2001, just to hang out for a day or so. I also went to Milwaukee a bunch of times to visit friends and even went to some Brewers games. One of my jobs had their main office based there, so I’d go there for meetings, as well. Aside from those trips, I enjoyed going to Lake Geneva just to relax or to Kenosha to shop. My husband and I took a trip to Door County in 2004. It was very scenic in the fall and the drive was romantic, even with my husband stopping every few minutes to take pictures.
That’s all I can remember about where I’ve been in the US. There are still some states I’d like to visit such as Hawaii, California (I don’t count my trip there when I was one as actually visiting the state), Arizona (for more than an ATV ride…I’d like to see some friends out there) and Maine (it sounds beautiful from all the books I’ve read).