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Quote of the Day

Peanut, "Wow, mom, now we can say we've been to all 50 states! What are we gonna do next?"

25 May 2009

Fifty States of Mind

Wrapping up an adventure like this is bittersweet for all of us. Exciting as it is to have actually accomplished seeing all 50 states, it's going to feel strange transitioning back into real life (with far less eating out and gift shops).

The song, "I'm proud to be an American" has genuine meaning for the kids now. Grandma said a million times, "You just can't imagine this until you see it in person!" Each character we met along the way has had a unique story to tell and for all of you who shared your lives with us, we must express our gratitude. Thank you for being our kids' teachers and thank you for letting us share our story with you as it unfolded.

This trip was made extraordinary because of the engaging guides, curious flight attendants, patient servers, generous B&B hosts, random excited travelers, passionate locals and especially the "Smilers". Pretty early on we incorporated the phrase, "We've got Smilers!" as cars passed us on the highway smiling and waving, and especially those few young adults who chased our car down to tell us about a special road trip that had changed their lives.
And we all got so used to life in the car that a "long driving day" went from a 2 hour stint to a minimum of 6 hours on the road.

The kids became versed in how vastly different American culture is from one region to another, but more importantly, they concluded that kids are all pretty much the same no matter where you go.

Here is some end-of-the-road trivia for you...

Top 3 Questions People Asked Us Throughout the Trip
1. "Do you Home School?"
2. "Well, how will you drive to Hawaii?"
3. "How come we haven't seen you guys on Oprah or the news?"

* We saw all 50 states in a 13 mos. period, specifically spending 5 months on the road.
* Most nights spent were in Hawaii (9), Alaska (8), New York and Texas (7).
* We agree on these favorites: North Dakota, Alaska,
Vermont, doing the entire Lewis & Clark Trail backwards, seeing all 5 Great Lakes, Laura Ingalls Wilder stops.

Additional, specific favorites:
1. Grandma: Outer Banks, NC; Niagara Falls, NY; Alexandria & D.C.
2. Tomcat: Chicago, IL; Savannah, GA
3. CurlyTop: Lake Superior cabin; Echo Canyon, NM; Mystic, CT
4. Peanut: White Sands, NM; Mammoth Caves, KY; Niagara Falls, NY; everything Native American; Mystic, CT
; snorkeling with turtles, HI
5. Little Man: lobster boat, ME; swimming in Lake Superior; (He gave up remembering and said he liked just about everything on this trip!)
6. Doodle: Renaissance Faire, PA

Here's wishing you and your family safe and happy travels!


  1. Curly Top,
    Can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading your travels, I'll miss wondering what adventure you'll have next. Guess I'll just have to keep up with your "routine" adventrues via Older Sister in Houston. When's the trip to visit us in India???

  2. Congrats you guys!!! You are truly an amazing family. I love you all - CurlyTop, Tom Cat, Doodle, Little Man and Peanut - don't forget Grandma too.. How about I bring my little ones to you guys?

  3. Thea and Bill Boucher, Manning SC06 June, 2009 09:53

    We're sorry your trip is over, and that we didn't know about it until we met you at the Hatteras B&B, but it was fun reading about your trip from the start, once we got home to our computer. I don't usually appreciate kids at a B&B, but seconds into our first conversation with Peanut at the breakfast table, we were won over!! It's so gratifying to know that there are still kids more awed by the wonders of our country than the latest high tech gizmos. It was VERY neat meeting you, you're a terrific and inspiring family!!!

  4. rm.maxwell@mysticseaport.org28 July, 2009 16:42


    I haven't been dedicated to following your trip day-by-day, but it has been fun to take snapshots of your adventures. And now you've accomplished your goal! Terrific!!!