50 States Before They Graduate


50 States Before They Graduate

Wife and mother of three beautiful children. We are on a mission to see all 50 states before kids graduate from high school. It all started from a map of United States on the wall of my sons bedroom. My husband came to me and said, “How about we take them to all 50 states before they graduate?” He tells me the route and I start all the planning. It usually takes me six months to a year to plan each 16 day trip.

I am former elementary school teacher and now an author of an up and coming children's book series called Flip Side Stories. The book in the series in called Just Because. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1933916907
I live in Troy,United States.
Hobbies: writing, drawing, reading, travel
Profession: Children's Book Author
Please do not judge errors in writing. I am often writing in bed after a long day in a hotel room and I don't do much editing.

North America » United States » Michigan » Troy April 27th 2019

Well, when you take the time to look back and tally things up, you realize... It's All Numbers 14 States 3 New States 5382 miles (approx) 104 hours in the car 366 gallons of gas 8 Marriotts 1 House/cabin 7 friends and family 1 Univeristies 15 attractions 16 restaurants 4 Nationalities of foods 82 bottles of water 2 frozen desserts 5 Starbucks 10 pink jeeps 4 parking fees 8 big cities (with high rises) 1 movies 6 bodies of water (including rivers, lakes, oceans) 6 pizzas 1 boat 2 beach 1 pools (they swam in) 3 toll roads 6 capitals 9 different beds 20 sharks 4 starfish 6 bags of chips 7 phone cords 3 surface pros 5 iPhones 1 oil change 3 national parks We didn't keep track of our spending like past years and ... read more

North America » United States » Michigan » Troy April 27th 2019

Yesterday was our last long road trip to the 50 states. We have reached 48. Unknowingly, we learned from our Pink Jeep tour guide that Arizona was the 48th state to join the union and it was our 48th state to travel. If we flip flopped our last two trips and went to Alaska before Hawaii, Hawaii would be our 50th and was the 50th to join the union. I don’t think we will do that because Alaska will be a longer summer trip and it will be our finale for Ben’s graduation. Next year, we will go to Hawaii. On our drive from Columbia to home, we began reflecting on where we started and where we are today and how so many things are different. The most obvious difference being the sizes of the kids. ... read more
Our last road trip 2019

North America » United States » Missouri » Columbia April 25th 2019

Weather: 70s and beautiful States: Kansas and Missouri Cities: Salina and Columbia Miles: 300 Hours: 4 hrs 16 min Sites: University of Missouri Restaurant: Sycamore Hotel/Home: Springhill Suites (another revamped Marriott) Movies: Audible: Resisting Happiness and An Interview with God (Made into a Movie) A shorter drive today to Columbia to see Emily. We arrived around 3 PM, checked into our hotel and headed to pick up Emily and her friend Lauren. Unfortunately, Ben started feeling sick last night. We hoped it would pass by morning. He wasn’t great all day. He still wanted to try to come with us to see Emily. I could tell he was just going through the motions. Emily greeted us outside her Delta Delta Delta house and took us in for a tour. Fun to see where she lives. We ... read more

North America » United States » Kansas » Salina April 24th 2019

Weather: 70s and beautiful States: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas Cities: Williams, Albuquerque, Dodge city, Las Vegas (?) Miles: 995 miles Hours: 14 hrs 45 min Restaurant: Hotel/Home: Fairfield Audible: Resisting Happiness (a couple chapters at a time), Adrift We packed up early and hit the road at 6:30 AM. We had a long day ahead of us. It always seems so impossible to drive these 14 hour jaunts. It is daunting. We just keep ticking off the miles and hours. It is actually pretty cool to pass through towns and down roads across the country that you may have never know existed. The landscape keeps changing. The people keep changing. When you hear about a storm or an event on the news, you can say you’ve been there. You have left a footprint ... read more

North America » United States » Arizona » Sedona April 23rd 2019

Weather: 70s and beautiful States: Arizona Cities: Williams, Flagstaff, Sedona Miles: 63 Hours: 2 hrs 48 min (driving there, through, and back) Sites: Sedona, Red Rock PInk Jeep tours Restaurant: 89 Agave Hotel/Home: Lovely Little Log Cabin in Williams VRBO #1083110 Movies: Audible: Resisting Happiness (get you thinking book- has a religious base- it is good) This is a book that you can listen to a chapter (short) and ponder it.We are listening to it in bits. Everyone seems to like it. Today was a great day. We got up leisurely, had breakfast, and headed to Sedona for the day. Paul and I have been there and we like it there. We thought the kids would, too. We stopped in Flagstaff for an oil change which Ford was supposed to do at the last check up ... read more

Weather: 60s and beautiful States: Arizona Cities: Williams, Flagstaff Miles: 220 Hours: 3 hrs 30 min (driving there, through, and back) Sites: Grand Canyon Restaurant: Hotel/Home: Lovely Little Log Cabin in Williams VRBO #1083110 Movies: Audible: Resisting Happiness (get you thinking book- has a religious base- it is good) I am writing a day behind if you have not already figured that out. Once our days get busy and we aren’t driving, I lose writing time. Yesterday was our first full day in Williams at our cabin. It is really a lovely cabin. It has everything thing we need. I woke up before everyone, made my coffee and toast and sat out on the deck in the sun to write, have my coffee and enjoy the warm sun. Matthew is always my early riser so he ... read more

North America » United States » Arizona » Williams April 21st 2019

Weather: sunny and 80s and gorgeous (Vegas), 60s and beautiful (Williams) States: Nevada and Arizona Cities: Las Vegas and Williams Miles: 230 Hours: 3 hrs 15 min Sites: Hoover Dam Restaurant: at Excalibur, Hotel/Home: Lovely Little Log Cabin in Williams VRBO #1083110 Movies: Audible: Resisting Happiness (get you thinking book- has a religious base- it is good) Easter Sunday was perfect. We Packed up our room, grabbed a bite for breakfast and headed to mass on the Strip or behind the Strip, Roman Catholic Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer. That is a mouthful. We arrived early obviously because it is Easter and we are in tourist land and in Vegas. Three bad combinations for arriving to church late. Those who only go on holy days, those who go on vacation and those in Vegas who ... read more

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas April 20th 2019

Weather: sunny and 88 and gorgeous States: Nevada Cities: New York New York Miles: 0 miles Hours: 24/7 Sites: Fremont Street, The Strip, Shark Reef Restaurant: Public Us, Excalibur, Mercato Della Pescheria Hotel/Home: Fairfield Movies: Audible: Rested and ready to...Vegas Baby. At least a kid friendly version. We met up with Stone (Paul’s brother) for breakfast. He took us to Public Us restaurant. It was sooo good. Stone always has good restaurants. It was a cool little local restaurant with yummy food. I had the best homemade gluten free bread with an avocado spread, tomatoes and smoked salmon. The boys got some beautiful french toast and waffles. Elizabeth got some kind of breakfast burrito. Paul got a lovely oatmeal with fruit and nuts. He loves his oatmeal. Stone got some delicious looking egg skillet. It was ... read more

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas April 19th 2019

Weather: sunny and 80s and 90s and gorgeous States: California, Nevada Cities: LA (Burbank), Las Vegas Miles: 269 miles Hours: 4 hrs 22 min Sites: Hollywood sign Restaurant: Other Mama Hotel/Home: Fairfield Movies: Audible: Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly Our alarm went off at 6:45. I wanted to forget the alarm and go back to sleep but not as much as i wanted to go on the hike. Our plan was to eat a meatless breakfast for Good Friday and hike to the Hollywood sign. I researched how and where to access the trailhead for the hike but I was nervous that it wouldn’t be that easy. It actually was easy.We arrived around 8:30 AM. Blue skies and 60s increasing by the minute which is why we started early. We parked and started up the dirt ... read more

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles April 18th 2019

Weather: sunny and 80s and gorgeous States: California Cities: LA (Burbank, Pasadena, Beverly Hills Miles: 20 miles Hours: 1hr Restaurant: Lanstra’s Bistro, In and Out Burger Hotel/Home: Springhill Suites LA/Burbank Movies: Audible What a great day! It was an all around great day. The weather was sunny and warm. We started out at Warner Brothers. What a great tour. Thank you Wendy and Kevin for telling us to do it. We really liked it. Now, we are all movie and theater people so we really enjoyed seeing where movies we love are made, costumes, sets and the hope of seeing someone famous. Which we didn’t. It is a tour on trams but we also got off and went into prop buildings and costume displays. Super cool. We saw movie and tv sets that would blow you ... read more

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