Henri Minion


Henri Minion

I am a rising senior at Georgetown University. I enjoy traveling and learning about all cultures and people.

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Road Trip

The locations we're sleeping. Obviously not the exact route (we hope to be driving on the roads), but the general idea is here. 😊

Today was the last day of our journey around the country. We left Arlington at 7:45 am in order to account for traffic through DC and Baltimore. Strangely enough, however, we encountered no traffic. Very few cars were in downtown, on Memorial Bridge, on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, in the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, or even the New Jersey Turnpike. It was an extremely weird situation. We arrived back in New Jersey just after noon. Amazing timing. So now for my final thoughts: (1) I don't know what is holding this country together. Idaho and Wyoming are so different than Virginia and North Carolina. Utah operates in a different sphere than the Republic of Texas (which believes that it is a separate country). I understand that the United States is a country that gives considerable amounts of states ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Arlington May 28th 2009

Today was another one of the big driving days but didn't feel that bad because of the several stops along the way. We left the first A-town, Atlanta, early in the morning and drove through Greenville, South Carolina, where we met up with Megan's uncle who is a chiropractor there. We looked around his office and then left to continue up I-85. The next stop was in Durham where we met up with her friend who goes to Duke. We ate pizza and talked for a long time but then realized we really needed to leave in order to make it up to A-town part deux on time. We continued up I-85 and got caught in a torrential downpour accompanied by fog in Virginia. But we made it through and then got back on a highly ... read more

North America » United States » Georgia » Woodstock May 28th 2009

We left Montgomery nice and early because (1) we wanted to see Atlanta before heading to Jenny's house and (2) we would do our last time zone switch of the trip (thank goodness!). The drive wasn't bad at all; in fact, there was very little traffic which may have been due to the fact that there is no such thing as rush hour in Montgomery and we got into Atlanta around noon. Atlanta is a cool city. We spent most of our time downtown near Centennial Park. We walked around the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coke (but not in them, because those cost money). We did look at the gift shop because, well, that's what you should do when you can't go into the museum. We then continued through the park and looked at ... read more

North America » United States » Alabama » Montgomery May 27th 2009

We left Baton Rouge early this morning in order to get a good start on the day. We drove the hour to New Orleans and decided to look around the le Quartier Francais. First, however, we stopped at the information center so that we wouldn't be too lost as we ambled the streets. The guy was EXTREMELY nice and helpful, our first taste of true "Southern hospitality" (although maybe it actually began in Baton Rouge with our friendly waitress at Cracker Barrel). The man gave me a lot of hints and places that we needed to go to get a good feel for the quarter and city. He then proceeded to chide me for only spending a few hours in the city, the greatest city in the world. The French Quarter was amazing. First we walked ... read more

(An editing note: “Hakuna umeme” translates from Kiswahili to English as “There is no electricity.” Part 1 happened in Tanzania with Kayli and Sara and resulted in a plethora of ridiculous photos.) We went to see the Alamo this morning. It is so strange to see it sitting there in the middle of downtown San Antonio. Obviously it is old. But also the history surrounding the building. 139 men, not all of whom were Texan (in fact, they came from many different states, including 1 from New Jersey) defended that fort. But it wasn’t really a fort. It was supposed to be a Catholic mission but 70 years after starting the construction they decided to close the mission. With the roof of the church still incomplete. It’s such a mix of strangeness and standing inside of ... read more

North America » United States » Texas » San Antonio May 24th 2009

We started the morning in Albuquerque and on the drive out actually witnessed several hot air balloons in the sky. I know it’s what the city is known for, but I never thought that I would see the balloons. On the other hand, I guess it makes sense given that it is Memorial Day Sunday, the day when many of these festivals kick off. It was fun to watch in any respect. After two hundred miles of New Mexico we entered Texas. At mile 0. And Texas is about 870 miles on I-10. Luckily (?) San Antonio is only mile 572. Only. It was a ridiculously long drive through near absolute nothingness. The highlight of those hours was getting stopped at US Customs near mile 100. Yes, US Customs. That definitely confused us. Why would there ... read more

We left dreary Flagstaff and drove across the rest of northern Arizona towards the Four Corners. In doing so we drove through the Navajo and Hopi Nations ... and our phones kept changing times every time we pulled a signal from somewhere else. It was moderately annoying. Buy by the time we approached the Four Corners we were firmly in Navajo Territory and therefore officially in the Mountain Daylight Time. The Four Corners itself is just strange. We know that they think it is in the wrong spot, but that doesn't change anything. Move the monument a mile in any direction and it all looks the same, so shush. It's not like the signs saying "Welcome to ______" are always in the right spot either (unless you are crossing some obvious boundary, like a river). Anyway, ... read more

North America » United States » Arizona » Flagstaff May 22nd 2009

We left Las Vegas early in the morning. Between my alarm going off and us leaving the room, all four of the people in the room got up a little and looked before going straight back to sleep. And apparently they don't really remember us leaving. The drive wasn't that bad. The clouds and early hour kept the temperature relatively low (although still at an uncomfortable level). We drove into Arizona for 30 miles and went through a mountain pass with absolutely stunning views. Then we entered Utah and therefore changed times for the first of 4 times in the day. Our goal was to go to Zion National Park which is famous for its rock cliffs and one-mile pitch-black tunnel. The cliffs didn't disappoint. Not only were they steep and in cool patterns, but they ... read more

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas May 21st 2009

We left the campground in Chula Vista early in the morning so that we could avoid most of the desert heat as we drove towards Las Vegas. We failed (kind of). It was still stifling, but a little more doable. It was very frustrating to see the signs that read "Avoid Overheating. Shut off your AC next 20 miles." There was no good way around that heat. Eventually we made it into Nevada (not that we hoped it would make it cooler, but it meant we were closer to Vegas). Nevada struck me as a fake state. Exit 1, Primm, had a roller coaster and other things that just seemed so overdone they were unreal. And that was before we even got to Vegas. In Vegas we met up with Jason who just so happened to ... read more

North America » United States » California » San Diego May 20th 2009

Uncle Ronnie. He made me do that. I forgot to mention that I was staying with him and Uncle Larry in Studio City last night. So this morning we woke up and went to breakfast at Du-pars, a really good restaurant that has absolutely amazing pancakes. The only problem was that they were too big and many to finish, even as a short stack. But it was delicious and really got us going for the day. Back at their apartment, we planned our day. First we went to The Grove and Farmer's Market. The outdoor mall looked like an upscale version of Short Hills Mall, so ridiculously nice. They had a cute little fountain that danced like the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas (which we will see tomorrow!) and we were a little mesmerized by it. ... read more

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