As you can see from the map above, I've been to 30 of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. The pictures interspersed in this piece are from my trip to my 30th state by some measure, Illinois, specifically Chicago, different shots from my piece on Chicago here. By other measurements, though, I'd already been there, since I'd been through Chicago's O'Hare Airport 20 years ago. In any case, the descriptions below do not include airline layovers, and there now no states for which being at the airport is the only connection. I started thinking: what were the circumstances of the first trip to each state I visited? Born: New York Day trip to adjacent state: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont. When I was growing up, my friend Carol's family had a cottage south of Binghamton, just inside the PA border. State visited en route to another place: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia. I feel guilty actually counting Delaware, since it was on a trip to DC. But I did eat there; the rest of them I've actually slept in. Vacation: Georgia, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island Is visiting your family actually a "vacation"? Work-related, FantaCo: California, Wisconsin California was a twofer. FantaCo flew me out to San Diego in 1987 for the Comic Con and I stayed with my sister, who had moved there a year or two earlier. Work-related, SBDC: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah In fact the ONLY time (or in the case of FL, times) I've been to those states. Finally, in 1969 or 1970, a bunch of us from high school traveled to Tennessee to help the folks in a very poor rural county. At some point, we were out wandering around without our adult supervision when we came to a sign: Now entering Mississippi. We walked about a half mile before we thought better of the idea of a bunch of northern high school kids of mixed races wandering around in rural Mississippi and returned back to the Tennessee farm we were visiting.
Pictures (C) 2008, Mary Hoffman. Used by permission. ROG