Our family has an exciting goal of experiencing all 50 states together before the boys graduate from high school.
As we aim to work towards this goal, many times we try to plan activities that involve the image that comes to mind as we think about the state. For example, our token Texas trip was going to include a visit to the Alamo.
Our token Louisiana trip had to involve Cajun food, Zydeco, and, of course, a swamp tour.
But we also enjoy uncovering the hidden treasures of a place through more spontaneous trip-planning. Since Stephen loves reading through every pamphlet we come across when we travel, it’s not so tough anymore to find random things to do wherever we are. (In fact, we worked in our Essentials practice by doing question confirmation and diagramming the sentences within the pamphlets. Go ahead and laugh. But you wait till next time you’re on a trip and see what you do to keep yourself in Essentials survival mode.) This time, we spontaneously decided to tour the Tabasco factory at Avery Island.
I have since become obsessed with Tabasco. I put it on everything now. I’ve even decided that now we will have a Tabasco Cajun Country theme going on in the kitchen. (At least I didn’t decide to go with a swamp theme, though my husband would probably love alligator-skin handles on his grilling utensils.)
On the way back from Houston, Gary and I started talking about what we considered to be the token thing to do in each state. Like….
Go to a potato farm in Idaho.
Or a corn farm in Iowa.
Or go to Mississippi and ride a riverboat.
But those are mainly stereotypical ideals. When people find out my childhood roots are in Oklahoma, I’ve experienced the sterotype: “So, do the Indians there live in teepees?” or “You poor thing. There’s nothing in Oklahoma. It’s No Man’s Land.” And yet, if they just stick to those ideals of Oklahoma, they’d miss out on things like The Holy City of the Wichitas, or the Arbuckle Mountains, or Robber’s Cave (a former hideout of Belle Starr and Jesse James).
And I don’t want to miss the unusual, wonderful, off-the-beaten path adventures when we head to the 50 states. So, my question to you is, where should we go if we head to your state? What is special around your current hometown? (If you’re overseas, I’d love to hear about that, too, because we don’t intend to keep ourselves limited to our home country.) Let us know what’s special about where you live! We may even come and visit you!
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