The Quest for 50
I studied international law in Linz, Austria during the summer of 2000. One evening about 2am, I was on the light rail that went from where the nearest watering hole was to where the university was, and I struck up a conversation with a local about traveling.
Austrian dude: I don't get it. So many people from the States have spent more time around here--in Europe--than they have their own country. I bet I've seen more of the United States than most Americans, including the ones who have been to Europe!
Me: Yeah, well, I'm not like that. My parents took me on long drives across the American West twice when I was a kid, so I saw just about every state west of the Mississippi. I've also been to all of the Southern states, D.C., and some others...close to 40 states!
Austrian dude: Right on. That's good, man.
Me: It is good.
And then I led most of the train in a rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama" that was surprisingly well-received by all but the driver, who asked me to get off at the next stop (it wasn't my stop).
I write all that back story to say this: next week, I should be able to visit the last 4 states I've yet to visit: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The military is sending me to New Hampshire for a week, and I figure it's the closest I'll get to the other states, so I should take advantage of the geography (and your tax dollars) by renting a car (I won't do this on your tax dollars) and driving a couple hours every night next week to have dinner and a drink in each state.
Any recommendations? Home base will be Portsmouth, NH. All I know about New England is that it's colder than Georgia and that a pretty big war started there in the late 1700s.