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July 24, 2012

The Quest for 50

United-states-mapI 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. 

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