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    Posted May 9, 2014 by
    Brookfield, Wisconsin
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Visited all 50 states?

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    All 50 states-a Family Goal

    All 50 states before you go to college! That was the goal my husband and I set for our two children and ourselves. But not only all 50, but that we would reach our 50th state all together. It took a lot of driving trips, planes rides, and some detours, but we completed our quest in July 2005, only 2 months before our son, or oldest, started college.

    We counted up the states each of us had, with our daughter having the fewest. Each spring break and summer vacation became a challenge; how many new states could we get. We often went to Florida so we would devise different ways to come back home to Wisconsin. Summer breaks afforded us the luxury of more time so we headed west, driving at first then having to fly and drive to get some of the furthest states.

    On one trip, as we were each well into 40 plus states, I asked my husband to drive across the bridge from Pennsylvania into New Jersey. I proudly proclaimed the first to reach 49! My husband felt slighted since up until that point we were tied at 48.

    A trip to Hawaii brought the 49th state for my husband and son. Upon our plane touching down, my son said, "that's 49." That left only my daughter at 48.

    In 2005 we decided to take a cruise to Alaska, but because my daughter still needed Washington as her 49th state, we flew into Seattle first, then drove up to Vancouver to board our ship for Alaska. On July 20, 2005, we crossed into Alaska, our 50th state for each of us. Our Christmas card that year commemorated the event!

    Besides bragging rights, what did years of travelling bring? Loads of memories, funny sayings from the kids, an appreciation for history, a grasp on geography, and a love for travel. When my daughter finally went to college in California and said she was from Wisconsin, people
    would ask if we lived near the ocean. Really, people?

    Along the way we acquired many Jr. Ranger Badges from the National Parks, played hundreds of license plate games, drove thousands of miles, slept in countless hotels, and for my husband and me, watched our two kids grow up in the back seat of our cars. Yeah-priceless!
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