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    Posted May 10, 2014 by
    Holland, Michigan
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Visited all 50 states?

    Hawaii 3-0

    When I was 4th grader my family decided to move back from the Alaskan bush to the family farm in Iowa. Instead of making it a simple journey, they flew our family to Seattle, Washington and bought a minivan. For the next month we traveled slowly down the West coast and then criss-crossed through states until we hit the midwest. In each state I collected a little state shaped pin that I tacked onto a piece of cardboard. I kept this tradition up all the way into adulthood.

    When I was 25, I realized that I was within striking distance of hitting all 50 states so I made it my quest to visit all of them by age 30. For my 30th birthday celebration, my husband, my brother, and sister-in-law all joined me for a two week visit to my 50th state: Hawaii. In honor of my 30th birthday, we called the trip Hawaii 3-0.

    My criteria for visiting a state was that I had to make a memory in the state in order to count it. Some favorite memories include: watching the Space Shuttle Atlantis launch in Florida, sleeping on strangers' couches throughout the state of Maine, getting caught in a massive ice storm in Texas, doing hurricane Katrina relief work in Louisiana, and falling in love in Memphis, Tennessee!

    Every state was beautiful and unique and I have special memories of all 50 of them. As soon as people find out I have been to all 50 states, they inevitably ask me this: Which state is your favorite?! And that is one answer that I never have to ponder...it has always been the same: Iowa. There is nothing more beautiful than home.
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