In November, just 8 months ago, I came to Miki with an absurd idea, I proposed that we visit all 50 states before turning 25. Meaning we had 22 months to complete all 50 states; while working full time and while Miki was still in school. And in the true fashion of our friendship Miki agreed.
Pretty simple, just two rules.
All 50 states must be completed by August 31, 2024 (my birthday).
And in order for a state to be considered completed Miki and I have to visit that state TOGETHER and we must complete an activity.
So where have we been?
So far we have completed New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Florida, Washington and Oregon.
Let me fill you in on all the adventures we have completed in each state!
As many of you already know, Miki and I are blessed to be New Jersey natives; our Jersey pride runs deep! If there is one thing Miki and I love about Jersey it's the beach. So if you have the opportunity to visit New Jersey, the Jersey Shore is a must.
Because of our proximity to New York City, Miki and I have gone a few times now. The most memorable time was for Miki’s sister, Hailey, her best friend Madison’s birthday. We had delicious food at Casa del Toro and then walked to Times Square. I remember we were in heels and our feet were in so much pain that Miki and I stopped at the CVS and bought matching flip flops. It was a great day.
Pennsylvania is home to one of Miki and I's favorite attractions, my sister's apartment in Philadelphia (completely unbiased). Jokes aside, Philadelphia is a city rich in history with architecture that amazes and confuses you all in the same breath. Philly has these elaborate buildings that look as if they have been transplanted from another century and then you walk in and it's just your regular WaWa. With endless places to eat, offering nearly every cuisine imaginable, everytime Miki and I leave Philly we know we've eaten good. And did I mention it's walkable? Who doesn't love a walkable city? Philly, we love you and we will keep coming back!
Conveniently for Miki and I, my brother attends the University of Delaware. For our Delaware activity we had dinner with my brother for his birthday. Unfortunately we did not see much outside of my brother's college town, Newark, but that doesn't mean Delaware doesn't have a lot to offer! Message I Am Woman on instagram to let us know what to see in Delaware the next time we go!
Miki has told me countless stories of all the times she visited her Great Grandmother in Westerly, Rhode Island. She looks at pictures and beams of all the memories she has collected there. Being able to visit the land that your best friend feels most drawn to is like a hug. Looking at it through their eyes and seeing everything they love about it is a privilege. Rhode Island is stunning and adorned with sailboats and beautiful towns to walk in. While it may be the smallest state it has a big heart.
Mystic Connecticut is a quaint beach town covered with sailboats and candy shops. Mystic has been one of my favorite places yet, everything looks so out of a movie… Speaking of, if you have ever seen the movie Mystic Pizza, Miki, Kate and I had lunch at the famous Mystic Pizza and we are here to tell you that it is to die for. We got their Mediterranean specialty pie and we wish we could have had more. Definitely will be stopping by for more pizza in the future.
Here is where I confess to you all that I am moving to Boston. Just kidding! Maybe. Miki and I just got back from our third trip to Boston. You all must think we are insane, we still have 37 states left and here we are, going to Boston 3 times. I’m sorry, we can't help ourselves, we love it! Boston has it all, a beautiful harbor, diverse cuisine, old architecture and an amazing night life. For Miki and I, that checks all our boxes.
Can I tell you that New Hampshire caught me by surprise! And not just because their state motto is Live Free or Die. New Hampshire is stunning! Endless trees and the dark blue of the Atlantic Ocean really make for lovely scenery. Our favorite book store thus far was in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We had a great experience chatting with the attendant at RiverRun bookstore; he helped us pick out some books and was very knowledgeable about the town's history. But next time we are in New Hampshire we are coming to see the foliage change!
Growing up, for many summers, I visited my Aunt Mary Beth who lived in Maine. I used to jump off rocks into the freezing water and collect little washed up nicknacks along the shore. We would then go home to her house tucked away in the trees and run through the mosey ground. I hold a lot of my favorite childhood memories in Maine. Being able to see the coast of Maine with Miki and Kate was grounding and I am already planning our next trip to visit my Aunt!
Our trip to Vermont was the first trip Miki and I took entirely by ourselves. And I am so grateful for how much closer that trip brought us. Up in the stick covered mountains of Vermont, in the winter, not in a ski resort, there isn't much to do. BUT it is every bit worth your while. Miki and I loved Vermont. We stayed up chit chatting all night like two little girls having their first sleepover. I cannot wait for the next opportunity we get to relax in a small town, off the side of a mountain, in Vermont.
For Miki’s 21st birthday Miki, Kate, Ja’shon, Julia and I went to Disney World. We had an absolute blast. Disney World is a must see attraction for most people and it definitely is well deserved hype. There really is nothing that compares to the magic that Disney World makes you feel. Next time Miki and I go to Florida though I would love to visit Miami and The Keys.
After nearly riding the entire Oregon coast we decided to peak around Washington. The bridge from Astoria Oregon to Megler Washington is insane. I happen to love bridges and Miki hates them. The view on the bridge alone was breathtaking. We then drove around all of the Willapa wildlife refuge. To our surprise it had a lot of marsh land, the ecosystems are so diverse in such a small range of land. I know we would both love to go back to Washington and explore more of its land.
Miki and I had the privilege of traveling to Oregon with my previously mentioned, beloved sister, Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn fell equally in love with Oregon as Miki and I did, so I asked her to write something describing everything we loved about it:
West to the Cost
By: Kaitlyn Owens
I’ve come from a line of matriarchs who couldn’t stay put.
It comes as no surprise that i often, at times, find myself particularly vulnerable to flight.
I’m a pacifist so of course i can’t choose fight.
If i had to choose ideal land it would be lush, airy, big rocks, great views, countless trails to get lost in, good coffee, beautiful summers, and it would be coastal.
If i had to choose ideal land it would look a lot like Oregon.
Cathedral trees, Haystack rock, Canon beach, Tillamock cheese, Depoe bay.
Espresso drive throughs, Screaming seals, Rainy afternoons, Sunsets over the beach.
Giralbali, Rockaway beach, Seaside.
But while the land itself was everything and more, the company i had i think is what made it extra special.
Corndogs, Second hand book stores, Long car rides, Loud music, Toes in the sand.
Funny photos, Silly arguments, 3 girls to a bed.
Hikes in the woods, Colorful ponchos, Snowy hills, Mexican food, 3am wake up calls, Ophelia.
“Just write down your plans on the back of your hands until you feel the sand on your toes. Keep drivin’ west to the coast.”
I will leave you all with some fun opinions we have so far!
Top 5 Cities:
Barcelona Wine Bar - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Howl at the Moon - Boston, Massachusetts
RiverRun bookstore - Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Our favorite state so far:
Watch to see how our opinions change! Do you think we will make it? Tell us your thoughts, share some places for us to see, we want to bring IAW along for the ride!