Over my 47 years, I’ve done my fair share of travelling across these United States. I thought it would be an interesting experiment go look back at those trips to each of the 31 states I have visited (62% isn’t bad, is it?) and see if, and when, I may be returning. Working in alphabetical order, we start today with the 27th state to be added to the Union: Florida.
Joined the Union: 1845
Visits: 10 (at least)
At some point in the mid-1980s, my grandparents bought a condo in Clearwater, Florida, which has helped make the Sunshine State one of my most visited states. I’m fairly certain my first trip there would have been in the summer of 1988 and my most recent was last year, with a number of visits in-between.
From what I can recall, my first trip to Florida came the summer of 1988, following my eighth-grade graduation. I’m pretty sure a collection of seven family members got in the car the day after Mike Tyson’s 91 second knockout of Michael Spinks for the two-day drive to Clearwater. I’m not clear on exactly how long we were there, but I know there was a one-day excursion to Disney World. Aside from that, we saw all of the tourist attractions that my grandparents thought were interesting. Which means nothing that was really all that interesting.
We made another trip two summers later. I don’t remember much of this trip, aside from the trip home where we came up through southern Illinois and listened to the White Sox somehow beating the Yankees 4-0 despite being no-hit by Andy Hawkins.
My sister and I made a return trip over Christmas break in 1991, our first time on an airplane. Again, I don’t have many vivid memories of the events of this trip.
My fourth trip to Florida came during March of 1997. I had an interview with GTE Data Services and turned it into a mini-vacation during spring break, staying with my grandparents. The highlight of the trip, aside from nailing the interview and getting a solid job offer, was a trip to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota to watch a spring training tilt between the White Sox and the Twins. Continue reading →