My Trip by the Numbers

24 days

48 states

11484 total miles

oil changes

cans of pringles

51 different license plates (50 states + DC)

National Parks (Mammoth Cave, Badlands, Yellowstone, Glacier, Redwoods, Grand Canyon)

wild animal encounters (deer, elk, moose, prairie dogs, bison, coyotes, sealions)

campgrounds

speeding ticket

$3.11 cheapest gas (Rock Hill, SC)

$4.29 most expensive gas (a few cities in CA)

7,380 highest elevation in feet (US-550 in NM)

-7 lowest elevation in feet (New Orleans, LA)

29 smallest town population (Strang, NE)

8,336,697 highest city population (New York, NY)

107 highest temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (Vernon, TX)

30 lowest temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (Yellowstone NP)

For more photos click here 🙂

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Day 24

States: 3; New Jersey, Connecticut & Rhode Island
Total States: 48!
Miles: 438
Total miles: 11484

My last day! Can’t believe it. Putting my home address in the GPS was so strange. I think I became accustomed to wandering from place to place. This trip was everything I wanted it to be and more. I saw so much of what I wanted to, knowing there is still so much more out there. It went by so incredibly fast! And I’m just so glad that everything went well and I stayed safe for 11k miles 🙂 I met some awesome people along the way, some with their own plans, like a couple who wanted to see as many presidents’ houses as they could.

Today I went to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philly. I didn’t do anything else there but I’m glad I was able to experience those important bits of history. Then I set my course for home, but the sign on the highway for the Statue of Liberty caught my attention, and next thing I knew I was on a ferry out to see lady liberty! I’ve been to Manhattan quite a few times so I wasn’t planning to stop, but I haven’t been to the lower end of the island in a few years.

The Staten Island Ferry is free! You get on with a few hundred other people and it brings you right by the statue. There’s also a pretty good view of the buildings in Manhattan from the ferry. I met two engineering students and we talked and enjoyed the ferry together. One was from Australia and the other from Switzerland. Exchanging stories about life here and there was so interesting! They were so nice.

The 48 states became official when I crossed into Rhode Island! And a short while later, I was back in Massachusetts, just an hour from home. It was great to see my family, cat and boyfriend after a month 🙂 I took around 1800 pictures and I don’t know how I’m ever going to go through them all! I also have to unpack my life from the car and start thinking about going back to reality – work!

Thank you to everyone who read any of this blog, it means a lot! 🙂

Day 23

States: 2; Maryland & Delaware 
Total States: 45
Miles: 246
Total miles: 11292

Today was the day I went to the APS convention! My friend Erica completed her master’s thesis at Riv and I worked in the lab with her. I helped out a bit on her project and became second author. Our poster session was at 4pm, so we decided to go to the zoo all day before that! It was really crowded, but it was free, so I couldn’t complain about a free zoo! It was awesome. The poster session went really well. I also got to walk around and see others’ research, plus free candy and equipment from my favorite classic experiment was on display. Overall, a great opportunity to see a little more of Washington and be a psych nerd all in one! After I left, I drove to my hotel outside Philadelphia. 

Day 22

States: 0; Washington D.C.
Total States: 43
Miles: 345
Total miles: 11046

As you can tell from the photos, I spent the whole day wandering all around Washington D.C.! I will be here tomorrow as well, at the Association for Psychological Sciences (APS) Annual Convention. 

The city was easy to navigate, it’s set up more like NYC than Boston if you know what I mean. I did a lot of walking, though! Unfortunately, the Washington Monument was under construction because of damages from the 2011 earthquake. It didn’t reflect in the reflecting pool, either, because it was a cloudy day today. Something was going on in front of the Capital, too, so it ended up in my photo. Oh well!

I also stopped by the White House and several memorials: World War II, Vietnam Veterans, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the Lincoln Memorial. After I saw all the monuments and memorials that I could feasibly handle on foot… I headed for the Smithsonian Museums. These are probably the best museums in the country and they are all free!

I could not see them all so I chose Natural History, American History and the Air and Space Museum. I loved them all but wish I had a little more time so I could’ve seen even more! I enjoyed the dinosaurs, learning about the creation of earth and (much later) humankind, all about the solar system and the birth of our country. Overall, my sightseeing in D.C. was fun but exhausting! Tomorrow I will be at the psych convention most of the day but I’ll find something to write about I’m sure 🙂

Day 21

States: 3; North Carolina, Virginia & West Virginia
Total States: 43
Miles: 414
Total miles: 10701

I did a little recuperating this morning by allowing myself to sleep in a bit! I had an awesome breakfast then went to get my third oil change. It’s always good to hear my car is handling this well!

By the time I got to Charlotte, NC, I figured it was a good time to stop for lunch. I wasn’t sure what to do there and I wanted to do something different. So I eventually found the Charlotte Farmer’s Market and loved it! A lot of the fruit was picked that morning and there were vendors with decorations, vegetables, nuts, jams, everything! There were also really nice flower vendors. One of them, an older Greek man, seemed really bored so I sat with him and talked for a while. He showed me a photo album of famous people he met as a limo driver. It was really great to meet such a nice person!

The highways in North Carolina had pretty wildflowers along the sides, and some planted by their dept of transportation. I loved that! And I haven’t seen mountains or dairy farms in a few days, so I welcomed their return of course. I most especially enjoy seeing the baby cows 🙂

I was about to cross into West Virginia when it started down-pouring; flash floods, thunder and lightening. I decided to get dinner while I waited for the storm to pass. When I got to the border to take the photo with the sign, a rainbow popped out! It was only there for a minute or two but you can see it in the photo 🙂

Day 20

States: 2; Georgia & South Carolina
Total States: 40
Miles: 371
Total miles: 10287

Wow, can’t believe I went over the 10k mile mark today! I did all my driving in the morning and spent the rest of the day in lovely Savannah, Georgia. I think it must have been the most gorgeous city I’ve ever been to. I spent my time in the historical district. All the buildings and the design of the area were originally built and laid out in the 1700-1800s.

What makes Savannah unique is that every few blocks, there is a small park called a square. There are 22 squares in all and each is different, usually honoring a person or event with a monument. And almost every one has these amazing trees called live oaks. There are a few bigger parks, too, my favorite was Forsyth Park. It’s the one in my photo with the white fountain.

Savannah is filled with independently owned shops, antique stores, cafes, candy stores and museums. Many of the historical homes and mansions have been restored into inns or museums. They are so nice to look at. Most of them have iron balconies and gardens. I went to the City Market to have lunch and then went to the riverfront. There they have the statue of the Waving Girl and the Olympic torch from 1996. I saw a few tug boats and ferries going by, but then it started to pour! At least at that point I had seen everything I wanted to 🙂 I’m staying a little over the South Carolina border tonight.

Day 19

States: 3; Mississippi, Alabama & Florida
Total States: 38
Miles: 487
Total miles: 9916

My day along the gulf coast was great! From Baton Rouge I drove down to New Orleans and spent the morning in the French Quarter. I got breakfast at famous Cafe Du Monde and it was delicious! I ate it sitting on a bench alongside the Mississippi. I watched the steamships go by. Everyone who walked by me gave me a genuine “good morning, how are you on this lovely morning?” and I just loved it!

Then I window shopped in the French Market and admired the historic architecture. That sounds really made up but it’s really nice! I also went through Jackson Square, the photo above with the Saint Louis Cathedral and the statue of Andrew Jackson. The garden there was beautiful. I basically did not want to leave, but I had three states to go to!

I drove through Mississippi and Alabama, stopping at their welcome centers. People I met were really nice and their accents were so heavy! Then when I crossed into Florida I headed for Pensacola Beach because it was a perfect beach day 🙂 It had the whitest sand I’ve ever seen! I ate lunch at a beachfront restaurant then went out on the pier. Everyone was fishing, surfing and swimming because it was so hot out. I didn’t want to leave there, either. I’m staying in Tallassee tonight, back in Eastern time!