<![CDATA[Travel Goal Getter - Travel Blog]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 20:53:36 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Fillable USA Map´╗┐]]>Thu, 01 Sep 2016 16:56:16 GMThttp://travelgoalgetter.com/travel-blog/fillable-usa-mapUse this map to track your quest to visit ALL FIFTY STATES!
Fillable USA Map
<![CDATA[Yellowstone National Park - Like No Place On Earth]]>Fri, 19 Aug 2016 01:23:00 GMThttp://travelgoalgetter.com/travel-blog/yellowstone-national-park-like-no-place-on-earthAuthor: Eric
Disneyland may be the "happiest place on earth" but the motto "like no place on earth" undoubtedly belongs to Yellowstone National Park. This isn't just a proclamation from a Yellowstone fanatic and proud Wyomingite; the fact is that Yellowstone contains the largest area of geothermal activity and the most number of geysers than any other place on earth. What's truly amazing is that visitors can get very close to these features, often only yards away. A 1200 mile family road trip took us to nearly all corners of the park, enabling us (on our quest to visit All Fifty States) to set foot in Montana and Idaho, in addition to Wyoming, our home state. We stopped at most visitor centers and points of interests along the way which made for very long but enjoyable days. Yellowstone is extremely large and the roads are not always fast due to road construction and animal traffic jams. Despite the hours in the car, we were never bored because of the varying unworldly scenery and serene forests. The trip was amazing! My one disappointment was not seeing a bear in the park or a bald eagle. However, we saw raptors at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and a bald eagle and bear at the Wolf/Grizzly Discover Center. In the park we saw swan, deer and buffalo.
Our trip itinerary is below and the slideshow contains some of the most interesting photos from the trip.

Day 1: Drove from Cheyenne, WY to Cody, WY. Stopped at the dinosaur museum along the way in Thermopolis, WY. Spent the night in Cody, WY.
Day 2: Spent several hours in the morning at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Drove from Cody, WY to the to the east entrance of Yellowstone. Drove the east loop north and spent the night in Gardiner, MT, the town near the north entrance of Yellowstone.  The kids got a new state!
Day 3:  Drove the west loop south and headed to the west entrance of Yellowstone. Stayed outside the town of West Yellowstone and experienced our first time "glamping" at Yellowstone Under Canvas.
Day 4: Drove 5 miles east so we could put our feet down in Idaho (and get a new state!). Headed back and spent an hour or so at the Grizzly/Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone and then headed into Yellowstone. Drove south on the west loop and out of the park through the south entrance towards Grand Teton National Park. Spent some time in Grand Teton National Park sitting on the beach, lunch in Jackson, WY, and then stayed the night in Pinedale, WY.
Day 5: Headed home from Pinedale, WY to Cheyenne, WY.
<![CDATA[Vietnam War MIA Green BERET visits all 50]]>Sun, 26 Jun 2016 20:00:52 GMThttp://travelgoalgetter.com/travel-blog/vietnam-war-mia-green-beret-visits-all-50
Kathy Strong with bracelet in 2011
James Moreland, photo taken approximately 1966
Very few people go to all 50 states by chance. It takes determination and dedication to visit every state whether it is done all at once over many years. One 50 stater, Kathy Strong from Walnut Creek, CA, has taken dedication to a whole other level in an amazing story of loyalty and patriotism. When she was 12 years old, in 1972, she received a special Christmas gift she had asked for, a bracelet engraved with the name of a P.O.W./M.I.A. solider from the Vietnam War.  In the early1970's, millions of bracelets were sold in support of the U.S. soldiers who had not yet come home. Kathy put the bracelet on and promised herself that she would not take it off until her soldier, Spc. 5th Class James Moreland returned. As the years passed and he still was not found, she learned more about James Moreland. He was from Bessemer, Alabama, enlisted in 1966, and was assigned to the Green Berets as a paratrooper and medic. James was listed as missing after a battle at Lang Vei in Vietnam in 1968 at the age of 22.

Kathy continued to wear the bracelet everywhere she went including at least 3 cross country trips between the San Fransicsco, CA area and Buffalo, New York. Her family took different routes through many states until the only states she had not visited were states north of New York, Florida and Louisiana. Kathy made trips to those states and finished the 50 state journey in Lousiana in 1987 at the age of 27.  She continued to carry the spirit of James Moreland with her by wearing the bracelet on more trips, overseas this time, to over 21 countries.  

Kathy Strong connected with the family of James Moreland and has stayed in touch throughout the years. The family notified her in 2011 when they received the call that his remains had been identified. They had been recovered during an excavation of the battle area and returned to the U.S. in 1999 but the DNA identification was not made until 2011. Kathy attended the funeral in Alabama and laid the bracelet on James's uniform as he was laid to rest. 

James was listed as missing for 43 years and Kathy wore the bracelet for 38 years. She kept her promise to wear the bracelet until he eventually came home. She also vowed that his name and ultimate sacrifice would never be forgotten so she is now on a mission of placing a memorial brick with his name on it in each state.  If you are aware of a memorial opportunity in your state, please let us know

State Favorite: Home - San Francisco area California. However, Alabama made quite the impression when she attended James Moreland's funeral. Kathy was blown away by the warm welcome and support of the people of Alabama.
World Favorite: Budapest 

More on the Kathy Strong/James Moreland Story:
Kathy Strong photo from Contra Costa Times.

Let us not forget the remaining 1,619 soldiers that are still
listed as missing from the Vietnam War.
<![CDATA[States & Countries Visited by Prince]]>Tue, 26 Apr 2016 17:39:59 GMThttp://travelgoalgetter.com/travel-blog/states-countries-visited-by-princePicture
Author: Eric
​I was curious how many US States and Countries musician Prince Rogers Nelson visited during his lifetime so I did some research and tallied everything up. I'll get to his map shortly, but first want to share a little about being a fan of his music and postulate about how he will ultimately be remembered.

I was fortunate to see Prince live in concert three times, although, due to his battle with Warner Bros., at two of the concerts he was simply referred to as "The Artist".  Growing up as a child of the 80's, my sisters and I sang and danced along to his records and were mesmerized by his wild clothing and uniqueness. I believe we were too young to know what many of his songs were really about! After his death, I've come to the realization that I was lucky to exist on the earth at the same time as possibly one of the most musically gifted and talented artists in history. He simply could pick up any guitar (or any other instrument for that matter) and just play and sing effortlessly. If you beg to differ, check out his epic guitar prowess at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction or this MTV Unplugged medley. Prince was truly a once in a lifetime artist!  

Whether or not you like the type of music he wrote, produced, and performed, in decades and centuries to come I believe he will be remembered for more than his hits such as Purple Rain and When Doves Cry. He will be remembered as a risk taking, trail blazing artistic genius who fought for his rights and took on the music industry (and won). His journey through life will be written in the history books as one of freedom; freedom to control his musical artistry and his life; freedom to explore topics outside the mainstream and push things to the edge; freedom to produce music for music's sake; not for critical acclaim, commercial airplay, or profit; freedom to experiment with unique musical textures and styles; freedom to maintain a sense of privacy and mystery in this "me me me" age of social media and self promotion; freedom to be a humanitarian without seeking recognition and freedom to live his life believing that there is goodness and genius in everyone. According to one of his close friends, Van Jones, Prince believed it was just a matter of pulling out the good in people.

During Prince's life, he toured nearly every year since he started in 1979 at the age of 21. According to data on 26 tours and concerts from the site goldiesparade.co.uk, Prince visited 40 U.S states plus Washington D.C. and 27 Countries.

I was very surprised to learn that Prince visited my home state of Wyoming in 1986 as a result of a Sheridan, Wyoming resident winning an MTV contest. This was his only visit to Wyoming, the least populated state in the U.S. The contest awarded the premier of Prince's movie Under the Cherry Moon to the 10,000th caller, 20 year old Sheridan resident Lisa Barber. Prince's entourage arrived in Sheridan (population 25,000 in 1986), attended the premier at a local movie theater and then gave a concert afterwards at the Holiday Inn. This was an MTV televised event and some of the footage can be seen here.   

The states he visited (as part of an official tour or concert series) are listed below with the number of times visited indicated. Prince gave many additional concerts at his Paisley Park home and studio in MN which may not be included in the number. Additionally, I did not extensively research states and countries that Prince may have visited for leisure, although Prince does not strike me as the type who took many vacations. It is widely reported that Prince was an incessant musician who constantly recorded material and he had mics installed in every room in his home so he could record from any room.  It is also reported that he has hundreds of unreleased songs and 50 fully produced music videos of unreleased material.  It will be interesting to see if his estate releases this vault and equally intriguing if his Paisley Park Studios and personal residence is turned into a museum enabling his fans to further celebrate the life of this musical genius.

States Visited 1979-2016, Number of Visits

California, 20
Minnesota, 16 (home state)
New York, 15
Illinois, 13
Ohio, 13
Texas, 12
Pennsylvania, 11
Louisiana, 11
Massachusetts, 10
Colorado, 10
Florida, 10
Missouri, 10
North Carolina, 10
Tennessee, 9
Virginia, 9
Washington DC, 9
Kentucky, 8
Maryland, 8
Alabama, 7
Indiana, 7
Nevada, 7
New Jersey, 7
South Carolina, 7
Wisconsin, 6
Arizona, 5
Connecticut, 5
Nebraska, 5
Washington, 5
Mississippi, 4
Oregon, 4
Arkansas, 3
Iowa, 3
Oklahoma, 3
Utah, 3
Hawaii, 2
New Mexico, 2
North Dakota, 1
Rhode Island, 1
Wyoming, 1
Alaska, 0
Delaware, 0
Idaho, 0
Kansas, 0
Maine, 0
Montana, 0
New Hampshire, 0
South Dakota, 0
Vermont, 0
West Virginia, 0

We pay homage to this great musical genius and his 40 U.S. State visits.  The map below was created with the Travel Goal Getter iPad App. (not visible - he toured in Hawaii but not Alaska)
Prince also visited 27 countries as part of a tour or concert series:

Countries Visited 1979-2016, Number of Visits
The Netherlands, 14

France, 13
UK, 12
Belgium, 12
Germany (includes West Germany, visits prior to 1990), 11
Sweden, 9
Canada, 9
Denmark, 8
Switzerland, 7
Italy, 6
Japan, 6
Norway, 5
Austria, 4
Ireland, 4
Australia, 4
Portugal, 4
Spain, 3
Monaco, 1
China, 1
UAE, 1
Poland, 1
Luxembourg, 1
Finland, 1
Hungary, 1
Curacao, 1

New Zealand, 1

Below is Prince's world map created using the 
Travel Goal Getter iPad App. Please note that on the map, the territories of Canada are counted separately (for those people having a goal to visit all of the territories of Canada).
What are your memories of Prince? Share your experiences and comment below.
<![CDATA[take me out to the ball game.. across the country]]>Thu, 26 Nov 2015 14:19:57 GMThttp://travelgoalgetter.com/travel-blog/take-me-out-to-the-ball-game-across-the-country
Jason and Jennifer James have completed all 50 and have the tattoos to prove it! They visited every state as a couple before they turned age 30. During their travels they attended baseball games in all 30 professional baseball stadiums. Thus 50-30-30! What fantastic memories they share. If a marriage can last through an adventure like that then the marriage is bound to last forever! 
768 miles in 23.5 hours, rolling black-outs, snowfall... 
For one of their trips they rented a convertible at the San Francisco airport at 7 in the morning. They drove down Lombard Street and across the Golden Gate Bridge before heading to Muir Woods National Monument. Then they drove through the fields of Wine Country and stopped at the Jelly Belly Tour in Fairfield, CA. They visited family in Colfax, CA then onto Reno, NV. After a quick dinner and visiting several casinos, the city began experiencing rolling blackouts from heavy winds. They headed back to San Francisco but had to drive through heavy snowfall in the Sierra Mountains near Truckee. No visibility for several hours! They arrived in San Francisco at approx. 4 a.m. and used their last couple hours of the rental and it's prepaid gas driving all over the city. That's some Travel Goal Getters! 

Favorite place: San Francisco
Memorable eats: cheesecake in Phildelphia, pizza on Atlantic City Boardwalk
Picture: Jennifer and James on the longest floating boardwalk in the world in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. 

May the travels continue! Thanks for the inspiration!

<![CDATA[UKULELE across the USA]]>Wed, 25 Nov 2015 03:03:44 GMThttp://travelgoalgetter.com/travel-blog/ukulele-across-the-usa
Terry Hardy and Peg Whalen had a unique and ambitous tour of the United States.Terry played and sang the state song on the ukulele at the state capitol of each state. This was no easy endeavor. They had to research what the state song was, learn the song, play it at the capitol, and record the performance. 

Then not only did they complete their 'Uke Quest' but they documented it on a website that includes a wonderful record of their travels. Each state has a complete record of the state flag, name of the state capital and state song, recording of the state song played by Terry on the ukulele, a picture of a postcard from the state, a picture of Terry with the ukulele at the capital, and a picture of Peg at the capitol. Terry even has a state t-shirt on for most of his performances. The effort that went into this remarkable project is unbelievable. Check it out! 

Some of their favorite travel memories are: hiking in Vermont in the fall, wandering the streets and listening to music in New Orleans, Austin, and Nashville, hiking Joshua Tree and Death Valley, and driving/hiking in North Dakota. They loved the prairies of Teddy Roosevelt National Park and the deserts of Utah.

Thank you Terry and Peg for documenting your trip. It is an inspiration and we foresee it will be a great resource for many! What a legacy!
<![CDATA[big city USA CHECKLIST┬á]]>Wed, 09 Sep 2015 23:47:33 GMThttp://travelgoalgetter.com/travel-blog/big-city-usa-checklistHow many big cities have you been to in the USA? As All Fifty Club members we count how many states we have been to, but how about US cities?  Out of the thousands of cities in the USA only about 80 cities have a population of over 250,000 people. As you have traveled across the USA you have probably been to many of them but there may be some that you missed. Here's a checklist for fun!  Next up - smallest cities....
File Size: 102 kb
File Type: jpg
Download File

Thank you to member Gregg Schmidt for the inspiration for this blog. As well as visiting all 50 states, he has visited 114 of the 116 American cities with a population over 200,000.  Travel Goal Getter! 
<![CDATA[finally all 50]]>Thu, 09 Jul 2015 22:15:16 GMThttp://travelgoalgetter.com/travel-blog/finally-all-50Author: Alicia Rovey, All Fifty Club President Picture
My 50 state quest is finally complete! I visited my last three states this June 2015: Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. Since I founded the All Fifty Club in 2006, I have lived vicariously through the hundreds of people completing All 50. I have been genuinely excited each time I issued a certificate to a member to celebrate the accomplishment. Travelers have inspired me by sharing their favorite places and experiences. My hope is that the All 50 Club continues to encourage others to start and finish the goal of visiting every state in the USA.

My Journey

My 50 state travels started with family road trips. Back before seat belts were required, my brother, sister and I played all kinds of ridiculous car games and slept on a fold-down couch in the back of an extended van on our way from Arizona to Florida to visit grandparents. I remember being scared on a Carlsbad Caverns tour when all the lights were turned off to experience complete darkness. I remember the Alamo and walking down a seedy street in New Orleans while my Mom kept saying “Straight ahead, just walk straight ahead.”  In the late 80’s our family took another epic trip traveling the East Coast from Virginia to Maine in a Cruise America RV.  We saw the classic Washington D.C. sights, Rhode Island (my father’s birthplace) and zillions of other places of interest. When I was 9, I made my own map to color in the states that I had been to.  I kept it all these years in hopes that someday I would color them all in!  

During college, friends of mine who were working in the automotive industry, were asked to test drive a convertible Chrysler Le Baron on a long distance road trip. They asked if I would come. YES!  The car performed great as it took us on a crazy whirlwind trip from California to Michigan.  We planned our tour around seeing President Bush speak at Mount Rushmore on the 4th of July, only to find out that there was a change in plans and we were a day too late. We wondered why there wasn't any security checking on us as we slept in the car to be the first people in!  After graduating from the University of Arizona, I was hired as a systems consultant with Andersen Consulting, based in Charlotte, North Carolina - another voyage across the country. The job required weekly travel taking me to new states while I also accumulated lots of frequent flier miles that made future trips possible. 
The travel adventures continued when my husband and I accepted a year-long assignment in Frankfurt, Germany. We were young enough to be able to work hard (60+ hours a week) and play hard - traveling to neighboring countries in Europe. When it was time to return to the United States we chose to go east around the world rather than back across the Atlantic. We made many stops in foreign countries, but the last stop was crucial to the all 50 goal – Hawaii, my 46th state. After we returned, we indulged my travel habit by taking an 8 hour side trip while attending a Minnesota wedding to go to Fargo, North Dakota, my 47th state. 

We soon became busy with our careers and home responsibilities as we raised our family of two girls and two boys in Nashville, Tennessee. Most of our travels became trips to visit family in Arizona. As the kids grew older the decision became - do I finish all 50 or do I revisit states with my kids?  It became more important to share experiences with our children - taking them to Disney World, the Grand Canyon, and Washington D.C. - places we had already been. I knew at some point the timing would be right for me to complete all 50. The perfect opportunity presented itself several years ago when my parents suggested a family reunion in Alaska for the summer of 2015. The trip was finally on the horizon – it just required planning and saving up! This summer was it -  truly a trip of a lifetime. Not only was I able to finish the states, and see beautiful Alaska, but was able to share these experiences with my husband, kids, parents, brother, sister, nieces, and nephews. 
Prior Family Cruise to Alaska - complete with group t-shirts
The short version of the trip:  Seven day cruise from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, Canada on Royal Caribbean. Amtrak from Vancouver to the Seattle area. Rental car to Oregon. Voila! My final three states- three beautiful, unique states - Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. 

I realized on this trip even more how deliberate and specific one has to be to visit all 50. Very few (if any) end up going to all fifty states by chance. Life can take many twists and turns but likely not to North Dakota and Kansas!  The goal is attainable but it requires focus and dedication. Tough choices have to be made with limited vacation time and limited dollars. Should we go to a new state or return to somewhere that we know is fantastic? The 50 state goal is completely worth it. The return is way beyond the investment.  It provides a better appreciation of what makes up our country and the similarities and differences of the American people. The incredible landscapes of different regions of the country awe and thrill you, and can even take your breath away. Lifelong memories are created by what you have seen and experienced, be they treasured moments alone or with family and friends. You gain a deeper understanding of the past by being at places where history actually took place. No matter how exhausting the trip is, traveling gives you life and vigor. 

Many people say "What next?"  I'm not sure, but I know that visiting all 50 has expanded the list of places I want to go by a hundredfold. There are not seven wonders of the world but seven bazillion. I look forward to more travels and encouraging others to go to All Fifty and beyond. 

Thanks for reading my journey. I hope you share yours too! 

Safe and Happy Travels,  Alicia  

Fargo photo via creative commons Ethan Kan
Diamond Head picture via creative commons Daniel Ramirez
All other photos property of Travel Goal Getter
<![CDATA[all fifty club - june 29th, 2015, portland, Oregon]]>Tue, 09 Jun 2015 18:21:35 GMThttp://travelgoalgetter.com/travel-blog/all-fifty-club-june-29th-2015-portland-oregon
Come join us for our first meet up in Portland, Oregon on June 29th, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). The HUB is partnering with The All Fifty Club to offer a free beer (or soda) to the first fifty 50-staters! Come share and ale and a travel tale! All Fifty Club President Alicia Rovey is in town to meet and greet and celebrate visiting her 50th state - Oregon! The HUB is a family-friendly, unique venue located at 2944 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

The All Fifty Club is for people who have or who want to visit all fifty states. We have over 2,100 members from all 50 states and over 10 countries. All Fifty Club membership ranges from college students to seniors, from those who love camping to those who prefer 5-star hotels. Any person who has visited all fifty states automatically qualifies for membership in the club. Travelers become official members by registering with the All Fifty Club. By doing so they can receive a congratulatory achievement certificate and other merchandise and be recognized as a 50-stater. Travelers are encouraged to join as associate members once they have visited 35 states. JOIN TODAY! 

<![CDATA[MEMBER SPOTLIGHT - PAIGE BERNICK]]>Fri, 05 Jun 2015 17:28:09 GMThttp://travelgoalgetter.com/travel-blog/member-spotlight-paige-bernick
Congratulations to Paige Bernick who has visited all 50 by age 30!  She finished up last month by crossing the state line into Maine.

Here are some of her favorite travel memories:

One trip was to Northern Idaho and Montana on a "girls trip" with college friends. They flew into Spokane, Washington, spent the night in Sandpoint, Idaho and drove to Whitefish, Montana and stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast. They drove on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and toured Glacier National Park and spent a day on Lake Pend O'rielle.

Another wonderful adventure was to.Mount Rushmore and the Badlands that she went on in middle school with her brother, mother, father, and two grandmothers. She also loved driving up the Pacific Coast - and like many she wants to go back! 

This Memorial Day weekend she and her fiancé visited her final three states.
They flew into Boston and rented a car and drove to Nashua, New Hampshire in hopes that they would "accidentally" run into a presidential candidate. (They didn't.)  On the second day they drove to Brattleboro, Vermont which was quaint, on a river, with tons of bookshops. They had a beautiful drive across rural New Hampshire, then arrived in Kittery, Maine, where she took the ceremonial photo above marking her last state. They spent more time exploring Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Freeport, Kennebunkport and Portsmouth. Portsmouth was the biggest surprise for her as the downtown area appeared to be very industrial, but it turned out to be a fun stop with tons of restaurants and historical markers. 

Paige credits her family and friends with helping her to get to all 50 before she turns 30 later this year. 
Congrats Paige!  May the travels continue!