Visited states, etcetera.

Robust serves up the visited states map meme, and, lo, lemming-like, I proceed:

Also, the list:

San Francisco a pair of times–sublime and marvelous. Best 2 memories: Mission after dark, a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place, then a bar at which you could still smoke with a thick wood bar top grooved by elbows. Served cold Jager on tap to bikers and hippies. Haight-Ashbury, gorgeous sunny day spent wandering around hippie stores. Ate the Best Thai Food Ever, then sat, over-full, on a low stone wall, smoking cigarettes and watching drug deals in the park. Also, the very strange homeless man.

In high school, for a science tournament. Flew into Denver to get to Boulder, I think. Only really saw the roadside scenery on the hour-long van ride, then the hotel and tournament site. Luckily, the tournament site was the University of Colorado, which was a lush and green spot, tucked away between some mountains. Colorado apparently has a lot of this sort of thing. Outside the student union, there is this wide stone wall that I guess it to discourage people going towards the edge. In reality it makes a great place to sit. The drop over its edge is heart-stopping, to say the least. The view, however, is worth the risk. Snuck away as often as I could to find a secluded spot on that wall to smoke a cigarette and stare into the distance.
Went with my parents when I was a kid, to do the educational museum trip thing. I think Dad might have been going to a ballgame, too. I mostly remember the museums, the Smithsonian, the government buildings, all the shiny spacecraft. My mom bought me a disposable camera–a Kodak, bright yellow with 32 exposures–and thus my shutterbug habit was born. I still have a wobbly off-kilter shot of the coppery lunar landing pod that I loved, and pinned on my corkboard at home. I remember getting frustrated that my parents kept wanting me to take pictures of them, or of my brother, like tourists. I was taking photographs.
I’ve been back since–a road trip here, a concert there, but I haven’t been back to the museums in years.
A recent addition to the ‘been there’ pile is Disney. Which apparently isn’t anything like actually going to Florida, the state, but I can say I’ve experienced the climate in November. Which leads me to postulate that anyone who goes in the summer is a damned fool, mouse or no. You’d baste in your own juices or perhaps the juices of others, if you don’t watch where you sit on the Magic Kingdom shuttle.
Been to Atlanta a couple of times, usually road trips or concerts. The ampitheatre in Atlanta is where I saw The Cure for the first time, which was quite literally a very perfect day capped by the most very amazing concert ever. Robert Smith is truly a genius. Atlanta’s ok, too, but I didn’t see much beyond the show and some Hotel 6 on the road halfway home.
Spent a week in New Orleans, the first week of June last year. Though the weather is the same swelteringly hot craziness that one might find in Florida, the dim, tightly knit streets and laid-back residents make the place seem a lot less stifling and more balmy breezes. I love that city, and hope she fully re-emerges some day. My mental images of the place of course include the glittery after-dark–Goldie and beads and things that glowed and music and noise. And the quiet mornings–sitting out at Cafe DuMonde, watching the street performers, the carts, the people. The sun between the curlicues of wrought iron. Mmm. Now I want cafe au lait.
At once a supremely interesting and supremely disturbing town. The port part of town is neat and arty and, supposedly, something like New England, which everyone says I will LOVE. Lots of good restaurants and dive bars and neat shops selling patent leather underwear or hippie shirts. At the same time, though, this town has a serious smack problem, and rows of strip joints and dilapidated housing replete with barbed wire and used needles are interspersed with the gorgeous seaside city blocks. Though, really, the seafood dining there… is worth a few blocks of crapland. Best crab I’ve ever had, mussels that were actually edible and buttery delicious. A shrimp pasta dish to DIE for.
Robust is totally right–3 days in Vegas, and you realize just how dirty/sleazy/fake the whole place is. It’s bright, and it’s glittery, and I love some of the photos I got while we were there. But I tell you–that place is a long-weekend sort of jaunt. Or, at the least, a long weekend in Vegas proper and then a few days outside of town in a quiet bed and breakfast, just you and the scenery.
North Carolina
I’ve vacationed here more than any other spot, mostly due to the proximity of both waterfront and mountainous retreat. The beaches in NC are nice, though some spots of yore are now crowded and tacky. Some of the more preserved and wild areas are quite lovely though, like Ocracoke and some of the smaller inland towns. Great food (the crab shacks, the Flying Bridge), fun curio shops (like the Christmas town in Swansboro), and tons of nice rental cottages. I’ve stayed at many. That said, I prefer the mountains. Bed and breakfasts abound, and the good ones are fantastic. Gorgeous views, wonderful weather, lovely towns, and southern hospitality. Asheville or Cullowhee provide perfect granola-y respite. An afternoon spent in Vincent’s Ear sipping coffee is certainly not wasted.
South Carolina
With family in Charleston, we drove down to SC to visit occasionally. It’s a neat (albeit hot–we always went in the summer, when out of school) port city with a great open-air market. Rainbow Row is quite lovely to look at, as are the parks and walkways next to the water, and the view from the huge suspension bridge that I used to beg my parents to drive repeatedly.
My parents lived in Virginia for a few years, after they were married until just a bit after I was born. When I was young, they used to go back there occasionally to visit friends they’d made. Over the years, we also went to places like Monticello and Richmond when my dad would travel that way for work. Monticello I’d recommend, especially if you’re someone interested in tinkering or history. Jefferson’s estate is fascinating, full of all sorts of inventions and artifacts. There’s a host of great restaurants in the area, too. The Kings Arms Tavern is among the most famous, but the one I remember most vividly is a banquet-style hall that serves very rustic, old-fashioned grub–like Jefferson might have had. Their biscuits were amazing.
Virginia also reminds me of long road trips, most to or towards D.C., driving on through with the signs warning that your speed is being clocked by airplanes. Freaky.
And now, of course, Virginia also means the Lake House. Our retreat among retreats, the best place in the world.

So I had more to say than most about fewer places. Because travel is so freaking amazing. I love going somewhere new. Even if it sucks, it’s at least new and different.

In other news…

  • And again, I have conjoined TiVos. Up and running, all is well. Though the signal isn’t quite as strong in the back of the house, it’s still passable, and itty bitty bits of Passions and er have been winging their way through the air to reassemble on the screen in the lab. Ahhh, it’s all so deliciously Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • Issue #17 is out. I wrote an article about Eben Moglen who is this bad-ass lawyer and digital rights activist. He’s currently re-writing the GPL, which is a pretty popular license in the free software/open source world. He’s written some interesting stuff, too. Though the article’s just an essay based off of pretty general research, there’s a lot of links to some work worth reading, like the dotCommunist Manifesto.
  • We have a feline interloper. While K’s dad is sick, we’re watching their 6mo. old kitten, TiVo. TiVo is a calico and quite spry and… kitten-y. I’m sure at some point there shall be catblogging including pics of fair TiVo. Mostly she spends the day romping around the house with Gandalf, as they are great friends. When they are done with the romping, they often nap together or at least in close proximity. It is teh cute.

    AllCats is unsure of this interloper. Though it has not yet escalated to fisticuffs (pawicuffs? clawicuffs?), there have been some raised hackles and some growling, but mostly just staring contests and looks of amusing bewilderment. Then they both take a nap. So far, so good.

  • Cat-sitter and sick-person humorer. Had planned to go out tonight, but K took ill and we have a house full of pets. Back in the day, there were four critters running around, but also 3 times as much space. So 3 feels like a house-full. But regardless of the crowding, K fell out and into bed, where some small fluffy thing kept pouncing on her head. The small fluffy thing was necessarily removed to the main house, where she required some amount of supervision. As did the sick person. Thus, I spent my evening being amused by pets at play and making foods that were gentle on unwell digestive systems. Namely, chicken soup and spoon bread. (And though I am well, it still tasted great.) As of this hour, all 3 pets and the sick person are tucked snugly into their beds and I have the interwebs and some knitting to amuse me. Quite lovely.

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