I have a healthy respect for 49 of our 50 states. They bring their own unique colors to this beautiful tapestry we call America.
I’ve never been to Delaware. Begrudgingly I will one day I suppose. But you have my word it will be the last state of the 50 I visit, and I don’t for a minute feel bad about this.
A Journey to 50 States
Several years ago, Glen and I decided that we wanted to see all 50 states together because we are so gosh darn adorable it’s disgusting.
We already had a few checked off the list but wanted to see a bunch more before having kids, so we planned a two-week road trip from Massachusetts to Colorado. Sort of, we flew to Chicago and then drove to Colorado via Yellowstone National Park.
(We’ll circle back to you Indiana, sorry about that.)
We had about 1,800 miles of driving to do so we played the license plate game along the way.
As kids we both played this game on road trips and had never found all 50 state license plates on one trip. Impossible as it may have seemed, with such a long trip it was worth a shot to achieve the ultimate childhood dream.
The License Plate Money Load
Driving from Illinois to Iowa didn’t give us a lot to work with, but about 10 Midwestern states were penciled into my little notepad by the time we hit Nebraska so it was a solid start.
Also, we saw the Field of Dreams in Iowa. That deserves a whole separate post. It was magical. Come back for that.
From Nebraska to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota things started to pick up in license plate land.
You know who loves Mount Rushmore? Everyone. Everyone except people from Delaware.
And everyone is right. Mount Rushmore is amazing. Also amazing, Crazy Horse. Did you know that Crazy Horse is way bigger than Mount Rushmore? I didn’t even know it existed until 2012. Thanks for nothing, education.
Delaware Hates Nature
Thanks to the giant stone men in the sky, we had about 30 states on our list once we got into Montana. And you know who loves Yellowstone National Park? Everyone. Everyone except people from Delaware.
Massachusetts loves Yellowstone. And Florida. And Maine. And Alaska. And everyone from those states is correct. Yellowstone is out of control gorgeous. I’m still 90% sure that Old Faithful is remote-controlled, but that’s fine. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
This waterfall is 100% not remote-controlled though. That’s totally real and Bob Ross would have had a field day sitting in the spot we are sitting in this picture. So many happy trees.
(And so many license plates.)
Hawaii Came to Play
Hawaii is always the white whale in the license plate game. No matter how many states you check off, if you are road tripping you never honestly expect to find the Rainbow State unless you’re, you know, IN the Rainbow State.
With that in mind, when we were walking back to our car from a hike in Yellowstone I had my eyes peeled for Delaware, but not for Hawaii. Yet right near our rental car was the white whale. A Hawaii license plate!!! I lost all of my chill.
“GLEN! HAWAII! THAT CAR IS FROM HAWAII!”
And then I broke into dance. As we got a little closer I realized to my horror that there was a couple sitting in the car. I moonwalked away like it was NBD.
Dude, we got Hawaii…
Delaware < Rhode Island
From Wyoming to Colorado we added in 4 more states to round out our license plate list at a nice, even, 49…
I get it, Delaware, you’re a small state. But you know who you are bigger than? Rhode Island. And we found Rhode Island.
And you know who you are more contiguous than? Hawaii and Alaska. And we found Hawaii and Alaska.
We spent the next week in Colorado visiting Glen’s family/being crazy people looking at every license plate in Glen’s hometown. They mostly all said Colorado. Which is fair, it’s a big state.
It’s the Final Countdown
On the drive home from the airport in New Hampshire to our house in Massachusetts, we figured we were still on our road trip and could count Delaware if we saw it in the 40 minute drive time we had left.
We changed lanes, we tailgated, we challenged unwritten courtesy rules of the road. But alas, we pulled into our driveway Delawareless.
Nowadays whenever Glen and I see a Delaware license plate we shake our fists at it, remembering what could have been. We’ll go there eventually. But maybe if we wait long enough Virginia will annex it and solve the problem for us.
You know who loves Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone and America and dreams? Virginia.