Over the course of my travels I will visit the seven geographic regions in the United States with stops in nineteen cities:
- Northeast--Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York, Boston
- Southeast--New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta
- Midwest--Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit
- Southwest--San Antonio, Santa Fe
- Rocky Mountain--Denver, Salt Lake City
- Pacific--Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle
- Non-contiguous--Honolulu, Juneau
Another decision I made is to do my first regional excursion as a road trip. I will drive to New Orleans first, and then it will be on to Miami. From there I will venture north to Atlanta and then will drive home to Virginia. I have not been to New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, so it will be interesting to see the ongoing recovery in progress. It's been far longer since I have been to Miami, though I have visited Florida--mostly the West Coast--many times since I moved to the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Likewise, it's been a few years since I have visited Atlanta, although I have vivid memories of driving on the interstate there (12 lanes wide) and feeling like I was in a NASCAR race, a far cry from the sleepy Atlanta I remember from my childhood.
For this first trip, seventh graders Tyler, Monica, and Brendan will be helping me decide exactly which sites I will see in each city I visit. When I met with the students I asked them to think about the types of places to suggest. Possibilities include ...
- Art museums
- Historical places or museums
- Geographic sites
- Sports and/or entertainment arenas
- Other places of interest
As I sit musing about my upcoming trip, I keep thinking about once again savoring Cuban food, a cuisine I grew up with. Black beans and rice, pork sandwiches with mustard and pickles, and flan. Mmmmmmmmmmm! I imagine I'll bring back at least half a dozen loaves of Cuban bread. And to again have a Cafe Du Monde beignet with cafe au lait makes me salivate. The food! The scenery! The historic sites! I'm ready.