A conference trip in Orlando made it possible to check off a big life goal: visit all 50 US states.
Cape Canaveral National Seashore
The goal of visiting every US state is likely at least crossed the mind of most Americans. Its somewhat of an unusual and meaningless travel goal by most accounts. First of all, there's the issue of what constitutes a visit. Certainly visiting an airport doesn't really count. How about driving straight through a state? Is there a minimum amount of time or activity that must be completed to qualify as visiting? Secondly, there's varying levels of difficulty that are determined by size and distance from the traveler. Finally, should some states count as much as others? California is the size of a half dozen eastern seaboard states. Does the accomplishment of visiting Delaware equal that of visiting Alaska? 

Silly travel goals lead to sillier questions. I'm okay with just saying, "Yes I visited every state and it wasn't just through airport layovers".

Its a bit unusual that Florida, of all states, ended up being my final unvisited state. Its such a tourism and travel destination that you would think I would have had a reason to come down this way. Thankfully, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association's Annual Conference was in Orlando this year. What a perfect reason to come!
Finally saw an alligator!
Really, there's not much to say of a trip that was 90% for professional reasons. However I did find it fascinating to be in a tropical part of the US. All the staples of Florida life were around; palm trees, alligators, theme parks and humid weather. We were happy to shed our winter coats for the warm weather. 

A conference of this size was hosted by Disneyworld, which is another place I'm surprised I haven't been to yet. Though I'm not a hardcore disney fan, I was impressed with the level of hospitality (and organization!) of the affair. 
Disneyworld's Coronado Springs is where we stayed
We did end up visiting Cape Canaveral National Seashore to at least ensure that the visit to the 50th state included a national park trip. We hiked around the seashore taking in the warm weather and sounds of the ocean. Lake Michigan would be offering us these sights! Overall it was a morning well spent.

So where to from here? Well I've climbed 31/50 state high points so there's plenty left to travel. Plus I haven't actually done much in Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas or Iowa. Even my "home" states of California, Maine and Texas have a lot more that needs to be seen. So this is a nice thing to have accomplished but there's much more to see. Don't expect this blog to close down now that goal is finished!

Read. Plan. Get Out There!