I’ve Been Everywhere, Man, by Mary Simonsen — 31 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading your travel ‘diary’, Mary! What a trip! How lovely you were able to share special moments with family, too.

    I love how you were thinking of the people you had made friends with through a shared love of Jane Austen. I must admit, one of my very best friends came to mind part way through, who lives in Scranton PA – we stayed a night there last year on our US trip – and whom I met through Jane Austen.

    We managed to visit quite a lot of States when we lived in the USA, but many more we never got to and you have just whet my appetite for several of them!

    • It’s wonderful that you were able to visit all the different states. I would love to do the same thing in England. Hopefully, after my husband retires, we can do that.

  2. What a fantastic trip, Mary. I’ve been to very few of the places you mention, sadly, having only been to the US twice in my life. We have been to Arizona (Grand Canyon of course, which was amazing) and New York, both in 2008, when the 9/11 site was still huge holes in the ground. The Tribute Centre was a very moving place to visit and we were very glad of the boxes of tissues placed all around.

    Thanks so mich for sharing your experiences with us.

    • Of course, I mean “Thanks so MUCH”. Virtual keyboard strikes again and I’m on my lunch break at work so I didn’t proof read properly!

    • I have a house in Flagstaff not far from the Grand Canyon. We took family there this summer. I am always amazed by the vastness of it all and that it was carved by a river. I didn’t actually go into the museum in NY because I didn’t realize that you had to buy a timed ticket. The next ticket was four hours after we arrived. From peeking in the windows, we know that we definitely have to go back.

      • Mary, it was, admittedly, six years ago when we were in NY and I don’t think we had to buy a timed ticket in those days.

        I do agree with you about the Grand Canyon. It’s amazing to think all that was done by water.

  3. What a great summer, Mary! =) I am so glad you were able to visit so many fun and interesting places and, of course, get to spend time with Kaelyn! Is she back home now? I am sure she just *loved* spending her summer with you! 🙂
    I am ready for school to start. Summer is such a crazy time.
    I think we all can thank Jane for bringing us new friends not only across the US but the world as well! 🙂

    • I wish you didn’t live so far north. It would have been great to see you. Kaelyn leaves on Wednesday. 🙁 But it’s been a wonderful eight weeks.

  4. That was quite a trip!! I love road trips and this one sounds like so much fun. Someday when I grow up…hubby and I want to travel across the country and visit everyone we know spread across this nation. =D

    I’m glad you got to come to OKC! The Memorial is an integral part of who we all are now. It’s like the Kennedy Assassination. I can tell you where I was and what I was doing. My mother was supposed to be there giving a presentation. I think it’s the only time in my life I’ve been thrilled my mother is late to EVERYTHING. I run in the Memorial Marathon every year but still can not bring myself to go down to the chairs. I knew way too many people. It’s gut wrenching. So glad you got to see it though!

    • Stephanie, I can understand why you can’t go to the OK City memorial, esp. considering your mom was supposed to be there. I had the same thing with the Twin Towers. I grew up in northern NJ, and the best view of NYC is from Jersey, and that skyline was a part of my life. My father once worked across the street from one of the towers, and the building was destroyed. I just couldn’t look at a hole in the ground. Now the footprints are a waterfall with the name of those killed on the four sides of the two memorials. Very touching.

  5. I’m quite envious of your trip, Mary. I plan to go to London with my friend earlier this year but it was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. And then I got a new job and will be starting work soon so no vacation until next year. 🙁

    Anyway, I love reading about your road trip because I feel like I was there with you. Your grandkids are adorable too!

  6. Well, it seems we don’t live that far away from each other. I am just outside Bethlehem PA and often go to visit my son, D-I-L and grandson in Belford NJ. We have lived in Pittsburgh and in Killeen TX plus my husband took AIT training at Ft. Sill OK. We knew a young lady killed in the towers and her family also has a marathon/fundraiser for her every September. I would definitely use the tissues. Have never visited the museum but have been to the site in the times after the tragedy. I am waiting for my grandchildren to get old enough so I can plan trips together. In 1996 my family took a train trip to Flagstaff, Arizona and spent 2 weeks touring the state. All the roadside stands selling Native American crafts, silver jewelry remain in my memory. I wish I could have afforded one of the “Storytelling” ceramic figurines. They were gorgeous. Thanks for sharing and glad you made it home safely.

    • Thanks, Sheila. I love road trips, but wasn’t able to do it until my husband could string 3 weeks together. He keeps talking about being semi-retired. Once that happens, we’ll be off and running.

  7. What a fantastic road trip, Mary! Driving across the country and seeing so many places, happy times at some, sad times at others, but making memories either way…sounds like a marvelous journey.

    I’m honored to be counted among your friends because of Jane Austen. Isn’t it an amazing thing how many of us have an acquaintance/friendship because of her and her writings.

    Thanks for sharing your summer vacation. I do believe ‘you’ve been everywhere, man’! 🙂

    • Janet, I look at your calendar every day. I hope one day that we’ll get to meet. I have two sisters in Austin.

      • I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying the calendar. I too, hope that we can meet some day! Wouldn’t that be fun. Maybe we will.

        I love your books but haven’t had a chance to read the last one. I’m hoping to start reading soon. I’m having withdrawals! lol

  8. What a lovely trip! And to top it off, you were only a few miles from me across the Long Island Sound from Montauk (New London/Groton, CT, area). Maybe someday you can stop by and we can do tea.

  9. I loved your roadtrip. I’m not far from NYC, but it is so funny about what you said about travelling and saying someone loves here or there, because after my road trips, I became a member of the JAFF community and can say the same thing about places I have traveled. this past year I realized you’re from Flagstaff and in 2011 I went to the Grand Canyon and Lowell Observatoryand thought if only I had known marry (Mary) then ( sorry speech to text). My husband is from Marblehead mass (Massachusetts), we don’t get there often, but Abigail is nearby. In 2011 we also visited my sister in Texas & I believe we passed near Maria Grace’s. It’s fun knowing people with the same interests are all over and how close I came to them without knowing they were there. Some day perhaps.

    Thank you for sharing your travels Mary. It was great. I love the Navaho Nation area and find the desert absolutely beautiful!

    • The New Mexico/Arizona border has some gorgeous scenery, and my husband and I hit it at the right time–sunset. It was glowing!

      If you ever get to Flagstaff, let me know. We can do “tea.”

    • I had to drag Paul away from the computer, and he was really good about only answering emergency client questions. He really, really enjoyed not working for 3 weeks.

  10. Mary, what a wonderful trip. You are right Kansas City is a suprise. I grew up there and spent many, many hours in the main library. It was a bus ride, but well worth the trip. Did you go to the Plaza, or Turman Library or Bryants for BBQ? All wonderful places and now I am homesick. My father’s name is at the WWI memorial also. This is the 100th anniversary year of the beginning of WWI and I think often about my 18 year old father and all of his friends and went to France. Also, if you went to one of the smallest towns in Arkansas you could have said you knew my daughter…I will give your permission. I know you have wonderful memories of all of those places and what a joy.

    • Hi Maggie. This town had a gas station/store across from a defunct gas station/store. I could see a steeple in the distance, but I think that was it!

      The only thing I knew about KC was the song. We did go to the Plaza and the Truman Library on a previous trip. We didn’t get to Bryant’s, but we had really good pizza downtown.

  11. That is some road trip! I’ll be driving down to Roslyn Harbour, Long Island with my sister in a couple of weeks to attend my aunt’s 100th birthday party! She says, “The first 100 years are the hardest!”!!!!

    • Carole, Enjoy Long Island. When we were there, we had perfect weather and walked the beaches of Fire Island. “The first hundred years…” What a hoot!

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