The Nifty FIfty: The “A” States

Join Hannah for her first installment, as she takes on the very beginning of the alphabet.

Sweet Home Alabama, where the skies are so blue.”

— Lynyrd Skynyrd

Whether or not you are a fan of Classic Rock, Sweet Home Alabama is a precise metaphor that captures the Southern ambience in Alabama. From the open blue skies to the blazing climate, driving through Montgomery and Tuscaloosa gave me more insight into Southern culture. I talked with some native Alabamians who were very welcoming. I also learned that the state attracts a variety of people. It offers an array of residential settings, from quaint small towns to coastal communities, and modern cities like Birmingham. Although there were some unpopulated areas, I came to appreciate the open air, endless farm fields, and the sense of welcome in Alabama. As a traveler, I would have never been able to completely understand the Southern landscape while solely relying on conversations and pictures. This atmosphere definitely made me feel at home. (2019 Road Trip)


To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.”

— John Muir

It is not typical to see glaciers and icebergs float by your house or to have 24 hours of complete darkness. But that is what I experienced on my visit to Alaska via cruise ship. The crisp Alaskan air and the smell of pine accompany the blue icebergs and geysers all around. Along with this captivating scenery, meeting Native Americans, visiting lumberjack shows, and whale watching make for the most memorable experiences. I visited Native American wooden churches, where I learned about their religious customs and traditions. Speaking of wood, Alaska is known for its lumberjack shows and competitions, which attract thousands of tourists. From talking with Native Alaskans throughout the State, I found out that whale watching is another popular activity to do with friends and family. “Whale season,” as Alaskans call it, runs from May until September (so why not go see an Orca whale in person?). (2012 Disney Cruise Trip)


In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.”

— Theodore Roosevelt

Arizona is like a person that has a multitude of personality traits: it appeals to many people! Arizona caters to those who like to relax in a suburban area in the red rock region (Sedona) and to others who are city lovers (Scottsdale). During spring break of 2017, Arizona was definitely one of my top adventures. The tall cactuses – an instant favorite – are scattered throughout Rocky Mountains that overlook the tumbleweeds and beautiful desert flowers. The red rock engulfs areas like Sedona, which contributes to the traditional environment of the west. Throughout Sedona, there are modern eateries, small stores, and the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which was carved from the red rock mountains (crazy, right?). In other rural regions, some of the major tourist attractions include Grand Canyon National Park and Meteor Crater (the location where a meteor crashed into Earth!). Scottsdale, the urban hot spot, gives Arizona the “hustle and bustle” dimension with tons of restaurants, stores, activities, dance clubs, and museums. (2017 Spring Break)


Welcome to Arkansas The Natural State”

— A road sign

Arkansas is called “The Natural State” because of its diverse environment, which consists of forests, hills, fields, plateaus, lakes, and mountains. On our 2019 Road trip, we went to Texarkana, which is a sister city that connects Eastern Texas to the Western side of Arkansas. Some tourist highlights in Arkansas include Hot Springs National Park and Crater of Diamonds State Park. In addition, Arkansas even has Native American reservations. (2019 Road Trip)


Please share our stories: