Blob, Business Travel, Featured, Going Solo, Travel Narrative

Blog Blobs: Sweet Tea in St. Louis

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Before I started traveling near-constantly, I held some rather romantic notions about the various regions of the United States.  And I wanted do do all of the things.  I wanted to visit the deep south and sip mint juleps on a wide verandah.  I wanted to shake hands with strangers on a midwestern Main Street.  I wanted to shoot whiskey in Tennessee and Tequila in Texas.

But…

Try to find the south in coastal North Carolina, where it’s all marsh and ocean, flip flops and Jimmy Buffett.

Try to find the quaintness of New England in Springfield, Massachusetts or Hartford, Connecticut (but don’t actually go to either of these places.  Ever.  Just don’t.)

Try to find Texas in the Rio Grande Valley—it’s Mexico all the way from San Antonio south.

Astoria, Oregon (pictured, above) is nothing at all like Portland, only two hours upriver.  The latter is full of young people, bikes, and brew pubs; the former, a working-class hippie town full of antique stores and sailors with beautiful eyes (uh, not that I was checking them out or anything.  I, uh, totally wasn’t.)

East Chicago is not Chicago (nor anywhere you want to visit—add it to the list with Springfield and Hartford) and Chicago is not the Midwest.

My drive from New Orleans to Baton Rouge was undertaken in a 2014 Mustang, not a fan boat.  More, I passed no one playing the washboard (though I did pass by one drive-through daiquiri store.  Which, let’s just all admit, is pretty freaking awesome.)

I only smelled marijuana one time during my 16 days in Colorado.

They serve sweet tea everywhere in Missouri, which I previously considered more midwest than south (but ‘the south’ is defined by me as ‘exhibiting a constant presence of sweet tea’, so ‘the south’ Missouri must be).

It gets cold in parts of New Mexico as early as October; it isn’t all deserts and red rocks, there are snow-covered mountains.

And Miami is a great many things, but it is not the rest of Florida (thank all of the gods).

But fear not, America.  Not all is lost. I’m hard pressed to list anywhere in California that’s not downright Californian.  And in that, we can all take comfort.

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