This morning, I read a terrific story about a young man who is on a unique United States tour. This summer, Rodney Smith Jr. is going to every state to mow the lawn (or, for my Southern friends, to “cut the grass”) of someone who could really use the help. He is offering lawn mower assistance to people such as veterans or the elderly who can’t keep up with the maintenance of their yards . How cool!
In tonight’s blog post, I am taking the time to dream about what I would accomplish if I went on a nation tour of some sort. If I had the time and finances to visit every state in a single summer, I would choose to focus on one of the below 10 activities.
Work Out at Gold’s Gym – Although I have only exercised at Gold’s Gyms in the states of Washington and South Carolina, I know each one is special. When you visit a Gold’s Gym, you are immediately hit with nostalgia and a desire to work hard. It is all about the culture! I would love to visit 48 other locations to get my pump on.
Eat an Ice Cream Cone – I am sure plenty of literature already exists that would tell me exactly where to go in each state to pull this one off. An avid ice cream lover, it would be completely appropriate for me to circle the nation during the hottest time of the year to sample the best waffle cones and scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in the country.
Visit a Cemetery – Nothing satisfies my fondness for history and curiosity more than a cemetery. As someone who already makes it a point to visit a cemetery every time I am in a new state, I might as well devote a whole summer to actually visiting one in all 50 of them.
Worship at Mass – What an incredible experience this would be. It would be a spiritual journey like no other to visit 50 different Catholic churches in 50 different states over a summer and worship with each different community. Perhaps to firm up my schedule and help me decide on which parishes I would attend, I might only attend churches that have the same name (i.e. I would visit only churches named “St. Francis”). It would be special to visit so many different places of worship and be exposed to different types of architecture, music, and preaching – all while enjoying the same beautiful, universal order of mass.
Run a Mile at a Different High School Track – I used to run on tracks a lot. Knowing exactly how far I ran is important to me. In my opinion, nothing is more therapeutic than hitting up a quiet track at a local high school in the evening hours in the middle of the summer. To say that I ran a total of 50 miles in 50 different states would be pretty cool.
Attend a Minor League Baseball Game – Here is another one that I would have no trouble Googling. It seems as if all Minor League stadiums have different, yet quirky and engaging, fan experiences. Using all the reviews that already exist on these baseball havens, I would visit the best of the best in each state. If I managed to visit 50 different Minor League parks in 50 states over the course of a long, hot summer it would be a grand slam.
Take a Selfie – The obligatory task that any social media professional would do. Talk about some great content for my personal accounts!
Drink a Beer at a Dive Bar – I would visit the most hole-in-the-wall, run down, sketchiest places in each state. While at each place I would chat with the locals, throw peanut shells on the ground, and tip my bartender well. #Glorious
Observe a Parade – You can learn a lot about a town by attending one of its parades. This would probably take a lot of planning, but I don’t think anything sounds better than enjoying a summer of bagpipes, community pride, and homemade floats.
Serve at a Soup Kitchen – All of my ideas for taking a nation tour are rather selfish. In the spirit of Rodney Smith,I can’t end my list without including something that would build character and give back to the places I would visit. I thinking serving a meal at a soup kitchen in 50 different states would really open my eyes. I would realize the endless extent of poverty in the United States and hopefully it would force me to make changes in my life. I would hope that after my soup kitchen odyssey ended, I would do a better job from that moment forward of serving the poor.
Maybe one day when I am retired I might actually do something like I have just written about. As long as I have Sid right next to me, I would love to hit the open road and see the United States in all its glory. Don’t Blink.