All the States I Been to

Now that I been to Lake Tahoe, how many states have I been to. I will write an updated list.

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Florida
  6. Georgia
  7. Illinois
  8. Kentucky
  9. Maryland
  10. Missouri
  11. Nevada
  12. New Jersey
  13. New York
  14. North Carolina
  15. South Carolina
  16. Tennessee
  17. Virginia
  18. West Virginia

I have been to almost half of the states in the United States. The cities/towns I have been to range from Charlotte (my hometown), Hendersonville, Blowing Rock (etc of NC cities) Nashville, Greenville, St. Louis, Ponte Vedra (which is near Jacksonville), Lake Tahoe, NYC, Keystone, Anchorage, Denali (etc of Alaska cities), and Chicago. I have traveled to a number of places in my country.

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What State- Where are We?

Yes, during the week of July 16th-20th, I was in two states. That was because Lake Tahoe was part of two states- mostly in California and the rest being in Nevada. It is surrounded by mountains and is a clear lake with multiple colors. I was there with my family and cousins. We spent time in both California and Nevada- sometimes it was hard to tell if we were in California and Nevada.

Above is one of the many views we experienced during our trip. So, some of the mountains still had snow. Either that view was from the hike or from the overlook going up from the Gondola. The main hike was defiantly in Nevada.

The picture above is from the hike on the stateline. Nevada is a dusty and dry state. We were still on our way to the beginning of the trail- this still is the stateline. The hiking trails are Nevada- basically at Lake Tahoe. Everything else- for the most part are in California.

Above, you defiantly get an idea of the various colors that are found in Lake Tahoe. This is from the overlook going up the Gondola. It gives you a lot of various views.

At the activities at the very top, you constantly can back and forth between Nevada and California. Here is another Stateline picture.

Above is from Emerald Bay. What I found unique is the island. I didn’t do any of the activities in the lake. I did some short hikes- I discovered this kind of hobbit-like house and a big waterfall.

The last activity we all did was go on the MS Dixie Cruise the last day. It gave you a different view of the lake. It did take you back to Emerald Bay, which gave me a different perspective for the island- now I saw this castle-like house on the top of like. Every couple of years, my family and my extended family on my mom’s side get together.

Things I love about the States I been to (as in what I did)

Since I recently went to two new states, I thought I would bring up the states I been to, and bring up what I loved about them. Some states will be left out if I don’t remember a clue about them.

Alaska

  • Nature- how can you not love Alaska’s nature. I saw glaciers, whales, otters, waterfalls, mountains and various types of nature during my trip to Alaska.

Colorado (Denver/Keystone)

  • I was only in elementary school when I went to Colorado. Just like Alaska, their nature is wonderful. During this trip, there was rafting and of course, we were around mountains. We were in Colorado.

California/Nevada

  • You might be wondering, why did I put two states together. My latest trip with cousins included these two. I will explain why these two are placed together.
  • Lake Tahoe- Lake Tahoe is a gigantic lake that is mostly in California, and at the same time takes up Nevada. During my most recent trip with cousins, I went back and forth between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is extremely clear and there are several colors in that lake. Surrounding the lake, you can see mountains, and in my visit, there was still snow on top of some of them. Lake Tahoe has hiking trials to walk on as well. Lake Tahoe is one of the biggest lakes in the world- you will realize how big it is when you actually visit.

Florida (Jacksonville to Orlando)

  • Disney World- Of course, many know that Disney World exists in Florida. It is a magical place. I have been there three times- the latest being in 2016 on Spring Break. That is one of the best parts about Florida.
  • St. Augustine-it is hard to describe why I love St. Augustine. I have been there a number of times. It is always fun to go there.
  • Beaches- I am not a beach person, but a mountain person. However, I enjoy walking on the beach and hearing the sound of the waves. I did mention that I collect snowglobes and playbills, but one more thing I collect is seaglass. It is not seaglass I buy from the store I collect- it is the seaglass I find on the beach.

Illinois

  • Chicago- what I love about the city of Chicago is the Art Insitiute and the Bean. I been there in 2015. I remember loving both of those places. It is also has a large American Girl Store.

New York (NYC)

  • Broadway- Whenever I think of NYC, I think of Broadway. I had my first experience on Broadway in 2006- I was 12 at the time. My mom and I were in NYC alone. The two of us saw Wicked. Wicked is still the only musical I saw on Broadway.
  • Times Square
  • Central Park
  • Statue of Liberty
  • There is more I love about NYC- Natural History Museum, American Girl- those are other things I did during that trip. What is crazy about the places I went to my NYC- a good number of them are the same places the girls in my Greatest Discovery book are going to.

North Carolina (where to start)

  • The Nature- It has both mountains and beaches. I mostly went to the mountains: Crowder’s, Sugar, Grandfather are three of the mountains I went to. A lot of my time hiking was in North Carolina.
  • Kanuga- it is an Episcopalian Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. I have been there for Parish Weekends, Winterlight (High School Youth Conference), and Thanksgiving. It is one of my happy places. I can’t put into words how much it means to me. It is another place I have gone on hikes.
  • Theatre- I live in Charlotte, home to Blumenthal Performing Arts. I am glad I live there because I get tours year after year after year. Each season, there is always a musical I want to see through Blumenthal Performing Arts. Blumenthal Performing Arts consists of more than one theatre- the main one being Belk Theater. So far, the only two theaters I have seen a musical in belongs to Belk Theater and Ovens Auditorium. Below are some of the shows I have seen through Blumenthal.
  • Etc- To end North Carolina, I will post a few more pictures from North Carolina. I have lived in North Carolina since I was 3. I have been in Charlotte since I was 8. There is Great Wolfe Lodge- with this incredible Water Park and this wonderful interactive game called MagiQuest- it allows you to literally think and sometimes you have to run in the lodge because sometimes you might have thirty seconds or so to get to the next location: you have clues to get to various place. It is super interactive. I live in North Carolina- that is why I said, where to start.

Missouri (St. Louis)

  • Fox Theater- St. Louis is another major touring city. The Fox Theater is a gorgeous theater. It is not just gorgeous by the acoustics, but by the architecture as well. Below, are pictures from the times I saw Annie and Fiddler on the Roof. I included the architecture of the theater as well.
  • Powell Hall- right near the Fox, there is a beautiful place for symphonies. It is called Powell Hall. I went to a Christmas Symphony there. St. Louis has two beautiful performing arts spaces.
  • The Gateway Arch- One of things St. Louis is known for is its Arch. I love that, and is one of the first things you see.
  • Forest Park- The MUNY (an outdoor theater), the zoo, and museums are all found in Forest Park. Believe it or not- it is bigger than Central Park in NYC.
  • City Museum- this is a very fun museum in St. Louis. It basically has outdoor and indoor playgrounds- different than a regular playground. It gives you a lot of things to do. It is a wonderful museum for children. I have memories of playing in the playgrounds- those were a lot of fun. They are unique in many ways.
  • City Garden- it is interactive like City Museum, but it is basically has only statues. You are allowed to interact with everything. You are allowed to climb on anything that is in there.
  • St. Louis Cardinals- another thing St. Louis is famous for is their baseball team. When I was younger, I went to their baseball games, and each time, they won. The St. Louis Cardinals is another thing I like about St. Louis.

South Carolina

  • Peace Center- it is Greenville’s touring theater. It, like Fox Theater, is a gorgeous performing space. I saw two musicals there. The first, Phantom of the Opera, was a date with mom. The second, Les Mis, I saw with Gardner Webb University. I am glad I was able to see two musicals in that venue.
  • Greenville- there are other things I love about Greenville, but I can’t describe. The pictures below are from Greenville.
  • Charleston- the only other place I been to in SC is Charleston. I first went as a 5th grade trip. I don’t know if I have been to Charleston since.

Georgia

  • Atlanta- This was the city where I was born. I love the Atlanta Aquarium. I love the Atlanta Braves as well- their baseball team. That is because I was born in Atlanta.

Virginia

  • Even though I have been to this state a number of times, it is hard to say what I like about this state. I can think of one thing, which is the Virginia Creeper Trail, which I don’t remember doing, but it is a highlight of the state.

The Other States:

  • Alabama- I can’t think of a single thing I loved about this state
  • Tennessee- I did go to Nashville either on the way back or the way to St. Louis. I don’t even remember exactly what I liked about the state.
  • Kentucky- the same rule applies to Kentucky that did to Tennessee. I don’t remember what I liked about Kentucky either.
  • New Jersey- I don’t know what I like this state, but I know I went there
  • Maryland- I don’t know what I like Maryland- even though I have been there
  • West Virginia- Only have been to small cities, I can’t think of a single thing I like about this state

All Love Triangles

Major Spoilers:

Jud x Laurey x Curly- I believe this is one of the weak love triangles. It is only easy to tell that Laurey and Curly are in it. So Oklahoma does make it difficult to know there is even a love triangle in the main romance to begin with.

Ali Hakim x Ado Annie x Will Parker – Oklahoma has a 2nd love triangle, which is not as serious as the main one, but is still weak. Just like the first one, you can only pick up on Ado Annie and Will being in it.

Gaston x Belle x Beast- Now, things are much stronger. I never thought about Beauty and the Beast having a love triangle. I just thought it was only a romance between Belle and Beast.

Ellen x Chris x Kim- Now, we defiantly know there is a love triangle. When I first saw Miss Saigon, which was in Feb., I didn’t want Ellen in the picture. I didn’t want Kim and Chris’s relationship to become tragic- it all had to do with my actor and actress. At the end of the musical, I could tell that Chris always loved Kim- even more than Ellen. His reaction to Kim’s death told me that- that cry was heartbreaking.

Phantom x Christine x Raoul- I am one of those Christine and Raoul fans. I do feel for all three of the characters. However, I do not like how Phantom responds to his unrequited love- he does not accept or cope with it. Christine and Raoul are meant to be with other.

Eponine x Marius x Cosette- I also love this love triangle. I love Marius and Cosette. They are so adorable together and help bring hope to the tragedy. Cosette represents hope and light- so it makes sense why she ends up with Marius. These two are my favorite survivors= in particular Marius. Cosette and Eponine are mirrors= Cosette goes from bad to good and Eponine goes from good to bad.

Eponine is my favorite character in the love triangle. I love her strength, bravery, and loyalty to Marius. She may be a Thenardier, but she still has some kind of goodness inside of her. She risks her life several times all because of the deep and strong love for Marius. It may be unrequited, but he is all she has. He is the only person who has shown her kindness. He is the only good thing in her life. Even though she dies at the end, I love how Marius is there.

Look, some people will say the love triangle is silly, some people say Marius should have ended up with Eponine, and some say that Marius is a jerk- I disagree on all of that. Les Mis is so carefully planned out that if you get rid of ONE thing, the entire story falls apart. That is why it is not silly and that is why Marius needed to end up with Cosette. Marius is not a jerk- I have seen him as a brave, compassionate, sweet, kind, and awkward young man. If he wasn’t brave, he wouldn’t have been a revolutionary and gone to fight at the barricade. If he wasn’t kind, Eponine NEVER would have fallen in love with him. If he wasn’t compassionate, he never would have made the decision to stay with Eponine during her death scene=yes, he was devastated, but he stayed with her- that is compassion.

Glinda x Fiyero x Elphaba- Why do you think I put them last? They are my favorite love triangle. This love triangle is the one I emotionally bonded with first, and where I first discovered the concept. It also is the most complex one I discovered. All three characters are complex- yes, all three of complex even though some would say only Glinda and Elphaba are complex. Fiyero is complex as well- his development and his role in the love triangle are why he is a complex character. Unrequited love: well, both Elphaba and Glinda end up with in this love triangle, and they respond by not stealing him away from their best friend. So, the love triangle shows they will not let a boy get in the way of their friendship.

What are other musical theatre love triangles you can think of?

It’s July….How did That happen?

It’s hard to believe that its already July. That means that we are already in the 2nd half of 2019. June was a fast month. July is the month of Fourth of July. July is also the month of going to Lake Tahoe to spend time with cousins. I never been to Lake Tahoe before. Lake Tahoe is in both Nevada and California, two states I never been to.

I don’t know if the first half of the year feels faster than the 2nd half. Some months were slow from January to June and some were fast. Still- how did it get to be July?

Would Les Mis have entered my life without Wicked?

Think about this. Would certain musicals have entered without others? That is kind of a deep question. I can describe my musical journey through the musicals that are meaningful. There are two musicals in particular that are the most important in making me a musical theatre fanatic. They are Wicked and Les Mis. Wicked sparked the love while Les Mis turned the love into a passion. The question is would Les Mis have been in my life without Wicked?

My answer is no. There is no way Les Mis would have in my life without Wicked. It had to do with what I learned from Wicked. Plus- before Les Mis, I was against tragedies. I was only 12 when Wicked first entered my life- that was 13 years ago.

What did I learn from Wicked? For starters, I discovered emotional connection. Why is an emotional connection so important in a musical? The emotional connection is key to everything- it is our DESIRE, WHY, and WANT. There has to be a reason to want to go on the journeys of the characters and to feel what they are feeling. I discovered something else in Wicked, which is connected to emotional connection. It belongs to the emotions. I NEVER knew about the emotional and complex side of musical before Wicked. So emotional connection and the emotional and complex side of musicals were discovered all because of Wicked. There were four core emotions that were at the forefront: excitement, love, joy, and sad: the only four I thought would exist. I knew about spectacle, dance, romance, and comedy- everything that musicals have were ALL in Wicked. I had no clue all of that would be challenged, disproven, and tested- meaning things will change by a landslide.

Enter Les Mis. So- emotional connection. I already knew about that. However, that WANT and DESIRE would have to be extremely strong in a musical like Les Mis. So, “you think there are four core emotions- let us add one”. If I didn’t already already know about the core emotion of sad, I would be extremely confused about HEARTBREAK entering the picture. So Wicked would teach me things that would have to get stronger in Les Mis. Yes, in Wicked, I have a personal relationship to Elphaba, but not a personal relationship to the Les Mis character. However in Les Mis, it is constant HEARTBREAK- so you have be STRONG with the emotional connection. See if I didn’t discover some of those things in Wicked- I would have been extremely confused by a number of things that would be going on in Les Mis. In Wicked, I already was strongly attacked to a love triangle- I knew about that concept so I was able to easily find it in Les Mis. So if it wasn’t for discovering emotional connection and the emotion of sadness in Wicked, I would be very confused in Les Mis. I don’t think I would have wanted Les Mis in my life.

US Tour of Les Mis
One Day More

Les Mis would soon pay its favor back to Wicked- by the love triangle. “I’m Not That Girl” was only a sad song in the beginning- I didn’t call it a sad love song. I thought it would stay that way. “On My Own” would tell me unrequited love songs are heartbreaking- that song was sad for only one year (from 2013-2014). “On My Own” helped me realize “I’m Not That Girl” was heartbreaking, which made Wicked’s love triangle even more complex. Wicked’s love triangle is more complex and is my favorite one- I might be slightly biased because it is the first one I emotionally bonded with.

Do you feel this way? Would have some musicals not have entered your life without others?

Star Wars Night

One of my favorite June traditions began last night- the Summer Pops. It was an outdoor symphony performed by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Each week, there is a different theme, and families come and have a picnic while listening to the symphony. That tradition began last night. Originally, my family wasn’t planning to go to last night’s Pops night, but we did. What was the theme- it was Star Wars Night.

I am still a bit of a new Star Wars fan. I only entered the fandom in 2015. The only tunes I know from Star Wars are the theme song and the Imperial March. The rest, I still haven’t memorized. After all, only saw all the movies once. I was surprised that last night, the symphony actually decided to go into The Force Awakens, the beginning of the latest trilogy.

It is next week I am looking forward to- a theme I will love more than the one I went to last night. Next week’s theme is Broadway- so why do you think I am looking forward more to next week.