Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Twenty Nine States

I had the opportunity this past week to go to Durham, North Carolina. I was travelling for business and I went out there to meet with a client for a new project. I'd tell you all about the project I went out there for, but the truth is that you don't care. I'll just say that it fits in with my life mission to increase efficiency in the world.

The important thing about my visit to North Carolina is that it is a state I have never before visited.  That makes 29 states which have had the pleasure of having me set foot within their borders.

For your convenience, I have included this handy dandy map of every state I have visited.  Green means go, as in I have gone there.  White means meanie pants, as in, the people in those states never invite me over to hang out which is totally mean.
Is your state white?  Invite me over to fix the problem.
Most of my time in NC was spent working.  However, I did have a little bit of time to explore the area.  Here are a few of my experiences and observations.

Billions of trees
The first thing I noticed when I arrived in North Carolina was that there were so many trees.  I was in a big city, but it felt very rural, because everywhere I drove all I could see was trees.  I took a short walk from the office building where I was working.  I only walked a few hundred yards and I was in the middle of a forest.

I told my boss that we need to get a trail going through a forest at our office in Utah.
Driving through the city I was constantly amazed, but it wasn't until I got on the plane to go home that I really understood how many trees there were.
You wouldn't think there was a city in there, but there are 700,000 people hiding in those trees.
The Silent Sam controversy
I was told that Silent Sam is a landmark I need to go see.  It turns out, Silent Sam is very controversial.  Since he honors the UNC graduates who fought in the Civil War, some feel that he is glorifying the Confederacy, and by extension, slavery.
Silent Sam

To the sons of the University who entered the war of 1861-65 in answer to the call of their country and whose lives taught the lesson of their great commander that duty is the sublimest word in the English language.
To me, that plaque doesn't seem offensive.  It doesn't even mention the Confederacy or slavery.  However, I'm not taking sides in the controversy.  I'm just a cute little tourist.

A real southern meal
We went out to eat with some locals.  I was assured that if I wanted a truly Southern experience, I should order the shrimp and grits.

I've never had grits before, so I don't know what it's normally like.  If I'm being honest, the grits were kind of flavorless.  However, the gravy that was over them was absolutely delicious.  Of course, the shrimp was fabulous because it happens to be shrimp which is always fabulous.

Chapel Hill?
There is a "hill" in Chapel Hill, NC that has a bunch of chapels on it.  I assume that is where it gets its name.  However, if that "hill" were in Utah, it would be called, "flat area with some chapels on it."  I know that's not quite as cool of a name as Chapel Hill, but it would be more accurate.  To test how much of a hill it was, we put the car in neutral and let it coast.  There was a slight downward slope, however the car maxed out at 20 mph on the steepest part.  I'll let you decide if that qualifies as a hill.

Skinny on the plane
Okay, this really has nothing to do with North Carolina.  However, this was my first time on a plane since I began my weight loss journey.  For years, every time I've ridden a plane I've had to ask for a seat belt extender.  This time, not only did I not need one, but I had lots of extra room with the regular seat belt.

I sent the above picture to my wife when I got on the plane.  I was very excited.

Marriage tip:  Even if your wife is excited about your weight loss, a picture like this will not excite her at 5:45 AM. Her response when I sent this picture was short and to the point:  "Good.  I'm asleep."



  1. Yay! Glad you didn't have anything bad to say about my state...I kind of like it here! Hope to visit yours one day too!

    Also, congrats on the milestone on your weight loss journey. I know that felt awesome!

    1. Nope, nothing bad to say. It was very beautiful. I'd love to visit sometime when I can explore it more fully.

  2. I have been there it is very pretty and the people are for the most part very nice.We us missionaries saw the view from the plan we all took photo too. Glad to hear you got to go there.


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