What would Delaware?

What fun!

These are the states that I have visited. Apparently, they number 23, or 45% of states in the US. Make your own here, and feel free to post your map in the comments (if that can be done--not sure).

Keeping lists of states and countries that you've visited is a big deal in my immediate family. There are rules, though. This is serious stuff. You have to have gotten off of the bus, plane, train, or out of the car, to count that state. Your feet have to touch the hallowed ground.

I've only been to the airports in Illinois, Texas, and Minnesota, but the rest I've been to in a more normal fashion. The only one I'm not 100% sure about is Delaware. I've been to Washington, D.C. so many times, via car, bus, train, and plane, that I can't believe I wouldn't have been to Delaware at some point, so I included it. I rode a bus through Vermont on the way to Montreal from Boston in 2000, but didn't get off since it was the middle of the night and the middle of the winter.

As soon as I typed "Delaware" the following popped into my head, from the deepest recesses of my brain, not having seen the light of day since about fifth grade.
What would Delaware?
I don't know, Alaska.
Her New Jersey!
I feel like there were strings of these that involved more than three states, but that's all that I can remember. It's a peculiar function of the 8-to-10-year-old brain that these seemed absolutely hilarious at the time.

States that I would like to check out but haven't made it to yet include Alaska, Georgia (and the rest of the South, for that matter), and Maine. I wouldn't mind Hawaii either.

My countries map is a bit more pathetic. Here it is:

I've only been to thirteen different countries, or 5% of the countries of the world. Vast swaths of Africa, Asia, and Australia and the Pacific remain untouched. Even Europe is pathetic. I would really like to spend more time in South America, though, or check out Japan. Russia holds little allure. Africa holds some.

Note that I have no immediate plans to visit any of these places, since at the moment (and generally), I am short on both money and vacation time (because I do things like take off chol hamoed Pesach). Also, there's still plenty of New York City to explore.

Once again, make your own map here, and feel free to post your map in the comments (if that can be done--not sure).

Happy travels!


BZ said...

If you've taken the bus from NY to DC and gotten out at the rest stop, then you've been to Delaware.

Also, I don't count countries (UK, Switzerland, Turkey) where I haven't left the airport. I would sooner count places that I drove through and didn't get out of the car (though I can't think of any) -- i consider airports more shielded than cars.

ALG said...

You're right. I have definitely been to a rest stop in Delaware.

I can see where you're coming from vis-a-vis airports, although I do think that airports, corporate cookie-cutters that they are, are strongly flavored by their locale, especially if you hang around them people-watching for long enough or strike up conversations with the locals. Do you differentiate between US airports and non-US airports?

Every country whose airport I have stopped at, I've also been outside the airport for at least a few hours. (The shortest was Greece, where I spent maybe about 20 hours in the country.) As far as US airports go, I've been through Chicago and Dallas so many times on the way to/from California to visit my grandparents that I feel justified in counting them. It's not like it was one half-hour layover. Minnesota, though, is a stretch, since I was only in the Minneapolis airport twice and not for very long.

David said...

My grandmother a"h used to sing to me, and one of the songs she would sing included what would Delaware, boys, what would Delaware?

miriam said...

i think i must have heard this a dozen times from jeanette (of collidge house fame)
"if mississippi gave missouri a new jersey, what would delaware?"

Dave ( Balashon) said...

Never been to Maine? So close to home...

HDS said...


"Official" lyrics to the the Delaware-New Jersey thingy.

Interestingly, I don't see Alaska there, or really, any of the dailogue/poem quality that I also remember. Maybe the people telling it to us as kids sorta remembered this song, but not the tune?

BZ said...

Do you differentiate between US airports and non-US airports?

No. I specified countries rather than states only because there aren't any states in which I've only been to an airport, and there are three such countries (thanks to travel between the US and Israel on a variety of airlines). You should visit Chicago sometime outside the airport!

alg's dad said...

To hds: Thanks for posting that link. I knew there were a lot of other states mentioned, but I had forgotten what the lines were.

Of course you wouldn't expect Alaska to be included in the original lyrics. The song was old when we used to sing it (or improvise new verses) in the car, on long, boring trips, in the late 1950s or early 1960s, and Alaska didn't become a state until 1958.

ALG's dad said...

Here are the official rules, at least for our family, as your uncle and I developed them, starting (but by no means ending) when we were kids: Flying over a state or country does not count at all. Driving through a state without setting foot on the ground, or landing in a country or state without getting out of the plane, counts for something, but it is a different category than setting foot in the state or country. Being only in an airport counts completely for a state, even if you don't set foot on actual dirt, since the floor of the airport terminal is mechubar lekarka. Actually, I just made up that explanation now, but the rule is definitely true--it weren't, I wouldn't be able to count Minnesota! But it is best to set foot on actual dirt (or asphalt), if possible. For countries, just being in the airport without going through passport control might count for less than setting foot in the country, but it is better than just landing and not getting out of the plane.

Avi said...

I've been to 30 states + DC (it counts it as a state, so 31 according to the website). Only 4 countries though :(

As for whether an airport counts as a state (or country), it has to because if you're in an airport, and someone calls your cell phone and asks you where you are, you'd say the name of the state or country the airport is in. The same probably wouldn't apply to being in a car, where you're more likely to say you're on the way to the state (or country) you're heading to.