Thursday, November 3, 2016

Family Blogging Month :: The 50 States

November is Family Blogging Month in Mrs. Yollis' class. She started this tradition back in 2010, and the blogging fun lives on! The idea for this post came from a comment.  :-) 

A conversation started over on the class Photo-of-the-Day blog. Nolan sent in a photo about the Four Corners Region of the United States. 

Below is the text that complemented Nolan's photo. 
(click to enlarge or go here to see the original

Nolan got this comment from Sandy, Grandma Barb's friend. She brought up the fifty states and asked how many people had visited. 

Like so many things on the blog, that lead to a discussion about the 50 states. We have all been to the state of California because we live there. 

How many states have you visited?

Do you have a favorite state? If so, please state your reasons. 


  1. Hello Mrs. Yollis’ Class,

    My friend, Sandy, asked a great question in her reply to the photo Nolan posted - How many states have you visited?

    I made a list and the total was 17 states plus Washington DC, our Nation’s capital.

    My favorite state is, wait for it, Wisconsin. Though I have enjoyed all of the states I visited either for work or pleasure and truly appreciate the uniqueness of each one, for me there is no place like home. The reason I like Wisconsin best is because I truly like having four seasons. No one season lasts forever and, if one season becomes too hot or too cold, there is always another to look forward to. Each season has special features - snow covered trees in winter, flowers sprouting in spring, warmer days and a visit from my grandkids in summer, crisp fall leaves, and then before you know it we’re back to winter again. The change of seasons makes life very interesting and sometimes challenging but always interesting.

    I’m looking forward to hearing from others on their answer to this question. Be sure to chime in!

    Your blogging buddy,
    Barb (Nolan’s Grandma from Wisconsin)

  2. Jason (Dylan B's Dad)November 3, 2016 at 9:11 PM

    Hello Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    In regards to the question, what is your favorite state- that's a tough question. I grew up in Illinois, and am very fond of my childhood years and the city of Chicago in particular (go Cubs!). I went to college in Iowa- which I wouldn't say is my favorite state, but does have a certain charm about it. During my college years, I also spent a lot of time in New York, and would say that New York City is the greatest city in the country, but would not deem the state as my favorite.

    My favorite state in the U.S. would have to go to.. California. From the great city of Los Angeles, the beach communities of San Diego / Orange County, the urban landscape of San Francisco, the desert, Santa Barbara, I could go on. California has more to offer than any other state, and we are luck to live here.

    Have any of you been to Illinois? Or Iowa???

    Kind Regards,
    Jason (Dylan B's Dad)

  3. Good Morning Class,

    Last night we were reviewing how many states we have traveled to and there were more than we realized, though out of 50, not that many. We have been to New York, Nevada, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, DC (though not a state, where I was born) as a family.

    My husband and I have also visited Florida, Oregon, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Wyoming (all without our kids).

    So yes we have been to Illinois, in response to Dylan B's Dad, and Chicago, Il is one of our favorite places (we even talked about moving there at one point). We love California for everything Jason said, but we love Chicago for many other reasons: people are amazingly friendly, city life is popping, but suburban areas are beautiful and quiet, the history of the city is quite phenomenal and rich, and most of all the food is fantastic.

    We are planning a trip to Nashville, Tennessee this summer (our first as a family in 4 years). We are looking forward to visiting the birthplace of country music (though my husband is not a fan:)

    Four years ago we even made it up to Canada. That was quite an experience. Has anyone ever been to Ontario, Canada? If so, what did you find different than life in the US? Did you try any unique foods? We tried Poutin (not a fan).

    Tracy (Enzo B's Mom)

    1. @ Tracy (Enzo's mom)

      Thank you for your wonderful comment!

      We have never been to Ontario, Canada, but we
      would like to go there.

      We have some favorite states. Caitlyn's favorite state is
      Texas because she ate some great meals there. There was one breakfast she had with pancakes and whipped cream. Yum!

      Enzo's favorite state is Nevada because his
      grandma and grandpa take him to their apartment
      that has a pool. It was very hot in Nevada, so the pool was a refreshing break.

      You asked if we have tasted any unique foods. Caitlyn has had a Dutch meal called brodicle. It has sausage, potato, kale, and gravy in it.

      Are you excited to go to Nashville, Tennessee?


      Enzo and Caitlyn

    2. Dear Caitlyn and Enzo,

      Yes, I am very excited to visit Nashville. I have heard many great things about this city and it's surroundings. I already have many friends giving me pointers on what to go see and where to visit. This will be only the second time the kids (Sofia, Enzo, and Angelina) have flown in a plane, so I am a little nervous about how they will handle the journey. But it should be a great time spent with family. Caitlyn, brodicle sounds delicious....I love all those foods alone, much less together. I visited Germany when I was 12 and probably had the same dish, though they may call it something different. I love German/Dutch food, though I love Italian food even more. But I also like many others such as Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and Mexican.

      What is your favorite type of food to eat?

      Tracy (Enzo's Mom)

  4. Hello Everyone in class. I was reading the blog and started counting the states I have visited. I hadn't realized I had been to so many states. I have visited 31 states. My favorite state is Colorado because I grew up there and I love the mountains. I also think that Maine is a very beautiful state. Did you know that many people that live in Northern Maine speak French?
    Looking forward to more interesting posts!
    Susan (Josh's Aunt in Budapest)

    1. @ Suz,

      Wow! Thirty one states is a great count! Did you travel for work or just do the visiting for pleasure?

      I did not know that many people that live in Northern Maine speak French. Thank you for sharing that information. Why is that?

      Liat (Elie's Mom)

  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis's Class,
    This is fun one for me. I took a loooong walk down memory lane, recalling many great adventures. With Reese and Holden, my husband and I have traveled to New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, DC (where I was born), Florida, New Mexico, and Nevada. Separately, I have been to Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Oklahoma, Delaware, New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee (Enzo, you are going to have a great time in Nashville), North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Connecticut, Maine, Georgia, Minnesota, Colorado, and Arizona. Honestly, though, my favorite state is California, because of the natural beauty and diverse terrain (I love to swim and ski!) and the range of cultural experiences that are available to us.
    Tomorrow, I am going to New York City. Have you ever been to New York City? Some people call it "The Big Apple." Do you know why?
    Look forward to continuing the conversation!
    Jo (Reese's mom)

    1. Dear Joanna/mom,

      Thank you for entering Family blogging month. What a terrific comment!

      Lola and I are both surprised that you have been to so many states! Lola has been to five states: California, Hawaii, Florida, New York, and New Jersey. That is very little compared to how many states you have been to.

      You asked us if we know about the Big Apple. Is it because they are famous for
      apples or is it because it is the city mascot?

      Were have you been to with John/dad?

      Where was your first trip when you were a child? If you know were was John/dad's first trip?

      Lola and Reese

  6. Thank you for inspiring us to take part in #16stubc. I don't get to blog in school, so your students are lucky. I like the fifty states challenge because it is about geography and I like to travel. I have traveled all around New England and just went to California, but it is a big state. I only saw San Jose and San Francisco. Hope you can add to my blog post and tell me more about your state and where I should travel next time I get to visit. Curran (@CurranCentral)

  7. Hi Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    This is Susie (Allie's mom). I have visited 32 of the 50 states.

    I was born in New York, but I have been in Los Angeles, California for over 18 years now. I love the weather and the beaches. One of the states that I visited that was really beautiful was Alaska.

    Allie's Dad (Michael) and I traveled with a couple of friends and saw Denali National Park and flew in a small airplane near the 20,000-ft.-high Denali Mountain. It used to be called Mount McKinley and is the tallest peak in North America. It was spectacular! We also got to see lots of moose, reindeer, and other wildlife. I would love to go back with our kids someday.

    Have you visited a state that has some beautiful terrain and wildlife? if you could pick a state to visit, where would you go first?

    Susie (Allie's mom)

    1. @ Susie,

      Thank you for leaving a comment on our blog.

      Wow! That is a lot of states you've been to.
      Chaolin has been to seven states. The states she has been to are: California, Oregon, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Florida, Nevada and Arizona.

      Allie has been to ten states. She has been to: California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Washington, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and Connecticut.

      Mom, you mentioned that you would to take the family to Alaska. I am excited to go to Alaska. Mrs. Yollis went, and she said it was full of natural beauty. She saw bald eagles, whales, and a moose in Denali National Park. She recommends the trip!

      What states are you looking forward to go to?
      What other animals did you see in Alaska?

      Allie and Chaolin

    2. @ Allie and Chaolin

      Thank you for writing me back. I didn't realize that I had visited so many states until I counted for this blog.

      That is great that you both have been to a lot of places already and you are only 8 years old. I think when I was only 8, I may have only been to a few states.

      Just like Mrs. Yollis's trip to Denaili, I also saw lots of bald eagles, caribou, and moose. I saw one bear too! I stayed far away as you need to be very careful not to surprise a bear.

      The one State that I have not been to yet, but would love to go to, is Wyoming. I would love to see Yellowstone National Park.

      Do you like to travel to places of natural beauty? Where would you both like to travel to next

      Susie (Allie's mom)

    3. @ Susie,

      Wow! Like you, I didn't realize that I had visited so many states until I counted for this blog.

      I have visited eighteen states and lived in five.

      In answer to your question, I do love to travel to places of natural beauty. Aside from our home state of California, I loved visiting Vermont. It is beautiful and, similar to our open space here, a lot of natural land in Vermont is well protected to maintain that beauty. I also love that the seasons there are so marked. My favorite season is the Fall. In the Fall, the leaves turn radiant shades of red, orange and yellow in Vermont. It is a breath taking sight.

      As for where I would like to travel next, I believe it would be Colorado.

      Where would you like to travel next? And, why?

      Liat (Elie's mom)

    4. @ Liat (Elie's Mom),

      I too have visited quite a few states in our country! We are lucky to live in a country that has so many different geographical landscapes and natural wonders. California is truly a jewel in that it offers a magnificent coastline as well as majestic mountains and vast plains.

      Colorado and Utah are the states I would like to visit next.

      Is anyone out there from Colorado or Utah?


      Payam (Elie's dad)

    5. @Liat

      I am so glad you mentioned the beautiful fall foliage in Vermont and the change of colors. It made me miss the northeast. Fall and Spring were my favorite seasons back east.

      I considered going to university in Vermont as it was a great school and so beautiful. I realized they had all of these tunnels so that students to get to class during the winter when it snowed so much. I decided that that was too much snow and cold for me!

      I would love to visit more of our beautiful state of California. We just went to Los Padres National Forest to camp for a weekend and it was amazing to be in such a beautiful spot so far away from people and it was just two hours from here. Looking forward to experiencing more of California with our children.

      How about you? Where in California would you like to visit that you haven't already.

      Susie (Allie's mom)

    6. Hi Allie and Chaolin,

      Alaska is a wonderful place. When Susie and I were there we saw many animals; moose, bear, salmon and eagles. We also went for a hike on a glacier in the middle of the night. Did you know that Alaska is so far north that its stays light out in the Summer almost all night long? @Allie, Mommy and Daddy would definitely like to take you there some day. @Allie and @Chaolin, what other places would you like to visit?

  8. Dear class,

    This is a fun topic.

    I'm Amanda's dad. She will tell you that I travel a lot, more than I would like to, really. When I travel, I seem to go to the same states all the time these days. Those states are New York (this is where I was born), Tennessee, Florida, Texas, and sometimes, Georgia.

    When I go to New York, I always go to New York City. That the city where I was born and went to high school. Amanda visited the city with me once. It was very cold and we went to the Museum of Natural History. She had a lot of fun - especially when she was the big whale and all of the dinosaur skeletons. I also showed her the apartment building I used to live in as well as my high school.

    When I go to Tennessee, I go to Nashville. That's where my company has its operational headquarters. I was just there for 8 nights. My company held its award show and then I went to the CMA's. I saw lots of great artists, but was most excited to see Payton Manning. Amanda's sister, Cali, visited there once with me. I'll bring Amanda soon. It's a fun town with lots of good food and twangy sounding music.

    When I go to Florida, I mainly go to Miami. It's where the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame is. I love Miami because it's very tropical and warm. You can swim in the ocean there without a wetsuit.

    When I go to Texas, I go to Austin. I go there for a conference called South By South West. Austin is the capitol of Texas. It has changed tremendously over the past 20 years and is becoming a very nice city that also has lots of great food and music.

    I've been to a lot of other states too. I've skied in Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Colorado. I've visited beaches in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Hawaii. My favorite (besides California of course) is probably Hawaii. Amanda has been to Hawaii too. I've even stood on the Four Corners sign in the photo - which is very cool because it's the only place where you can be in four states at once in the USA.

    I hope you all get to visit a lot of states too...


  9. Melissa (Kaya's mom)November 7, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,
    I have been looking at the map and I think that I have made it to 16 states so far! I love traveling and exploring new places! I guess I have a lot more exploring to do in our own country. I don't think I have a favorite state (maybe California...we are so lucky), however my favorite thing that I always take away from traveling is how truely kind and beautiful people are inside and out!
    I would love to see the Grand Canyon next...has anyone in class been there?
    Kind regards, Melissa

  10. Nana Jackie and Poppa RogerNovember 12, 2016 at 5:25 PM

    Hi Amanda, it's your Nana Jackie and Poppa Roger, your father's parents and your grandparents. We were wondering whether your classmates know that Ben (in Ms. Sandra Tulbere's class) is your twin brother. We also wonder whether you ever wonder who was born first. We certainly don't think that's important, but we heard a story today about an unusual event. It seems that on the night when the clock was rolled back by one hour at the stroke of 2:00 AM, a pair of twins were born. One of the pair was first at 1:58AM, and the other was second, at 1:06 AM, but because the time changed from 2:00 AM to 1:00 AM, the twin born second was actually born first. Therefore, the second born was the older. What do you think of that.

  11. Jenny (Dylan B's Aunt)December 1, 2016 at 10:57 PM

    Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    What a great topic! I recently took it upon myself to learn the capital cities, nicknames and state flowers of all fifty states. Have you learned them yet? I'm still working on it. It is pretty challenging!

    I have been to eighteen states. One day, I would like to visit them all!

    Like Dylan's dad, I have lived in three states. I was born and raised in California and live here now. For one year though, I lived in Arizona and for two years I lived in Hawaii. Arizona has really neat rain storms in the summer time. It's called "Monsoon Season." Every afternoon in the hot summer there would be bright lightening, loud thunder and then POUR rain for about an hour. It was crazy! As you can imagine, Hawaii was a pretty great place to live too. I swam in the ocean every day that I lived there!

    However, despite the beauty in both of those states, my favorite state is most definitely California. I love it because of it's natural beauty, wonderful weather and incredible people, but most importantly, because it is home! My family has been in California for over 100 years!

    I love the Golden State. Do you know why it is called the Golden State?

    (Auntie) Jenny

  12. Liz (Dylan B's Aunt)December 2, 2016 at 7:42 AM

    Dear Mrs. Yoliss's class,
    I have lived in California for three and a half years and I love it! I have also lived in Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington state, and Colorado. I am so lucky to have driven across the country several times, so I have visited many of the 50 states! I have to say, so far California is my favorite!
    I have enjoyed living in each of the five states, because I have been able to experience different climates. Illinois and Wisconsin were snowy and very cold and windy. Colorado was snowy, but the weather changed really quickly! It could snow a lot one day, and then be sunny and warm the next day. Washington was really gray and rainy for 9 months, but has a drought like California in the summer! I really enjoy the sunshine and warm weather in California. It makes life very easy.
    I work in an elementary school like Chapparal as a speech therapist and the one challenge about California is teaching students about the seasons. How do you tell the difference between them? It's a fun "problem" to have!
    Keep on blogging!

  13. @ Susie,

    Wow! I did not know that they had tunnels for students to get to class during the winter when it snowed so much at Vermont College. What a great idea!

    I would love to visit Los Padres National Forest. I would love to hear more about your camping experience there.

    What was the highlight of your camping experience at Los Padres National Forest? Have you camped at other camp sites in California?

    Liat (Elie's Mom)

  14. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    I have been to two states because my family is usually camping [in California] or we are visiting China! The two states I have been to are Arizona and California, and when I was in Arizona I was going to Las Vegas! I live in California so I have "visited" it! What is your favorite state? Mine is California!

    Your friend,


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