In late 2006, I logged states #39 and #40 (Alabama and Mississippi), then in 2008 and 2009, respectively, I added #41 (Nebraska) and #42 (Oregon). But, in the three years since, I've remained stalled at that number, with Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana still on the list to visit. (However, I did spend 2 1/2 weeks in Italy with KJ, so I'd say that offsets the fact I haven't yet made it to Oklahoma or Arkansas.) Unfortunately, none of those states are looking like potential destinations in the near future.
So, of course, like a lot of people in my situation are inclined to do, I've started thinking about living vicariously through my son. When I realized the little traveler had already been to nine states, it was pretty much a no-brainer we had to plan a trip to the closest one he'd yet to visit. The added bonus being that destination happened to be where his mom and dad got married.
Our trip to Vermont the weekend before last was LC's 10th state in his first year. Obviously, I have no expectation he'll be keeping up that pace for four more years, as the post's title suggests. In fact, since KJ and I would be taking him, that would make the living vicariously thing kind of a moot point. But, 10 states before the age of one is a pretty cool "accomplishment" in my opinion.
Our wedding locale, the Old Tavern in Grafton—now called the Grafton Inn—was the destination. This is honestly one of the few places that, when visiting, we could be content with parking the car and not going anywhere else for an entire weekend. And it's not because there's so much to do there—although the inn does have tennis courts, bike rentals, cross-country skiing, etc.—but rather that it's such an enjoyably relaxing place to stay. One that easily allows even someone like me to forget about all the everyday stresses of living in an urban area. [This makes me feel like breaking out into Neil Young's "Country Home."]
To say Grafton is a quaint little town doesn't come close to properly describing it. I've used the term quaint before in reference to touristy villages that have qualities that kind of resemble small cities.
Grafton is not like this. Those touristy villages I just described always have some semblance of commercialism, but the Windham Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that owns much of the town, is dedicated to ensuring that doesn't happen.
|Grafton Public Library|
|Grafton Historical Society|
|Grafton Fire Station|
The inn kind of dominates the town, but the locals are part of the experience, especially when they come out for a music night at the Old Tavern's Phelps Barn. But, even when the inn is completely full, the town is still quiet. It might just be one of my top five places on earth, a list I honestly haven't given much thought to until now.