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A Capital Idea

As a child my father insisted I learned the 50 states and capitals which then paid off repeatedly when tested on this topic in geography and civics (and again on countless trivia nights). At that point I had only been to Jefferson City in my home state of Missouri. Topeka wasn't far from KC but the rest seemed so distant I just assumed I would never visit them, they were just words in a book and points on a map.

Washington DC

As a young father myself I tried to slowly ease my kids into learning the capitals, something I feel every US citizen should know. This proved to be a struggle (and continues to be to this day). At one point Dave said to his brother and I, "why do we need to learn this we're never going to go there?!" That's when an idea was born.

Boise, Idaho

There is no reason why we CAN'T go there I said to him. I explained the many regions of the US held exciting levels of art, history, culture and food. I made an agreement then with my two young sons that if they worked to learn the capitals I would work to take them to them. At least one of us is holding up our end of the bargain. lol

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Since then I have added two more members to the family, remarried and visited 25 state capitals and the District of Columbia with our eyes on finishing the set at some point. My oldest is 20 now and goes on trips less often but our vacation frequency has increased over the last half dozen years so there's no reason why we can't finish it. To count as "visited" we must make it onto the grounds of the capital building. Now due to the limited hours of most tours in some cases that means we just walked around the outside but whenever possible we head inside to explore.

Alexander being a baller in Little Rock, Arkansas

Our "signature" shot is of us all standing in a circle under the rotunda looking down and snapping a selfie looking up at us and the impressive architecture above us. I lead the family (sometimes begrudgingly if it's been a long day) through all the floors and whenever possible into the Senate and House chambers. We've had some fun experiences like when we got to hold $1 million in the treasury of Little Rock Arkansas, run around and sit in the seats of the Senate in Dover or being a small part of a commercial in Denver.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Ana and I agree that aside from DC (which you can't compete with) our favorite capital building is in Harrisburg, PA. The architectural design inside is nothing short of break taking. We've had a lot of near visits like when we were within 30 minutes of Helena this year but didn't quite have enough time. That's ok just another reason to hit the road and see the beauty America has to offer!

Montgomery, Alabama
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Atlanta, Georgia
Springfield, Illinois
Richmond, Virgina
Salt Lake City, Utah
Raleigh, North Carolina
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Montgomery, Alabama
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Dover, Deleware
Columbus, Ohio

Visited as of Today

  1. Atlanta, Georgia

  2. Austin, Texas

  3. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  4. Boise, Idaho

  5. Cheyenne, Wyoming

  6. Columbus, Ohio

  7. Denver, Colorado

  8. Des Moines, Iowa

  9. Dover, Delaware

  10. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

  11. Indianapolis, Indiana

  12. Jefferson City, Missouri

  13. Lincoln, Nebraska

  14. Little Rock, Arkansas

  15. Madison, Wisconsin

  16. Montgomery, Alabama

  17. Nashville, Tennessee

  18. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  19. Pierre, South Dakota

  20. Raleigh, North Carolina

  21. Richmond, Virginia

  22. Saint Paul, Minnesota

  23. Salt Lake City, Utah

  24. Springfield, Illinois

  25. Topeka, Kansas

  26. Washington D.C.

(And yes I've found a geocache in all of them!)

Yet to Visit

  1. Albany, New York

  2. Annapolis, Maryland

  3. Augusta, Maine

  4. Bismarck, North Dakota

  5. Boston, Massachusetts

  6. Carson City, Nevada

  7. Charleston, West Virginia

  8. Columbia, South Carolina

  9. Concord, New Hampshire

  10. Frankfort, Kentucky

  11. Hartford, Connecticut

  12. Helena, Montana

  13. Honolulu, Hawaii

  14. Jackson, Mississippi

  15. Juneau, Alaska

  16. Lansing, Michigan

  17. Montpelier, Vermont

  18. Olympia, Washington

  19. Phoenix, Arizona

  20. Providence, Rhode Island

  21. Sacramento, California

  22. Salem, Oregon

  23. Santa Fe, New Mexico

  24. Tallahassee, Florida

  25. Trenton, New Jersey


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