Thursday, September 1, 2016

Seven States (So Far)

There's an ice breaker game called "Two Truths and a Lie." There are variations on this game, but I always stump people when I play. One of my truths that people think is a lie is that I've lived in seven states so far in my life. Once people find out that I have indeed moved around that much, they start quizzing me about what I liked and didn't like about each place and about which is my favorite. Truth is, I don't have a favorite. Everywhere I've lived has had good and bad. Here's the list, in (mostly) chronological order, of where I've lived and a few things I really liked about living there.



This is where I was born and raised. This was and will always be my home. Telling you my favorite things about this state would take up pages and pages, and even then I'd probably forget things. Instead, I'll tell you about the things I absolutely have to do and places I have to go when I'm in Massachusetts:
  • Kelly's Roast Beef : The sauce they put on their sandwiches makes it hard for me to eat roast beef anywhere else.
  • Museum of Science: Not only did I grow up going to this museum, which had a commercial I can still recite almost by heart, but I also got to sleep there overnight more than once with my Girl Scout troop.
  • Bearskin Neck: I always have to clambor out to the very end of this promontory. Always.
  • Rebecca Nurse House: Growing up, their Strawberry Festival was a required part of my summer.



I did my undergraduate degree in Maryland and ended up staying for a while. Massachusetts may be my home, but Maryland is where I grew up. I lived there from when I was 17 to when I was 25. For this state, I'm going to share where I formed some of my best memories.


I only lived in Virginia for a year, and mostly what I did while I was there was work. Two different restaurants at the same time to make as much money as possible. This is nothing against Virginia. It's just that I knew I wouldn't be staying. I planned to go back to Massachusetts to attend Simmons for my MLIS program, and that's just what I did.

New Hampshire


I was lucky and found a job at an academic library a few months after I graduated from Simmons. I was working in southeast Vermont, but lived in southwest New Hampshire. I loved it there at the time. Here are some of my favorite things from when I lived there:
  • Monadnock State Park: Again, hiking. No matter where I've lived as an adult, I've found places nearby to go hiking.
  • Keene Pumpkin Festival (without the rioters, please): When I lived in New Hampshire, I always contributed at least one jack-o-lantern to the festival each year.
  • The Restaurant at Burdick's: The most amazing chocolate I've ever had was at this restaurant.
  • Saks Thrift Avenue: This was the best consignment store ever, but it's now closed and I am sad.


Life threw a bump in my road, so I moved closer to work. Vermont is the closest I've ever come to feeling comfortable and like I was at home. I loved the politics there. I loved the fact that my apartment was a 20 minute drive from two different food coops. And I loved the art scene. It's hard to pick my favorite things, but here's an attempt:
  • Chelsea Royal Diner: They have homemade bread that I still dream about.
  • Vermont Country Store: Yes, it's a bit of a tourist trap, but it's still fun.
  • Connecticut River Valley: I drove along the river every day for my commute, and it's still the best drive I've ever "had" to take.
  • Mocha Joe's: Think of a popular culture representation of a Vermont coffee shop, and you'll have a good idea of what this place is like.


As much as I loved Vermont, there was an amazing professional opportunity that pulled me to Ohio. I was nervous about living so far from an ocean, but I needn't have been. I loved Ohio almost as much as I loved Vermont and have gone back to visit more than once. Here's some of what I loved:
  • Hot Dog Shoppe: If you ever go, get two dogs with sauce and share fries with sauce and cheese with your fellow diner(s). You won't regret it.
  • West Side Market in Cleveland: It's like a farmers' market, only it's year round because it's inside. Great fresh made pickles there, plus the best soba noodles I've ever had are sold there.
  • Mosquito Lake State Park: Again, hiking. But don't let the name of the park confuse you. I was always more worried about the Canada Geese territories than the mosquitos.
  • Taco Tontos: It's a bit of a hole in the wall of a restaurant, but they make some of the best guacamole I've ever had.


This is my current home, and yes - I moved once again for professional reasons. So many people tout our proximity to DC and Philadelphia as a selling point, but I think that sells Delaware short. We're the "First State" and have a lot of great things to offer:
  • Killens Pond State Park: More hiking, yes. The hike around the pond is one of the most perfect paths for a nice moderate hike, and I've gone hiking a lot.
  • Bethany Beach: I know people make a fuss about Rehoboth, and Rehoboth is nice, but I prefer Bethany Beach. Besides, Bethany has the cutest little bookstore right near the water.
  • Charcoal Pit: They serve milkshakes as big as your head - do I really need to say more?
  • Flavor of India: This isn't the kind of thing you'd expect from Delaware, I know, but some of the best Indian food I've had in this country is in Dover, DE. 

What about you? Did I miss one of your favorite things about one of these states? I'd also love to hear some of your favorite things about the places you've lived.


  1. I'm a librarian by trade and was born and raised in Massachusetts, as well. I vacation every summer in Delaware (usually Rehoboth), so I love this list! Oh, and I got to sleep over at the Museum of Science in 8th grade!

  2. Depending where you are in Massachusetts I would recommend the Eric Carle Museum (in western Massachusetts) or the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (for the Boston area). They both have strong permanent collections and draw excellent visiting collections.

  3. You have me beat. I've lived in at least two of those states (MD and Virginia) and have returned twice to Maryland and Virginia.