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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The License Plate Game

I was inspired by Amanda Talar’s blog post today since I too was just thinking of license plates – only my thoughts were less gumshoe and more nostalgic.
I had just dropped off my boyfriend at his house. His truck died on Friday and so he spent today looking for a new vehicle.
As I was leaving his neighborhood, I noticed a car with a California license plate. They have one of those simple yet unique and distinguishable plates with cursive red lettering. I like theirs a lot more than ours, especially with the new mustard yellow background. Yuck.
I saw a lot of license plates this past summer. Though, I still have not counted them up, I’m pretty sure my road trip crew and I did not get all 50 states’ plates photographed. But I think we came close.

Being the outdoorsy person that I am – or like to think I am – I’d say my favorite was Utah’s plate which features their iconic delicate arch in the Arches National Park. We went there but did not do the six-mile hike to see the arch. I’d like to go back to see the arch with the Rockies in the background instead of just seeing it from a nearby trail as we did.
But, my favorite license plate-related memory from the summer (and maybe ever, even surpassing the myriad of license plate car games in my youth) was when my ’08 Nissan Sentra finally arrived in California. Following I-90 to Montana, south to Colorado, over to Utah, through Nevada and finally into California, we had gone more than 3,700 miles.
It was a little disheartening when we drove into Santa Cruz and the sunny day along the state’s Route 1 had turned overcast. But then, as I was feeding the meter in front of a souvenir shop, a little boy and his father walked by and the boy said, “Wow! New York!”
It made me think of my childhood and one day hoping to go across the country, and seeing cars from the west coast as a kid only reinforced that hope.
I guess now I hope that a little girl (or a little boy) sees that car from California in my boyfriend’s neighborhood and has that same exclamation and that same dream.
I just hope when they go, they either have a very diverse iPod music selection or that “California Gurls” is not as popular on the radio.


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