States of Mind – Part 5

For the past ten years I have been making an effort to visit all 50 states. As my personal quest nears its completion, I decided to write down recollections of the 46 I’ve seen so far, listed roughly in chronological order of my first visit. This multi-part series began on July 1.

When UCLA made it to the Final Four, I got a free trip to Seattle, Washington. KROQ sent the members of the Kevin & Bean show to broadcast from a sports bar near the Kingdome. The station provided tickets to the games and our airfare but made us double up on hotel rooms. This was one of several trips in which my roommate was Jimmy Kimmel. During the time between Friday’s broadcast and Saturday’s games, we drove to Vancouver, Canada. I had arranged for us to visit the filming location of “The X-Files” and for the guys to interview Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. Jimmy wrote a funny piece which they recorded for that year’s Kevin & Bean Christmas album. On Sunday, Bean and I drove to Snoqualmie Falls, to see where “Twin Peaks” was filmed.

The recent passing of my grandmother reminded me of my trip to Hawaii. It was a second honeymoon for my wife and me that happened to include seven other family members. We spent most of the trip on the beautiful island of Molokai. My wife and I took a day trip to Maui to see the expensive resorts where some of my co-workers vacationed. On the last day of our trip, Grandma asked to see the hand of St. Damien, which happened to be touring Honolulu that week before it was reburied on Molokai.

It seemed like each business trip to Oregon started with me getting stopped by airport security. Mark & Brian would broadcast from Portland twice a year. At the time, the Unabomber was still on the loose and the authorities thought he might be a college professor. I think that they thought that I fit the profile. My wife accompanied me on one trip that coincided with our wedding anniversary. We took in a Shania Twain concert and drove along the Columbia River gorge to Mount Hood.

My trip to New Mexico happened by accident, literally. My wife and kids were traveling with another family when their rented van got into a wreck on I-40 east of Albuquerque. I was supposed to meet them a few days later in St. Louis. I dropped everything and flew to Albuquerque immediately to handle the details with the rental company. I remember that we checked into a motel and went to a movie before driving back to Burbank the next morning.

The food in New Orleans, Louisiana, made it one of my all-time favorite destinations. I’ve had three on-air jobs that sent me to the Morning Show Boot Camp convention. In the evenings after the seminars ended, I had the opportunity to eat at great places like Acme Oyster Bar and Brennan’s, where we had their famous Bananas Foster. On one trip I went to Emeril’s with Billy Bush. On another, I went bar-hopping with Aisha Tyler and some other very funny people.

More states tomorrow!

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