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Summary - People, places, inspiration
Michigan East Lansing - Home to Michigan State Univeristy. This is where the idea was born and raised. It's my second home. This trip is the culmination of my five years at MSU where I complete to bachelors, one in advertising and one in sociology. I have to give credit to several of the people that helped me out, listened to my dream, and put up with my constant bugsyness. The Puds - This consists of my roomates from Michigan State, they are Kevin, Mike, Jeremy, and Chris. I was living with Kevin, Mike, and Jeremy this summer and they say every step of the process as I tried putting this project together. From the first news articles to pulling up with a brand new 2007 Jeep Compass. These guys heard about it all. When I told Kevin about my idea in the spring he was probably one of the most skeptical people just as I suspected. Which is why he was one of the last people I told. These guys lived in the exciement of everything right along with me when all the good news came along. SuLu - SuLu stands for Susy and Laura. They were stuck with me in our advertising campaigns course where we got frustrated together and loved and hated each other at times. During my senior year they heard all about my plans and "the big idea." Susy was the second person I ever told about the idea and Laura knows more about it than anyone else, she was my go to girl when I needed a proposal or an idea looked over. They played a huge role in getting this project off the ground. Heather - If anyone deserves credit for the name of the tour aside from me, it's Heather. Heather was my boss while I worked as web designer at Kresge Art Museum. She has always been very dear to me in how much support and encouragement she passed on. We threw ideas back and forth endlessly and basked in the excitement of the initial press. But back to her encouragement... she never showed doubt in me, nothing but faith the entire time while the project was getting underway.and ADV - The Advertising Department at MSU became my pride, joy, and best friends during my senior year. My professors helped direct my proposals, gave advice, and helped me make connections with people across the country. I have a lot of pride in the ADV department, they have been very good to me in supporting this trip and getting it off the ground. And a special thanks to Rick for pulling strings, Dr. V for giving me amazing complements and seeing my potential, Nora for being there and listening and asking the right questions, and AFF for giving me a chance to do my best and letting me focus in on my presentation skills. Darcy - Darcy was my study abroad professor in the summer of 2004 where I spent six weeks studying photography through England, Scotland, and Prague. This program was huge in my inspiration for the trip. I realized how much I loved photography, how much I loved to explore. And my experience meeting Packie left me with inspiration that will last a lifetime. Darcy didn't only accept me into the program, but she was one of my best friends. She answered the questions I had and was always wiling to sit down and listen. Lindsay - I don't remember exactly when the idea of the trip first came to me, but I remember when and where it was when I first told someone my big dream. It was Lindsay, who became a good friend while working at the MSU sports camps during the 2005 summer. I believe it was the first part of August (or late July) when Lindsay and I went for a walk a night. I spilled my dream while walking by the MSU tennis courts. So thanks for listening Lindsay. The idea just stayed in the back of my head most of the time and it wasn't until early 2006 that I started working on everything. Baraga - Home sweet home. Though in all of 2006 I only spent one week at in Baraga, and that was the first week of September when my trip was first getting underway. Baraga is where my roots are. Living in the UP is the reason for my love of nature. I have a great sense of home and pride in the UP and it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. Mom & Dad - Mom is our church secretary and keeps the church running. My dad is a retired forester. They both grew up in big cities in the Lower Peninsula and went to school eight hours away at Michigan Tech to study forestry, though that's not where they met. My parents were more skeptical than anyone about this grand idea. In matter of fact they were one of the last people to know about it. I wanted to make sure I was prepared when I told them. And when they looked over my 12-page proposal I think they lost their breath for a couple seconds. My dad was always making sure that I was sending resumes out and still looking for jobs. But I had faith in this, and I was finally able to pull them on board during the summer when press and donations started rolling. They are the best parents one could ever have and have given me endless support. They've helped raise money, find host families, give feedback, and most of all just be my parents. They share in the joys with me and are the first to know the updates. At the root of everything on this trip it's them. Through photography with my mom, exploring through my dad, and traveling through our family camping trips out west. I can remember the first journal I ever wrote when we took a family trip out to Boston when I was in sixth grade. I owe my parents everything and thank them for letting me seek the world on my own and explore, giving me all the support a child could have. JoAnn - Ah, my favorite teacher. Let's see, she was my 4th grade teacher, 6th grade teacher, 9th grade science teacher, Senior Project teacher, and class advisor during my senior year. She has always supported me and I think we have a great bond towards each other. She's a teacher and a dear friend. When hearing about my grand idea she was excited. And on her own ambitions raised enough to sponsor California between several of my old high school and elementary teachers and then she sponsored two states herself. She has always been very supportive and one of the greatest things is first seeing her for a while and see her face light up, her arms open wide, and here her shout my name. Marcella & Clayton - My mother and I headed over to the Auger's house for an afternoon chat and some cookies. They are an older couple in their 70s and Marcella has been a good friend of my mom's for a long time. And Marcella has always been very sweet to me, even passing down vintage clothes to me. Seeing my mom become such good friends with people of all ages has really given me an appreciation for it, and seeing the importance of it. It was a great chat, Marcella wanted to hear all of my plans for the trip. Her husband is an amazing carpenter. All of the cabinents, tables, desks, etc. in the house were hand built by him. And they share a great sense of humor. And he's convinced that if Marcella dies doing what she loves that she'll die talking. Jim Dompier - Jim's passion is history, especially local history of Baraga county. Before going out and seeing other towns across the country I told myself that I had to learn more about my own town. It seems like everyone at home who you ask about the area will refer you to Jim . He can talk, and talk, and talk. He knows the history of local families, businesses, and everything in between. Jim is the president of the Baraga Country Historical Society and has grown up and lived in Baraga his whole life. Wisconsin Milwaukee - Cream City was represented by a group of recent college grads. I saw the city through the eyes of people who are new to the working world, looking to plant some roots in their careers, and settling down in life either between jobs and/or a serious relationship or marriage. But belive me, they're still a wild group of people. Anah & Dan - Well, I suppose I can call Anah and Dan the guinea pigs of the trip. They were the first host. I have to say that they got the trip off to a good start. Anah and Dan are both recent college graduates. Anah is teaching art at an inner city elementary school. Dan is a substitute teacher currently looking for a full time position. They have a group of eclectic friends. They are great cooks. They are active and love Milwaukee. And they both of them grew up in Wisconsin. Tara & Robby - What a cool couple. Robby has messy hair with an impressive beard and Tara is full of energy and intensity. They are best friends of Anah and Dan and they all love to have a drinks. Tara and Robby were married within the last year and are a very uique couple. Madison - Madison was short and quick. It was just one night, but represented by a bunch of crazy college girls. While I was there I saw my brother and his girlfriend, another friend of a friend, and hung out with a few other college girls from the University of Wisconsin. I saw the capitol, university, and even some fake sword fighting. Illinois Lake Villa - My time in Lake Villa was cut short by a tragic death in my hosts family. Only my second stop I knew going through it would make this trip an experience that couldn't be replaced. I didn't really get to see Lake Villa, but I hope to swing by at the end of the trip since it is close to Michigan. Luann & John - Luann is the sister of a good family friend from home. She was excited to have me, bring me to the race track, take me out on the boat, among other things. Not twenty minutes after I walked into her house she received the sad news that her husband's (John) cousin was murdered. Fox Lake - Due to the unexpected circumstances I stayed with Luann's boss and good friend Kim. I was blown away that after learning of the tragedy I had another place to stay in a matter of minutes. Fox lake was also short, but a beautiful spot where I was taken care of kindly under unfortunate circumstances. Kim & Jeff - Chicago - Jen - Iowa Winterset - Alicia - Deanna - St. Charles - Sami and Blake - Minnesota White Bear Lake - Mark - Linda - Emily - Anna - South Dakota Sioux Falls - Dave, Dixie, Tyler, and Isaac - Jayme & Devon - Ron - Black Hills - North Dakota Minot - Fyllings - Chris - Montana Hammond - Phillippis - Wyoming Casper - The Brownlees - DFS - Kelly Walsh High School - Melissa - Karen - Montana Helena - Andrew & Emily - Aric & Vickie - The Arks - Idaho Boise - Jake - Teddy & Kristy - Nancy - Joey - Cole - Kayla - Dan - Washington Spokane - Besty & Doug - Alden - Melissa and simon - David, Melissa, and Luke - Seattle - Nicole - Laura - Anthony - Chris and Family - Andy and Family - Anne & Rod - Oregon Roseburg - Randy - Sheena - Brent - Ted - Milo - California Milpitas - Bill, Jenny, Laura, and Katie - Charlie - Santa Cruz - Joy - Raquel - San Luis Obispo - Nancy (Again!) - Jim - Duke - Paul - Denise - Jessica - Dane - Denise's family - Katie at surf shop - I met Katie very briefly at a skate and snowboard shop in Paso Robles on our way back from wine tasting. After asking me if I needed help finding anything we somehow started talking about my adventure, which she gave me great respect for. She then told me a quick story about her son. Katie and her husband both work at the skate shop and the shop gives a lot back to the community. When they found out that their young son had a brain tumor the community stepped in and raised money to help them out. She was amazed by the kindness of strangers who donated money. Larry & Lisa - Larry is a restaurant owner, stock trader, property investor and manager, loves racing his Porsche and his motorcycle, and is married to Lisa, they have a young boy, Tyler, who's 2 years old. The neatest thing about Larry is his story of his kidney transplant. He had his surgery at Stanford and had a new procedure and is said to be the only organ recipient in the world who is taking any rejection medicines, it's been over a year since he has. Lisa kicked my butt when Larry and I took her cycling class at the gym. And I almost forgot, they are both former body builders. I stayed with Larry and Lisa for a few nights after staying with Paul and Denise's family. Larry is Nancy's boss as the owner of Mo's Barbeque. El Segundo - Carol & Bill - Carol is the cousin of our very good family friend Carrie Lou from home. Carol and Bill were very kind in having me as a guest in a time when I needed a hub. They allowed me to keep the Compass in their driveway while I flew to NYC and out to Hawaii. I was also fortunate to meet their children and grandchildren. They are very involved in the California Yacht Club where Bill is Commodore. They also live right across from the El Segundo High School where Bill was an English teacher for most of his career and I believe went on to be the superintendent. He now has a position on the school board. New York New York City - Naomi's New Morning - I suppose the show could be seen as an official host while I was in New York City. Although I didn't stay with anyone else they did put me up in a hotel for three nights and had a limo drive me from place to place. But of course that wasn't all, I had my own dressing room, a night on the town, meeting other guests on the show, meeting producers, having makeup done for the show, and wow what a weekend. They played a roll in showing me what it's like to film a television show and be in showbiz i suppose. Mom, Dad, and Adam - Never in my life did I think I'd get to hang out with my parents and borther in New York City. It was the surprise of my life to see my mom walk out first in the middle of the taping with Naomi Judd. Never have I been so speechless. My dad had a few tears on the air. I could hardly breathe I was so excited and speechless. One of the happiest moments of my life. Now my parents are not city people, this is why I could have never imagined seeing them in NYC. But they enjoyed it a lot, and it was easier not having to drive. My brother, Adam, had been to NYC briefly before. It will go down as one of the best couple days I have ever spent with my family. And dad... try not to leave things behind. We were also able to meet up with my cousin Kristina who has been teaching in the Bronx for just a few months. It's not often a few yoopers are flown to NYC for television and it was the talk of the town (or so I hear). That's how it is in a town of about 1,300 people. Devon - Another special treat meaning a lot to me is having my parents meet one of my absolute best friends, Devon. Devon and I met during our freshman year at Michigan State, in an elevator of all places. Despire being at MSU together for five years my parents never got to meet him. Devon is originally from Grenada, but moved to Brooklyn when he was in high school. And it was pretty cool to go down to Wall Street where he works and meet him for lunch. He's a very hard working kid and deserves the best. I think my parents saw what I see in him, how articulate he is, respectful, down to earth, and sincere. All we had time for was an hour lunch, but it was good. Good to see a best friend on this trip who've I've known for a long time. Hawai'i 'Ewa Beach - Craig & Gaudencia - It was very difficult to find a host in Hawai'i, much more difficult than any other state, and it's quite possible it will be the toughest one on the trip. I got in touch with Craig through my dad, who used to work with Craigs mom back in the Upper Peninsula. A Yooper connection can go a long ways. Craig and Gaudencia are in their young 30s and have been married for a few years. They met at Western Michigan University. Craig grew up in the UP. Gaudencia grew up in Mexico and Texas. Craig also spent a year in Afghanistan with the Army. They have bene in Hawai'i for a few years and are both doing social work. Gaudencia is currently working on her masters degree. The two of them are funny to be around, always poking fun at each other. They are very hardworking and were willing to do everything they could with the little free time they had. Jennifer - My first day in Hawai'i was a driving tour by Craig's friend Jennifer. Jennifer is originally from Arkansas and has a strong accent. She's married with three young kids. She claims that she was talking so much because she was nervous around a stranger. She's quite bright with lots of knowledge and is signing up to go back into active duty for the miitary. She gives Craig credit as being like an older brother to her. Cecilia and Stephanie - Cecilia found my project randomly on Facebook and by chance sent me an e-mail a few weeks before heading to Hawai'i. Cecilia was born in Hong Kong and moved to Hawai'i with her parents when she was 10 years old. She is 25 and is currently in grad school working on an advanced psychology degree. We decided to meet up and her friend Stephanie tagged along. Thanks to them I was at least able to see a tiny little glimpes of night life in Honolulu. Oh, and Stephanie was born and raised in Hawai'i. Cecilia also was kind enough to drop me off back at Craig's and even treated me to a lei, cocoa puff (soooo yummy!), and gave me a great collection of her own photos from Hawaii as a Christmas gift, which was way cool. It definitely shows how kind of a person she is. Josie - I met Josie on the 9th at Pipeline on North Shore. I was sitting on the beach and this pretty girl infront of me asked what model my camera was. Turned out she was an amateur photographer as well. Josie is from Indiana and is staying in Kona on the big island to study missionary work. Soon she'll be going to New Zealand! I'm glad she had the courage to ask me, even on a trip like this I haven't found the courage to introduce myself to many people. California Orange - Jono - San Diego - Teddy, Squan, Pug, Dayton, Kristy, Tammy - Arizona Phoenix - John - Bill & Jan - Melissa - Glendale - Kirstin, Ricardo, Alex and Ethan - Nevada Henderson - Heide & Carl - Adam & Kimmie - Brendan, Heather, Fred, Casey, Jill - Nancy - Utah Ogden - John - Kayla - Scott and Rick - Colorado Durango - Elayne - Mike & Jeff - New Mexico Albuquerque - Christa, Mark, Randal, and Jacque - Santa Fe - Joani & Truel - Colorado Colorado Springs - Brian & Lindsey - Jen - Breckenridge - Ben & Molly - Duncan & Marianna - Aspen - Kalica-Lani - Aspen - Kate & Lauren - Nebraska North Platte - Faith and Ben - Loup City - George - Mark, Deb, and Mitchell - Junior and Bunny - Janelle - Mike - Nebraska City - Jeanna - Dean - Leadership Nebraska City - Missouri Kansas City - Stacy & David, Brenden and Trella - Michael - Daniel - Kansas Topeka - Steve & Marcia, Janine, Elaine - Marcia's Mom - Arkansas Dover - Debbie & Chris - David - Susy & Rainbow - Oklahoma Stillwater - Don & Judy, Taylor, Austin - Max & Mike - Oklahoma City - Brittany - Amanda - Texas Plano - Debby & Bill - Carol & Fred - Russell and John - Bill and SMU AdTeam - Lago Vista - Meredith & Larry - Austin - Samantha, Katie, and Ian - Blair and Justin - Louisiana Baton Rouge - Ponchatoula - Keith and family - Vernon, Brandy, and Vince - Missy, Michelle, Melanie, Melanie, Billy, and Tyler - Mississippi Gulfport - Mary - Dot - Doris & Swede - D&S's Dinner Friends - Tennessee Gatlinburg - Mom & Dad - Knoxville - Krystyn & Oscar - Mississippi Oxford - John & Joanne - Illinois O'Fallon - Tammy & Steve, Michael, Shelby - Jeanna - Missouri St. Louis - Mike & Jeff - Jeanna - Kentucky Wilmore - Carrie - Beth & Patrick - Jared - Cece, Steven, David, and Phillip - Georgia Carrollton - Julie and John - Alabama Vestavia Hills - Lauren, Megan, and Chase - Jenna - Ali - Ben - Rachel and Brit - Britney and Amanda - Clanton - Jenna and Nancy - Jared & Katie - Florida Panama City - Phil, Phillip, and Katie - Tampa - Heather & jason - Ben - Kellan - Mark & Audrey - Key West - Bill - Peter - Gertie and Pearla - Phil & Helen - Miami Beach - Jan - Miami Ad School students - Ron - Celebration - Kurt & Emily - Amy - Johnathan and Axis - Georgia Savannah - Sharon & Mel - Amber & Chris - Marietta - Kevin - Peachtree City - Rachel and Brit - Joe & Dianne and family - Grey's Anatomy gang - North Carolina Asheville - Rick - Jenna - Amy - South Carolina Charleston - Mark & Lindsay - Justin - A.J. - Matt - Van Bowling - North Carolina Cary - Kayla - Concord - Mark & Jayne, Esther, Josh, Jacob - Virginia Alexandria - Sierra and Mary - McLean - Ben - Paul - Brett and parents - Matt and friends - Josh and family - Maryland Potomac - Charles & Jonathan - Steve & Kelly, Sophie, Ben - Ginny & Terry - Dianne - Delaware Milton - Jeanie - Maurice - Ginny - Maryilyn - John and Charlie - Gladys - Deb - New York New York - Kim, Bree, and Leanne - James and Laurie - Brooklyn - Devon - New Jersey West Orange - Jeanne & Kevin - Larry & Glenda - Cindy and Matthew - Ron & Joan - Connecticut Stamford - Larry - Mike, Mark, Matt, Megan, Pat - Rachel & Shaun - Marlene - John, Brian, James - Rhode Island Cranston - Jessica and Animal House - Kayla and Jessika - Danielle and father - Bristol - Lindsay, Lauren, Evan, and Parents - Liz and Dennis - Massachusetts Salem - Art & Melanie - Somerville - Katie - Shannon, Jit, and Dan - Gloucester - Uncle Ted - Maine Portland - Lindsey and Carrie - Matt and Wes - New Hampshire Seabrook - Parker, Devin, Pete & Karen - Sean, Arm, Dennis - Massachusetts Boston - Caroline - Two dudes in kitchen - New Hampshire Berlin - Vermont Burlington - Aimee and Kevin, Katie, Danny, McKenzie - Dennis, Zach, Wayne, Tara, Jessica - Elliot, Lindsey, Seth, Kylee - Derek, Dan, Curly hair guy and Michigan family - New York Erieville - John, Katrine, Kerry, Patrick, John & Cecily - Allison and Patrick - Pennsylvania Hometown - Joe - State College - Katie and Jasmine - Cory - Bellevue - Karen & Jack, Christian, and Brittany - DC, Michelle, and boys - West Virginia Morgantown - Ryan, Graeson, and Pat - Shaina - Rebecca and Jason - Ohio Columbus - Sarah and Sandip - Bellbrook - Jim & Cathy, Keeley, Morgan - Chuck, Sherry, Kirsten, Katie - Tony - Indiana Columbus - Howard & Angela, Valkyrie, Venus - Giorgia and Jeff - Alex - Bloomington - Ethan, John, Sarah - Illinois Lake Villa - LuAnn & John - Wisconsin Madison - Adam & Kimmie - The family - 100 weddings guests - Illinois Chicago - Jen and parents - Alaska Seward - Monica & Jolund, Gwendolyn - Jenni - Fairbanks - Jamethon & Sam - Illinois Chicago - Amanda and Olivia - Kevin - Michigan Lansing - Mike and Bob - East Lansing - Jen and Erin - Sam, Patty, and Brent - Baraga - Mom and Dad -