definition: the act of finding & dining at different restaurants as well as visiting many of America's attractions.

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2011 Newspaper Article

        Wall, SD - June 14, 2009

Vestal standing on the control door of the Minuteman Missile launch pad at the National Historic Site. They toured Wall Drug Store, the largest drug store in the world and then had lunch in Rapid City at Arnold's Classic Diner.    

  Berkley, WV
August 11, 2006

Touring the Beckley Coal Mine and the Company Camp buildings. They then had lunch at Shelley's Chicken House Market & Del in Bristol, VA. What a great place!

Ogunquit, ME - July 2006
They had dinner at Ogunquit Lobster Pound on the way home from Nova Scotia.
Attractions in Maine:

Old Fort Western (built in 1754)
Maine Lighthouses
Touring Highway 1 Attractions

Highlands, NC - July 1, 2005
We had dinner at the Wild Thyme and then went Scudders Gallery Auction. What a fun evening!

Fargo, ND - June 26, 1010
Breakfast at Kroll's Diner before visiting Bonanzaville USA.

Bernardsville, NJ - July 2007
The Bernards Inn. Vestal and Judy had lunch at this 1907 boutique hotel located in central NJ. It has received the AAA four Diamond Award. The restaurant offers over 400 different selections of wine.

Lunch at Gunther Today's Diner in Denver, CO. This is a unique 50's retro diner. 

Denver, CO - June 11, 2009
Dinner at The Fort in Denver. The Fort sells more buffalo steaks than any other restaurant in the US. The restaurant has won the Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for the 7th consecutive year.
Attractions in Denver:
U.S. Mint
LoDo Historic District
Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave
State Capital Building

Juneau, AK - December 2010
After eating breakfast at the Sandpiper Cafe, Vestal viewed the Mendenhall Glacier.

Salt Lake City, UT - Sept 15, 2009
Vestal & Judy toured the Morman Temple Square and the Natural History Museum and then had dinner at Frank's Restaurant just outside Salt Lake City.

Seattle, WA - July 2009
Vestal and Judy had lunch at Salty's Seafood Restaurant and then toured the Space Needle and the world famous Pike Place Fish Market.
Other Attractions:

Boeing Factory Tour
AND Home of Starbucks

Greensboro, NC - Feb 14, 2013
On Valentine's Day Vestal & Judy dined at MJ's Steak and Seafood.
Attractions in Greenboro, NC

Natural Science Center
Guilford Courthouse Park
Greensboro Museum
Civil Rights Museum

The edited article below, from the Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, is a follow-up to the article of November 16, 2008, that highlights the dining and sightseeing experiences of Vestal Palmer and Judy Conover.

Greensboro, North Carolina

Staff Writer

Man Visits All 50 States,
Eating At 1,000 Different Restaurants

Restaurant Number 1,000, April 6, 2011. 
The Old Lahaina Luau. 

This was Vestal Palmer's 1,000th meal in his 50th state. The milestone now is documented in notebooks filled with photos, receipts and comments about meals he has eaten and the tourist attractions that he and Judy Conover have visited around the country. Palmer set out to eat at 1,000 different, locally owned restaurants throughout the country in 2003.

Vestal Palmer's quest to sample meals from coast to coast began on July 7, 2003, at Myrtle Beach, SC. 

Since then, Vestal and Judy have eaten local and regional favorites throught the United States. They have eaten lobsters in Maine, stone crabs in Miami, barbeque and steak in Texas, Greek cuisine in California and seafood in Washington state.
On average, Vestal dines at two new restaurants per week, or about 10 each month. By the end of a year, he has visited about 120 new restaurants.

Vestal included all types of restaurants in his quest. Many of them were featured on television, in travel books, magazines, local newspapers, visitor guides or personal recommendations. The only requirement was that they were independently owned, not part of a chain.

Vestal says local restaurants have great traditions and usually are "friendly places." People who own restaurants also generally take great pride in their business and the food that's served, and they tend to know many of their customers.

He documents his visits in notebooks, rating the restaurant from 1 to 10 (10 being the highest score), based on food, decor and service. Sometimes a restaurant will receive a high overall score, based on the quality of the food, even if the setting isn't fancy.

But for Vestal and Judy, eating at 1,000 different restaurants was more that a gastronomical goal. They've seen the country. They've visited many of America's natural and man-made attractions.

They once drove 4,800 miles in one trip. They flew to Boston, drove through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to Nova Scotia (where they rode the "tidal bore" in the Bay of Fundy), then returned to Boston along Maine's coastal highway. Once back in North Carolina, they drove to the NC coast.

On other journeys, they have driven along historic Route 66 and visited Native American reservations out West.

They have had adventures, too. In the small town of Oatman, Arizona, donkeys wander freely in the streets. Suddenly, one of them stuck his head into the car, nose to nose with Judy. 

Elk in heat at Yellowstone Park chased everyone into the visitor's center. And when they reached Old Faithful, they wanted to see a close-up of the eruption so badly that they sat outside next to the Old Faithful geyser in the midst of a rainstorm.

They witnessed the filming of an episode of "Hawaii Five-O" while visiting the Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu. This memory that makes them laugh now because when they first saw the speeding police cars going airborne over the curbs near the Palace, they thought they were caught up in the midst of a police chase or a hostage standoff. When the same thing happen again five minutes later, they realized that this was being filmed for a scene for a future "Hawaii Five-O" TV show.

Judy, who plans most of their trips, says they often contact the town's Convention and Visitors Bureau before visiting. They ask about any historic landmarks or tourist attractions. They also use the internet extensively to find out about restaurants and attractions. They also ask the locals for restaurant recommendations and information about nearby tourist attractions. "We're not going to these places just to eat," Judy says.

Judy says that touring the country takes some oranization and planning. Vestal keeps information about restaurants they've yet to try in notebooks organized by each state.

"I would urge everyone to travel to all 50 of the states that make up our great country," Vestal says. "Judy and I really had a lot of fun going to so many different types of restaurants, and we certainly enjoyed going to all the tourist attractions. Most importantly, we were able to meet so many friendly and interesting people."

Now, they are ready to tackle the next 1,000 restaurants. Judy and Vestal plan to visit South Beach in Miami, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and San Francisco. And in between, there are several local resturants they've yet to try.

Myrtle Beach, SC - July 12, 2013
Vestal & Judy at Toscana Italian Bistro. This was the 1,300th independent restaurant that Vestal has dined at since July 12, 2003.
Attractions in Myrtle Beach:
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
Barefoot Landing
Broadway at the Beach
Market Commons
Ripley's Believe It or Not

      New Orleans - March 2013
Vestal & Judy dined at The Commander's Palace (circa 1880) in New Orleans. This restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in the city and consistently ranks as one of the top restaurants in New Orleans.

            Santa Fe, NM
           April 15, 2010

Diner at 
Staab House Lounge. 
Main Attractions:
St. Francis Cathedral (1886)
Downtown shopping and sightseeing at all of the unique and quaint shops.

     Vail, CO - June 15, 2009
Lunch at Up the Creek restaurant
Main Attractions in Vail:
Vail Mountain
Vail Valley where most of the shopping, restaurants & attractions are located.

        Pearl Harbor, HI 
             April 10, 2011

Judy with two survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

           Crow Agency, MT 
September 13, 2009 
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.  After touring the Battlefield Vestal and Judy had lunch at the Trading Post Cafe where they had original  Indian Tacos. 

       Oklahoma City, OK
              April 11, 2010 
Historic Stockyard City the world's largest live cattle auction then dined at the 
Cattleman's SteakhouseOklahoma City, OK Vestal and Judy also dined at Eischen's Bar (1896) in Okaeche, the oldest continuously operating bar in Oklahoma. They only had 8 things on their menu. The fried chicken is so popular that Eischen's serves 5,000 pounds of chicken each week.                   

Attractions Oklahoma City:
Oklahoma City Museum
National Cowboy & Western        Heritage Museum
AT&T Bricktown Ballpark
Centennial Land Run Monument

Green Bay, WI
Sept 21, 2008

Tailgating at Lambeau Field before a football game between Green Bay & Dallas. Then Vestal & Judy had dinner at Brett Favre's Steakhouse.
Attractions in Green Bay:

GB Packer's Hall of Fame
National Railroad Museum

London, England - May 12, 2013 
Vestal and Judy had lunch at Three Tuns which is a British pub located in the heart of London. They then had a birds-eye view of the city from The London Eye (a gigantic ferris wheel).
Other Attractions:
Buckingham Palace 
Changing of the Guard
The Tower of London
The River Thames Tower Bridge
Big Ben
St Paul's Cathedral
Oxford Street
Piccadilly Circus
Victoria & Albert Museum

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