Last known location: London, England

Archive of posts about USA


New York, New York

G: On Sunday morning we checked out of our Washington hotel and made out way to the rather lovely Union Station to catch our train to New York.  Fortunately we’d booked the train when we’d arrived in Vegas – the US train booking system is almost as complicated as at home, which means the earlier you book, the cheaper the ticket.  I noticed a guy in our line who had the same ticket as us but had paid $150; quite a lot more than our $50.  The AMTRAK train was very comfortable and had enormous seats with loads of legroom – quite the treat for Dan!  Around 2.5 hours later, after passing through a lot of industrial looking scenery, we arrived at Penn Station, New York City.  It felt pretty weird knowing that this was the last stop on our amazing trip, but I think New York was a cool place to end our journey. Click here to read more…


Capitol Times!

Having dropped off the car at Union Station we had a quick lunch at a local pub before heading to our hotel – The District – to check in. Our bargain room was cosy, but perfectly fine and we spent a couple of hours cooling off in the AC before venturing out to explore the local area. We were based in Dupont Circle, a neighbourhood centred around the intersection of the most prestigious streets in Washington including Massachusetts, Conneticut and New Hampshire Avenues. The original design of the area by the architect L’Enfant was actually intended to slow down enemy troops but it also managed to confuse us rather a lot! Today the area is known for its art galleries, sidewalk cafes and restaurants. It’s also one of Washington’s trendy gay neighbourhoods. We walked across the small park at Dupont Circle and passed lots of the famous cafes. Before long we found ourselves at an Italian bar with, according to a friendly local, the cheapest happy hour in town. A couple of glasses of wine later and in need of some food we went next door to a Thai restaurant before heading home. Click here to read more…


Route 50: The End of the Road

The following day we set off from Hillsboro into South Eastern Ohio, the poorest and least developed part of the state. It was very rural, and we were definitely in the Bible Belt – every small town had several churches, and there were plenty of anti-abortion slogans on billboards all over the place. The driving wasn’t helped by the fact that the rain was absolutely lashing down! It was quite tricky and we made fairly slow progress!

By early afternoon the rain had finally stopped, and we arrived in the university town of Athens, set like it’s namesake, on a series of hills. This wasn’t the first familiar sounding place we been too; during the previous few days we’d passed through or near Paris, Moscow, Warsaw, Belgium, Versailles and Londonderry! It was a pleasant place, obviously full of students, and we decided to stop for some lunch. The retro diner on the high street fitted the bill, and we had some huge sandwiches before hitting the road. I wasn’t feeling too good, so Gem took over the driving as we continued east into rural West Virginia as far as Clarksburg, where we stopped for the night. Shortly after we arrived (at 4pm) I was in bed with a high fever and chills, where I stayed until the next day! Click here to read more…


Route 50: Through the Mid-West

Following our custard breakfast we left St Louis via the Bridge and almost immediately entered Illinois. Once we were out of town the 50 took us across miles of pancake flat farmlands, acres of corn and soybeans as far as the eye can see, with a small town dotting the roadside every 10 miles or so.  The flat prairie immediately east of St Louis is known as Little Egypt, because of its fertile alluvial soil, hence the vast number of farms. One of the first significant towns we passed through (after inadvertently going the wrong way for about 10 miles!) was Lebanon, which had lots of Victorian-era buildings and antique shops. We stopped for a picnic lunch by Carlyle Lake, which was a picturesque spot. There’s a big dam towards the west part of the lake, and a posh looking boat club. Click here to read more…


Route 50: The Gateway to the West

G: After dropping David at the airport Dan and I continued our journey. We made a quick stop at Spearville to check out the impressive wind farm they’d built and then continued to Kinsley, otherwise known as Midway USA. This town lies equidistant from New York and San Francisco: 1,561 miles from either place. This geographical fact is pointed out by a large sign which we duly stopped to snap!

Continuing on through very flat, empty cornfields we detoured off route again, this time headed for Wichita to meet an old friend, Brian. I was rather concerned we wouldn’t make it because there was a large hurricane in the area, and the wind was really strong and blowing the car about – there were a few tornado warnings in force as well but we managed to avoid seeing any. Fairly common at this time of year in this part of the country, which is right in the middle of Tornado Alley, but we made it through safely thanks to Dan’s expert driving! Click here to read more…


Route 50: Get the heck out of Dodge!

G: After our night out in Monte Vista we were up and on the road early on Friday. We stopped for breakfast in tiny Villa Grove, at a sweet little cafe run by very nice aging hippies. The organic, locally sourced ingredients for what was essentially a fry up really hit the spot. About 10 miles out of Villa Grove we finally made it back onto Route 50 after a two day diversion through the mountains. However, a few minutes later we left the road again, this time only for a short while, to visit the town of Salida, on the Arkansas river. Click here to read more…