We love travelling in the USA. Why? Well there are many reasons that I’m sure we will come to in later posts – but how did we come to want to go back to the same country over and over?
Well, Darren and I got married in September 2012, and when we were looking at honeymoons way back in March 2012, a dream I had held for a long time began to surface. I had basically forgotten about it, but the dream had lay dormant for 15 years.
In 1996 my friend and I had decided it would be a fun idea to go on a holiday together – so we were looking at going to Euro Disney. We had already seen the hotel we wanted and when we wanted to go – but my friend’s Dad heard about our plans and wasn’t happy with how much it was costing. He reckoned we could go to Disney World in Florida for almost the same amount of money – and perhaps the whole family could go along too?
I have had a long-standing love affair with the US. I don’t really know when it started. I love movies, am fascinated by the Apollo Space Programme and space exploration and am a big Tom Hanks fan. So I spent a lot of time growing up reading about American history in space books and watching American films. I began to dream of going there, but financially it was never going to happen. Then all of a sudden, I was going to Florida. I can’t tell you how excited I was.
Oh, well go on then, seeing as we’re friends. My excitement looked something like this:
I could hardly contain myself.
So in August 1996, off we went. I had the most amazing time in Disney World, Epcot, Busch Gardens, and (the best bit) the Kennedy Space Centre. It was a dream come true and left me hungry for more. This is a hideously awful photo of me aged 17 (complete with Harry Potter specs and dreadful shorts – hey – it was really hot, ok!) at the Kennedy Space Centre. You can just make out the Shuttle Atlantis STS-79 that launched in September 1996 on the launch pad:
By the way, for all you space geeks out there (no? Just me then!) – this Shuttle was the only one to ever be rolled back to the Assembly building twice due to bad weather – so we missed the launch by 2 weeks (sad face).
Darren had also been to the States before, but for him it was New York. In fact, it was the first time he had left the UK. He visited the Twin Towers (he went in the February of 2001), Times Square, Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty amongst other places. This is him looking cold in New York. You can see the twin towers in the skyline behind him:
Now fast-forward to early 2012. I began to dream again about our honeymoon. At first I wanted to go to New England in Autumn. We researched it, and it was way above our budget. Gutted.
Then we found Complete North America, based in Nottingham where we live. They were brilliant and we found that we could afford to go to the west of the US. So we got to planning our trip.
The dream was alive! The wedding was amazing. The honeymoon was fantastic – you can read more about that particular road trip in other posts to come.
The trouble with travelling is that once you start you can’t stop. It is way worse than Pringles. I had the USA bug & couldn’t wait to go back again. I started to dream again and this time, Route 66 was the focus of my attention. I read up all about the Route and its history – I even watched Cars the Movie from Disney Pixar. Anything that had a link to Route 66, I lapped up.
Then we booked it! In January 2013, we booked our Route 66 journey for September 2013. We were going Stateside again! I spent the next 8 months on Google maps, following the Route and checking out what we simply must see (what can I say – I’m a total geek. I love maps and learning and reading and studying and all that jazz).
Needless to say, it was fabulous. We had an incredible time, saw some amazing things, met some fascinating people and took thousands of photos.
So, long story short – except it’s too late as you’ve already read this far – our passion for road-tripping in the USA was born. We have clocked up thousands of miles driving across the country and have visited 11 States in 2 years. It is an incredible country – so diverse and so so huge!
I love stories and photographs, and we were so pleased with the pictures that we took. We wanted to share those stories and photographs with you wonderful people and give you the opportunity to own them yourselves to make your homes all pretty with reminders of where you’ve been or where you dream of going.
What follows are the stories from those road trips. I shall start with Route 66 as it lends itself to story in such a beautiful way. I hope you enjoy reading – and I hope it will inspire you to get road-tripping yourself!
There will be stories from the road as well as features about destinations – and there will even be dreams – what we’re hoping to do in the future.