Road Trip!

Where do you go when teased with the lure of the white sands and balmy climes of the Bahamas, Cuba or the British Virgin Islands being only a mere hop, skip and a jump of a plane journey away?

Well, you pack up a tent and go on a road trip instead. Err, of course.

America is big. Vast. However, in a week we covered well over 1000 miles and popped into 7 different states. I say popped because at times it was somewhat unintentional what with the Colonel’s driving and perhaps more relevantly, my map reading. We popped in, and with a little oops, popped out again.

In truth, his driving is irritatingly good; I am simply a poor passenger with a habit of yelping and clutching white-knuckled onto the door handle if I think we’re either going too fast or are going to crash. For me, the two go hand-in-hand. So, this being a regular occurrence led at times to a fairly high stress journey (more so when driving in Manhattan where my fears were completely validated looking at the number of dents in the cars. Did you know, they actually have bumpers over their bumpers for protection here?)

However, and back to the road trip … We wiggled our way along the smaller roads, avoiding the pot holes, cracks, lumps and bumps which in the U.K. we appear to have considerably less of and I consequently shall never complain of again. We googled some road signs, delighted to find that sometimes one can actually turn right on a red light. It does leave a rather large margin for error which is perhaps not entirely sensible, but I didn’t make the rules. And rules they like. Oooh they are strict. But it keeps things in order, mostly; and we like order.

And then we drooled.

Fresh, bright white clapboard houses stood proudly, their slatted shutters painted varying shades of greens and blues framing the huge Georgian-style windows; colonial pillars supported the grey roofs covering verandas which themselves were filled with pots of flowers and plants and tables and chairs, offering a peaceful place to sit and watch the world go by. Wide wooden steps led down to the gardens and with no hedges or fences indicating where one plot started and another ended, they seemingly merged into one another allowing for clear uninterrupted views.

The gardens themselves were simple but perfectly neat. Manicured lawns with flowerbeds planted up close to the houses. Hydrangeas with their huge pom pom flower heads, hibiscus, hostas without a slug to be seen, box balls in abundance and lots and lots of trees. Nothing too taxing for the gardeners, but everything colourful and wonderfully healthy. With a hot climate and plenty of rain, everything flourishes there and yet surprisingly very few grow their own vegetables and fruit. Not an apple espalier or raised bed in sight.

There were no overgrown jungles of front gardens there. No black, brown and blue overstuffed bins spilling out their contents onto the weeds on the driveways. It was perfection and it was beautiful. I suspect I would struggle to keep up with the Jones’.

Towns with names like Great Barrington and Lennox offered shops for the wealthy where a cushion would cost well over a hundred pounds, but always the service was impeccable as if that should take the sting out of the tail. We looked, we touched, but rarely bought.

The campsites were clean and quiet and only once were plagued by mosquitoes, but the local pharmacy offered more anti-mozzie sprays and more importantly, soothing anaesthetic creams than you could shake a stick at (at a cost of course).

The beaches were litter-free and the sun shone. What more could we have asked for? So whilst the glamour and glitz of the Bahamas will no doubt beckon again another time, this time we have saved our pennies and enjoyed the beauty of another little world for a short while.

And, as I type and watch my sunburn begin to peel and scratch madly at the line of bites from some little blighter of a bug which starts at my ankle and heads towards my bottom, I do wonder if there are mozzies in the Caribbean …

Katie x

15 thoughts on “Road Trip!”

      1. I loved Poland and Romania. Munich was wonderful but it’s not the same now. And Venice I adored even though busy. My next road trip I think will be Holland, Denmark and onwards towards the Baltic and Lithuania.

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      2. How lovely! That will be quite some trip – you’ll have so much fun. Those are places I’ve not visited. Poland is top of my list mainly because I’m interested in visiting Auschwitz and the surrounding area. I’ve recently been to a remarkable museum in NY about it all and have numerous books on the subject. Strange I know! Just so sad and makes me want to go there. Make sure you post all about your trip when you go! Would love to hear about it.

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      3. I went there and the Berkenhow(Not sure of spelling). Very interesting. When we arrived at Auschwitz we were left waiting. Then a lady told us to all file into a big building. We did and inside were seats but dim lights. They closed the doors and that was it. Nothing! After 5 mins I stood up and said ” isn’t it easy to lead people into the unknown. None of us questioned and even assumed we were safe. Imagine now if we were gassed!”. Lots of debate and then after a few minutes the door opened and a staff member said sorry for wait..problem with electrics and the film presentation can now start. Phew! But just shows you. Mind you we were not at war so had the trust of peace. However it was food for thought on the day and did shake a few people’s emotions up.

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  1. I enjoyed reading this Katie and so glad you mentioned your anxieties over speed. I am exactly the same and on the windy country roads in the Peaks you can often hear a sweet voice booming “Mark!! ” He then slows down to a snail pace which is annoying but loads safer so I’m happy with that.

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    1. Ha! Oh I totally understand! I really struggle with going fast and being out of control. I’m not entirely sure where it stems from but it’s a bit of a bother really and probably part of the reason why I’m such a lousy skier!! At the end of the day though, as long as you’re safe that’s all that matters 😘

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