Did you know I was going to America? Probably, but I keep annoying people with that question anyways. One week to go! Time flies when you get old and start hearing the grim reaper following you around. Seriously at what age does the year going by so fast, start to become an issue?
Today's waffle is about my upcoming trip to the states and why I have added certain things to my travel wish list. Growing up on a diet of American TV shows and Movies is bound to warp the mind of anyone, mine especially. So when planning a trip to America, you cannot help but be guided by the things that you have seen in your formative years. I shall whizz through a few of the things that have embedded themselves into my noggin and ended up on my 'Things to do' list.
High School Football/other random US type sport - If you have ever been to a sports day in the UK, you will know that we don't quite do sports the same way over here. By the time I reached High School age, I was most decidedly against any type of team sports and the introduction of the horrendous PE kit, with added gym knickers, was the final straw. So it is quite odd that I am rather curious about the strange world of American High School sport and the cheerleader phenomena, as I would definitely not fit into that world, if I were a teenager once more, god forbid. Anyhoo, I shall be cheering for the Vikings (local high school team) whilst I am over, which is also my team of choice when it comes to Rugby League, so GO Vikings! and all that.
Diners - I think Grease and Happy Days were the start of my fascination with Diners. I wont lie, I also love Man vs Food and the food he ploughs through, on his food adventures. Luckily I don't have anything like the appetite that he does, so fingers crossed I wont need an extra seat for the flight home! If you decide to follow my travel adventures, expect lots of diner related food and beverage pictures. Check out the websites I mention in the next bit, as they contain tons of information on the unique diner experience.
The Largest Gnome - Roadside attractions, from the largest rocking chair to the largest gnome, what is not to like? I have seen these referenced in quite few movies, TV shows and documentaries, so I am fascinated by them. I think they are usually there to attract people off the highways (whatever you call motorways) and towards certain businesses. Which is certainly a novel way of doing it. There are several very cool websites to check out, if this also fascinates you. Vintage Roadside, Retro Roadmap and Roadside America are just a few of them.
Covered Bridges - Little House on the Prairie is to blame for this one, I think that is the first time I was aware of such things. The British have long since moved on to much sturdier bridges, so there is nothing quite like them in the UK. This what they look like 'click here'
Beer!- If you are inclined to drinketh the nectar of the Gods, there are plenty of people point you in the direction of a mighty Keg or two. Daily Beer Review and Mr Ken Goyette gave me some awesome beer/brewery tips, so it would be rude not to sample a beer or seven. Okay there are no childhood memories associated with beer in America, I just like the stuff. Also breweries are interesting and they fuel local economy, check them out whenever you can.
What is the best way to find out about all of these cool things? Firstly check the great googly moogly and get reading. You will no doubt get tons of search results, but the best results can be found from the world of blogs. They are usually written by pretty cool people and will prove to be quite helpful. Make sure you are reading an up-to-date blog, so that you are getting the most current information. I stumbled across Retro Roadmap on one of my epic searches, I think I was searching for soda fountains still in use. Anyhoo I left a comment waffling on about my planned trip and the lovely blog author, Beth, responded. Read this post for more information and thoroughly check out the site Retro Roadmap whilst you are there.
I think she sums it up wonderfully with this paragraph:
You can’t outsource local places and culture, so if I can drive international travellers into Mom & Pop shops, restaurants, theatres and such, they’ll be spending their vacation dollars locally while really feeling like they visited someplace true and authentic.
I think if you are planning a trip anywhere in the world, it would be daft not to check out the local blogs for that area, written by people who are passionate about the area. If you are ever heading to this part of the world, I would try and point you in the right direction. The first place I would probably point you, for the Liverpool type area, would be Seven Streets, which is my favourite arty farty cultural foody drinking reading type blog.
My next blog post will be entitled 'Bogging Off' in which I bog off to America and leave you details on how to stalk me whilst I am over there.