Our seventh road trip took place in the autumn of 2016, and took in just two new States, while visiting some old friends in the South and the East. After this trip we’re now up to 44 out of 50 States.
We flew in and out of Washington D.C. and had 14 fun-packed days and nights visiting new towns and returning to old places we’d already explored and loved.
Our trip took in: Baltimore (1 night), Arlington, Virginia (2 nights), Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (1 night), Fayetteville, West Virginia (1 night), Lexington, Kentucky (1 night), Nashville, Tennessee (2 nights), Knoxville, Tennessee (1 night), Asheville, North Carolina (2 nights), Richmond, Virginia (1 night), Annapolis, Maryland (1 night) and Lewes, Delaware (1 night).
The trip was about 2,500 miles long and we passed the time by listening (and being frankly hooked) to a fairly exploitative and grubby true-crime podcast called ‘Sword and Scale’. As ever we also sang stupid songs and trash-talked one another.
We took in only 2 new states on this trip (Delaware and West Virginia) but we did get to go to some other states, taking in a Nashville, a Knoxville and an Asheville. It turns out we really like places that end in “ville”.
Josh sampled 101 new beers: which beats last year’s PB. In Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum we saw a portrait of Willie Nelson made in seeds which was utterly beautiful. We visited 5 State Capitols, West Virginia was our favourite. Hannah sat in “King Kong’s hand in Virginia’s brilliantly tacky Dinosaur Land. We were spellbound by the delicate beauty of the Bonsai trees at the National Arboretum. Hannah loved visiting Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Mom’s Organic Market for the swankiest food shopping imaginable; Mom’s was her favourite shop. We got to go wine tasting with our lovely American friends and their beautiful doggy. We saw the most incredible sunsets and giant full-moon-sky in West Virginia. We went bourbon tasting at Woodford Reserve. We slept in a tiny A-Frame cottage in West Virginia and were only a little bit scared of the potential monsters and horror-movie villains in the woods. We saw all kinds of fancy Corvettes at the National Museum and didn’t get caught out in the giant sink-hole. We fell further in love with the Man In Black at the Johnny Cash Museum. We loved honky-tonking amidst all the neon in Nashville. We couldn’t determine whether Knoxville’s Sunsphere really was filled with wigs. We had the BEST TIME at Asheville’s Pin Ball Museum, the BEST time! We drank amazing, fresh beer at Flying Dog, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blue’s, Wicked Weed and Burial breweries. We saw the cutest shell gas station shaped like a shell in Winston Salem. We saw some of the most adorable cat-themed artwork in the very swanky Quirk Hotel.
America continues to astound, delight and intrigue us. America was on the verge on one of the most divisive and dramatic elections in our lifetimes, and speaking to Americans there was less self-confidence than we’d seen before. We were nervous about what would happen (rightly as it turned out) – we think we should actually be entitled to a vote, seeing as we’ve invested so much in seeing so much of the land of the Free and Home of the Brave!
Yet again we’re already planning the next USA roadtrip, probably taking in our 45th State Hawaii. Current thinking is we’ll visit Maui and Kauai as well as returning to Las Vegas for a few nights – Neon! 24 hour Tiki Bars! – and dropping by the beautiful-looking Palm Springs and San Diego. Beer for Josh! Vegan Junk Food for Hannah! Palm Trees! More Tiki Bars!
As ever, all tips and comments very VERY welcome.