Monday, 23 November 2009
Saturday, 29 August 2009
Friday, 17 July 2009
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Sunday, 14 June 2009
Monday, 1 June 2009
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
We wake up by lake Dardanelle - or Lady Lake Gaga as Jess seems to think it is called (Jess does not seem to be following the Geography of our trip well. Nor does Flo who we find out thought Grand Canyon was actually a giant waterfall.
Despite being totally abandoned it is absolutely immaculate and new. The general consensus is that we have stumbled into some mildly horrific Jurassic Park scenario. For no apparent reason we feel so uplifted that we decide to have a group jog around the park. Having absolutely no sensible footwear - and somehow managing to lose 1 show in Memphis - Flo has to do this in ballet shoes. As I lead the group 'jungle running' through woodland it becomes clear that it would be sensible to stop and go for a swim instead.
Off to Tulsa we head. Somehow we have it in our head that this town is going to provide us with some kind of wild night out. We know it sounds familiar and realise it is just because Chandler from 'Friends' is relocated there. And hates it. Oh.
We pull in just before sunset and walk to a diner on Route 66. I line my stomach with a chocolate milkshake and the local speciality - Chicken Fried Steak - which, by the way, is not actually chicken. It is in fact a deep fried hamburger. With white gravy.
We walk on, getting tooted by all the locals. Jess merrily waves back as we skip our way on to the Eleventh Street Pub. (We find out later that Route 66 is famed for prostitutes - current going rate $20 by the way- which is why we were ceremoniously welcomed by the local passing drivers)
What happens next is really quite hard to describe. In a matter of minutes we go from a quiet beer, to the most potent vodka-tonic in existent, to the house special shots 'Red Headed Slut'. The barlady told us she had invented the shot - Flo not knowing its name, asked if it was named after her. The answer was "yes".
The following few hours are a blur of everyone on tables dancing to the bar song "I Want It All - Queen". And then watching the red headed slut herself perform with unbridled passion (think climbing on pool table and then throwing herself onto her knees on the floor) to AC/DC. We then had a brawl break out in the corner because Paula's (wearing a BITCH cap - which apparently stands for Beautiful Intelligent Talented Charming and Happy) husband arrived while she was snogging some other man on the bar. And lets not even begin thinking of the local 40 something year old prostitute who arrived to do business in pink wal mart shorts and crop top.
Or Connie from the local liquor store who - after warning Ashley to maybe calm down a little - I found him singing Shania Twain with at the top of his lungs while dancing on the pool table for the rest of the night.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Sunday, 3 May 2009
We're off to Graceland, Memphis. The home of Elvis/Rock n Roll/Country Music/Fried Peanut Butter Sandwiches etc.
We decide, in honour to the King himself we should don some suitable outfits- including a head-to-toe tie-dye look for myself and a glitzy sequined Chanel number for Ashley. Having dodged the 10 dollar Graceland car park for the free gift shop car park instead we excitedly canter over to the gates of the house itself.
Er.....28 dollars to get in? Each? But we don't even want the tour we just want to get up close and personal to the front door. Obviously West Memphis isn't so susceptible to our charms as we fail to blag our way in.
So what do we do instead? Buy some postcards of course. And a present for my mum (I'm not saying what as I think she is probably the only person who will actually read this). And lets not forget a LOT of pictures of ourselves jumping around by the sign. It is strange how after a few snaps I think we had all convinced ourselves that we really had 'done' Graceland.
We leave fully satisfied.
Back on the road we cross into Arkansas and hit rain for the first time. We grumpily turn the RV heating on and drag out one waterproof to share between us when necessary.
Morale is running low just as I hear.
Everyone is on their feet overcome with enthusiasm as we see our first actual WalMart. We screech into the car park as we leap out to see if its true that we can actually buy ourselves a gun there.
Who were we kidding? We emerge about 2 and a half hours later laden with about 20m of netting, 5m of fringing, needles, thread and some miniature bells.
Oh, and a water pistol.
Saturday, 2 May 2009
Up at 8am. And on an 8 mile bike ride by 9.30am. The London lie-ins seem far away indeed. On our wildlife excursion we spy Eagles, North America's largest species of woodpecker and I find myself within 2m of a family of bears. But all the locals seem much more excited when we tell them we spotted 4 wild turkeys.
We get off the campsite late so head on to Jackson (via about 3 minutes in Nashville) to stay at the Whispering Pines. This is no ordinary RV Park. Nope. It comes with a 100 site trailer park next door and a laundry straight out of the most terrifying mid-west horror movie known to man. When we thought things could get no eerier, our camp host swings by to ask us about our journey.
"Where all you guys off to?"
"Aren't you all scared to go out there right now"
"What with that swine flu? 180 done died in Mexico and there's a bunch of cases in Los Angeles. That was yesterday. I don't even know what happened today......But don't get spooked"
"It looks like we are definitely going the wrong way"