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My Story: Trip to America

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Firstly people of thesite, this is in two parts due to its length, apparently there is a limit of 30000 Characters,

I must warn you this is a long read, totalling around 6500 words, if you wish to read, I thank you. If not I understand. This is something general I have written which will be posted online in various places, therefore it may be relevant in more places than others.


America.... The land of Excess.

These were the first words uttered to describe America when I first arrived, They will live with me forever.

This story of me visiting America is so much more than a holiday, It will explain a lot about how I feel, Relationships and Family and not just about what I did... so lets begin.

Lets go back to the beginning, I've been waiting to visit America ever since hearing the tales of my Uncle, told to me by my mother, Ever since my first encounter meeting Trevor all those years ago I've always wanted to visit. It was never to be until I became twenty three.

So... I've always tried to keep in some sort of contact with my family over there in one way or another, and in recent years social network has made this much easier for the most part.

I've spoken to my family over there and consider myself close to most. However it is interesting in how life plays out and who you become the most

For the last year or two I've been wanting to go to America more and more and the more I speak to my family over there, the more I wanted to, Things with work and everything have prevented me to do so and with work being crazy the last six months or so It was obvious to those around I needed a break from it all, Financially I was/am in a good position to visit so I thought what the hell, Lets do it.

Now, new baby and young, free spirit four year old proved a problem, Laura wasn't to keen on flying with the children, nor leaving them for so long, I had to agree and for some time I had felt the trip was not going to happen. But then, my wife being my wife does what she does best, Which is be amazing. She tells me to go, To go without her, fly to America and visit my family. I couldn't believe it, I was actually going to do it. I had so much to plan and arrange... where to begin, so I got it all sorted, I arranged passports, Visa's / ESTA's and everything needed to visit. I spoke to Stephany, One of my Cousins in America, told her the plan, as well as my Uncle (Trevor) Aunt, (Lori) and other Cousin (Allison)

It was happening and in December I did it, I booked the tickets, British Airways Flight BA0049, LHR (London Heathrow) to (SEA (Seatac International Airport) with connecting flights each way to GLA (Glasgow International Airport)

It was all coming to fruition, all the waiting and dreaming. It was almost over. I began planning on what I wished to do, but mostly, after speaking to Stephany more than she probably wanted to it was decided that most of what we shall do will be played by ear. The one thing I did decide I had to do while in America is drive a real car, Obviously I have a car, it's a lovely car but I've been a fan of American Muscle Cars for most of my life. Now I go directly to the Company, Hertz, Enterprise, Alamo etc and they all want ridiculous fees and prices for a weeks rental. That is when I come across a British agent who will book on my behalf, the price itself comes around the average price for a mid size rental, I was informed I would however have an extra charge of $140.00 for being under twenty five years of age. “fine” I thought, plenty within my budget and It's a once in a life time chance for me to drive American Highway and Freeways with 290 BHP of American Muscle. Now admitedly it wasn't going to be an amazing super muscle car, I mean for the price I was paying and the fact it was a rental ment that it was a “baby” muscle car, I was expecting a Ford Mustang V6 4.0L 2009 base model, pushing around 210 BHP, a lovely car.

So all set, Most of my planning was done, all I had to do was wait, The majority of my communication with my American family had been with Stephany and I decided to stay there first of all.


Over the time period of my planning and arranging I had developed, what I felt to be a stronger relationship with Stephany than I had before, Whilst before we had always taken some level of interest in each others lives it was that, “some interest.” Over the period of planning I would say we bonded more, We also lead much a similar life in terms of our position, Family, Whilst I am younger, due to how my wonderful life has panned out, I hope on the most part I am mentally equal to Stephany in age.

So... lets skip ahead some to the day I leave, Monday 21st of January 2011, I was due to head of on the 16.40 ferry on the Monday, Stay at our friends Gemma & Fiona, Lovely people who have always tolerated me when I've needed a room. Paul, Gemma's significant other and friend of the family also offered to give me a lift from Gems/Fi's Flat to the Airport, A 4am I was much grateful for this.

So I finished work, Packing was all done beforehand and I was prepared to go, The few hours I had before I left I spent with the family, just sitting, peacefully and enjoying our last few moments before I would be parted from them for over nine days. I would miss them so much but I knew this is something I had to do, I would return and I will bring them back lovely surprises. Which I did.

I head to the ferry and boarded, the journey went slowly, was lonely so I settled in the bar for the hour crossing and grab a quick beer. Lovely, a good start to a Holiday. The train at the other end was quiet and of course no problems, well except for one, Nosebleeds, Icky, something that happens to me every so often , I will go through a course of getting a few, however, Me being me, I did not have any tissues on me, so what do I did. My quick thinking and by sure luck, I had by Bandanna on, Sod it, It'll clean so I threw it off my head and used it to stem the bleeding. Damn this cursed nose of mine. Oh well I will not let it ruin my holiday.

Jumped on the underground at Glasgow and made my way to Gemma and Fiona's it was nice to see them again and have a rest before my major leg of the journey. We just hung around, chatted and caught up with each other, Paul also came along after work which was fantastic, as I was getting a free lift to the airport, Thanks dude, Life safer.


Get to the Airport at 4.30, head through security to the usual grunts and orders from BAA security, I do not mind to much. They're doing their job and protecting our country. But their attitude will be reflected later on.

First off I have a flight to London Heathrow, Now I must stress I've flown before, but always domestically, usually Glasgow Prestwick or Glasgow International to London Stansted.

My BA flight is lovely, get breakfast on board, Nice and tasty, Pretty good anyone and good leg room, (Emergency Exit Row) Nothing eventful here, I land and go to flight connections at Heathrow and figure, now with a full stomach, even if it is 8.00AM now is a good time for a beer. So I head to the bar and have a few beers. I'm not much of a chancer so I figured two beers and that is me.

Now I had a long wait at the airport, I caught a morning flight to london, as I'd rather wait at london all day than wait at Glasgow.

Heathrow Terminal five is amazing, a lot of stuff to do however I just found a bar, grab a few beers and some food. But of course that wasn't to be as luckily for me, My nose had a second idea, Nosebleed number two.

Anyway no big deal, lets carry on. Boarding started for my flight to America, I had paid a small fee beforehand to purchase a specific seat, I figured if I was going to be on the flight for ten hours I would be comfortable, so I got a seat near the rear of the plane, only two in a row not right which means a lot more legroom, Seatguru.com says it's one of the best Economy seats.

So the flight is leaving, a random person sitting next to me, This is interesting, what is the etiquette here, do you speak to them or not, Never been in this situation, but soon the decision is made for me, she says “Hello” Well I figure if I am going to sit next to someone for ten hours I might as well make small talk, so we chat, the typical why we're off to America, etc etc... I do the typical proud dad and show the pictures of the kids etc. The flight is pretty uneventful, the poor woman sitting next to me was getting leered at buy two guys on the flight. Poor lass. One tried to chat her up while she went to the bathroom by telling her about famous people who are buried in Seattle (apparently Bruce Lee and Hendrix is) then started doing standing up “push ups” against a wall. We had a big laugh at that, every so often he kept walking past her as well... It was obvious as he was sitting on the other side of the aircraft. Hilarious.

So I landed. That was it.. I got of the plane and headed for customs. I am someone who never trusts or believe its real until it is. So for me it was until I get through Boarder Security and Customs, I knew I had nothing to worry about. But I waited in line with everyone else, passport at the ready. Get called up to the next booth and the first thing I heard. Which surprised me. First words uttered by the officer was “Hello, How are you? Did have a good flight?” in a manner which was genuine as well as friendly. Much nicer than the typical British Grunt and orders, he asked the general what brings me to America, How long I am here, the photo and fingerprints are taken and he stamps my passport, Wishes me a nice visit to America and hopes I enjoy myself. This is my first taste of hospitality in America. If it continues like this I know I will love it here.

Down to baggage reclaim wait and wait, Grab my bags and head off out. I head to the Hertz counter to pick up my rental. I get there and the woman informs me she has a “lovely red Mustang” waiting for me.... I go Silent. One thing my sister, Clare always told me was “never drive or own a red car” She was paranoid about this due to a weird dream she had years ago that one of us crashes a red car. And the fact that it is a sports car, well her dream looks like it could come true. Well lets look at it this way.

First off, it's ME driving, Second its a SPORTS car, not my 1.4 .05 Fiesta, Third it's in a country I've never driven in.

I enquire about a different car, unfortunately she didn't have one, they had actually been holding onto this for three days for me and had to get it shipped in state especially, Sod it I thought, lets enjoy the holiday and I think nothing more of it. I wait, the night before I flew out, I was planning on grabbing the car and making my own way to Steph's from the Airport, Due to a phone call or two now Trevor was going to meet me and since I had been flying and travelling for around 48 hours He decided to drive the car back for me,

Head to the parking lot, the keys are in the car and the first thing I noticed was the Car was not what I ordered.. It was actually better. I had booked a 2009 Ford Mustang 4.0L V6 210 BHP, instead I had a 2011 3.6L V6 so smaller engine but pushing out a whopping 310 BHP,

Here, enjoy some photos of the car, it is beautiful.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/8046f607.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/3c43d85d.jpg

and yes.... It was shipped down to Seattle, from ALASKA... Why they would have a Mustang in Alaska, I do not know, but who cares

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/1baefb41.jpg

So the drive back is good, talking to Trev about the trip, about driving and he goes over some of the differences, My chance to drive will come later.

The family live just south of Seattle in Auburn, WA, now the way the city has spread it is hard to tell when one starts and one begins, Everything is so much bigger though, even minor roads are two lanes wide and main roads are mostly three lanes, small differences are there as well, like you can turn right at a junction if it's clear (even if the light is red) unless otherwise specified.

We get to Stephs and pull up, unload the car and head in, I'm first greeted by Clay, Stephany's husband. I've never met Clay before and just spoken briefly so I get a warm welcome and the same Stephany. So I was very tired, we sit, have a drink and Steph even makes me something to eat. Bless her.

Now, Last time I saw Stephany was around 8 years ago while she was Pregnant with Norah, I'd never met Norah before but according to Stephany she was excited about my visit. She was nervous at first but soon warmed up and Andrew, being a typical 17 year old was away doing what 17 year olds do best.

So we sat, talked and caught up about everything. Mainly firstly about how the trip went. Anything eventful and exciting that had happened and just general chit chat.. Stephany had gone and prepared everything for me and sacrificed her office so I had somewhere comfortable to sleep. Even if it was with a “Hello Kitty” Pillow... Yes I admit, A grown man of Twenty Three spent a week sleeping with a Hello Kitty pillow, And I'm proud



So we stay up and chat some more, just catch up but due to tiredness I needed some sleep, I went to sleep relatively early and woke early too. We didn't have anything specific planned so we decide after taking Norah to school to do some shopping, Stephany decides to show me around, we head to the “mall” well one of many apparently. I buy some gifts for the family and have a general look around. Now Stephany decides we must eat and takes me to a lovely restaurant, Now I've had burgers plenty of times before, but a “fatburger” Never, and oh my, it was amazing, they offer a XXXL of around 24 oz of meat. Stephany ordered the smallest, and the smallest is what we, in the UK would consider the largest, Stephany, thankfully would not allow me to order the 24 oz burger so instead I go for a large, and WOW it was the best burger I have ever eaten. I would pay to fly back just for that burger alone,

Enjoy!!!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/a60d391e.jpg

My first full meal in the US and it was damn good...

After this we do some more shopping and grab presents for Griffin and Leo's Birthday, Allison (my other cousins) children. And I even got to see a lovely Gran Torino, I thought I'd share,

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/64e18cdd.jpg

and we even when to Chevrolet, Stephany wouldn't let me buy the Camero thought, but I did get a photo. I was fully prepared to put a down payment and buy the sucker... Alas my Cousin has sense, I cannot afford the $50,000

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/a54d8efd.jpg

So we head to Allisons, by this time I've been driving the car a little bit but this will be the furthest I've driven, it's a nice drive and I seem to be doing well. Nothing really to worry about except the directions. We get to Allison and it's lovely seeing her, however since it's the childrens birthday there are a lot of others about and we get seldom time to talk to each other. A shame but the kids are loving themselves and having fun, But it does mean I can spend more time talking to Trev and others which is good to catch up.

After the party finishes we head back to Stephs and spend most of the evening talking again until late into the evening and early morning. Mostly about family, lives and everything we could think of. Because of this when I finally make it to bed I knew I'd sleep in so I ask Steph to wake me up early.

So Thursday comes around, Clay has booked time off work and I'm informed we are going to the Casino, Sweet, I can lose lots of money. Steph has an appointment so me, Clay and Scott, Stephany's dad head up to the casino, Now as they're very far and few between in the UK, and full of stuck up twats I've never gambled in a Casino, and only stepped foot into one, once, However I have played online.

Scott plays mostly tables, Blackjack, Spanish 21 and poker etc which is the same as myself, and Clay plays the slots. So firstly they sign me up to the “preferred player” scheme, I get a little swipe car, free gifts and bonus points etc. Then we hit the tables.

This is the interesting part, due to state laws etc the Casino is native owned and those who work in it are all tribes people. But it is hard to tell and if you weren't told you wouldn't know they were Natives, then again (I never knew this till recently) even Steph has Native American in her.

So anyway once again everyone I meet is very friendly and Scott takes me to the blackjack table, One thing I never thought was how helpful the dealers and even pit bosses are. As a new player they even told me on the odd occasion that the move I was going to make was wrong (ie Hit/Stand) when I should not. We play the tables a bit more then head for some food at the buffet.

The Buffet, Oh my oh my... How much food could I possibly want. They had everything from Asian/oriental, American, Fish, Pasta the works. And I made the most of it. Especially the lovely freshly cooked ham joint.

After that we head back to the tables and I play a little bit of poker, now since Stephany's kids finish school we had to head back. I was lucky, I had Steph's dad teaching me the ropes, I only lost $160.00 I guess I might need a new teacher..... but I still walked away with $60.00 left over which cannot be that bad.

Another day down and another evening spent talking, enjoying ourselves and chatting. My time in America is flying really fast now and soon I will be heading home.

Stephany had a conference over the Friday and Saturday so Friday I spend some of the morning with her talking and hanging out, in the afternoon me and Clay head out to the Hockey stadium, I wanted to pick up a Hockey jersey for myself to take home with me, It's a nice drive and a brand new stadium, now the shop itself is closed but we call a number and someone from the main office comes down to open the shop to serve me, WOW... never in the UK would someone do that for one customer, I spend quite a bit of money but get myself a Jersey and Cap and Gabriel a little mascot Teddy, We went to the “Super Mall” afterwards and wow, you could fit an entire mall from the UK in just one store, I had my first ever “Corn Dog” to the amazement of Clay, they didn't seem to know we didn't get them in the UK, but yes, Corn Dogs, are VERY nice indeed. The evening is spent with some Playstation, TV and dinner and just generally chilling out.

Saturday comes around, Clay heads out and grabs doughnuts for breakfast, Well when in Rome they say.... They are lovely and a much wilder selection than we get over here, and even how they taste is so much different. Then it's off to the range, they have a IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) Match going on, we head up and watch and Clay is comparing it to IPSC, We wait for Clay's brother Rick, who works for Rainier ballistics (which I now have a baseball call from) and we head to the range, well not much I can say here except I fired lots of bullets and lots of targets. I'm not a bad shot either. The thing that did surprise me was that the .22 LR Armalite was the most fun, that and I was surprised with the amount of crap the Comp on the .223 Armalite threw out.

After the range we went back, picked Norah up and I met Stephany's Gran Pat. A lovely lively old lady, That evening I went round to stay and spend some time with Trev & Lori, First time driving on my own to their place, only a 15/20 minute drive and the Satnav tried to take me down the wrong street to a dead end. But I worked the route out myself. Easy enough and their street structure works a lot better than the UK, so I was hanging out with Trev and Lori, Stephany's cousin Matt was there, interesting fellow he is... Loves his spooning and claims he doesn't get enough of it, but certainly interesting.. He offered to hang out over the time I was there, however with time being short it never happened so if your reading this Matt, sorry and we will hang out when I return next year. The rest of the evening itself was spent playing some PS3 with Trevor and hanging out. Unfortunately with everything else I fell asleep around midnight and Trev was working in the morning, unfortunately as he was working this was the last I'd get to see him this visit.




Unfortunately Trev had to work on Sunday so I didn't have to much planned originally, I went back Stephs house when Trev went to work and we hung out for the morning, Stephany was baby sitting some cousins for the morning, Then she gave me a choice of what to do, the choice was Nature or Culture, I pondered for a few moments and realised I had experienced the culture a lot, but not so much the nature, so I picked nature, and I am damn glad I did.

We took a small road trip, Me, Stephany, Clay, Norah and Andrew (they're both Stephanys kids) because of the amount of us we took Steph's car rather than the Mustang. This didn't matter to me to much, at this point I had driven quite a bit and it had been much fun :) then she told me we were going to Snoqualmie & North Bend, For those interested and remember the TV show “Twin Peaks” the messed up show with the midget and people talking backwards, this is where it was filmed.

First we went to Snoqualmie falls. At 268 Ft she isnt the highest waterfall but she is beautiful this is a sample of photos taken by both me and my Cousin, Stephany.

Me, Stephany and Norah at the viewing platform for the falls itself,
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/e8b101a8.jpg

Me, alone, I don't mind this one so much either,
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/6744acf3.jpg

Me and Clay
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/ee63a36c.jpg

The falls in all their glory,
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/ed7a4157.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/e710c08d.jpg

and a Close up
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/Rude_boyz/1eebd1e4.jpg


I have some videos too which I will make a point of editing and uploading soon. The drive was wonderful, the scenery is gorgeous and words cannot describe how lovely it is. After we went to the falls we went along to North Bend to have some lunch, Again I can only rave about the amazing food available in America, admittedly it was a Greasy spoon style cafe but... wow it was yum. I even picked lolzy up a pack of coffee from their with the whole “Twin peaks” theme. We explored a little more and then headed home for dinner, Chicken to die for was on the menu tonight, Never heard nor had it before and all I can say is the title rings true. It is to die for, absolutely gorgeous and I am so stealing the recipe from Steph.

Again another late evening of talking and chatting....

Monday rolls around and it dawns on me that I am heading back to UK, This upsets me a lot, The only thing I am really looking forward to going back to is seeing the wife and kids, Everything else there matters so little,

This is were things get confusing for me. I always wanted to visit America, and I even talked about moving out there before, Visiting had only reinforced those feelings for me, the Atmosphere and most importantly the family I have out there fits my lifestyle so well.. However that doesn't trump my wife and kids, If I were to consider out there it would only ever be on the understanding they would be joining me.. I can only hope this happens. Only time can tell. Luckily for me I have the most amazing wife, someone who supports me in most of what I do or dream. Luckily, she did say she didn't mind where we live, as long as we are together, Whilst I agree with this, if I had the chance and possibility to move out there, I feel as a person it must be grabbed.

It seems confusing and a big change, and Whilst yes it is a major decision I have an amazing family support system over there who would and have offered so much help and advice on moving over there which luckily makes it so much easier.

Would it be a big life changing decision, yes, Would it pay off. I believe so, it offers so much more opportunity for both me, and my family than were we currently live. If It doesn't pan out, it isnt the end of the world, and I can at least say I tried. Having spoke to Laura about it, we both decided we would wish to visit a few times before, just to make sure that both Laura, and the kids enjoy it, I do not doubt for a moment they will love Seattle and the surrounding area. So in all likeliness if we were going to move it would not be for several years yet.

So it is Monday, my last real day in America, not a lot is accomplished in the sense of doing things throughout the day. I help Steph buy a new laptop for her business and set that up and pack so I can maximise my time tomorrow and not rush around. A most wonderful day spent in typical America. In the evening Steph has to teach a training class for her Business and Norah (and Clay) has a Pokemon club they go too, Bless her 8 year olds little socks she invites me along, How can I refuse, First thing I notice when I get there is one, the amount of adults with Norah being one of the youngest and quite a few teens... Anyway was an interesting evening and not something I expected I'd have to do, however I guess Theo will probably want to play when he's older so it's good experience. Had some Pizza and enjoyed the evening. Once again another late night of talking,

Tuesday and I get up early, trying to maximise the most of what time I have left, pretty relaxed morning finishing a few things off and Stephany decides to take me out for lunch. I'm given the choice of Thai or a real Greasy Spoon well considering the Thai Restaurant have neon lights and look like the serve happy endings more than happy food I figured the greasy spoon once again, a lovely lunch, lots of talking and good food with Steph and Clay, what a way to finish one of the best weeks of my life.

We get back with an hour to spare and I start to get nervous, Lets face it I am the kind of guy who gets emotional around goodbyes, Steph asks if I am looking forward to going home, and it made me think, I am happy to be reunited with my family, my wife and my children, this excited me as I had missed them a lot.. but I was not looking back to being in the UK itself, if I had a choice I would stay and bring the family out, it was truly that amazing.

Now, a lot of people I've told this to have said, “oh but you only did the touristy things” but this wasn't what made me love it, the warmth of the city itself, the attitude of the people out there and my family connections make it all the appealing, every day life out there seems so different but it suits my needs and attitudes to a T.

We head off to the Airport, I'm in the Mustang returning the rental with Clay and following Stephany, its a quiet but nice drive... We pull over just before the Hotel itself and I say my good byes, I pull into the Airport rental drop off and I think myself how glad I am that I managed to go the distance without crashing the rental car.... and thats when it happens, TWO freeking feet away from the drop off.. driving down the left of two lanes someone opens their door into the side of the Mustang, sheering the entire mirror and fascia/plastic side panel off the car, CRAP, thank fuck I took out full Insurance (LDW) so I have to pay no charges, no costs to me, fill out a form and I am done,

Okay, not a great start to my journey home, but oh well no cost to me, the next problem is I lose my paper part of my driving licence, somewhere in security, but alas can be replaced easily. I figure I'll have a few drinks at the gate while waiting. I enter the bar and grab myself a few drinks, I talk to another guy on my flight, and some drunk America who seems to think I am Australian, I inform him I am not, and that he is so drunk he will not get on his flight.. He is confident he will so I, with my lovely British Sarcastic Humour blurt out “I bet you $50 you will not” I think nothing more of this and head to my gate. Some time later the young American approaches me and tries to give me $50.00, I was right he was turned away and told to fly tomorrow, This humours me greatly but I do decline the money, for it was made in jest and not in all seriousness.

I board my flight and I get my seat, the same as I come out, however this time I am left with some large foreign person next to me who believes, as well as paying for his seat, he seems to believe that he paid for half of mine, A few “Gentle” elbows later he gets the idea, the food on this red eye flight home was okay but unfortunately not to my liking. I try to sleep but I cannot... I do not know why, I grab some small pockets of sleep on the way home, It was mostly fine except for when the entertainment system breaks down. Alas I have a laptop so it isn't to intrusive to me. However Mr Greedy sitting next to me has issues with his laptop battery power, I cannot help and try hard to stifle my giggle.

I land in London, Hot Sweaty with a lawyer of grime on my skin, At this point I had very little sleep and had been up for a mere twenty four hours. I have no time to clean up before my connection, I clear security, Grab some scoff to throw down my neck and board my flight, Confident that I smell how I felt... Alas nothing I can do except hope others do not notice. I sleep some on the short flight home, but I am plagued by nosebleeds once again. I land, Grab my bags and a cab to the station.. I will not bore you with the rest of the details, it is straight forward, Train to the ferry and Ferry home to be reunited by my family and the only reason I can truly say for my return.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well that is it, I understand it was very long, detailed and probably of not much interest to most, but it held significant importance to me and I felt it must be documented and shared. My short, but extensive experience within Washington State was so much more than I could ever imagine..

    So, a short piece with my experience and views of those I got to meet on my Travel.

    Trevor, My uncle,

    He looks more and more like my Granddad each day, Alas I was unable to spend much time with him due to work commitments, but it is understandable, Work is hard to find at present and I could never expect anyone to sacrifice work for my needs and attention. However I was very grateful for the short time we got to spend together and good to catch up, I appreciate all your advice and offer of assistance for when and if we wish to move out there.

    Lori, My Aunt,

    Alas very much the same as what I said about Trev, except she does not resemble my granddad in the slightest, thankfully. Again we got to spend seldom time together and I wish it could have been more, We will return soon for another visit, not just me but my whole family and more time will be dedicated to others and hopefully made available.


    Allison & Will (Cousin & Husband)

    Again, We spent very little time together, It was a shame we could not spend more time with each other and the time we were together was rather busy with the kids party. However they have the most beautiful children seem to have a good life and seem happy. I wish the miscommunication towards the end of my stay did not happen and we got to see each other again, but alas we will be out next year, all of us and more time dedicated in advance. Also with busy lives it can be hard to communicate with each other in the mean time.

    Matt Deeds

    I only met him briefly at Trevor and Lori's house, I believe he is Stephany's Cousin if I remember correctly, a short introduction but this man requires not much more. An interesting fellow non the less. Interested in Spooning much to my amazement. But funny never the less, He invited to hang some more before I left but alas time did not seem to be on my side.

    Scott (Stephy's Dad)

    Funny folk and very interesting, Taught me everything I know about the Casino, and Considering I am $160.00 down I may need a new teacher. But in all seriousness a nice guy who had plenty of patience to teach me the rules and ways, and has some interesting stories.

    Andrew (Second Cousin)

    We speak often online but alas like most seventeen year olds a quiet kid who keeps to himself, we spoke on the odd occasion but the conversation was mostly lacking unless it featured around gaming. I do not blame him for it, it is the typical seventeen year old mentality,

    Norah (Second Cousin)

    I had never met Norah before, I last saw Stephany while she was pregnant with her, What can I say, the near image of her mother. So passionate and intelligent she will definitely go far in life. However such an entertaining girl and a pleasure to spend time with.

    Clay (Stephany's Husband)

    I spent quite a bit of time with him, He took some time off work over the period I was visiting which I thank him for, full of humour and stories of his past, involving either the Air force, the theft of assault weapons, shooting cattle thieves with bird shot countless of times or tales of meeting a Texas Rangers. Originally from Texas it was a pleasure to spend time with him and I hope to spend more in future visits.

    Stephany (Cousin)

    This will probably be the longest of all mentions. I spent the majority of my time in Washington with or around Stephany, before I visited we spoke often and have had what I consider a relationship as close to her as my own sister. This can only be enforced by visit and time spent with her, whilst I mean no disrespect to my other family out there who I love dearly, I must say I will miss Steph the most. Such a powerful person with so much energy and free will. Always had time for me regardless of the time of day and always willing to talk, also a very open which makes talking to so much easier. Many nights were spent talking to Steph about life in general, each others family, our dreams, prospects and even problems we may face. I thank Stephany for the time, effort and everything she did for me during this trip,


    What can I say.. This is my trip to America, what I did for me and how it made me view my outlook on life, It is very long winded, if you have read through this I thank you and I hope you have enjoyed my experience and it may offer you some insight into my life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wow! What an essay, lol.

    I read most of it (skim-read the rest :p) and it looks and sounds like you had an amazing time!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No offense meant in any way at all, but maybe if you include a tl: dr that'd be nice (I have a short attention span).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No offense meant in any way at all, but maybe if you include a tl: dr that'd be nice (I have a short attention span).

    tl: dr

    What does that mean, sorry...

    and yes. Sorry it is very long winded
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just means "too long, didn't read", i.e. a shortened version. Sure I'll read it all when I have time.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,269 Skive's The Limit
    I could fly to the US, have my own holiday and fly back again in the time it would take me to read that.
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bit long for me but i did like the picture of the burger and fries...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I appreciate it is long and I do not expect everyone to read it,

    That Burger was fucking amazing and one of the best I've ever eaten :)
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Really cool, going to move to travel :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Only read the first post! Seems like you had a big adventure, WOW! Well atleast you enjoyed it, most of it. Love all the added pictures. Thanks fo sharing!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm so jealous you went to the twin peaks waterfall!!

    Sounds like an incredible trip :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That Gran Torino is gorgeous
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lexi99 wrote: »
    That Gran Torino is gorgeous

    It is.... and it isn't, that photo is very flattering, lot of damage/rust in some areas, bad restoration job

    Thanks everyone, it was an amazing trip, currently looking into immigration to the US
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did read all of this when you first posted it but am very lax at commenting :p sounds amazing, and i hope you get your dream of moving there fulfilled soon!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I read it all, makes me want to pick up communications with my family I have in Texas. I only met them a few years ago when they came to have a final family reunion here in the UK. Time I last seen my auntie (not my cousins) was when I was born and I obviously don't remember that! I was invited to visit them whenever I pleased (and afforded my flights). Only hitch is contacting them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Quite a lengthy read, but I like how it flows. It's a good travel story and it appears that you did have a great time. The pictures are really cool, by the way. Thanks for sharing!
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