I’ve been a little bit quiet on my blog about our upcoming trip but now it’s probably time to tell you that there’s…
…one week until we hit the USA!
This time next week we’ll be winging our way through the air from Dublin, Ireland to Providence, Rhode Island, USA for a month’s road trip!! Excitement in this household is an understatement. Well, to be more honest, Athol and the kids are most excited but I’m not good at allowing myself to be immersed in the sensation generally. I’m always a bit cautious about embracing too much happiness – it’s a perennial problem I know – which needs to be worked on (but that’s a story for another time).
And I’m just a bit anxious right now.
I always have a couple of sleepless nights before we travel anywhere anyway. It’s not as if I’m not looking forward to the trip – I really am. But it’s the feeling of being responsible for four kids and driving 2650 miles, or 4264 kilometres, or 170 kms a day in 27 days in unfamiliar terrain through more than 5 major cities that is giving me the jitters.
Our itinerary includes New York City, Washington DC, Tryon (North Carolina), Louisville (Kentucky), Chicago, Niagara and Boston.
All on the right hand side of the road.
At least Athol is driving, and I’m going to try my best when we go the wrong way to talk in the same calm manner as that sweet lady Mrs Satnav.
The whole the reason we are going is to visit some very dear friends originally from Alabama, who came to live in Ireland for a few years and then moved back to the States and now live in Tryon. If it wasn’t for them we probably wouldn’t be going now. I really can’t wait and I know the ten days spent with them will be worth more than gold.
Such a wonderful gift to have a friendship like that. I’m already feeling the sadness of when we have to say goodbye again!
Anyway, we decided to make a month of the journey and try and show the kids as much of the States as we could because this will more than likely be their only childhood trip to that huge continent.
We are flying with Norwegian Air, which will be a new experience for us. It’s a low cost, no frills airline so I’ll let you know how we get on. Meals are not provided with your ticket, you can either bring your own food or pay €30 extra per person for the privilege of enjoying an aeroplane dinner.
I don’t know about you but I have NEVER had an aeroplane dinner that was worth €5 let alone six times that (times by six people – that’s a whole lot of food, even if you buy it at the airport!).
There seems to be a bit of confusion about what foods you can bring through the US Immigration security clearance in Dublin airport. Some people say you can bring home-made sandwiches provided that they have no meat in them. Other people say you can only take prepackaged food.
Meat and fresh fruit seem to be definite no-no’s so I’m going to try pot noodles, cereal bars, chocolate and crisps. My kids will love their dinner and this is just the beginning of a month’s non-healthy diet consisting mostly of donuts and hamburgers. As they say, start as you mean to go on.
I’ll let you know whether the security guards confiscate our pot noodles or not. (These poor guards have only confiscated ham sandwiches and apples to be tempted by, whereas their Ethiopian counterparts have whiskey and wine).
All of our our accommodation is sorted, we will be mostly staying with friends or family of friends. We are also using AirBnB as well as Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing will be another new experience for us so I’ll let you know how that goes.
I have contacted long-lost relatives and friends we want to reconnect with. (If I have left you out, I’m sorry, it’s not that I don’t want to see you, I just didn’t know you lived in the places we’ll be visiting!!) All of them have had children in the past 8 to 20 years since we last saw one another. I hope I recognise the adults, but isn’t social media a wonderful thing that we can rediscover old classmates from across the decades and across the seas?
We have a rental car booked, it’s a seven seater and we have a feeling it will be nothing like the petite little seven seaters we have here in Ireland. Our American friends assure us it will be a litre-eater (sorry liter-eater).
We have the directions saved on the GPS and written down in my diary as a back up.
We have a cooler bag for snacks in the car and games/books/portable Nintendos for our long journeys.
We have refillable water bottles and a light back pack for carrying snacks around the cities.
We have bug spray.
We have organised a post office foreign currency card and a visa waiver for each of us (application online took a day to approve).
We have someone to house-sit and feed our dogs.
I have a new bikini.
We just need to pack.
Woohoo, I’m ready, USA here we come!!!
(I will be posting updates of our travels so watch this space…)
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