The 10 things about the US that we have missed the most

usa road trip – Getty

Finally! At last! Joe Biden has taken down the “No Entry” sign and the US is opening to double-jabbed visitors. Technically, as a US passport-holder, I was able to visit anyway, but it seemed pointless to go in the circumstances. Space, freedom and an upbeat sense of limitless possibility are the intangibles that make holidays in America so special, and there have been precious little of those.

I get regular updates from my extended American family, but I haven’t set foot in the US since the distant pre-pandemic days of summer 2019, when I was lucky enough to take a three-week road trip from Chicago to California. During lockdown, I would often find my thoughts turning to that journey and wonder gloomily whether such a thing would ever be possible again. Well, two years on, it seems like it might. I don’t want to jinx it, but here, in no particular order, are ten things that I’m looking forward to revisiting soon.

Road trips

Westwards towards the setting sun, south along the Blue Ridge Mountains, eastwards from Las Vegas into the extraordinary deserts of Utah and the mountains of Colorado, winding through the backwaters of rural Maine, or Louisiana, or South Carolina — there isn’t a road trip in the US that I wouldn’t recommend. The sense of motion, the unfolding landscapes, the chance meetings. Nothing better exemplifies the openness and freedom of America.

Fall colours

The repeal of the travel ban just happens to coincide with the onset of autumn. As the broad-leaved trees turn yellow, brown, red and orange, the eastern seaboard enjoys an extraordinary slow-motion firework display that moves south from Maine to the Carolinas. Along with the apple harvest and the pumpkin patches growing jack o’lanterns for Halloween, it makes late September and October a memorably beautiful moment to visit.

new england fall – Getty

New York

My family is Bostonian, I lived and worked in Boston, I love Boston, but New York is extraordinary. It’s been through a lot in the last 20 years, but I still think of it as the preeminent global city. My brother once said, “it’s not just the greatest city in the world, it’s the greatest city in the history of the world.” Byzantium, Rome, Athens, London and Paris might quibble. I certainly don’t want to fight about it. But my, New York, we’ve missed you.

Lobster rolls

Fresh Maine lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise and served in a soft bun with a side of crisps and eaten outside at wooden table is one of the pleasures that I found myself craving during lockdown. I love its simplicity and the fact that you’ll be enjoying it within earshot of the Atlantic ocean. In similar ways, I’ve missed the food that evokes the country’s other landscapes: pancakes and maple syrup, clam chowder, Philly cheese steak subs, catfish po’boys, the amazing Mexican-inflected dishes of the south-west.

Yes you can

“It’s your world,” I once overheard a waiter saying at a bar in Logan Airport to a customer who wanted to tweak their order. No, he wasn’t being ironic. The presumption that the customer is right and all reasonable requests should be possible is part of the empowering American service philosophy. As much as the UK tries to emulate it, we’re not quite there. I can’t imagine an attendant at a UK lake saying, “I don’t care,” if someone asks if they can swim in it — as happened to me in Colorado. Historically, they are citizens, we are subjects. They’re less likely to need permission to do something. Okay, it gets them into a spot of bother now and again. But haven’t you missed their can-do attitude?

maine lobster roll – Getty

Space

Relating to this enlarged sense of possibility is the fact that the United States is so darned big. I yield to no one in my love of the British landscape, but the fact is that there is just more of it in the U.S. The consequence is that from the moment a UK visitor arrives, they visibly exhale and enjoy more elbow room. There’s more space to manoeuvre your rental out of the parking garage, to move your trolley in the Stop and Shop, and even your cheap motel room feels generous.

Roadside attractions

From the Jesse James Waxwork Museum in Stanton Missouri to Gemini Giant in Wilmington, the myriad themed mini-golf courses, the frozen custard places, the Cozy Dog Drive-In – these pieces of Americana combine hucksterishness, resourcefulness and sense of fun. They are rest stops, photo-opportunities and mini-adventures.

The landscapes

For sentimental reasons, I have intensely missed the sand dunes and cranberry bogs of coastal Massachusetts. But what about the pink deserts of Utah? The sun setting over the Pacific off Malibu? The dank bayous of Louisiana? The fir and granite of Maine? The thin air and sweeping vistas of the Rockies? Even the prairies of the Midwest, punctuated by grain elevators, will be a welcome sight to the returning traveller.

malibu – Getty

Motels

The idea that you could just head off, travel for a while, and then spend the night wherever you fancied became an impossible dream in lockdown. But one of the great joys of American travel has always been its spontaneity. Key to this is roadside accommodation. Sometimes characterful (see the Blue Swallow Inn, Tucumcari) or generically comfortable (see any chain), motels are the indispensable accompaniment to a journey that you are making up as you go along.

The clichés

The waiters are effusively friendly. The portions are enormous. The petrol is absurdly, irresponsibly cheap. Coming out of a cinema, you find yourself plunged back into a movie set: a vast two-decker goods train honks past you on its way to the horizon; there is tumbleweed on a desert road; or people fighting to get in the same yellow New York taxi; or a tram cresting a hill in San Francisco; or a man in plaid who has a deer strapped to his pickup. Sure, they’re cliches. But how much have you missed seeing them? I know I have.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Tom Brady Shares Special Moment With Fan at End of Bucs Win

© Provided by Sports Illustrated Tom Brady broke the 600 passing touchdown plateau on Sunday, but he also did much more than that. View the original article to see embedded ... Read more »

Mom of 3 children found in Texas apartment with skeletal remains released

Three abandoned children and the skeletal remains of a fourth person who was likely their sibling were found Sunday in an apartment west of downtown Houston, authorities said. © Provided ... Read more »

Why 76ers could wait until Dec. 15 to trade Ben Simmons

Perhaps much to the dismay of both sides, it seems as though the ongoing saga between Ben Simmons and the 76ers will be a slow burn. Team president Daryl Morey ... Read more »

Democrats Draw Up Billionaire-Tax Plan to Replace Hike

(Bloomberg) — Democratic lawmakers, with President Joe Biden’s support, are drawing up details of a plan to tax billionaires and other ultra-high earners after Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s opposition to raising ... Read more »

All maps in Phasmophobia

Phasmophobia has several maps available for you to explore with your friends as you attempt to figure out what ghosts you’re dealing with during a mission. In addition, you’ll have ... Read more »

Report: Jamien Sherwood out for the season with torn Achilles

© Provided by NBC Sports Quarterback Zach Wilson wasn’t the only Jets player to suffer an injury on Sunday. But this defensive player won’t be out for only a few ... Read more »

15 Ways to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight

Sometimes, when you want to lose weight, you’re incredibly motivated to do what you need to do. Chop vegetables? On it. Buy alterna-drinks so you don’t reach for the sugary ... Read more »

These Three Tips will Help You Get a Better Night's Sleep

When was the last time you had a really good night’s sleep? A week ago? Or so long ago, you can’t remember? Either way, if you’re struggling, you’re not alone. ... Read more »

FHRAI urges regulator to reject Oyo's proposed public issue

© Priyanka Sahay FHRAI urges regulator to reject Oyo’s proposed public issue The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India has asked the capital markets regulator to halt the ... Read more »

Facebook execs interfered to allow US celebrities to violate content rules: Internal documents

© Mohammed Uzair Shaikh Facebook execs interfered to allow US celebrities to violate content rules: Internal documents Senior executives of social media giant Facebook intervened to allow politicians and celebrities ... Read more »

Funding rundown: Groww raises $251 mn, Teachmint bags $78 mn, Clear raises $75 mn

© Provided by CNBCTV18 A lowdown of the top deals from the start-up space: Groww raises $251 mn in Series E funding led by Iconiq Growth Wealth management and investment ... Read more »

STARTUP DIGEST: Nykaa gets IPO ready; FRHAI opposes OYO IPO; PhonePe withdraws suit against BharatPe, to file fresh case

© Provided by CNBCTV18 Nykaa set to launch Rs 5,352-crore IPO on Oct 28, says strong response from investors Online marketplace for beauty and wellness products Nykaa is all set ... Read more »

9 Best cheap Christmas presents 2021: from keepsakes to tech

NOW is the best time to start buying Christmas presents to avoid any last minute stress and to find the best deals, too. The countdown to Christmas has officially begun, ... Read more »

Investigation launched after reports woman was injected

An investigation is under way after a woman reported being injected with an unknown substance in Preston at the weekend. Police were also called to a separate incident in the ... Read more »

Comparing the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority, Premier and Plus credit cards

© Provided by The Points Guy MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from ... Read more »

American Express Platinum Card – MoneySmart Review 2022

© Provided by MoneySmart American Express Platinum Credit Card Some cards are meant to be used on unsexy but necessary things like grocery shopping and MRT rides, while others are ... Read more »

Easy frozen dessert recipes to help you keep cool this summer

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) What better way to cool off in the summer heat than treating yourself to home-made frozen desserts? Looking into the history of desserts, the ... Read more »

Endangered whale population sinks close to 20-year low

FILE – In this March 28, 2018, file photo, a North Atlantic right whale feeds on the surface of Cape Cod bay off the coast of Plymouth, Mass. The population ... Read more »

Fans call on Disney to ban raunchy shirts from parks after viral post

Fans took to Twitter to roast this couple for wearing what they deemed “inappropriate” clothing to Disney World. Twitter Angry Disney fans are calling for the Mouse House to ban ... Read more »

Ruggable is the genius washable rug brand - and it's trending right now

© Provided by Hello! ruggable On the hunt for a new rug, but dreading having to hand clean or dry clean it? If so, you need to get in the ... Read more »

Simpsons Fans Are Going Wild For This New Character

Fox “The Simpsons” is probably older than a lot of people who watch it today. The show’s gone strong since 1989, delivering hundreds of episodes of America’s zaniest family. At ... Read more »

Angelina Jolie Brings Back Her 2000s Red Carpet Style in a Ruched Little Black Dress & Strappy Sandals

© MEGA angelina-jolie-strapless-dress-heels Angelina Jolie brought trends of the early 2000s to her photocall for “Eternals” this morning. Taking place during the Rome Film Festival in Italy, the leading lady ... Read more »

This Ski Season Pop-up Is Bringing a Mexican Tasting Menu With Mezcal Pairings to the Slopes of Jackson Hole

© Provided by Travel + Leisure Courtesy of Caldera House Caldera House, the already famed eight-suite luxury hotel and alpine club in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is somehow about to get ... Read more »

China to give COVID vaccine to children as young as 3

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, residents line up to receive a swab for the coronavirus test during a mass testing in Xixia District of Yinchuan in northwest ... Read more »

'Friends' stars pay tribute to James Michael Tyler after he dies following cancer battle

James Michael Tyler, best known for playing barista Gunther on Friends, has passed away at age 59 following a battle with prostate cancer. His Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, ... Read more »

US envoy: Patience with Iran 'wearing thin' on nuclear talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration said Monday that diplomatic efforts to get Iran back to nuclear negotiations are at a “critical place” and that international patience with Iranian delays ... Read more »

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) review: A throwback design with serious new power

The new MacBook Pros are just as much a throwback as they are a giant leap forward. The latest 14-inch and 16-inch models revive the classic magnetic MagSafe charger, drop ... Read more »

3-Year-Old Okla. Boy Mauled to Death by Family Dog While Playing with Animal in Yard

Oklahoma authorities confirm a 3-year-old boy was mauled to death last week by a dog his family had rescued only three weeks ago. © Provided by People James McNeelis In ... Read more »

Who Is Couy Griffin? Founder of Cowboys for Trump Who Turned On Ex-President at QAnon Event

Couy Griffin, the founder of the Cowboys for Trump group, appeared to turn on the former president during a QAnon event in Las Vegas. After years of unwavering support, Griffin ... Read more »

U.S. Soldier Stationed in Germany Charged with 2020 Murders of Grandfather, Great-Grandmother in South Carolina

© Provided by Law & Crime Gene Alexzander Scott mugshot Gene Alexzander Scott mugshot (courtesy Chester County Sheriff’s Office) A U.S. Army soldier serving in Germany has been extradited to ... Read more »

So reagiert Silbereisen auf Helenes Schwangerschaft

© imago images/Christian Schroedter Florian Silbereisen freut sich für Helenes und Thomas’ Babyglück. Helene Fischer und Thomas Seitel scheinen nicht die Einzigen zu sein, die sich über ihr zukünftiges Baby ... Read more »

Ungeliebte Retter in Uniform

Das Militär löste die Regierung auf und inhaftierte den Ministerpräsidenten. Zehntausende protestierten in Khartum gegen die neuen Machthaber. © Foto: AFP «Wir müssen unsere Menschen beschützen»: General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan ... Read more »

Greek parliament suspended after party leader's death

The Greek parliament was suspended Monday following the death of Fofi Gennimata, the head of the socialist party and one of the most senior women politicians in the country. © ... Read more »

Costco Just Turned Everyone's Favorite Fall Cookie Into a Cake & Their Bakery Section Has Never Looked so Appealing

© Costco. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows. There are a lot of things we simply can’t resist when we walk through the hallowed aisles of our local Costco. The cheapest, most comfortable ... Read more »

Sonya Deville was legitimately 'ready to fight' Charlotte Flair after WWE SmackDown segment

© GiveMeSport Sonya Deville was legitimately ‘ready to fight’ Charlotte Flair last week Becky Lynch was reportedly not the only member of the WWE roster who was furious with Charlotte ... Read more »

Expert issues warning over 'rare' £1 coins that are selling for £200 on eBay

A change checking expert has issued a warning to collectors over £1 “error coins ” being sold on eBay. There are several examples on the auction site of £1 coins ... Read more »

Jai Bhim: Suriya starrer third single Thala Kodhum is all about humility towards people

© Provided by Pinkvilla Suriya will be seen next in a Tamil film titled, Jai Bhim, directed by TJ Gnanavel. After two blockbuster songs, today the third song from the ... Read more »

Oil prices climb to fresh highs, UK petrol price hits record – business live

© Photograph: Tony Gutierrez/AP A pump jack operating in an oil field in Midland, Texas. LIVE – Updated at 15:36 Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news. Closing ... Read more »

Kim Kardashian says she's 'not giving up' on her dream of becoming a lawyer as a tribute to her father

© Provided by Pinkvilla Kim Kardashian is determined to follow in the footsteps of her father Robert Kardashian Sr. who was a successful attorney. The television star, 41, had previously ... Read more »

Aamir Khan keeps it classy in a formal look, greets paps as he steps out in the city; PHOTOS

Often Btown stars get spotted in the city when they head out and this time, it was superstar Aamir Khan who was snapped as he headed out in the city. ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic