Off the beaten track

Happy new year to all xx

New years is that small window in time that speaks potential.  Its the start of something new and fresh.   It has been a good start to the new year for us.  In the second week of this brand new year we move into our new home, our small shipment of chattels arrives from Australia and life starts to get back to some form of normality (as normal as possible anyway).  We have been keeping quite busy too.  We have been out and about in the state of Georgia and given America is the country of the road trip, that’s exactly what we have been doing.

There are millions and millions of miles (1 mile is equivalent to about 1.60 kilometres) of highways and roads in America.  Given those statistics, the road trip has become one of the great American pastimes and there really is no better way to see and experience the country.  The tip with a road trip is to get off the interstates.  The interstates are congested and very busy large three to five lane highways that link each state.  Get off the interstates and venture onto the back roads because that way you will find the true little gems of an area.  If you don’t get off the interstates you will miss wonderful things like coconut and peanut butter pies, cotton fields, rattlesnake round-ups, fried green tomatoes, mayhaws, hickory trees, swamp gravy and sweetened iced teas served in old mason jars.

Steve has had time off work.  Time off being just over two weeks during Christmas and new years.   This time was not taken voluntarily.  The section of the US military base Steve now works at ‘closes down’ for a short length of time over the festive season.  As a rule, and because we don’t have children, we never ever travel or take time off during the ‘holidays’.  This time however, the decision was out of our hands so we decided to make the most of it by doing a few road trips around the state of Georgia.  And I am happy to report that after traversing some of Georgia’s lesser known byways, there is still plenty more out there to see.

Road trips are great and one of the best thing about a road trip is the adventure.  The expectation, the discovery, the exploration and the surprises be they good or bad are what really make up any great adventure and I have a few tips for a really good road trip:

1)  Buy and then use a Navman (or equivalent) and also carry a map.  I happen to like maps a lot but beware:  some roads in the USA were decommissioned in the 60’s and no longer exist although they may still show up.

2)  Take CD’s.  The music stations in the south are VERY limited.  Its country/gospel/religion/gospel/religion/country and one ‘rock’ station who play Nickleback.  Of all the bands in the world (and that’s a big call), I dislike (immensely) Nickelback the most!  And, if you are the driver on the said road trip then you get to choose the music being played.  That is actually an unwritten driving rule!  And yes, you absolutely can listen to Neil Diamond singing ‘Cracklin’ Rosie’ and ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’ as many times as you like.

3)  I’m afraid I have to be blunt with the next one.  Flatulence!  Even though you may be suffering great physical discomfort do not fart continually!  And under no circumstances should you ever eat flatulent inducing foods the night before a road trip washed down with yeasty carbonated ales.  It all makes for a very unpleasant environment in the car.

4)  Do not comment on the other drivers driving style.  This surely tests a relationship AND not in a good way!

5)  Don’t eat at any ‘fast-food’ chain stores.  I know, its always the easy option but come on, this is an adventure!  Oh, and don’t order the grits (trust me) but definitely try the fried chicken, okra and green beans, boiled peanuts, the crab stew, sloppy joes, the frog stew (which ironically does not contain any frog), the pork chops, biscuits, hush puppies and the cobblers at the quirky little old diners dotted around the landscape of small towns in the south.

6)  If you want to take photos take them.  You may not pass that way again.

7)  Accept that things may not always go to plan.  It is also okay to admit you are wrong and it is also perfectly okay to change your mind.

8)  Pack more underwear than you will ever consider wearing especially for overnight stays and longer.

9)  Never ask a local man for directions or information.  Even if he doesn’t know the correct answer he will tell you something anyway in order to have polite conversation……… and the information will probably be wrong.

10)  And the last and most important tip.  Enjoy the journey xx

 

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A beautiful little church (still in use every Sunday)

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This really is someone’s lovely little house (which they actually live in)

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These are biscuits.  I love southern biscuits.

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These are biscuits with gravy.  I don’t love southern biscuits with gravy.  I like my gravy a little different to southern gravy.  I like it brown and tasting of meat juices!

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I have never seen a pecan described as ‘desirable’- what a wonderful narrative for such an unassuming little nut

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Cheese (American style)

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I’m really going to need some bigger pants soon!

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I just love that there is a ‘cookie’ (not to be confused with a biscuit) called a ‘snickerdoodle’

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Rows and rows and rows of perfectly preserved peaches 

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2 thoughts on “Off the beaten track

  1. Hello Grasshopper. Yes, amazingly everything (I’m guessing its due to the large portion sizes) is offered as a doggy bag at the end of the meal. One place we dined at offered free pie at the end of the meal – it was ‘free pie Friday’ which we didn’t know about….no wonder the place was packed. We could not fit another thing in so they bagged them up for us to take home (and we didn’t even ask – we declined politely the offer of dessert) but there you go, that’s southern hospitality for you xx

    Oh, and yes in answer to your question regarding the tips 🙂

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