Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Colorado to Alabama | Travelling America

So it is almost the end of my trip. In a few hours I will be heading to the airport to wait for my 6am flight back to Canada. It has been an amazing summer, camp was brilliant as always, but my favourite part has to be travelling. I was supposed to go straight back to Canada after this summer, but instead I teamed up with a friend Zane, and we have been travelling with a few other people along the way. It has been unforgettable, and has definitely inspired me to not stay too long in one place and see as much as I can.

So the first stop was Colorado. We made the looonnngg journey by car from Tahoe to Colorado. We stayed with a friend from camp at his family home and spent around six days there. The house was in a small town called Louisville. I have decided that I much prefer smaller towns in America, possibly because it feels more like home, what with England being smaller. Louisville was very small! The first night there was a street fair on so after dinner with Alex's mum we headed into downtown. (which consisted of pretty much one block). The street fair consisted of stalls and some live music, when they started packing up we went to a local dive bar called Henry's. I have also decided I like dive bars in America.

One thing you may already know about Colorado is it is legal to buy and smoke marijuna. So of course we went to check out the weed shops. Honestly it wasn't as exciting as I thought, the one we went to just looked like a hairdresser waiting room and then you went into a second room to actually purchase it. Over the next few days we went to Denver zoo, a Rockies game, went up to the Rocky Mountains and went bowling. (Alex has a bowling addiction.)

From Denver I flew with Zane (English), Alex (American) and Josh (Australian) to Iowa. I know Iowa isn't exactly on top of peoples travel lists, but we were going to visit another couple of friends from camp who study at Iowa State.

On our first night there one of our hosts got arrested and sent to the drunk tank for having an open container. He, for some reason, decided to run from the police when they approached him. So that was an interesting first night!

We went to house parties and hit the clubs, there are a lot of students as we were in a college town.

After a couple of days in Ames, Iowa, Alex and I took a car over to Dyersville where we went to the Field of Dreams. I am a big fan of the movie, so I was incredibly excited - who knew it was in Iowa?! We stayed in Cedar Rapids for the night, which we didn't realise was the state capitol. Being on a budget we booked a Red Roof Inn, which was possibly one of the worst places I stayed ever. The hotel itself was nice, we were just in the dodgy part of town, so there were a lot of unsavoury people hanging around the place! The next day we headed to Des Moines for the night and took a trip to Gray's Lake.

From Iowa I flew to Huntsville, Alabama. Again visiting a friend from camp, Courtney. She is studying at UNA, another college town. My first night she took me to the gym! Which was really good, as I haven't done any exercise since being on the road.

We drove over to Lynchenburg, where the Jack Daniels distillery is and took a taster tour, which was really cool. We spent the night at her family home in Tennessee. The thing I love about travelling and staying with people, rather than hotels, is you get to really experience life as the locals live it. courtney's family were lovely, the epitome of Southern Hospitality. From Hazeltown I got on a Greyhound on my own to Nashville to meet back up with Zane.

Nashville has been somewhere I have wanted to visit for quite a while. Mainly because of my obsession with the TV show, but also because I like country music, and being from England we don't have much of a 'country music' scene.

Nashville was crazy, my first day I was on my own for the most part, and I had a wander round downtown, hit up the walk of fame and checked out some of the artists playing in the bars, who were all really good.

I didn't get to the Opry or to the Bluebird cafe, which I am slightly gutted about. But I will definitely go back if I get the chance. When Zane finally arrived around 7pm we hit the main strip, heading to Dick's Last Resort for dinner. Dick's is a novelty restaurant where the waiters are paid to be dicks! They are sarcastic and kinda mean, but in good fun. From there we went on a bar crawl, I can't really remember most of the places we went to, but we did go to Tequila Cowboys, Coyote Ugly and Big Shotz. We went to a karaoke bar I can't remember the name of, where all the karaoke singers were really good - not like your local karaoke night back home at all. There was also a mechanical bull!

Zane and I travelled back to Alabama the next day, heading to Courtney's family lake house in Florence, for Labor day. We swam in the lake, went out on the boat and had a Southern barbecue! That night we went to a frat party, which was highly entertaining. Courtney's roommate is in a Sorority so we have been learning a lot about the Greek system!

And that brings me to today, where my trip ends. I am sad to be leaving America, but I love Canada so I will be happy to get back to the mountains of Whistler. Who knows where I will be heading to next!