let’s go to hamsterdam

Yesterday we had our first sketchy Greyhound ride. Fear not – no one was directly sketchy to us but the whole thing was just slightly unpleasant. But first, we must tell you what we did in Memphis yesterday morning.

We woke up to find that the magical mystery tour of Memphis was set to continue. I always like to be roused in the morning with the question “are you guys hungry?” and so this was a perfect way to start the day. We hopped in the car and eventually ended up at a place called Gibson’s Doughnuts. These are not your average Krispy Kremes or Dunkin Donuts, no. These were all fresh, handmade, delicious doughnuts. We were only going to have one each but Katherine insisted we had two so we had one there and took one for the road. I had a coconut one for breakfast and Bella chose blueberry which were both really good, and of course I washed that down with a carton of chocolate milk.

We then continued the tour and went to a gorgeous park called Shelby Farms where we just wandered around in the sun for a bit, reminisced about how annoying Furby’s were and generally absorbed the nice atmosphere. We were near Katherine’s friend Sarah’s house so we decided to pop by. She had the most gorgeous dogs (one was called Sophie) so we played with them for a bit and then realised it was probably time to sort our lives our and head towards the Greyhound.

We were going to drive by Graceland on the way there (apparently no people who actually live in Memphis have any clue where it is/ have never been) but after getting a little lost in the slightly more sketchy area of town we decided that maybe we should abort Elvis and concentrate on getting the bus. Luckily we made it in time. I really, really enjoyed Memphis and I think this is mostly because we had someone with us who knows the city so knew all the cool places to take us. Also I feel like downtown Memphis is pretty small so without a car we may have been a bit stuck so thank you SOOOOOOO much Katherine for being our personal tour guide and hosting us for the last couple of days – we had a great time!

Now here is where the trouble began. We arrive at the Greyhound with about twenty minutes to spare before we needed to board our bus. This is cutting it fairly fine but oh no, luckily the bus was AN HOUR LATE. This is fair enough if there seems to be a real problem but the bus was literally sitting right in front of us for this hour. Drivers were having veritable feasts of pizza and chatting away but not bloody boarding the bus. When we were eventually boarded we were some of the last people to get on the bus and so this meant we had to begin our journey solo. I was next to a portly Mexican man who, everytime we stopped, wanted to know if we were inDallas. We Weren’t. This bus was also graced with a couple, possibly the fattest I have ever seen, who seemed to have missed the memo about personal hygiene (mother, think dirty biscuit people). There odour was so bad that many people sitting around them decided to move away because it was making them retch. I also think they might have been brother and sister lovers but lets not speculate too much now.

It was a good job people moved away from them, because our next few hours were broken up rather nicely but overhearing stories from one of the moved men – his name was Dre. Dre had decided to perch himself next to a little white boy called Will and so began their 3 hour conversation to Little Rock. It started in a fairly standard way, talking about weed and the different types you could get. This moved on to medical marijuana – the guy in front had a medical card so he could get weed in California They then moved on, with the guy in front to talk about Hamsterdam. That is Amsterdam to you and me. Their little friend had visited Hamsterdam and showed them the business card of a prostitute he had the pleasure of using. It had her “real picture” and she was a bargain at just $30 for a session. After this, the discussed the merits of hostels (because he had stayed in one in Hamsterdam) and Dre was surprised to find that they didn’t all get killed like in the movie hostel.

After this the conversation took a slightly more innocent tone for a while. The men discussed their favourite cereals and lamented the dangers of surfing. However, then Dre began to tell his life story. His father was the biggest drug dealer in his town – making up to $12,000 a day (apparently). Now Dre didn’t want to follow in his path so he got a girl pregnant – when she was 13. Dre didn’t seem to keen on his baby mamma. She was “not the sort of baby mamma any guy would want”. It was all fine and he loved his only son, but unfortunately when he did some time in prison, she got a new boyfriend. What bothered Dre so much about this was that he sent her lots of money because obviously he loved his son, but she spent it all on going out and clothes for her. He believes this money should be spent on “new kicks for my son…he should not be going to school in Spiderman sneakers.” Glad to see his had his priorities straight.  He carried on telling Will about the time he saw a white girl who was so hot…he thought she was an albino black person…

Unfortunately, we arrived in Little Rockfor our last real ten minute break before the rest of the like 7 hour journey. Here Bella and I were able to move next to each other so that was something. The bus was crap and didn’t have wi-fi. Everyone had reclined their seats and I was FREEZING. I seemed to sleep for quite a lot of the journey, but I realised on this bus ride was the first time in months that I had wished that I was home. I just wanted my bed! Luckily, Carie was there waiting at 2.30am with her dad (bless them it was SO late) and we were presented with the Princess room in her gorgeous condo. Picture the scene – we are on beds so tall they look like something out of the princess and the pea with like four poster iron things. Its so cool and I can safely safe we had a great night sleep.

BRING IT ON DALLAS

S xx

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

walking in memphis

WE ARE IN MEMPHIS. And Memphis is fun.

We arrived in Memphis last night and after a short taxi ride arrived at the lovely Katherine’s house. We were quickly hurried out again so that we could all grab some dinner and we drove over to a place called Huey’s where we met some of Katherine’s friends from home. It was really nice just to sit and chat to the girls without having to plan our next stop. The burgers were really good and we left fully satisfied (as we always do). We were going to head on to a hookah bar, but after Katherine leaving her bag in the restaurant, a 45 minute wait to smoke and all of us being very tired we decided just to go back home and chill before we went to bed.

We were really excited to have a lie in and Katherine had warned us that she has been sleeping in until noon, so we were fully expecting to sleep forever. However, we awoke at 10am (and so did Katherine) ready to take on Memphis. We started the day by meeting Katherine’s 97 year old grandmother, who was very lovely and very southern. We then drove around, seeing Katherine’s school, and all the really nice neighbourhoods in Memphis with some really gorgeous house that looked like Barbie dream houses. We kept driving and ended up at really cool BBQ restaurant called the Germantown Commissary. Memphis is famed for its BBQ so we were fully ready to sample it. The place itself was like a little wooden hut with weird posters all over the walls but the pulled pork sandwiches were amazing. I see what all the fuss is about. Apparently so do Tim McGraw and Faith Hill who had apparently visited so we were in good company.

After lunch (did I mention we got to take cups from the restaurant home with us?) we carried on driving around, went in a gated community (as you do) to look at all these glamorous enormous mansions, providing some inspiration for our futures as Southern Belle trophy wives, and then carried on driving downtown. We drove past the Peabody hotel (but we didn’t see the marching ducks) and then headed down to the river. Throughout this whole day Katherine hadn’t told us where we were going so it was like a magical mystery tour of the city. After another brief detour where we realised we had no cash to pay for parking and had to be rescued by Katherine’s lovely mum, it was revealed that we were going to Mud Island River Park. We boarded a monorail over the Mississippi River to get to the park itself, which turned to be this amazing, very detailed mini replica of the river which you can walk in. It took you through all the states with all the major cities on the side including real detailed maps of them, which was v helpful when planning how to get to Beale St later! It was so cool and really really nice – the weather was perfect too, and so basically we walked the whole length of the Mississippi! On the monorail on the way back we met a guy who had an accent so strong neither of us could understand a word he was saying, but we got that he LOVED MEMPHIS when he showed us all the tattoos he had including the word Memphis and many a Memphis landmark, all immortalised on his arm.

Next up on the tour was Beale Street, which was amazing. It was basically like Nashville’s Broadway but with less country music and more Blues, and once again we wished and wished we were 21! There was lots of live music for us to enjoy though and we bought more trashy postcards to add to our collection, before heading back to Katherine’s to chill for a bit/watch Say Yes To The Dress.

Beale Street

After a while it was time for another mystery stop. This one was based in the ghetto/a slightly sketchier area of Memphis: Jerry’s Sno Cone! It’s this hilarious bright pink building right in the middle of nowhere and we all got Supremes, which is sno cone with ice cream and they have like a bazillion flavours. We had yet another no-cash mishap but after a brief trip to a sketchy garage and a case of mysteriously disappearing sunglasses, we secured our Jerry’s. This is one of my favourite things about being with a native – we would never have found/ventured near Jerry’s alone!!

SNO CONES!

Tonight, after Katherine discovering the joys of Dance Moms, we headed out for dinner. And no, it was not at another BBQ establishment but a Moroccan restaurant called Casablanca (mum you would have loved it). We had some lovely humus and falafel (our faves) and then some real lamb and real vegetables. It was incredible and although we felt full, we for once we didn’t feel disgusted with ourselves because this food wasn’t laden with grease!

And now for wine and SATC

Laterz

S & B

1 Comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

tennessee homesick blues

Today Thetas took Nashville by storm.

After packing up all our stuff, being woken up by our timid German roommate who had set her clock two hours behind and was running around shouting “Jesus Christ!”, and of course me putting on my Dolly Parton t-shirt (and no I am not joking) we were rescued by the lovely Maggie and her lovely mum for a little Nashville adventure. Everyone seems to be in Nashville the past few days – we learnt Carie was here last night and our fellow countryman Nushy was also in town (although unfortunately our paths did not cross) – obviously all the cool people are in Nashville.

Maggie was disgusted that we had gone all the way to Nashville and not experienced Gaylord Opryland which is like a huge convention centre/hotel/home of the new Grand Ole Opry so decided that her and her mum would come and pick us up and drive us up there (it takes two buses otherwise – hence why we didn’t go!) All I can say is I am glad we did – that place was ridiculous. Brits think Centreparks on speed. We walk into the “hotel” and it was like walking into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (without the chocolate). There was a huge river running through,Busch Garden style pavilions, trees, and different climates. It was crazy. I am not quite sure why one would create such a hotel – but it would be hilarious/really nice to stay there one day. We also decided because we are Thetas together in a foreign land that we must kite something. We chose a horse dressed in Western attire.

After wandering round for a good hour you can imagine that we were rather peckish. The hostel had no bread or rolls this morning so we were rather hungry. We decided against eating in Opryland because it was no doubt rather overpriced so we got our shuttle lady to come and pick us up and take us for food. We were going to go to the Backstage Grill but the driver told us it wasn’t very good and that she would take us somewhere better. We ended up at Santa Fe Cattle Co. where we were treated to a selection of nachos, wings, and chicken salad which was really good. Oddly, you get free peanuts at this restaurant and so there were peanut shells all over the floor so you kind of felt like you were in a barn – but it was fun!

After lunch Maggie and her mum dropped us off at the Greyhound (THANK YOU SO MUCH) and whilst they headed off to go and do some line-dancing downtown, we prepared for our four hour bus ride to Memphis which we are on as I write this. Journey as always has been fairly uneventful. The lady sitting next to us roped us in to persuading her man-friend (possibly husband?) that men can get their balls waxed and that this really was a thing. The driver has told us about the toilet at least four times and the bus smells a bit like wee. We just stopped in a town called Jackson,Tennessee which is possibly one of the most stereotypically Southern towns I have ever seen. The bus station was hilarious but it seems that the greyhound has been over-booked, but you know America, a practical solution for everything. Soooo, there are now about five people just standing up squished in the aisle. I am pretty sure this is illegal and we still have over an hour until we get to Memphis but oh well…we aren’t the ones standing. We also just drive past “Rebel’s Diner” – a cosy venue adorned with confederate flags. Would have been perfect for some dinner. But fear not. Our next lovely hostess Katherine has warned us that as soon as we arrive in Memphis we are going for food…we know y’all wouldn’t want to see us starve now.

S xx

(DISCLAIMER: We are not actually homesick at all, in fact far from it…Sophie wants me to assure everyone that it is merely the title of a Dolly song. Of course.)

Miles Traveled: 213

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

is this gonna be on the bbc?

We felt like this deserved its own post, for anyone who didn’t see it on facebook/to demand more attention. Remember when we said we spent our last night in Myrtle obnoxiously demanding to know all the things that people liked about us? Well, we have condensed 50 minutes of footage into this piece of sheer brilliance, so enjoy:

B&S

Leave a comment

Filed under the end

nashville, home of weirdos

Good evening fellow travellers.

Picture the scene: a tiny little table with a stone turtle on it, millions of fire flies which Sophie keeps pointing out, amazed, as if it’s the same one travelling really fast, some people around a corner jamming, one of them possibly with a violin. This is our life right now.

But first, let us rewind back to this morning. Our new French roommates left quite early so we got up quite early too and went for breakfast. This morning we even had real bread rather than rolls but it was very crumbly which was weird but with peanut butter it actually tasted pretty good you will be pleased to know. We then embarked on our two mile hike back down the highway and into downtown (the area where all the bars and tacky shops are). The gift shops were very entertaining and had more Southern crap than you can ever imagine. There was a confederate flag bikini that we both really wanted, but unfortunately it was $36.99 and even if we had shared it, it would have taken a whole day out of the budget. A whole day’s budget that we instead spent on ice cream.

Our spirits were raised though when we came across a whole rack of photos dedicated to Southern recipes, but these were not any Southern recipes – these were Elvis’ personal Southern recipes (or at least they had pictures of his face/of him tucking into delicious biscuits on them). We invested in an Elvis’ biscuits postcard and an Elvis’ banana pudding postcard to go with the fried chicken one we already bought in Savannah (sadly this one doesn’t have Elvis’ face on it), so be prepared for a genuine Southern feast when we return to the homeland! We also found a store that we really really liked that was full of sparkly things and friendship bracelets, and so we bought some bracelets and bonded with the guy at the cash register who had the quietest voice in the world/mumbled a lot but was very nice. My bracelet says ‘cancer’ which was fair enough when it was with all the other star sign bracelets but I have since realised I am wandering about with the word ‘cancer’ attached to my wrist so that’s cool.

After the many many gift stores we decided it was high time we went for an ice cream for lunch, so we went to Mike’s Ice Cream. I had a root beer float since we are in Amurca and I actually love root beer, and Sophie had a butterscotch milkshake. We ended up sitting there for ages because a) there was A/C, b) there was wi-fi, and c) we were hemmed in by a crazy man in a mobility scooter. Eventually though, we escaped, and the crazy man thanked us for letting him sit near us. We told him he should consider it an honour and a privilege. Jokes, of course we didn’t. We simply fled. And we fled to the country music hall of fame ( gift shop ) – we weren’t trying to pay to get in now were we?

Next up was a bit more wandering, and then we decided to go sit on some grass by the river. It was here that we had today’s two disasters. One, we sat down and Sophie noticed that her shoe was broken. Then she picked up her bag and noticed that all her water had spilt everywhere. We thought this was fine until we realised that her ipod, which has survived so long and through so much, was looking more than a little dead. It was too hot to move/do anything about it though, so we sat there until another crazy man arrived, and then moved a couple hundred feet to the right. We hadn’t been sitting there very long when a man came along, blessed us with a stick, and told us that “Jesus loves y’all.” So that was nice.

At around 5 we decided to go for more food. Should we just rename this blog “British Girls Eat Their Way Through the South”? Maybe. Maybe something catchier is in order. Anyway, we went to Dick’s Last Resort, which I have been going on about going to basically all year, and it was here that we met today’s friend, Jordan, who was our waiter. He made fun of us and called us cheap for ordering water but was overall very nice, very chatty and very keen to tell us his entire life story. He was born in Anglesey and demanded to know all the things we hate about America. We ate BBQ ribs and chicken, naturally, and since we were sharing and they ‘don’t do plates,’ we had to eat it off a bit of paper in the middle of the table. Wonderful. At the end of the meal we discovered that Jordan is an ex frat boy, has the same keyring as me, used to date a Theta and has the same bank card so after that we were pretty much BFFs.

It was only about 6 at this point and we really wanted to hear some live music but we are irritatingly under age. As we wandered around downtown, we came across yet more weirdos: a man who held up a sign asking us to sit on his face, another man who was offering kisses for $1 (we declined) and a crazy woman who was making fun of foreigners and then asked us if we spoke English. Eventually we decided there was literally nothing to do but eat more food and so we found ourselves in Margaritaville, where there was at least a live man doing some singing, ordering dessert. I honestly don’t know how these things happen. Anyway we had another nice waiter who told us he was new and so to bear with him if we had any questions.

Afterwards we did a bit more wandering. The guys outside the various bars and stuff were all taunting us because we look old enough that they try and entice us in but we can’t actually go in past 6 or 7 PM. We decided to cut our losses and return to the hostel, where we are now. We both really really like Nashville but it is SO ANNOYING being so underage!

B

Total Disaster Count: 11

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

do you think they think we’re idiots

Okay, so we were slightly worried that the hostel in Nashville might be a bit sketchy. Everyone will be glad to know that it is fine. It is a bit like a sort of hippy commune thing and the owners all look like characters out of a Tim Burton movie but overall, it’s fine. We arrived, were shown around and then shown to our room, where we met our roommates, two girls also from the UK.

Delightfully, they were leaving at 6AM this morning so that was a lovely wakeup for us both but it was nice to have the room to ourselves when we actually got up. We went and ate our free breakfast of peanut butter & nutella in rolls (very continental) and then we decided to head downtown-ish to the farmer’s market, which was really nice. Just outside was a lady singing country music in an ampitheater which we particularly enjoyed. In the farmer’s market, we made friends with a number of people, including a man who gave us samples of cookies, a man who tried to force us to sample mac and cheese and called me a terrible friend for not liking cheese, and a man who very nearly forced entire cheesecakes upon us and eventually insisted that we take his flier with their number on it so that if we get a cheesecake urge at any hour he can come by and hand-deliver us one. We have concluded that Tennessee people are very very polite and friendly and we like them a lot.

Anyway, instead of entire, 3.5 pound cheesecakes we decided to buy a lovely punnet of strawberries and took them outside to eat. By the way just as a warning this day basically revolves entirely around food so prepare yourselves now. Afterwards, we decided to walk all the way back towards the hostel and past it to Vanderbilt, where there was a baseball game. It was midday, it was HOT and the journey involved basically walking down a highway – wise as ever. Don’t worry though, we stopped at a gas station to hydrate ourselves. Sophie bought an orange push pop thing which proceeded to melt all over her and her white top – needless to say we were attracting some v strange looks as we wandered down the highway.

Eventually we made it to Vanderbilt – it wasn’t actually that far so don’t worry, parents. The iphone led us possibly the strangest way possible across campus towards the baseball field, but we did make a pitstop in the library to use their bathroom. Their library was very unSwem-like, it was a bit like Cambridge, all grand and everything. When we eventually got to the baseball field/pitch/whatever, we bought our tickets, tried to go in the wrong entrance, found the right entrance, and then it started pouring down with massive thunder and lightning. We sought shelter under a nearby tent offering free koozies amongst other things, which we stocked up on. One of the guys in charge fully encouraged this. He started asking us about where we were from, what we were doing etc and was clearly very bemused by what the hell we were doing at a Vanderbilt baseball game. To be honest, by this point, so were we.

It carried on raining and didn’t really look like it was going to let up so they sent us all inside into the gym/arena whatever, where we bought hot dogs like true Amurcans until it finally stopped enough to go back outside. There was this group of boys around like 14 or so with VERY southern accents so we sat like a couple of rows behind them to listen to them. However this then backfired on us as their group multiplied and multiplied until we were sitting so awkwardly close that we definitely looked like we were trying to creep on them, so we subtly moved back a row.

our new best friends

Neither of us have any idea about the rules of baseball, even with our extensive knowledge of rounders, but the sun came out again and so we sat there for a while until we got hungry and decided to head for dinner. I am glad we went even though we didn’t understand one thing that happened cause it was on the bucket list and everyone’s accents were sooooo southern and there were so many funny people around. Also, on the way towards food we found another theta house!! We once again creepily took pictures – all theta houses are obviously the best on campus…

Next up was, you guessed it, dinner. We went to a restaurant called South Street because we both really wanted chicken & meat and stuff and ordered some sort of barbeque combo platter thing which was realllyyyy good, and spent most of the meal lamenting all the food we are gonna miss next year.

We were planning on going downtown this evening to take in the scenes etc butttt we got back to the room and literally could not face moving/walking all that way so who knows what lies in store this evening…I suspect not very much

B

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

this is definitely not a nashville party…

Today we have been on the road yet again. I believe we have travelled over 500 miles and as of now we have spent about 9 hours on buses today with one more to go. It’s been a long day but was broken up with a little adventure in Atlanta which was very exciting. But first, we shall finish rounding off our time in Savannah.

After the thunderstorms passed and the toilet was fixed we decided to take one final walk around Savannah. It was very pretty and we took lots of pictures of ourselves so that our photo albums aren’t as boring if they have people in them.

see? thrilling

We ventured into downtown because the gunman had been arrested and as we were walking along minding our own business we were stopped by a little old man who wanted to tell us all about the goings on of that morning (we were a block away from where the gunman was held up). He was VERY animated and told us how he saw the gunman run into a car, then crash into a tree and then run into the restaurant. However, his favourite part of the story seemed to consist of the police dog who he seemed to have taken rather a liking too and knew everything about it. Apparently the dog that apprehended the man was from the same county he was, was a very small mixed breed but very fast, had teeth “this big” with very dramatic motioning and bit the robber. He was upset they Savannah had not used their own dogs because the nasty man had kicked the dog and at one point he thought he had shot the dog which would have been awful. He then declared that “they should have shot the motherf**er” (keeping it clean for the kids people) so maybe he wasn’t quite as nice as we had thought! Then he apologised for holding up our evening and continued on his way.

We seem to have had a lot of encounters like this in Savannah– I think people are just very friendly. One man selling reed things on the side of the road began shouting at us, but really he was just warning me my skirt had ridden up. Lots of people have bid us good evening and we bonded with another street selling man because there was a crazy woman talking to herself. People are actually just very polite. We also befriended a taxi driver who used to live in England and who drove us to the Greyhound this morning, was very concerned for our welfare (surprise there?) and gave us a discount on our fare so that was nice of him too.

So this brings us to the Greyhound again. It has all been pretty stress free. We have wi-fi and leather seats so time passes fairly quickly and no one too sketchy on here. Greyhound one was from Savannah to Atlanta (with a stop in Macon) where we had planned to meet the lovely Rory because we had a three hour lay over. Many people had warned us out of all our stops thatAtlantawas one to be careful at and Rory obviously felt likewise and came to pick us up to and take us for lunch. It was probably a good job he did – it is right next to the Atlanta Pre-Trial detention centre…

We went to “the worlds largest drive-in” The Varsity, which has been on the Food Network (and you know we follow these shows around the country) which was really fun. We all donned hats and sat and munched on our burgers and hotdogs. We only had one and a quarter hours so it wasn’t really enough time to do much else and we needed to have time to drive back because Rory unsurprisingly was not familiar with navigating the area that the Greyhound station is found. Afterwards we had a little drive round downtown Atlanta which actually seems really cool – I wish we could have stayed a bit longer. We saw the world of Coke and drove past the Aquarium with a soundtrack of very British music including the Channel 4 instrumental music (who are you Rory?!). We also witnessed a street attack on a policeman on the way back to the Greyhound – it was probably a good idea that we were rescued. We eventually said goodbye and thanked Rory for being our knight in his shining BMW and then we prepared to board our next bus (escorted by a nice policeman who approached us – we really must look like easy targets!) The bus driver warned us that if we said the F-Word on the bus we would be removed because he doesn’t want to hear that horrible language so we are being very well behaved – no cussing for us.

So that brings us to now – about an hour fromNashville in the dark on the bus. We stopped in Chattanooga briefly the home of our favourite Teen Mom Maci and then we were back on the road. Tennessee is in a different time-zone, or at least Nashville is, so we are now 6 hours behind the UK. It is also very pretty and mountainous – no wonder Dolly likes it so much!

S xx

Miles Travelled Today: 552 or something

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

there is a gunman on the loose

But actually…

This morning we were awoken to the news that there was a gunman on the loose in downtown Savannah. Not only was he on the loose, but he was only about fifteen minutes from our apartment. It seems that we attract disaster wherever we go – I would like to call this disaster number 8 (number 7 being the attempted robbery we witnessed) The police had advised not to venture into downtown this morning but luckily we had to meet our apartment man David to pay him for the apartment. David was thoroughly shocked about the crazy gunman, but more shocked that he had chosen to seek refuge in a historic restaurant called the Olde Pink House. Bella and I had actually considered this place for a spot of breakfast…good job we didn’t go. David was very nice, and gave us some nice tips about Savannah, told us to go and sit in the park and soak up the atmosphere and then was on his way.

Because of the risk of shooting, we decided to walk in the opposite direction to downtown so headed on a mission to find the Back in the Day Bakery which we had heard a lot about before we arrived in Savannah. It was about 20 mins away, and the neighborhood we walked through literally felt like it hadn’t changed since about 1950. It was so old school. The thing we have noticed about Savannah is that everywhere you go seems very peaceful and residential and nice. I am also reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil which is set in Savannah so am full on fun information as we walk about (I am sure Bella loves it.) This book did teach me that Johnny Mercer lived on the road that we are staying on now, he is the guy who wrote Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s anyone?) and Jeepers Creepers and songs like that. So that is kind of cool.

Anyway, we reached the bakery but didn’t really want any food as we knew we were probably gonna eat loads later. So we just got drinks and sat and absorbed the atmosphere. I bought a biscuit for later and then we set off back on our way to the apartment to see if the gunman situation had been resolved. Luckily it had. He had been caught and no one had been hurt so that was good too. I feel like I had predicted this situation because yesterday I had told Bella I had suspected Savannah to be a place where there would be murders and stuff – like in Cluedo.  I should learn not to tempt fate in the future.

back in time?

Back in the Day

But luckily, this meant we felt safe enough to go nearer to downtown to eat lunch. For ages we had our hearts set on this place called Mrs. Wilkes. This place is like traditional Southern food, where you sit on tables of ten and share food like you were at someone’s house. This places is pretty famous and usually the line is super long and can take a couple of hours. We hoped the gunman would deter people and I think we were right because we must have only waited about twenty-five minutes which was good. We ate fried chicken, mac-and-cheese, biscuits, beans (of many a variety), pulled pork, beef stew, corn, dumplings, sausage rice stuff, green beans etc etc etc. and it ended with a lovely banana pudding. It was a really cool experience, but I wish that the people on our table were more sociable because that would have been more interesting. They weren’t very chatty at all – too busy eating. Saying that I was stuffed when we left and it looked like it was about to rain HARD (it has been like 80 degrees with 85% humidity – a thunderstorm was inevitable). So we went back to our apartment to sit it out because everything here is outside really.

it tastes better than it looks!

 

This all sounds well and good until disaster number 9 struck. There was an incident involving a toilet, wire coat hangers, boiling water and plungers. Luckily an hour and a half later (of hard labour) crisis was averted. I will let you use your imaginations here – if you really want to but it was VILE. I think we can blame the copious amount of food Mrs. Wilkes provide for us. SO SO SO SO SO GROSS.

And that brings us to where we are now. Hiding from the rain in an apartment like middle aged women reading our books on the sofa.

Life is good.

S xx

Total disaster count: 9

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

y’all brightened my day

This morning we had quite a leisurely morning showering, getting ready, rearranging our suitcases and eating a v inventive breakfast of peanut butter & bananas in pitas. Then we headed out to explore Savannah. Our apartment (who are we?!) is in a really really good location, just basically next to Forsyth Park which is lovely and feels just like Hampstead, and all the houses are GORGEOUS and all very elegant and historic feeling.

We’d booked onto a dolphin cruise which we had set in our sights many months ago (I think it’s on the bucket list) so we wandered all the way up to River Street where we looked around loads of the shops there and read a million more menus of restaurants we can’t eat at. Basically the shops fit into two categories: tacky gift shops and sweet shops, all of which give out free praline samples. We also found a Peanut Shop, the partner of the one in Williamsburg only three times bigger, which was good as it meant three times the free samples. We have figured out that you can pretty much eat entirely for free in these places we are visiting. We also went to this visitors’ information stand thing to ask for a map and met a lovely very Southern young man who was very very helpful and got slightly carried away when we vaguely mentioned we wanted food at some point, recommending all kinds of restaurants and even recommending places on Tybee Island which we can’t even get to but didn’t have the heart to tell him so. When we left he told us that we were lovely and that we’d brightened his day by stopping to talk to him so that was nice.

At 2 it was time for our dolphin cruise so we went off and boarded the boat. The man gave us lots of interesting facts about Savannah’s industrial history and some terrible terrible jokes but most importantly we saw dolphins! The driver made them surf in our wake which was so cool and we got video which I will put up when we have a more reliable internet connection! (in the mean time here is a cool picture)

By the time we finished it was about 4. We went up to the City Market kind of area which was really really nice, loads of really cool shops and stuff and actual normal shops too like Gap & Urban Outfitters which seemed weird to see – I’d kind of forgotten they exist. We also found one store that we both absolutely LOVED and planned to furnish our entire house out of, and then we went for fro yo and both got a bit carried away but whatever.

After that we returned to our lovely apartment via the Square where Forrest Gump sat and also via the park where we went on the swings for a bit and I found out that Sophie doesn’t like swings whatttt? As we have eaten way, wayyy too much these last few weeks (and now that we are finally free from Ivan…) we decided to actually cook for ourselves and so we whipped up a lovely stir fry, improvising with the use of salad dressing in the place of oil/stir fry sauce as we had neither. We have spent the rest of the evening battling with the crappy internet, planning what to do in the rest of our stops and watching ABC – it’s so nice to have an actual house to ourselves!

Tomorrow we have a ridiculous Southern feast planned soooo we have prepared ourselves by doing 5 minutes of ab exercises. Yeah we take this workout regime seriously.

B

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

on that (nearly) midnight train to georgia

I am writing to you from the Amtrak heading to Savannah, Georgia after what can only be described as some of the most fun days of the year. Although we have already noted that our beach week was more like a beach 36 hours, it was a very fun 36 hours none the less and WE DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE. We considered staying on a bit longer but there wasn’t really a way to do it without wasting lots and lots of money so we thought we should just suck it up and say goodbye to everyone. It was tragic.

But enough of that. Yesterday morning we were all up bright and early, as in all up at 9am early for some reason despite not going to bed (under hoodies and a towel as we failed to fit bedding into our already over-stuffed bags) so we all ventured out for an early breakfast. Destination of choice: Atlantis Pancakes. A classy destination as you can imagine and Bella and I shared some eggs, bacon and hash browns whilst surrounded by faded pictures of Greek islands. It was actually really nice though.

We eventually mobilised the troops, engaged in a spot of stolen decorative pineapple from the caf with sig pi. We decided to head down to the beach which was a beach full of weird sights. There was an handy gold buggy that drives up and down the beach selling drinks and Italian ice, a group of terrifying gangsta men and the odd village (possibly for crabs?) that those weird sig pi’s erected. We spent the afternoon there just chillin’, bullyingJackson, playing in the sea and getting sunburnt (which we didn’t realise until much later) and then we relocated to the pool where the same sort of stuff continued.

We had decided earlier with the girls (and Jackson) that we wanted to go and grab some Mexican for dinner – which was probably the best and worse decision ever. It was the best because it was really good, even though it looked super sketchy) and we indulged in way to much food and GIANT margaritas/daiquiris which was also a very wise decision. Basically we were SO FULL and had to lie down for a while to recover.

We then started on our last night with our favourite W&M people. I don’t really know what to say about this night other than it was really fun. Everyone who we love in one place and lots of alcohol = FUN. We had been talking for a while about interviewing all our friends on Bella’s camera asking them about W&M etc. etc. but hadn’t got round to it. However, tonight was the night. I went around the whole party interviewing EVERYONE who we love and obnoxiously asked them “why do you love teamEngland?”. Although this does seem obnoxious, I feel we have possibly the best and most amazing footage ever which will definitely make us cry when we watch it back. The night seemed to go on for ages and we kept looking at the clock and it was always like 10.30 and time was going in slow motionnnnn. The night when on in roughly the same sort of fashion, occasionally interrupted by the odd thunderstorm until we finally decided it was time to say our official goodbyes. So we went on a mission to find all our friends and say goodbye. Awkwardly we said goodbye to Neal and Steven like five times, and then had an emotional goodbye with Grace and Melissa then decided to call it a night. But of course not before seeing Ivan for our final goodbye (in case he didn’t wake up…luckily he did) to which he brought us two cans of soup and a story involving getting lost around a lake with a cat…it was time to go to bed.

We woke up this morning, in Emily’s bed, very content with the world. And very concerned that we wouldn’t get to the Greyhound station because we were not entirely convinced our lovely chauffeurs would wake up in time to rescue us. Luckily they did and so we joined them for a beautiful spoon before packing up and saying our goodbyes (which isn’t fun). It was weird saying goodbye to Emily, because next time we see her will be in England which is surreal. We then tricked our chauffeurs, Brooks and Ivan, to drive us 18 whole miles (THANK YOU SO MUCH), stop and the bank on the way and then drop us off at the Greyhound station. Ivan’s reaction to the Greyhound station was priceless, I felt that he actually feared for our safety (luckily we are hardcore so it was fine) and offered to wire us money if there was an emergency. I feel like this is a lot of people’s reactions. They don’t have much faith in us. We said a terribly tragic goodbye to our bitches (which was awful because it finally hit that these were the last W&M people we might have to say goodbye to) and then we went on our merry way.

Our journey was pretty uneventful. We witnessed a not o skillful robbery at the greyhound station. Let us call this disaster number 7. Someone had left a suitcase outside and suddenly some ghetto people in a beat-up van pull up and quickly put the case in their van. Much to the Greyhound man’s despair who went over and told them to give it back (they didn’t drive off very fast) which they did – they weren’t very good at stealing. I then befriended a woman who had run away from her boyfriend who had hit her a lot, we bonded over having a lot of luggage. Apart from that the journey was uneventful and we made it back to Charleston in one piece. We ordered a taxi to take us from the Greyhound to the Amtrak and we were greeted by not just a driver, but a whole family complete with child to help us with our luggage. I still do not know if these were just the drivers friends or her children or what but it was a bit weird. Unfortunately, we were at the Amtrak station at 4pm…and our train wasn’t until 7.15pm. Luckily we had the activity of compiling all the videos of last night and creating a montage (which is going to be AMAZING!). This easily wasted two hours and we sat and laughed at everyone’s ridiculous behavior and once again got all sentimental about everyone. We are still making it now – at 8.30 pm.

Tonight we hope to arrive at our apartment in one piece and then we meet our friend Dave tomorrow to pay him for the apartment. He seems like a bit of a joker so all should be well…

But for now – over and out

S xx

Total disaster count: 7
Miles Traveled: 231

It is now 11pm and we are living the life of luxury. We just had a lovely healthy snack, went shopping for the next couple of nights and are now sitting in our very own apartment. Like real grown ups – look at this and be jellll

ummm nice house?

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

we got the queen bitch

Hello friends, it is high time for an update as we realise we have left you all hanging the last couple of days. This is because we have been enjoying the wonders of BEACH WEEK (or, as it turned out, Beach 36 hours).

After a couple of hours of excitement on the beach it started to rain again, so we retreated to a nearby Ben & Jerrys where Sophie proceeded to confuse everyone who worked there by ordering an iced coffee, to the point where eventually she had to change to a child’s ice cream. We also got a text from Jo saying that they would be arriving later than planned and so threw ourselves into panic mode and texted everyone we know asking when they were arriving. Naturally it was Ivan who saved the day by putting us in touch with some lovely Pi Phis and Hannah agreed to come and get us. They then got slightly lost and realised exactly how far away we were BUT still came anyway which we are forever grateful for. They had even picked up our keys – top service. MASSIVE THANK YOU to Hannah & Katie!

We were first to arrive to our apartment, but Jo said that she, Dana and Lindsay would be arriving soon. However they then got very, very lost, leading to us spending a couple of hours with me trying to figure out where the hell they were on Google maps and standing outside on the street corner everytime they thought they were close. As it turned out Myrtle is a LOT bigger than anyone had realised and while we were in North Myrtle Beach, they were in South, where they have EXACTLY THE SAME ADDRESSES. But eventually they managed to figure it out and arrived safely!

As Graduation was this day all the seniors were coming down the next day so it was just sophomores and juniors around mostly. We were reunited with Emily and then we went over to the Sig Pi house for a while to see Lee, Neal and whoever else was around. We discovered Lee’s talents as a weatherman and he indirectly threatened to murder us before promising us breakfast the next day as a way to celebrate our last day on Earth so that was lovely. Then we went to the Pi Phi apartment for a bit to play ring of fire or whatever they call it here, but after a while it became clear that the girls all wanted to go to bed so we removed the boys and went to our apartment before retreating to the Sig Pi house cause they have the pool.

We did all go in the pool but only for about a minute which obviously was very sensible as then we were all wet all night. We took some lovely pictures though and all bonded hard.

look at the love

At some point some other guys turned up who claimed to be from Clemson and University of South Carolina. They were all very Southern so we got a bit of a kick out of their accents but we v quickly realised they were all idiots and loads of them started trying to debate religion, war etc etc with us which was not how we really wanted to spend our evening. They didn’t take our not-so-subtle hints to leave and after Lee had squared up to them a bit we decided just to cut our losses and leave ourselves, so we just went back to our apartment before there was a fight. For the record apparently it transpired that only one of them actually went to college at all sooooo they were all massive liars.

It was so so nice to see everybody – we were already having withdrawal symptoms after 3 days in Charleston so God knows what we are going to do now we have left! Also, updates from the last couple of days coming very very soon!

B

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

is there a song about rain beaches?

Greetings loved ones.

We are writing to you from Myrtle Beach – literally:

beach chic?

This morning we arose bright and early at 7am. Somehow we managed to get dressed and ready in precisely 8 minutes so we thought we were going to be really early for our taxi but we did not factor in the fact that it would take us 20 minutes to get all our stuff down the stairs and so we arrived at the front of the hostel just as our taxi did. Our taxi lady was quite grumpy and most unhelpful but, again, did have a jazzy steering wheel cover and only charged us $12 rather than $30 so that was good. We had also overestimated the amount of time it would take to get to the greyhound station and somehow ended up arriving there at 7:35 AM. Our bus was 8:35 so as you can imagine we were very glad we had gotten up so early.

Eventually the bus arrived and we got on it. We had sort of talked Greyhound up to be like a glorified prison bus but actually it was fine. It was a bit like going on a school trip with the naughty kids at the back and the bus driver seemed like a lovely man who was concerned about the “dear little ones” on board (I should add this was not us). The trip was only a couple of hours so it went quite fast and I enjoyed looking at all the weird little towns we went through. I didn’t actually think these sorts of towns existed but apparently they do.

I also just realised I forgot to mention that all through the journey it was CHUCKING IT DOWN with rain. We were hoping that it would stop before we got there but no, we arrived in Myrtle in a torrential downpour. As we had realised that we were going to have to entertain ourselves for basically the entire day, we were delighted about this. The rain and the fact that we had no idea where we were meant that we decided to get a taxi, and so ordered a bemused and ancient cab driver to take us to the nearest Starbucks, where we proceeded to shelter for the next two and a half hours off the back of the $5 gift cards we got given at the Theta senior lunch. We had quite a nice time actually rearranging itunes libraries and so on and I found some gems of videos from early on in the year/previous years of my life which should hopefully be making appearances somewhere quite soon.

Eventually we decided we were beginning to overstay our welcome in an empty Starbucks (the lady in charge concernedly asked us if we were doing okay as we clearly looked like homeless people, although one other girl working there loved our $30 Target bags) and also it had finally stopped raining, so we set off along the road until we stumbled across a place called Lulu’s Cafe. We loitered outside for a bit trying to decide what to do and when we noticed the girl inside looking a bit bemused at us, we decided to go in. We only ordered one chicken finger basket for the two of us as we figured we would have to spend the entirety of today eating (doing Ivan proud obviously), but the waitress either didn’t understand this or ignored it so we were forced to eat one each, and there went today’s budget. Also at this point I got a call from Emily who has successfully recused my underwear and who informed me that my roommate appears to have moved somebody else into my room already which is bizarre to say the least. So at least there is that.

We figured we couldn’t really eat for a third time today so instead we decided to be good Brits and head down to the beach regardless of the raging winds and terrible weather, and so that is where you find us, lurking in the grasses with all of our worldly possessions. The lovely Jo is going to pick us up when they arrive later and we assume we will be otherwise indisposed for the rest of the evening so let’s just hope that we all avoid more disasters and that it doesn’t start to rain.

ALSO, massive CONGRATS to all the seniors who graduated today! Wahhh everybody is all grown up!

Let beach week (two days) commence!

B&S

Total Disaster Count: 6 (we’re counting today as one, enormous, hilarious disaster)

Miles Travelled Today: 101

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

just chillin’

We have truly embraced the slow, Southern lifestyle today because we have literally done nothing. And doing nothing is actually very nice. We had leisurely breakfast and bid goodbye to our new aussie friends (who we are determined to track down in Myrtle beach) and then wandered to a really nice farmers market. We were very good and didn’t spend all our money on food we didn’t need and actually today we have stuck to our grand $40 a day budget so we are very impressed with ourselves. We decided to rest our tired legs and ended up sitting in the park where the market was for about two and a half hours, eating strawberries, looking at puppies and dodging children with lethal footballs. This is when Bella embarked on mission “find my underwear” and we called Emily to get her to try to rescue it. What makes this all the more awkward is that within 48hrs of Bella leaving her room-mate she has already deleted her off facebook…must have made a great impression! There was also a man with a lovely guitar who sang all our favourite songs; Sweet Caroline, Country Roads and so on, which we greatly appreciated and considered enthusiastically joining in with lighters, cheering etc but eventually decided against it.

We also now have a place to stay in Austin, with a man called Matt (he won’t be there when we are but we have his apartment which is very nice) and we also realized we are 100% stranded in Myrtle Beach tomorrow. We basically have found out we are 13 miles from our house, and there is no bus even remotely in that direction which could be interesting…. At the moment our plan is to sit on the beach in the center of Myrtle until one of our friends arrives and then make them come and rescue us (so if any of you are reading this please come in the afternoon and rescue us!!)

We decided it was better to probably move from this spot and get one final look at Charleston and so went back onto the campus and got all nostalgic about W&M (already) because all the College of Charleston seniors were graduating which was very sweet and they were all in white with bunches of flowers and stuff. Dinner came around and we decided on falafel and some Belgian fries which was really good and some gourmet chocolate, pecan bar brownie thing which was yuuuum.

And that really is about it. I think I could get used to doing nothing my whole life.

Oh… and here are some pictures of Charleston – ain’t it pretttttty?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next stop Myrtle – do not expect to hear from us for a couple of days as we may be otherwise engaged. That is if we ever make it…

S xx

Total Disaster Count: 5 (today’s disaster: discovering we are to be stranded in Myrtle AND must pay another ridiculous fee to get a taxi to the Greyhound)

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

this really reminds me of france…

hello friends!

We are STILL alive you will be pleased to know and have had a lovely time in Charleston so far. The day yesterday began with some bagels in the hostel kitchen, where we bonded hard with our fellow travelers who have taken to mocking us because we are under 21 in America. We then set off for the College of Charleston in search of the frat and sorority houses (we will never change…) On the way there we walked down King St. where I got very excited because we walked past the theater where Noah and Allie meet in the Notebook and then kept taking pictures of roads just in case it was the road where they lay down… We saw lots and lots of fratty shops, bonded with the man in the Sperry store (“you’re from England? right on!”) and went to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (how can these places exist?) and then traipsed off to find Theta.

And we did. And we creepily took pictures outside of it and hoped that no actual Thetas would come out (and luckily they didn’t). We made friends with some random men who asked us for our advice on the bar scene, which was naturally non-existent, and continued on our merry way.

We then went to this old historic market thing and ate loads of free samples because we didn’t have any snacks. A lovely jam lady made us try every single variety she had on offer so we sampled many a peach chutney and then sampled lots of praline things which were also really good.  Despite this we were still hungry and went along the street just examining the menu of every restaurant until we found a nice one where we had very southern things combined into sandwich form – I had fried green tomatoes and shrimp and Bella had a Charleston Cuban (whatever that is!) – it involved many different types of pork in one sandwich. Also we have had some feedback from one Annette Beagley and we would like to apologise for our incessant food reporting…however this is basically what our trip is centred around and we are going to continue to list everything we eat. Sorry not sorry?

Charleston is a really beautiful town and we decided that we could have gone to College there – it’s bigger than the ‘burg but not toooo big and has a pretty studenty vibe which is cool. But it’s pretty easy to walk around (saying this we did walk about 7 miles yesterday) and really really nice.  So the continued much in this fashion – we are now officially southern belles so just wandered around slowly in the sunshine and absorbed the atmos. We also thought that Charleston seemed very French and reminded us of some of our childhood  holiday destinations…turned out we were in the French quarter so it turns out our intuitions are pretty in tune/ we are massive idiots. This lead us to a nice water front with a weird pair of binocular things we could play with and lots of posh houses that we could admire and envision our future lives living in. I do believe we may have turned a bit middle aged.

As we walked back to our hostel we had an interesting encounter at Piggly Wiggly finding we had apparently entered Charleston’s ghetto (and a man accused me of being of pregnant) which was slightly worrying so we just walked quickly back and had a romantic dinner for two – complete with strawberries on the “terrace”  and then went into to mingle with our fellow travelers for one of those weird nights, where we do ridiculous things and then wake up in the morning and think “what is our life right now”.

I guess our behaviour wasn’t too ridiculous – we just met up with some College of Charleston Thetas who we didn’t know and joined them at a party of some “hot dog men” …but this was later. First, we spent some time at the hostel drinking beers with our new Australian friends. It is really interesting talking to everyone and hearing all their various travel tales…most people seem to be doing or already have done a very similar route to us which is reassuring as it proves we have selected our places well! These Australians are also very friendly…one of them told us he’d grappled with an alligator after feeding it marshmallows and that was why his arm was all bandaged but we have just discovered this to be a lie and the injury was actually caused by launching himself at a tent. As you do.

When the guys headed off to the bars we also headed off in search of our SISTAZZZ. As I’m sure many of you noticed, we had lamely put out a facebook plea for anyone with contacts in Charleston and Hanna (naturally) came through and hooked us up with Tori, who v kindly invited us to her house. We went there, drank some classy Andre, and chatted for a while and then the girls all announced they were going to the party of some guys they’d met at a hot dog place. We decided to seize the day and went with. This all should have felt very awkward but didn’t at all and we watched a riveting game of beer pong and chatted to a man who announced we should follow him on twitter and promptly whipped out his business card before walking back with another of the girls who didn’t have ID. (Thanks for letting us chill with you guys btw – we had a great time!!)

And so that was yesterday. We will probably update everybody on today’s antics later on but first, a little snippet: we came to the realization this morning that I appear to have left probably 70% of my underwear in my room in Williamsburg. Cue frantically trying to get in touch with seniors who are a) still in Williamsburg and b) coming to Myrtle. GUYS IF YOU READ THIS HELP MEEEEEEE!

B&S

Miles Travelled Today: around 7 (BY FOOT)

Total Disaster Count: 4

Total Times We Have Been Asked Where We’re From (Exclusive of Fellow Travellers): 5

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound

fried green bananas are like a southern thing, right?

GUYS WE ARE ALIVE AND WE’RE IN CHARLESTON!!! Yes we have left the Burg for good and our road trip has officially begun. Due to my love of Pitbull, which I share with Sophie’s mother, we had originally titled this trip ‘Mr Worldwide: The Hotel Motel Holiday Inn Tour 2012.” However as we are comedic geniuses the hilarious titles would not stop flowing and Sophie’s purchase of the awful awful published Twilight fan fiction/middle aged erotica Fifty Shades of Grey has inspired us to rename it “Fifty Shades of Greyhound.” Look out for this title on the NYTimes Bestseller list very soon. And so, without further ado, we bring you: Day 1.

The day began at 6:45 when we both simultaneously woke up (as we have since discovered), to find a lovely sentimental message written by our favourite creepy uncle J Flo. Obviously this was a sensible time to begin the day. At like 8 I got up, took the mountains of trash I had to the bin (over the course of the last two days I have filled three ENORMOUS trash bags), gave my key back and so on, and then began the mammoth task of trying to wheel all my stuff to Theta. This was a mission as I have to carry/wheel/somehow transport:

– One huge duffel thing

– One mini roll along suitcase

– One backpack (stuffed obviously)

– One Theta tote thing (with another bag inside it, Russian doll style)

– One paper bag full of British chocolate that I have acquired over the year

Not having the D of E expertise of Sophie, I had inefficiently packed my bag so that it doesn’t balance at all and it overturned no less than fifteen times on my way to Theta. At this point I was seriously considering just refusing to even leave as it was way too much effort.

Luckily eventually I managed to sort my life out at least enough to dump everything on the front steps of Theta and burst in to get rid of the chocolate bag. THEN we were actually on our way!!! Trying to carry all these bags was way too stressful so I don’t feel like I really got to appreciate the fact that it was my last time on campus and we didn’t really give the house a proper goodbye which is sad!

Eventually we successfully managed to get to the station with plenty of time to spare and after some help from some very friendly strangers we managed to manouvre our way through the doors, get our tickets and go out to the platform. Sophie had literally just started musing about how weird it would be to see someone we know on our travels when who turns up but Zante Boy/AviatorLAD himself, Jamie. He was sporting some lovely tie-dye (LAD) and was a little worse for wear but clearly overjoyed to see us.

This turned out to be very good luck for us because if it hadn’t been for Jamie and his friend (also now our friend) Tony we wouldn’t even have been able to get the cases on the train on the first place and probably wouldn’t have managed to leave. Anyway we had a lovely time on this journey chatting away about LADS, Exeter, Wimbledon and so on and the journey went very fast and the boys were very very helpful when we decided to get ready to get off the train at least fifteen minutes before we needed to and proceeded to anger everybody in the carriage – truly our knights in shining tie-dye (as Sophie put it) so THANKS BOYS…we know you’re reading!

We had a little wait at Richmond before our next train (yes, we did have to head in the wrong direction for an hour before we could even start our journey south) so we sat in the sun and reminisced about last night, the year in general and all the chicken we have eaten in the last three weeks of our lives. (Also a brief interlude to announce that Sophie lost her Chipotle virginity last night, courtesy of Ivan, naturally).

I kind of felt very blasé about this whole travelling thing up until the moment when the train pulled up and the PA guy listed off the stations and when he said “Charleston, South Carolina” I suddenly got INSANELY excited about the whole thing. Then the train arrived and that is where we are now, in our window-less seat. Although we are not fans of US trains in general – why are they so hard to get on, why do they not open all the doors, why are they always late – we are enjoying the ridiculous amounts of leg room and the amount of reclinability and so on.

Okay so, fast forward seven or something hours and $147 dollars later and we have survived three characteristic disasters. Naturally.

The train journey itself was very pleasant. We didn’t have a window but we had a lovely romantic lunch down the buffet cart with a turkey and brie baguette and some hummus and it didn’t really seem to take that long. They are also v efficient and like label you so they know where you’re going and make sure you know when you are getting off – this is not First Great Western after all. However as we were gathering our belongings to leave the train we attracted the attentions of an interesting gentlemen who had earlier quite politely asked us for a lighter. Because of this I didn’t think it was that weird when he started trying to get our attention again, however this time he had apparently decided our relationship had progressed to the point where we would join him in the train’s bathroom for a brief and intimate encounter before departing. Naturally we declined and fled.

As we got off the train and nearly knocked out several children with our bags we noticed some other British girls who we overheard talking about how they were going to a hostel. We figured they were probably going to ours but as our British reserve is still at least a little bit intact we decided against asking them where they were going and instead got into a taxi which would cost us $30. Obviously as we got out of the taxi at the other end, we saw the two British girls, also getting out of a taxi right in front of us. Considering we have a budget of $40 a day maximum on food, activities and whatever else we may require, this was our first disaster. However the taxi driver lady had a pink fluffy steering wheel so really it was worth it.

Our next disaster could have been so much worse as when we approached the check-in desk they looked at us very concerned and told us the reservation was for one. As we have not quite managed to actually attach ourselves at the hip yet this was an issue. Also I should add that the reservation email definitely says 2 adults so this was not our fault!!! Anyway, luckily there were beds available for us – HOWEVER they had only charged us for 1 adult, so we had to pay another $80, thus ruining our carefully created spreadsheet and our entire budget. Oooops. However, luckily again the room and hostel in general is very nice and we even have a sort of luxurious apartment with its own kitchen, a nice marble shower, nobody in our room, and, we think, some French girls in the room opposite.

Disaster number 3 didn’t end up to be that much of a disaster – Sophie briefly lost her ipod but luckily the pink steering wheel lady had not robbed it as we had suspected and in fact she had dropped it down the sofa in the lobby where it had been rescued by these same French girls.

After all this stress it was only natural to go and a) spend more money and b) eat some food. Signs we have been spending too much time with Ivan. We stumbled across this really cool place called Fuel which used to be a garage and which was filled with frat boys (we can detect them from three miles away now) so we decided it was obviously to our tastes. We were right, we decided to go for a Caribbean themed meal and even indulged in some fried plantains (basically massive bananas). These Southern delicacies.

As of now we have returned to the hostel and are sitting in a more public kitchen thing where we just had a lovely chat with some Australian men who are midway through a very impressive road trip. One of them offered me the use of his ID but unfortunately he has blonde hair where I have brown and I feel this would be pushing the boundaries of credibility.

Sorry this is so long – seeing as we spent 7 hours of today sitting motionless on a train you can only expect these updates to get longer. Sorry not sorry.

B&S

Miles Travelled Today: 465 (according to Google Maps)

Total Disaster Count: 3

Leave a comment

Filed under 50 shades of greyhound