From having the same idea at the same time in the same place, this was the start of something bigger than we could ever imagine.
We met on a bus in Florida, on the way to work back in 2013. We have not looked back since (apart from occasional nostalgia – remembering the fountain of 9040 Coconut Plum Circle, switching off at exactly 00:00 – it’s time to retire for the night but the wine bottle is only half-full). These chats never get old.
We worked in hospitality for a season in Boca Raton, Florida and people and places have been our passion since. We love to travel the world, experiencing all forms of accommodation bearing in mind that the Bar is the heart of accommodation and often the deciding factor for our choice.
After our incredible work experience, we extended our stay in America to travel a couple of states and cities. This post is specifically about our travels in America – where we went, what we did and how we traveled around.
For two kids with very little savings, exploring the American dream (sometimes it really feels like it was just a dream), we were gifted a bottle of Crystal by a generous country club member, to send us off on our epic travels. Unable to carry the bottle in our carry-on luggage, this is how our trip stared at 4am!
Our photos, date back to 2013 and at the time, we were not concerned about aesthetics but we have selected the best ones to show you, here. We also used Kayak.com to plan our entire trip which was most convenient and helped two cash-strapped wanderers.
NEW YORK CITY
One of the best parts of travelling, is planning the trip – oh the excitement can be overwhelming. With so many states and cities to choose from and only 10 days to travel – one of the hardest decisions we had to make, was choosing where to go. So, we agreed to select 3 cities in 3 different states. A place we both wanted to see – New York, a place Pauric admires – Nashville, and a place Dannii loves – Seattle.
And so, our trip began in the city that never sleeps (except between the hours of 4 and 5am – we would know). Hahahaha!
We arrived at JFK and made our way to our accommodation which was out in Queens and probably not the best – location wise – but the room was beautiful. With a 20 min subway ride, we managed to see all the major tourist sites – Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Staten Island and a tour around Manhattan on the Hop on Hop off bus over a period of two days. Our best experience was watching a Yankees vs Mariners game in the Yankee’s Stadium out in the Bronx on our last night. Corn-dogs and Hot-dogs – yes please, more please! It was brilliant.
We planned to stay two nights in our hotel accommodation and one night with friends in Long Island, however this did not work out for us very well as we realised that we will not make it in time for our flight, the next morning, travelling from Long Island.
So, we managed to book our luggage in a ‘bag motel’ in good faith that it will be safe in a room that smelled quite like a certain green herb that at the time was only legal in the Netherlands. As a result, we missed half of the Yankees game, looking for alternative accommodation (unsuccessful) and in the end spent the night out with friends, then walked from one end of the city to the next ending up in Central Park to watch the city come to life. This moment was bliss. A New York State of Mind!
Pauric’s dream city! We stayed in the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel, just outside the center of town and it was fantastic. We can really recommend this Hotel – friendly staff, good food, live music and a very comfortable stay. The hotel’s shuttle travels in the city frequently and it was no trouble at all. We explored the center of town on our first day and then traveled to the Grand Ole Opry via bus from downtown Nashville, the next day. We took the Route 34 towards Opry Mills and it drops you at the Gaylord Opryland Resort which is right across from the Grand Ole Opry.
What really struck us in this city, was the friendliness of the locals. ‘Y’all have great lunch’, a passer-by said as we were waiting on our bus and eating on the go.
In the evenings we hit the honky-tonks and sang along to our favourite country tunes. The only regret we had, was not staying a little longer.
Our pick – Best Honky Tonk:
Honky Tonk Central – the best of live music and a tourist trap for all the right reasons
Our pick – Lunch Restaurant:
Wild Horse Saloon – Good Southern comfort food hits the spot after a late night
Coffee, rock music and the best meal we have ever had – Seattle is unforgettable. We wanted to be as close to the Space Needle as we possibly could get and stayed in the Travelodge hotel for that reason. Our view was superb. Travelling around Seattle was the easiest city out of the three. The monorail, built for the 1962 world fair, was quick and convenient. We took the ferry to Bremerton and walked from bridge to bridge, loosing ourselves in the great outdoors. Wow, what a scenery!
We sampled some of the fresh fish and produce from Pike Place farmers market and the world’s best coffee. Seattle has a great mix of city life, healthy foodie options and nature is right at your doorstep with breathtaking trails out in the mountains of Washington State.
On our last evening in Seattle, Pauric could a reservation due to a last minute cancellation at the SkyCity revolving restaurant on top of the Space Needle. It was the best experience we have ever had in any restaurant. The view was ever-changing and awe-inspiring. The food was mouth watering and of course our desert turned heads. We will certainly be back for more! Highly recommend this one!
And so, our American adventure came to an end and it was time to go home. Our story, however, had just begun. But for now, the fountain has switched off…until tomorrow folks! Y’all come back now!