Saturday, 30 January 2010

Aliens, Acorns and Anal Probes

Our final adventure along this northern trip was in PA, about one/two hours away from Dry Run. It was in the brilliant and intriguing town of Kecksburg. Yes this is another bizarre roadside attraction that we spotted and had to see.

Kecksburg claims that a spaceship shaped like an acorn landed there and many local eyewitnesses saw the police and military drive in and take things from the site and leave.

Nothing much was thought about this until the 1970s, when a documentary crew were filming a TV series about unexplained phenomenon and came into town. They created a replica of the 'space acorn' which they left when they had finished.

This acorn was placed onto the top of a building by the town and forgotten.

For many years

Until the Hype of Roswell and dollar signs entered the minds of the inhabitants of Kecksburg.

The Acorn was taken down and placed atop a large pole after being painted a fetching brown, at the bottom of a hillside. Two outdoor lights were fixed to illuminate this magnificent alien beast at night, so late visitors will not be disappointed.

I arrived in the light, which was quite lucky, as if I had arrived in the dark I would not have entered the UFO store, which is located in the back of the very local bar.

Kecksburg was not the most attractive of towns. nor did it seem the safest for strangers. So we may have procrastinated for ten r more minutes about whether we had the courage to enter the bar.

The Baroness had the decency to allow the poor English girl to enter the very local American bar first. I summoned my entire courage and opened the door, only to find myself at another door with a sign that simply said.

'Press Buzzer'

Why? My brain asked, while my hand full of bravery pressed.

Eight pairs of eyes turned to focus with strange intensity upon myself as I entered the room.

The UFO store was nowhere in sight.


Was this a ruse, a mere ploy to entice unsuspecting tourists into a scary trap. Visions of House of 1000 Corpses jumped into my mind.

I had seen Deliverance.

"Ask," whispered the Baroness, again revealing her gentlemanly behaviour.

"Excuse me." The eyes bore further as the accent was clocked "Is there a UFO store."

Six pairs of eyes rolled. One smiled and pointed to the eighth, who was getting up of her seat.
"Sure it's back here." She puts our her cigarette and opens a door, revealing a space no bigger than a toilet cubical, filled with sweatshirts, T-Shirts, Little Green Men (either stuffed or blown up), mugs, hats and shot glasses.

The Baroness purchased a mug (mugs are a thing with her) and I could not resist the hoodie with a fantastic reenactment of the Acorn crash landing (which in the jumper resembled, unfortunately, an anal probe.)

It is now my favourite item of clothing.

Then we headed back home to PA.

The Countess.

Canada and Satan's concubine

Saw Niagara Falls, unfortunately in the rain, but HEY! Whose complaining. It was magnificent and beautiful with the snow all around and the strength of the water creating crazy patterns with the snow and frost.

We didn't stay long before we were heading for Canada.

We were extremely excited about crossing the border and I got told off for trying to film my passage. The booth lady told me to go into the little room and get my passport stamped.

Everything was fine.

Until we walked up to Satan's mistress booth.

"Where are you going?" She asks, but I do not know the name of the town, so the Baroness answers. "Oakville," she says. "Can she speak English?" Asks the wench. "Yes!" I said. "When are you due," I thought she said. "25th March" I said "No," The Baroness said "She asked what you do," "You need to go and sit down," she pointed at the Baroness in a patronising tone. "You are answering for her,"

Satan's concubine then proceeded to grill me and the Baroness separately. She needed to know the amount of money I had in my bank account, at the Baroness homestead and in my purse.
"You travelling around the US on that amount?" she asks in what I deem unprofessional decision. "So you are unemployed?" "Yes" "You're not studying?" "No"

Another look of derision swipes across her face.
'Bitch!' sweeps across mine.

Baroness' turn and she is made to go back to the car, take out her purse, and count out all her money, note by note, in front of her.
"Where did you meet?" "London," "How do you know each other?" "We met at uni!" "Why are you going to Canada?" "To see a friend,"

The interrogation went on and on for 30 minutes, they asked the same question again and again in different ways and tones. Until she finally, and looking very grudgingly, stamped my passport and we were allowed through the border, in incredibly angry and hating moods.

Canada had Sherri and her family's warm welcome to thank for the small love I feel for this country. They were a great family and I felt incredibly comfortable in their home.

The Countess

The Boring Journey...Wait Is that a cop following us Baroness??

So we missioned to Niagra Falls today, after stopping off to see the Baroness' land in upstate New York. The Yank (her father) bought me an amazing haddock sandwich, which consisted of a battered fish and a bun placed directly in the middle. Confusing to understand how to eat. Some folded, others cut them up and ate some as a sandwich and the rest on their own. It was a poser and you know using up your braincells gives you an appetite, so if it's tasty and makes you think, I am all for it.

We spent so long in New York that we entered Niagra Falls in darkness. The journey here was pretty uneventful except for the small part in the middle where The Baroness was pulled over for speeding....

82 MPH in a 65MPH zone.

mmmmm. We would have been fine except we had been snoozing, as we had been on the road for a while without any excitement. I wanted to take a picture of the Sheriff so bad but the Baroness said told me if we got ourselves into this situation that I was not to speak but merely smile and flash a bit 'o' tit if I could. I smiled but the boobs were covered by a 50 cent Tinkerbell T-Shirt purhased at a Thrift store the day before, so that was a no go. Also she thought my English accent could anger certain people and we did not know if this Sheriff was a certain people.

We also made a quick stop the day before at the Whispering Statue in Barre, Vermont. A monument raised to celebrate youth, it had a freak side effect in the design and so if two people sit at either side, with the statue betwixt them they can talk at a normal level and it sounds as if they are sat next to each other.

The Countess

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Stop taking the Picture and help me get out of the snow Baroness!!!

Today we left Maine along with the wonder that is the route 25. We joined it and rode it to the end through nowhere, pretty, divinely beautiful, sometimes bizarre and occassionaly scary.

I recommend the world to travel along route 25 and see the delights it holds Including 'Simply Divine Brownies' These brownies are a feast of deliciousness. The Baroness saw the sign 'CHOCOLATE', I saw the sign 'BROWNIE' and we realised that is was necessary to stop.
The devil stood behind the counter smiling, knowing the downfall of these two victims was near. They edge to counter and the devil caught them in it's smile. It knew what it was doing when it offered them temptation. It knew what it was doing offering them evil in the form of tasty chocolate, melt in your mouth treats. It gave They received It exhaulted They fell. $6.50 dollars worth later they walk out with no feast, but two tiny squares of cake. But oh what tasty tiny squares!

We later frolicked in the snow in New Hampshire. Well it started as frolicking and then turned into chaos as first I, then the Baroness got our legs stuck in the snow and found ourselves incapacitated while the other took five minutes to take pictures before helping their friend in need.

My ass was soaked.

We stopped in Albany, the true capital of New York and got another Econo Lodge.

I stole a pen.

The Countess.

Lobster Loving in Maine.

I have been frolicking in the land of Witches, which we discovered was maybe a bad idea with the Baroness in tow. It would appear that a book written by a long dead Pope, teaches us how to spot a witch; Red hair being one of the clues. So the Baroness and her flaming hair would be the 'Spawn of the Devil' and a perfect target for scary puritanical witch hunters. So we did not dally long in this beautiful twon, only a mere morning as we did not fancy being hunted down and burnt at the stake.

We made our way to Essex, a place which claimed to be the 'Antiques Capital of New England' This town consisted of Antiques and food and that is about it! We could not see any homes. We spent a while frolicking in the antiques and bought two old polaroid cameras and a side order of advice of where to dine that lunchtime. So we ate lovely things and wrote our postcards in a dive with delicious food and finally made for Maine and my first lobster.

We rested for the night in an Econo Lodge. A delightful little motel-esque place run by a sweet Indian couple who lived in London for four years and miss the cricket and pubs!

We headed for the nearest supermarket and the Baroness ordered two 2lb lobsters for us to be cooked there. We took them back to the lodge with a bevvy of beers, as the Baroness is a firm believer in washing Lobster down with beer and now I would have to agree, they compliment each other lovingly. The Baroness showed me how one eats lobster as I excitedly looked on and followed. Only two words to describe this feast.


God help the next man who takes me on a dinner date. Mwhahhahah.

The Countess

Yes, We Found the Middle of Nowhere...In Rhode Island!

So the trip to New England begins with a Greek restaurant called the Parthenon, which possesses personal jukeboxes on each table. This has been a great fantasy of mine and I grabbed the opportunity to play. One dollar and three selections. So I ate stuffed shrimp listening to James Taylor, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix in Conneticut. Love it!!!

Later in the day, we ended up in the a dodgy part of Rhode Island. We didn't realise such places existed there but as we drove past the diner proudly stating 'the Middle Of Nowhere Diner' we realised we had actually found the Middle Of Nowhere.

That evening we followed the directions to the MOBA, no not the MOMA, but the Museum of Bad Art. We realised something was a bit funny when the direction ended up saying 'Go to the Male basement toilet', and indeed this one roomed art muesum is located next to the men's basement bathroom that did not have a door but an inadequate partion saving the man's modesty

We finally rested for the might in a motel.

My first motel.

I was a little bit excited. More than a little bit excited.

The Countess

Thursday, 21 January 2010

New York - Part Three - Pizza with a side order of Crazy

Sunday began at around 7am, as the sun shone in from the half closed blind. Which would be fine if you hadn't got to bed only two hours ago. Today I was to meet My mother's cousin Terry who runs a pizzeria in New York called Fivo's Pizza. We had spoken muchly using the wondrous greatness of the Facebook medium. After using a mixture of Terry's directions and the iPhone we found the street, where I stood directly outside the place, looking for the place, while Terry was sat in the place, watching me from inside.

We went in and were welcomed in an incredibly warm greeting by Terry, who proceeded to feed us with much pizza and soda. Feed us to the point of bursting and then when we could eat no more, he sent us away with more pizza to gorge ourselves at a later date.

Everything was happening as it should be, the meeting was going well, then Crazy walked into the place and this normal meeting went up in smoke. First meeting was when an old lady, about 70, came up to our table and stared intensely at Lauren for about five minutes before screaming at her in a loud American accent

"Are you from England?" Our relationship with this woman moved on quickly from there, including the fact that this woman was bleeding profusely from her nose and the blood was dripping onto her pizza. She went through about 50 napkins, a bag of ice and Terry even sent out for peroxide to stem this crimson waterfall.

Terry was sat on a table next to us. She placed her coat on a seat around the table and went to get her pizza.

"Hey," says Terry, " This table is taken!"
"I know," she said " I just took it!"

She had a smattering of words in many different languages including Greek and her favourite word was 'loco' which she applied to all of us at one point. She had a wealth of incorrect knowledge, claiming that the national language of Jamaica was French.

She also demonstrated her soccer (that is football to the English) skills that culminated in her kicking me in the shins. This woman managed to scare me and make me laugh but definitely entertained me.

We finally said our goodbyes to Terry and made our journey back to New Jersey. Where we finished our weekend by playing 'Superheroes' .

Baroness - Lex Luther
Me - Frozone
AJ - Superman
Fran - Spidergirl
Jason - Lois Lane.

Obviously the Baroness was the baddy, and myself and Fran were AJ's sidekicks and Jason being Lois watched from the sidelines. Lex Luther managed to trap Spidergirl and Frozone within meer minutes, using her steel-like thighs and powerful upper torso, leaving Superman to tussle with Lex Luther for the majority of the game.

The sidekicks sucked and the game ended because they hurt in places and needed to recharge the batteries.

Beware the Baroness

The Countess

New York - Part Two - 2am Bowling? Yes Please

We finally found Nita, she had been sleeping and contacted her towards the end of our gastronomic treat. So we left Harlem and made our way to the Village and a bar called the Mason Dixon line. A bar in possession of a mechanical bull. A bull which I did not ride till the morning light. My friends had not planned this night right and I was not wasted enough to mount the beast and grab and squeeze it betwixt my thighs. Later in the night we were en route to another bar located in Brooklyn, which was an ass and a half away from Emely's place in the Bronx. So a quick decision was made on the metro and the course altered to...


I have only been bowling twice, once in Cyprus and once in Burnley. So late night (2am to be exact) is something I have never experienced. We entered and I fell in love. The pins were illuminous with black lights bearing down and lighting the tattooed skin of the Baroness. Belying my obvious inexperience compared with my companions, I won the first game. Then came third in the second and second in the third. I have definitely taken to this game. We drank beer and dined on chicken wings, moss sticks and fried chicken. We left around 4am a very merry band.

The Countess

Monday, 18 January 2010

New York: Part One: Chez Chase and Dinosaurs

Ever had a weekend that didn't exactly go according to plan, but was possibly in the top twenty of your most bizarre and therefore most enjoyable nights. You end up laughing from the offset till the closing of Sunday night.

My weekend in New York has so many different facets attached to it that I am finding it difficult to contain in mere prisons of text. I am sure that my words will be of inadequate strength and will not be able to hold the fun, craziness and at times sheer insanity of these last two days. I find myself questioning whether trying to describe these events is a good idea or to just let the memories fester in my head for as long as can retain them, allowing them to disappear hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second. Until it morphs into a distant memory only occasionally sparked into life by a change meeting with one who shared all that joy, frustration and confusion.

But I started this journey with the intention of writing down all fun, interesting and bizarre moments and so I must continue, for this weekend in New York, contained all these elements.
We started at the Natural History Museum with Baroness, Baroness' friend Fran and her two children AJ and Emma. Fran is a supreme being who used to follow the grateful dead around America. Who cannot love a person who did this feat?
We had a mission, us four.
To Seek and Discover those great Attraction As Seen in that Great Movie 'Night At The Museum'.

This movie must be responsible for millions of kids requesting and begging their parents to take them to the museum rather than Disney World.

So we find the T-Rex and check one of our list. Mammoth is next, and another one is found. Easter Island Head is next and tis the place for a perfect picture opp.

By now, however, the heat, speed of AJ as he zoomed through the exhibits and the crying baby began to take their toll on the poor Countess and tiredness kicked in. Luckily it had kicked in for the whole;e party and so we exited after making a quick stop to the Museum Shop., where I may have baulked at the prices. I settled on the best souvenir. A stretched coin with the Mammoth on it, all for the bargain price of 59 cents.

So we bid farewell to Fran and kids as they made their way back to New Jersey and we waited for Emely, our friend from New York, who finally showed up one hot dog, two rock candy treats and one hour later. Finally my night began.
We purchased Sushi from Wholefoods, as we were mighty hungry and went to find Emely and Baroness' friend Nita, who lived in Harlem. We new she lived in the Lennox Complex but we had no idea what building and it turns out there were many and Nita was not answering phone calls.
One hour later, we got tired, hungry and very frustrated and decided best plan of action would be to find a place to eat. Lauren pointed to a park in the projects and Emely pointed to the ATM vestibule of the Chase bank. We chose the latter and Emely swiped her card and we entered 'Chez Chase'. It was a self service establishment and we seated ourselves upon the window seat. It was a night spot to watch the passer by in the night. We then proceeded to masticate our sushi in joy and to the mirth of the Chase customers who were withdrawing their cash for hopefully a crazy night out in the city that never sleeps.

It was delightful, odd and one of the strangest places I perhaps have eaten in. We were very grateful to have a warm place to eat, so I wrote a note of thanks which we placed under the door. For those of you who cannot read the picture here is what we said to the bank tellers of the Chase bank.

Dear Chez Chase,

Thank you for the welcoming atmosphere your establishment provides.

We have dined on delicious treats of Shushi and Pineapple and supped upon fair bottles of water.

One thought for the future , a provision of chopsticks as well as a 24hour banking service
would be delightful.

the 8pm diners

More New York fun coming up
The Countess

Monday, 11 January 2010

So I have been having some all American fun these last few days.

I have been to a local pub and sampled a strange odd drink entitled 'Rocket Fuel' and from that fabulous title you can imagine the amount of alcohol that they place in this feast of liquid. Though while one is drinking said beverage, it would appear that one is merely supping upon a fruit drink and not copious amounts of alcohol.

The lovely and hilarious Burky and his delightful wife Barbara, took me up the snow painted mountain in the Argo (see picture if unsure what this vehicle beast be). Oh what a steed! It is the Barnoness' father's new transportation device.

Later that day, the father of the Baroness (As he refers to me as the Limey, as shall refer to him from now on as the Yank). So the Yank tool me fore my first taste of gunfire.

Pistol in hand, the countess was taught how to shoot a colt. 22 peacemaker. The gun that settled the West.

Oh the power!

Oh the funness!

I would like to take this space in the blog to point out that in one round, I managed to hit my target once. I hit something on my first try!

I rock

I know.

I kept the casings as a souvenir...I had to.

This was a great Sunday.

But in order to accomplish these marvelous feats I was bundled up into everything in the cupboard by the Baroness and my American Mommy.

This made walking...intriguing and of course once trussed up, peeing was not an option.

Well you only have to see the pictures to see my enfolded self.


and now I site supping on Pennsylvania's finest grape products enititle 'Red Vixon' and I hope this beverage may be just that.
Gather me into thy familiar arms of drunken amour and ne'er let me leave, oh mistress of my heart and liver. Red Vixon I give myself over to thee and thy machinations.

Aye me, sweet grapes.

The Countess.

Drive-Thru confession anybody?

So may I enquire as to what it is about Americans and their need to never leave the safety of their own cars?

What is this obsession with drive-thrus of every variety?

I have now experienced both an off license drive thru, where you drive up to the front door and they placed the beer purchased upon the back seat of the car for you and a drive thru bank, where they cash cheques, make withdrawals and bank your money, int he space of mere moments. There are also , I am told, pharmacy's of this nature. You can drop of your prescription at the window and then pick it up later from the same window, without ever having the need of leaving the comfort of your luxurious SUV or even the need to turn off the car engine.

With the portions they serve, one would think that they would like the occasion to get up and walk off the calories just devoured in a steak the size of a baby.

What is next America?

Drive Thru Confession anybody?

Man enters firmly ensconced in his Durango through the entrance and makes for the correct lane, a menu stands before him. Lit up in lights, to enable sinners to see in the dark and early hours of the morning.

Confession Menu
1: Confession to Murder

2:Confession to Stealing

3: Confession to Adultery

4: Confession to Lustful thoughts

Blessing Menu
1: Blessing for a new Marriage

2: Blessing for a new House

3: Blessing for a new Baby

4: Blessing for a new job

Exorcism Menu

1: Ghost of a relative
2: Ghost of a stranger

3: Poltergeist

"2 4 1 special on Blessings until Easter Sunday and 1/2 price Exorcisms all this week."

The Man regards the menu carefully and finally the speaker next to his window crackles into life.

"Bless you my child. What can we here at the Drive Thru Church of the Working Christians do for you this fair evening?" came the voice peppered with the machines crinkles.

"I would like a number 3 from the Confession's menu and a number 1 from the Blessing's menu, please,"

"Very god sir, please make your way to window number 1 and may god bless you my child,"

The man drives his car and moves to his alloted window. The hole is covered by a dark gauzy material.

"Bless you my child," came the voice as old as 1000 cigars.

"Forgive me father for I have sinned," began he man and confessed his darkest deed that week, and received his blessing for his newly married state and so drove away happy in the knowledge he had done all he could for his soul.

Or maybe Drive Thru Doctors would appeal to the masses.

The menu provided him with a multitude of choices.

"May we help you sir?" Came the disembodied voice from the small box next to his window.

"Yes I am sick and wish for a diagnosis,"

"Please state your symptoms in a slow and clear voice please,"

"Sore Throat, Headache and a Pain in the Abdomen,"

"Is the pain an ache or a stabbing pain?"

"An ache,"

"Thank you. Please proceed to window number 2 where Dr. Langdon will evaluate your symptoms and give you a diagnosis."

The man drove to window 2

"Hello sir, you have a stomach bug it would appear. Please take this prescription to the drive thru pharmacy next door,"

"Thank you, doctor"
and the man drove away, happy in the knowledge that he was going to be in health once more.

I mean will this madness ever end?

The Countess

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Amish and Tuppleware Treats

So I have spent a few days in the birthplace of the Baroness, a mixture of crazy, warmth and a lick 'o' hick, and I have to say I kinda like it.
There is no pretension and that is a very comfortable thing to live without.
I find that the people here make me reminisce to my informative years, living in North Yorkshire and the great people one finds in the small towns populating the marvelous countryside.

"Ar, got 'tgo down t' valley, get tha sheep and then ah can come up't bar for a wee pint."
There is a general welcome here with about a five minute suspicious undertone, until they decided whether they like you or not. Then when the teasing starts you have been welcomed and are now accepted.

I find being here is a bit like putting on a comfortable sweater, definitely familiar song, but with a different melody playing and the occasional offbeat.

A large population of Amish live in around the Dry Run area, which I find fascinating, never having encountered people who live the way they do. I have been here for a few days but I hve yet to find the sight of one of them in a buggy, just a common occurrence and I may still scream out 'Amish', when I see one riding by, in a very excited school girl manner.

I went into the suburbs of Philadelphia last night.

"I need to buy things I need, I need these things...I bought my husband BBQ tongs,"

This sentence echoed around my head and summed up the entire night for me.
I thought it was a joke and she was being amusing, trying to jokingly excuse the amount of money she was spending on these products.

She wasn't.

She was deadly serious, as my American tour guide, the Baroness, informed me when she saw my amusement at this statement.

I was at a 'Pampered Chef' party, which is a new look on the old 1950s Tupperware parties that America made famous. This old American tradition has never really caught on in the 'Old Blighty' and if you don't even know what a Tupperware party is, it is an Anne Summer's party but instead of a dildo, you can purchase a rolling pin.

At these parties, women perfectly capable of cutting up a pineapple in the traditional way (avec le knife), suddenly lament that they have always had an issue when cutting up their pineapples. In fact, cutting up this pineapple, has become an impossible task. So this pineapple wonder cutter is
"exactly what I have been searching the kitchen appliance world for."
They say to each other as they put down their order for two.
"I might break one"

Ode to the Pineapple Cutter
Oh Pineapple cutter How I love thee let me count the ways. I can't there are too many. I want thee I need thee.

So these women hand over $100+, they will wait in their previously inadequately stocked kitchens, awaiting the arrival of the necessary pineapple cutter and Chilli separator (for when your Chilli is so clogged a spoon or fork just won't do).

I do have a beautiful reminder of this evening spent in American suburbia, a delicious treat of a trivet bought by my American mommy.

Love you mommy!

The Countess

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Abused by A duchess wielding chaps!!!

I write in a state of despair people!
I have been abused!
Terribly abused and in a most disturbing and American manner by the Duchess and a pair of her chaps (no my English dears I do not mean two guys, I mean the things you wear over jeans when riding a horse in this country).

The Duchess used me as an English doll and played American dress up, turning me into half a cowgirl, shirt and chaps complete.

See the photo to prove this unfortunate and unnecessary to me (necessary to the Duchess), event.
I can only describe the sparkles, you would have to see to understand.

Also wearing the chaps (that are a lot tighter than one might assume) makes one incredibly aware of ones front bits and back bits (poon and ass to be vulgar about it). And the closeness you feel to the person putting on your first set of chaps is slightly wrong. They get muchly closer than someone your acquainted with, and hasn't seen you naked, should do.
Ever heard of personal space?
Is that supposed to zip all the way up there?

Have also had my first experience of a two wheeled vehicle that entertains a motor.
I have balance issues (ballet class aside) and such childhood greatness as roller skating/blading, ice skating, skateboarding, skiing, snow boarding bypassed me as something i was unable to accomplish or did not even try to bother (the pain would be too intense).

So I was mildly perturbed to be placed onto the back of a dubious looking scooter with the crazy red-headed Baroness at the helm. This hair raising trip was to be followed by a much faster and longer trip with the blond vixen, otherwise known as the Duchess.

Unfortunately for my heart and mother I definitely enjoyed it and am looking forward to driving other vehicles of dubious nature.

Baroness bringeth me my next steed!!!
Mother Pray for me!!!
The Countess

I'm Sorry How Big is the Small Popcorn?

Well I am playing catch up again due to a bout of ridiculous flu I have been experiencing with many uncomfortable side effects. (Duchess and Baroness you have been sworn to secrecy under the vale of the House Of Vera) I contracted this disease from someone on the plane or God smoting me for daring to cross the bible belt with my heathen ideas and ways. Either way I have been far to pleugh! to write anything down.

But after a crazy twelve hour trek from Alabama to Pennsylvania, driven by the Baroness in sheer ninja style, I am now safely ensconced in a land populated with more heathens and the warm bosom of the Baroness' family. This being the only warm thing in this cold, cold place. I am surrounded by coldness and stuffed deer etc. heads and slowly recuperating and planning the next trip, which will be to New Jersey and New York. So look out for the Big Apple Blogs of funness.

Before this illness cut short my Southern fun I did manage to have some shits and giggles. Most importantly I have embraced your left hand driving. My left hand Cherry being taken by the Duchess and the Baroness on a cherry red mustang. The chosen chariot of our fair Duchess on these American Shores. Not only was I out of my depth with the wheel being in the strange place but it was also an automatic. Yet apart from the occasional foot pumping on an imaginary shift pedal and grabbing the door handle in the belief that it was a gear stick, it went pretty well. Pictures (see below) aside (The lying wenches).

I was taken to an American Cinema. though they call them theatres here.
Now The size situation
I had been warned
I had been told
And people had demonstrated the size of popcorn and drink containers
But nothing can prepare one for the sight of someone walking past you with a vat of coke and a barrel (no other word will suffice) of popcorn.
and then there is the choice!
Around 15, yes 15, flavours/colours of popcorn in large pipes waiting for you to choose and devour them in a gastro haze of food villainy.
Such gluttony!
Such choice!
I am unsure if this is good for us but I am definitely getting the hang of America, piece by poundcake.

Stop with the poundcake!!!

The Countess

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Biscuits and Scones: The difference

I have been shown the delights of Columbus Auburn, pound cake and the desert section of a supermarket.

"Oh enormous Fantasy Double Chocolate Fudge Cake. You shall be mine to place my entire face into for the bargain price of $19. Come, come to me"

Went to pull on the teats of the cow outside the Columbus Best Buy, which I am told is a rite of passage (see picture of fabulousness) For those out of the know. Best Buy is an electrical store (see I said store, I am totally getting this American speaking) where I purchased my american phone for $1, yup $1. Now that is cheap folks!

Also I have been fortunate enough to have experienced my first Southern family barbecue, with the delightful twice baked potatoes that must go into my repertoire or rather my mother's, for her next barbecue.

If looking at these new pictures of myself and you notice an extra ass cheek, next to the normal left cheek, that is due to eating only two slices of pound cake. The Duchess' grandma's recipe. God bless the women.
and god bless the pound cake and all who sail in it.

Went to the Cracker Barrel, which is not just eating but 'an experience' of the old school kind. Tried American biscuits.

Here may I send out a warning to all English visiting the US.

One cannot dip said 'American Biscuit' in ones tea. (Also, as a side note. One's tea will not be lactated to English standard. You must ask for milk to complete our well known and loved beverage.)

The American biscuit is not Hobnob-like, or Rich Tea-y, or even Bourbon-esque. Tis a meal food, which is why you probably see it advertised with chicken, so do not balk at this strange phenomenon. It rather resembles a scone in looks but no jam, sorry jello or cream does one place upon it's fluffy exterior.

No, instead, you use this delightful buttery food product as the English use bread. Tis a lovely treat in gravy, on the side of a good stew or merely as a side plate to your main steak dinner.

And before you shout in horror about a scone being abused in this manner, I should inform you that it may look like a scone but it does not tasteth like a scone. It is bready in texture and fluffy like bready goodness.

Maybe somewhere betwixt a scone and bread roll.

mmm american deliciousness in bready form.

Try before judging

The Countess

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Alabama Funness

Armed with a new pen I shall write for a new day. I am currently staying with the good Duchess Mary Jane of the House of Vera and her family. We are rested delicately betwixt Alabama and Georgia.

I spent New Years Day in Atlanta, Georgia. I was taken to my first Burger Joint called the Vortex and had my first experience of Tater Tots, though they are said 'Tader Tots'. If you on saying them as written much mirth will be flung thy way. But we had a short stop at the fabulous Aunt Connie, a member of the Duchess' family, and she presented myself and the Baroness Frankie with a book entitled 'How to Speak Southern'.

I shall study this book of wondrous new words and try to shock the Southern section by occasionally throwing in a 'local' word.

What people say about the Southern hospitality it all true.
Completely true.
They could not do more for you if they tried. They remind me very much of my Greek family.

1) You must always have a drink within a foot grasp.
2) You must always be full of stomach.
3) You must always feel completely relaxed and at home.

It is a lovely thing to experience but I think if I had not been acquainted with this kind of behaviour from my Greek family I could be overwhlemed.

I think America could spoil me in certain ways. One being that almost everywhere you go to participate in mastication of foodrous delights you must wait to be seated and it's table service. There does not exist the need to send half the family to the counter, while the other half encircle the eating area as vultures.

Three families of vultures appear fluttering at the edges of the area. Let us call them 'The Blue Family', 'The Red Family' and 'The Orange Family'.

The Blue Family have chosen to leave their young to represent them in this fight. This could prove disastrous or fortuitous. Young people are swift, quick and nimble and can nip through the chairs easier than the adults. Yet they may be foolish in their tactics.

The Red Family have picked the mother, a wise choice, still a flickering or youth, she is quick but withthe knowledge of all women through the ages running through her blood (as all women invariably do, once birth has occurred) However the Reds made one mistake and sent Grandma along with a cane to help. Rookie Mistake. She is slow and maneuvering the cane betwixt the tables and chairs that are tightly packed for optimum mass, is incredibly hard. But you should never write her off completely as she does possess one weapon 'guilt of the young'.

The orange family picked mother and young and now look like the front runners.

The vultures eye each other suspiciously. Their eyes flicking occasionally to sweep through the area in case they are witness to the table desertion of another family.

A movement to the left and Blue takes action and the two young move forward; nipping nimbly. Yet in their haste, they do not calculate ahead and fail to see the obstacle of a large pram being placed into their route through the maze of furniture and they leave the path free for Orange to plow through with youth and knowledge on their side.

But Disaster!

The head of the departing family has espied Red stumbling towards them, cane-thwarted. He pauses with his mate at the table.

All action halts

nervously waiting

breath is baited

Then the table smiles at the Reds and the game is won.

Well done the Red team!

Blue and Orange have only seconds to recover and replace themselves into powerful positions before a flicker from the right hand side side reveals a new movement.

And Green and Yellow teams enter the play.

This English past time of seat finding in cafes does not exist in the American equivalent. No rigmarole for them. Only politeness, fairness and ease does great this Americans in their eating experience.


Every now and then, a hankering for the challenge and excitement an English eating establishment can provide will sneak in.

A good race always whets the appetite.

The Countess

The First Week

True I was supposed to blog from the beginning of my adventure but illness and no signal have put paid to this marvellous idea, so now I must play catch up.

My first written word upon this American road trip of wondrous new delights is technically about five days into the fun and giggles. The first few days of a new year are among my favourite days and this time more than usual.

A new Country
A new beginning
A feeling that something truly amazing will happen will occurr.

Since landing in DC on the 29th I have been thrust into the madness that is the US.
Everything is bigger and more friendlier.
Everything is in extremes, and the middle of the road where we Brits do like to tread does not seem to exist over here.

My first breakfast was at the iHop where I participated in what is deliciously known as The Sampler Breakfast. That is much meat and tasty eggs, with plentiful pancakes drowned in syrup. Unfortunately I was just overcoming a stomach bug and my poor bland English tastebuds were not prepared for the tasted sensation covered in grease and salt. Somewhere in an offbeat dirt-track I emptied my system of the fat-i-ful breaking of my fast into a plastic bag, which I left as a present for the locals.

I do know apologise profusely to the person or persons who may happen upon said plastic bag full of bile and hope you will not place too strong a curse upon my person.

Most of my time has been in the South.
I have managed to travel through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

While in the delightful space that was J & Rs (a place that claims in billboard fashion that it is one of the following three things.)

1: The largest Doll Shop in the world
2: The largest Cigar Shop in the world
3: The largest Cigarette Shop in the world.

Although forgive my englishness, I meant to say 'store' not 'shop'.

I had to decide while in this mecca of Dolls and Cigars what I would be collecting for my time in this country.
I went very British and decided upon the greatness of the Shot Glass, thinking it would be the epitome of class.
That and they were cheap and easy to transport not to mention the fact that I probably would use them rather then keep them behind the glass of some dusty cabinet or allow them to habit multitude of boxes now littering my parents attic.

At the moment I am in Alabama and spent my new years eve among a wealth of Southern Belles and Frat boys. Not people I am used to and the atmosphere was something different.

A girl looks expertly out of the corner of her eye. It flicks down your body. Then flicks just as quick back to her group. You've been dismissed. Found wanting.

I feel that if I danced like the crazy English girl does they would look at me like I had stripped naked and played out the Copacabana on my ass cheeks.

Being a loving daughter, sister and friend I have already written and sent out postcards and so have had my first fabulous experience of an American Post Office, which I found to be almost exactly like our own.

Except that the staff are incredibly friendly.

But apparently no one in the south seems to send things abroad. When asked for stamps to the UK, one post office in North Carolina had no idea what stamps to give us and asked us to go away, look it up on Google and come back and tell them. Another knew what we needed but it took around twenty minutes due to the need to go to into the 'VAULT' , yes, the 'VAULT', to get them. So we bought out their entire stock..
...all 9 of them!

The Countess