Our last day of our mini east coast road trip rounded off back in Massachusetts, destination: Plymouth. As soon as we started planning our trip to the east coast, Liam and I knew we wanted to stop here, marking the beginning of our around the world trip in Plymouth UK and the end of the trip in Plymouth Massachusetts. These two towns have such a strong historical UK and US relationship with each other so it was even more fitting for the two of us to visit.
Day 2 of the road trip! Check out Day 1 here. Leaving our farm homestay in the morning, Emily and I headed out to our final new state of the trip – Rhode Island. Smallest state by area, this East Coast state is THE state by the sea. No East Coast road trip would be complete without an early morning stop at Dunkin Donuts. So, once we were fuelled with coffee and sugary goodness we headed straight for our destination of the day: Newport.
The only things I knew about Connecticut before visiting on our east coast road trip came from watching Gilmore Girls growing up, which took place in the fictional Connecticut town of Stars Hollow. I knew that this was a place that had history, plenty of people with old American money, Yale, and some beautiful scenery. Having a car meant we were able to explore this small state with great ease during our time there, and there’s still plenty to see should we ever get the opportunity to revisit! We arrived in Hartford around lunchtime which was perfect because we had worked up an appetite and had our food destination chosen and mapped out. We found this place on that amazing sandwich list that led us to two amazing sandwiches in Hawaii and in Colorado, so we went off with high hopes to J’s crab shack for a Lobster Roll, something that screams New England especially to someone who grew up landlocked. The place was busy with a diverse crowd of people enjoying their seafood plates, we ordered and sat down next to a massive tank of bright fish and one massive eel who was probably judging us for eating his aquatic friends. The lobster roll was packed with fresh meat, warm and drizzled with butter and lemon. Simple yet unforgettable, a total treat.
Our flight back to London was cheapest from Boston so Emily and I decided to fly from Colorado and spend a week exploring the tri-state area of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Our first few days were spent in Boston itself as we stayed in Cambridge, near the Harvard Campus, and took in the history of the famous colony and it’s place as the academic hub of modern America.
The famous golden dome of the Massachusetts State House
Looking out the plane window the clouds finally break, below an endless stretch of plains filled with crop circles. Small clusters of cities dot the way until the plains meet the great majestic Rocky Mountains. The plane descends further and the white peaks of Denver International Airport come into view and no matter how many times I fly into D.I.A or the length of time that passes between, the feeling I get seeing this sight is always the same. A wave of nostalgia, comfort, and gratitude to have grown up somewhere so beautiful. It feels like home. I’m through the roof with happiness that I get to share this with Liam for the second of many times to come. Especially since we’re here for the holidays! Family, friends, and festive food and scenery.
Hawaii 🌸 Truly one of those places you don’t realise how special it is until you visit. A Pacific island paradise, with every convenience you come to expect in America. The problem is it is so remote. A tiny dot in the Pacific and a daunting prospect for travel if you’re from England. Which is why we chose to visit on this trip; flying Taiwan to Colorado you couldn’t ask for a better layover. Since we only had 5 full days we decided from the outset to spend them all on Oahu as there is so much to see and do there.
When the weather takes a turn for the worse, which is more often than you’d ideally want in Plymouth, you need to find other things to do than roam Dartmoor or the coastal paths. For most, that would probably mean spending the weekend in front of the TV, but not us! Emily and I decided to check out some of our only shared history by visiting the Mayflower Museum to see how American national and Plymouth local histories are linked by this famous vessel and voyage.
Don’t trust Eric Cartman. It seems obvious, right? Having seen 21 seasons of South Park, I should have known better. But I didn’t. Casa Bonita. His favourite eating establishment in Denver, Mexican restaurant come theme-park – was my “must see” choice when visiting, despite the reservations of Emily and her family. Okay. Not reservations, they told me outright it was crap. But I didn’t listen. Catch 22 though isn’t it? If I didn’t visit I’d still have wanted to go and probably would have been salty for missing out.
The Grand Canyon behind us, it was time to head back to Colorado. Deciding to go back a different route to the way we came, after leaving The Desert View Watchtower we set off towards New Mexico. Our trip to Santa Fe was long and uneventful, a 7.5 hour slog first through desert and then open country, with a couple of quick rest and coffee breaks along the way. As usual though, our destination was more than worth the wait.
Desert View Watchtower – our final stop at the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon. Maybe it should be called the F-ing Massive Canyon. Because that’s what it was. After crossing the state border and another long drive through the Kaibab National Forest, steadily climbing altitude to around 7000 feet, I was giddy with excitement to be camping on the South Rim for two nights. We were finally at one of my all-time bucket list destinations.
Kaibab National Forest – Courtesy of the Armchair Explorer