“And after we’ve watched The Bucket List we must remember to cross ‘watch The Bucket List’ off our bucket lists…”

Stanley Tucci, Easy A 

We are so very excited about America.

It started as a casual hint dropped into the conversation by yours truly:

Me: So Hoff, you know how we’ve been planning to travel some more of Europe on our way home this year….

Hoff (wary): Yeah…

Me: And you know how Europe’s been around for about a billion years and it’s not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon…

Hoff (still wary): Yeah…

Me: And you know how you love it when I get these crazy ideas in my head…

Hoff (not so much wary, but kind of irritated now): Yeah

Me: What do you think about America?

Despite my obviously comprehensive powers of persuasion (as evidenced by the above), true to our usual indecisive form we argued back and forth for a while after that. It wasn’t until Ryan’s sister Carlie, announced that she was coming with us as far as New York and was ready to book flights (and could we hurry up already), that we took the plunge and locked it in. The fact that we could fit a New York Jets and a USC home game into the trip sweetened the deal somewhat for Ryan (the man has a fairly severe ESPN habit).

So this trip is all about our ‘life to do list’, which is a less morbid term for our ‘Bucket List’. Although also less catchy. I wonder if that film would have done so well if it was called The Life To Do List?Doubtful.

The following are just some of the things we* have planned to do that we* look forward to crossing off said list:

  1. Go to an NFL game and partake in some pre-game tailgating in the car park (hopefully this is a less stressful experience than what we know as ‘tailgating’ at home. Less likely to result in an insurance claim too, probably)
  2. Go to a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show dressed in fishnet stockings (Ryan has already vehemently vetoed any notion of him dressing up like Frank N Furter for the occasion. Piker.)
  3. Celebrate Halloween in New Orleans (and preferably not cry in terror if I see anyone dressed up as King Kong like I did the last time I was in the US for Halloween… I was 18 months old but my dad has never let me live it down. I promise I’ll make you proud, Dad)
  4. Drive through Monument Valley
  5. See the Grand Canyon, because a) it’s one of the original 7 natural wonders of the world and, b) because apart from anything else we hear it’s hard to miss

*The more astute of you may have deduced that I use the term ‘we’, fairly loosely. Obviously Ryan will be humouring me for the duration of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and conversely the strategic nuances of gridiron will be a little over my head.

And the following is another list of things that I plan to try and do that I have determined are vital to an authentic US experience (after years of steady and relentless exposure to American popular culture):

  • Be invited to a frat party and drink beer out of a plastic red cup
  • Eat a hot dog from a street vendor
  • Pull up to a roadside diner and have a filter coffee and a piece of pie (actually if we can remember to pull up to the right hand side of the road and not the left I’ll count that as a win already)
  • Eat grits
  • Determine what ‘grits’ are (preferably before eating them… Or not… It really depends on what they actually are)
  • Participate in a flash mob
  • Go to school and campaign furiously for Prom Queen/Class President/Head Cheerleader

I have also purchased these sunglasses as I feel that they are perfect ‘American road trip’ sunglasses…

Hoff disagrees, he thinks they’re silly. But then again, he also refuses to agree to dress up as Louise to my Thelma when we’re driving through the American southwest so what would he know about American road trip fun? It remains to be seen.

And so after one last trip to London encompassing a couple of West End shows, a trip to the seaside and an interesting foray into the dark laneways of Soho where were saw (but did not have the opportunity to taste test) cupcakes with chocolate penises on them, we are finally USA bound. Hurrah!

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