Something that I feel should be on everyone’s bucket list, I mean we’ve all seen Crossroads, Park Rangers, Dude Where’s My Car!?, the idea of tackling 3000 miles, in one of the largest country/continents of the globe, is incredible, almost a right of passage for every adolescent.
Now it’s not exactly as fun as Crossroads makes it look, being stuck in a car for hours with your best friends, or in my case the boy I was seeing as the time, can get tedious as anything. You’ll begin to grow sick of peeing at exit stations, listening to the same songs over and over again, (American radio leaves taste at home), and the Roadkill is truly horrific the more West you get. But there is of course the fun side! You’re travelling across the size of an entire ocean with your friends! Meeting new people, eating a lot of unhealthy food, and seeing brand new things!
Here are my tips for making it through.
1. Dunkin’ Donuts
Yes, this deserves it’s own bullet point. Sure diners are awesome, iHop can truly make you have a new found love for clogged arteries, and Taco Bell can make you want to put fire sauce on everything that you ever eat ever again, but Dunkin’ Donuts is definitely a staple of the All American road trip. The Iced coffee is not only one of the cheapest ones you’ll get on the road, it’s also the best. Anytime I found myself dozing off and missing the fun, or driving through a state I really wanted to see, it was legitimately the only answer. Things to get: Big N Toasted – It’s massive texas toast, with eggs, bacon and cheese. It’s just amazing. Get it. Get it. Screw the gym. Oreo Crumble Donut – A normal sugar donut with icing, and topped with, you’ve guessed it, crumbled oreo cookies, genuinely one of the most genius and tastiest things ever created.
2. The License plate game.
Okay so this sounds really lame, but it actually gets pretty interesting to see how people from different states drive! The things I learnt: On Nantucket Island, MA you can always tell the islanders from the vacationers, the islanders can drive, the vast majority of vacationers can’t. (The woman who drove the wrong way down the ONE WAY broad street ferry lane with an ACK sticker on her car – shame on you.)
And when in New York, you will generally be liked less and less if you have a New Jersey license plate. Now I have nothing against Jersey, I’ve actually been to Seaside Heights, if nothing but for my own amusement, and while the amount of ‘Guidos’ and ‘Juiceheads’ amused me to absolutely no end, I met some really lovely and genuine people there. But when in New York driving around the most common phrase you’ll hear will probably be “What the fuck is his problem!? Ohhhh he’s from Jersey.” (As much as I liked the NJ-ers I met, they were all atrocious drivers.)
3. Junk food is your new best friend.
McDonalds is not good for you – we all know that. But McCafe is definitely the best thing ever – why on Earth have they not brought it to England yet!? Get the frozen strawberry lemonade and live by it, it’s amazing. Also the iced tea is super good and only like $2 for a large! However one thing I wish they’d told me was the secret McDonalds lingo that apparently only Americans know about.
Me: Hey, can I have a double cheeseburger?
McDonalds Lady: A what?
Me: A double cheeseburger….?
McDonalds Lady: What!? We don’t do those…
Me: Umm isn’t this McDonalds?
McDonalds Lady: Yeah
Me: Well back home, they definitely do double cheeseburgers.
McDonalds Lady: The closest place is Wendys, on 5th.
Me: What do you have then?
McDonalds Lady: We have McDoubles.
Me: What’s a McDouble!?
McDonalds Lady: It’s two beef patties, with pickle, onion, ketchup and mustard.
Me: So… it’s a double cheeseburger?
McDonalds Lady: It’s a McDouble. I told you, we don’t do double cheeseburgers. Do you want one or not?…
Umm I’m sorry McDonalds lady in Times Square, but are you on crack? A McDouble and a double cheeseburger are quite obviously the same thing. I don’t understand why she couldn’t just explain it quicker haha. But that’s Americans for you, it’s their way or no way.