The idea of a road trip down the east coast of America was an opportunity to good to miss to the eight of us who all met at our summer camp called 'Westmont' in the state of Pennsylvania. We had decided to hire a mini van from New York and drive through the different states along the way visiting beaches, attractions, seeing the sights and generally having a memorable adventure with a lot, and I mean a lot of banter along the way.
Our trip started off like any road trip should, the eight of us getting split up on the first day! Which turned out to be quite humourous for most involved, some aka Chris and Tim ......not so funny. (which in my opinion made it all the more funnier). Won't go into any details but we spent most of the first day trying to contact each other and pay for the van in a shifty looking yard company. All worked out in the end and we were on our way down the coast. Here are the locations we visited and the sights we saw. East Coast banter
We past through Pennsylvania and into New Jersey to
see some night time sights. On our way we pulled over in Philly where the famous Rocky Steps are located (which is a must see) it was pouring down with rain whilst thunder and lightning were displayed durning our run up the steps in shorts and tee's. The views were crackalacking! Another must do is indulge in a philly cheese steak, you can't go into philly and not have one of these.
West Virgina was the next destination to tick off as we arrived early morning having drove throughout the night. This is where we saw our first sun rise after and took a morning dip in the sea to freshen up, this became a tradition on the trip really because we werent staying in hostels along the way. Instead we were ruffing it sleeping on beaches and the eight seater van, which I may add is pritty hard to find a spot that allows a 6.4ft guy to sleep lol but it all worked out. We set up the van so that in the back stored our suitcases and bedding laid ontop where the previous driver would sleep after doing a four hour shift. There would also be
a driver and co-driver who would rotate after the four hours were up. Their job was to keep awake and talk to the driver, even though after the constant driving/sleeping/sight seeing this became a little harder to do. The system we had worked well though.
On the travel down through the states we played games like hide and seek in the van, which you can guess became pritty hard after the first game ended. Card games, which was also fun in a moving van and blasting out music along the way. Plant food on Tim, slap Chris with a Flip Flop, Transfer tattoo each other - on the head, and other such random games.
We travelled on from West Virgina to North Carolina where we had lunch that I paid for a meal with a Holister voucher
onto South Carolina and into Atlanta as the evening set in we parked up to take a look around. Two lovely looking ladies were walking past so as british people do we stopped them and asked them wheres the best place to go during our short stay in Atlanta. This was just the start of a chain of events which
added up to becoming an epic night out, packed of memories. Ellie decided she was to tired to join us so she was put in soul charge of guarding the van as the rest of us got into an underground rave! Fluoro paint, strobe lights, smoke, and girls in fish nets were just the start. My mate Chris Davies got approached by a man dressed in...well not a lot really but he was soon told that his attraction towards Chris was a waste of time because "he wasnt into that". This didnt work all that well until he finally got the hint went we were in more of a jog than a walk in the opposite direction lol. Pete decided that everyone was wanting a fight with him, so we had to contain his natural boxing instinct. As the girls were enjoying a RAVE to underground Electro Dubstep Matt was getting offered substances which he could not afford. All in all it was a brilliant night and the dress code of 'wear the craziest combination of clothes or wear as little as possible' made all of us take a step back and take in the memories of the night.
Continuing on throughout the earlier hours of the morning we drove to Panama City to visit the beaches and properly a few more McDonalds lol After getting on the road again and making our way to Florida we decided to take a little detour across to the Everglades croc farm. We arrived during the night and I awoke in the morning sun being bitten alive by mosquitoes, reminder for next time 'leave windows UP when in the Everglades'. At the farm we boarded a fan boat which was insanely quick, then watched shows with the croc's where the trainer almost had his leg snapped off by a patiently awaiting Croc that he "miss placed"? lol What a start to the morning preparing us for another day of driving down to Key West at the closest point in America that you can get to Cuba.
When we arrived we decided that because it was already getting dark that we would sleep out on the beach for the night, have a couple of beers, cigars, take a towel as a bed and chill out to music. This was favourite memory because of how clear the sky was at the time and
just the 8 of us chilling under the moon light to music. Night time passed and my eyes widened to see Matt and Charlie offering me fresh coconut milk that they had just hit down from the tree next to us.....it was the worst tasting liquid I could remember tasting for a long time lol good wake up tho
Pete had decided to sleep on the top of the van for the night so when we arrived back at the van to get our showering stuff Pete was on the roof with a sleeping bag, if we didnt look like hobo's sleeping on the beach, we sure did now, Brilliantly funny! We then showered on the beach and explored KeyWest which due to the beaming sun and blue sky was showing all its glory. This day was the first day where we didnt drive anywhere and could go out and explore.
Bright yellow scooters and boy's 12 year old basketball jerseys taken from the sports camp we just worked at were our choice for the day. Needless to say this was high up on the banter scale and many horn's were blown our way that day. Pete was
experienced on a scooter, as for the rest of the boys we most certainly weren't. So the first time we exited the rental car park I zoomed straight ahead without turning, Tim went up the curb and so did Chris, and Matt was on the opporsite side of the road. It was definitely chaos, but fun chaos and one of those lasting memorys of the trip. Another memory with the scooters was an accidental wheelie which I pulled towards families waiting to get their pictures taken, I tried to make it look like I meant it.....I really didnt.
We spent that day mostly on our scooters, once getting pulled over by a stereotypical sheriff (extended gut, coffee and donut in hand) for crossing a one way bridge which had a minimum speed of what our scooters couldnt reach. Doing what we do best...Getting lost and split up.
Last destination, Miami, drove throughout the night to get there to watch the sun come up over the high rises of the city as Matt and I rocked the sunnies on the main 195 interstate. We were all feeling ontop of the world having reached our destination. Checked into our hostel
after a few arguments about us not booking etc, the usual you have to deal with abroad. Prepared to discover the city and beaches which were a few minutes walk away. But before that we had one more chance to get lost and split up from the group again as Me, Matt and Pete dropped the van off at our arranged location. Little did we know that a 30mins drive to the drop off point would be someone's house and they would give us $10 to board a train towards somewhere. Very dodgy but it was the only option to take so after missed trains, bus rides and visiting a local shop where to go to the toilet you have to buy an item first, we arrived 5hours later back at the hostel. This became a running joke of the group that we seem to be pro's at getting split up and lost
Miami and the group created many life time memories such as Clubbing in Niki's beach, privately located on the beach and two story club floors. Watching the Man United play on big screen at an Irish bar, Sea fishing on a charter boat for Tuna
(Pranking Matt whilst sleeping) and Matt getting a half arm sleeve tattoo at 3am when his flight was at 7:30
He did it though, much to his regret.
So I'd just like to take this space up to thank Pete, Chris, Tim, Matt, Vikki, Charlie and Ellie for the best road trip of America ever hope it was just as memorable for you guys as it was for me, quality times and Banter all the way. Left out loads from the trip so if you want to add a comment on a memory for you do so :P We were most definitely living the dream guys