Sunday, 16 June 2019

Back to Earth without a bump

Apart from a delay in Chicago that cut our time there in half, our holiday ran smoothly. Ten states in all, 4225 miles and memories that I will treasure.
For me, two of the highlight had to be visiting the Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute in Chicago and the Toy and Miniature Museum in Kansas City. It was inspiring, amazing and interesting in equal measures.








 Dare I say the Thorne Rooms deserve better lighting, given that they're set in gloomy halls and are back-lit with off-white lights. My camera just about managed to pick up the detail beyond the reflective glass case and it took a fair amount of editing to correct the colour cast. Despite this, the details in each room are stunning and I spent the full half day we had in Chicago admiring each one.













In comparison, the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City have a more contemporary selection but both are well worth the visit.  What I loved most about the Kansas City Museum exhibits is that some of them are set on turntables so that you can view them from every angle.



This amazing skeleton by Lloyd McCaffery is hand carved in boxwood and each bone or group of bones is pinned together with bamboo pegs. MIND.BLOWN.

The rest of our trip was filled with visiting some of the stunning National Parks of the USA and enjoying the sunshine.

For anyone visiting from the UK, you may benefit from the observation I made whilst over there...

The majority of roads in the USA are straiiiiiight!!! Kudos America. You know where you want to go and you take the most direct route 😆






Scones = Biscuits














Biscuit and cookies = Cookies









*They refrigerate their eggs
*They have a million different coffee additives like French Vanilla and Cinnamon, not just milk and they're yummy
*You have to pay for gas (petrol) before they'll let you have it
*Heavy good vehicles don't have a 65mph limiter on them so don't be surprised if you're overtaken by a juggernaut, in the fast lane doing 80
*No one flashes their headlights to warn you of a speed trap - probably the reason my Husband got a speeding ticket! 😅
*They sell guns and ammo in Walmart (our Asda equivalent)
*All of the people I met presumed I was either Scottish or Irish because I didn't sound like the Queen 😐
*They are super courteous and friendly - take note Londoners --- your miserable shit won't fly over there 😄
*Buffalo wings aren't from Buffalo (the place or the animal)
*In case you're confused, there are stars and stripes flags everywhere to let you know where you are. You're in America and they're patriotic. Unlike us Brits who are positively discouraged from flying a flag unless it's the World Cup or you want to be labelled a fascist
*They have all manner of beasties that can bite, kill, maim and eat you so prepare to run faster than your travelling companion
*Their weather can kill you too. I'll never complain about our weather again!!
*The steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car and they drive on the right 😁

Thank you USA, I had a blast and would go through the stress of flying in a heartbeat to visit again 😊
Pepper :)

39 comments:

  1. Hi Pepper,

    I am so glad you enjoyed your holiday here. I found the list of American things that made an impression on you fun to hear about. Yep... You can buy a pistol or a gun at Walmart. There are more guns in the US then there are people too. I hope we can look forward to some more posts and photos from you visit to the US.

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    1. Hi Catherine, I was quite surprised to see the guns in a supermarket, despite knowing they're widely available. I imagined there were sold from gunsmiths or something O-O

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  2. Hi Pepper! I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip and made it safely both ways! The Thorne Rooms are on my someday list... I don't live anywhere near them! And I guess you didn't drive in Boston... where the roads are more like UK roads... narrow, twisty, one-way streets with no way back if you miss your turn! I love the list you made of different names for things... I remember constantly learning new ones when I was in England years ago. I also hope to see and hear more about your adventures over here... and maybe eventually another look at your Gothic House! :):)

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    1. I couldn't believe how straight most of the roads were. We barely saw a soul in Wyoming and it was so peaceful cruising along in the sunshine :)

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  3. Se te ve muy contenta con el viaje!!! Me alegro. Gracias por esas preciosas fotos.

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    1. Sí, fueron unas vacaciones encantadoras. Gracias Isabel :)

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  4. Lol! We are, after all two countries separated by a common language. I’m so glad your vacation was such a positive experience.

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    1. Ha, I guess I thought it would be like a England but bigger and sunny :P It certainly was positive. Such varied and beautiful states and lovely people :)

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  5. What a fabulous post! So glad you enjoyed the US and loved your observations. The Thorne rooms really are amazing, aren't they.

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    1. They really are Linda. I wonder what Mrs Thorne would have achieved if she was around today! Amazingly talented artisans for the time :)

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  6. Oh Pepper, you've made me laugh hard at this Monday morning, I enjoyed reading all of your fun texts and it was nice to read that you enjoyed so much your visits to the musea!! I'm so glad you had a lot of fun and that you're even thinking about doing it all over again, good of you!!
    Ilona

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    1. It was a real eye-opener IIona and well worth the visit :)

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  8. thank you for sharing these marvels!
    hugs

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  9. As someone who spent fifteen years dividing her time equally between Florida and Lancashire believe me I loved the difference list - I could probably write a book! It is an odd experience (I imagine it works both ways) to have a common language deceives you into thinking you are not in a 'foreign' country but in a place the size of the USA you are effectively in many, many 'foreign'
    countries every time you cross a State line. I admire their sense of family/community/country - something we seem to have mislaid. It can be done sincerely and without jingoism and I (the 'foreigner')was always made to feel welcome. Phew - sorry about that! Your pictures of the Thorne room are glorious what a fabulous experience for you. I suspect the low lighting is a museum thing to protect fabrics, papers, wood etc from light damage????

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    1. We purposely went off the tourist-y route so that we could experience regular ole America and it was amazing. I love that they are patriotic and passionate about their countrymen/society/country. I live in a tiny villiage and we still have some of that but you're right. Us Brits have lost that sense of belonging :/

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  10. So glad you're back in one piece!

    Texans (at least the ones I'm around) will flash their lights at you about speedtraps. Unfortunately it seems most people don't understand what it means and get caught anyway. Sorry about that.

    A friend at work just got done visiting London a couple weeks ago so I read your points on America to her. She was primarily in London when she visited and she couldn't stop laughing as I read to her.

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    1. Dagnabbit, I should have visited Texas :P We flash headlights all the time...for a speedtrap, to let someone in/out of a junction. I was more weirded out that your rear indicators (turn signals??) are red. We didn't realise for a long while. Oh and we got beeped for not turning right on a red light Haha, Steep learning curve :D

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  11. So fun to see the US from a "foreigner's" view. I laughed while reading your post.
    We do have scones, but they are a pastry (unless you go to a tea room and then they are a biscuit). Confusing huh?
    I saw the Thorne Rooms 11 years ago when I attend the Chicago International and thoroughly enjoyed them. I'm hoping to get back there in the next 10 years to see not only the Rooms again but to attend the show. Glad you had a great time here in my country; you probably saw more of it than I have.
    Marilyn

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    1. Pastry scones? Are they cakes?? Haha, I am confused.
      I'd love to make it to the show too :)

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  12. woah, what a trip in this short time! glad you liked it and had fun. I wrote to the museum about the bad lighting after I have seen the thorne rooms - but obviously nothing has changed. such a pity for such a grandios exhibition of art!
    so, now back to the manor house.. I assume :-)
    hugs

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    1. Nope, still dark in the Thorne Rooms. I hope they see the benefit of daylight LEDS and show those gorgeous rooms as they deserve to be seen :)

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  13. Oh such lovely photos! We're all going to have to step up our game, lol!
    Glad you had such a lovely time here in the US! And thanks for the belly laughs and for not bashing us! :O) Most of the world does not understand that we are outraged at out government's behavior, too, but most of us have no power any longer to stop it. Apparently, even our votes no longer count, lol!

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    1. At our first hotel, the receptionist asked if we were the exchange for Trump since he was in the UK at the time. That really made me laugh. Certainly no bashing from me. I don't think I could have had a better holiday or met nicer people :)

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  14. What a fun post! Thank you for the fabulous pictures, and your US comments cracked me up! Yes you have to pay for gas before they'll let you have it! HAHAHA! Some people do flash their lights for a speed trap. Sorry about the ticket...Glad you're home safely :)

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    1. Thanks Linda. It was a holiday that I will remember forever :)

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  15. I almost peed myself reading you USA sum up !! The part when you say run faster than you companion !! hystericial ! As for Thorne, their exists 'museum glass' that they should use, it's almost invisible. I put some in two engraving and you cannot see it but it's scary expensive. Fantastic post ,,,,,huggs

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    1. Hi Mrs M, I really wish they would invest in the museum glass. It's such a shame that such extraordinary miniature dispalys can't be seen as well as they deserve. Thank you :)

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  16. Beautiful vacation and photos.

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  17. Thank you for the stunning pictures; I've enjoyed them so much. But thank you even more for your illustration of the differences of roads in the UK and in the US and for this wonderful list that gave me a good laugh. Oh, and I'm glad that your back on English ground after a wonderful journey... hopefully together with your husband. *grin*

    Hugs
    Birgit

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    1. Thanks Birgit. I love seeing different cultures and getting a taste of the life of their countrymen. It's an amazing place :)

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  18. Love taking this picture trip with you, thanks for sharing what you saw! And the last bit about the differences was just too funny! I'm so happy to hear you had a great time and you got to see so much :)

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    1. Thanks Kristine. It was a very memorable holiday :)

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  19. Wow, that’s a big road trip! And thanks for the handy hints at the end of your post - very funny!

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    1. Thanks Shannon. Yes, a looooong drive hahah, but so worth it :)

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  20. I'm spending three months in Germany to see how I like it. Compared to South Africa, just about everything is different. Driving on the other side of the road to the way the toilets flush, the way they make their beds and all kinds of food taboos. Things like bread we eat in South Africa whenever we feel like it are eaten here strictly only for breakfast and they think you're weird if you want it at any other time. I guess it's the equivalent of having breakfast cereal for dinner. Every day I'm amazed at how different cultures still are in this day and age.
    I'm so glad you had a good time and experienced some of the positive aspects of America. I hope you will feel inspired by your trip for months to come.

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    1. Thanks Megan. I hope you're enjoying your visit to Germany. It is a real eye-opener to see different cultures. It's a positive experience I think, to experience those cultures and relish the fact that we are one race, but different in many ways. I laughed at the breakfast analogy. I eat cornflakes for any meal :D

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