Betwixt the Coasts: From West to East in 80 Days Part 8: “I’m Not Lovin’ It, Whatever “It” Is”


Day 48 means 2 things for me 1) 3 days to go b4 my next march forth Virginia-wards, and 2) today is my first McDonalds of the trip. Amazing really …. And though the Golden Arches slogan states how much one is Lovin’ it, the truth Dear Reader, so you don’t have to search for flavour, is that there is no flavour whatsoever in a McDonald’s Breakfast Sandwich. Today’s consisted of a) a soft fluffy “biscuit” (aka a softish English scone b) a “folded egg” (aka bit of microwaved omelette) c) Some processed cheese (some processed cheese) and d) a sausage patty (a bit of totally tasteless turkey burger). The accompanying coffee (which I’ve always kinda enjoyed at the old farm owner’s place) was completely and remarkably flavourless.

It’s disappointing on so many levels but particularly because I could manage, and taste an EggMcTrouser post my cancer & heart ops, but now (maybe cos it’s dirt cheap) ici en États-Unis au moins, “il n’y a pas de flipping flavour”, or “ça n'a aucun goût” for all you French scholars out there.

No matter. Filled a chasm. No harm done. No human interaction whatsoever, very 21st Century, order on machine, pay by wifi, order number slammed on “pickup area”. Plastic Chairs. But wait, a cleaning lady just gave me the hugest smile. Bless.

Nice khazi though. As I prepare for the Act of Number Two, Morrissey gets piped around the venue : this helps the process immeasurably. Sorry, Smiths fans.


My final night in Boystown has me sobbing to Evan Hansen on Sidetrack Showtunes and laughing at a large bunch of nuns led of course by Miss Whoopee. Winter is setting in fast here as I prepare to hit the East Coast….so eating a rather belly warming meatloaf earlier helped, as did saying bye to my fave barman…

This stage of the trip I’m missing my UK friends and venues, let alone needing to ditch Ms Suitcase Living … so bye Chicago, you’ve been wild windy and warming.


This very very very long train journey stopping off at Washington DC before changing to get to Charlottesville, Virginia is actually passing through some rather interesting places including New Beaver, Beaver and Big Beaver. We’ve already sped through Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but as it’s an all nighter, I can’t report a lot about them. So: Dark then (with twinkly lights)

Betwixtwards and Upwards, up to Philadelphia…..and as I leave my Virginia hotel, the TV commercials imploring “Get your own portable generator in and beat the Winter Power Shut-Offs” ring loudly around the lobby. Disconcerting…

But what OF Charlottesville? Small town, bunch of history (statues torn down post slavery recent riot), nice jazz and brewery bar, nice hook up with old mate, gorgeous University Grounds (not campus, apparently), nice hotel breakfasts, nice and restful, nice food markets….the word that constantly comes to mind is; n-n-n- er….WAFFLE! That’s the word! In the USA they do frozen breakfast waffles like there’s no tomorrow! Eight million sorts and all we do in the UK is Birds Eye Potato Variety. The evidence has NOW been photographed….


I think I’ve waffled enough.

Funny old world. Kinda. Philly (NOT THE CHEESE) HERE WE COME!



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