Travel Goals – USA 2018 – How Did We do?

If you have been following along on social media you will know we’re back from our #USAHoneymoon and we had an amazing time! We set some goals before we left, here’s how we got on;

1. Eat at a Diner, a Drive-in and a Dive

Completed! We had breakfast in a Diner in San Francisco called Lori’s Diner, lunch at a Drive-in in Bend called Dandy’s Drive-in and Dinner at a Dive in Lynchburg, TN called Barrel House BBQ!

 

2. Do a food challenge – Man v Food style

Maybe next time. We didn’t manage to complete this one but we did eat A LOT of food, more details to come over the next posts.

3. Cycle across the Brooklyn Bridge

We didn’t cycle across and we were glad we didn’t, the bridge is so busy and there’s nowhere really for cyclists to pull over to enjoy the view. We did walk over the bridge towards Manhattan though.

Brooklyn Bridge view towards Manhattan

4. See a wild bald eagle

Completed! We seen our first bald eagle in Montana then a few more when we got to the San Juan Islands in Washington.

Bald Eagle on shipping buoy

5. Ride an Amtrak train

Completed! We took the Amtrak Cascades from Everett to Portland

Amtrak Train

6. Listen to Zydeco played live

We missed this one, there was so much to see and do in New Orleans we couldn’t fit everything in.

7. Get 42 pictures of funny place/street names

We didn’t get 42 but we did get a few, including funny slogans on items in shop windows.

Funny slogan on a doormat

8. Taste Jack Daniels in Lynchburg TN

Completed! We took the Angel’s Share tour of the distillery. If you want to try Jack Daniels in Lynchburg TN your options are limited as it’s a dry county where alcohol isn’t sold really, so there’s no bars, you can’t get a beer or wine with your meal in one of the restaurants etc. You don’t get much on the tour either, you get to try 5 whiskey’s but only up to an amount where you can legally drive afterwards.

Angel's Share at Jack Daniels Lynchburg TN

9. Drink moonshine on the deck of a cabin in the woods

Completed! We bought 3 jars of moonshine as well as a bottle of whiskey from the distilleries in Gatlinburg. We had some while grilling/barbecuing on the deck of our cabin.

 

10. Eat a Po-Boy from Parkway bakery & tavern

Completed! I had the alligator sausage and Richard had the shrimp – both were excellent, well worth the trip out of the city centre.

 

11. Eat Beignets in New Orleans

Completed! We had beignets for breakfast in Cafe Beignet where they have a live jazz band playing, even in the morning!

beignets in New Orleans

12. See a wild aligator

Completed! We can’t recommend Cajun Pride enough, their tour of the Manchac swamp was fantastic and we both got to hold an almost 3 year old alligator, they’re a lot softer than you would expect.

 

13. See a broadway show

Completed! We had front row seats for a Saturday night showing of Anastasia which was amazing, a great show and the cast were perfect.

Broadhurst Theatre New York City

14. Get a photo of the Statue of Liberty

Completed – we got plenty of these, follow us for upcoming posts about our experiences in New York City and seeing the Statue of Liberty.

Statue of Liberty at night

15. Do our food shop at Pike Place Market like a local

Completed – and it was expensive! We got some great quality produce though including pastries, bread, cheese and pasta.

 

16. See a wild turkey

Completed – we saw wild turkeys for the first time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Wild Turkey at Cades Cove Great Smoky Mountain National Park

17. Eat New York style pizza in New York, by the slice

Completed – we got a slice eat from Artichoke and took them to go to eat on the nearby High Line.

 

18. Try at least 5 types of pie

We missed this one, there’s so many dessert options we only actually had 2 pies over the 6 weeks we were in the USA!

19. Try sweet tea in the Deep South

We missed this one too! I’m a hot tea fan but sweet tea was on my list of things to try, maybe next time.

20. Go on a Ghost Adventure

Completed – we went on a ghost tour of New Orleans with Bloody Mary who has been featured on Ghost Adventures multiple times!

Voodoo High Priestess Bloody Mary

21. Cruise on the mighty Mississippi

Completed – we went on a jazz cruise on the last operating paddle steamer on the Mississippi the Steamboat Natchez.

Steam boat Natchez docked in New Orleans

22. Get enough stamps in a McMenamins passport to get at least 5 rewards

Completed – we got our passports in Seattle and got enough stamps for 8 rewards!

McMenamins Passports

23. See a mock western shoot-out

Completed – we saw a mock western shoot-out while we were in Jackson, Wyoming for the Old West Days fest over memorial day weekend. Although we didn’t get a decent picture of it, it was very popular and we were towards the back of a large crowd!

24. See a wild moose

We did not see any moose! Maybe a trip to Canada should be on the cards for a better chance of this one.

25. Try 4 kinds of barbecue in different States

We tried 4 different kinds of barbecue in four different towns but three of those were in Tennessee! So the juries out on this one, although everything we tried was good.

 

26. Watch a live rodeo

Completed – we went to the first rodeo of the season in Jackson, Wyoming.

 

27. Drink hurricanes at Pat O’Brians

I did try a hurricane but from Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and it was great. I got it in a to go cup and finished it while walking down Bourbon Street.

 

28. Watch Old Faithful erupt and one other geyser

We almost managed this, it’s harder than you would expect, even though there are lots of geysers in the park they are not all regular and distances between thermal areas can be quite far. We did see Old Faithful erupt and we just missed seeing Steamboat erupt an hour after we had left that area. We did return the following day and seen the aftermath which was really impressive!

Old Faithful eruption
Old Faithful
Norris Geyser Basin Steamboat eruption aftermath
Steamboat at Norris Geyser Basin

29. See a wild bear

Completed – we seen 5 black bears in all! A mother with two cubs followed by another bear on it’s own in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains and we seen another black bear while we were in Yellowstone. I’d still love to see a grizzly bear though.

 

30. Take a picture at Leigh Lake in Grand Teton National Park

We didn’t do this. At the start of the trail for Leigh Lake we seen signs warning of bear attacks and we didn’t have any bear spray so we were put off doing the hike.

31. Drive the North Cascades Highway

Completed – and it was amazing, one of the highlights of our trip and it has made it onto our must return to list!

Diablo Lake

32. Get 42 pictures of American flags in different places

Completed – this was very easy. Unlike a lot of countries the American flag is proudly flown from all sorts of buildings, public landmarks, shops, houses and town flagpoles all across the country.

 

33. Date night at a drive-in movie theatre

Completed – we went to Parkway Drive-in theatre in Maryville Tennessee!

 

34. See a wild orca

Completed – we saw two families of orca while visiting San Juan Island on a tour with Western Prince. We also got to see them hunting and celebrating which was an awesome sight!

Wild Orca Pod in the San Juan Islands

35. Watch the sun set behind the Grand Tetons

We didn’t see this. We were too occupied with activities in Jackson in the evenings and it’s a bit too far from the Tetons to see the sun set easily. It’s not safe to drive around the National Parks in this area at night or nearby as large wild animals do walk on the roads and aren’t very visible in the dark.

36. Order a cupcake from an ATM

We didn’t do this. There was so much to do and see in New York and so much food to try we just didn’t get chance. It still remains on my to do list of things in the USA.

37. Have a picnic

Completed – many times over. We had a lot of picnics on this trip, made easier by staying in accommodations with full kitchens for most of our time there.

38. Go white water rafting for the first time

We didn’t do this but we do still want to give this a try!

39. Go sea kayaking

Completed – we went sea kayaking along the west coast of San Juan Island on a full day trip with Discovery Sea Kayaking. The scenery around here is fantastic and we had a great time.

Sea Kayaking in the Haro Strait Washington

40. Complete the Bend Ale Trail

Completed – we did complete the Bend Ale Trail but it was completed by sacrificing other activities in the area. There is a lot to see in this area and by completing the Bend Ale Trail we seen even more things we want to do. A return visit to Bend is definitely on the cards.

41. Eat a cannoli from Carlo’s original bakery in Hoboken

We dropped this when we got to New York. It was our first time in the city and we only had 3 nights there. It’s something we plan to do on a future trip though while spending time in Hoboken and New Jersey.

42. Try Tartine Bakery’s sour dough bread

We did visit Tartine in San Francisco but it was not what we expected. They didn’t seem to have any bread while we were there. A supermarket nearby was selling full loaves of theirs but it was our last day and we were staying in a hotel without any need for that amount of bread!

Total: 26/42 but there are a few that were pretty close really. The amount of experiences we’ve have not on this list though is impressive, stay tuned for lots of new content about our USA Honeymoon!