5 OF MY FAVORITE THINGS
2. The respect that most of the general public and the media have for the US Military. When I was in the Royal Air Force (many moons ago now) this sure was not the case in the UK, although it may have changed by now. People over here thank soldiers for their service and routinely buy them meals in restaurants if they're wearing uniform. Back in the day in the UK, people were more likely to try and pick a fight with you if they knew you were military. Either that or the IRA were trying to blow you up. It does upset me that the majority of people in the States know next to nothing about the IRA's terror campaign. I remember having to hide our RAF uniforms and having to check under our cars for bombs in the UK, but now I'm digressing from my Top 5...
3. Mexican food. The ultimate comfort food and so tasty. You can even kid yourself it's healthy if you add some delicious fresh salsa and guacamole :)
4. The Great Outdoors! So many State Parks to choose from with amazing camping, mountain biking, water activities and hiking. We're really spoiled for choice over here. Want to rent a boat, a jetski or whatever you want for the day? No problem, it's so easy to do these things over here and there's so much space to be able to do these activities safely!
5. American people. Well, I did marry one!! Friendly, generous, kind-hearted and honest. People overseas tend to think of Americans as narrow minded, this is so not true. I have found most of the Americans I've met to be adventurous souls with a huge interest in the rest of the world and what's going on out there. I love that Americans can tell you where the last several generations of their family came from. In the UK, we don't really bother to find these things out. It does make me laugh though whenever somebody tells me they're from Scotland. Were you born there? No? Then sorry, but you're not from Scotland :)
5 OF MY LEAST FAVORITE THINGS
1. Billboards. So many amazing views in this country are spoiled by huge billboards alongside the road. These big monstrosities are everywhere. The only ones I don't mind seeing are for Wall Drug. These are posted regularly along the I90 between Sioux Falls and Rapid City and promise homemade donuts & pie, 5c coffee, free ice water, jackalopes and even a dinosaur. These particular billboards do help to break up the monotony of prairie driving for several hours :)
3. Dangerous wild animals! They're everywhere! Okay, not everywhere but you know what I mean. Venomous snakes, mountain lions, alligators, scorpions, skunks, (cute but you don't want to be sprayed by one), great white sharks, tarantulas, javelinas, coyotes, bears, the stuff of nightmares! You seriously have to have your wits about you when you go hiking, to the beach or even just out in your yard sometimes.
4. Bread & Cheese. Sorry America, but your bread and cheese selection is CRAP!!! Oh how I miss proper cheddar cheese. Sharp tasting and crumbly, but sliceable at the same time. American cheese has the consistency of plastic. Seriously. It's not right, you should not be able to bend cheese. Hovis granary bread, another thing I'd kill for. American sliced bread has a sweetish taste and some brands are apparently made with one of the ingredients also used to make yoga mats. Anyone for Frankenbread? Some grocery stores here have upped the quality and taste of their breads on offer, but it's just not as good (in my opinion) as it is back home.
5. Public Transport. Unless you live in a big city, public transport is pretty much non-existent and taxis are dodgy at best. The husband and me always squabble over whose turn it is to be designated driver whenever we go out at night. We tend not to go out very often because of this, it's easier just to stay in and have a beverage at home.
Anyway, that's it for now folks! I'm off to enjoy a Shocktop with a slice of orange with my fabulous American husband :)