Yep. I know… It has alas been over a month since I last wrote a piece about my exploits in the USA, that being Ohio in particular although I have covered most things with photo’s and status updates.
Finally we have had some good weather here and after surviving record snowfall in February it seem that we are now enjoying another record breaker in the highest April temperatures on record. We have seen temps here well into the 80s recently. I can’t say that I am complaining.
And how am I finding it? … Well I love it. Me and the lovely Kit go out and visit places as and when we can and more on that later but first … American TV…
It isn’t as dire as I first thought it may be. Some of the programs that I like? Well I suppose my favourite must be Two and a Half Men with Charlie Sheen. I find it quite amusing as it is done in a English style of humour. Very dry sometimes but over the top when it needs to be. It airs every weekday between 7 and 8pm and I find myself sometimes planning my eating habits around it as I am normally alone at that time of the day. Fringe is OK as is Human Target but the biggest downside of the TV here is the news. Yes it is good. Yes the news readers are great. The graphics and coverage is good but … well I miss real local news. Like Anglia news. And also there seems to be very little in the way of international news stories. Maybe the USA feels itself far far away from Europe and the rest of the world. It is such a pity if it does but I know it is a large country and people’s interest in world affairs probably stops outside of international limits. Twelve year old Helmut’s misfortunes with his glockenspiel in Dortmund, Germany probably are of little interest to the average Mid Western family.
But I think the most entertaining TV from my point of view is the adverts. Very very different to UK adverts. The major difference is in pharmaceuticals … yes we get medicine adverts in the UK but they are all for non prescription drugs. You know what I mean. Headaches and heartburn. Nothing that you would need to visit a doctor for but I am still open minded about the ads here. Yes there are plenty of ads for run of the mill analgesics, Tylenol vs Advil for example. But here they advertise the latest prescription drugs. Viagara and Ciallis are always a good laugh. Included in any adverts are the warnings of any possible side effects and yes the Ciallis warning about calling your Doctor if your erection lasts for over 4 hours is a hoot. I can just imagine how it would go down in the UK. Probably something about using it to hammer nails in with … haha.
But enough about the TV and back to Ohio. I was told originally that Ohio wasn’t very exciting and well maybe it doesn’t have the charisma or appeal of say California or even Florida but I like it here. Kit and I have travelled about and I actually find the landscape quite similar in some ways to England. Outside of the cities it is very pastoral. Lots of farms and agriculture. There are some parts that could almost be Cambridgeshire with mile after mile of flat farmed land but also there are areas of beautiful rolling hills. It is also a land of woodland, rivers and an abundance of small rocky streams. The trees are quite breathtaking with the bright white upper trunks of American Sycamores following river courses and standing out as brightly against the blue skies.
Where have we been so far? Well the furthest we have travelled was to Cleveland. About a two hour drive from Columbus due north on Lake Erie. Now Cleveland isn’t the prettiest of cities but it boasts the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. If you ever find yourself in Cleveland then pay it a visit. If you love music then this place is a must see. It has it all. ZZ Top’s Eliminator car, Bon Jovi’s Harley. Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche amongst the many vehicles. It has original song lyrics written longhand on notepaper by the Beatles and Stones. It has instruments and stage clothes of just about every act you have ever heard of. I was in hog heaven.
Also Cleveland boasts a Hard Rock Café. This was the first time I have been in one and again it was a memorable experience. Lots more rock memorabilia, music and pretty good food too. Kit got me an amazing HRC leather jacket as a souvenir. I found it on the clearance rack. Two left and one was a perfect fit but best of all it was reduced from $300 to $50 … bargain.
We stayed overnight at a Days Inn and made our way back on the Sunday morning. We stopped at a hunting superstore on the return trip. So many guns, so much equipment. I went there, saw there and got the Tee shirt too. The funniest thing happened there that still makes us smile. We were walking down from the upper floor and admiring a huge stuffed deer on the way down. I joked with Kit about wondering if it was a reindeer. One of the hunting fraternity was passing us on the stairs. Cowboy boots, Stetson, blue jeans … the business. He must have overheard me and without pausing to even look at us his gruff voice uttered … “It’s an Elk!”
Another great trip out was to another Hall of Fame. This time for Motorcycles and it wasn’t so far this time. About a half hour or so away in Pickerington on the other side of Columbus. Again it is another visit well worth making. It is set in beautifully landscaped grounds and although not so big it is full of iconic bikes. Harleys of course but also Hondas, Triumphs, Nortons and so on. We saw Cher’s Harley. Tom Cruise’s Triumph from Mission Impossible and even the police bike from Terminator 2. Great stuff but the custom bikes by a guy called Arlen Ness were the stars. There was a Ferrari bike and even one with a jet engine powering it. Imagine taking that down the motorway… haha. Oh and of course in my eyes the star was Peter Fonda’s bike from Easy Rider. Only a replica as the original was destroyed in the film but what a beaut. A pure vision of chrome and stars n stripes.
Well that’s my lot for this time apart from a last mention of the weather here. After some great sunshine and temperatures of late we are looking at possible severe storms over the weekend and also … ALSO we are entering the Tornado season here now. I look forward to seeing my first twister. There hopefully will be pictures.