We are back in England now after an incredibly emotional trip full of fun, discovery, nostalgia, reunions, and a lot of sadness and grief too. My wonderful mother-in-law very sadly passed away and my husband left us to be with her and his father and siblings during her last hours in Spain. We are so thankful he made it in time to see her. Now we are reunited at home in England feeling very cold, tired and sad.

My British born kids made many observations about America and loved experiencing a different place with a different climate and spending time with American relatives and friends.

Here is what they did and thought:

  • The toilets are great, they actually suck stuff down and flush automatically
  • Why are there such big gaps in between the toilet doors? People can see in!
  • You have to ask where the bathroom or restroom is (not the toilet). But there isn’t a bath in there nor do you go there to rest – ??
  • Loved meeting and hanging out with American cousins
  • Loved seeing and spending time with American grandparents
  • Loved meeting up with American friends who used to live in the UK
  • Everything is bigger – the food, the drinks, the roads, the cars, the houses, the bathrooms, the fridges, the stores, the cats, the bugs, the parking spaces, the signs, the trucks, the space between things, the trees, the rivers, the lakes, the crisp packets, the restaurants – everything is bigger
  • American snacks are addictive
  • Walking isn’t the same – there’s too much space in between places so it takes too long to walk
  • Best new discovery – confetti eggs
  • Best city – NOLA
  • Best restaurant – Perla’s in Austin Texas
  • Best beach – Jupiter Island, Florida
  • Best store – The Dollar Tree
  • Best American service – free refills
  • Best street – South Congress, Austin Texas
  • Best unexpected gem – Railroad Arts, Tallahassee
  • My eldest ate a burger of some type nearly every single day
  • My youngest had a coca cola (or two) nearly every single day and is now having withdrawal symptoms
  • They found the money to be very confusing but people were kind and helpful
  • Swimming pools are everywhere. This is a major attraction.
  • Americans love their ice. We loved their ice!
  • Gas is amazingly cheap – we over budgeted for our road trip
  • Everyone smiled. Everyone said hi, everyone waved hello
  • The 12 hour drive across Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be
  • Now, a 4 hour car journey is a walk in the park – in America that is
  • Cruise control. What a great invention. Would never work in the UK!
  • Florida lives up to its name – the Sunshine State
  • There are literally millions of places to eat
  • People eat out – a lot. And not just for dinner. They eat out for breakfast, lunch AND dinner
  • The outdoor culture is different and refreshing
  • The wildlife – wow. Just wow
  • We all made new friends – humans, reptiles and mammals

And here is a small selection of our photos:

USA ice
Austin Texas
Capital Texas

A huge thank you to our travel agent Louise of Travel Counsellors who helped us with kindness and efficiency in a most difficult and distressing situation. We don’t know what we would have done without her.

Meghan Peterson Fenn is the author of Bringing Up Brits, co-author of Inspiring Global Entrepreneurs, co-founder and Director of Design and Web at Shake It Up Creative. And, she is an award winning expat blogger and mother of three.