The End of the Road

After twenty-one thousand incredible miles, we made it to our 48th state.

What a blessing to be able to have seen so much of this beautiful land; we’ve had countless people tell us that that is something that even few Americans have been able to do.

The last two states for us to visit were Ohio and West Virginia – but as we were on an epic 48 hour drive on our way back to New York to prepare to fly out, we only got a glimpse of these states.

The Travellers Two - USA

A rough sketch of our route

But, we took the time to celebrate the 48th state milestone with one of our last on-the-road meals, at a little park in Bethlehem, WV. Thankfully we could enjoy the sunshine before driving through nine hours of torrential rain across Pennsylvania and New Jersey!

In New York City, the end of our journey, we amazingly met some friends who had also just finished an epic journey of their own. Rob and Christine Lilwall cycled from California to New York City on a tandem!

_MG_0404

We both reached our milestones on Thursday – for us 48 states, for them coast to coast – and we both arrived in New York City on Friday. _MG_0576

Enjoying a celebratory drink overlooking the Statue of Liberty, and where so many Europeans first set foot onto these magnificent shores, we were thrilled to be able to share our stories and congratulate each other. And, we look forward to seeing them both back in Hong Kong.

_MG_0588

_MG_0618

In Tulsa, just three days before we arrived in New Jersey, we gave the car a tremendous clean out, scrub and hoover – so much dust from the desert! So when we got to NJ, we just had to get it ready to drop it off with the shipping company.

_MG_0395

It is really amazing how much you can fit into a car! Our stuff was spread all over the lawn, garage and our bedroom. And the car looked very ‘naked’ without all of its equipment.

But now everything is almost-neatly packed into bags and boxes; our whole life seems to be a series of packing, unpacking, repacking and re-repacking. I’m thankful for the new Lianne La Havas album that got me through it.

On Friday, we took the Defender to the shipyard to have it inspected and received to clear customs, before it makes its long voyage home to the UK. The next time we see it will be in December.

_MG_0396

It really is remarkable car; although it is very loud, not the most comfortable, and there’s always something that doesn’t quite open or close properly, it drove us thousands and thousands of miles through extreme heat and crazy terrain, and never let us down once.

If only it had air-conditioning…

While the car is on the ship, we are already dreaming of how to prepare it for the next expedition – what we would change, what we would keep the same, how we can make it fit a few more people in so we can share the road with some friends…

Hopefully next summer we will be able to take the car somewhere even more challenging. We have a destination in mind – maybe we will be able to reveal that within the next few months.

But for now, as we look back over the past four months, we also look forward to The Travellers Two returning to Asia and sharing those new stories as the journey continues.

_MG_0629

Food in the Big Apple

When you come through New York City and if you enjoy food, you probably already know you’re in the right place. Especially if you like comfort food. In New York you can find any food you desire; pizza, hot dogs and pretzels are on almost every corner, and that’s why it’s so hard to find one favourite. Usually when we travel, I try to find a good pizza in a new city, but since there are so many to choose from, I didn’t even bother with it here. Although I do have to mention that I came across Artichoke Pizza and their signature artichoke slice which is amazing.

But the reason I’m writing it is to share my new discovery. To many it’s old news, but if you’re planning to visit the Big Apple, you have to try The Halal Guys food.

IMG_4133

“It all started in 1990, when the founding partners opened a hot dog cart on West 53rd & 6th Avenue, New York, NY. The saw a huge demand among the Muslim cab drivers needing to have a halal Muslim meal. They quickly exchanged their cart and began servicing halal food, which became a huge success. They focused on the enhancement of their products to make it different and enjoyable. From that time, they pledged to use the best halal products to serve the public. During that time, they created their special magic white sauce and fiery hot sauce, which our public loves.”

Excerpt from http://thehalalguys.com

_MG_4155I had the chance to try their food a couple of years ago, but it was a leftovers from take out that I found in our friend’s fridge, without knowing where it was from. When we came through the city this time I decided to find out who makes this incredible chicken and gyro meat over yellow rice. As it turned out it was not that hard. Their carts are still there whey they started 25 years ago, plus they opened bunch of other shops that you can find on their websites. The choice is simple: chicken, gyro or mix. It is so good that even as we were driving from Westport, Connecticut to Atlantic City, we had to take a detour and pick up some goodness for the road.

So next time you’re in town, don’t forget to treat yourself to The Halal Guys.

MSJ