Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Matt's American Adventure: End of the Dream

I am writing this blog on the actual day we fly back to Namibia, the last three weeks have flown by and I have had a fantastic time. When I get back to Solitaire I will write the final chapter of the American Adventure...The Verdict! But before we leave I'll quickly sum up our last couple of days; I will start by giving my verdict on the second item I wrote on my 'To Eat' list; the Baby Ruth! As you may have picked up throughout the American Adventure blogs I have watched a lot of American  TV and movies over the years, but one movie has a special place which I have watched over a hundred times, The Goonies! In this classic you of course will remember the character Sloth being a big fan of Baby Ruths and was pivotal in the magical scene where Chunk and Sloth began their friendship. A Baby Ruth is basically peanuts and nougat covered in chocolate, and tastes pretty good, we have things similar to it in the UK so I cant say it blew my mind but it thoroughly deserves a Thumbs Up.
I'll also quickly give a shout out to Arnold Palmer and his Ice Tea and Lemonade mix, it has been sweltering here and I have found his drink damn refreshing - Thumbs Up! 
I enjoyed a Baby Ruth during a drive in movie, another first for me on my American Adventure. The Twin Hi-Way Drive In is one of only two theaters of its kind still in Pittsburgh and watching The Avengers (for the second time I might add because its flipping awesome) out in the open was a really cool experience.
Kate and I also went to Kennywood Amusement Park and before Kate's sensitive stomach and my monster headache kicked in we had fun riding some great roller coasters, the Skyrocket and Phantom's Revenge were the definite highlights. We also had a great lunch, Potato Patch Fries and a Corn Dog! 
For Rob's birthday we went to another of Kate's favorite restaurants, Soba. I was told this would be a definite Two Thumbs Up, but after the Vinnie's Pizza incident I would need to judge for myself. As it was Rob's birthday and close to mine we had signed up for a special deal and got our entrees for free, so I decided to go all out and had baby octopus for starters, the filet mignon for main and then my first American banana split for dessert........this time they were right, delicious Two Thumb Up!
After dinner we went up to Mount Washington which provides the best view of the city of Pittsburgh, it was really spectacular and a great way to end my unofficial birthday.
This weekend has been Memorial Day weekend and because this has been the first time Kate has been home in two and a half years the Echements held a family reunion picnic where I got to meet a lot more cousins, uncles and old family friends. As per usual the food provided by Phyllis was sensational especially the pulled pork. For dessert Bev provided more of her home baked brownies and cupcakes, and let me tell you Bev's cupcakes are out of this world- Four Thumbs Up!
For my actual birthday Kate and I had a low key morning doing a bit of shopping, before picking up Kate's Grandmother Ruth and going to Jim and Phyllis' for dinner. As I was the birthday boy I was able to choose what the meal would be and seeing as I had yet to mark it of my list I decided upon Sloppy Joes! The Sloppy Joe is a fairly simple idea that for some reason hasn't caught on in the UK but its exactly my type of food, nice and messy - Thumbs Up! As a special birthday treat for me and Rob Phyllis had made two pies, one Coconut cream, the other Lemon meringue. Rather than score the pies I'll simply say this, the best food I have eaten during this Adventure has been prepared by Phyllis, the lemon pork we had on mothers day being my particular favourite -  Phyllis = Four Thumbs Up!
Well there we have it, it is time to head back to the Namib Desert. It really has gone fast and Kate and I wish we had one more week. I have had an amazing time and I want to say a huge thank you to Jim, Phyllis, Rob, Bev and Ruth for welcoming me into their homes and looking after me so well. One things for sure when I get back I will have to start up my exercise routine again big time as I have not eaten so much and so well for a long time and I have gone up two notches on my belt!

As mentioned early I will be writing a final chapter when I get back, until then cheerio USA!  

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