We're off to America! Yippee! Well, not straight away... let me explain. But I need your help!
Pammy and I have long talked about visiting the US one day, going for a long drive in fact. We don't like airports, but we do love music, and some sad events recently have galvanised us into doing it now, rather than waiting any longer. Life is short.
There are a couple of centrepieces to the trip, which could take about eight weeks to complete, maybe more. And I was hoping that some of my readers in the USA and elsewhere might be able to help out with suggestions of good gardens to see along the way.
We haven't figured out our exact itinerary yet, but I think we do know which states we're planning on visiting, so here goes with the rough outline.
First stop Hawaii - Pam loves volcanoes, has never seen one, so we're going to see active volcanoes on the Big Island. As we're not in a hurry, I am sure Hawaii has some superb gardens that would be worth seeing.
Nevada – OK, I admit it, I want to see the world's tackiest city, just for a day, but from there we'll be driving south to the Grand Canyon. I'm much more of a landscape and geography kind of tourist than a big city tourist.
Arizona - heading east from the Canyon...
New Mexico - main stop-off destination is Santa Fe
Texas – this is where the music thing really kicks in. We want to go to Lubbock for starters, not only because Buddy Holly was born there, but so too were our kind of musicians, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Joe Ely. After that, Austin beckons. Wonder if James McMurtry will be playing there when we pass through?
Louisiana – this is the biggie for me. I love Cajun music so we're off to Lafayette for waltzes, two steps, gumbo and Po' Boy sandwiches. Then on to New Orleans of course, for both of us.
Now it gets crazy, we want to continue on by road to New York, so.....
Tennessee: first stop Memphis, then Nashville. We're hoping to see Tim O'Brien playing somewhere, sometime.
Not sure which route we'll take to get to New York from Nashville, but by then I'll be mighty tired (Pam doesn't drive), but I like the idea of crossing Kentucky by backroads, then West Virginia the same way.
Call us crazy kids, but that's the rough plan at this stage. A very long drive, taking several weeks, with no hurry to get home.
You can post your links and suggestions straight here in the comments box if you like, but you could also email me if you like, if that's easier, at my Garden Amateur email address, which is email@example.com
All suggestions on any aspect of our plans are welcome, even those just saying "you're crazy" (but we do already know that).
We've given ourselves several months to plan the 2011 trip, but visiting some great gardens along the way is something we'd both love to do.
Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.