Not to be alphabetist or anything, but I think I find the letters of the early alphabet more useful. I could have gone on forever about B and D. (I hear you, and I won’t.) I shall march swiftly towards the end.
There was Marshmallow the cat. Very white and very fluffy. He was the boss of another second cousin, somewhere in Toronto. I lost my bearings, so have no idea where.
Quesadillas kept us going. Rather like my first ever meal in England in 1966, a cheese and tomato sandwich at Liverpool Street, the best quesadilla was the one in the middle of the night – GMT – on arrival in San Antonio, when I sat as far away from the window as possible on the 18th floor. Would have been even better had we had a bottle opener (which someone assured me we’d not need), in which case there would have been Mexican cola too. Could it be that the strain of travelling makes the first meal better, or were these in fact tastier than the rest?
Was intrigued to discover that Montréal’s airport code is YUL. Sounds so Christmassy. And they had the three letters plastered over some lovely, snowy posters. Snowy scenery, not posters. I mean, posters of. You know what I mean.
Which brings us to the letter Z. Zips. Our first zip came in the elevator at the New Orleans Hilton, when a fellow passenger, on discovering were were alone for the last bit, asked us to zip her up. She’d dressed beautifully for a Halloween night on the town, but travelling alone she hadn’t managed the last inch at the back. I held her hair while Daughter zipped.
Miss Martha, on the other hand, was our attendant on the Amtrak train from New Orleans to New York. All 36 hours of it. Apparently this paragon sleeps when she gets home each week. She likes it better than the chicken farm she used to run. Anyway, she’s that archetypal motherly person who looks after you, working out what to feed vegetarians when Amtrak’s sole veggie dish is not on board. Not to mention when just outside D.C. the train ‘banged’ and juddered to a rather sudden stop, leaving us standing for an hour, before stopping again. They had tried to repair the broken ‘thingy’ between the cars with duct tape. The second time they went with Miss Martha’s zip ties. She never travels without them. They held, all the way to D.C. itself where proper engineers stood by to offer something longer lasting.
That got us to New York, where the car drivers zip in and out of the traffic all the time. I don’t know how they do it, but it seems to work, and no one appears to suffer zip rage or anything.
Forgot to mention the Alamo on day one. It’s in San Antonio. But you knew that. You probably also know what it is. Quite nice, actually.