I don´t know what made me start reminiscing about places we had been on holiday when we were young. Maybe it was the fact that it was a lazy weekend and I had decided to cook breakfast for a change.
Most weekdays, I am spoilt with breakfast in bed. It is just a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a slice of toast with either marmite or marmalade but I really look forward to it. However, occasionally, I do like to return the favour and cook OH a giant hearty, if not healthy breakfast.
This is usually on a Sunday morning and consists of a glass of orange juice, crispy bacon, grilled tomatoes and what we call “dippy eggs” because you poke the yolk and dip your fried or toasted bread into it. This weekend I thought I would go American by adding hash browns and pancakes with maple syrup (strange combination but very tasty) and that is when I started to think about the first time I had tried this typically American breakfast.
1978 we flew from the UK to New York, took a hedgehopper down to Philadelphia. We chose Allegheny Airlines and the four of us outnumbered the pilot and cabin crew yet we still got our soft drinks and packet of nuts. We then drove for 6 weeks mainly down the coast as far as Florida and back up through Skyline drive.
Our first detour was to Gettysburg as OH being a history buff wanted to see the sites of the Civil War. We arrived mid morning and stopped at the Lincoln Diner. This was, and still is the archetypal image we Brits have of American diners from watching all those old black and white movies. Shiny chrome both inside and out, counter stools, soda fountains, crowds of people and cheap home-style cooking. It was here that we had our first taste of bacon and eggs with pancakes and syrup.
When we eventually reached Florida in our hired Pontiac Grand Prix we headed straight for Disney’s Magic Kingdom. In those days from what I remember, there was only one Disney Park and SeaWorld and our girls loved them both.
For us grownups the main attraction was Kennedy Space Centre. We headed there after sitting on Cocoa Beach and watching a Delta take off over the sea. It is all very different these days, we visited again in 2010 and there were simulations of take off as well as astronauts wandering everywhere in their shiny space suits. They also had an exhibition showing artefacts from the first manned space flights and mission control consoles. When we first visited, the original control consoles were before us I was not alone when I cheered at the film as it showed the first man to step on the moon.
The photos show our girls as being little tots, now 34 years later they will probably cringe at seeing themselves. We love America and return every other year we have seen most of it but our favourite is the east coast and of course when the family and grand children are with us Florida is always high on the agenda and I thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing about the past over a favourite breakfast on this lazy weekend.