Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: American Double 2014


Like many of my trips around this time, this was one where the original idea grew into something bigger than initially intended. You could say it's similar to the phenomenon that project managers refer to as scope creep, except that in this case it's a beneficial influence rather than a danger to be avoided at all costs.

The original plan in this instance was to spend a week in the Southern state of Tennessee, a new one that I would be able to tick off on my personal list. The major destinations would be the cities of Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga. Atlanta, Georgia was added when it became apparent that this was the only feasible departure point for my flight home at the end of the trip. The start of the trip was timed to follow on from a week that Bruce was having to spend in Massachusetts for work purposes. So far, so good.

Then Bruce came up with his ... erm ... highly original proposal to travel from the UK to the USA via North Africa and the Arabian Gulf. No, he hadn't completely flipped; there was definitely method in the madness. By taking advantage of an exceptional ex-Casablanca fare, he would be able to enjoy hours of hospitality on board one of the world's best airlines (Qatar), rack up oodles of British Airways Executive Club avios points and ensure his promotion to BA Gold status. Of course he made it clear that I was under no obligation to take part in this venture, but also stated that I was more than welcome to tag along if I wanted to. I would simply have to come up with some way of keeping myself amused while he spent five days at work.

The final challenge was an easy one: after all, apart from the city of Boston itself, I had never set foot in New England. And the initial bit of intercontinental jiggery-pokery sounded like fun, especially with Qatar Airways being involved. So the initial idea for a relatively short trip of just over a week ended up, for me, as a substantial voyage in three distinct chunks:

Prologue: Four days, four continents         
Road Trip 1: New England in the Fall
Road Trip 2: Biscuits, Blues and Barbecues

Without further ado, let the fun now commence!

  LEFT to RIGHT: 1. Medina market, Casablanca  2. Fall colours, Providence  3. Belmont Mansion, Nashville