Coming to U.S. in April, suggestions welcome (edited thread)

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Coming to U.S. in April, suggestions welcome (edited thread)

Postby Hiking Fox » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:36 pm

I've revived this old thread, cos now I'm definitely making the trip. There were some really good suggestions posted here about where to go, and I welcome more. I'll post my plans at the end of the thread.

I'm a British person who has never been outside Europe (actually, I've never been further than Northern Spain) and I'd really like to spend a month or so in America.

Are there any places that you'd regard as 'must see'? Where are the best places for vegan scoff? I'm particularly curious about San Francisco, but I have an open mind, so please share all thoughts and suggestions about your country!

Also:

Will I be able to buy cups of tea? Is it true that you all drink coffee and tea is hard to find?

Will I be able to find chips, or do you all only eat those weird skinny 'french fry' things?

What is 'granola' and is it vegan? (People always seem to eat it for breakfast in films.)

Is it possible to find ale, or is it just lager everywhere?

Anything you want to warn me about?

:shock:
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Re: Question for the Americans

Postby thestoatyone » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:43 pm

[quote="Hiking Fox"]Also:

Will I be able to buy cups of tea? Is it true that you all drink coffee and tea is hard to find?

Will I be able to find chips, or do you all only eat those weird skinny 'french fry' things?

What is 'granola' and is it vegan? (People always seem to eat it for breakfast in films.)

Is it possible to find ale, or is it just lager everywhere?

Anything you want to warn me about?

:shock:


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Re: Question for the Americans

Postby Fallen_Horse » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:30 pm

[quote="Hiking Fox"]
Also:

Will I be able to buy cups of tea? Is it true that you all drink coffee and tea is hard to find?

Will I be able to find chips, or do you all only eat those weird skinny 'french fry' things?

What is 'granola' and is it vegan? (People always seem to eat it for breakfast in films.)

Is it possible to find ale, or is it just lager everywhere?

Assuming you are serious? My experience is explicitly the midwest, which BTW isn't the greatest place to visit. I would recommend NY for tourist stuff, or the west coast for fun in the sun.

You can find tea in a cafe, but it's usually very generic. Coffee comes in all kinds of drinks, but many are not vegan (milk).

By chips I assume you mean fried potato slices? Definitely harder to find than french fries, those are everywhere. Some pub style places might have chips, but not a standard restaurant.

Granola is just cereal for people who are richer and think they are healthier. It's almost always loaded with sugar, and kind of a hassle to find in standard supermarkets. Health stores carry a lot of varieties though. Oh, and going to a breakfast place you are not likely to find many granola choices. Mostly eggs, sausage, and pancakes. Either that or sandwiches with eggs and sausage/ham. For vegan breakfast you are pretty much stuck finding a vegan-friendly place, or eating oatmeal.

For the beer, it's almost all ale. You can usually find a pilsner or bock in restaurants, but the large majority of the selection is ale. Some restaurants take pride in offering many many kinds of beer, so you will find whatever you like at those places.

Again this is just my experience here in Colorado. Things will probably work a bit different on the coasts. It is a big country you know! :D
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Re: Question for the Americans

Postby Hiking Fox » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:40 pm

[quote="Fallen_Horse"]
Assuming you are serious?


Yes I am, although it is often hard to tell with me.

[quote]You can find tea in a cafe, but it's usually very generic. Coffee comes in all kinds of drinks, but many are not vegan (milk).


Generic is what I want! I don't want to be offered herbal tea, or rooibos and told it is 'tea'. Is soya milk not generally available in cafes? It is here in city chains but not so much elsewhere. (I've been frightened by people telling me you can't get tea in America and want to know if they are just winding me up.)
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Re: Question for the Americans

Postby beforewisdom » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:46 pm

San Francisco is a beautiful city and a good choice.

New York City is also a good choice. What the Sinatra song says is true. It has everything. It is just expensive, like San Francisco.

I would pick either city, then get a book about the city and thoroughly plan the trip to get the most out of it.


[quote="Hiking Fox"]
Where are the best places for vegan scoff?


http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Guide-York- ... 740&sr=8-1


[quote]
Will I be able to buy cups of tea? Is it true that you all drink coffee and tea is hard to find?


Yes, though it is slowly getting better. The tea that you can easily get is the shit left over from processing real tea. It is called Lipton. In big urban areas you can usually find a real tea shop or tea house, but they are far from ubiquitous. Some bookstores are starting to sell something slightly better at their coffee bars. Starbucks, the ubiquitous coffee shop chain has some overpriced tea -- probably not up to British standards. You might want to pack a few bags of your favorite tea.

[quote]
Will I be able to find chips, or do you all only eat those weird skinny 'french fry' things?


Probably not. There was an "Arthur Treachers Fish & Chips" franchises in the US years ago. Wasn't very popular and I don't know if it exists. Most places will have shoestring styled french fries. Restaurants and diners might have thicker cut french fries.

[quote]
What is 'granola' and is it vegan? (People always seem to eat it for breakfast in films.)


Granola is rolled oats baked with a sweetener, oil and sundry other ingredients. It is fattening but tasty. Granola you would get from regular chains or bars from candy machines would likely NOT be vegan. If you go to the bulk bins in health food stores, Trader Joes, Whole Foods or a co-op you can find some nice varieties.

[quote]
Is it possible to find ale, or is it just lager everywhere?


I don't drink. My friends who do tell me that most American bars just have sucky beer, but if you are in NYC or San Francisco you can find better bars that will serve better beers. Don't expect bars to be pubs though.

[quote]
Anything you want to warn me about?


Stay away from anyone who says he is into "tea bagging" or that belongs to the "tea bag" party :). Heh.

Try to get to either city during April - June. After that it might get too hot.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:56 pm

Thanks BF, this is all really useful info.

I might have to walk round wearing an 'I love Tea' t-shirt, exclaiming enthusiastically about how big everything is...
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Postby thestoatyone » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:00 pm

[quote="Hiking Fox"]Thanks BF, this is all really useful info.

I might have to walk round wearing an 'I love Tea' t-shirt, exclaiming enthusiastically about how big everything is...


Or go to a football match and complain loudly that the ref's not giving hand ball penalties...
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Postby Hiking Fox » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:09 pm

It's a good job I started this thread in our evening so it's their daytime, so all the pesky sarcastic British people are just going to bed and won't clog up my thread sniggering at me...
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Postby thestoatyone » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:19 pm

:lol:

Sounds magic though, SF is somewhere on my list of places to go before I reach some statistically significant anniversary I think...
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Re: Question for the Americans

Postby FAQ » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:19 pm

[quote="Hiking Fox"]Where are the best places for vegan scoff?

Will I be able to buy cups of tea? Is it true that you all drink coffee and tea is hard to find?

Will I be able to find chips, or do you all only eat those weird skinny 'french fry' things?

What is 'granola' and is it vegan? (People always seem to eat it for breakfast in films.)

Is it possible to find ale, or is it just lager everywhere?

Anything you want to warn me about?

:shock:

USA: http://www.vegguide.org/region/2
San Francisco: http://www.vegguide.org/region/17

I can get tea at every cafe I go to.

I've seen chips on the menu at pubs/bars. I assume its the same thing Brits eat.

Read the ingredients like you would for any other food.

Yes, bars/pubs in the U.S sell ale.

In 2008, there were 14,180 homicides in the U.S.
http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/offense ... le_01.html
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Re: Question for the Americans

Postby fredrikw » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:41 am

[quote="Hiking Fox"]Will I be able to buy cups of tea? Is it true that you all drink coffee and tea is hard to find?

Will I be able to find chips, or do you all only eat those weird skinny 'french fry' things?
...
Is it possible to find ale, or is it just lager everywhere?

are you even sure you want to leave UK in the first place? ;)
--- non-racers. the emptiness of those lives shocks me ---
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Re: Question for the Americans

Postby JS » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:18 am

I'm a Brit but have been to the states a few times as a veggie and a vegan on holiday and business so can give you how i found the states.

From an outdoors type of person I can recommend one trip I did:

Flew into Denver and spent 3 weeks travelling to San Francisco through the national parks and camped - Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Monument, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Arches, Zion, Canyonlands, Death Valley from what I can remember. Some of the most amazing scenery. Sadly didn't get time to stay at Yosemite. If you love the outdoors I'd get out to some of the parks. Zion, Bryce and monument valley (think old westerns and rock buttes) were top favs. Plenty of wilderness to visit over there so some American wilderness is a must see.

I had to also stopped a night in Las Vegas on this trip as it was on the way - place is mad.

I loved the 2 days I had in San Fran and wish I could have stayed longer.

This was a great way for me to spend 3 weeks but lots of travelling so not restful. Managed with food but was veggie rather than vegan at the time. Wholefoods had lots of vegan stuff for self catering/snacks.

Overall I have been made to feel welcome in all places and restaurants that aren't vegan have tried to help find me something to eat - bit like being in the UK on that score. Service over there puts Brits to shame I think. I think sometimes as a Brit though we can find American service a little false/cheesy though. You'll know what I mean when you get there :)

Tea - yeah liptons tea is on offer as beforewisdom says - not the best tasting but do-able. I found they serve tea with the tea bag on the side which I think can impair the taste as you need boiling water. I also found in motels that I stayed in there was no kettle only a coffee making machine so couldn't have a brew back at the hotel.

Trying to think of things to watch out for - if you in Utah and order up a second drink they cannot give it to you until your glass empty - a pain if you with other folk and you all not finished drink at the same time.

The restrooms - the doors don't fit the hole properly so you can see folk outside through the half cm gap each side - not too sure why that always sticks with me but not something we see here in the UK.

If driving in some states you can make a right turn on a red light. If you going to be driving might help to check out a few things.
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Re: Question for the Americans

Postby xJimx » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:54 am

[quote="Hiking Fox"]I've been frightened by people telling me you can't get tea in America


^^^^^^^^^^^

Most quintessentially British post in VF history
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Postby beforewisdom » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:28 pm

[quote="Hiking Fox"]Thanks BF, this is all really useful info.

I might have to walk round wearing an 'I love Tea' t-shirt, exclaiming enthusiastically about how big everything is...


I'm not sure I understand the last line. It is an OLD joke that Texans ( a subculture onto itself ) used to brag how everything in Texas is big -- but that was like half a century ago :)
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Re: Question for the Americans

Postby beforewisdom » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:29 pm

[quote="xJimx"][quote="Hiking Fox"]I've been frightened by people telling me you can't get tea in America


^^^^^^^^^^^

Most quintessentially British post in VF history


You can get tea in U.S. restaurants, but 98% of the time it is sucky tea, particularly if you are a regular tea drinker acquainted with good tea. You will end up paying $3 for the waiter to pour you a cup of hot water and give you a tea bag.
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