telophase: (Default)
telophase ([personal profile] telophase) wrote2010-08-25 03:46 pm

UK Compared to the Size of the US

I found this site comparing the UK to the US just now, and the map was quite interesting. (I have no idea if the statistics are true or not) I grabbed a screenshot of the UK centered on Texas, to give you a idea of how big it is.

So. You see Fort Worth there? That's where I live. See Bryan, down south and a little east? That's where my mom lives, a 3 to 3.5 hour drive (depending on traffic). See Houston, even father southeast? That's where [ profile] myrialux's job is - although he telecommutes, he still has to go down there periodically. About 4 hours-ish.

San Antonio is where I was to university, about 3.5 hours from Bryan. Victoria, where my grandparents live, is about 3 hours southwest of Bryan.

Nuevo Laredo, on the border, is where my group of friends used to go once a year, rent a hotel room on the US side, and go across the border to a bar a block or two away from the border, then stagger back late at night. :) We do it no more because of the drug-gang violence and a possible serial killer in the area (reputed to be working there before the drug violence started, but it might just be more drug-gang violence). And yes, we'd drive there from Dallas/Fort Worth.

And people wonder why I'm willing to spend all sorts of time on trains traveling around the UK. Where I'm from, it's a minimum of 3 hours to go anywhere and you have to drive yourself! It's sheer luxury to sit in a seat and let someone else do the driving while you get to watch unfamiliar scenery go by. So it's not on time? Who cares! It's a vacation!

cynthia1960: (The Bear Flag Republic)

[personal profile] cynthia1960 2010-08-25 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Interesting. When the UK is centered on the Silicon Valley, the most northerly point is somewhere around Yreka near the Oregon border, and that lower rightmost corner is in Oxnard. The UK doesn't even reach all the way down to Los Angeles. The equivalent distance northward I've driven is up somewhere in the upper third of Scotland.
cynthia1960: (The Bear Flag Republic)

[personal profile] cynthia1960 2010-08-25 09:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, and the Valley gets placed somewhere near Liverpool.
ext_6284: Estara Swanberg, made by Thao (Default)

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 09:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Enjoy the wonders of train passenger life! Personally I much prefer it to driving a car even as a passenger, as I can't read books in a car - I get motionsick. Any longer journey that I don't get taken on with my parents I'll always organise via train (not as cheap as using the car, though).

You should hop over to Bavaria and visit me - it's not that far compared to the US distances either ^^.

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 09:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I get a bit motion-sick when reading in a train, too (didn't used to!) but audiobooks are fine.

Maybe next trip! I do want to visit more of Europe (and Japan, and...).
ext_6284: Estara Swanberg, made by Thao (Default)

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Just give me some warning and it'll all work out ^^.

I've so far hosted a US couple (the husband of whom I had known for years in my one and only long-time mmorpg and on a fansite dedicated game) and an English online friend and that turned out fine (the English friend even came over twice) - with the couple I didn't really like the wife (I didn't know her at all either, they were freshly married) and I thought my online friend could have done much better (also she reminded me of myself at my most egoistic, heh) - but you I've now read and conversed with for some years (and gotten info on myrialux ^^), so I'd expect it to work better.
weirdquark: Stack of books (Default)

Are we there yet?

[personal profile] weirdquark 2010-08-25 09:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Heh. Yeah, when I was growing up a three hour drive meant "long trip to visit my grandparents in New Jersey (from Massachusetts)." We haven't made the three hour trip to Dallas yet, but I can already tell it won't have the same feel.

Re: Are we there yet?

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 09:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Do you like jerky? (Er, I think your household eats meat...) If so, and you're driving to Dallas instead of Fort Worth, take 45 up or back* and stop at Woody's Smokehouse ( (map (,+Texas+75833&sll=31.257958,-95.978292&sspn=0.388575,0.557556&ie=UTF8&hq=woody%27s&hnear=Centerville,+Leon,+Texas&ll=31.257554,-95.982673&spn=1.55428,2.230225&t=h&z=9&iwloc=C)) and get yourself some jerky. I thought I didn't like jerky. I discovered that what I didn't like was bad jerky. I love their pork jerky. :) There's also a metric fuckton of candy, jellies, barbecue, etc. that they make and sell. They have stores on both sides of the highway, to get you coming and going.

If you take the Highway 6/I-35 route (i.e., if you're going to Fort Worth instead of Dallas), the place to stop is the Czech Stop ( in West, north of Hillsboro, for kolaches and other baked goods.

* I never remember the exact way to get to 45 because I always did the Highway 6/I-35 thing through Waco.

Re: Are we there yet?

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 10:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Nom nom nom!


I <3 West. We made excuses to stop there like 4 times, the one time we were in Waco.

Re: Are we there yet?

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 10:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Amusingly, I'm not even that big of a fan of kolaches! But everyone else I know is, so I always tell newcomers to stop there.

Re: Are we there yet?

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 11:17 pm (UTC)(link)
We really loved both the savory and sweet ones from one bakery (I forget which) and thought the ones from another were eh. But anyway, you're a good person. ;)

I want to try this legendary jerky of which you speak...but I doubt I'll be going through there again.

Re: Are we there yet?

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 11:28 pm (UTC)(link)
They do mail order! You'll have to buy in units of a pound at a time, though.

Or, barring that, tell me what you'd like to try (check the website for what they've got) and when Toby drives by there on his way home tomorrow, I'll get him to pick up some extra I can mail to you. :D

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 09:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Hehe. This reminds me of a casual conversation with my housemate and I was on about how I didn't get why trains didn't seem to be a huge and convenient thing over there and everyone always complains about having to drive everywhere, since over here in the UK they pretty much get us anywhere "long distance" (or short for that matter) and I don't feel the need to ever learn to drive or own a car. My housemate gave me a strange look and then I realised that my scale of long distance was seemingly insignificant with American long distances and trains aren't that big of a deal because to get anywhere else in a timely fashion you really need to fly.

Sometimes I r dumb XD

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 10:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Yup! There's trains all over the place, but they're all cargo trains, not passenger trains. And it costs about the same to take a train as to fly, and takes much longer. Example: friend of ours in Dallas are going to celebrate their anniversary in Las Vegas and are contemplating taking the train (Amtrak. The only passenger train out here). Problem is, there is no direct train from Dallas to Vegas. You have to take the train to Los Angeles, someplace in Illinois, or someplace in Missouri, and transfer to the Vegas train. And it takes 48 hours. Whereas if you fly, it's the same cost or a little less and you're there in less than four hours.

That being said there's some train routes, mostly in the Southwest or in the Northeast of the country, that you can actually use to get places or that are scenic journeys in and of themselves, but overall, train travel pretty much sucks ass here.

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 11:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Last time I checked a few train trips in the US that did have direct routes, they a) cost the same as flying and b) took the same time as driving (possibly because so many routes involve A FRIGGING BUS). It's like a lose-lose, unless you're phobic! I do want to take the Coast Starlight for kicks up to Seattle someday, but ... eugh.

And yeah, those darned freight trains get priority on the tracks, so even a route that doesn't involve buses will run late and slow ...

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 10:44 pm (UTC)(link)
It claims I'd have slightly more free time if I lived in Japan.
B. S.!!!!!!!!!!

(Technically, Japanese companies grant an average of more vacation time than US companies do, but nobody TAKES it!)

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 10:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Hee! Well, if you lived in Japan and were independently wealthy...

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 11:17 pm (UTC)(link)
"Independently wealthy." siiiigh.


[identity profile] 2010-08-25 11:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I never really realized how huge the US was compared to most European nations, until someone told me that the distance across the entire US is about equal to the distance from London to Moscow and back. I said, 'No way!' and looked it up. And it was true. I was seriously weirded out!

[identity profile] 2010-08-25 11:38 pm (UTC)(link)
You want to get weirded out even more? Interstate 10 runs across the southern United States from Florida to Los Angeles, going through South Texas, across the widest part of Texas, along the way.

The Texas leg is almost exactly one-third of the entire journey I-10 makes across the U.S. (
Edited 2010-08-25 23:39 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2010-08-26 03:11 am (UTC)(link)
...Daaaaang. Somehow, I always forget how big/wide Texas is.

[identity profile] 2010-08-26 03:14 am (UTC)(link)
I remember a friend from grad school telling me about a cross-country road trip she took with a bunch of friends once. I don't remember where the origin and ending points were, but I do remember her telling me "...and so as the sun rose, we were all 'YAAAAY! WE'RE IN TEXAS! And then, hours later, as the sun set, we were all 'uuuggggh, we're still in Texas!'"

[identity profile] 2010-08-26 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
I get that UK map superimposed on San Jose, California instead. So my sister's house in Orange County is approximately where the Channel Islands would be, and my Oregon in-laws are in the Orkneys. We make routine trips to visit them -- about seven hours in the car in both cases.

Our British relatives who have been over here to see the sights do have a little trouble grasping the sheer distances involved! No, we can't quite do Yosemite and the Golden Gate Bridge on the same day...

[identity profile] 2010-08-26 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
I live in California so I'm constantly surprised by how small everywhere else is and what people consider long drives. At one time, it was a 10 hours' drive from my school to my brother's yet both were in state!

[identity profile] 2010-08-27 10:38 pm (UTC)(link)
I forget who said "In Europe, they think 100 miles is a long distance; in America, they think 100 years is a long time", but it is so, so true.