travels over the last few years - in addition to future trips - have thrown up a host of feature ideas, side-projects and
additional opportunities which we are always keen to pursue (working on the theory that things like sleep and meals are an
Under the Recent Travels section, we have detailed much of where we have been recently and what we are likely
to be working on in specific terms. However, we also have other projects which are less obvious and which may appeal to someone
as a feature idea or alternative publishing prospect.
In no particular order these are:
A Brit Guide to
Disneyland and Southern California: taking an in-depth
look at the USA's other major theme park resort destination, the award-winning Brit Guide team have been casting an eye
over the City of Angels and all things Californian, with a view to a new book in the series for the not-too-distant future.
It will complete an essential trilogy with Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort Paris, and provide British tourists with
the essential knowledge of how to enjoy this vast and attractive region. Both Simon and Susan have been regular visitors,
jointly and separately, since 1987, and they have finally decided it is time to add the original House of Mouse
to their highly-successful Disney series.
Rotten. People have often told
Simon and Susan, with more than a hint of envy, that the writing duo have one of the best jobs going - getting to travel
and experience some of the finest hotels, restaurants, tours and even cruises. And, at least some of the time, those
people are absolutely right. Travel writing IS an extremely privileged and pampered life, and it often leads to superb
- and exclusive - experiences which are beyond the reach of Joe Public. Private parties at the Super Bowl; red-carpet theme
park openings; concierge treatment at top hotels; media events with celebrities; exclusive restaurant dining; and luxury cruises
where they don't have to pay a penny. It's enough to make you think their life is just Spoiled Rotten. But there is also
the flip-side of the coin - the trips from hell, serious jet-lag and the events that were more excruciating than exciting.
It all adds up to a unique look inside a travel world few get to sample - but everyone would like to know about!
(working title) Susan's
work-in-progress travel book of an American-in-Europe observations, anecdotes - and bafflement at the vast range of toilet
variations. From London to Naples (so far), her delight at discovering new cultural frontiers is matched only by her amazement
at how the lavatorial arrangements can be so confusing! She also apologises to a whole host of startled folk who may have
encountered her photographic note-taking of notable establishments along the way. Simon also hopes to one day learn the shocking
secret of the Italian motorway conveniences that Susan, to date, refuses to mention in the Veness household.
Over There. Simon's
take on all things American, having lived and worked in the US for more than 15 years, with a unique view on what makes this
vaste and varied country tick. From Florida to Michigan and New England to California, his Brit abroad travels have unearthed
a wealth of wry observations and eclectic adventures (from the world's only International Tuba Museum, the drive-through car
wash complete with live sharks, and the independent country of the Cherry Republic). This will eventually take the form of
a book, or perhaps a regular series of articles. Given time. Eventually.
I-75: The Great North-South Drive
(working title). This is our current hot
project, a fun and insightful look at arguably America's most historic highway and what makes it tick - especially for breakfast!
We will be highlighting many of the 'mom and pop' breakfast diners the length and breadth of I-75 and discovering just what
it is that gets America going every morning (breakfast being the most important meal of the day, according to nutritionists).
Along the way we will
highlight the characters and the little roadside attractions and other hidden gems which make this such a fascinating routeway.
Forget Route 66, the ultra-busy and venerable I-75 -- all 1,786 miles of it from Sault Ste Marie in Canada down to Miami in
the south -- encompasses one of the great slices of America, from the extremes of rugged (and often extremely cold) Michigan;
hot, steamy Florida; historic Georgia; quirky Kentucky; and mountainous Tennessee. It includes fascinating cities like
Detroit, Cincinnati, Chattanooga and Atlanta and gives rise to a host of offbeat stories and encounters, like the birthplace
of Kentucky Fried Chicken (Corbin, KY), the Whistle Stop Cafe (from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, in Juliet, GA)
and the 'secret city' of Oak Ridge (TN). It embraces a wealth of Civil War history, quirky roadside attractions and huge
regional contrasts - as well as a wonderful variety of different cuisines. We rate it one of the most rewarding routes
in the US and aim to turn it into a truly captivating read for 2010.
As Sport. Simon's
sporting background - both as a sports journalist in the UK and Botswana Junior Tennis Champion in 1975/76 - lends itself
to frequent discussions of the importance of sport in society, notably in America, where it is an essential part of many communities
and is far more family-friendly and community-orientated than much of the UK variety. From high school soccer to college football
and on to the huge corporate giant of the NFL and the annual excesses of the Super Bowl, each event plays a vital part in
local life, far in excess of the obvious, and Simon is keen to share his thoughts and experiences in both article and book
Travel Letter from America. The BBC's Alistair Cooke was the doyen of British US-based correspondents,
delivering regular up-dates that captured the heartbeat of a nation with his long-running Letter From America series
(from 1946-2004). It is a country that fascinates and amazes in equal part, and its position as the tourism capital
of the world is unequalled. Now, when America is keen to portray its positive side as an enticing world destination as never
before, Simon and Susan are ideally placed to provide regular reports of the travel and cultural scene, with their unique
transatlantic flavour offering potential interest for both a UK and US audience.