Thursday, June 28, 2012

We got our Kicks...on Route 66! Part I

"So, let me get this straight, John. You want us to use several days of vacation driving a road? And it's often a lonely two-lane road? This is on your bucket list???"

"Yes."

We began in Chicago where Route 66 commences and drove to a point just short of Albuquerque. The famous road continues and ends in Santa Monica, California and John wants to finish this trek some day.
At first, I thought these few days would be an exercise in supporting my husband in an activity he loves, despite my boredom. I was wrong. I found myself enjoying this part of our trip and learning a lot!

Sometimes I gloss over details in front of me, registering what I believe to be important and ignoring the rest. Route 66 taught me to pay attention. As we drove through a bajillion small towns, I noticed beauty that would've not made my radar normally. Old hotels and cafes that were once huge pulls when Route 66 was a major road drew my eyes. I wondered about the people that started those businesses. The romance of an old road's voyages made me grin as we passed cornfields and mountains, lakes and rivers. The people we talked to made this part of our vacation one founded in Americana. A waitress in a small town in Illinois fed us fried biscuits (looked like small donuts to me) and offered us hospitality and stories of the lake that drew vacationers from everywhere. The hotel owner in Lebanon, Missiouri looked to be in his 90s and told us of he and his wife's upcoming retirement. After owning and running the motel for 40 years, they were painstakingly looking for new owners that would keep the flavor of the Route 66 motel the same.  And an old man named Clyde with a Louisiana accent gave us a tour of the Bent Door, an old shut down diner that is filled with nostalgia and history.

I was the navigator/agrivator for the most part and it was work! We only got lost once, though. :0) Here are some pics from a wonderful few days on Route 66!

We had two guide books we followed.

Sometimes they drove us a bit wacky.

Brown signs like this one are what we followed
and looked for constantly.

This is the Gemini Giant by the Launching Pad
Restaurant. He was an icon for 66 back in the 50s' and 60s.

Many Route 66 cafes!

Yes, we went to the two celled jail. It was...two celled.



Old Gas Stations of 66 are a treat to look at for John.

Meramec Caverns are in Missouri but back in the day,
the bulletin boards advertising them on 66 all along Illinois were
ubiquitous. On our trip we saw one.

Our first night of the 66 part we stayed in a Route
66 Motel. Very colorful and nostalgic and fun.

Noah with his swimming gear. Every hotel he looked
like this going in - "Where's the pool?" :0)

In Springfield Illinois, we stopped at Lincoln's tomb
where he and his family are interred. It is a beautiful monument and you
can go inside.

This is President Lincoln's tomb.

Outside there is a bust of Lincoln and it is said
if you rub the nose, you get good luck.

1 comment:

Ralph said...

sound like something I would enjoy...