Sunday, June 2, 2013

Route 66 baby ~ THE OVERVIEW (A blog series of our two week adventure!)

If you ever plan to motor west,
Travel my way, take the highway that’s the best.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

It winds from chicago to la,
More than two thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.
  (Nat King Cole, Route 66, YouTube)

That was us!  We planned to motor west; we were looking for some kicks, so we decided on Route 66. 

We got to Chicago on May 6th, grabbed our Tahoe rental and headed out.  Our only time commitment stretched 13 days away, at 7 am May 18th when our flight for home left LAX.  Such freedom!

A few months of prep work got us a three ring binder that held The Route 66 Map Series, a list of Route 66 attractions as well as a few “off-route” ones, and of course an enticing list of “foodie” stops.  It was great fun when we stumbled across Billy Connolly's Route 66, a British documentary television series, consisting of four episodes, shot between April and June 2011.  His unique take on the route and British accent made the episodes (found on YouTube) an entertaining preview of the trip to come.

Other than following the route, we had no agenda and no reservations.  Lucky for us, the past thirty years together have held many road trips, so the prospect of spending the better part of two weeks in a car together didn’t scare us.  We quickly settled into a routine of changing hotels each night and a balance of road time, attraction time and down time. 

It took a bit, but we deciphered the flow and instructions of the maps which were a little quirky and with basically no mileage markers, or lengths of travel but more landmarks and route turns.  It was a mix of constant vigilance and a willingness to miss a turn or two and just keep on going.  We would make a rough plan of the next leg of the journey either the night before in the hotel room or over a leisurely breakfast. 

Somewhere around mid-afternoon we’d decide on our stopping point for the night and call ahead to make a reservation.  Traveling in the off-season made this possible and we didn’t run into any issues until our very last reservation, but we were in LA by then, truly back to civilization and it made for an interesting twist!

So what was the REALITY of spending two weeks together, rolling over two thousand miles in 13 days?  Well, it WAS a lot of time ~ and when all was said and done, on the last night over dinner, I asked Steve if he was ready to go home.  He replied, “I could keep going…” And I could have too.  So, maybe the trip will hold more than memories for us.  It could be an initiation into more cross country trips like it or it could be a glimpse into our retirement lifestyle.  Then again, it may just be another fond memory of the vacation we took for our thirtieth anniversary.  

In any form, it was great and the blog series is where I plan to write and share some of the highlights of the sites and places we visited, meals that ranged from awesome steaks to dashboard reheats, a roadway that seemed to come as go as it pleased (even into a dry riverbed) and a little friend we picked up along the way.  

Join me, won’t you?


  1. Hey, Amy, I'm glad you're back, and I'm really looking forward to reading all the installments about your trip. Great idea to make it a series. The overview really whets my appetite for more. (I also hope you plan to give us a glimpse of your stop at Antique Archaeology, the "pickers' paradise".) I know it's tough settling back in after a long vacation, so I think it's great that you're able to sit down and write about it so quickly. As a mutual acquaintance of ours would say, "Onward!"

    1. Elaine, you make me feel good - it felt like it took forever to get this post up! Antique Archeology will most likely make it into one of them although honestly, it was a little "underwhelming". And so yes, "onward" it is! :)

  2. I love the free spiritness of this post. Enjoy the road and don't look back.

    1. Thanks Joyce - it was so awesome to have that freedom - a real gift.