Saturday, May 31, 2014

YOU get a car!

Our nine o'clock appointment to have our ride detailed got pushed back to one o'clock, but there was still plenty of daylight left at 5:00 when the car was ready for us to spring upon my second cousin and his wife (Tom and Bev Filkins) with a couple of surprises, not the least of which was the keys to the convertible.  Cousin Tommy got a bit more emotional than I had expected, but I mean who does that?  Gives away a perfectly good 2005 Mustang convertible six cylinder with a manual transmission?  Who does that?  Well, in our case we were just paying it forward from about nine years ago when we were given a perfectly good 1962 Ford Galaxie convertible with a little over thirty thousand on the odometer.

The shadowbox that had traveled mostly back roads from coast to coast fared much better than I had feared, and tomorrow we'll disassemble it in order to glue the few loose bits back.

Tom and Bev treated us to dinner at Eddy's Place, which has become our Stox of choice in a foreign place [which is a totally inside reference].

Friday, May 30, 2014

Still Pulaski

For dinner last night we ate at Eddy's Place in Pulaski, New York.  It was refreshing to be able to order a Manhattan and a gin Martini, where I knew they could prepare them correctly without having to look up how to make them.

Today marked the first day in over three weeks where we stayed more than one night in any establishment.  The Super 8 that we're staying at offers breakfast, but since we didn't have to move along, we just slept through the nine o'clock deadline. Rather, I made Starbucks coffee for us using the microwave to heat the water, and a disposable cup with holes poked into the bottom and filter paper.

Somewhere after noon we got it together enough to venture out and run a few errands.  First on the agenda was to buy some flowers to lay on the graves of my grandparents, and to sprinkle some of my dad's ashes over their plots in the Richland cemetery.

We drove past what used to be the "Hotel" my grandparents once owned (that had long since morphed into a bar once the train no longer stopped in Richland).  We discovered that the Hotel was no longer a place of business, but a private residence, and I noticed new siding over the entire building.  The structure in front of the "Hotel" that was once my Dad's barbershop when he was a lad, still stands.

We circled back to Pulaski in order to tend to laundry, then we headed off to a car dealership where we arranged to have the Mustang detailed first thing tomorrow morning.

We nibbled on snacks and leftovers for lunch, then went to LD's Alehouse for supper.  Thinking we could again order our grownup Manhattan and Martini drinks was a misstep.  You know you have an issue when the help comes back and asks what kind of Vermouth should be used.  Plus it took forever for the drinks to come.  Turns out they used sweet Vermouth in both drinks, making Tom's Bombay Sapphire Martini quite different.  They offered to do it again, but Tom said it was okay, and nursed it until he finally finished it.  We were not charged for Tom's Martini.

For a nightcap we circled back to Eddy's Place where we ate the night before, and where we knew they could make our beverages without having to ask for advice in how to make them.

We have a nine o'clock appointment in the morning for car servicing, so if we we're smart, we'll make it an early night tonight.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Warsaw and Pulaski New York

Try as we might last night, the internet was simply not available to us at the East Hill Motel in Warsaw, New York where we stayed, so I have two days worth to catch up with.

The Something Special Suites where we stayed in Corry, Pennsylvania the night before last didn't offer breakfast (why should they, since they provide a full kitchen?)  So we just made coffee for ourselves and headed as far as Frewsburg, New York before stopping under a shade tree by the side of the road to finish our leftovers from Willa's Pizzeria from the night before.

Then we continued to Randolph where we stopped for a drink at Pete's Place, and so we could use the facilities.  From there we drove to East Aurora where we had lunch at The Ice House and Pete's Pub.

We then made it as far as Warsaw for the night.  Since neither my smart phone, nor the internet was of use, I resorted to using my navigation device to try and find a place to eat.  The most interesting sounding thing to me was a restaurant called Tim Hortons, which turned out to be a kind of Starbucks that also offered donuts, as well as selections from their modest menu.

Tom had noticed a DiMartino's Italian Restaurant and Sports Bar maybe three blocks before we got to Tim Hortons, that our Magellan device seemed not to be aware of.  Still, we ate at Tim Hortons, but I told Tom that if we circled back to the Sports Bar, and they have better looking food coming out of the kitchen, we're going to feel really dumb.  Which is exactly what happened.  To add insult to injury, the bartender did not know how to make a Long Island or Martini.

Our room at the East Hill had no coffee maker or microwave, nor did they provide coffee in the lobby, so we headed to Lantz's Bulk Foods and Coffee Shop, just in time to miss breakfast, but they did offer a great cup o' Joe.  The business appeared to be run by religious types. 

All-in-all, the East Hill Motel was reminiscent to me of the fictitious Bates motel from "Psycho" (and that's all I'm gonna say.)

Today was overcast and cool, but just as we were leaving Lantz's, we saw a guy in a yellow convertible late model Thunderbird with the top down, and we thought, "If that guy can do it, so can we".  We had to wear jackets and run the heater almost the entire day, and so it didn't take us that long to admit to ourselves that if we were at home in California, we would not be driving top down in such dreary weather.  We ultimately concluded that maybe the yellow T-bird's top didn't work, so the guy may not have had any choice in the matter when he drove it. Still, by the middle of the afternoon, the clouds stubbornly gave way.

Relying again on the Magellan for a place to stop and eat, we headed toward The Lighthouse Tavern in Oswego (thinking that Tavern was sort of code for a place that serves food).  Had to use the rest rooms, so we sat down for drinks, then headed off to the Super 8 in Pulaski, New York which is our ultimate destination where we will deliver the shadow box that has been taking up most of the back seat since we left.  We've yet to see how well it fared over the few thousand miles.  We'll either be pleased, disappointed or something in between.

Today marks us three weeks out, and our plane tickets home are for a week from today.  We plan on having the Mustang detailed hopefully tomorrow, since this was always going to be a one-way trip for the car.  I'll miss it somewhat, 'cuz it is a fun ride (being manual transmission and all).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Corry, Pennsyvania

For dinner last night in Brunswick, Ohio we went to Panini's Bar and Grill.  What a delight.  We sat in the outdoor section that was next to a small stream, and since it was twilight, we saw several ducks and geese come in for a landing for the night.  After eating we burned off a couple of stogies there before calling it a night at the Quality Inn.

Today we just drove, stopping for lunch to eat leftovers at a park in Southington, Ohio before making it into Pennsylvania, where we got as far as Corry where we had dinner at Willa's Pizzeria, then whetted our whistle a couple of doors down at theTamarack Tavern (where they allow indoor smoking and enjoyed more cigars), and then settled for the night at the Something Special Suites in Corry.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Brunswick, Ohio

For dinner last night we ate at the Casa Mexicana which was sharing the same parking lot as the Bellevue Inn & Suites we were staying at in Bellevue, Ohio.  Don't remember the last time I went to a Mexican restaurant where I didn't take home a substantial amount of leftovers, but we ate just about everything but the tablecloth.  The food was tasty enough, but I've been to much better Mexican restaurants at home in So Cal.  Their chips and salsa were excellent, so they have the game half won.  If they worked on their Margaritas so they aren't so sweet, they'd have themselves a real winner.  (Plus larger portions.)

Some of the turn-of-the-last-century homes along Highway 20 in Bellevue were simply stunning, and it seemed from a casual observer's point of view that one neighborhood in particular seemed to have a rivalry going on as to who could make their home the head-turner of the block.  Made me wonder how they all rolled out the holidays.

It was such a lovely evening after eats, that we sat outside and burned a couple of cigars...the first time since Sayre, Oklahoma at the 66 Lounge where we smoked INDOORS.

Tom remembered that a fellow light bulb aficionado, Jerry Westlick lived in the general proximity of where we spent the night, and after an email and a phone call, arrangements were made to backtrack to Elmore in order to visit Jerry's collection of bulbs and antique clocks (two of which were tower clocks that he had to cut small rectangular holes into his floor in order to accommodate their pendulums, which were in the basement).  It was like visiting a museum that we didn't have to pay an admission.

Today was Memorial Day, the sky was blue and the sun was beaming, and if I tried to count the number of folks out on their scooters, it probably would have been well over one hundred.  We've been trying to stick to the two-lane roads, since driving with the top down, going seventy and trying
 to keep up with the big rigs is not exactly relaxing.

Stopped for lunch in Sandusky at the Mo Boyz BBQ, then continued on to Brunswick, (a suburb of Cleveland), where we're staying at a Quality Inn.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bellevue, Ohio

Went to Piggy's for dinner in Angola, Indiana last night.  Since we unknowingly crossed over into another time zone, AND laundry had to be done, we got to Piggy's just after the main menu was being offered, but we could still get bar food.  Plus we could order grownup drinks that the bartender knew how to make to our liking without having to go look it up.

Earplugs were not just a necessity, but a sanity saver, as there was a DJ playing the same awful crap tune after tune that sounded like Disco, but with a Techno sound, (which I'm sure has a specific name, but my name for it was, "Let's finish up so we can blow this joint").  Plus it was way louder than was comfortable. (Earplugs.  Is there nothing they can't do?)

We had breakfast at the Ramada that we were staying at in Angola, and then hit some back roads until we parked under the shade of a tree in Napoleon, Ohio where we ate our leftovers from Piggy's from the night before.  There was a young lad (maybe 8 or 9) who passed back and forth on his bicycle by our convertible (with the top down), quite curious as to our purpose as we discussed the Ohio road map and our next moves.

We stopped in Bowling Green at Beckett's Burger Bar for a couple of screwdrivers (but mainly to use the restroom), and then continued on to Bellevue, Ohio where we're staying at the Bellevue Inn and Suites.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Angola, Indiana

Our night in Chicago consisted of going to dinner at the Mei's restaurant that was attached to the Best Western we were staying at.  Everybody we talked to on the phone told us to get pizza, but it had just taken us three days to finish the pizza from the Stadium Bar & Grill in Springfield, Illinois and so we were kind of pizzad-out at this particular moment in time.

Even so, we probably should have taken their advice, since Mei's was a disappointment as far as the service, and the food was just okay.

Of course it would have been nice to spend at least a couple of days in the windy city, but we had a mission to continue on to upstate, New York to deliver a shadow box that was taking up the back seat of our Mustang.

So we put the pedal to the metal and drove about an hour and a half on the toll highway and then had lunch at a Burger King at a travel center just before we got to Elkhart, Indiana where we departed from the main road, and got onto a two-lane 55mph road with not that much commercial traffic on it, until we made it to Angola for the night, where we are staying at a Ramada (where they warned us not to drink the tap water).

Friday, May 23, 2014

Route 66 The End

Didn't stay at Harrah's for two nights in Joliet, Illinois for a variety of reasons, but we did visit the Joliet Area Historical Museum ('cuz we got it for half price), before moving on to Chicago.

Made it to where we saw the familiar brown sign that helped us guide our way, only this time it said, "Historical Route 66-End". 

Since it was the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, we thought it would be best to find a place to stay shortly after check-in time, and found The Best Western Grant Park, not far from Lake Michigan.

We plan on celebrating our achievement at a local watering hole, but only if we can walk to one from here, or the valet tips will eat us alive.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


We thought we'd visit the bar at the bowling alley next door to the Best Western we were staying at in Lincoln, Illinois last night after we had leftover pizza for dinner, only to find out that they close early on Wednesdays.  Dang!  Made for an early night.

Since it was a hot, muggy day yesterday, it turned out to be a pretty good day to have spent five hours indoors at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.  Today was mostly overcast, but in the seventies, so it was a pretty nice day for the top down and the wind in our hair, even though we did have to run the heater a little bit.

We finally finished off the pizza from the night before last for lunch at a picnic table in a park in Towanda, then we stopped in Lexington at Dat Bar for a couple of screwdrivers (mainly to use the facilities since the park in Towanda had none).

Managed to make it as far as Harrah's in Joliet before we called it a day.  It might be nice to stay two nights, just to vary our two-week routine of moving it along by checkout time.  (It's probably going to depend on how well the casino treats us.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Springfield Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Found a sports bar looking on the internet for someplace to eat in Springfield, Illinois last night.  It was called Stadium Bar & Grill.  I was expecting something a little more sophisticated, but it was a bit on the divey side...but we like divey.

The only thing they had on the menu for Tom to eat was pizza, which according to the menu was available on Fridays and Saturdays and it was a Tuesday.  After Tom asked about the pizza deal, the bartender/waitress verbally corrected the menu by telling us that they serve it 7 days a week now.  (Whew!)  Between the two of us we managed to finish a little over one third of it.  We're having leftover pizza for dinner tonight, and probably breakfast tomorrow and perhaps beyond.

Today we spent about five hours at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, so we didn't get very much farther down the road today.  Only made it to Lincoln to stay at yet another Best Western, but managed to be situated for the night before the rain began to fall.  No top down for us today.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Another Springfield

From the Comfort Inn in Edwardsville, Illinois where they provided a breakfast, we put the top down and took the circuitous loop that was the1926-1930 alignment of Route 66 on the way to Springfield where we planned on going to a phone museum (since Tom is a phone man).

Tried to have the oil changed at a couple of places along the way that were just too busy at the time, and their help was out for lunch.  We managed to at least have the Mustang washed, and by the time we got to Carlinville we found a mechanic who could take us in for the oil change.

We continued to Girard where we had lunch at Ron's Red Bird Café.  We found out that the phone museum that we were going to visit here in Springfield has been closed for several years, so tomorrow we're going to go to our second choice, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Don't know what's up for eats tonight yet, but I'm sure we'll figure something out.

Monday, May 19, 2014


In order to walk to the Tater Patch for dinner last night from the Best Western where we were staying in Rolla, MO, (instead of driving), we had to cut through a little patch of trees up a small incline, and then along a well-trodden path, through a parking lot, and then across a street.  Coming back, I'm really glad I had my phone flashlight, or it would have been a little hairy to get along the uneven trail between the young, but established trees.

Today the weather was not as drop-dead gorgeous as yesterday, but it was still top-down weather, as we never did use the heater. 

Went to the Meramec Caverns near Stanton, MO where we also bought Tom a couple of shirts, and had a serviceable lunch.  After getting lost, we did make it through St. Louis and into Illinois, though never expecting to make it out of Missouri having spent only one night there.

We're staying in Edwardsville at a Comfort Inn, and where we have plans to go to the Bull and Bear for supper.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Rolla MO

So, the Red Ball Bar & Grill in Baxter Springs, KS for dinner last night was not what we were expecting, since it was hardly a Bar OR a Grill.

My first clue would have been that I couldn't find out that much about it online.  My second clue should have been that it was in a residential area, and were it not for our untrustworthy Magellan navigation device (that had previously sent us down a dirt road to farmland instead of a club), we surely would have never found it on our own. 

The Red Ball did have a beer license, and they thankfully offered Blue Moon, so we didn't have to settle for regular Coors, the way we did at the 66 Lounge in Sayre, Oklahoma.  Although when I asked the waitress, "Blue Moon is a hefeweizen, right?" she kind of responded like I was speaking in a foreign language (which I suppose I was momentarily). 

I could tell from the moment that we walked in that karaoke would be on for that night, probably at nine o'clock.  I wanted to eat and get going while the going was good.

Their special for the night was a cheeseburger and fries for five bucks, which was as appealing to me as anything else on the menu.  Tom (being a pescatarian AND a god damn pain in the ass to feed) could only find nachos on the menu to fill his needs.

No complaints about my cheeseburger, I ate the whole thing.  It's probably a good thing that the fries were soggy, even though I ordered them well done, otherwise I'd have eaten more than I did, and I don't need to.

Tom's nachos were reminiscent of the kind you'd get at a professional sports venue, but without any jalapenos.  Still, he ate it all.  Had to circle back to the Subway for Tom to eat at least somewhat properly for the evening.  (Some things just don't work out the way you planned.)

Since Kansas has the shortest amount of Route 66 within its borders, and seeing as how we were already spending the night in Baxter Springs, and seeing as how it had been a day and a half of mostly windshield time, I thought it might be nice to plan an outing at the Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum, if for no other reason than to prolong our stay in Kansas, BUT.  It was Sunday, and it didn't open until one o'clock, and we needed to put some pavement behind us by then.  Dang!

So on to Missouri.  First off, it was a drop-dead-gorgeous day.  Most of our time was spent going 45 mph or less by lush green countryside, a lake here a stream there, an impressive home here, a dilapidated and abandoned one there.  Even so, we managed to go a couple hundred miles.

Stopped in Springfield at Tubby's for lunch, then got as far as Rolla, MO to stay at yet another Best Western.  Have plans to go to the Tater Patch for dinner once Tom awakes from his nap.  He doesn't know it yet, but we're going to the Meramec caverns tomorrow.  ('Cuz I said so, that's why.)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Made it to Kansas

Seeing as how we spent three nights in Oklahoma (Sayre, Weatherford and Chandler), it was kind of a psychological thing for us to finally make it to the next state.

We scrounged with what we had for something to eat in the morning from leftovers and snacks before leaving the Lincoln Motel in Chandler, and I've devised (nay perfected) a way to make drip coffee by poking holes into the bottom of a disposable cup, using a coffee filter, putting some Farmer Brothers in that I brought along, and then boiling water in the microwave.  (Better than having to put clothes on, just to fetch coffee.)  I brought along (and replenished) my Coffee Mate Hazelnut fufu juice, so I'm good.  Tom drinks his coffee black, and in that respect is pretty easy to please.

It was another nice enough day to have the top down on the Mustang for the entire day, even though it was mostly overcast, and we had to run the heater for the most part.  (We simply considered ourselves show-off Californians.)  Ironically, back home they're complaining about one hundred-plus heat for the past week.

We stopped for lunch at the Ollie's Station Restaurant and Railroad Museum in Red Fork (a suburb of Tulsa) where they have a delightful and imaginative display of mostly miniatures.

The rest of the day was windshield time, even down a couple of gravel roads that we were not expecting.  (They were NICE gravel roads, though.)

We're staying at the Baxter Inn 4 Less in Baxter Springs, Kansas and have plans to go to the Red Ball Bar & Grill for eats tonight

Friday, May 16, 2014

Chandler, Oklahoma

Tom's spectacles came apart this morning, so we had to start the day off at the ACE hardware store in Weatherford for some super glue.

We had breakfast at The Mark, next to the Best Western we stayed at, 'cuz they had a deal with the restaurant, and therefore didn't have to set up a breakfast room like most Best Westerns.

We fixed Tom's glasses at breakfast, but the glue was out of date, and not very liquid like it's supposed to be when you buy it new, so we had to go back to ACE for an exchange.

The good news is that it was finally a nice enough day to drive with the top down the whole day.  Only had to spend a little time on the freeway while we were making it through Oklahoma City.

Since we didn't make a lot of progress yesterday, we had determined that we were not going to indulge ourselves with diversions, (including stopping for lunch) and just try and put some miles behind us.  And yet we turned a bend in Warwick, only to find a motorcycle museum that Tom could simply not resist, nor should he have.  Doesn't beat the one in Solvang, but it's free with a suggested donation.

So we again didn't make a whole lot of progress, and only used about a quarter of a tank of gas, stopping in Chandler at the Lincoln Motel for the night.  Dinner was at B's in the Econo Lodge.  There's no night life in Chandler, so it's cable tv for the evening's entertainment.

Tulsa is still ahead, and I doubt we'll make it out of Oklahoma by tomorrow.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Elk City, Oklahoma

Didn't make much progress getting down the road today.  After leaving the Western in Sayre we went to the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma.  Spent at least a couple of hours and still didn't visit all of the exhibits.  VERY impressive.

Had a late lunch at Picante Grille in Clinton, then made it a few more miles to the Best Western in Weatherford.  Don't think we put 60 miles on the odometer.  And it still wasn't a nice enough day to put the top down on the Mustang.  Dang!

The way I can tell we've been gone for a week, is that I'm out of clean panties.  Laundry was the activity of the evening.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


It was too cold again today for it to be a pleasant drive with the top down, although it was a stunningly gorgeous day.  (We can now claim that we've been to Texas when it wasn't hot.)

Had lunch at Smokey Joe's in Amarillo, and then we found a barber so Tom could get the haircut we ran out of time for before we left Bellflower.  (And I was FULLY prepared to give him a 30 second buzz cut, but we were already running 15 minutes late.)

After Tom's coif we had to backtrack about 10 miles because we missed the Cadillac Ranch.  Didn't have to spend much windshield time on the Interstate, and for the most part along the frontage road (which we seemed to own) we were able to move along at a 55 mph clip.

Made it out of Texas, but only as far as Sayre, Oklahoma where we're staying at the Western Motel (not to be confused with Best Western).  I've stayed at nicer places, but it was only about sixty bucks, so what do you want?  Has a fridge and microwave.

It was a nice enough evening to briefly peel back the top off the Mustang to go down the road apiece where we had dinner at the Stardust Restaurant, and then we ended up driving down a 3 mile dirt road where our Magellan device assured us there was a club.  Instead of commerce, we encountered farmland when it informed us that we had arrived.

After circling back we ended up at the 66 Lounge where they had a beer license, and where they had two very busy pool tables.  The beer selection they offered was less than stellar, but we sat down and had a couple of Coors, mainly because they allow smoking indoors in bars in these parts, and so we decided that we'd really stink up the joint and smoke cigars.  Don't remember the last time I smoked a cigar indoors.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Having accessed the day's weather, and determining that Santa Fe would not make it out of the forties, we decided we'd plow on to Texas, and skip the optional Santa Fe loop along 66.

Once we left Albuquerque, we did notice the shrubs had a fresh dusting of snow, and in some places, snow on the ground.  Had lunch in Moriarty at Shorty's BBQ.

Most of our drive today consisted of frontage road, and for about 40 miles we just couldn't resist lowering the top, even though we had to put the heat on full blast.

Made it out of New Mexico into Texas, but didn't quite make it to Amarillo and stopped in Vega for the night where we had a delicious meal at Roosters.

Going to watch the rest of "Frontline" now.  More later.

Monday, May 12, 2014


When we left the Best Western in Flagstaff, it was actually snowing slightly.  Definitely not a top-down kind of day. And we knew we'd have to be on the 75 mph portion of 66 for most of the day, so it was almost poetic that it was too cold for craving the wind in our hair.

As a reward for having to be on so much freeway, we did go and visit Meteor Crater where we had lunch at the Subway, if for no other reason that we had gift cards.  Then we had to stop in Winslow, because we were instructed by a friend to buy her a t-shirt, and have our pictures taken next to the Indian.  We found one.

Made it as far as Gallup and stayed at the Iconic El Rancho. Wanted to go to Sammy C's Rock 'N Sports Pub and Grille for dinner, but we were going by a website that said they were open until 10, which they were, but just not for food.  Had to settle for Taco Hell.

From Gallup we were able to take many two lane roads where there was no one in front, no one behind and only a rare oncoming vehicle.  Oh, except for the occasional biker or walker pushing an all-terrain cart out in the middle of nowhere.  Most of them did not appear to have ecstatic expressions on their face.  Well, it was still not a top-down kind of day, as it was in the mid-fifties.  Ironically, we haven't been able to ride top-down since our last day in California.  Funny.

We decided to take the optional 1937 alignment loop through Los Lunas where we found a Tractor Rib & BBQ Brew Pub for lunch that was a definite improvement over chain outlets (not that they don't have their place.)

Tonight we're staying at the Monterey Non-Smokers Motel in Albuquerque.  This place is a complete bargain, quite spacious and every bit as nice as the Best Westerns we've been staying at.  (Keeping in mind that there's no complimentary breakfast.)  And they provide real glasses and real coffee mugs, instead of that throwaway crap.

We have gift cards for BJ's, and so as boring as that is, that's where we're going for dinner tonight.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Didn't make it as far as Winslow today as we had intended, but did manage to burn up a whole quarter of a tank of fuel getting to Flagstaff.

The only thing I can ascribe to as having made such meager progress, is that the Best Western we stayed at in Kingman had a check-out time of noon, and we lollygagged.  Luckily, we're on no schedule.

In Ash Fork we had a pleasant lunch at a local pub hangout called The Oasis Lounge that has been recently refurbished with expertly rough-hewn wood and paneling everywhere.  Limited menu, but good Mexican grub and prices that appealed to my cheap bastard side.

Most of today's drive involved secondary roads where there was no one in front of us, no one behind us and no one coming upon us for the majority of the time.  AND we ended up on a gravel road portion of Route 66 for a short term.  I was taken by how the striking landscape went from the quintessential Arizona desert we're all so familiar with to lush groves of pine trees.  But as I look at my maps, I realize that we are ascending upon the Continental Divide.

Staying at yet another Best Western here in Flagstaff, and had supper at the Beaver Street Brewery & Whistle Stop Café.  The large soft pretzel appetizer was AMAZING!

Planning on a side trip to Meteor Crater tomorrow, which quite possibly might translate into our not making it out of Arizona by tomorrow.  Way it goes.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Kingman, no Barstow or San Bernadino

Officially began the Route 66 portion of our trip in Needles where we had lunch at the Pirate's Cove resort on the Colorado river.  From there we continued to Oatman (where they have the street-wandering burros).  For several miles after Oatman the speed limit is 25, as the windy road takes you past some truly spectacular scenery.  Who needs the Grand Canyon when you got this stuff?

We made our designated destination of Kingman (if for no other reason than it's in the song) and are staying at another Best Western, and where we enjoyed a local dive bar called the Fireside.

We're going to shoot for Winslow tomorrow, even though that's from a completely different song.

Ready, set, go

So, we're off on our transcontinental journey from west to east, secure in knowing that Ivan the Terrier is well looked after, along with the old homestead.

After having lunch at Applebee's with my aunt Carrie in Beaumont, California, along with her friend Dee and Tom & Marlene who came down the mountain from Idyllwild, we were able to make it as far as Twentynine Palms for our first day of travel.  Stayed at the Best Western, and had a very pleasant experience at an Italian restaurant called Bistro Twentynine for dinner. 

The Route 66 portion of our trip won't officially begin until we hit Needles a little latter today, and then we're planning on making it as far as Kingman, Arizona.

We've already completed the California portion of Route 66, so we're not cheating by starting in Needles.  And when I say we completed, I mean the whole thing from Foothill Blvd. to Sunset to Santa Monica all the way out to the pier where we rode the Ferris wheel and had some very expensive Margaritas.

And the best part, is that it looks like a top-down-on-the-convertible kind of day.