Wednesday 29 April 2015

Getting our kicks on Route 66

Following on from my last post about our RV Roadtrip, I wanted to blog about our Route 66 roadtrip in 2009. Can't believe it was 6 years ago, one of the best experiences ever!

After our RV roadtrip we really had the travelling bug and decided to plan our next trip. Before we knew it, we'd booked our flights and were planning a 3 week holiday driving from Chicago to Los Angeles taking in 7 states! We had a lot of ground to cover so a lot of planning went into this holiday. I love the planning bit, it's almost as fun as the holiday! We decided to pre-book around a third of our accommodation and this gave us an idea of where we needed to be each night.

Our trip began in Chicago and we spent 2 nights squeezing as much sight seeing in as possible - what a great city! We admired the views from the John Hancock building (spectacular), visited the zoo (free!), ate the famous deep dish pizzas (yummy), saw the Millenium Park bean (shiny) and even rode Segways (cold!). The Segway tour was brilliant fun and a chance to see Chicago from a different perspective - we were the only ones on it too so it was like having our own personal tour guide!

Route 66 begins in Chicago so we picked up our hire car and off we went, with our trusty sat nav all programmed and ready to take us across America. We found some really good resources before we went which enabled us to programme our whole journey although we also had books and maps incase something went wrong which as you know can happen if you're relying on sat navs!

For those that don't know, Route 66 or the Mother Road as it's sometimes referred to was one of the original highways within the US Highway System. Starting in Chicago, Illinois it winds right across the US going through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and finally ending up in Santa Monica, California. It is 2448 miles long! Unfortunately, since the introductions of the interstates lots of towns along Route 66 have been completely bypassed and have struggled to survive. Which is a real shame because there's so many weird and wacky things to see along the way!

Lots of the museums and attractions along the route rely heavily on tourism and we found everybody to be so friendly, they were really interested in where we were from and what made us drive Route 66. One stop we made was at an old fashioned gas station in Missouri. We were taking some photos and the owner came out to talk to us - what was meant to be a 10 minute stop turned into a 2 hour chat! He was so knowledgeable about Route 66 and gave us so much information, as well as posing for pics! I've since learnt that he passed away this year so I'm glad we got to meet him and will always remember his little part of Route 66.

Some of the odder sights on Route 66 included a few giants along the way, a giant rocking chair, a derelict blue whale water slide, a bottle garden, cars buried in the ground, a shop that sold 100s of different fizzy drinks or 'pops'', barbed wire museums (yes really!!), wigwams, petrified forests and much much more. (We did actually visit the barbed wire museum to use their loos but who knew there were so many varieties?! )

We stopped off at some great cities on our route including St Louis, MO. You've probably seen it's iconic archway on TV before - I had but until I visited, I had no idea that tourists could actually go up in it! Not good if you're claustrophobic but great views at the top! We even got to watch a baseball game whilst we were there - didn't really have a clue what was going on but the atmosphere was great! We had a quick stopover in Amarillo and ate some amazing steak...and tried to get that bloody Amarillo song out of our heads! We even got to revisit some locations from our last roadtrip - being so close to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, it would have been silly not to stop again. The Grand Canyon was just as amazing as I remembered - and it was better weather the 2nd time around so the colours looked a lot brighter and clearer. Las Vegas was as tacky as we remembered but it was a fun couple of days rest and nice not to have to drive anywhere!

Albuquerque was another favourite City - we sampled some amazing New Mexican food here off the beaten track. (Thank you Trip Advisor!). We even got to visit the world famous balloon fiesta - never in my life have I ever seen so many hot air balloons in one place! We went to the evening parade and all the balloons were lit up and tethered, such an amazing sight in the darkness. We then went back the following morning at the crack of dawn and watched all the balloons take off - standing in a freezing cold field was definitely worth it! And having a green chilli burrito for breakfast was definitely a first.

The food played a big part in our trip - some of our foody highlights included frozen custard (like a really thick milkshake only better), quality burgers in some the best diners we've ever been in, amazing steaks, homemade cherry pie, hotdogs at the baseball game, the best buffet in the world at the Bellagio Las Vegas and some pretty spectacular breakfasts. Oh, and the carrot cake in Seligman that was big enough to feed an entire army - BEST CARROT CAKE EVER!! Lets just say it wasn't a good time to be on a diet ;)

Our Route 66 roadtrip ended up in Santa Monica, California and it felt like such an achievement seeing the final sign on the pier! It was such a great trip but we could have done with an extra few weeks to experience everything Route 66 had to offer. We would love to do it again in a few years but drive the other way round, so LA to Chicago.

The only negative of our entire trip was that we made a massive cock up and ended up leaving our laptop in Barstow, California!!! We checked in at our hotel in Santa Monica and panicked a bit when we couldn't find the laptop - I blamed my husband, he blamed me - there were a few cross words! Fortunately the hotel maid in Barstow had found our laptop in the room and they were so so helpful getting it back to us. We didn't have enough time to drive back but we eventually ended up paying for it to be shipped home. That bit cost more than the laptop itself but the photos of our holiday were just too precious to lose! So there's a lesson, always check your room before checking out ;)

Super Busy Mum
Let's Talk Mommy


  1. Oh my gosh that looks amazing ! I think i would have paid to get my laptop shipped home too if it had precious photos on xx

    1. it was the days before we really knew about online back up for pics otherwise we would have just left it there! x

  2. This is something me and my husband have talked about doing, possibly when the kids are older and with a big camper. Looks like you had an amazing time.

  3. Wow it looks so amazing, we really want to do route 66 but want to make sure the boys are a little older first. We visited Vegas and landed in the grand canyon 3 years ago and all loved it is was so beautiful, I love the USA xx

  4. Looks like an amazing trip - all the food photos are making me hungry! I'm sure I'd have done the same for my laptop, the photos would have been too previous to lose. #MMWBH

  5. Oh wow looks and sounds absolutely amazing trip. My husband has always wanted to do this trip too. It's on our list. Love the photos bet you have so many great memories now. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  6. Wow, it looks like you guys had an amazing time and a great collection of holiday snaps too! Thanks so much for linking up! #MMWBH


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