First stop...New Mexico.

My Dad and my sisters had already been on The Mother Road for a week when I joined them in Albuquerque New Mexico, so I was extremely excited to see them all and catch up with all that they had been up to so far. After a 4 am wake up call and early flight I was ready for breakfast and coffee, so we headed to Ihop to fuel up for the day and get me up to date with their travels! :)

I was pleased to hear that they had been having a blast. They started in Chicago which they all loved and on the road to Albuquerque (which I can now spell properly without looking it up, by the way :p ) they had been stopping by some really awesome places. Drive ins, museums, historic landmarks and yummy diners galore through Chicago Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma City, Texas and New Mexico.

Day one for me would be driving through Albuquerque and on to Arizona where we would be staying the night in a Wigwam. Kelly had bought a book titled 'Travel Route 66' by Jim Hinckley and they had been following his guide making sure to stop at any landmark a long the way. However, through Albuquerque we didn't see too much, except a lot of Indian jewelry shops, gas stations and a few houses, we followed the dusty road of Route 66 as often and as long as we could until we had to get on Interstate 40, this continued on and off into Arizona. Along the road to the Wigwam motel in Holbrook, we drove the newer Route 66 road which housed more up to date hotels and stores, not too much but a little more modern, until we crossed over to historic Route 66 where we found more run down cafe's and restaurants, some of which were still open and most of which had classic cars out front to attract attention! :) We found our Wigwam site, which was one of the three original wigwam locations, built in 1950 by Chester E Lewis and closed in 1974 when the I40 had come along and by passed downtown Holbrook. It was renovated and re-opened in 1988. :)

By 4pm I was starting to become delirious and laughing at everything. My younger sister, Jenny, is a complete goof and when I'm tired and she makes me laugh I'm literally in tears. Add the fact that the wigwams were naturally very basic and in quite the spooky setting, with a scary looking motel across the back and a railroad, and I was a mess! :p It wasn't that they weren't nice but I suddenly got weirded out about hotels and sleeping in a different bed. Don't ask, as I am pretty used to this with the travelling I have done but I guess I was just that tired. After a late lunch at Denny's we decided to check out the Meteor Crater, it was 50 miles out but Holbrook didn't offer much else. I'm not usually one for science, it's not that I don't appreciate it but I never really enjoyed it at school and since then have never had the urge or need to start researching, watching or reading about specific science topics. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how interesting the Meteor Crater was, it was very cool to learn about how it came about and how something from space actually impacted earth and left it's print for us to see half a billion years later. I will forever be amazed at how clever and smart people are, the research that went into figuring out what the giant hole in the ground was, through studying the ground and the rocks around it, well, I just wouldn't even know where to start! :) I was very happy that I got to go and see it. You can check out the website and learn about it here:

Upon returning to our wigwam we spent a few hours catching up, Jen and Dad telling me about what's going on at home, Kelly discussing Florida life and me getting them up to date with all things happening in 'The Ville'. It felt beyond wonderful to be able to look at my family and have them next to me! :)

I would definitely say that the wigwam's make for a pretty cool experience and if you do Route 66 you should pay a visit and check them out! :)

Day Two ( Day nine for everyone else) began with coffee and a quick breakfast from the safeway across the street, I chose a donut, in wanting to keep it simple like Jack Kerouac's coffee and apple pie when he was on the road, it was delicious, then we set off for Winslow Arizona. In following Kelly's book there were a few things we wanted to see in Arizona before veering off our trusty Route 66 and taking a detour to the Grand Canyon. First thing being 'Standing on the corner' this area having been made famous in 1972 when The Eagles mentioned it in their song 'Take it easy' As a result of that song hitting the charts, a life size bronze statue and a mural were put in place commemorating the lyrics of the song and now it's a fun little place to go and see and take pictures. There's also a diner across the street and a few gift shops...always fun! :p

Our next stop came in the form of Two Guns, which at the time of Route 66, before the I40 came along, used to be a popular tourist spot for those travelling The Mother Road, hosting cafe's, a hotel, shops, a camp and even a zoo. In reading up about this place I've found out many different stories about the owners of the land and all that happened there, so I will let you research yourself if you so wish. Kelly's book however, talked about there being two owners of the land, each bringing different attractions to the place and building it up making it such the popular tourist spot, until they got into a dispute resulting in one killing the other. The book claims that this is when the site started to crumble. I'm not sure exactly what was built up there in the more recent times as now the place is deserted with a mixture of the more newer buildings and graffiti, as well as the old zoo, the camp building and the bridge. I found this site really interesting and enjoyed looking around, it was quite eerie and quiet and I was amazed to see the remnants of some of the cages from the zoo still there.

We did a lot of driving while listening to Jen's IPod, which she had up dated to include several soundtracks for each of our destinations, this bought on many laughs and lots of sing a longs. We spent an hour looking for a place in Belmont to no avail, leaving us all a tad cranky and hungry, that stumbling in to a place called Williams and finding a bunch of shops, cafe's and restaurants was a very welcome and happy surprise. After filling our bellies with fine grub...wings, burgers and country fried steak, we had a look round a few of the shops, which so far, we realized, are all relatively the same, consisting of road signs, license plates, Route 66 memorabilia, mugs, postcards and jewelry, but never the less are still a lot of fun to mooch around. Back in the car we made ourselves comfy and set off for The Grand Canyon!!

To be Continued...

Have a lovely day!

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