On Friday, August 30, 2013 Kelly and I were sitting at Los Gueros, one of our favorite local Taquero’s eating lunch and I said –“something’s got to give I am so stressed out, either I am going to quit my job, divorce you, or we NEED a vacation!!” He agreed that the best option was a vacation (that was a relief), so then the next question was what do we want to do? Cabo Timeshare? A beach somewhere? Or something else? I secretly wanted to do a Roadtrip but I didn’t want to say it because I wasn’t sure Kelly would want to sit in a car and drive for hours on end, it had only been a few months since his Rotator Cuff surgery and I knew if I suggested it he would probably go along just to make me happy. To my surprise Kelly said he wanted to do a ROADTRIP!! We talked about some of the main places we wanted to see; we both agreed our #1 place was Yellowstone!
I was so excited that I woke up early on Saturday plotted a route that would take us through the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone, then across Wyoming to Crazy Horse and Mt Rushmore, then south through Laramie WY, down to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park with a possible visit with the family in Colorado, then home. I felt pretty good about the route and felt we could do it in about 10 days. Kelly got up and I showed him what I was up to, he looked at the route and was disappointed because the route didn’t include The Grand Canyon. Simple fix, I added 2 days to my vacation and added in the Grand Canyon! Then Kelly asked, “when are we going?” “NEXT WEEK!” I said. I told him I have already booked my PTO to start the following weekend, his response was “Well, I guess you were serious when you said you needed a break soon!”
We decided that we were going to do this Roadtrip, old school style – NO reservations, NO real plans – just a general path with some major highlights to hit and do whatever we wanted in the middle!
The week flew by and before you knew it we were loading the car for our trip; pillows, clothes, food – the VitaMix, blanket (because I get cold in the car) – the car being my 2013 Prius V(wagon). Yep, a couple of old hippies in a green car – headed to see some of the GREAT sites in the grand ole USA!
I have come to LOVE Andy’s Frozen Custard, so to celebrate the start of our vacation we went to Andy’s the night before leaving for our trip. I got my usual, a concrete (jack hammer style with hot fudge), and Kelly got a Caramel Sundae. We will post more on Andy’s later but you will see that this has become a tradition for us. We try to start and end our trips at Andy’s, sometimes we only get this treat on one side or the other of the trip but it’s ALWAYS delicious!
We had to drop the kids off at the vet for their VIP treatment/boarding – they LOVE going to Lindale Vet Clinic and we love using the VIP treatment because it gets them more walks and play time, and pictures every day on facebook so we can keep in touch with them. I ended up working in the morning so we got out late and BARELY made it to the vets before they closed – wouldn’t you know it was a ½ day for them, they were closing at 2pm. Finally on the road and I’m still working – conference calls all afternoon, around 4 Kelly was fed up with listening to me work and said “enough – this is vacation, and that doesn’t just mean that you work in a different place – it means NO WORK!” So as hard as it was I put the phone down, and actally started to relax and enjoy vacation .. albeit 450 miles after we started out.
We decided since we were doing this trip Old School – we should go to Arizona out Route 66 – first planned stop, Cadillac Ranch! I had no idea that it was in Amarillo. The song Amarillo by Morning now is stuck in my head …
Did you know that it’s illegal to drive in the left lane in Texas? Especially on roads with a 75 MPH zone – well it is and we found out thanks to an overzealous Texas Highway patrol officer. Kelly was zipping right along Westbound on I-40 just outside of Amarillo probably going something over the speed limit (wink wink) when a TX Highway patrol heading EAST came careening across the median and jumped in behind us and followed for a while as Kelly drove in the left lane. I told Kelly it might be a good idea to get over, because “technically you aren’t supposed to drive in the left lane” and as soon as he got over, the lights came on! No Way! – we hadn’t made it 500 miles and we were getting pulled over, this did not bode well for our 4,500 mile planned trip! The officer was actually very nice and even took a picture with me, he told us that it was illegal to drive in the left lane on a 75 MPH highway … he took Kelly’s license and we waited. Of course Kelly gets a warning – me I always get a ticket. Warning in hand, we drove off – NOT IN THE LEFT LANE headed on to Cadillac Ranch and Route 66.
Sadly progress has killed Route 66, it was a great highway in its hay day with Americana businesses dotted along its way. It’s a 2 lane blacktop that is no longer fast enough for the pace that America wants to travel; now we need 4-8 lanes so we can whiz by life at 75 MPH or better. It now parallels Highway 40 with little turnouts every once in a while with the few remaining businesses and cities that are fighting to survive on the museum of the highways. We took the Route 66 Turn off from Hwy 40, not sure if we were in the right place and then we looked out in the distance and there they were, the Cadillacs sticking out of the ground. We parked and jumped out of the car, the sun was starting to set so we had to hurry if we wanted pictures. In front of Cadillac Ranch someone actually spray painted “Route 66” on the blacktop so that you would know you were on a part of history, of course I took a picture! The Cadillacs were cool, it was amazing to see the layers upon layers of spray paint on them, I know that is supposed to make them really cool, but I would love to have seen them when they were first planted in the ground in their original condition. We didn’t stay too long, we wanted to get out of Texas on our first night so we headed back out on the road to see how far we could go before we had to stop for the night.
We ended our night in Tucumcari, NM – I always wanted to go to Tucumcari, had no idea it was in New Mexico! We are learning a lot about where things are in our country, sad that we’ve gotten this old and neither of us knew where Cadillac Ranch or Tucumari were – so this has been an educational trip as well as a vacation!
Follow us on the rest of our adventures on our “Blog” page! We will be posting our trips, adventures and mishaps, and pictures, along with reviews and recommendations – we will share as much as we can. Our hope is that we will inspire more and more people to join us on the road to see and support the beautiful country that we love.
Here’s seeing you On the Road ….