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Client Blog: Jackie & Del’s Route 66 Adventure



When Jackie and Del approached me requesting a Route 66 itinerary for a special trip this summer, I rubbed my hands in glee! There are few things that I love curating more than a complex road trip with multiple elements to finetune.


We could have done without BA cancelling the one and only flight out to Chicago but even if I say so myself, we all coped magnificently with the last-minute amendments. 😉


Here is their fabulous feedback and some wonderful pictures...


 

A self-drive Route 66 adventure had always been on Del’s bucket list and having retired this year, it seemed the right time to make it happen and call upon Jo to help us organise the trip.


Unfortunately, our start was delayed a little when BA unexpectedly cancelled the outbound flight to Chicago, and we ended up flying with American Airlines a day later.


After a pleasant flight and a queue at the car pick-up, we finally collected the third member of the party - a fantastic Mustang convertible - and drove to our splendid accommodation, the Hotel Blake.



With a two-week journey ahead of us and short on time, we crammed in as much as possible in vibrant Chicago, deciding that a bike tour with music blaring was a great way to get around.


Cycling around Lake Michigan amongst the young girls on their way to see Taylor Swift was great fun.



Brothers Efren and Joseph Boglio founded the famous Giordano's Restaurant in 1974 and it is still regarded as one of the best places to enjoy the deep pan Chicago pizza experience - and we now know why - it was delicious!



Onward to the highway and ten days on the open road to California, heading south through Illinois to St Louis, Missouri then westwards travelling across the states of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, detouring to spend a night in Las Vegas before the final leg to Santa Monica.

The experience was every bit as exciting as we had hoped for - stopping to eat at local diners, stays at a variety of accommodations from cheap motels to ocean hotels, classic cars, museums, gas stations, TV and movie-inspired tribute stores and quirky roadside attractions - all part of the rich tapestry of the trip.



The weather couldn’t have been better - we had the roof down the whole way - and Del’s tanned left arm and my right one gave a good indication of who did the bulk of the driving.



We had both driven in the US before and the long straight roads were easy to navigate and allowed us to enjoy the classic tunes on our playlists, including the obligatory “24 Hours From Tulsa” and “Take It Easy” by The Eagles as we entered Winslow, California, where we were also thrilled to find the lyrics there too.



One of our most memorable stops was at the Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona. The park contains one of the world's largest and most colourful concentrations of petrified wood and multi-hued badlands and is home to the incredible Painted Desert that runs all the way to the east end of Grand Canyon National Park.


Check out my short on-location welcome...



The Painted Desert is approximately 150 miles long and 15 to 50 miles wide, covering an area of around 7,500 square miles and filled with historic structures, archaeological sites and displays of 225-million-year-old fossils.



Having ‘done’ Vegas previously, we used our one night in Sin City as a stopover rather than as an opportunity to hit the jackpot and win big.


Onwards to Santa Monica, California, the finale of the Route 66 trail, and a wonderful feeling of accomplishment accompanied us upon arrival as we made our way to our home for the last couple of nights at the Ocean View Hotel.


It just so happened that the US Open Golf Championship was taking place at the Los Angeles Country Club on our final day and it was a great way to end the trip, preceded by tea and a huge portion of tiramisu at Eataly in Westfield Century City on Santa Monica Boulevard.



It was an amazing adventure if you love driving and want a true authentic US experience showcasing the enormous diversity that America offers.


People were so friendly and interested in us wherever we stopped, and Jo’s fantastic planning and knowledge ensured we made the most of our valuable time.


Thanks for everything, Jo. We had a fantastic time.



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