the ultimate road trip...

Mike and I love road trips. It's not really the destination that makes it fun, it's the adventures you have on the way. I'm also not a beach lover since the sun and I don't get along so well so when it came to choosing and planning a honeymoon we knew exactly what we wanted to do :] 

Yes, Mike and I will be traveling down old Route 66 all the way from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA! We're very excited about it and want to make sure it's perfect so we've already started researching a few things like major attractions [I plan on stopping at every single huge yarn ball we pass haha] So, I figured it would only help the planning process to share with you guys!!!

Day One & Two: Chicago, IL
The plan is to start the trip off by staying for two nights in Chicago. It's one of my favorite places and I definitely wouldn't mind walking around for two days and taking it all in again. We would stay at a nicer hotel and start off the honeymoon with a little relaxation before our big adventure as a married couple

Day Three: Chicago to Springfield, IL
Bright and early on day three we'd get up, grab some breakfast on Michigan Avenue and then hit the road for Springfield, IL. On the way we'll pass through/by Chicago Land, the very first Dairy Queen ever built in the country, the Route 66 Raceway [hopefully we pass by when an event is going on], and the Launching Pad Drive-In with their giant spaceman statue.

Day Three: Springfield, IL to St. Louis, MO
From what I've found, the stretch from Springfield, IL to St. Louis should be a pretty quick one. I haven't found many stops that caught my eye but I'm sure we'll find something along the way.

Day Three & Four: St. Louis to Springfield, MO
We'll continue on through Springfield, IL and pass through the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, stop in at Ted Drewes' Frozen Custard stand, Devil's Elbow, and then possibly stay at the Munger Moss Inn depending on the time of day before heading on to Springfield, MO

Before heading out for another day on the road we'll stop at historic Wrink's Market for some snacks. I'm sure all of my crafty/fashionable/artsy readers know what's in Springfield, MO... Red Velvet Art!!! I will finally get to stop at one of my favorite blogger's vintage shop! I am so excited for this part of the trip. I have a feeling I will get super star struck and Mike will have to do all the talking if I get to meet Elsie.

We will pass through Joplin to get to Kansas which will be very bittersweet with everything that has been happening over there weather wise. I truly hope by August of 2012 things have gotten much better in Joplin. It breaks my heart to think about what all they went through and would be tough to drive through and see the wreckage :/

Day Four & Five: Springfield to Oklahoma City, OK
Kansas only has 13.2 miles of the old Route 66 but from what I've seen, it seems pretty jam packed with history! We'll stop in at the Eisler Brothers Old RIverton Food Market for some snacks again, then cross over the last Marsh Rainbow bridge still standing on Route 66.

Onward through Oklahoma, we'll drive through Miami [pronounced my-am-ah] and see the old Coleman Theatre, then through Totem Pole Park, and then have a picnic by the Blue Whale. After that, we'll pass through Tulsa and into Chandler where we might want to stop at one of the historic motels like Lincoln Motel or the Skyliner Motel for a rest.

Then it's on to Oklahoma City! We'll stop by the Capital building for a few before heading past a giant milk bottle [picture op anyone?]. Then past the Golden Geodesic Dome, Western Trading Post, the Classic Club with its giant James Dean mural on the wall [one of Mike's favorite people], the Will Rogers Theater, Ann's Chicken Fry House where there is an Elvis mural on the wall as well as a Pink Cadillac, and a few historic motels for just a picture or two

Day Five: Oklahoma City to Amarillo, TX
Texas will be another short drive but I'm definitely excited to see Cadillac Ranch and maybe add some of my own artwork to the cars!

Day Five: Amarillo to Albuquerque, NM
Through New Mexico, we'll pass through the ghost town of Glenrio where only animals and tumbleweed now reside, as well as a few other Wild West towns like Dodge City, Deadwood, and Tombstone. I have a feeling a lot of photos will come from this stretch. Passing through Albuquerque, we'll see tons of neon lights and stay in one of the famous motels.

Day Six: Albuquerque to Flagstaff, AZ
There are lots of interesting places to stop for food in Arizona as we pass through the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, and then on to the city of Seven Wonders, Flagstaff, Arizona. Flagstaff is surrounded by the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, Walnut Canyon, Wupatki National Monument, Sunset Crater National Monument, and the San Francisco Peaks. I am so excited to get to see the Grand Canyon.

We'll grab some food at another one of the many drive ins along Old Route 66 before heading to the last stretch of road. Depending on the time and how tired we are, we might find another motel to stay at for the night before heading to California.

Day Seven: Flagstaff to Santa Monica, CA
Just across the border is a huge sign welcoming travelers to Needles, California. We'll pass through Barstow and stop at some interesting diners before making our way to the City of Angels. I don't think I'll like California much. At least not Los Angeles. Like I said before, I'm not much of a fun-in-the-sun type of person and really have no interest in gawking over celebrities, but just so I can say I've done it, we'll have to head over to Hollywood Boulevard. I hate the Dodgers, but I love baseball so stopping by Dodger stadium is a must.

I'll try my luck at the beach in Santa Monica before spending the night in a nicer hotel. Luckily for us, depending on when we leave for the trip, we might end up in Santa Monica on a Sunday which just so happens to be the night of "Jazz on the Lawn" at City Hall. Win. We haven't decided how long we'll stay in California before heading back but I can't imagine it would be more than 1-2 nights.

We are taking a different route home which I will tell you about in a different post [I don't want to completely talk your ear off] but just a sneak peek of sorts, we're equally excited about stops on the drive back :]

Do you have any suggestions on cool sites to hit on the way down or how to make sure it's an awesome road trip? I'd love feedback! Also, if you live in one of the cities we'll be traveling through, I have gotten permission from Mike to stop and meet blog pals!!! Best guy ever!
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