On night 2 of our three-night drive home, we stayed at a Route 66 motor-tel - truly a motor lodge because each room has its own little garage attached. We actually had reserved a suite, but a pipe burst in there and they called us a few days before to ask if two rooms would be okay. So, we had two different rooms, separated by the garages. These are the murals which are painted on the inside of the garages we had.
And apparently cars in use at the time that Rt 66 was popular were considerably smaller than Toyota Sienna minivans. The woman running the motel said that most people can't fit in the garage unless they have a motorcycle. (This is also a good time to point out the crazy bag on top of our van. Doesn't it look like a big old fanny pack? We are so cool.)
Seligman, AZ, wasn't really a planned stop. We were taking I-40 east out of California and in many places, it parallels the historic Route 66 highway that used to connect Chicago to Los Angeles. There are several 'historic' towns on its path, and so we checked this one out.
I don't know what is the deal with the mannequins. We saw the same theme in several 66 towns we visited - mannequins all over the place.
A few days after arriving in Seal Beach, we went out to Apple Valley, to stay at Grandma & Grandpa's house. They took us to a place called Calico Ghost Town, about a half hour from their house. It's this little old mining town, with old buildings and things to see and do. Disturbingly, all of my kids liked getting into the casket.
Also we took a tour of the silver mine. It was cool. There were little mannequin-inhabited areas showing what life was like for the men who used to work in the mine. Lucy was impressed with the helmets they'd wear with a candle on the front for light. She wants one of those.
Then we took a ride on this little train to see a bit more of the area not accessible by foot. We saw some remnants of old houses that were used by the wives and children of the men working the mines. They were built at a bit of a distance, to protect the families from the 'red light district' atmosphere in the town itself.
One day while we were in California, we were able to go to the beach with David's brother Cary and his family, and David's sister Molly and her family. It wasn't hot enough for swimming, but the kids had a lot of fun playing in the sand for a couple of hours. Lucy with her cousin Chaz
David, Cary, Charlie
Why am I in none of these pictures? Oh right. I am always the one who thinks to TAKE the pictures, so we have mementos!
More from our super long trip! Here are a few more pictures from the Long Beach Aquarium. The kids were watching sharks. In the third picture, Penny is chasing a pigeon. She started doing that a lot on the trip. Poor pigeons. They'd run pretty far from her, but would never take flight and leave altogether, because there was always that chance that she might drop some food.
Here are a couple of more pictures from the first night of camping in Topeka, Kansas. The KOA was a lovely little farm with two ponds and a nice playground. The one-room cabin was a TIGHT fit for our family, but we managed. Having room to run and play was so nice after eight hours in the van.
Penelope and Truman at our campsite in Moab, at Arches National Park.
And, a few more from the lovely St. George temple:
Truman at Long Beach, CA, right after we'd been to the aquarium. That's the Queen Mary behind him.
So below I told about our experience being in Joplin, MO, when the tornado hit last Sunday. I think I said we got there around 6 p.m. But I think my memory of the time is off. I checked Facebook and I updated that we were waiting out a storm in Joplin at 5:39 p.m., and I read on wikipedia that the tornado hit at 5:41 p.m. So it must've been hitting right when the electricity went off, because it seemed like that was right after I sent that FB update. I guess the 6:20 I remember is the time we actually left the Cracker Barrel. It's all sort of a blur.
On a related note, the local newspaper did a little story about us. Here it is.
A group in Evansville was organizing donations and a truck to take to Joplin. The kids and I went to the store and each of them picked out an outfit for a child their age/size, and we also got pet supplies, detergent, bath stuff, and kids' toothbrushes and toothpaste. I think it helped them understand that the people affected there are just like u…
This post will be a little out of order. I haven't filled in the gap between my previous posts about our drive out to California, but you'll have to bear with me.
We spent the night of Saturday, May 21 at a retro Route 66 motor-lodge (in the truest sense - there were little garages next to every room) in Tucumcari, New Mexico (do not ask me to pronounce that). Sunday morning we got a very early start because it was to be our longest day of driving - 10 hours, not including stops - to make our last night's stay in Springfield, Missouri (which left six hours of driving the following day to get home).
The drive was mainly uneventful. We were a bit cranky with each other, as is to be expected when you are thirteen days into a cross-country drive. We stopped in Amarillo, TX, at the Cadillac Ranch, which was pretty cool, and weird. A line of cars that have been cut in half, then jammed into the earth at 45 degree angles, in the midst of a truly working "ranch" - cows a…