For years I have wanted to travel on Route 66. I’m not sure if it is due to the amount of films it has been featured in, the history of it or just for the hell of it, to be able to say I drove Route 66. But here we are exiting St. Louis and about to join the route that will lead us into Chicago.
Mr.C has mapped our route on an app and clearly marked Americana points that we will aim to find. It is almost like a treasure hunt. Our first stop is the chain bridge.We clearly see it but forget to stop. I did grab a moving photo though, from this point we aim to be more vigilant at remembering to stop and declare that we will take a selfie with each memorabilia that we find.
The wind is unreal but we brave it at the giant sauce bottle, the next one on the list is an old fashioned Shell garage. This looks like something from a Lego or Playmobil set and Mr.C and I are really getting into this. We follow the old Route 66 sign, having to double back to find the giant rocking chair but sadly fail to see the bunny farm.
I can’t quite believe that I am getting to do this, travel on such an iconic road, where the Disney film Cars is set, not to mention Thelma & Louise!! Now this will shock and probably offend some but Mr.C has never seen Thelma & Louise. I know it’s a crime, I spend the next 15 minutes trying to explain it to him but when he just says, “so it’s some mates on a road trip”, I decide to leave the film education there because I’ll only get frustrated. I mean everyone knows it’s much much more than just two friends on a road trip! Anyway we make it to the ‘red brick road’ and struggle to work the logistics of a selfie with a road. But at the next stop the Ariston, we do achieve a selfie and grabbed a delicious French vanilla latte each and cakes for the journey.
We drive for 4 hours more on Route 66 marvelling at the sights, the hardest thing to find was the watermelon, it was in plain sight but we must of drove around the town at least 4 times till we parked to walk and find it. By now the weather has started to get incredibly bitter and when we reach Pontiac I think we may have driven to the Antarctic. We wrap up and explore this town. It is super cute, with memorabilia everywhere, maps of our route and the cutest old fashion village style shops. Its only 8pm but there are no bars or restaurants open anywhere within the square. There’s an eerie feel somewhat like Wayward Pines. We decide our fingers can take it no more and dash back to the car. Two more Americana left on our list; the astronaut and the cars track. The further north we get the colder it gets, we are both in complete fear of Chicago due to this weather. We find both of the remaining stop points and decide to settle for the night in Joliet.
This is a predominantly shopping town but with it being only an hour outside of Chicago we thought it was perfect. Quick look in the shop, but due to the poor exchange rate we buy nothing except M&M’s and some more gloves in anticipation of our final destination. We head to a sports bar near our motel just off the highway. It feels super authentic America, T.V’s on the walls, soft rock playing and locals that the bar tenders all know. It also looks reasonably priced. I am not hungry and after explaining this to the waitress just order a starter for my main. Oh my!! Well this potato lattice pulled pork concoction comes out and it is HUGE! Like it could feed a family of 4 and Mr.C simply declares, “the portions are so big here”. Well der! I struggle on trying my best while Mr.C makes it through a starter and main, he does little to help me and I feel so guilty when the waitress clears the table and I’ve barely made a dent in it.
We return to our motel, a Marriott. It is clean, well equipped and quite spacious. The puddles under the tyres where we parked have now frozen over and the receptionist smiles before inquiring about how we like the weather. Today has been so fun, it is hard to describe it all as to an outsider it just appears like with have driven all day, stopping occasionally for selfies which essentially is what we have done, but for Mr.C and I it was much more. We got to sing together and decided that John Legend’s ‘Love me now’ single is the holiday anthem, we told jokes, played games and just got to live the road trip dream on Route 66.
We rest and waking the following morning to revelation that they have a waffle maker here!!! Yay!!!