Is this the way to Amarillo?

The weather today has been perfect. We’ve had hot sun with a stiff cool breeze all the way through Oklahoma and Texas which has been greatly welcome after the pouring rain that forced us to use the Interstate through part of Missouri.

We set out from Oklahoma City for Amarillo at about 10 o’clock after a breakfast of sausage and melted cheese bagels with maple syrup waffles, and hit the mother road headed west. We had several stops in some small towns that were very run down and had seen better days prior to the interstate arriving and cutting off all their trade, which reminded me of the Disney film “Cars” which is what inspired us to book the trip in the first place!

One of our stops along the way was the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma which has been the highlight of our day as it showed the story of Route 66 from the 1930s through to the 1980s when the highway was removed from the US numbering system, all accompanied by the soundtracks of each decade. We also stopped in Elk City to visit the museum which also had a Route 66 section and one of the largest Route 66 emblems ever created (see my flickr photos).

We arrived in Amarillo this evening and decided to visit the Big Texan Ranch, home of the 72oz steak challenge. If you can eat the entire steak in under 60 minutes you get your meal for free. I opted for the 8oz sirloin and struggled to finish that!

Tomorrow we are heading to Tucumcara, New Mexico where we will be staying in the famous Blue Swallow Motel. Come back soon and check out our progress.

The Windy City to the Sooner State

Our plane landed 15 minutes early mid afternoon on Friday, although it felt like mid evening due to the time difference. We were surprised at the distance between our gate and the exit to the airport, it took around 20 minutes to walk it, but the queues for customs were almost nothing so we were out in the arrivals hall before we knew it.

The first thing we noticed about Chicago was it truly lives up to it’s name, It’s bloody windy in the narrow streets between the skyscrapers! We had decided that we had to sample the famous Chicago Deep Pan Pizza and ended up having takeaway pizza from one of the best restaurants in downtown and it was nothing like the version they sell in Sainsburys, it was amazing and I cannot wait to visit Chicago again to have some more.

After a broken nights sleep which saw us waking up on British time (2am over here!) we headed a diner which the customs officer had recommended to Dianne, called Lou Mitchell’s, which happens to be on Jackson Boulevard which is the start of Route 66 in Chicago! Next on our list was the Willis Tower (formally the Sears Tower) which is the 5th tallest building in the world and the tallest in North America.

We started our journey that afternoon and after an hour freaking out at driving in traffic and streets that rival New York city we made it onto Route 66 and headed to Springfield Illinois to our Motel 6 stopping at many nostalgic and retro sights along the way.

The next day after a filling breakfast at the IHOP (International House of Pancakes) we headed to our next destination which was Springfield Missouri! Most of the day it poured with rain and we ended up jumping onto the interstate to get to our hotel on time which was the Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven (see my earlier post).

Today we have travelled for almost 9 hours and reached Oklahoma City where we are staying in a luxorious Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton which is worlds apart from the cheap motels we’ve been in the last 2 nights!

I’ve not had much chance to write and no Wifi for the last few days so I apologise if this post is more of a summary but I have lots of exciting pictures and videos to share upon my return (some of which I’ve already uploaded to my flickr which you’ll see on this site).

Route 66 Retro Heaven

I’m currently sat in the 1950s! This is the first chance I’ve had to post since we landed as we were too busy in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois where we where yesterday didn’t have WiFi.

The Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven is a vintage Route 66 motel that has been in Springfield, Missouri since the 1930s and has been loving restored to a 1950s condition complete with neon signs and period automobiles.

We are about to head out on the road for Oklahoma City passing through Kansas (watch out Dorothy!) on the way. Tonight we are staying in the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton and we should be arriving earlier than previous nights so I hope to complete my blog I started in Chicago detailing the trip up until now!

Chocks away!

I’ve only ever flown out of heathrow twice before but my experience today has been the best one so far.

We started our day in the comfort of the Premier Inn on the edge of the airport which was probably a wise decision as it meant we didn’t have to get up at stupid o’clock and deal with any potential traffic problems caused by the royal wedding. We caught the airport hoppa service to Heathrow Terminal 1 and the one thing I realised, which I have realised on both my previous visit is just how rubbish looking our main international airport is when compared to places like Paris Charles de Gaulle and Dallas Fort Worth. Check in was generally quick although the automatic check in machine didn’t want to read Dianne’s passport so we ended up checking in the old-fashioned way! Security was again quick and before we knew it we were in the central departure lounge.

After a mexican breakfast (I wanted to try something different!) and half an hour of watching the royal wedding on the company iPad we headed down endless moving walkways until 10 minutes later we were at our departure gate, and onto a half full plane which is a first for me and gave us a chance to put our seats back and stretch our legs without bothering other people.

We are about half way across the Atlantic at the time of writing so I’m going to get back to watching Wall-E or some random movie with Jason Statham in it, and possibly post a little more when we get to our hotel this evening.