Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Route 66 - Travelling The Mother Road with Babies and On a Budget. Chicago to Oklahoma!

Hey, welcome back! 

When we parked last weeks Tuesday's Travels we were watching fireworks over Chicago's Navy Pier (catch up here if you haven't seen it) or buckle up and speed right in to the next installment now: 

All roads lead to the Mother Road. Mostly. 

After breakfast in Chicago we hit the open road and drove through the town of Joliet made famous by The Blues Brothers movie. We headed further west and stopped at a few of the many photo ops along the way. First stop was Pontiac Illinois, famous for fabulous murals. There’s also a Route 66 Hall of Fame & a US Army Museum in Pontiac. We stayed the night in the Super 8 Motel in Pontiac, it was very clean & in a great location (we paid approx $50 B&B per room). 

We ate dinner in an old style restaurant opposite City Hall. Colin, my hubby asked for chips with his steak & I tried to warn him but would he listen? Well I just had to laugh at his look of disappointment when his steak was presented with a bag of crisps!!

One of the many murals in Pontiac, Illinois.

Our next 200 miles would bring us to Collinsville, IL. On the way you pass through the towns of Lincoln with a watermelon monument as Abraham Lincoln christened the town with watermelon juice in 1853 and Springfield the State Capitol. Collinsville is the home to the world’s largest ketchup bottle. 

Every town tries to have a quirky attraction to bring in tourists & they’re great for photos. Again we stayed in a Super 8 we had a huge room for $60 for the night including breakfast. Directly across the road was a lovely traditional Mexican restaurant, we didn’t know what to order so we tried lots of dishes & the bill was slightly over $30. That was even with me sampling a few $1 margaritas!

The Gateway Arch St Louis, Missouri - (It's like a gateway drug, for arches)

The next State is Missouri home to The Gateway Arch a 630 foot monument that symbolises the gateway to the West. You can take an egg shaped lift that you have to sit in to the top to see an amazing panoramic view of the City. It costs $10 for adults $5 for children & under 3’s are free.

Another stop on the way is the home to the “king of beers” the Anheuser-Busch Brewery where you can take a complimentary tour and if you are over 21 you can even sample the freshest Budweiser you’ll ever taste! You know I had to send the hubby & children off for a walk while I did the tour. unfortunately I left my camera in the baby bag so I didn’t get any snaps inside. Trust me the beer is mighty fresh. They also have a beer garden where you can sup from the 13 different beers on tap while lapping up the glorious sun.

Budweiser Factory, St. Louis Missouri.

On the road again now the real old neons of 66 start to be found! First up Lebanon, Missouri The Bell Restaurant is a Mom & Pop diner of a bygone era where you can get corn bread, tater tots & sweet potato pie. It’s not to be missed.

The Bell Restaurant, Springfield, Missouri

Beside it you'll find an old neon sign for the Munger Moss Motel. We spent the night in Springfield, MO it’s a beautiful little town full of vintage businesses & Motels.

Munger Moss Motel Springfield, Missouri.

Last stop in Missouri was Joplin for my husband Colin, as he wanted to drop into one of the home of Peterbuilt Trucks. The guy in the factory loved that we were Irish and even let Colin drive a new truck off the factory floor to the parking lot, with the girls sitting in it too!! There is also a humongous Harley Davidson Shop in Joplin.

I'm sure I didn't see a washed out road in Kansas on the map...

As a lot of Historic Route 66 is no longer in use we found ourselves jumping on & off the freeways to get from place to place, this is quite easily managed as it’s well signposted even in the middle of nowhere. You only cross the corner of Kansas just 13 miles, two lovely little towns to visit are Galena & Baxter Springs home to a Civil War Graveyard complete with cannons.

Are you still with us in the back there? Pay attention or we'll turn this jalopy around! 

I jest of course, pop back next week for more on Oklahoma & further west!

And hey, if you ever have any questions or just fancy a travel chat, come tweet me right here =)

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