Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Route 66 - Travelling The Mother Road with Babies and On a Budget - Albuquerque, New Mexico to Hoover Dam, Nevada!



Why hello there! Welcome back to our Route 66 shenanigans. 
Buckle up, we are ready to go.

Hot dog jumping frog, Albuquerque is next. Soz but another rule is you have to sing this one too! They host the International Hot Air Balloon Festival each October when the skyline is transformed into something from a fairytale.  They also have lots of vintage motels & The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, where you can learn everything from the Atomic age.


We also met some of these monsters in New Mexico, worst part is they can jump. Eeek!

We drove through the dessert passing by the occasional Casino in the middle of nowhere to get to Gallup New Mexico. Gallup is home to one of our favourite hotels on Route 66, El Rancho Hotel & Motel. It’s truly not to be missed. Many of the old Hollywood stars used to stay in El Rancho such as Clarke Gable, John Wayne, Katherine Hepburn and even Ronald Regan. Their photographs line the walls. There is a restaurant, bar and a fabulous gift shop. ($120/€88 B&B for the penthouse suite)


Lobby El Rancho Hotel & Motel, Gallup, NM

Cross the state line into Arizona first town is Lupton where there is a Navajo Indian Reservation then onto Holbrook with another of my favourite places to stay. The Wigwam Motel, where the rooms are all concrete wigwams! It is a gem of a place in Arizona and another not to be missed experience. There were seven of these motels built across the USA but only two are still around today. ($40/€30 room only)


Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, AZ


The Eagle’s once sang “Standin’ on the corner in Winslow Arizona” so we had to do just that on our next stop! Although the noise of blaring of the song on repeat from the 3 souvenir shops on the corners will drive you loopy after a 20 minute pit stop.


                                                            Winslow, Arizona 

On the road again this time to Flagstaff, Arizona it’s easily the most scenic town on 66 also home to the 1st Muffler Man. There are only a hand full left and are used as tourist attractions now. We took time to go to the visitor centre which is housed in the Amtrak Depot to get lots of info on local attractions.



I’m a firm believer in making the most of your holiday especially when you’ve travelled a fair distance so at this point we took a detour off Route 66 & made our way to Tucson via Phoenix along one of America’s most scenic routes. On the way we passed by a few huge outlet malls so we naturally had to stop & buy some bargains!


Fall display at one of the outlet malls.

It’s a pretty long drive so we stopped overnight at the Super 8 in Casa Grande, Arizona. Don’t do it! It’s a horrid motel that has dirty rooms, rubbish breakfast and laundry facilities that doesn’t even wash your clothes properly. Also the whole town closed about 9.30pm. (We stupidly paid $77/€57 B&B)


                                    Airplane Graveyard, Tucson, Arizona

My husband was thrilled to finally see the Airplane Graveyard as he always wanted to see it. It’s vast, I can tell you that! Hundreds & hundreds of planes line the roads for miles. We also visited Pima Air & Space museum while we were there. You get to tour 80 acres of planes (there is a tour bus!) & you can also board a few of them including a Concorde. Admission was $15 & the children were free.


Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson AZ



Once we finished in Tucson we made our way across Arizona towards Las Vegas as it’s over a 6 hour drive we stopped for the night in Wickenburg. We had never heard of this town but we were so glad we stopped. It’d a real cowboy town just like out of the movies. Rows of little wooden shops with porches complete with swinging benches. As we arrived at about 10pm I decided I’d try to haggle the price of the motel. Hey it worked!! We got a deal of $70/€52 instead of $120/€88 B&B.

We stayed in the Wickenburg Inn a lovely motel with an outdoor pool & Jacuzzi. They also had washing machines & dryers so we took full advantage of that!



Arizona

On the road again this time to Las Vegas passing through Hoover Dam, traffic can get a bit crazy here and you pass through a couple of security checks. There is a museum you can visit but we just wanted to get to the bright lights of Vegas so we drove on through after taking a few snaps.


Hoover Dam on the border between Arizona & Nevada.


See you guys next week & we’ll let you know how we got on in Las Vegas!


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