Sunday, July 10, 2011

1 Amazing Journey...Priceless...

24 days, 9,092 miles, 26 states, and 1 amazing journey (of fun, adventure, and self-discovery) later we are home - to Brevard that is! Before I re-cap the highlights, let me explore the last day of our trip.

We started out this morning in Maryland, moved quickly into Virginia, and had a drive-through breakfast. We drove over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and through the underwater tunnels. The Chesapeake Bay was beautiful - very blue with early morning boaters and a mist that was just beginning to lift. From Virginia we travelled into North Carolina without event and finally made it home just a little after 7pm.

All during the drive today, I kept thinking "what am I going to write about"...once in familiar territory, I did not take any pictures and the day was rather uneventful. But, I have a million (maybe a million and one) wonderful memories to relish and to share.

Someone asked during our Route 66 leg of the trip what our 3 favorite "things" could anyone pick just 3?!  I sorted through pictures, souvenirs, and memories and came up with a few of my favorite things (in no particular order):

Seligman...who couldn't love it...The Snow Cap, Lilo's, and the way the whole town embraces their Route 66 heritage.

The Cadillac and Bug Ranches. How could you not love being able to spray paint graffiti to your heart's content?

The Launching Pad/Gemini Giant. One of the most recongizable icons on The Mother Road. We had heard (or read) that The Launching Pad was closed, but it was only for the winter. A burger and fries and a few photos later; I was inducted into Route 66 mania!

Ted Drewe's. Who couldn't resist the festive atmosphere of hundreds of people, classic cars, great neon, and Concrete! Mike's Apple Pie Concrete wins the "Best Food of The Trip" award!

Hackberry's General Store. A smorgasbord of junk and a photographer's dream come true. This place was great for the many photo ops it offered including two "ladies of the evening" in the ladies room (where else would you expect them to be).

The Blue Whale. Catoosa, Oklahoma...a sleepy little town where probably not much ever happened, unless you were in kid there in the 1970's and then you could swim in the pond that was home to the Blue Whale!

Neon. Neon, neon everywhere! It wouldn't be Route 66 without it!

The Oregon Coast. So very different from the Southern Atlantic Coastline I am use to...craggy rocks, rough waves, and fog magic...

Finger Lake Wineries. Believe it or not some of these wineries produced wine that was too sweet for even favorite taste of the tours...Cranberry Frost!

The wonderful people we met along the way. Connie at the Wagon Wheel, Gary Turner, George Chicago, both the old and new owners of The Blue Swallow, Laurel at the Afton Station, and most of all Mike's Aunt Mona and Uncle Jim.

And my favorite part of the journey was my travelling companion...I would have never taken this trip without him and if I did, I would  not have enjoyed it nearly as much! Thank you Mike!

I could put "The End" here...but, I think it is just the beginning of many new journeys, many new adventures, many new friends, many new memories. So, I will steal a line from Mike and just say "Ciao"!

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