We’re sharing our 2,500+ mile road trip down Route 66 from Chicago to LA. See Part I and Part III!
BETWEEN OKLAHOMA CITY AND SANTA FE. The drive from OKC to Santa Fe was, by far, the longest leg of the journey with a straight 10 hours in the car. Neither of us have ever been to the southwest, so we were excited to hit the road early! We wove around (really, really) hilly roads, passed through the Texas panhandle, and sprayed our initials on the existing thick, gloopy painted cars at Cadillac Ranch.
SANTA FE TO ALBUQUERQUE. We spent only one morning in Santa Fe, but luckily, there was a street festival going on around the corner from our hotel! After grabbing brunch at Cafe Pasqual’s, we walked a lap around the fest, and we hopped back in the car for a drive down the Turquoise Trail, a scenic byway connecting us to Albuquerque. It was at this point that our surroundings really started to change, and we were all, wait, stop here! Let’s take a picture! (5 minutes later…) Wait, stop here! Let’s take a picture! And so on, as we do.
ALBUQUERQUE. Man, do we love Albuquerque! Having both grown up in the Midwest, we were in awe of what could (but definitely shouldn’t!) be considered commonplace – the cacti, the adobe everything, the mountain backdrop and the vibrant colors tucked into road signs and highway underpasses. We toasted the city with brews at La Cumbre (which Scott insists is the best IPA he’s ever had), and we vowed to not be those people that drive by Walter White’s house. We did, however, breakdown and take our rental car through his wash. So, we sort of failed. Albuquerque favorites: La Cumbre Brewing, the Nob Hill neighborhood, the southwest salad at Bistronomy B2B (OMG), brunch at Grove Cafe.
BETWEEN ALBUQUERUE AND FLAGSTAFF. The drive towards Flagstaff felt so magical; the landscape is so, so pretty! It’s sort of what I imagine a summery dream reel to look like – a repeating loop of blue skies, cotton candy clouds, fluffy foliage and low mountains. On the other hand, we did stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and we were rewarded by no less than ten mosquito bites. That’ll show us.
FLAGSTAFF TO SEDONA. With Flagstaff as our home base, we took a day trip down to Sedona to see Red Rock State Park. Not surprisingly, the drive was out of this world gorgeous, and every time we thought we’d seen the best of those red rocks, we’d drive another minute and see something even more stunning. It just kept getting better and better! It began raining before we had a chance to take a mini hike along Bell Rock, but it only made for more vibrant reds and greens. I didn’t take as many photos in Flagstaff, but we still have our highlights. Flagstaff favorites: brunch at MartAnne’s, pizza at Pizzicletta, drinks at Lumberyard.
Tomorrow, we go off the beaten (Route 66) path – just a bit – and finish up at the Santa Monica pier!
We’re sharing our 2,500+ mile road trip down Route 66 from Chicago to LA. See Part II and Part III!
I feel like we’ve been gone a thousand years, and yet, not long enough. We returned from our Route 66 adventure Sunday evening, and we promptly squeezed, smooshed and kissed every animal face in this house. We’ve been playing catch up with work, and at the same time, we’re diving right back into paint colors and rug samples. At the end of the day, we talk about our time away as though it was ages ago, although we were just dusting the desert sand off of our shoes last week.
Leading up to our travel, we lovingly referred to our cross-country drive as The Trip of a Lifetime; as it turns out, it really was. It’s hard to put into words (ha, watch me try!), but it was immensely fun, tiresome and invigorating all at once. There were long days of driving, of course, but those days mingled with afternoons in National Parks and evenings with no sense of time – or time zone, for that matter!
There’s a folder on my computer titled Route 66. Sunday evening, there were over 1,300 photo files in that folder, and by Tuesday, we had that narrowed down to 600. 600! Our 600 favorite photos! I knew from the start that I’d want to compile them into a personal album, but because we’ve always loved sharing our travels here, we whittled that number down way, way more. But before we begin, can I quickly tell you? For every new place we visit, we soak in your suggestions, and we consider them our own personal travel guide. Over the years, you all have recommended the most amazing bites for brunch, the place for the best pizza slice and the most adorable neighborhoods to get lost in. We’ve never met most you, and it still feels like we’re getting the inside scoop from a good friend. The internet is really wild when you think of it that way, and so we really want to say: thank you!
Okay, let’s go!
CHICAGO TO ST. LOUIS. Route 66 starts in downtown Chicago, and by no means is it the easiest way to get from point A to point B! Of course, it is the most adventurous, as the route will wind you through every small town from Chicago through the middle of America, and ultimately, into Los Angeles. We took advantage of this, and we stopped frequently – even if it was just for a cup of coffee or a quick photo. From our home city to St. Louis, we breezed through our state’s capital and seemingly deserted downtown strips, ultimately making our way to our friends’ Heather and Aaron’s firehouse. You guys, they literally live in a firehouse. We shopped, we ate, we drank. We were basically the merriest (and consistently full!). St. Louis favorites: Clementine’s ice cream, Cherokee Street swap meet, Still 630 whiskey tasting, the best guest room ever.
ST. LOUIS TO TULSA. We had originally planned to drive straight through to Oklahoma City from St. Louis, but after so many recommendations came from Tulsa, we made it a point to stop for an overnight! We knew nothing about Tulsa (other than the comically misconstrued city in which Chandler was transferred for work), but what a great town! There were countless restaurants we wish we had time (and room) for, but Tulsa, you’re beautiful. Tulsa favorites: brunch at Dilly Diner, Blue Dome neighborhood, Art Deco architecture.
TULSA TO OKLAHOMA CITY. The 3 hour drive from Tulsa to Oklahoma City led us through a field of abandoned oil tanks and the teeny, tiny strip of Depew with its crumbling building facades – which, by the way, were eerily intriguing. We were greeted by the bluest skies ever in OKC, and we couldn’t get over how clean the city is! We stayed with my cousin while in town (hi, Tony and Jennie!), and we were pointed in the direction of the Myriad Botanical Gardens, which, come on. So beautiful. OKC favorites: Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City Memorial (stunning), the food trucks, Automobile Alley.
Next up, we make our way towards Santa Fe!
We had a heavy plate this summer. One Tail. The garage. The kitchen! We’ve been on the go-go-go, and we were unkind to ourselves when it came to relaxation. It wasn’t until last week that we remembered, oh yeah, our vacation is around the corner!, a vacation we began planning in February. Our long time blog friends and readers know that we have an annual anniversary tradition to explore a new place every year, but this year – this year! – we’re doing something we’ve always wanted to do: Take a road trip down historic Route 66!
We first admitted that this was on our wish list in this Reader Q+A of yore, and the time has come. It’s here! Route 66 is a 2,500 mile drive, starting in downtown Chicago and ending at the Santa Monica pier in Los Angeles. We’ll pass through St. Louis, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque and Flagstaff (to name only a few), but we’ll also cheat (just a little!) and detour off the famous route to visit the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Palm Springs. We are 100% open to suggestions on where to eat, where to sleep, where to shop and what’s a must see, so comments are welcomed and encouraged!
We’ll be taking a short blog break while we travel, but we’d love for you to get your kicks alongside us on Instagram (@yellowbrickhome)! We’re feeling curious and adventurous, we’re ready to recharge and we’re looking forward to conversation that’s not related to All Things Home. We want to shake things up, stop roadside on a whim or stay up and drive all night (why not?). Inspiration, we’ll take that, too! We’ll be back here in a few weeks with stories to tell, photos to share and how in the world we made it work for us. xo.
PS: Photo from the first time I visited Palm Springs. I can’t wait to go again, this time with the coolest guy I know.
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