Cadillac Ranch

We were making good time, when Rob queries aloud, “Why do you think all those cars are lined up on the other side of that service road?”  We both lean to get a closer look and simultaneously shriek, “Cadillac Ranch!http://www.theroute-66.com/cadillac-ranch.html as we zoomed past.

The line of spray painted , half burried cars, set a ways back from the road, so had it not been for the line up of cars along the road side, we might near have missed it.

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We immediately took the very next exit, to back track.  You can’t come this close to the infamous novelty and not take the time to stop

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We only left our foot prints & took only pictures, however, if you are ever in the vicinity of this iconic piece of Americana, bring along a can of spray paint and leave your legacy in Amarillo,Texas.

Choices

Cutting corners doesn’t always mean you have to go with less.  The  Maswik Food court http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/dining/maswik-food-court/ was the perfect place to grab breakfast before departing the park.

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Once we saw the plate size serving of these two pancakes with a side of sausage links, breakfast became the bargain of the day.  Sharing the plate, provided each of us a single pancake and single sausage link, which was ample to start our day and all for less than eight dollars. We decided to forgo a the added expense of a hot beverage since we had already enjoyed the hotel’s complimentary coffee bar prior to checking out.  Win!

El Tovar

20160317_101127.jpgThere are times to scrimp and there are times to spend.  For a full National Park experience, a night at http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com

We had traveled like misers; including, couch surfing with friends to packing picnic lunches to avoid eating out for the days leading up to our arrival at The Grand Canyon, knowing full well that that this is where we would be emptying our pockets.  And the sacrifice was worth it.

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The interior of the lodge was a cozy, dark stained, thick hunting lodge theme with mounted buffalo head above the entrance to greet arriving guest.

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We had a birds eye view of the canyon from our room.

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There are multiple, grand porches, decked in rockers beckoning visitors to relax and watch the sun rise and or set above the canyon.

 

 

The most important meal of the day..

After braving the early morning sub freezing temperatures witnessing a sunrise on the canyon walls, the El Tovar dining room is the perfect place to warm up and order breakfast. http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/dining/el-tovar-dining-room-and-lounge/

At 3.95, we chose to forgo the hot coffee in lieu of H20.   We had previously had our warm beverage of coffee and cocoa at the hotel complimentary coffee bar.  There was also an in room coffee maker as well.

As you might expect, when you have a historic dining room that overlooks the grand canyon, it is not unreasonable to expect to pay a higher price because of it’s prime location.  
The dining room has a lovely ambiance, the massive stone fireplace and native art throughout.
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We were grateful to have a prime table with picture window views of the the morning sun waking up the canyon and it’s visitors.

I figured  a high protein meal like a cheese omelet would be a wise choice to power me up for a long  day of sight seeing and walking.  However, I was intrigued  by the pancake trio; blue corn, buckwheat and buttermilk.  served with pine nut butter and a side of prickly pear syrup.

20160317_104703.jpg I am a fan of buckwheat pancakes.  The blue corn pancake was interesting with a strong gritty texture.  I was grateful that I hadn’t followed through with ordering a stack of the blue corn because I think it may have been overkill on gritty texture.  However, I was pleasantly surprised at the rich comforting flavor of the classic buttermilk.  It was by far my favorite.  The pine nut butter sounded decadent but it turned out I wasn’t a fan of nuts in my butter or my pancakes.

The sweet/sour flavor of the prickly pear syrup was original and strong.  But I continued to use it for the pure novelty of a regional menu item.

I would like to add, that an additional pleasure was the that added to our dining experience was the graphic art deco dinner war.  It was available for purchase in the gift shop for a hefty price.

Getting our kicks

                            on route 66.

 

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OK. so technically we made better time driving parallel on route 40, but we had this strange sensation that we were in a Disney animated film, Cars.   http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317219/.  Occasionally, we found ourselves driving a stretch of the historic highway, like when we stopped to fuel up is how we found this little restored gem in Shamrock Texas.

Although you can’t actually fuel up here, you can get  friendly tourist info.

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We have an explainable urge to watch Cars. The teepee motel does indeed exist.

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Regardless whether we were driving along historic route 66 or parallel on route 40, there are parts that are indeed nostalgic.  However; sadly, there are also many, many parts of the route that are run down and deserted like a ghost town.  #thestruggleisreal

Knoxville

Our visit to Knoxville felt a little like we were speed dating.  In our brief first impression left us smitten.  Even the annoying road construction detours, that had us driving in circles, throughout downtown, will not detour us from returning to your charming city! We’d like to see you again.

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The nostalgic of yesteryear compelled us to visit Mast General Store http://www.mastgeneralstore.com/knoxville

This store truly lived up to it’s name; generally speaking, it had just about everything displayed in a charming old-time way.  We managed to escape our visit with out buying anything this time.

As we ambled through the city, we found ourselves delightfully surprised to discover a clever alley street filled with colorful graffiti

 

 

Exercising Restraint

One of Linda’s favorite movies is The Long Long Trailer, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047191/.  The newlyweds collect rocks as they travel across country in their trailer.

In our newlywed years of travel, we collected mugs…20160325_163840.jpg

and refrigerator magnets.

Linda continues to add to her postcard collection that started as a child.

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Some of her postcard purchases are mailed to friends and loved ones, and others are scrapbooked memories. Rob usually purchases a t shirt for his souvenir.

Although we both enjoy a good browse in a souvenir gift shop, we really tried to exercise restraint from accumulating a mass of items that require care, and upkeep as well as deplete our wallet of necessary operating funds.

 

Not Kosher

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Everyone has had a pork sandwich. As a resident of the mid atlantic states, we are used to a vinegar based BarBQ

Even as we approached the unpretentious brick facade of the highly recommended, Central BBQ http://cbqmemphis.com/ ,the sweet aroma was wafting around the corner beckoning for us to come and join the others in the quick moving line.

During the short wait for the take out, the eclectic industrial galvenized walls are laden with local memorabilia. Although the casual atmosphere was inviting, we prefered to picnic along the banks of the muddy Mississippi River.

Perhaps you’ll agree that coleslaw is not just an accessory but the deal maker or deal breaker of a bar b q sandwich. This coleslaw was large chunk, creamy cole slaw with a hint of sweetness.

The wrapper was lick worthy. Leave no prisoners behind. But you dont have take my word for it. So the next time you find yourself in Memphis, drop in and see for yourself if dont agree?

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Let’s start at the very begining…

…A very good place to start ..Hey, if it worked for Maria in The Sound of Music, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLm07s8fnzM, then who are we to reinvent the wheel?

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Since all of our vehicles are from the last century with over 100,000 miles on each of them, it behooved us to incur the expense of renting a car, which we have dubbed The Silver Streak, for a trip of this magnitude.

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As kids, we played games, rode sans seatbelts and stared out the window while repeatedly asked our  parents when we would get “there”. Today   technology    has eased some the  tedium of traveling.  Sirius,  http://www.siriusxm.com/   saved  our   sanity.  Rob is a fan of the comedy  station while Linda prefers 40’s big band, station.  However they are both fans of   the Broadway station as well as NPR, http://www.npr.org/.