GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66

Route 66 – a famous highway  running from Chicago to Los Angeles.

This last week we traveled a small part of it. In the snow and ice . . .

While I wondered if Wal-mart sold adult diapers large enough, my husband decided it was imperative to pass every semi-truck carrying flammable liquids. . .

Why did we risk our lives, you ask? My husband had to go to Springfield, Missouri, for a long work weekend. So we decided we should make the best of it. We had so many plans. We were going to visit the zoo. We were going to visit friends of ours, the Verdi’s . . . though they do not live in the zoo, but in Nixa. We were going to get a room with a Jacuzzi for two.

But the snow and ice changed everything. That and the temperatures cold enough to make your lungs bleed. So no zoo, no friends, no museums. Work and hibernation became Plan B. We decided to make the most of it after getting online to check out possible hotels for our 4-day stay. We were nothing if not stoic.

Then we found the Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven.

In 1936, Elwyn and Lawrence Lippman built the Rail Haven Hotel on what had been their grandfather’s apple orchard. (I can only imagine a common outhouse and shaved bark at this point.) But progress marched on, and in time, this location bordered Route 66. And in 1951, the Rail Haven was sucked into the Best Western vortex. Then, in 1994, the Rail Haven received its latest remodel.

But it still retained it’s vintage fun.

Yes, that is a 1955 Ford  behind Randy as he makes a fake phone call to his mother. I think he is receiving fake good news. The manager inside the hotel watching us would have probably been more impressed with our idiocy if we’d had children, but no, it was for our own amusement. We went in to claim our room key and pay up. Even the Reception area was fun.

Now ready to move in for our stay, we were given Hollywood Legends, one of their Theme Rooms. And when I went into our room and saw their choice of Hollywood legends to honor . . .

 . . . I knew we were going to be happy.

So we started unloading.

Yes, that is a cool vintage radio beside the door. And yes, Randy is carrying in a box that says, ‘Duraflame logs’ on the front. And no, it isn’t for committing arson, but used for ferrying food from home. It was either the log box or a trash bag. (We have one piece of luggage between us and it was full of Randy’s clothes.) And since we are by necessity on the GAPS diet, we had to bring all our food. The log box was about one fifth of our provisions. And unlike most hotels, the Route 66 Rail Haven had an in-room fridge large enough to hold everything. Yay! No botulism for us! (And I have no idea why Randy is a blur in this photo. He wasn’t moving all that fast.)

Here is a picture of our home for the next 4 days (before we cluttered it up) :

Notice the huge Jacuzzi in the corner? And the comfortable sofa? And the John Wayne bar? A bar! We made ourselves comfortable, bellied up to it . . .

. . . and covered it in supplements. Because we are over 50 and in denial. Then we went to the International Wine Shop and bought a bottle of single malt Irish Whiskey – because even though we are over 50, but we weren’t dead yet.

No, we aren’t dead yet. That came after Randy’s jobs. When he agreed to clean the Bakery floors, he didn’t know he was going to have to hand gouge the crap from the grout until 2 every morning. Thank goodness for the single malt, Ibuprophen, Jacuzzi and comfortable bed.

Meanwhile – while he worked – I did hard labor on my computer, writing Book #4. While he was on his hands and knees wearing out blade after blade, I was in George’s, the diner next door to the Route 66 Rail Haven, eating prime rib and walking my protagonist, Bella, through Florence, Italy. Oh, well. It all evens out when I do Randy’s mountains of work laundry. The used cleaning rags alone can gag a buzzard. I use a stick to get them into the Kenmore. . .

And speaking of eating, here is a picture of George’s Diner:

Yes, by the time this picture was taken the ice and snow had melted, which is a good thing since every time I would walk to George’s I would fall down. A pratfall beside the highway. And with every electronic device I own in the knapsack on my back, getting back up was dicey at best. But the food at George’s was so good, I would have happily crawled the rest of the way. And yes, that is my purse in Randy’s hand, and our food bag on his shoulder.

Did you know that in Springfield, Missouri, it is against the law to bring outside food into a restaurant? Whatever. . . It was either bringing our dressing, salt, honey, and coconut milk into George’s or a couple of Epi-pens. We were between a rock and a hard place. Besides, it isn’t much of a treat to bring your food with you wherever you go. Especially since I bring my lumpy coconut milk in a mason jar. Randy says it looks like I’m pouring curdled mother’s milk in my coffee. Several servers have gagged.

Here we are, not arrested for bringing cheese in a baggie. (George’s employees were all troupers. Even the guy with the handsome pelt of synthetic hair . . . Made me homesick for Mom.)

Even though it was freezing outside, even though it was a work weekend, Randy and I really enjoyed our stay at The Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven. Even when we forgot to put the Do Not Disturb sign out and someone tried to walk into our room. Even then. We heard the door open and a woman’s strangled scream of, “OH MY GOD!” – Randy was in nothing but black socks and underwear – before we heard it slam shut. We never found out who it was. The hotel maid, not speaking English, would have screamed, “OH MIO DIOS!” But as it was, the only employee we had spoken to was Billy Bise (one of the General Managers), a young man I kept thinking of as ‘Josh’ – don’t ask me why – and Billy would have never screamed like a woman. Maybe it was Brandy, the other General Manager. . . Poor thing. . .

The staff – especially Billy Bise – was welcoming, helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable, and the hotel was great fun. We are coming back in the Spring, and we have already made our reservations at the Route 66 Rail Haven hotel. But next time? The Elvis Room!

 Here is a shot of Billy getting ready to turn on the Cadillac’s tail lights.

Do you have any of your own travel stories you want to share?  You could even tell us about your worst hotel stay. It’s all blog comment fodder.

Remember to leave a comment click on the ‘Comments’ tag at the end of this blog, and don’t forget to check out the latest Photo-blog on the right.  Just put your cursor over the picture to read the caption, or click on one if you want to leave your comment.

Have fun!

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3 Responses to GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66

  1. Snuffygump says:

    Well…..as tired as Randy looked after the first night of work, I am very glad that your motel experience was a good one! The motels literally make it or break it when you have to stay in one during a work period. Mr. Val and I certainly know this to be true.
    Yes, out of our motel night adventure archives that I could share, I have selected the very bestest of all. It even trumps the time in Denver when at 1:30 am a gal knocked on our room door asking for a “Bob”. When Val answered that there was no Bob here, she then asked what he was doing. I had to shut that one down.
    We were working the whole state of California on this particular ‘job’. Now in Central City, we found a spot to light for the work period, plus to hold over during the weekend.
    Mind you, our entire month spent working in California we became painfully aware that we needed to speak several foreign languages, that English was never used. Val managed to always haggle the best room rate despite this obstacle.
    Our first night. I was just finishing up my ‘get ready for bed’ routine. It was about time for Jay Leno to come on TV. I set the pillows up against the headboard in my spot next to Val and jumped into bed. In one solid action, my jammie clad behinder hit the soaked spot and rebounded my entire body straight up and off of that bed.
    We drew our own conclusions as to how the mattress became so soaked.
    It was in vain that Val tried to explain to the front desk what had happened. The guys first language was not Spanish. Finally he just had to hang up and trudge down to the office to make a request for dry sheets.
    After some time, the manager appears with enough sheets to make up a couple of twin beds (ours was a King bed), blankets, pillows and a thousand profuse apologies (we imagined) sprinkled with many deep bows.
    Val and I did the best we could with what we were given and turned in.
    Next day. I had been out by the pool reading and relaxing and had to take a break inside. I arrived in our room just in time for the housekeeper to show up.
    When she saw the strange assortment of bed sheets on the bed, she started in on me with what I only could figure were questions about what was going on with the bed. Her first language was neither Spanish nor Punjabi.
    I mean, she was having a meltdown. Did she think that we had stolen the king size sheets?
    My loud English and gesturing was getting me no where. Then, I realized that I could speak to her in a language we all got.
    I gestured to the head of the bed and started barking. I used my hands to make a dogs mouth to help illustrate, flapping my hands open and shut as I barked and then I made it pee on the head of the bed.
    You know what, that worked!

  2. Thea says:

    :D :D :D

    I ALWAYS love your comments, snuffygump! Which makes me think I should host a best comment giveaway. Which I will do as soon as I have something to give away…
    I found a bacon puzzle in Eureka Springs… That might do…

    This is the best story! I had no idea that California was like that. By the way, how did you know it was dog pee?

  3. Thea says:

    I’m tempted to post this comment as it’s own blog.

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