Sunday, September 2, 2007

Back home again in Indiana

Back home again in Indiana, but not done blogging. Taking a few days to rest up, get pedicures, manicures, oil changed, tire rotation, auto detailing, massage and catching up on emails, there has been no blogging. Still there is more to say about this trip, our experiences, what we learned that we want to share with you, and various other stuff.

There were lots to things that happen that we did not have the opportunity to share, and since my laptop died, many of my pictures have not been retrieved from it's hard drive yet. So, stay tuned for more photos and information.

While most of the trip was uneventful, one flat tire, one stuck convertible top, one dead laptop, over all the trip was great. If this is a trip that you are going to take on yourself you may want to know a few things to make it better

The first thing I would highly recommend, don't try to do this trip in a hurry. If you do, you miss it. Route 66 is about history, the love of the American car, and the rise and fall of businesses and cities. Progress and its effects.

More on that tomorrow.

Hazel M. Walker

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Have you missed us?

We are on our way home, and this has been a wonderful adventure. But as adventures go there can be problems. Going out to the pacific we had a flat tire and stayed in Tulsa to get a new tire since my car has no spare!!

Two days ago we got lost on a Detour off of US 40 and we ended up on a road that only 4x4's or Hummers should go. It shook the fillings our of our teeth and I was very worried about Baby, (the car). It was a old dirt and gravel road that had not been graded in many years and thru the heart of an Indian Reservation. We had NO business on this road. Anyway, that night at the hotel in Albuquerque NM the Top on Baby would not go up. We ask a police officer to keep an eye on her for the night as he drove patrol and he was happy to help. The next day I went to the Albuquerque Lexus Dealership and got the top fixed. He ask me if I had been on some rough roads with the car......and of course I had, he said it had caused the roof to shake over just enough to jam. So if you are going to take a sports coup across the country be careful of the rough roads. We are back on the road.

There are CD's stuck in the CD Player we can't get them more music!

I am on the hotel computer just to give you all a note. My lap top it DEAD. We are in Tulsa again today, I am going to find a CompUSA and get a new computer and see if they can rescue my photos. We have been unable to get online!

Last night we learned about the toll road between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The things we learned.......have enough gas, don't for a moment think that you are going to find a hotel and there are very very few places to get off of the high speed highway. I figured if I paid money to be on it I should be able to drive as fast as I I did.

That brings me to my next little bit of news...........I got my first Speeding Ticket.............Doing 50 in a 45! GO FIGURE.

We have lots to blog about, Like my visit to BNI Headquarters and and a great museum, but we have to get a computer.
Talk to you soon.

Hazel M. Walker

Monday, August 27, 2007

Day 28: La Posada

I start this post with the website for La Posada Hotel as much for you, dear reader, as for me to reference when we get home. This hotel is one of the most amazing treats of this trip!

We left Needles, California today (yes, we stopped there again, and boy is that another story) and resumed our trek eastward. It was 104 degrees when we left, but the temperature went down to the low 70's by the time we got to Flagstaff. We only stopped for a bite to eat there, and hit the road again. We are doing a combination of Route 66 and US 40, and we have managed to see some of the sights we missed on the westward leg of the trip, like the Amboy Crater (we have lava) and the giant tiki head. We figured we make a stop back in Winslow, Arizona because we had such a good time last time we came through. AND we needed to make a decision about where we would stay this evening. If we stayed in Winslow, it would be an early stop, but if we continued on to Holbrook, we would be stuck in a place we didn't like very much on the way out west. The next stop would be Gallup, and that was just too far to go today.

We paid a visit to Diane Patterson, owner of Roadworks (, for a recommendation for our night's lodging and she suggested we go down the street to La Posada. She said they have the best food in town. That's an understatement! The food is out of this world! We had fried squash blossoms stuffed with a sweet corn mixture, prime rib, and a chocolate souffle! YUM!

But the real treat is the hotel itself. We checked in around 4:00 thinking what a great time to catch up on some blogging and get to bed early. HA! We spent 2 hours touring the facilities, and almost 2 hours over dinner, and another hour watching a video about the hotel! It was 9:00 before I started this chapter.

La Posada is the last of the famous Harvey that were built along the Santa Fe Rail Road to accommodate cross country travelers. This particular hotel was designed by Mary Jane Colter and opened in 1930. In the 20's, the Harveys planned a resting place in Winslow, AZ as it was the Arizona headquarters for the Santa Fe RR. They asked Mary to design the building, decorate the interiors, plan the gardens and oversee construction. Keep in mind women couldn't even vote at that time. Mary came up with the concept of a Spanish aristocrat's home, and built this rambling hacienda based on that concepts, right down to the Catholic background. It is truly an incredible place, and I'm sure at it's height, it was simply fantastic.

In the 60's, the railroad reclaimed the building and turned it into offices. The beautiful floors and adobe walls were covered with vinyl tile, drop ceilings, and asbestos coated walls. The wonderful interiors were removed, destroyed, or covered up for years! The railroad left, and the building was left to ruin. Allan Affeldt bought the building in the 90's and is lovingly restoring this magnificent piece of history to its original splendor! The gardens are still a work in progress, but are wonderful just the same. Many of the original floors have been uncovered, and what could not be restored, has been recreated. Please take some time to visit their website. You will be amazed!

And to think we thought the Eagles made Winslow famous through their song! This one building has provided us a look into the past and the beauty and imagination that made this desert stop famous.

We will see you all soon,
Penny S. Head
Woman Road Warrior

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good bye Venice, hello road

We said good bye to Venice on Saturday. Penny and I like it there a lot. We checked out of our hotel, walked to the beach to rent bicycles. Yes, I did say bicycles. There is a beautiful paved path all along the beaches from Venice to Will Rogers Park. The weather was perfect for the ride, about 76 degrees and breezy.

We got our bikes, and off we went. I snapped a few photos of the beach walk, it is a very colorful place and I quite enjoyed the people watching, from the vacationers, the locals, the artist and the homeless. It is quite an interesting place.

We rode our bikes to the Santa Monica Blvd., a completely different crowd hanging out there. Lots of kid, several tourist buses, lots of people. There is a circus like feel to this beach.

Further down the path we came to the Pacific Palisades, again this beach is very different, fewer people, quieter. Here there were people doing yoga on the beach, very few tourist kinds of things available. I suddenly realized, that there were dolphins along the shoreline. Penny and I stopped to watch for a little while as the dolphins continued swim in circles then up and down the shoreline. As dolphins usually are it was mesmerizing to stand and watch them. I only wish I could have been closer.

Lastly we reached the Will Rodgers Park area of the shoreline. This beach is used by a lot of the local residents of Los Angeles. There were volleyball games being played and coolers and grills everywhere.

We turned around to go back to Venice, we road for a little over two hours and it was wonderful. I am glad we took the time out to ride.

Once back we walked back to the hotel to get the car, say good bye to our littel friends and head out.
Funny thing about the heading our, we drove about 40 miles going the wrong way. So it took us a long time to get to San Bernadino, but what the heck, we got to see Hermosa Beach, Rodondo Beach, and lots of other stuff we otherwise wouldn't have. The nice thing about having no agenda, or serious time schedules, we don't mind getting lost, it's part of the adventure!

Headin Home
Hazel M. Walker
Queen of the Road........or not

Friday, August 24, 2007

Day 24: What's Red and White and Sore All Over?

So, no kidding...what's red and white and sore all over? Two really STUPID Women Road Warriors. Today was an R&R day, which really means a lot of walking and shopping. Only the added feature this time was the Pacific Ocean. We put on our bathing suites, SPF 60 Waterproof Sunscreen, packed our beach bag and took a walk to the beach! We didn't walk far and found a convenient spot to spread our beach towels and enjoyed the view. Hazel made it clear that she was a "walker" and not a swimmer. She was pretty certain that she wasn't going to get in water deeper than her ankles. So I had to play by myself.

The Flat Boys enjoyed a day out of the car and in the fresh air!

After a refreshing dip in the salt water, it was off to explore the beach walk again. I'm so proud of us, we didn't buy anything except lunch. What a wonderful, exciting place. We walked and talked to people. We walked and looked at some really good, and some really bad art. We walked and stopped for lunch. We walked and walked and walked some more, then decided that we should take our really heavy beach bag back to the hotel and come back to the beach walk to rent bicycles! We had absolutely no idea how far we had walked, and temporarily lost our way back to the room. Once back on track, and becoming aware of just how far we had walked, we made the decision to sit on the beach one last time. We walked some more...on the sand, just to make it a challenge...and found an appropriate place to set out our towels and once again enjoy the view.

It wasn't long before I was in the water again bouncing in the waves. I managed to convince Hazel that she should at least wade in up to her knees. It didn't take long and both of us were way out in the water getting bashed about by the breakers. We had a wonderful time! Time to finish our trek back to the hotel to change and think about some dinner. By the time we drug our wet and sandy bodies into the room, we were pretty ready to get out those bathing suites. Oh...My...God! The fronts of Hazel's legs are scarlet, and the backs are white! My forehead is pretty red and we both look like raccoons! We had been out about 6 hours and only put sunscreen on 1 time. We did have enough presence of mind to wear shirts!
We're sore, burned (only on one side), chafed, and lovin' every minute of it! What a great way to spend the day.
Mikey, put a light in the window 'cause we're starting home tomorrow!
Penny S. Head

End of the Line

We are at the end of the line...and there is still so much we have not seen. The California Route of Route 66 is very nice. It is well used and easy to travel, going from old run down areas to very high end malls and homes. We had the opportunity to go to the BNI International Headquarters and see some of the team there. Ivan Misner, founder was at his place on Big Bear, so I took the opportunity to sit at his desk. VERY NICE! BNI HQ is right off of Route 66 in Upland.

We had a great time driving Baby down Sunset Blvd, through the 90210 zip code, and through Bel Air. We took a few shots but traffic is heavy and we did not stop, most of these were taken from the car. We had a lot of fun, kept the top down and snapped lots of photos, unfortunately now I am paying the price of a sunburn again.

We forgot to get the Route 66 end photo so we will go back tomorrow to do that. But we did get photos of the pier. Look at that Beach.

We are staying at The Inn at Venice Beach, a very nice hotel, well decorated and very reasonable rates. Penny is so excited because we have a balcony that she can go out and have a cigarette with out going down to the parking lot. Only problem the hotel only had one room left, and the Holiday Inn found it for us, the only room has one queen size bed for us to share. Good things we are long time friends! LOL

Venice is so very different from Sana Monica. When we got there it was very family oriented, very clean with lots of kids, parents and general tourist. We decided we wanted something different so we went to Venice beach, my favorite beach. What a dramatic changes. Lots of street vendors, authors, singers, artist, head shops, tourist junk, and places to eat. It is like a Carnival and if you like people watching this is the place to be. Today, Penny and I are going to spend the day on the beach watching people or maybe they are watching us!

Gettin our Kicks on Route 66
Hazel M. Walker
Queen of the Road

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day 23: Woo Hoo!!!!! We Made It!

Day 23, and we made it to the end of Route 66! We left San Benardino this morning and made our way to the end of our journey! Since we took a trip on the double six to Upland to visit our friends in the BNI Home Office yesterday, we decided to take the interstate back to that point this morning, and then scoot back to pick up the journey on the actual Route 66 pavement. We have often made bad decisions on this trip, and this was truly a double edged sword! Route 66 goes through Los Angeles. Not on the highway, but through the city of unique individuals. The interstates were glorified parking lots, and Sunset Blvd, never stops! No place to park and get out and walk, and if you did get a chance to pull off the road, you will have a heck of a time getting back in the flow. And the flow moves along at a break neck speed! No time to take pictures, so Hazel just held the camera over the windshield and started snapping! The other side of the story is that we gawked just like the tourists we are at EVERYTHING! The people, the buildings, the everything is just so very awesome!

We buzzed through Pasadena, Highland Park, and through the heart of downtown LA, on through Beverly Hills and down to Santa Monica! The traffic thinned out considerably through Beverly Hills and Belle Air, but once through there, it was Nelly Bar The Door...again! After that whirlwind drive, we were just numb. We walked along the pier stopping in at several shops, but buying nothing (told you we were numb), and decided to move on down the road to Venice Beach. It wasn't until we were back in the car that we realized that we didn't take one single picture of either of us under the Santa Monica Pier sign going woo hoo, or any picture of the Flat Boys celebrating the moment. Our penance is that we will have to go back there on our way out of town to record the momentous event.

We are now in Venice Beach/Marina Del Rey. Stepping onto Venice Beach is like walking into a carnival. The people; tourists, street performers, vendors of all sorts of odd and exotic wares and foods, and local residents combine to perform an endless promenade of gawkers and hawkers. It was after 6:00 PM when we started our search for a room. Once again, bad, bad decisions. We finally found the last affordable room and are finally getting the opportunity to stretch out and relax. We have booked the room for 2 evenings and plan to spend most of tomorrow at the beach getting sand between our toes. I have promised Hazel that I WOULD NOT feed the seagulls.

Before I sign off for the evening, I would like to send out a shout to Manoj Patel. On our way to Upland to visit BNI, we stopped at the famous Wig Wam Motel. Unfortunately, we had already taken a room for the evening, so did not stay there, but Manoj was fascinated by our tale and gave us the tour of 2 of the tee pees. These are really cool, and I highly recommend a stay there if you get the opportunity. The rooms are surprisingly big, with pillow top beds, and beautiful headboards. The grounds are well kept and tidy, and if Manoj represents the rest of the staff, it's a very friendly place. Thanks for the tour Manoj (

~ Penny S. Head