The Full route

We made it. 4,700 miles. Here’s the full route:



Day Thirteen - St. Louis

st. louis

Relaxing morning, read by the pool, swam in the pool, snackplate and sandwiches for lunch. Discussion of vegetarianism. Then we cleaned up and went out for a drive.

st. louis

Past the Knaup’s old house in Webster Grove and then downtown for a bit.

st. louis

We had dinner at a yummy pizza place Pi in U-City. Great old downtown-ish neighborhood. Beautiful old homes and some really cute new trendy shops. The bookstore across the street, Left Bank Books, looked worth spending more time. Marianne chose a special pizza with green peppers, banana peppers, and olives. It was a surprisingly fabulous combo.

st. louis

st. louis

Then we went to the infamous Ted Drewes for frozen custard.

Well it’s the last night of our road trip. Heading back to Chicago tomorrow morning - can’t wait to see R&F! It’s been such a fun trip. Learned so much, saw so much, ate so much. And I had the BEST travel partner.

Day Twelve - Tulsa to St. Louis

This morning we drove the final leg back to the midwest - arriving in St. Louis to stay with Pat’s grandma for two nights. We stopped in a small town in eastern Oklahoma for breakfast on Route 66 called Clanton’s Cafe.


It was an awesome, delicious breakfast of pancakes and french toast (and a biscuit on the side). The restaurant was terrific and regulars were excellent - lots of cowboy hats and wranglers.

Got pulled over by a cop about 30 minutes from our destination. Luckily only a warning!!! That was our first encounter with a policeman. When I told him my wallet was in the backseat, he said ok, you can get it, just please don’t pull out a gun. (and he wasn’t joking) He also asked us if we bought any drugs out west! (What the hell is wrong with people!? Is that a normal line of questioning for speeding?)

We have had a nice relaxing stay in Ladue. Met up with Taffy and David for dinner last night. We went to Lorenzo’s in The Hill neighborhood. David drove us around and showed us that hood after dinner. Super neat old shotgun houses. Lots of nice italian specialty stores.

Day Eleven - Santa Fe to Tulsa

We woke up early to check out and hit the road. Stopped at a Whole Foods again for coffee and fruit for the car. Not nearly as fun as the store in Austin. Made us miss Austin. We had a long day driving – but made it all the way to Tulsa! We stopped right off I-40 for dinner. ‘Local Table’. The food was ok, not necessarily a regional twist. Mine was better than Pat’s, I had a Moroccan cous cous with vegs and local peaches, which was very tasty. We hopped back in the car and drove slightly further and crashed at a motel.

Day Ten - Santa Fe


The next morning we drove an easy 45 minutes or so to Santa Fe. We pulled right into town and parked in front of the cathedral square. Surrounded by very cute, all adobe buildings. We booked a swanky-ish hotel right in the middle of the oldest part of town - Hotel St. Francis. It was recently renovated and is now contemporary, all whites and grays, very relaxing palate. Our room was one of the nicest/cleanest we stayed in so far on the trip (but we still liked the quirky Austin Motel best).


First had breakfast at Cafe Pasquale – Pat had the most interesting cheese grits in a skillet. They were scrumptuous. I had a hot breakfast with lots of healthy grains, served with butter and syrup. It was also great. We then strolled through town, visited the churches (paintings of christ on the cross at the main church were neat, sort of folksy and spiral stairs at the smaller church off the square) and also the New Mexico history museum. Bought a necklace made of corn from a Native American outside the museum.



Popped into some shops (they’re all selling the same 5 things), had lunch from the food carts (hibiscus juice) in the square and listened to some live music from a small stage (felt like a weekend festival but it was a Wednesday). We walked through the newer art warehouse neighborhood near the train station and tried to get into the farmer’s market, but it wasn’t open. We also drove outside of town to see the outdoor opera house and drive through some residential neighborhoods. Had a beer on the rooftop of the Coyote Cafe. Unfortunately, we got bored of this town pretty fast. It was very quaint, but seemed geared toward a slightly older crowd.


We took a short siesta after checking in to our hotel in the afternoon and then went to an early dinner at The Shed, thinking we’d beat the crowd. No chance, the hostess already had a long list before they were opening at 5:30. We didn’t wait long however, and sat at a nice table in the corner (good for people watching, ask me about the trio in the corner next to us). More ‘New Mexican’ food - “christmas red and green sauce”. Tried an interesting raspberry soup.



After dinner we stopped back in the square for some more music and people watching, then crashed at our hotel. Tried to blog that night but too tired. Nice sheets.

Day Nine - Grand Canyon

grand canyon

We left Jim and Sue’s early in the morning and drove up to the Grand Canyon. I had been twice before, but Beth had never been. It’s impossible to describe and has to be witnessed in person.

grand canyon

We got our picture taken with all the other tourists on the rim.

grand canyon

grand canyon

We hiked around the rim trail and down the Bright Diamond trail. Due to the heat and starting the hike at noon, we turned around before getting to the plateau point.

grand canyon

The food at the cafeteria near parking lot E was surprisingly good…

new mexico

We drove hard and made it to New Mexico…Santa Fe tomorrow.

Day Nine - Drive

Since the Grand Canyon, we drove ALL afternoon to Albuquerque. We stopped for dinner at ‘Sadie’s’ – for ‘New Mexican’ Mexican food. Well that is indeed what we had.


Chile con queso (melted velveeta with some salsa), delicioso!





Then these huge platters of enchiladas buried in sauce and beans. It was yummy and definitely an American version of Mexican. Felt like eating at Chi Chi’s in the Westgate Mall. But it was great and a fun super crowed restaurant and a HUGE restaurant with tons of rooms. After dinner, we went a bit further north on the highway toward Santa Fe and stopped at another fabulous motel for the night.

Day Eight - Prescott

arizona 1

arizona 2

We rolled into Prescott just before lunch and met my uncle at his motorcycle shop.

arizona 3

After Mexican food at Maya, we went to his bicycle shop.

arizona 4

We took off on some rental bikes to a nearby trail.

arizona 5

And then went to his shop where he is restoring vintage industrial sewing machines!

arizona 6

After several beers and meeting up with my aunt Sue for dinner, we were beat and needed to rest up for the grand canyon…

Day Seven - Austin to Tucson

Long drive today…we enjoyed watching the landscape change. Drove about 13 or 14 hours through brutal sun, a few scattered thunderstorms, and a beautiful sunset.




(Scroll down…we added pics to older posts as well.)

Day Six - Austin


mellow johnnys

This morning we went straight to Lance’s bike shop on West 4th: Mellow Johnny’s. Not only did Pat want to check out the shop (it’s huge and has everything a bike lover could need), but we rented bikes from them as well. There’s also a fantastic coffee shop that is basically part of the bike shop. We had a yummy coffee, picked up our bikes and hit the road.

bike trail

Austin has amazing bike/running trails along the river - on both sides. We did a big loop. It was really crowded with joggers, runners, walkers, strollers, dogs, etc. Seems like a neat Saturday morning ritual in Austin. Everyone here is super fit!


We crossed the river back and forth on different bridges a couple times. Stopped by the Austin Motel to check out (and book the Homestead). Then back towards the shop to return the bikes and explore that side of the river more. We biked down west 6th which is more for locals and has neat neighborhoods – cute bungalows and houses on hilly roads.

We were dripping with sweat by then and starving so we grabbed lunch Garrido’s around the corner. It was air conditioned, refreshing and they served us delicious cheese enchiladas. Then we walked back across another bridge to South Congress to get the car. We stopped first at Uncommon Objects to pick up a couple goodies for the house.

uncommon objects

We checked into our new hotel and eventually headed back out to The Continental Club on South Congress Street to see some live music. It was a country band and everyone was dancing the Texas Two Step!

austin carts

We got some food from the food trucks (and Home Slice Pizza) and are now resting up for a big driving day tomorrow.

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