Oh my god, has it been that long!!!
Well we've travelled a long way since we last blogged in Little Rock. We've since travelled through:
Arkansas - pretty but boring! Full of lush greenery but nothing to see for miles!
Oklahoma - almost instantly drier. There was an immediate sense of land ownership here - e.g. ranches with those white picket fences. But again nothing for miles! We stopped in Oklahoma City. A very clean, pretty place, but very, very quie. We found a bar in the Bricktown district area where I was able to catch United vs. Villareal (shouldn't have bothered!). It's a cool place for eating and drinking so after a bit of sightseeing and meeting a very friendly librarian we went back for the evening. The pub we were in had it's own microbrewery so of course we had to sample the local ale - not bad to be fair!
From here, we met the infamous route 66. What I hadn't realised is that Route 66 doesn't exist anymore. A lot of it has been replaced by interstates and a lot of the road is now inaccessable. Therefore, we've managed to bits of it so far
Then we headed into the Texas Panhandle. We stopped in Amarillo. A perfect example of how Route 66 is both nostalgic and depressing at the same time. Most of the small towns the route used to go through re slowly shutting down leaving abandoned motels and garages at the side of the road. Then you arrive in some places where the business is still thriving, covered in bright neon signs
We stayed in a fantastic motel in Amarillo with an indoor ppol and garden. After getting the free limo service to eat at the famous Big Texan (where they give you a 72oz steak for free if you can eat it in an hour) we went back to the motel bar and chatted with the locals until midnight!
We then headed straight into New Mexico. The home of Santa Fe, Albuquerque and the wrong Las Vegas! The terrain here is far more desert like. And once more, vast open spaces with nothing in between.
We visited both Santa Fe and Albuquerque in one day. Santa Fe is where the rich Americans holiday. Posh boutiques, nice restaurants and cafes. It was a shock to the system to arrive somewhere so touristy on a Sunday when it was heaving
In Albuquerque we went to the state fair, basically like our own fairs/ galas but a lot lot bigger! We then went into downtown where Route 66 is very much still alive and ate at the Frontier Diner - apparently famous!
On route to Arizona we visited a Native American village on top of a Mesa (basically a big rock sticking out of the ground!) where 13 families still live. It was an interesting trip but very different to what we expected
We arrived in Arizona yesterday (Tuesday) and drove through the petrified forest. An area of the Painted Desert where 225m years ago the trees we're turned to rock by a massive flood (that's the short version!)
We're now about to start the 200 mile round trip the Grand Canyon before we get to Vegas on Saturday - and we can't wait!