National Parks Road Trip Day 1-2

Taking our first vacation in 10 years was not an easy thing to do. It seems our daily lives have been so busy and life has been so crazy that this trio was 5 years in the planning. Originally set as our honeymoon trip 5 years ago, things just changed. So finally we are on the road. I am just days away from celebrating my 50th birthday, Rob turned 50 in Jan. So this trip really means a lot to us!

We departed Tampa on Friday (a little later than planned due to car rental issue) and headed up to Chipley Florida in the Panhandle a short 5 hours away to visit with Robs parents before heading west. We had a wonderful dinner and got a good nights sleep. Mom made us a great breakfast and we were on our way. I 10 west here we come!

I had never driven I 10 past Chipley – not much there but green tree lined pavement and this put me right into vacation mode! Mobile, AL was a different story. What a busy place and so much to see going through. Traffic was light and soon after we were heading N on hwy. 49 towards Jackson, MS. this is not (was not) a busy road and I really enjoyed seeing all the sights along the way – rural America at it’s best. Soon we were on I20 westbound cutting off on hwy. 65 north through Louisiana and Arkansas. It was so nice to see these beautiful states and some amazing farmland taking this route. Giant harvesters were working the fields well past sunset. Our nations farmers do not get enough credit for all the work they do! When we hit Little Rock, Arkansas I could see Rob was getting tired… but he would not let me drive so we decided to push on to Ft. Smith and call it a night.

A good nights sleep at Americas Best Inn and Suites we headed out.. I40 west in really nothing like the old Route 66 with everything flying by so fast. We watched the landscape change time and time again. The farm lands and stunning views in the Ozarks of Arkansas soon turned into more open fields and wide vistas of Oklahoma. We had a wonderful lunch at Catfish Roundup that kept us set for the rest of the day. We continued west through OK towards TX., seeing America the way it was meant – via a road trip. The views continued to be even more stunning than imagined. You can check us out on Instagram  NOTACLUEGAL for most of our photos #roadtrip.

Bucket List Stop 1 – Groom, TX Largest Cross. This is a very special spot with sculptures depicting the 14 stations of the cross, a replica of the Shroud of Turin and a beautiful gift shop. Rob and I really enjoyed this stop.

Bucket List Stop 2 – Cadillac Ranch! We had to stop at this attraction, a dream of min since childhood! Yes we left our mark. It was fun watching everyone young and old alike enjoying this small piece of Americana. You should go – and don’t forget t take your can of spray paint!

Soon the sun was setting  – though we were chasing it hard (speed limit in TX is 75 mph).Parts of Route 66 that you can still drive on are 35. We did drive some of it for fun but really is a difference from the interstate and unfortunately we had many more miles to cover. After a stunning sunset we finally decided to stop for the night just past Albuquerque. Now that is a huge city! We passed the Route 66 Casino that lit up the night in the desert and soon arrived in Grant where the bed at Super 8 just swallowed us up! This is where I sit now – so excited for the day. In just a few hours we will arrive at Petrified Forest, Winslow, AZ , then our destination for the day – Grand Canyon South Rim! Watch us on FB and Instagram for photos – I am sure there will be many! Time to hit the road!

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