Tuesday, 24 November 2015

At The Edge of Paradise - Part Four - Deeeeep Down South (ROUTE 66)

From Chicago we are headed south. Deeeeeeep Down South to be exact. Illinois - Missouri - Oklahoma - Texas - New Mexico
We were here exactly a quarter way through our crazy Road Trip journey. Surprised and over the moon that we had made it this far!

First stop Illinois. Now although New York, Niagara and Chicago blew our minds on all separate experiences we were blessed to of shared together. Deep Down South (the start of route 66) it what I came here for. What I got on a plane from England for 8 hours for. This for me is going in deep and experiencing a completely different side to the real America. The grit and dirt of the southern states. The free land and the fresh rustic air. No more shine and polish but we were more than ready. 

The journey from Chicago took 3 and a half hours and as we grew closer to our first destination we immediately noticed the surrounding and landscape change. Something turned and it all became really dry and sandy. Now another thing we forgot to think about before travelling was the weather conditions having such a big important impact on our experience. Especially extreme weather conditions. One minute it's baking of heat, next your in a rain storm. We encountered our first storm along the the way. 

Now obviously it rains in the UK (hello!) but the clouds seemed heavier and lower in the south, the drops were thicker and more loaded. The bucket like drops stayed on our lil 'Thelma's' (car) windscreen for longer, as in the drops didn't trickle off like it does in the UK. Next minute we know we are driving through a full on storm with no vision due to the heavy loads attacking our car. Now the natives are used to this kind of weather saga and as a way to see they all stick their hazards lights on and instead of following the road (because you can't see it) the wife was left to follow the hazard lights of the vehicle in front for guidance. Driving through our first ever storm was a crazy time, we both did the stare of death look to each other (as in we are gonna die look) but we somehow survived and by the end of this road trip we got so used to the storms that we were like oh it's just a storm meh! Okay I'm waffling too much about a bleeding storm for anyone wanting to do Route 66 bare temperamental erratic weather conditions in mind. Oh and you won't die! (survival makes you stronger)

Back to blogging reality and we finally made it to the first historic Route 66 sign we'd seen. We did it! I felt very very happy! Think we kissed it!
Next we went to the official Route 66 museum in Illinois.

We hanged about with the local bikers and I stupidly scalded my right leg on the hot Metallica Harley like a chump but I still felt like a dude, rock hard and loved every single second! (Can we go back?)

From there we headed to our little motel that gave us this little welcome note. See bullet point 8. We thanked them for the tornado tip.Tornado! That's when you know your in deep, deep down south.
Motel aka home somewhere.
***Look away now if you don't like scabby stuff **
My travelling scabby scar to tell the kids about. I think I actually liked my new scar as it has meaning and a story to tell but (southern accent pls) boi id hurt!  
Breakfast: Skillet with biscuit gravy. Everything I ate down south was pretty much deep fried and then deep fried twice more. We ate a lot but (southern accent) boi id taste mighty fine! (Last time)
Gritty story telling diners, lot's of people watching done. We got called ma'am which was just lovely. 
We visited the famous Cadillac Ranch in Texas and left our mark. 'Tracy & Shaz woz ere'. (so Essex) The sprays were given to us by a family travelling locally. I'm not lying or over exaggerating this but every single person we encountered down south were so overly pleasant and friendly. They were delighted to hear all about our lil adventure and the accents that naturally came out of their mouths I wanted to bottle up and use for acting. Southern American is one of my favourite accents as an actress plays by Tennessee Williams and films like True Grit, No Country for Old Men, Mississippi, Colour purple (endless list) all have that unique accent which I'm kind of obsessed with. 
Another thing we noted was time. Everything stood still here.
Next stop Santa Rosa - New Mexico
The famous Blue Hole. Wifey jumped in!
Then we got stormed in. Literally just before her big jump the Big Hole staff member announced via loud speaker that there was an black storm approaching and that the Blue Hole was closing and reopening once the storm had passed. Take cover and don't leave your homes.....okay then.
Home for us. Safety from the storm.
Stormed in!
Once the storm had passed which was pretty flipping scary, loud and I've never seen anything like it. We watched from our motel window with moldy motel blankets around us (backpacking life is real). Very exciting this Living on the Edge of Paradise stuff! We again survived and went to grab some food from the only restaurant in the town which was conveniently across the road. We ate fried food and drank at the bar.
Local bikers that personified effortlessly cool for me. I discretely people watched and listened.

And that's deep down south done. I kind of merged all the different locations together. I wish I took more pictures but at the time we were too busy taking it all in. I will treasure all the vivid pictures in my head forever. I WANT TO GO BACK! Should I go???
Next stop ARIZONA!

Thanks for reading. 
My Look, 
My Style, 
Flora Maria 

This blog is dedicated to all the dreamers out there. Whatever age you are!


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