Standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona

Trip Start Sep 16, 2011
Trip End Nov 20, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Monday, October 10, 2011

The day begins with Elwood declaring it's Daddy’s special day today. I mention that it not Daddy’s birthday, but Elwood is insistent that it is still Noah’s day and everything has to be special for Noah today. I handle this with all the good grace you would expect from me....

So we have a sugar filled breakfast and a splash in the pool, and 'celebrate’ Noah’s special day.

We are in Grants New Mexico.  We stayed on Route 66 last night, and it is opposite a freight train line.  Massive freight trains came past every 20 minutes all day and night.  And we are so holiday delirious, we thought this was charming!

So we head out to a park which we feel is rather ambitiously named ‘Playground of Dreams’.  We find it and it is the best playground I have ever seen.  Loads of things to climb and lots of things for imaginary play – Elwood loved it so much.  We regret our earlier cynicism.

Now this morning, I have finally learnt my lesson, and New Mexico was not going to make a fool of me any longer, with its surprisingly cool days.  So I wore warm clothes, and sat in the baking sun at the playground of dreams, thinking about all the precious leg tanning moments I was missing out on. I would hazard a guess that it does get considerably hotter around here, as the New Mexicans were wearing jackets and in some cases beanies.  But we were hot.

Our next stop was Wal-Mart for supplies and ice-cream for the lovely boy.  We normally buy salads, bread and cheese for lunch, and just to mix it up a little today I bought  ‘ Hawaiian Sweet Rolls’.  Let me tell you – the Hawaiians know what they are doing with bread rolls.  Beautiful.  Apparently ‘there is an aloha in every bite’.  I must say – I am feeling it.

So we continue heading west for a couple of hours into another state.  The drive is fantastic red desert, massive rock faces all around and brilliant blue skies.  One surprise though, a massive snow capped mountain on the horizon.  That is not what we expected to find in the desert.

And so we arrive at Winslow, Arizona.  I have had the ‘Eagles’ song in my head which mentions Winslow, Arizona (Take it Easy) for the entire holiday.  Elwood falls asleep moments before we arrive so all we can really do is leap out of the car and take photos on the (alleged) corner that the line in the song is about. Not knowing the song, Noah was a slightly reluctant participant but did ‘stand on the corner’.   Sadly there was no girl (my lord) in a flat bed flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at him.  Ha!

We took some fabulous photos in the town and then made our way to Flagstaff

Now, there was something about Flagstaff which I had read which concerned me greatly.  "Since the 1950’s Flagstaff has been a pioneer in combating light pollution, to help preserve the dark sky at night.  Flagstaff has declared itself the first (and so far only) “International Dark Sky City".”  And so it seems, they are not as crazy about the neon sign as we are.    To us, that seems quite un-route-66-ish.  We are unsure how we will take to this town.

Well, it was love at first sight.  Route 66 is one of the main streets in town, and although rather shy on neons, it does have some noteworthy signs.  The place was bustling.  It has a ski town vibe, and seems so flourishing and vibrant. We did have one odd moment, when Noah had me hanging out the window taking photos, and at red light we realise we are listening to ‘Living on a Prayer’ really loudly.  Even we know that’s not a cool.  And Noah also realised he was inadvertently pointing at a man crossing the road, whilst the man was looking directly at him.  Again, not cool.

We found a fantastic park for Woody to have a run. He was clambering over everything and when he scaled everything he could in the play ground he started on the trees (inspired by watching older kids).  Noah and I were impressed (and slightly fearful) at watching him climb trees and then pretty much throw himself out of them.  We were clapping and encouraging him until he got his leg stuck in a tree.  He was being brave but looked really upset and Noah and I were both trying to act calm whilst we attempted to dislodge his knee.  It was a hair raising few moments and I was thinking we would have to get some help, but luckily we were able to free him without damaging him.  Phew.

We check into a great motel in Flagstaff and head straight for the pool.  I take the steaming hot tub and the boys take the less hot pool.  Elwood tries to get Noah and I to play a game with him that involves throwing a wet tennis ball at his head.  Given there is CCTV and we realise how easy these things can be ‘misconstrued’, we decide to not to do that.

In the hotel, Elwood devours some chickn’n’dumplins and falls asleep, exhausted, hugging Woody the Cowboy.

Noah and I are on a mission at the moment to achieve greatness, and get things ticked off our (my) list.  So, here we are munching Hawaiian rolls over our laptops.  We are excited – tomorrow is going to be a beauty.

Aloha friends and family.
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