Friday, October 10, 2008

Takin' it easy and letting the Eagles dictate our direction

This a.m. we dined on the free continental breakfast musings that the McMotorLodge chain hotel offered with our paid room tab. While I poured, flipped and manned our pre-mixed and pre-measured waffles, S eavesdropped on the lively conversations occupying the geriatric rotunda taking up 99.9% of the remaining room in the designated free breakfast nook arena.

The widescreen LCD tv hanging precariously in the corner of the nook was blasting the news of the latest DOW droppage, and it was fun to listen to the ongoing debate in the room about the upcoming election and who was voting for whom and why whom was voting for him.

Filled to the brim with far too many baked goods and not nearly enough fresh fruit, we left our room card key behind and journeyed to the old section of Cottonwood in search of the soul of the town. We found it a mile or two down Main Street, well away from the glare of the chain motels and WalMart supercenter parking lot lights.

Stopping at a sprawling antique and collectible haven known as Larry's Antiques on Main, both S and I hooted and hollered at each other from one end of the lot, to the second floor of the barn, to room after room of just plain stuff.

This rooftop parking lot of rusty relic'd pedal cars was too good not to digitize.

One item in particular caught my eye, but alas, there would be no room in our import truckster's bonnet for such an elaborate and awkward Arizona souvie...

Leaving Larry's behind, I spied this sign and snapped a shot of it as reference...for an identical sign that I someday plan to build and erect on the front lawn of my Main Street house.

Course, I'll swap my small town's name for Cottonwood...and maybe make Buzz and Todd a little more animated. And paint the Vette the correct shade of blue.

Eventually making our way to State Highway 17 northbound took us to 1-40 where a half tank of petrol later, we found ourselves exiting onto Winslow's stretch of Route 66.

Finding THE corner was easy, as the Mother Road guided us there on her Winslow loop with all the care of a, well, a mother. We hopped out of the car, plopped ourselves down in the plaza and drew next years anniversary destination state from the jar. The corner itself was alive with visitors and shutterbugs, anxious to become one with the lyrics of a 30+ year old song written by Jackson Brown and performed by the band that brought us such classic hits as Hotel California, Sunset Grill, and Tequila Sunrise.

With several cheesy poses of ourselves with the statue, and S standing astride the "flatbed Ford" pickup truck parked next to the plaza, we took our jar (now with one less slip of paper in it's belly) and buzzed over to nearby Holbrook for our traditional wedding anniversary

The town of Holbrook boasts not only one of the last surviving Wigwam Motels, but also the only exclusively Italian eatery (unless you can claim Pizza Hut as Italian) within a days drive of the AZ/NM border.

Unfortunately, the restaurant wouldn't open it's dinner hour doors for another hour, so we went in search of Holbrook's public library to sit and ponder our next years anniversary state pick. My library sniffing gene proved pinpoint accurate once again as it only took a few right turns and several more left turns to locate the town's public library. I pulled my iBook and shared the joints wifi access, while Wifey got down to brass taxes with the library's copy of Cottage Living.

The hour we needed to kill sped by in record time and our chops were a'lickin for some pizza pie. Now, while some may have theorized that our choices for enjoying a "good" pizza may have seem limited by our location of the moment, the Mesa Italiana restaurant on Holbrook's main drag surpassed our expectations for both product and experience.

The crust was a hand-tossed variety, with minimal bubble burns, indicating someone was actually watching this pizza being baked, as opposed to just sticking it into a conveyor belt oven. The mushrooms were fresh, the veggies sliced, not diced, and the sausage, while served as chunks instead of sliced (my preference) was spiced and flavorful.

We ordered enough p-pie for a filling meal with a few slices left to occupy the togo box and we were once again off.

Bombing straight through the AZ/NM border, with a gas and sip stop in 'Que-town our stamina finally ran out in Santa Rosa where the bright red neon sign of the Sun 'n Sand Motel on 66 beckoned our road worn bodies to it's vintage bosom.

So here we sit, lying in bed, finishing off the rest of our pizza from dinner...just as we did 10-years ago this night.

Oh yes, for those interested, for next years trip we pulled yet another A-name state, Alabama.

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