Driving Route 66 is very much about the journey rather than the destination and part of the fun is staying in a new place every night! There’s a huge range of accommodation options from campgrounds, to big chain hotels but for this post I’m embracing the unique motels on Route 66! I’m talking about the individual ‘independent’ motels. The ones covered in Route 66 memorabilia and the classic neon signs! I’m guilty for staying in some chains during my trip (you can see a full list in my Route 66 2 week itinerary), so I’ve teamed up with some awesome travel bloggers who have contributed some of their experiences of motels on Route 66!
Those that may not have driven Route 66, the 2451 mile road trip from Chicago Illinois to Los Angeles California, possibly don’t realise just how clever and well researched the Disney Pixar ‘Cars’ movies are. When the idea for the Cars movie first came up, John Lasseter, a filmmaker and animator, drove the Route and spoke to as many people as he could to learn about the history of Route 66 and took inspiration from the real life locations that they passed!
In the midst of ‘Chain America’ exists local businesses that are amazing at what they do. Today I’m shining a spotlight on Betty Jane Candies born and bred right here in Dubuque, Iowa! Betty Jane Candies was first established back in 1938. They have 3 store locations in Iowa, 2 in Dubuque and one in Marion, with the Asbury Road (Dubuque) store doubling up as a mini Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory where all of their yummy treats are made!
In all honesty, I don’t think we could have done Route 66 without this guide book. It’s AMAZING. Seriously. Everyone should go out and buy it if you’re planning on taking the trip. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: EZ66 Guide for Travelers by Jerry McClanahan!
My goodness. I’d never been so cold in my life until I moved to Iowa. It’s not unusual for the temperature to be -20c/-4f on a daily basis, it can even get lower than this! I honestly thought temperatures that low only existed in the poles…not in a country where the summers are 30c/86f! Here are my (not so serious) Midwest winter survival tips!
The first time I visited the Dubuque Arboretum was in November, I was hoping to catch it before the ‘end of the season’. There’s a public garden back in my home town in the UK and it’s one of my favourite places so I couldn’t wait to see how the Arboretum compared. But I was too late! The day I visited was the first volunteering day of the ‘winterisation process’. Basically they dig up all the plants and store them in a green house for the winter months so they don’t die! I have since been back several times during the year to enjoy it in its full glory!
Just like the UK, the USA honours soldiers and veterans on the 11th of November. As an expat, I find it really strange that there’s no-one wearing poppies. In the UK, for the 2 weeks leading up to November 11th, lots of places will give out little red paper poppies on a little plastic green stem in return for a donation. This is to represent the poppies that grew in the field at the end of the World War. However Iowa has a unique way of its own to honour veterans!