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July 18, 2012

Caves, Elvis and Bass Fishing!

Our final destination on our mini Route 66 tour was Springfield, Missouri. 
Along the way, we stopped at Cuba, Missouri to see their outdoor
Mural Gallery.    
We also stopped the Fanning 66 Outpost and General Store to see the world's largest rocking chair and purchase a few Route 66 souvenirs.  

No the dog didn't join us, but she the girls were in love with her. 

Once we finally reached Springfield, the girls were excited about visiting the Fantastic Caverns..."America's only drive-thru cave". 

I have to admit this cave tour was pretty darn interesting.

 Josie has now decided that she wants to be a "bat" for Halloween after enjoying this cave tour.

Our motel that evening was this infamous Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven.  Elvis was even rumored to have stayed here.

It was definitely charming (including the $75 room rate which included a separate bedroom with bunk beds for the girls) and a Route 66 themed lobby/breakfast area.

For dinner, we enjoyed the downtown Springfield Brewing Company.   YUM!

The next morning, we ventured to the Granddaddy of all outdoor stores...Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World!

As you can imagine, Chris was in fishing heaven.

The girls picked out our next boat (just kidding).

For lunch we dined at Hemingway's Blue Water Cafe complete with a 30,000 gallon tank.
We then hit the road and drove 7+hours back to Springfield Illinois where we stayed at the Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center.

As I said on my earlier post, our room wasn't fancy but the decor, hotel 50s diner and $65 room price was perfect.

In an ideal world, we wouldn't have jammed in 1,500 miles in 4 days.  We would have spent multiple days in St. Louis and Springfield MO.  In 2013, we're actually toying with the idea of skipping a year at our Lake MI cottage rental and extending our Route 66  vacation tour out west.  We'll need to save up a vacation fund first. We definitely enjoyed this road trip.

 For more ideas on where to travel along Route 66, be sure to visit this Legends of America website.

I would also highly recommend stopping at the Welcome Centers along your drive.  Each Center was more than happy to share all kinds of free maps, brochures and advice about where to visit.  Happy trails!


Lee said...

Oh, what FUN!
Thanks for sharing it with us!

Nellie said...

What a wonderful trip! It looks like everyone was having a great time!

My Vintage Mending said...

I am telling you that bass pro shop is amazing. We spent hours in there. Take a look at Dog Wood Canyon if you go that way again. The girls would love the bike ride and the beauty. Chris would love the Trout. Missouri is a hidden gem. You all hit the best of the best. Fun to see Chris and Emma standing exactly where Jerod and I stood last year..smiles..Renee

GardenOfDaisies said...

I bet the girls will remember this for a long time. I mean what could be better than the worlds largest rocking chair? We used to have a show on our public tv station called "Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations" and it was a hoot. Your trip reminded me of this.

Pam Kessler said...

That is a HUGE trip. I love those hotels you stayed in. It all looks so fun!

Cheryl G. said...

Those murals are amazing! That cave is so neat! We have a cave near here called Timpanogos Caves but you have to hike up over a 1000 feet to get there.
I do love Josie's bat hat! So darling!
Looks like you had so much fun! The places sound so interesting!
I love when there is a resident dog! We always gravitate towards them too!
Even tho you drove a ton, I'm sure the trip was priceless no matter how much time was spent!

NanaDiana said...

Now THAT is quite a title...and I was wondering how you were going to tie that all together. I see you did it quite nicely. Blessings and I have loved traveling along with you- xo Diana

vintage grey said...

Such a fabulous vacation on Route 66! The cave looks so neat to be in!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures!! xo Heather

aprilmecheelesdulllife said...

I enjoyed my little trip through pictures!! Thank you for sharing them!

Jboo said...

Wow -- what a fun trip! Love those murals! Am afraid the cave might have freaked me out a little. A dog really looks like it belongs in your girls' future! :)

vivian said...

I'm so glad you had such a good time. but I have to ask..How well do your girls get along on a 7 hour car ride? lol! my kids would have been totally on each others nerves at abou tthe 3 hour mark!
Loved seeing the pictures.. especially the one of you and the girls together!
well, I now have 25 minutes to get ready to go to work.. which includes watering flowers and feeding the stray big white cat!
happy day!

Donna said...

You guys always have the most fun! Gotta love Josie and the bat hat, how cute! And the vintage cars and Elvis, oh, my!!

Heather said...

So many miles, but, boy, it sounds like you had a good time!! Have you started work on the bat costume yet? lol!

Jodee said...

What a fun vacation! It looks like everyone had loads of fun! Great pictures!

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Everything is so interesting! The caves look like such an experience and that rocker and the girls and Chris in the Bass Pro Shop! What fantastic trip highlights!

Janet said...

Looks like so much fun! My sister and her family were just at the caves last week!

Karin said...

Oh my gosh...I LOVE IT! :) I adore anything from that era and I loved seeing your pictures. What a fun idea to do a whole trip like that!