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I never realised until recently just how exciting it would be to drive historic old Route 66. In fact, I seemed to be the only one excited about it at all. Not that I can explain the excitement but it just has this old world charm that I wanted to be a part of. But do you know we were actually going to go to the Grand Canyon via the 40 because everyone else is more excited about a giant hole in the ground than in a beat-up old single lane highway (go figure) – but a lovely lady in Kingman happened to convince the rest of the team that Route 66 was the way to go and I won the debate.

It was totally worth it.

This one's for you, Chris.

We learned about Burma Shave, Kasey bought an actual scorpion to eat, and Michelle convinced a dubious woman in a gorgeous little diner to make her a peanut butter malt – which actually tasted far better than anyone expected. We also discovered that Route 66 will take a hell of a lot more than 20 extra minutes to get to the Grand Canyon. Because you have to stop. And photograph things. And it’s only a single lane so if you get stuck behind a giant truck full of tyres, you have to slow down and suck it up. But you’ll make it to the Grand Canyon eventually, and that hole in the ground is actually way more awe-inspiring than I thought. 

Other things we’ve learned on the road:

 
* Americans give predictive directions. Eg: “You’re gonna make a right out of our driveway, and then up the road about a quarter of a mile to old Route 66”
 and they don’t understand the following Australianisms:
“Chuck a U-ie
“It was the dodgiest pub”
“Do you have coffee that isn’t percolated?”
 
* Americans are actually quite nice. For instance, if you’re lying on the cold concrete holding your face, a passing American woman will stop and ask if you’re okay. Your Australian friend will just laugh at you and ask “Aww, is your face falling off?” He will also laugh at the American woman who asks if you’re okay – he thinks face falling off is far too hilarious to warrant concern. He doesn’t even think there’s anything too alarming about you suddenly wanting to lie down on the concrete because it’s cold – just so long as you don’t do it in the middle of a department store. That would be embarrassing.
 
* Costco is better than I thought it would be. I found an enormous teddy bear almost bigger than me for only $29. I dragged him around the shop for awhile but didn’t buy him because I couldn’t afford to buy him a seat on the plane.
 
*And finally, we learned that LA is the most fantastic place in the world. Everyone is friendly and happy and totally willing to help you out if you need it. But if you don’t have a car – 
 
your life will suck
 
That one was courtesy of Terry, our friendly, happy, totally helpful motel receptionist in Los Angeles.