Good Morning, from the West Coast

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Yesterday, we reached our destination, the Pacific Ocean, and the official end of Route 66. It was an exciting day, and I have all those bittersweet feelings you get when you’re at the end of a big event and it’s finally time to say goodbye to people and head home. There’s lots I want to say about how nice the people we traveled with are, but it’s too soon, and I don’t want to be sad right now to say goodbye to them, because we’ve had such a great time.
We started out yesterday morning from Victorville, and drove through the very last legs of Route 66 – through San Bernadino on Foothills Blvd., where we visited the Wigwam Motels, one of the two sets that are left on Route 66. Phoebe looks great in front of a wigwam.
Wigwam Motel on Foothills, Blvd.
We followed Route 66 as it winds through Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and out to the Santa Monica Pier, when Route 66 “officially” ends, although Earl said it originally ended at Ventura Beach, but they moved it for tourism’s sake. Tons of great pictures along the way. L. A. is very pretty, and quite different than I expected, somehow. I took an unbelievable 535 pictures yesterday, so obviously, I was visually stimulated.
Last Remaining Route 66 Giant Orange Stand
Palm Trees
Stars on Hollywood
Traffic wasn’t really awful; very busy, but we managed to keep the caravan together better than I expected in the traffic. Chicago traffic was MUCH worse.
Kodak Theater
Giant Mexican Muffler Man
We spend an hour on the pier taking pictures and eating lunch, then Earl took us up the Pacific Coast Highway for a while, where we stopped at Farina Beach and walked around in the Pacific Ocean, and I called my mom, and Stephanie called her dad. It was very cool to have sand in my shoes from the Pacific Ocean.
The End
My feet, Pacific Ocean
Earl lives in a little town called Ballard near Buellton and Solvang, north and west of L.A. along the coast. Buellton is the area where the film “Sideways” was set, so lots of wine growing. Also lots of horse ranches. Lots of stars and celebrities have ranches out in the hills in this area, too, so we passed where Whoopi Goldberg lives, and the golf course belonging to the guy who made Beanie Babies, and off in the distance we could see the mountain that’s above Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch. Ron and Nancy Reagan’s ranch was out in this area too.
Earl and his wife Syd have a pretty home we visited for a while. We went to Sovlang for dinner – Solvang’s motto is “More Danish than Denmark” (at least, that’s what the t-shirts said) and the town looks like something out of a storybook; very charming. We ate dinner at a Danish restaurant with the rest of the caravaners, and then drove to Lompoc to stay the night.
Earl's & Syd's House
Solvang, California
Today we turn around and head home – we have four days of driving to do to get back by Tuesday. We’re coming back on I-40 and I-44. If we get a chance, we’ll stop in one or two Route 66 places that we missed on the way out, but mostly we’ll be on the road.
All Photos of “Route 66 Trip – Victorville to Santa Monica Leg”

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  1. Scott Piotrowski

    Venice Beach? Wow! First I’ve heard that! No, the original terminus (1926-1936) was in Downtown Los Angeles at 7th and Broadway. From 1946-1964 it was extended to Lincoln and Olympic in Santa Monica, not the Pier or even Ocean Avenue. From 1964-1975 Route 66 had its western terminus in Pasadena at Colorado and Arroyo Parkway. Then, from 1975-1985, its western terminus was at the Arizona-California border.
    Glad you enjoyed your trip. Hope you’ll come back and explore more of it next time.

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