Grand Canyon & Vegas

After a 6-hour drive from Phoenix, we arrived at the Grand Canyon just before sunset on Friday evening, allowing us to quickly unpack before finding a terrace to get a spectacular view of the sun setting beyond the canyon. Once again, photos fail to do any justice to the sights, as much as we tried to get the perfect shot. We weren't at the Grand Canyon for long, having both visited on previous visits to the States, but we did get chance to do a couple of small walks on the Saturday morning, affording some further great views, before heading to our final destination: Las Vegas. 

Travelling to Niagara (2)

We spent a couple of days in Cleveland, Ohio, which we didn;'t know much about but is actually quite a bustling place. Its main attraction is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum, which is huge and contains tonnes of memorabilia and information about bands and singers who've been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Who, Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, etc. There was loads to look at, watch and read so we spent a good three hours in here without really realising - definitely worth seeing. We also visited the Science Museum, which wasn't massive but had a NASA exhibition (a large number of astronauts, including Neil Armstrong, are from Ohio) and a biomedicine exhibition that was also intersting. A floor up, there were a number of 'hands-on' Sciencey experiments, probably designed more for kids but kept us busy for a long while! Annoyingly Kirsty beat me by 1/100th of a second on the reaction timer, which I wasn't very happy about! I also had the best meal of the trip so far in Cleveland - a fantastic prime rib steak in a place called the Chocolate Bar, where Kirsty also discovered chocolate orange martinis - her new favourite drink! 

Travelling to Niagara (1)

We checked out of Washington on Wednesday morning and headed to the Six Flags amusement park in Maryland. This was a great theme park, and wasn't particularly busy either on the day we went so we managed to hit most of the major rides with only a few minutes wait. The rides were great, and probably a bit longer (in distance and time) than rides at Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, but there wasn't a stand-out ride that was that much different from anything at home.

Washington, D.C.

Greetings from Washington! After a pretty smooth flight we landed in DC early Saturday afternoon, and made it to our hotel in Dupont Circle - around a mile from the White House - fairly easily. Later the same day, we took a wander down to check out the White House. It is quite weird to see a building in real-life that you have seen countless times on the news, in films, etc. as it looks exactly as you know it does. We have no idea of whether Barack was at home at the time but we didn't catch a glimpse! 

Is this the way to Amarillo?

We left Oklahoma City and were on our way to Texas early on Sunday morning. Our next stop was Amarillo, which of course meant listening to THAT song a couple of times. In Amarillo there is the Big Texan Steak House, which basically offers a 72oz steak and a tonne of sides for free, provided you can eat it within one hour. It has been featured on Man Vs Food, but almost a stone of steak is way too much for either of us so we took to the all-you-can-eat steak buffet instead.

We're off to see the Wizard

Our trip across America continues smoothly and we have now entered our fourth (of eight) states that we will be visiting - Oklahoma. Yesterday, we took one of only two planned detours we intend to make from the route, as we headed down to Branson, Missouri, to visit the Ripley's Believe it or Not emporium that they have there. Basically a collection of oddities and strange things from various places in the world, which was a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Seven score and nine years ago

Seven score and nine years ago Abraham Lincoln made his now infamous "four score and seven years ago" speech, two years before he was assassinated. He is considered one of America's finest and most influential presidents, and revered in Springfield, Illinois, where he spent much of his adult life and is now buried alongside most of his family. On Wednesday morning, we checked out the Lincoln memorial and tomb where he is buried, before hading into downtown Springfield to see the Lincoln museum. We also had a tour of the house he land his family lived, which is now owned by the state.

And we're off!

After a long but pretty painless 22 hours of travelling, we picked up our car and checked into our Chicago hotel on Monday night. A ludicrously early start on Tuesday morning meant that we were able to get breakfast before anyone else in the hotel, before heading to the interstate to join every other Tom, Dick and Harry trying to get into downtown Chicago during early rush hour. Worth it when we arrived at Chicago, though, and checked out Lake Michigan (which is massive, and also surprisingly clear), before heading to the official start of Route 66 on foot to get our photo with the sign.


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