After our first day enjoying things at the beach we got a later start on day 2 of our 12 day cross country trip than I had wanted to. We hit some rough rush hour traffic as we headed north up the 405 and crossed east towards Hollywood. We finally arrived at about 10 AM at Mann's Chinese Theatre.
For those who don't know this is right along the Walk Of Fame where actors, writers and directors get their stars in the sidewalk. In front of the theatre itself though is cement where stars throughout the years have placed their hand and feet impressions and signed their names. We had a fun time walking around and seeing our favorite stars on the Walk Of Fame. We also had fun putting our hand where the stars once had. The kids loved it. Here's a few shots.
Two of my favorite actors are James Woods and Christopher Walken. Also above is Marilyn Monroe and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
We were running a little late leaving Hollywood. The wife made us stop at every gift shop it seemed. By the time we got out of there it was past 11:30. Sure, an hour and a half doesn't seem much for Hollywood and all it has to offer, but we were on a schedule, so we could see the other things we wanted to along the way on day 2.
We headed east out of Hollywood passing Pasadena, Azusa and on towards San Bernardino. Along the way we passed Baldwin Park.
RoadTripUSA.com was a great help in us planning our trip and I highly recommend them if you are planning on traveling anywhere in the USA, check them out.
We picked up the I-15 North to Barstow and then I-40 East from there to Needles, which is right on the California/Arizona border. Along the way we had to endure the Mojave desert in our car with no air conditioning. It wasn't too bad though with the windows cracked. Our backs were sweaty when we got out of the car throughout most of the 12 day cross country trip. I can't remember exactly how long it took us, but it was about 5 hours. We decided not to take Route 66 into Oatman, AZ, but we did end up taking it out.
Oatman, Arizona is a place you just have to go. Here's a quick story on Oatman history. Back in the mining days a bunch of miners came here and numbered in the 10's of thousands. When the mines slowed down they deserted the place leaving their mules behind. The mules continued to breed. Now mules roam the streets at will and we even saw a couple wild ones running in the hills. You just have to visit it. Donkey's and Mules are one of my favorite animals.
We stayed in Oatman for awhile and shopped in all the interesting stores and the kids had fun feeding the donkeys some carrots. We took Route 66 north out of Oatman headed for Kingsman. This was the most impressive drive I've ever taken and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. It was simply incredible and it's hard to explain exactly why. It's a slow drive with hairpin turns and the views are just beautiful. I will remember it for the rest of my life. We saw wild donkeys running in the hills while we drove and there were a few abandoned gold mines that offered tours along the way, but we just didn't have time to stop.
From Kingman you can catch the I-40 again, but we took Route 66 north towards Peach Springs and the Hualapai Indian reservation where our planned stop was. We stayed the night at the Hualapai Lodge which was $100+ a night. Both the hotel and the restaurant were overpriced. We got in about 8PM and the restaurant and their "salt water pool and spa" closed at 9PM. We decided to eat first -- since we hadn't eaten for a long time -- and then we'd go for a quick little dip .
We figured we'd be done in 30 minutes or so since we got some pretty basic dishes. I got some sort of Indian wrap like a burrito kind of thing for example. It took them more than 15 minutes to take our order and then took them another 45 minutes to even serve us even though the restaurant was fairly empty at that hour. So the pool had closed by the time we got out of there. The kids were pretty disappointed. I was disappointed in the food and price.
We went back to the room and I took a shower. The shower sucked. The showerhead was messed up and water was spraying out of the threads. When I climbed out there was water all over the floor from the leak. Then I climbed into bed while the kids washed up. One of the kids used the toilet and it overflowed.
I was furious at this point. It was nearing 11 PM by this time and I picked up the phone and called the desk. They offered another room, which I took, even though I was pissed at having to repack everything that was out for 4 people. When I mentioned all of the problems and that I'd appreciate some sort of discount for my troubles because of their crappy maintenance the girl at the desk seemed to scoff. Then I told her I'd appreciate a full refund and that we'd just leave.
I was really pissed off at this point. The wife talked me into just staying there and I got dressed and got the other key from the desk (they didn't even have the courtesy to come to the room to drop it off or offer to help move our bags to the other room). I lugged the 100 Lbs. of luggage to the other room and finally got to sleep after going out for a smoke. It was near midnight by that point.
Needless to say I would not recommend the craphole known as the Hualapai Lodge. We passed a little hotel about 15 minutes before we got there, so if you're heading up Route 66 from the west I'd suggest you stop there instead before you get raped and sodomized by incompetent and unhelpful people.
Day 2 as a whole though went well. We slept away as Day 3 approached.