Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Road Trip Rule # 1: Always Stop for Cool Signs

We drove north this morning.
After the LA traffic, the road opens up and there are golden hills, rolling and empty.
Before long, the ocean appears.
Today the sun was out and the water was almost turquoise.
Driving the California coast was our honeymoon drive.
We've done it, or parts of it, at least 6 other times since.
I never, ever, tire of it.

Road trips are one of our favorite ways to travel.
Yes, even with 4 kids.
There are some things we like to do to make our time on the road more fun.
Maybe I'll do a full post on that later.
But for now I'll give you one of the most important rules for our road trips: 
Always Stop For Cool Signs.

Yes, even if it is on the other side of the freeway, even if you missed the exit and you have to back track, even if you are making good time, even if you're making bad time.
Even if.
Because you might never be back that way.
Or, even if you will, the sign might not be there next time.
So stop already.

Today, we saw this place.

Just south of Santa Barbara, right off the freeway, and a place we've been meaning to stop for years.
That was before the rule was instituted.
We always drove past with plans to stop on the way back, or next time.
And then we'd forget, and drive past and....
But not this time.
We stopped.
And I snapped.
And then I messed around with photo shop tonight.
Which one is your favorite?





I'm doing research so I really want to know. 
(yes, I know I need to remove those power lines--isn't photo shop amazing?--but I didn't feel like doing actual work, just playing with colors)

Then the stop got even better because right next to the bowling alley was this place.

I so regret never taking pictures when the restaurant was still there.
Do any of you have pictures of it when it was still open?
Did you eat there?
Check out this picture here.
It was so great.
At least the sign remains.
For now.
Hence the rule, people.
If we hadn't stopped this year, and next year the sign was gone, there might have been tears.
You think I joke.
Look at this awesomeness.

We spent a few minutes driving around the area of these 2 signs and found this little ghost town.
There were all sorts of abandoned, mid century buildings.
Great roof lines, colors, and what was once a bustling area, now all empty.

I'm glad we stopped before everything is gone.
What are your road trip rules?
Are you thinking it's weird that I'm blogging on vacation?
Let me tell you, to actually have the time to write at night, sitting next to a warm fire, without one chore hanging over my head, well, that's my idea of vacation!
But tomorrow night I might opt to go to bed before 10.
Who knows.  I'm on vacation.
You can see more about our trip today over at Lilly and the Brothers.
And come back on Thursday for some fun news.
See you then.
Love from,


Jenny Plumb said...

Oh my goodness! What you did with the signs is so cool! I think you have a great rule. Maybe I'll have to now adopt it.

melissa said...

I like Picture #4 the best. But, it all depends on what you're going for, because all the edits are great. :)

Anonymous said...

I love this rule! I really need to have this rule, even in my own city. I pass signs all the time and think I'll come back at some point to photograph them. And I never do. I like version #3 the best out of the 4 photoshopped ones. I like how the Wagon Wheel text is easier to read and more turquoise… but with more of a vintage treatment than #1.

hennymats said...

Don't think we have anything like that here but maybe I'm just not looking. Or maybe it's because this is a) densely populated so no space to just leave old signs out there and b) signs are just something different here...

I like the last of the edited ones best, btw.

Jen said...

Very cool signs. #4 is my favourite.

Unknown said...

Your signs and photos are amazing. We did the same thing on vacation this summer (http://1088churchill.blogspot.com/2011/07/iconic-highway-301.html) stopped so often our son got carsick :)

Hello, I'm Emily Clare. said...

how funny!! i love off that exit. the motel was pretty cool when it was around, even if it was abandoned.
my husband used to make fun of me when i insisted we stop for signs.

annettethebrunette said...

We have a Wagon Wheel restaurant and motel in Escondido! Leftover from when 395 used to go through the center of town before the 15 was built. And the interior looks almost identical to the one in the pics. Come check it out sometime!

paul said...

both 3 and 4 are great!

jozen said...

i LOVE road trips! we took our girls on their first road trip earlier in the year.. from vancouver bc canada to california!

love your blog! so glad i found it.

meg + andy said...

these are awesome pictures! i really want to take a family road trip...maybe when we're out of the potty-training stage! oh and i like #3 the best. :)

Anonymous said...

I love #2. Precious!

hannah singer said...

wow. i was heading to bed, but now i have a second wind from these fancy photos! xo

y'all find THE coolest treats. love when you share! xo