Gateway to imperfection…

My Home-as-Scrapbook philosophy makes me constantly re-invent displays and vignettes around the house. I’ve been hauling this old gate around for years, but finally found a wall for it in my new home office.

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It has been so much fun pulling all my priceless treasures out of shoeboxes to display them. I’m using all kinds of things to connect them to the gate…binder clips, clothespins, S-hooks, a bracelet, and…vintage jewelry. Clip earrings are the most fun!

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Day 3 – Albuquerque to Shamrock

375 miles (not enough!)
Gas was $2.49/gallon in Albuquerque

Woke up to snowflakes this morning in Albuquerque, but it was all gone by the time we got outside, so Panda will have to wait to experience snow (probably not too long!). I spent some time in Santa Rosa, New Mexico today, which I missed on last year’s trip. It’s one of those cool historic towns on Route 66 that was bypassed with the building of I-40. It must have been ultra-cool back in the day, with neon lights to rival any town of that size. It’s sad to see the empty buildings languish today.

We’re not going all the way to Chicago, but…Panda don’t care…

Photo by Stephanie Roberts, http://ObsessiveHobbyist.com

 

One final stop of the day: Cadillac Ranch, the ultimate folk art installation in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere. The first time I visited this mecca was in the summer and it was crawling with people — hard to get a clear shot of a single car. So it was a special joy to have the whole place to myself today. I’d spent the day listening to a classic rock station from Amarillo, and Keith Richards’ Autobiography, Live, read on Audible by the delicious Johnny Depp. So, I don’t know why, but it seemed fitting that the song playing as I drove away from the Cadillacs was “Free Bird.”

Ended up in Shamrock, Texas. Wanted to keep driving, but there was heavy fog, so we hunkered down in a hotel in the shadow of the historic U Drop Inn.

Photo by Stephanie Roberts, http://ObsessiveHobbyist.com

Summerland Beach Cafe (is awesome)…

Summerland Beach Cafe
2294 Lillie Avenue
Summerland, California
805-959-1019
http://summerlandbeachcafe.com

An idyllic beachside location in an 1893 Victorian home in an adorable California coastal town just south of Santa Barbara…what else does a cafe need? How about a giant DOG FRIENDLY sign??? That’s all it took to grab my attention. I love dog people. They’re the best kind of people persons. I think I would walk into a burning building if it had a DOG FRIENDLY sign on it (wait a minute…I would definitely do that!). So I was SO pleasantly surprised that the Summerland Beach Cafe is not only DOG FRIENDLY, but also a charming, homey, adorably-decorated cafe with REALLY GOOD FOOD. Bonus!!!

I love restaurants in old houses, and this one sits just around the corner from the iconic Big Yellow House, a long-shuttered house/restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway. The Summerland Beach Cafe has occupied a very cool old Victorian house, originally built in 1893, since 1981, and the walls still boast the original painted murals. A super-nice guy we ran into on the way out turned out to be owner Jeff Melnik, who told us that one of the original artists is now a Disney artist. Not surprising. The walls are whimsical in a very story-book way, and I love that they’ve been protected and are cherished.

But I guess you go to a cafe to eat. And for puppies. (There was a dog adoption in the parking lot when we visited). Both the puppies and the food were delicious. I had the La Rosa grilled chicken sandwich with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, jack cheese, onions, and pesto on a Ciabatta roll. I’m still dreaming about it.

I spend a lot of time (though never enough) on Pacific Coast Highway between LA and Santa Barbara, so it’s great to find another magical stopover. I can’t wait to go back!

Abandoned…

Photo by Stephanie Roberts, http://ObsessiveHobbyist.com

The road from Flagstaff to Winslow, Arizona is interesting, but depressing. So many of the Route 66 attractions are disintegrating into unsalvageable ruins. It all makes for great photos, but the reality is harsh. Twin Arrows, Two Guns, Meteor City…

TWO GUNS — At one time a campground and zoo where families made memories

TWIN ARROWS — This area is a dichotomy, as much of Route 66 is. The arrows have been repainted and maintained, but the buildings fall down around them. The whole area is surrounded by concrete K-rails at an exit ramp, and I might have been able to climb over them if it wasn’t pouring down rain when I got there. But somehow the rain seemed appropriate.

 

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