Friedrich Family Files: Summer, 2014 Route 66 Adventures
We kicked off the first day of summer break in June by taking in a little of our local 66 on Sixth Street in Springfield. We decided to satisfy our sweet tooth at Mel-O-Cream donuts. The company is over 80 years old and has had several locations over the years. Stop in a try a delectable pastry two different locations along the mother road on South Sixth Street or North Grand Avenue. After breakfast we went shopping for camping provisions for Charlie's first overnight Cub Scout campout that weekend. Now it was time for a late lunch at the ever popular Cozy Dog Drive In.
A week later, Charlie was invited to a birthday party, by one of his fellow Cub Scouts, at Knights Action Park in Springfield. If you haven't been to this family-friendly complex I suggest you do. There is even an Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway kiosk on the premises. Right next door is the Route 66 Twin Drive-In Theater and indoor roller rink, Skateland South, for even more fun. Since I knew we were going to be there I brought along one of my Polaroid Instant Cameras to take a snapshot of the signs. We only partook in the dry recreations available, even though there are three water slides, a floating lagoon, and a few other cool water rides. The kids enjoyed the batting cages with varying speeds for baseball and softball, the amusement rides, and both putt putt golf courses. You could even hit a bucket of golf balls or ride the go carts if you wanted to. We also checked out the small arcade with a classic pinball machine, a billiard table, air hockey, and various video games. We even were able to see a double rainbow after the rain drizzle cleared up and a beautiful sunset.
The during the month of July we had a few journeys on 66. We went to the Fairlane Diner in Sherman to enjoy good food, hot cars, and cool neon. The Springfield based car club, The Route 66 Cruisers, had a car show that night and was a perfect excuse to go. We took along a friend of Charlie's for his first car show experience. We decided to eat outside under the neon sign to enjoy the beautiful weather, view of Route 66, and various cars and trucks.
On a Tuesday evening in the middle of the month, I took Charlie's bear scout den to Oakridge Cemetery for the Civil War military dress flag lowering ceremony and historians in period costume. We learned lots of things regarding the tomb itself and the Lincoln family. I highly suggest you attend one of these free events if possible at the tomb. Of course, 66 is just a few blocks away from the cemetery and is a very popular place for tourists to visit. I am very much a tourist in my own town and surrounding communities year round.
Late July we took a quick round trip to Virden for a second cousin's birthday party. It gave us an opportunity to see part of the community we normally do not see as we got away from 66 curbs. I do like to explore around the towns that 66 passes through and not just focus on the buildings along its path. Open yourself up to new experiences, people, and places because that is what I think the true heart of the Route 66 community is all about. Be sure to stay tuned for all the road reports from roadies heading to and back from the International Route 66 Festival being held in Kingman AZ in mid August. We will be embarking on a 10 day journey along the Main Street of America from Springfield IL to Santa Monica CA and back. I can not wait for this brand new experience!
Click the slideshow below for more photos from the Friedrich's Summer Route 66 Travels!
We welcome your Route 66 news, stories, photos and events for publication in our newsletter or on our web site!