David Jason: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

You may well be enjoying Sir David Jason’s excellent “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” 5-part series currently being broadcast on the Gold TV channel. The actor, who famously played Delboy in Only Fools and Horses is travelling from Seattle to Los Angeles and enjoying vintage methods of transport and seeing some wonderful parts of Washington, Oregon and California as he heads south.

If you fancy a trip to the Pacific northwest, we have the “Northwest Coastal Cruise” which covers a similar route from Seattle to San Francisco and includes Olympic National Park, Portland, Crater Lake, the giant Redwood Trees and the Golden Gate Bridge. The trip can be extended to Los Angeles or San Diego too if you wish.

Please let us know if you’re interested and we can price this trip up for you. 

Book a holiday with us and we’ll give you $250 spending money!

Book any full road trip package (flight, car rental and hotels) with RouteTrip USA Ltd by 8pm on 15th March 2019 and we will send you a prepaid credit card with your road trip pack to use on your holiday. 

If you pay 50% deposit when you book, we will pre-load the card with $250
If you pay the standard 10% deposit, we will pre-load the card with $100

This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or discount. However it can be used in conjunction with our like-for-like price matching offer.

Destinations Show 2019

We’re at the Destinations Show at Olympia London for the entire weekend. If you’re thinking of taking a road trip in the USA over the next year or two, please pop over and see us. We’re on Stand AC32 in the Americas section.

Roadkill Cafe, Seligman AZ

The Roadkill Cafe, along Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona

You kill it, we grill it!

The Roadkill Cafe along old Route 66 in Seligman has a wonderful souvenir shop inside selling gifts such as t-shirts, sweaters and aprons with slogans such as “you kill it, we grill it!” and featuring menu items such as Flat Cat – served as a single or in a stack, Rigor Mortis Tortoise and Fender Tenders. Of course, in reality it is a normal family owned, reasonably priced restaurant along a decent length of usable Route 66. The first time we drove past the Roadkill Cafe, we were trying to get to the Grand Canyon before sunset so we only stopped for some photos, however it was on a must-visit list for the next occasion, and we’ve eaten there several times since.

Seligman, an old railroad town was founded in 1886 and is known for being the birthplace of Historic Route 66, mainly due to the efforts of the Seligman Chamber of Commerce and local business owners to get the section of road between Seligman and Kingman designated as Historic Route 66 back in 1987, not long after the last section of the Mother Road, in nearby Williams, Arizona was bypassed by interstate 40. This was well before other towns and cities along the entirety of Route 66 started making similar efforts. Perhaps this is one reason that Seligman still looks so authentic and feels like you’ve suddenly been transported back to the heyday of the Main Street of America.

Seligman, Arizona – feels like you’re in the wild west

Seligman is a small, unincorporated town with a wonderful wild west heritage. The Roadkill Cafe itself was once the OK Saloon, and the bar/gift shop area is the original building. The restaurant section is an extension that was once a patio to the bar, but eventually enclosed to make a larger building. 

The jailhouse which dates from 1860 claims to have held criminals such as “Seligman Sam” and “three-finger Jack”. Apparently in 1866, four Indians escaped from the jail by tunnelling underground to the OK Saloon next door and made their getaway only to be shot dead four days later in a shoot out with law enforcers.

Radiator Springs, from the Disney Pixar film “Cars” was known to be loosely based on Seligman, and indeed as you take your road trip along Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway you’ll see various locations and people who inspired parts of this fun, animated movie. 

Spotlight on Austin, Texas

I first visited Austin in 2013, fell in love with the city and have been back several times since.

I was asked to provide my replica A-Team Van for the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) event for a promotion by the National Geographic Channel and made arrangements to get it to the state capital.

SXSW is a large, annual event for the music, film and multimedia industries and features conferences, presentations and a bit of showing off! My van was part of a 1980’s promotion and was running as a VIP shuttle between the airport and downtown Austin and, with a Delorean and General Lee participated in several events during it’s time in Austin.

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The A-Team Van outside the State Capitol building in Austin, Texas

Whilst the van was being used for promotional activities, I spent the time exploring Austin and found it a really fascinating city. The recorded history of Austin goes back to the 1830’s when settlers founded the village of Waterloo on the banks of the Colorado River. By 1839 the settlement had become the capital of the Republic of Texas and had adopted the name Austin from Stephen F Austin, known as the “Father of Texas”. 

There are some wonderful buildings in Austin, including the State Capitol Building on Congress Avenue and the historic Driskill Hotel on famous 6th Street.

In addition to visiting the State Capitol and nearby museum, I always walk down Congress Avenue and across the Colorado River to South Congress Avenue to wander around some of the antique shops as I head up to Allen’s Boots. Despite my best intentions, I always buy a Stetson, belt or cowboy boots in Allen’s Boots, a large western store on South Congress Ave.

One of the must-do activities in Austin is to stand by the bridge on Congress Avenue just before sunset and you’ll likely see around 1.5 million bats emerge from the underside of the bridge – it’s a spectacular sight! As the evening continues, we have our favourite restaurants and we like to experiment with some new ones too.

Austin is known as the live music capital of the world and you’ll find no shortage of this in the bars and clubs along 6th Street.

One of the striking things about Austin is the lack of chain stores, restaurants and other businesses. There is a general desire in the local community to support local businesses and to shun large corporations. Of course there is an out of town shopping mall with all the large, well known stores and restaurants but there is a very noticeable lack of these household names in downtown Austin.

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On the bridge looking North along Congress Avenue with the State Capitol in the background.

Further outside of Austin, I always make sure I take the short drive north to Round Rock, to buy a doughnut from Round Rock Donuts, who sell giant, Texan sized doughnuts which happen to be really tasty too! Dallas and Houston are just a few hours drive away and San Antonio can be driven to in about an hour which makes it ideal for a day trip. I’ll write a blog about this separately at some point, but I love taking a stroll around San Antonio and nearby Gruene and this part of Texas really deserves more time than you could give it on a day trip.

Austin features in various of our Southern Road Trips and is well worth a two or three day stop as a part of your itinerary. Visit our main website www.routetripusa.co.uk to book your trip to Austin.

Our Station Wagon Arrives in Arizona

Over the weekend our Checker station wagon has arrived in Arizona from Massachusetts. A friend is going to spend the next few months going over the car mechanically to try and give us the best chance of completing Route 66 in it. The car is a 1968 model, which makes it 50 years old. He will try and go through the car in the evenings and at weekends as time allows. He has a few Checkers himself so has a good knowledge of these cars, in fact the white limo Checker you can see on the car transporter is yet another one that our friend has bought!

We have acquired one of the later model disc brake set-ups from another Checker which is sadly beyond saving which we will use to replace the current drum set-up on our ’68 Wagon.

As before, we will share progress and information as this car over the next few months.

Visit us at Destinations Show 2019

For the first time, RouteTrip USA will have a stand at the Destinations Holiday & Travel Show at Olympia in London. The exhibition which runs from the 31st January 2019 until the 3rd February 2019 is the largest of its kind in the UK and showcases leading Tourist Boards, Travel Agents and Tour Operators.

We will be based in the Americas Section with stand AC32 and our experts will be on hand to discuss your travel thoughts.

We have a limited number of completely FREE admission tickets to give away too. To get yours, please visit our website www.routetripusa.co.uk

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