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Driving Route 66: I of III

We’re sharing our 2,500+ mile road trip down Route 66 from Chicago to LA. See Part II and Part III!

I feel like we’ve been gone a thousand years, and yet, not long enough. We returned from our Route 66 adventure Sunday evening, and we promptly squeezed, smooshed and kissed every animal face in this house. We’ve been playing catch up with work, and at the same time, we’re diving right back into paint colors and rug samples. At the end of the day, we talk about our time away as though it was ages ago, although we were just dusting the desert sand off of our shoes last week.

Leading up to our travel, we lovingly referred to our cross-country drive as The Trip of a Lifetime; as it turns out, it really was. It’s hard to put into words (ha, watch me try!), but it was immensely fun, tiresome and invigorating all at once. There were long days of driving, of course, but those days mingled with afternoons in National Parks and evenings with no sense of time – or time zone, for that matter!


There’s a folder on my computer titled Route 66. Sunday evening, there were over 1,300 photo files in that folder, and by Tuesday, we had that narrowed down to 600. 600! Our 600 favorite photos! I knew from the start that I’d want to compile them into a personal album, but because we’ve always loved sharing our travels here, we whittled that number down way, way more. But before we begin, can I quickly tell you? For every new place we visit, we soak in your suggestions, and we consider them our own personal travel guide. Over the years, you all have recommended the most amazing bites for brunch, the place for the best pizza slice and the most adorable neighborhoods to get lost in. We’ve never met most you, and it still feels like we’re getting the inside scoop from a good friend. The internet is really wild when you think of it that way, and so we really want to say: thank you!

Okay, let’s go!

CHICAGO TO ST. LOUIS. Route 66 starts in downtown Chicago, and by no means is it the easiest way to get from point A to point B! Of course, it is the most adventurous, as the route will wind you through every small town from Chicago through the middle of America, and ultimately, into Los Angeles. We took advantage of this, and we stopped frequently – even if it was just for a cup of coffee or a quick photo. From our home city to St. Louis, we breezed through our state’s capital and seemingly deserted downtown strips, ultimately making our way to our friends’ Heather and Aaron’s firehouse. You guys, they literally live in a firehouse. We shopped, we ate, we drank. We were basically the merriest (and consistently full!). St. Louis favorites: Clementine’s ice cream, Cherokee Street swap meet, Still 630 whiskey tasting, the best guest room ever.


ST. LOUIS TO TULSA. We had originally planned to drive straight through to Oklahoma City from St. Louis, but after so many recommendations came from Tulsa, we made it a point to stop for an overnight! We knew nothing about Tulsa (other than the comically misconstrued city in which Chandler was transferred for work), but what a great town! There were countless restaurants we wish we had time (and room) for, but Tulsa, you’re beautiful. Tulsa favorites: brunch at Dilly Diner, Blue Dome neighborhood, Art Deco architecture.


TULSA TO OKLAHOMA CITY. The 3 hour drive from Tulsa to Oklahoma City led us through a field of abandoned oil tanks and the teeny, tiny strip of Depew with its crumbling building facades – which, by the way, were eerily intriguing. We were greeted by the bluest skies ever in OKC, and we couldn’t get over how clean the city is! We stayed with my cousin while in town (hi, Tony and Jennie!), and we were pointed in the direction of the Myriad Botanical Gardens, which, come on. So beautiful. OKC favorites: Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City Memorial (stunning), the food trucks, Automobile Alley. 


Next up, we make our way towards Santa Fe!

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  • Kim9.24.15 - 7:26 AM

    Ahhhh! The second I read ”firehouse in St. Louis” I wondered if it could be from a House Hunters episode I watched awhile back… and it is! So cool! Excited to see updates on their blog :) And your trip looks like it was a blast!ReplyCancel

  • jannike9.24.15 - 8:04 AM

    Beautiful pix! Thanks for taking me on a road trip this morning. Great way to start my day.ReplyCancel

  • Laura at LK Art9.24.15 - 8:47 AM

    I love this road trip recap, and so many beautiful photo memories! Sounds like a great vacation. I’ve been following on Instagram and can’t wait to see the rest of your journey here. We used to drive to California from Chicago every few years when I was a kid to visit my grandparents, and although we went a slightly different route (hitting national parks like Yellowstone), your photos remind me of that time.
    -Laura at LK Art (and Rather Square)ReplyCancel

    • Kim9.24.15 - 11:03 AM

      So cool! We considered driving back and taking a different route to hit up more parks, but we would have had to take off a whole month, which, would not have been possible. Maybe next time! :)ReplyCancel

  • I’m SO glad I paid you to say that we have the best guest room…oh wait, I didn’t so that makes it even better ;) I seriously want to move into that space, and I’m glad you guys enjoyed it. The door is always open!

    Per usual, these pictures are awesome. I’m loving the recap and can’t wait to hear more!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin9.24.15 - 10:50 AM

    I’m so excited to see your photos, and I’m glad you loved St. Louis. (And how incredible is our neighborhood?!?) Great shot at Clementine’s, I live too close to that place.

    Thanks for the link to another local blog – not sure how I missed that one before. Can’t wait to read more.

    What’d you get at Ted Drewes? mmmm Chip Raspberry, mmmm.ReplyCancel

    • Kim9.24.15 - 11:02 AM

      Living close to Clementine’s would be BAD news for me.

      I’m trying to remember what we got at Ted Drewes! I’m sure I got something caramel-y and vanilla-y, and maybe Scott got something fruity?! Shame on me for not remembering.ReplyCancel

      • Heather9.24.15 - 1:04 PM

        Kim – Whatever you got you got you added malt powder, because you’re very fancy :)ReplyCancel

        • Kim9.24.15 - 1:17 PM

          Ha, you’re right!! I LOVE malt anything.ReplyCancel

  • KM9.24.15 - 11:23 AM

    I’m so excited to see your photos! Would you consider sharing how you organize your digital photos, what computer program you use to edit, your favorite way to print to an album, etc? I love to take photos of our trips, but always struggle with the best way to review (delete), organize, edit and print to album such a huge number of digital photos.ReplyCancel

    • Kim9.24.15 - 12:16 PM

      Thanks, KM! I’ll be sharing some of these tips with one of our longtime collaborators, Pinhole Press, so I’ll keep you updated! Not everything will be covered, but I can tell you that I use Lightroom to edit photos, and I wish I had a better system for editing the quantity down… that’s something I’m still working on myself. Thank you for the suggestion, it’s a good one to consider!ReplyCancel

  • Josh | The Kentucky Gent9.24.15 - 1:19 PM

    Aw, so jealous of this trip, but beyond happy for you guys. You deserve it!

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  • Kathy9.24.15 - 8:12 PM

    Looks like you guys had a ton of fun. Can’t wait for part 2 and 3!ReplyCancel

  • A few Labor Day scores |9.30.15 - 2:36 PM

    […] Louis: Kim and Scott from Yellow Brick Home. We thoroughly enjoyed being the first stop on their epic Route 66 vacation and touring them around a few St. Louis highlights… including the firehouse. There are two […]ReplyCancel

  • Marlene9.30.15 - 2:49 PM

    Just read your account of your Route 66 trip in reverse order, and I must thank you for your great photos and lists of your favorites. Maybe one day……. a gal can dream, right?ReplyCancel

  • ellen patton10.14.15 - 12:20 PM


    what a great trip! the photos are fantastic!ReplyCancel

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