Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Calendar - Phoenix To Arcadia

For years we drove from Phoenix to the Los Angeles area for Christmas.  In the 1980s, with 2 children in the car, and Interstate 10 not completed, we drove through Wickenburg.  If you live, or have lived, in the Phoenix area, you’ll know what it’s like to travel rural desert roads.

Then, when the interstate was finally completed, EXCEPT for the interchange in Phoenix, we just drove I-10, day or night.   For a few years we would stopped at Griswold’s restaurant. It was always decorated so nicely for the holidays.  It was in Redlands on the south side of the interstate.  This smorgasbord restaurant had some great recipes and I still have two of their recipe books.  There was a gift shop also, and we really enjoyed walking through it.  Unfortunately, both the Redlands and the Claremont restaurants closed many years ago.

Sometimes we would stop in Blythe at the Courtesy Coffee Shop.  We haven’t been there for years, but it was something that our children expected, and it was about half way through the trip. 

So, for years we packed two children and gifts, and drove 7-9 hours to celebrate Christmas.  Because sometimes because Walt had to work the day we planned to travel, like Christmas Eve,  we’d arrive very late in Arcadia.  My parents were always up, even if they had napped before we arrived.  Then to get the four of us settled.  But this was the beginning of the family visit.