Monday, February 8, 2010

The Southwest, part 1

Playing with the idea for a year or so, Adam and I finally took the plunge and flew out to Vegas... only to drive to New Orleans, and back again.

Scheduled to take place over roughly 10 days, we stayed two nights in Las Vegas to kick off the festivities.

Milan booked us into the Mandalay there, conveniently right next to the airport..

Vegas is great, but these days, how much more than two nights does one need. In fact, if Milan wasn't there we'd surely be on the road after one night.

The building above look familiar? Libeskind strikes again.

I call this: Milan, looking sketchy on a cell phone. What a great dude.

We were then off on our first leg: Las Vegas, NV to Williams, AZ.

Approximately 216 miles, or 348 kms. A relatively easy early drive.

Speaking of sketchy, our Hyundai Sonata did not have plates for the duration of the trip. We had a 30 day temporary permit lacquered on our front windshield, and a Budget dude telling us "yeah, that's how it's supposed to be." While we were nervous this could cause some issues in Texas, it turned out that this isn't that far out of the norm down there...

First stop, El Pollo Loco.

Adam sent me this tidbit: Apparently Pollo Loco started in Mexico, and still has ambitions to conquer KFC. But I think this is the best part of its Wikipedia entry: The chain's most recent marketing efforts, featuring a Mexican playing a character named El Caliente (Spanish for 'The Hot One') (played by Matt CedeƱo), have drawn fire from Chicano advocacy groups who claim that the ads depict a stereotypical view of Latinos. Generally, however, El Caliente is seen as less offensive than previous Latino mascots, such as the Frito Bandito.

The meal was judged unanimously delicious. Honestly, it wasn't that bad at all.

For reference, it is here:

View Larger Map
It, ummm, obviously hadn't been built yet at the time of this photo, but when you see an A&W and a KFC, you'll know you're about to have a better meal than both of those.

For more pointless information about El Pollo Loco, please visit, as I just have,

Now, only about 40 miles outside Las Vegas was the Hoover dam!

Or, more specifically in this photo, the bridge above, The Hoover Dam Bypass, for those with too many dams in their lives.

An aerial shot of the project should help make this somewhat sensical:

On the other side of the dam we entered Arizona.

Take a look down...

Btw, doesn't the picture with Adam look so much better than the picture of the bridge and dam alone? Now, obvious the additional subject matter helps - hell, those shots from a $20/hour Hotel 6 bed in Amarillo look phenomenal - but, a photo with a person in it adds context and greater expression. I love taking photos of people. Front or back, side, alone, together. Body language, instant freezing of a thought expressed through every ounce of your body with an unlimited time period to read into it. Ugh... I get shivers.

Or, chalk it up to different exposures, angles, and colours. Your call ;)

The actual dam, not being done justice by the shot, and overshadowed by the bypass.

Back on the road...

It wasn't too late as we entered Williams, AZ. With a population of around 3,000 and about an hour from the Grand Canyon, this seemed like the ideal stop as it would be our first feel of old Route 66.

But before that, dinner and sleep, and explore tomorrow.

Hmmm... I'm sure I recognize her from somewhere...*

*The line I wish I thought of here? Before dinner, we decided to hit up the local wax museum where Adam decided to pose with his ex-wife. (Thanks Tyler!)

We get all the way down to Williams AZ and decide to eat at a place called "Pancho McGillicuddy's".

There will be more...

No comments:

Post a Comment