Day 13 ~ Las Vegas to Phoenix, Arizona

Day 13 ~ In which #KiwiChickInUSA takes a walk down memory lane…

We said goodbye to the glittering Vegas lights this morning and headed out of town – stopping briefly for breakfast at a tiny Mom and Pop diner where we did what I love to do most – talk to people and listen to a snippet of their stories.



Then we hit the road west, driving in increasing heat to the Hoover Dam. When were were last there nine years ago, the massive bridge bypassing it was just being constructed, so it was very interesting to see it again. The last time we crossed over the Hoover Dam was when we were towing a 34 ft 5th wheel trailer (and we didn’t get out) so being able to stop and get a closer look was great. Although it was so scorching hot outside at 10.30 in the morning, I confess we only took a few photos and climbed back into the air conditioning again!


Back on the interstate for a bit, then into the little town of Kingman where on that same trip nine years ago we had lunch at this restaurant with our two kids. Did I mention I’m missing them heaps now?


Driving further West we detoured into Seligman, where again, been there – but liked it enough to come back. This time we had lunch at the Roadkill cafe (yum) and then strolled down the main street to some of the same spots we visited last time. Some things had changed (like the old cars parked by the curb with mannequins posed in them) and some businesses didn’t appear to be open now – which was a shame. It was still a cool little place to stop and chat to the locals for awhile and enjoy a cherry sno-cone.

Seligman old 1

Our kids in Seligman 2007…

DH on same seat in 2016...

DH on same seat in 2016…

us seligman

Back in 2007, my kids with some classic vehicles in Seligman.

roadkill cafe


On the way out of town, DH convinced me that it was now or never to try driving the Dodge, and that this was my last chance to be able to say to YOU guys, ‘Hey, I drove on Route 66’ – that was enough to motivate me. But here’s the thing: I’m a bit of a car buff (it’s rubbed off on me from DH) but I don’t enjoy driving. In New Zealand, we drive on the left hand side of the road, and the driver’s side is on right side of the car. I *can* drive a manual (stick shift) but my everyday car is an automatic. So driving a new car, on the wrong side of the road, seated in the wrong side of the car AND it’s a stick shift, was just…freaking terrifying, to say the least. But I shakily pulled up my big girl panties and did it anyway – at least for five minutes or so. And it wasn’t so bad, although I went from first gear to fourth and then when I was slowing down to stop I got a little panicky and made DH shift down the gears for me. And who should I pull in next to on the lonely stretch of Route 66? A sheriff’s car. Holy crap! DH quickly explained I was just driving for the first time in the US (wonder the guy didn’t ask to see my licence!) and we swapped seats. It could only happen to me…

me driving

We finally made it through some stunning desert landscape to our cousin’s place in Phoenix. It’s soooo good to be back with family. We’ll be here for the next two days, just catching our breath and relaxing.

I know I love coffee, but not even I could get through a mug this size!

I know I love coffee, but not even I could get through a mug this size!

Comments (4)

  1. Rhonda Brant


    OMG Tracey!!!! That is HYSTERICAL!!!!! I bet the Sheriff just shook his head! LOL Glad you made it to Phoenix. Yesterday there was a dust storm warning, hoping you didn’t get stuck in that yesterday while you were still in Vegas, they aren’t fun at all! Have an awesome time with your family.

  2. Tracy


    I’m enjoying these posts. You should do the tour of the Hoover Dam (if they still offer those – it’s been a long time since I’ve been to Vegas). Hope you make it to east coast.

    • Tracey Alvarez


      Hi Tracy,
      We ran out of time to do the Hoover Dam tour (I think they are still doing them) – have to put it on the list for next time. 🙂


      Tracey A.

  3. Mike


    Hi Tray
    So proud of you driving on route 66, something I have yet to do. I knew you could do it. All the best dor the rest of your trip

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