About forty-five minutes past Meteor Crater (and kinda in the middle of Arizona) was Flag Staff. We decided to stop there in the historic district to grab lunch. And, boy, were we glad we did. We walked along the sidewalk until something caught our eye: Gourmet Tacos! La Santisima Gourmet Tacos to be exact. I had a set of three street tacos and Bobby had a set of three gourmet tacos (including a fish taco). They were amazing! This restaurant also sported a do-it-yourself salsa bar. Very clever. The art ranged from traditional Mexican art (Frida Kahlo) to Mexican wrestling memorabilia (Santo Contra). If ever in the area I HIGHLY recommend it!
Our drive from Flag Staff to Lake Havasu (Arizona side) gave us spectacular views of desert terrain, sudden mountains and random vegetation. AND my first palm tree sighting!!
We checked into the Quality Inn Lake Havasu. It was my least favorite of all the places we stayed. The woman working the front desk was wonderful and kind and warm. She gave us a treat bag because we are Choice Rewards Members (a blog about that to come). But, to use a term Ma loved, it was like a “flop house”. Sketchy people hanging out on balconies, smoking weed. There would be no solo walks at night for me. We decided to eat there at the hotel, the restaurant proper was closed so we ate in the bar. Our waitress was just shy of an asshole. Seriously, just dangling right on the edge of assholiness. The food was less than great, but that could be because my appetite was not feeling the partial asshole treatment. The next morning I got up early and dipped my feet in the pool and enjoyed early morning sunshine.
After a relaxing hour by the pool, I woke Bobby up so we could explore. After checking out we decided the hotel was not the place we wanted to eat. I had read online about a little place maybe a couple miles down the road. Papa Bear’s. The food THERE was great, huge servings and pleasant service. I also liked that some little kid named Chloe Houston was the artist of my menu cover!
If you thought that the Meteor Crater would be our most unusual site to see along the trip, you would be sorely mistaken. What if I told you that you could walk across London Bridge IN the United States? Well you can! Right in Lake Havasu. The bridge was originally over the River Thames in London. After completion of its construction, the bridge started sinking at a rate of an inch every eight years. By 1924 the bridge was a few inches lower on one side than on the other and the wear and tear of traffic began to take its toll. The city of London put the bridge on the market. That is when CV Wood and Robert McCulloch, Sr stepped in to take it off their hands as the winners of the bid in April, 1968. It was the gimmick that would bring all the tourists to their 26 square mile purchase of land in Arizona. It was their niche. Each block in the bridge was numbered, shipped to the United States and then put back in the order it had been taken apart (but first a metal skeleton was built inside to give the bridge a greater strength than when originally constructed). Below are a couple of brochures from the museum, several pictures of London Bridge and the surrounding tourist area as well as a number of photos from the museum (including the blueprints and photos of the numbered blocks). It was quite fun to see it, to walk across history. Almost forgot: the light posts on the bridge were constructed from Napoleon’s cannons (because, you know, having the original London Bridge from the nursery rhyme just wasn’t enough!). In addition to London Bridge items, there was an art gallery in the museum that displayed the art of Carol Jacobson.
A couple of pictures from around the Lake. There was a cool car dealership with some odd vehicles….
I was able to buy a piece of the London Bridge!
We saw a random set of military choppers round a corner while searching for lighthouses.
Another cool feature of Lake Havasu is that they have constructed miniature replicas of the most famous lighthouses in the United States. Of course I needed to see these (or at least most of them) and wrapped up with the Fire Island Lighthouse replica. What a great little addition that was totally unexpected.
After a quick drive past the Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport, it was down the road and on to California.
Along the way there were certain things that would ping and make me think of people. When I saw this sign, I muttered under my breath: “Hi Ma.”
What is the oddest sightseeing stop you have made? Why did you decide to visit that spot? I would love to hear about it!
Categories: Travel - Adventure - Sketchy Circus