The Road Ahead : December 2011
WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 28 THE ROAD AHEAD DEC 2011/JAN 2012 TRAVEL DEPARTURE INTERNATIONAL nostalgic old-style diners and fading motels with wonderful neon signs, and tuck into a delicious juicy steak at Rod's Steak House. Back out on the street, music spills from a rustic Wild West themed bar, enticing us in. Taking a seat around an outdoor campfire, Mum and I wait as Dad disappears inside the bar's swinging saloon doors to order us a drink. He soon returns with two beers for himself and I and a wine for Mum unwittingly served in a glass jar. "I can't drink out of that," she cries indignantly. "Wine's served in a wine glass, not a jam jar!" "They didn't have wine glasses in the Wild West," I try to appease her, stifling a laugh. Next morning as we're loading the car, Mum produces the jam jar from the inside her handbag. Dad and I stop mid-packing and look at her aghast. "No-one at home will believe I had to drink wine from a jam jar, so I had to take it," she smiles sardonically, hopping into the front passenger's seat. From Williams, we continue along Route 66 to Kingman before turning north to Las Vegas. While the city attracts thousands of visitors each year eager to strike their luck (the average tourist apparently loses US$500 gambling in Vegas), after the raw beauty of the South-West, the cavernous casinos with their blinking neon lights seem excessive. So I save my money and seek refuge from the monotonous 'ka-ching' of the slot machines in our room. Two days later, as we let the GPS guide us through the confusion of Vegas' highways and motorways to the airport, I am suddenly sad our family road-trip has come to an end. While we had taken many wrong turns on our journey as we had done throughout our parent-child relationship, in spite of our arguments along the way, what we did find was a new respect for each other. How to get there: Qantas (13 1313 or visit www.qantas.com.au) offers connecting flights from Brisbane to Las Vegas, Nevada, via Auckland and Los Angeles. United Airlines runs regular domestic flights from Las Vegas to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Avis (www. avis.com) and Hertz (www.hertz.com) both have offices in Albuquerque International Airport. MAIN IMAGE: WESTERN RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON. HIGHWAY SUNSET, ARIZONA. CLASSIC DINER, NEW MEXICO. JOHN FORD'S POINT, MONUMENT VALLEY, UTAH/ARIZONA. CIRCUS CIRCUS CASINO, LAS VEGAS. TRAVEL OFFER: GROUP ESCORTED TOUR 22 Day Highlights of USA and Niagara Falls will take you from the bright lights of Broadway in New York and the spectacular Niagara Falls in Canada, to Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon national parks, the Grand Canyon and along Route 66 to Las Vegas. Continue on to the West Coast to experience the glamour of Hollywood, finishing up in San Francisco. From $3354 per person twin share, departing June 7, 2012. Refer to page 3 for more details and talk to our award winning consultants on 1300 888 449 or email travel@ racq.com.au.
February March 2012