Gettin' my kicks on Route 66
Being a full blooded American I love road trips. My family vacations were not even faintly familiar to how I travel now: first class plane, VIP lounges and very nice hotels. They were long wonderful journeys in the back of a Pontiac station wagon with fake wood paneling. My two sisters and I packed in the back along with our beloved dog Gidget. We were usually heading to see our aunts, uncles and cousins in Pennsylvania — an 8-hour trip that was full of promise, when even stopping at a bathroom at a rest stop held a bit of the magic of travel.
So I was so happy that a road trip along Route 66 was added to the list. We couldn’t do the whole of route 66 as that would take too long; however, saying that I realize how ridiculous the shear amount of what I accomplish in these weekend shows is and simple logistics never stopped my producers before in cramming 1 week’s worth of activities in 2 days time. But there are speed limits to observe.
I love driving and I also love shooting driving sequences. Usually it’s some nice alone time as the camera shoots me from another vehicle I can crank up the tunes and have a good time. I’m also shooting with one of my dearest friends and cameramen, Brian Miller. We became close during the shooting of all those Royal Caribbean cruise shows and it’s great to be back together working again. Driving along Route 66 you are reminded of a young America still filled with such hope and promise. With all that’s going on right now in the world and us as a country I really ache for a time I was never even a part of. But that’s the allure of this trip, to turn back time and feel things more simply I guess. In our traveling world these days we want hotels with wave pools and restaurants that serve 5 different types of cuisine, we want to be entertained constantly and we want to make sure we are overloaded in our options of what to do. So just driving in a car stopping at an old gas station to enjoy a soda? Now that’s a vacation.
Funny story with Cool Springs Gas Station, when we went in for a snack all they had were cans of soda. It was also a knick-knack and souvenir shop and I spied in the back an old green glass coca-cola bottle. The owner happily rinsed it out with hot water and soap and then we poured the 2009 can of coke into something that looked more appropriate for the place. Once we were done the scene, sitting outside some motorcycles pulled over saw my drink and said “They have bottles of coke? Great!”
Our last day of shooting was at the Grand Canyon. We had arrived the night before and were to be ready to go at 4:30am the next day for the sunrise. Christina and I walked out of our rooms at 4:30am and saw nobody. Uh oh we thought, this can’t be right as there’s usually someone loading up a van with equipment or snacks and beverages. When we called our beloved producer Ben he nearly had a heart attack as two vans left that morning each one thinking me and Christina were in the other one. They were already positioned over the rim for the best view of the sunrise and aside from the host of the show not being there it was going to be one heck of a shot. They raced and got me, running out of the car, being handed my mic and battery pack and quickly hiding it within my clothing a dash of lip gloss and now I’m in front of camera minutes away from the sun rising and exposing the glorious depths of our Grand Canyon. Definitely worth getting up at 3:30am.