My Parents’ Route 66 Road Trip. Destination? My place.

Not even 2500 miles and an old, aging Route 66 can keep my retired parents from taking a cross country road trip to see me…

Larry and MarySue's road trip - expected route

The Barleys are going to try to follow the old Route 66. And look for that world’s largest ball of twine.

It’s been almost five or six years since Larry and MarySue Barley have made their way out West far enough to see their eldest child and only son. My sister and her fantastic family have commandeered most of my parents’ time as they are geographically closer (approx. a mile or two), and I’m pretty sure they like my sister more than me. At this point in my life, I think that the only way that I’m going to get my parents to visit more often is to get married and have kids.

(Sorry, had to step away before I spat my coffee out on my keyboard from laughing so hard.)

But, before I get ahead of myself, I have to come up with plans for them. Luckily, they are 5 years into retirement so they are not on a fast paced plan to see and do TOO much. Unlike previous excursions out here to see me every five years, they are driving the Family Truckster across country on a road trip, trying to follow the old Route 66. Their plan is to drive from Michigan and follow Route 66 as best as possible and show up on my doorstep and stay with me for 5-7 days at my place in Hermosa Beach. That’s their PLAN. So, maybe they’ll be wiped out and just want to sleep. But, since it’s in my bed that they’ve made their reservations, we’ll see how that works out for them.

And then there is the alleyway behind my apartment. I’ve tried to tell them that this isn’t any of the previous places I have lived where normal rules apply. Staying at Tim’s place is like living back in Madison just off of Langdon St. at bar time. It’s loud and chaotic, but if you just have to know why “Ricky is such an asshole to Trina,” at 2:30 a.m., then my alley is the best place to learn about it. So, if sleep isn’t that big of a deal after being on the road for 7 days, then they are in luck.

Hopefully, they will get their fill of Americana on Route 66 by seeing the House of Mud or the Petrified Forest National Park. With any luck, the idea of running around LA and seeing the sights is replaced by the desire to just walk the block to the beach and do nothing. But if not, I have the time and ability to entertain my parents.

Since this blog is my only “job” at the moment, I will need to entertain them for the entire time they are here. I won’t be going off to work while they entertain themselves. And I don’t trust them with my advanced remotes and TV system. They WILL have their own car, and that should keep them busy for a time, but after that, sitting around discussing Tim’s current financial and employment situation will only carry us so far…

So, this is the partial itinerary I’ve come up with. Feel free to offer suggestions. Post them here or email them to me at

road trip destinations - USS IowaUSS IOWA – I’ve been looking forward to this since they announced that they were going to drag this 72 year-old, 58,000 ton, 887 foot long behemoth to Los Angeles and turn it into a museum. Now, there’s a reason to go to San Pedro other than passing through to get to Long Beach!

Fiesta Hermosa – Every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend, Hermosa closes the blocks surrounding the pier and the area becomes an art fair with live music on the pier and a very fun, crowded beer garden. Or a very fun beer garden surrounded by an art fair. The reason my parents chose Labor Day weekend to come out: So my mother can peruse the crafts. Plus, I just read that “Which One’s Pink,” one of greatest Pink Floyd cover bands is playing and nothing says “Hey, mom and dad let’s hang out,” like watching a Pink Floyd cover band.

My cousin Chris’s place – evidently, there was a family reunion back in Michigan of the extended Barley clan last week. My cousin Chris, a writer up in Sherman Oaks, suggested that my parents give them a call when they get out here to come visit them. This is the exact same amount of invitations I’ve received to come visit. I’m not jealous. I’m trying to keep my parents from seeing how successful people live out here, which is also why I am going to try to keep them from my friends Eric and Kim’s place as well. I just can’t give them any ammunition on how much better other people have done with their lives. It’s like sitting next to my sister at the dinner table all over again.

Golf – I haven’t quite figured out WHERE we are going to play, but Dad has promised me that his clubs are in the van as we speak and we’ll be able to play. And, as he has had two knee and one hip replacements, we can take carts. Which is good because it’s too damned hot to walk around here.

That leaves me with 3-5 days of nothing to do with good old mom and dad while they are -here.


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2 thoughts on “My Parents’ Route 66 Road Trip. Destination? My place.”

  1. Please pass along a hello to the Mom and Pops for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them.

    GREAT ROAD TRIP. I just did that route back on Easter weekend (only it was San Diego to Milwaukee)…… and I didn’t take anywhere near that length of time. It was after dinner on Friday to dinner time on Sunday….. yeah, I was moving right along. Its actually a boring road trip…. (like most)… and I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would live in Arizona, New Mexico, or the Pan Handle of Texas.

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