Sorry for the much much much delayed recap of the fantastic road trip!
It snowed in Albuquerque New Mexico the night we stayed there and we continued West in the morning to take some time off of old Route 66 and onto a mountain pass called Route 53. We had some extra time to spend on a more scenic journey and so we headed off into the mountains of New Mexico only to discover it was REALLY snowy up there and totally beautiful. It was one of the most silent places I have ever been and there were thousands of pine trees just covered in snow. We stopped at this National Park called El Morro where there was this ancient Inscription Rock people crossing through New Mexico used to find water and shade and carve their names into the rock. It was really beautiful and full of snow.
We continued back onto Route 66 into Arizona - where there was still snow! - but it was incredible beautiful as we raced past the painted desert (and raced literally - the speed limit in the South West is abut 75 and we were cruising around 90). We passed through Flagstaff (B Ellis I thought of you!) which was in the snowy mountains of Arizona and we turned to head south to Phoenix.
We stayed with my dad's best friend from college, Tom, and his wife Michelle, in their unbelievable mansion in Phoenix. They are two wonderful people - they were really interested in what all three Rudzinski children were up to, took us out to dinner, let us stay in their guest house, hung out with us in the hot tub, dared us to jump in the infinity pool (which was freeezing), and made us a delicious breakfast in the morning. It was totally the highlight of the trip and NO ONE does a better impression of or has better stories about my dad than Tom. It was so cool to really spend time with him and see so much of my dad in him. It was like hanging out with my dad's long lost brother.
After lounging in our bathrobes and having pancakes with Michelle we finished up our final leg of the journey into Los Angeles and arrived in Los Angeles on the evening of the 6th!