Yesterday (Sunday) I decided that I wanted to make a road trip.  It’s spring break after all (although not for me) and I wanted to do a little something.  Evan’s friends are, for the most part, off on some trip or other and so he’s home with little to do except plan for his summer job.

I decided I wanted to drive over to Arcadia, OK on the old Route 66 and see the famous landmark, The Old Round Barn.  A new diner has opened there as well and I wanted to see that as well. 

The Round Barn is one of those many landmarks along The Road that have been restored and I had no idea that it had almost rotted away to nothing before being restored.  What we see now is a pretty good reproduction but I can’t imagine that any but the most interior timbers are original.  It’s pretty cool though.  I’ve seen it in a number of movies and noticed it in one of the special features of the Cars DVD.  I was surprised to note that it’s right beside the highway – as in you can almost touch it from your car.  I guess that’s why it’s always been such a landmark.  Apart from being round that is.

A bigger deal was the new diner called “Pops” just down the road.  This thing opened last year and is very much like one of those travel centers along the freeway in the sense that it has gas pumps and a convenience store but there the similarity ends.  It has a strange retro-futuristic design and their gimmick is that they sell over 500 varieties of soda pop.  Add to that a classic-style diner that serves burgers and fries.

I can say that the burgers are very good and the whole experience was extremely fun.  It was very fun to walk along and browse the old retro brands and the new specialty drinks.  All the bright colors made for some excellent photography. Evan picked up an empty paper carton and went down the length of the store picking out six drinks.  That’s what everybody else was doing as well – the place was packed.  Our wait for a table was about an hour but we had nothing else to do and no place else to be and that is a liberating feeling.  The weather was beautiful and there were obviously a large number of people that felt the same.

Evan found what was probably the piece-de-resistance of soda pop:  Leninaide.  It had a hammer and sickle on the side and admonished the drinker to enjoy it or go to the gulag.  I never knew it would be possible to extract humor from the old soviet stereotype but then anything is possible.

We were so taken by the ambience of the thing that we came home and watched Cars again.  My only regret is that I didn’t stop at the route 66 curio stand outside town but I was past it before I knew it.

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