But, this part two is also about me turning the table on myself and families. As the title goes for this posting "Keeping Route 66 Family Friendly
Works Both Ways". That means we as
families have a part to play too.
If Route 66 businesses are to become more family friendly, then families are going to have to be more Route 66 friendly. Or to put it another way we as families must not only travel the route but understand the culture of mom and pop business patronage and old school manners and politeness that it embodies.
Obviously my entire blog is about getting families to travel Route 66, and the reason your here reading this is because you want to travel the route. So with that said its obvious I'm encouraging you to travel the route and your willing.
But it's the latter parts we all need to concentrate on. Now if anyone is guilty of not always patronizing mom and pop establishments along the way it me. Yes I have stayed, eaten, and shopped in a lot of mom and pop places, but at the same time I have always hit a lot of big chains too. Hey, I like my Best Westerns, Comfort Inns, McDonalds, and Wendy's its nice to know what I'm getting into. But, every stay and meal at one of these places is less income to a business struggling to survive and maintain a legacy on Route 66.
It's a pretty simple concept, but we all know acting upon it isn't as simple. I mean you got hungry kids, and everybody is getting a bit crabby, good old McD's will fit the bill and get the edge off. Same way with motels, you need to get rest and don't want to mess around so a Holiday Inn fits the bill there. But, if you can plan a stay or a meal try to see if you can get into a mom and pop. Luckily, there are a lot of great resources to help you find the good places. Try Yelp, and Tripadvisor to help get reviews and make sure they are good places to stay, eat, or visit. To find those Route 66 legends look at some of the apps I listed in my "Appy to see You", article I posted recently. Also even though I guess I kind of knocked it a bit in part 1, try the Route 66 Federation Guidebook. And keep in mind the iconic mom and pops like the Wigwam Motels, and Blue Swallow fill up fast, so make sure you get reservations with enough time.
We also need to watch our manners and teach our kids to also. When you get into the world of chains, and homogenous services, your manners slide a bit. Your kids say they don't like a burger at McDonalds no one cares. Your kids complain the Comfort Inn doesn't have a pool no one cares. But in a mom and pop restaurant the owners might also be your cook and waitress, and its not exactly polite to let loose on something small here, same way with a motel, or a shop. Your not dealing with a faceless corporation, but with people who pride themselves on thier business and the service they provide.
Overall, we as families have to give our best too, because most Route 66 business owners already are.