Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Road Trip, 1940-Style!

Well, here we are, a little more than halfway through the summer already!  I for one will be thrilled to see it come to an end - it's been miserable here in Wisconsin, as it has been in much of our country.  For my friends in the Pacific Northwest and the Southern Hemisphere, I'm jealous of you.  :D

But for all of my complaining about our 100+ degree temps, I have to admit that most of us have it SO good.  Can you imagine what it was like 72 years ago?  Well, let me paint you a picture:

You and your husband and your three young daughters are headed west from southern Illinois, all the way to California - by car.  Without air conditioning.  In August.

I can't even fathom this trip!  But it's a true story - my Grammie was one of those three aforementioned girls. :D  She would talk about these trips quite a bit and laugh about the happenings on the trip, one of which were the swimsuits her mother made the girls wear.  I don't know - looks like the height of fashion to me!  :D

My great-aunts Lou-Lou and Julia, 1940

My great-great-great
 Aunt Toog
The reason they did these trips (one in 1936, the other in 1940) was because my great-grandmother had these two elderly aunts, Toog and Clyde, who lived in Los Angeles.  Neither one had ever married and they lived together - or that's the story my Grammie was told (wink, wink).  I guess they were quite eccentric and fun (wink, wink!).  Check out this photo of Toog - is that beach wear, or WHAT?  :D

My great-great-great
Aunt Clyde

These little photos were accompanied by this wonderful brochure from the Big Sur Lodge, where my Grammie's family stayed before they reached L.A.  It keeps going....

....and going....

...and going.....

....and GOING!  It's exactly 2 feet long!  :D

Part of the back of the brochure gives a little history of the Carmel-San Simeon Highway, which cost 10 million dollars to build!  :D  Oh, and check out the nightly rates - my great-grandparents shelled out FIVE WHOLE BUCKS for a double cabin!  :D  For all of the pomp and circumstance, it's easy to see how spoiled we've become with our accommodations when we travel!  Be honest - judging by this brochure, how many of you would jump at the chance to stay here now?  Show of hands?  No one?  That's what I thought.  But in 1940, this was AMAZING.  

Here's the cool part - it still exists, and it's been beautifully kept up.  There's another thing that has drastically changed - the room rates.  That 'double cabin' will now cost you upwards of four HUNDRED dollars.  Hey, at least they're air-conditioned now!  :D


  1. Love this - what memories- the "great aunts" may have been referred to as Boston sisters I was born in Boston have heard that expression but have never discovered the why or wherefor - the 40's road trips make the 60's road trips & today's trips look like luxury vacations ;)

  2. Great Post!! I love these old memories of days gone by! I would have stayed there!! Just for fun maybe once! LOL Makes me think of Lucy and Ricky's trip to Hollywood in I Love Lucy. My husband and I like to travel Route 30 the Lincoln Highway. We've done most of PA. It goes clear across country from NYC to SF. I hope someday we can travel the whole road. Someone fellow wrote a book about traveling Rt. 30 and he didn't stay in a chain hotel or eat at any chain restaurants. Just like the "old" days!

  3. So glad I found your blog (via justticketyboo)! I love it! Have already ordered from the Paper Flea Market and will be delving into the other stores ASAP. Keep up the good blogging!

  4. How cool, Mel! Thanks for sharing. I love getting a glimpse into the past like that. "Real life" posts are the greatest.

  5. Thank you so much for all of your lovely posts, ladies! I am so grateful that I am the recipient of this family history. I guess times change, but the ideas stay the same when it comes to travel - the journey is as much an adventure as the desintation! :D