There is nothing like the excitement of going on holiday. I love the lists of things to remember and dreaming of places to come. My friend, Mindy gave me one of these suitcases and the other I inherited from my Grandma. To me, they represent the golden era of travel with sleek, hard covers, ready to take on the world. Since we are taking a road trip, the cases fit nicely in Fernando the Fiat. The beautiful landscape of New Mexico flies by the window. Clouds that seem painted on the flat, domed sky. Red rocks and Creator-made walls of horizontal color schemes. Breathtaking country.
Just under ten hours into our trip, down the historic Route 66, we arrived at El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico. It was such a pleasant surprise. You don’t always know what you are booking on the internet and this place is just too fun. Dozens and dozens of old, autographed head shots and photographs from movies being filmed here line the walls. Some of my favorites. Some of the greats, Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Doris Day, Humphrey Bogart.
The hotel is still like it was in 1936. A historical beacon carefully crafted to impress the Hollywood set of the era. The décor is rugged southwest. Stone and Pendleton and wood.
We waited in the elevator for the attendant. The original elevator takes some skill to travel exactly to the correct floor.
Memorabilia of a bustling time remain set around the lobby. A player piano, a place to get your shoes shined, a cigarette machine, and stamps at a fraction of the current rate.
My vintage looking hat cocked to the side and my beloved old turquoise pleases me as I stand atop the curved wood staircase with red carpet or sit in the lobby with a cocktail imagining the comings and goings of the movie elite and the glamorous upper set with suitcases and sunglasses and perfect 1940’s hair. A cigarette confidently smoking between fingers and laughter and parties. I would have loved to have seen it.
There is rich history in this state that I love and there is more where we are going. Today we head off to Arizona.
(El Rancho Hotel and Motel, 1000 East Highway 66, Gallup, New Mexico)