Saturday, August 06, 2011

Day 20 – Saturday – August 6, 2011

0600 Wake up.

0615 Wake up the girls.

0630 Breakfast

0722 All loaded and ready to go.

0724 Leaving hotel.

0730 Stop for gas. $3.48/gallon

0751 Make it to I-15 South.  257 miles to Los Angeles

0803 Passing a prison next to the Gold Strike Casino

0812 California!  Two casinos and an outlet mall at the state line (on the Nevada side!)

0825 Cresting a mountain pass – 4,730 feet

0853 Baker, CA – Gateway to Death Valley and the Mojave Desert

0900 Zzyzx Road.  Really?  Who named this road?

0930 See a closed water park.  Ryan thinks it’s weird to see a water park in the desert that isn’t open.

0934 Whew – we passed our agricultural inspection.

0940 Ghost Town Road

0945 Made it to Barstow.  Elevation, 2,170 feet.  Current temperature, 84 degrees

0953 Stop for gas in Lenwood. 

1014 Leaving  Lenwood after also stopping at McD’s for drinks.

1035 Victorville.  The kids are hungry so we stop at In-n-Out Burger.  Yum!  Welcome back to California!

1055 Leaving Victorville

1110 Ron called to see where we are.  He is still at the airport in San Francisco.  Who will get there first?

1158 Pasadena

12:10 p.m. Burbank

12:14 p.m. On 101 North – our first LA traffic jam.  Oh yay.

12:40 p.m. Agora Hills

1:05 p.m. Conejo.  Another traffic jam.

1:36 p.m. Pacific Ocean!

1:40 p.m. Another traffic jam!  Ugh!

2:11 p.m. Santa Barbara, elevation 33 feet

2:15 p.m.  Potty and snack break at McD’s in Carpenteria

2:46 p.m.  Need a break from driving.  Way too many traffic jams today.  Stop at Mission Santa Barbara to stretch our legs.

3:00 p.m. See Lake Cachuma

3:08 p.m. Ron called – he beat us home.

3:14 p.m. Santa Ynez River

3:28 p.m. Lots of vineyards out here.

3:32 p.m. Los Alamos, CA

3:45 p.m. Santa Maria – getting close

3:53 p.m. See a sign for Arroyo Grande – only 12 more miles!

4:03 p.m. Exiting in Arroyo Grande

4:11 p.m.  Home sweet new home!  Ending mileage is 91,358 which makes our total trip mileage just 4,474 miles.  I think this is our shortest Big Trip ever.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Day 19

Day 19 – Friday – August 5, 2011

0500 Wake up. Darby is looking at me. Might as well just forget the alarm and get up now. Once again, the time change helps!

0525 Stop in the lobby to get coffee after walking Darby. The coffee is bad. Over all I am NOT impressed with this hotel.

0540 Sunrise

0545 Shower. Good to have water pressure again.

0600 Wake the kids up.

0629 Leaving hotel. Stop next door at Jack in the Box for breakfast.

0647 Looking for a Grand Canyon sign. We’re lost! You would think they would have better signs for something as famous as the Grand Canyon!

0650 Finally figure out where we’re going. We are the only car on the road at the moment.

0745 Grand Canyon entrance gate

0752 Stop at Mather’s Point overlook and visitor’s center. Walk along the rim trail and take lots of pictures. The lighting isn’t as good as I hoped but the view is amazing! It’s so vast that it’s really hard to tell how big it is – no scale references like at Royal Gorge where you have the bridge over the river and the people walking below. Never less – I have finally seen the Grand Canyon! Woohoo!

0930 Leaving Grand Canyon. Things are getting busy. Good thing we came early!

0944 Horse trailer full of aluminum cans. No horse.

1009 Sheep

1032 Back to I-40 where we started this morning.

1049 Ryan spots a cowboy. A real cowboy – riding a horse – and tending the cattle. Cool!

1155 Kingman, AZ

12:00 p.m. Lunch break at Sonic

12:20 p.m. Gas, $3.39/gallon

1:26 p.m. Stop at the scenic overlook. I thought it was the Colorado River but it was actually Lake Mojave. Almost to Hoover Dam and the new bridge! Current temperature, 103 degrees.

Wait – what was that? Was that the bridge? But I couldn’t see anything! I couldn’t see the bridge or the dam or the river or anything! Waa! I want my money back!!!

Decide to exit and drive across the dam so we can actually see it and see the bridge from below. Cross back to Arizona and then back to Nevada once more.

2:00 p.m. Leaving Hoover Dam.

2:01 p.m. Lake view overlook – Lake Mead. Current temperature, 107 degrees!

2:10 p.m. Boulder City. Driving around and showing the kids my old house, old school, etc.

2:45 p.m. Dairy Queen for ice cream.

3:10 p.m. Holiday Inn Express in Henderson.

5:00 p.m. Can’t go swimming yet – someone had an accident in the pool.

6:30 p.m. Dinner at Sunset Station Casino buffet. Good thing we beat the crowd – the line is long when we leave.

After dinner we go to the pool. It is still very warm out here.

For one last field trip of the day – a drive down the Las Vegas Strip. Lots of lights and oh so many people! It has been a long time since I’ve been here. It seems so much more over the top than before.

10:30 p.m. Back at the hotel. Current temperature, 91 degrees.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Day 18

Day 18 – Thursday – August 4, 2011

0606 Wake up. Shower. Fold the laundry.

0705 Get the kids up.

Finish packing and loading then take final pictures before we leave. It is one tight squeeze with the addition of another passenger – Grandma Racinez!

0752 Leave. Current temperature is 62 degrees.

0758 National Guard Armory. Tank parked outside.

0807 Rio Grande River in Bernalillo

0814 Twisters for breakfast burritos. Yum!

0816 Starbucks drive-thru for coffee

0837 See a VW bug lowrider. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that before!

0842 I-40 West

0845 Rio Grande River in Albuquerque

0943 Grants, NM. Gas, $3.57/gallon. Some guy comes up begging for money – some sob story about trying to get back to the reservation. He was perfectly polite until I gave him $5. Then he turned tail and practically ran away. I am completely annoyed that he didn’t have the decency to say thank you. I doubt his story was true anyway but sheesh –use your manners! I yelled, “You’re welcome” at his back as he trotted off into the horizon.

0957 Exit the interstate, headed to El Morro National Monument. Lots of black lava rocks along the roadside.

1020 Continental Divide, elevation 7,882 feet

1038 El Morro visitor’s center. Bought our new annual park pass.

1132 Leaving El Morro

12:05 p.m. Zuni Indian Pueblo.

12:21 p.m. Arizona! Time change.

1157 Sanders, AZ – back to I-40

12:10 p.m. Lunch stop –Subway at the gas station in Navajo, AZ. Not much out here and we need to eat before we hit Petrified Forest.

12:47 p.m. Petrified Forest National Park

12:55 p.m. Leaving Petrified Forest/Painted Desert visitor’s center

1:26 p.m. old Route 66 monument

1:35 p.m. Santa Fe Railroad

1:36 p.m. Puerco River

1:46 p.m. Newspaper Rock
1:58 p.m. Agate Bridge

2:05 p.m. Crystal Forest. Darby refuses to get out of the car. I think he’s tired and his feet hurt from the hot ground out here. So we leave him in the car with the windows down while we take a couple quick pictures.

2:24 p.m. Leaving the park.

2:37 p.m. Little Colorado River

2:40 p.m. Holbrook, AZ – back on I-40 again

2:50 p.m. McD’s for iced coffee

2:59 p.m. Cholla Power Plant

3:38 p.m. Canyon Diablo

3:58 p.m. Flagstaff, AZ – looking for a gas station and find Jack in the Box. Stop for a snack.

4:20 p.m. Gas, $3.49/gallon

4:37 p.m. Arizona Divide 7,335 feet

4:51 p.m. Guy on a bike pulling a trailer filled with scrap wood/lumber.

4:53 p.m. Field filled with yellow wildflowers

5:00 p.m. Holiday Inn, Williams, AZ There is something wrong with the wells in town so the water is icky.

5:55 p.m. Dinner at the Singing Pig. Got to sit outside in a covered porch-swing-picnic-table. Live music. Good food. Friendly owners.

Back at the hotel, things are getting busy. We’d better head out early in the morning to beat the crowd!

There were some inconsiderate teens at the pool which made it not much fun. Be aware of your surroundings, people, and have a little consideration for others!!!

Swim then shower then off to bed early. Lights out a 9:15 in my room (not sure about Grandma and the girls) which is even easier to do with the time change today.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Day 17

Day 17 – Wednesday – August 3, 2011

0645 Darby wakes me up. I didn’t sleep well last night. First I couldn’t fall asleep and then I had crazy dreams.


0700 Bella is up. Ryan and Felisa are sleeping in.

0900 Utility transfer requests for the old house are complete.

0930 I need to quit wasting time and update my blog!

0945 The kids are treasure hunting in the garage again.

0950 Refill Darby’s water again – now we’re having the opposite water problem. He keeps drinking it faster than I can fill it!

0951 Take pictures of the kids with all the spears and swords they found in the garage.

Head into town with Grandma. Stop at Sonic and Starbucks and the bank.

Back home the kids are all still playing.

Raining! Again! It must be monsoon season or something.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Day 16

Day 16 – Tuesday – August 2, 2011

0630 Wake up. Put Darby out. Felisa is awake already. She never wakes up this early at home… must be because she wants to play with Philip.

Elena and I went on another field trip today. This time we went to Staples for school supplies, Weck’s for brunch (yum!) and then the mall. I went to Barnes and Noble while she went to Sephora. We checked out the new Coach store then it was time to head back.

After lunch, Ryan and I went to see the last Harry Potter movie. The movie was good and the snake only creeped me out a little bit. The previews were worse than the movie by far. Apparently people who go to Harry Potter also like to see creepy scary movies. Ick!

After the movie, we stopped by Walmart to get a birthday present for Seth. We picked out a small cops and robbers lego set which he liked a lot. Felisa and Philip helped him put it together.

For dinner we had Grandma’s noodles – yum! After dinner I surfed Etsy looking for some cool whimsical state maps art. Julie’s travel pictures that she had hanging at her place inspired me to want to do the same. Then I saw a cool map gallery wall online and thought I could maybe combine the two ideas.

Bedtime except that I forgot I had some bills to pay. I got distracted looking at new rustic western furniture online so did that for a long time. Then finally I paid the bills. I probably should have done the bills first because then I would’ve remembered that we have no money for new furniture!

11:45 p.m. Lights out.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Day 15

Day 15 – Monday – August 1, 2011

0630 Wake up. Let Darby out. The coffee hasn’t been made yet so I go back to bed and read for awhile.

Eventually I get up and get showered. Then Elena and I head out for a field trip to Starbucks and Walmart.

When we get back I hang out with Mark for awhile but then he falls asleep so I have no choice but to go lie down next to him on the bed while he sleeps. I wouldn’t want him to roll off now would I?

1:20 p.m. Vic’s Tree Service calls. I give them my mailing address for the bill. Unfortunately the phone call woke Mark up.

Grandma went to the store. The six biggest kids stayed here with me and Mark went home with Elena while we waited for her to come back.

3:40 p.m. Finally time to hit the pool. It started raining about 30 minutes in. The kids didn’t mind the rain so we stayed until we saw lightning/heard thunder.

4:35 p.m. Stormed out at the pool – heading back home.

7:00 p.m. Finally the barbeque is ready to eat. Yum – I was starving!

After dinner I finished my book.

8:30 p.m. Bedtime. Felisa wants to sleep on the floor for some reason tonight. I found some blankets and pillows for her to use. Darby decided that he wanted to use Felisa’s blanket to sleep on. I told them they had to work it out!

In other news today, Ryan lost 1 ½ teeth. I think that marks the end of his baby teeth. Guess my baby’s not a baby anymore…