Day 17 – Pacific Grove Up the Coast to San Francisco

Day 17 – Pacific Grove Up the Coast to San Francisco

We got up this morning to a calm morning – the water was like glass, the wind was calm, and fog was settling in over the Pacific – much different than the cold wind of the night before. Lover’s Point Inn had a small continental breakfast.  The kids were especially mesmerized by the automatic pancake maker – you just put your batter in and in a few seconds, it shoots out pancakes on the side.  We ate on small bistro…

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Day 16 – Up the Coast from L.A. to Monterey

Day 16 – Up the Coast from L.A. to Monterey

Today seemed like a very long day.  It started in L.A. with heavy Sunday morning traffic on I-5 North.  Ugh!  Our family is always running late for church.  How would we ever get there if we had to fight traffic on Sunday mornings? So long L.A. – we’re not a fan of your traffic. Quickly, L.A. traffic turned into desolate mountains with trees dotting the landscape.  It was 73 degrees in L.A. but the temperature was dropping as we drove…

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Day 15 – Los Angeles

Day 15 – Los Angeles

We woke up today in someone’s home.  What a privilege!  With the use of their kitchen, Jimmy was able to run to Trader Joe’s around the corner and get some milk and bananas to eat with the cereal I brought.  Of course, he also came back with donuts – Yum-Yum donuts.  We noticed a lot of different donut joints all over L.A.  Los Angeles’ers (is that what you call them?) must like donuts. We have a few destinations in mind…

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Day 14 – Las Vegas to L.A.

Day 14 – Las Vegas to L.A.

We all got up slowly this morning.  On the elevator ride down to breakfast, Nate said, “Mom, everything hurts.” My sentiments exactly.  Our hike yesterday in the Narrows of Zion National Park was a highlight of our trip but also one of the most exhausting activities we’ve done thus far.  If my 12 year-old son was hurting all over, how do you think this 40-something woman’s legs were feeling? At breakfast, we had a Sasquatch sighting…an NC State one…  …

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Day 13 – Zion National Park

Day 13 – Zion National Park

Ranger Dan told us that Zion National Park was going to be as crowded or more crowded than The Grand Canyon.  Since The Grand Canyon didn’t seem very crowded, how bad could Zion be? Dan was right!  Zion felt like Walt Disney World. Let’s rewind the day… I got up at 5:30 a.m. (everyone else got up at 6) so we could be out of the hotel with lunches, snacks, Gatorades, and waters packed by 7:30 a.m.  We got to…

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Day 12 – Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona

Day 12 – Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona

This morning, I was sad to leave the beauty of The Grand Canyon behind.  But before we left the park, I wanted to see the Kolb Studio.  It is a small store and museum dedicated to the Kolb brothers – the first photographers and videographers in the canyon (starting in 1901).  In the museum, some of the raw footage that Emery and Ellsworth Kolb had taken on their treacherous two month rafting tour of the Colorado River in the winter…

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Day 11 – The Grand Canyon

Day 11 – The Grand Canyon

The best laid plans of men – is that the saying? The plan was to be up by 5 a.m., have breakfast at 6 a.m. at the hotel, and be on the road by 6:30 a.m. to head to the Grand Canyon.  As usual, we got on the road by about 7:30 – only an hour later.  We got some gas at Costco (already getting use out of my new Costco membership), and hit the Phoenix freeways.  Thankfully we could…

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Days 9 & 10 – Phoenix

Days 9 & 10 – Phoenix

On our drive into Phoenix, we were able to make a last-minute stop to see my cousin and aunt for dinner in Tucson.  It was nice to catch up with them and also get some good recommendations for our upcoming destinations. We crossed into another time zone as we neared Tucson.  It’s a sweet gift on the long travel days when you gain an hour; however, by night time you start to feel the effects of the 25th hour. Phoenix…

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Day 8 – White Sands National Monument in New Mexico

Day 8 – White Sands National Monument in New Mexico

I must admit, it was nice to wake up so close to the White Sands National Monument.  We knew that we could sleep in (a bit at least) and still get to the Sands before the heat of the day.  Our audacious goal was to have eaten breakfast and be checked out of the hotel by 8 a.m.  We left by 8:30 a.m. The weatherman said that the high temperature for the day would be 101 degrees in Alamogordo.  Wheewww…

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Day 7 – Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Day 7 – Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

We’re officially one week into our once-in-a-lifetime cross country trip. After driving some treacherous roads last night, we arrived safely at the Rodeway Inn in Whites City, New Mexico.  The town of Whites City is closer to Carlsbad Caverns than the town of Carlsbad.  Go figure.  Even though we paid a lot (to me) for the hotel, I was nervous about how clean it would be as it was only a 2 star hotel.   Our room was spotless!  We…

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