Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Road Trip Recap

Wow - I've been away from blogging for too long.  I wish it were easier to blog from my iPad -but sadly, it is a serious P.A.I.N.  so I avoid it.  Maybe I'll put learning how to blog while away from home on my "must learn how to do this" list!

Our road trip was a smashing success!  Only hiccup was that I thought I lost my license at LAX.  Texas Daughter announced that we wouldn't be able to drive through Arizona - without papers, they'd consider me "undocumented"!  Not to worry - license hidden in wallet and we were able to stick to our original plan.

I so love road trips. Flying is great for getting from Point A to Point B quickly, but nothing beats the freedom of driving wherever you want, stopping whenever you want and having drinks and snacks in the back seat!

There is so much amazing country between LA and Austin - desert, bizarre land formations with amazing colors, The Grand Canyon, funky towns along old Route 66.
Where else would you find The London Bridge but in the middle of nowhere in Arizona?  Talk about crazy - man-made town, man-made reservoir/lake with the stately stone bridge shipped over from London. 

We were lucky  to spend a night at El Tovar on the south rim of the canyon.  It's a great old western lodge with wonderful porches for watching the sunset over the canyon.   The Canyon is just spectacular and a real take-your-breath-away experience.  The size alone is hard to take in and everywhere you look there is another amazing scene.  It's hard not to gush on like a (gasp) tourist.

We took a leisurely walk on the paved trail around the rim - remember Austin daughter is about seven months pregnant!  The trail is perfect - right on the rim but no falling over the edge danger!
We got up early to watch the sunrise over the canyon and nearly froze in the chilly temperature and gusty winds.

Another "we're not in Kansas anymore" adventure - the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.  The colors in the Painted Desert are so vivid.  White hills with red and blue layers - who knew?  Not sure what I thought the Petrified Forest was like, but it certainly wasn't masses of huge trees strewn all over - all turned into stone with amazing colors.

There are some funky towns along the old Route 66 - clearly clinging to the '50s glory days of car travel.  The Interstate by-passed the towns and their road side attractions, but the towns are still living in the '50s for the tourists.  Doesn't this cute woman look like she stepped right out of the 50s?

We hit all kinds of weather except rain.  There were parts of Arizona that were freezing - temps in the 40s with howling winds.  Then there the times we didn't need to be reminded we were in the desert with temperatures of 106 and were grateful to become acquainted with outdoor restaurant's misters.  The fine water mist doesn't soak you, but it does knock down the temperature between ten and fifteen degrees.  And I thought misters were only for produce at the grocery store!   Then at Cadillac Ranch - freezing temps and fierce winds- we stayed close to our car - too cold!!

Austin Daughter found great eats (how did we function before Yelp) and we sampled all kinds of Tex-Mex creations.  OK, there was also the room service ice cream delivery that capped off a long day of driving.


Next up- unpacking boxes and discovering Austin.

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