I had high hopes for this blog. Well actually I had small plans but even those aren’t getting accomplished. Instead of feeling obligated to write and document in detail about where we’ve been I’m going to attempt to journalize it simply through photos and a few captions here and there. If I end up doing more than that then it’s just a bonus. So here is to being on the road for 4 months so far.
First Stop Yuma, AZ…
This trip included visiting the Yuma Territorial Prison. It’s a non-operating prison which made it that much funnier for the boys. According to them it once held “bad guys” who are now zombies.
We also made a stop at a Camel farm. It was already getting hot in Arizona (this was the beginning of April) but we spent enough time at the farm to have fun feeding the animals. We were given locally grown dates to feed the animals.
In Yuma we purchased portable dual screen dvd players that also play video games. It was definitely our best investment to keeping everyone happy on our long drives.
Unfortunately, I forgot to capture our favorite part of the trip; visiting with our friends Josh, Andrea and Alayana.
From Yuma we headed to Bisbee, AZ. We saw a lot of dry land along the way. In fact, we saw a lot of this throughout our drives in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Coming from southern California were everything is so congested it was almost unbelievable to find out how wide and vast the U.S.A. really is.
It was an old mining town and now very eclectic.
While in Bisbee we took a short drive over to Tombstone, AZ. That was lots of fun for us all. The Western cowboy element kept the boys entertained which meant we got to enjoy the history and fun of it all as well. The comedic gun show and trolley tour was also reasonably priced. I’m actually real proud of this first picture because it was taken by Isaiah who was 2 at the time. He has become quite the photographer on our trip; not much skill but loves snapping away every chance he gets.
Las Cruces, NM…
Not too much here but it was a good stopping point to get to our next destination. It does have some rich Mexican-American history and an old school metal merry-go-round.
On our way from Las Cruces, NM to Carlsbad, NM we made a stop at White Sands National Monument. So glad we took this route even though it made the drive a little longer. We purchased a sled at the gift shop and tried some sledding. Although we waxed the bottom of the sled pretty good sledding down the dunes was still pretty slow. Here are a few pictures although they could never capture the beauty and immensity of this place.
Driving from White Sands to Carlsbad, NM became interesting when it seemed as though at one moment we were in desert and the next in snow.
Our sole purpose of stopping here was to visit Carlsbad Caverns. Carlsbad is not much of a city and at this point I’m starting to realize most towns in the U.S. aren’t compared to Los Angeles and San Diego. I did find a small zoo and a pretty cool playground to take the boys. On our last day there we made it out to Carlsbad Caverns and that was breath-taking. It is the third largest chamber in North America and the seventh largest in the world. The descent into the cave is equivalent to about 79 stories and yes my 2 and 4 year old walked most of it. This has been our favorite attraction we’ve been to so far. Again pictures can not do it justice especially since lighting in the cave is very dim.
I’m not a huge fan of Texas but my husband grew up here and he said Austin was definitely the best city in Texas. While there we visited the University of Texas, the Capitol, ate at Salt Lick BBQ, spent an evening at the Children’s Museum when they had a free night open to the public, took a miniature train ride in Barton Springs park and got to visit with my cousins whom I haven’t seen in years.
While in Austin we also took a day trip to San Antonio to visit The Alamo and Riverwalk.
We were there for about 3 days and this is the only picture I took. It was taken at Wal-Mart which I guess I could say was the big highlight of this trip. Not much going on there.
On our way to Longview, TX we were able to spend some time in Houston and visit with our ex-neighbors and close friends. It was great seeing them but reminded me of how much I miss the Colemans.
Since this is where Kris grew up and where his parents live our trip there meant a lot of spoiling for the boys. It included attractions at the local mall, an indoor play gym and a carnival. We also got to visit with our friends the McNews and Skenders.
This ended up being one of our longest stays. We were there for 2 weeks when our parked car was hit by a drunk driver and we had to wait until all the repairs were done. On the up side this allowed us more time to spend with friends and family. It also prevented us from our planned trip to Oklahoma which was hit by a huge tornado at the time we were suppose to be there.
Most of our trip here was spent visiting with friends and family. We also made some time for the Children’s Aquarium and the swap meet at the RV park we were staying at that had rides and all.
Colorado Springs, CO
We always try our best to stay at a campground that is family friendly.
At Garden of the Gods the boys thought they became expert rock climbers and made good use of their new skills. Of course their plush toys came along as they do pretty much wherever we go.
Focus on the Family Visitor’s Center was a pleasant surprise. I never knew or even thought it would have a huge play area on the bottom floor.
We also took a scenic drive and small hike to see a local waterfall.
To end our touristy trip we made a visit to the Air Force Academy.
The drive from Colorado Springs to Ouray was spectacular.
Ouray did not disappoint either.
While there we took a gondola ride up to Telluride where it lightly snowed for us despite it being the end of May.
Ogden is right outside of Salt Lake City. While in Salt Lake City we visited Clark Planetarium and of course the Mormon Temple.
We made a quick stop in Boise, ID. There I took the boys to the MK Nature Center; fun, educational and most of all free.
Bend, OR …
Oregon and Washington are very lush and green because of the rain.
The best part of the trip was exploring our 2nd cave of our roadtrip; the Lava River Cave. This one was different from Carlsbad Caverns in that it’s a lava tube and completely pitch black (no artificial lighting). We used our headlamps and flashlights but probably should have paid the $5 for the lanterns provided at the entrance.
The campground we stayed at was very family friendly and had a fun area with a Western theme.
Newport, OR …
The North Coast is neat in that we can camp in the middle of the forest and then walk across the street and be at the beach.
I took the boys to the Undersea Gardens, definitely overpriced for what they offer but having a coupon and the boys being free made it worth it. Afterwards we walked around the Historic Bayfront.
The better place was Hartfield Marine Science Center and it was free.
Probably the boys best part of this stay was trick or treating in June. The staff at our campground were super nice, great with kids and had lots of activities planned that weekend.
Portland made for a lot of special memories. There we celebrated Isaiah’s 3rd birthday and 4th of July and my dad and step mom even made the drive out there to be join us.
We also explored downtown, the Grotto, visited the Keller fountain, went to see Monsters University and hiked in the Colombia River Gorge to Mutnlomath Falls.
I had really been anticipating this trip primarily because we’d be seeing my sister-in-law and niece. We also met up with our friends the Florios there and my mom even flew out for a weekend. It was destined to be a great time and it was.
My niece, Daryn, was able to sleepover one night. It was her first sleepover without her mom. Two things were a must on her list; roasting marshmallows and hiking. Samuel wouldn’t leave her side even when it was time for bed.
A short trip to Seattle to see the city and pick up my mom from the airport
Since we were with friends and family I decided to throw a birthday party for the boys.
A fun trip on a ferry to Friday Harbor.
This trip included a fun jump pillow at the campground, an air show and blueberry picking at Cascadian Farm.
The city of Leavenworth is a cute Bavarian village. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the town or the authentic German food we ate. I did get a few shots of the beach (as in river beach) that we thoroughly enjoyed. We also enjoyed all the time we got to spend with the Florios; here, in Concrete and in Anacortes. A huge treat for us to finally have some friends around.
Our stop here was very brief and it was the place we spent Samuel’s birthday. His birthday was a day filled with fun activities for him; roller skating, go-kart racing and cake!
This time around we spent a lot more time at the Historical Bayfront.