The hubby and I decided in September (not soon after our last road trip) to take the trip and than we decided to well not tell the kids. It was a hard secret to keep and almost got blown a few times either by one of us or by an innocent by stander that who mentions something in passing. Two days before, I about let the cat out of the bag when I set the house key out and mentioned I needed to give it to someone. My daughter zeroed in on it and asked why? Totally off the cuff, made up an excuse and well she believed it. Whoooo- close one.
So when were Facetiming with the Grandparents and we decided to tell them why they were on. Wow were the kids excited about it. They were excited to see their Grandparents in Arizona as well as going to see the parade (which Miss O had seen two years prior). So I frantically than packed four people up, and got ready to travel about 3200 miles in 8 days. It was an amazing trip and lots of fun plus low gas prices really helped out.
So off we were headed west on I-10 through Texas- about 1200 miles of driving. We drove 650 miles the first day to Van Horn, Texas. A small rural yet tourist area. It is a typical small town with the western style buildings and a small corner diner.
As we got off the interstate, we saw a variety of different motels but one hotel stood out the Hotel El Captain. It was a retro but updated Hotel that had an adorable dining room as well as a good breakfast (Texas shaped waffles are a plus). We had a great night's sleep and were off the next morning. In the future, we will reserve our room at this charming place.
Van Horn, Texas
As we headed out of Van Horn, we crossed pretty quick into Mountain time zone now giving us an extra hour of time (so we felt less guilty getting a later start). If you have traveled to this area, you know it is both beautiful yet desolate all at the same time. Small towns dot the area but you can go for an hour not seeing a house on the side of the road.
Outside Van Horn
Things I am thankful are that about every hour is a wayside but not so thankful for how cold the seats were because they are hybrid outdoor/indoor.
We also made a stop at El Paso Saddleblanket Company which is the oddest but collect store all at the same time. You can get saddles, wallets and coffins. Yes I said coffins. We walked out with a ceramic Sugar skull, wallet and two bowling pins. Yeah that pretty much sums up what the store is like. I think we spent nearly an hour there exploring the grounds. My hubby almost bought horns for his bar but decided to wait to find the right ones.
We soon crossed over into New Mexico after clearly seeing the Mexico border and having a slightly heated conversation with ATT which though we were in Mexico because the cell tower pinged us there even though we never were- it got straighten out.
New Mexcio is a quick drive until you have to go through border patrol. Yeah don't get me started about it. They waved us through after I would guess took about a hundred pictures of us, the car and well about anything they could imagine using the cameras placed every where. I am sure they knew exactly where why c-section scar was!
Than we finally reached Arizona which was our designation for the next few days. New Mexico changes from mountains to more desert while Arizona is just desert with mountains in the background. The boy thought the cactus that started popping up were so cool. We zoomed through Benson, Tucson and headed straight to Phoenix where my father in law was patiently waiting for his grandchildren. He knew our location at all times because the hubby and him have this app on their phones to track location. He watched us get off the freeway and had the garage open and waiting for us.
It is wonderful to see the joy on a Grandfather's face as thier grandchildren run out of the car screaming Papa and vice versa. We enjoyed quiet dinner and walked around downtown Phoenix a bit. It was a welcome walk after 550 miles of driving.
The next day we did some shopping and getting ready for the next leg of our trip. We enjoyed lunch at Chino Bandido's which was featured on the Triple D- how can you not go to place that serves both Chinese and Mexican!
That evening, we were off to a quiet night in (okay the hubby and I went to the movies) because we were off on the next leg bright and early the next morning.