Wednesday, May 6, 2009

There and Back again - Day Two


So where were we? Oh right. Grants, New Mexico. Okay, so Grants is probably a great place and all. But we had expected to get well into Arizona on day one and we had a time crunch. The Project Book Babe event was at 2pm.

Just a side note:
I had planned for us to eat fast food no more than once per day. We brought a 13 gallon storage container packed with bread, peanut butter, chips, pretzels, dry cereal, foam bowls, plastic silverware and plastic cups. Also a small cooler for sodas and water bottles. Many hotels have complementary breakfast so we weren't overly concerned about breakfast but dry cereal is good for munching anyways. My thought was that if we didn't end up at a place without breakfast would just need to get a small container of milk. I tried to make sure we had either bottled or Colorado water in the cooler. We've been known to not do well with "foreign" water. Better safe than sorry.

So back to the trip. We headed on thru New Mexico. It's a very beautiful place. The desert is amazing. We had never seen anything like it. I found that I have quite a big case of Agoraphobia (a.k.a.- I panic in wide open spaces. lovely.) That became more and more evident throughout the rest of the trip.

So we drove stopping from time to time to see the sites (potty breaks). We saw Route 66 on several occasions and we also saw THE rock formations from the movie Cars. It felt like we were driving thru Radiator Springs.

Caption: The white stuff is snow.

So the next really note-worthy place we went to was Flagstaff, Arizona. You drive for hours and hours thru nothing but desert and suddenly you are in a evergreen forest. We saw log cabins. Flagstaff was beautiful. The weather was nice. It was a breath of fresh air after almost a year of being without trees. (We moved to Colorado from the southeast about a year ago. The lack of trees is something that we have yet to get over.) There are lots of hotels, restaurants, Starbucks, department stores just in case you forgot to bring a jacket. But we continued on to Phoenix.

The drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix was really picturesque. Our second born, Monkey, has been studying animal habitats at our homeschool science program and he got lots of photos of the desert. I've never really seen a cactus. But we saw thousands. He was pointing out that certain species of cactus grow an "arm" every 50 years. Some of them had several "arms". We were quite amazed by the height of them. At one roadside store the cactus that was standing next to the building had to be almost 20 feet tall. Amazing.

We finally got to Phoenix! Yippee! It's like an oasis. There are palm trees everywhere. Not like the ones you see in Florida. These were very lush and bright. The ones I've come across in Florida are usually not bright green. These were really pretty. Swimming pools everywhere. And these really bright red bushes. I have no idea what they were but I'm sure the proud natives would know. Anyways, we took a wrong turn and there was a bit of construction. So I got there a little late. But I got a really good seat at the event. Hubby and the kiddos explored the neighborhood near the school where the event was held and found a really nice park and playground. Which I think the kids probably really appreciated after the long ride.

Here's a photo from the Project Book Babe event:

Caption: That's Stephenie Meyer and Shannon Hale, 2 of my favorite authors.

So after the event was over and we had a nice early dinner we drove back up to Flagstaff. We found another affordable hotel. I wish I could remember the name of it. But the cost ($60) was about the same as day one. I know we filled up the tank before we left Phoenix but I'm not sure if we got gas earlier that day. I think we grabbed breakfast sandwiches when we got into Arizona and we had Arby's after the event. Also on a side note we were really worried about the time crunch until we stopped just inside Arizona and found that there is a time change? We had no idea that we would go through a time zone. So that helped with our trip.

We spent the night in Flagstaff, which DH discovered is less than 2 hours from the Grand Canyon. So can you see where this is going?

More tomorrow and the pics are worth the wait.

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