We’ve made it!
The Travel Size Family has landed for an extended stay in SoCal!
Five and a half days of travel spanning 2,389 miles and we have made it!
It was quite an amazing adventure. Watching the rolling green hills of Western PA melt away to the farm land of middle America, then drastically changing to the rocky deserts of the Southwest, and finally crossing the Mojave desert to descend upon the LA area was a beautiful journey. I strongly suggest everyone takes the trip at least once in their lifetime. My grandparents would routinely make the trip, and my Gram talks about those adventures fondly.
We broke the trip up into pieces to make it a bit more manageable. After leaving Wichita, we continued on with clear stops we wanted to make before our final stop in Albuquerque. Two of those stops were in Amarillo, TX: the Big Texan and Cadillac Ranch.
We made it to Cadillac Ranch at sunset, one of my two favorite times to take pictures (the other being sunrise).
We then drove in to Albuquerque for a visit with Mr. B‘s Grandma, Aunt, and Cousin. They were waiting for us upon arrival, standing outside with nacho fixings waiting for us in the kitchen. We ate then went to bed.
ABQ from the foothills of Sandia Peak.
The morning brought Mr. B‘s 30th birthday! We celebrated with a trip to Old Town Albuquerque, a drive up to the Sandia Peak, then the kids, Mr. B, and I had lunch at a trendy downtown historic Route 66 place called Blackbird Buvette. We later had cupcakes and ice cream before turning in to the night.
We were planning on leaving the next morning, but decided to stay another day since we rarely see this part of the family. We stayed until the end of Valentine’s Day, but were packing the car again for another middle of the night departure.
We were making our final press into CA, and the only stop left on our journey would be to the Grand Canyon. We left at midnight so we could arrive at The Canyon by dawn.
It was beautiful. I don’t want to be one of those people who say ‘You have to go see it, at least once’, but it’s true. It was breathtaking.
We had breakfast, then continued down the road, only 6:30 left until our destination!
We drove through the Mojave Desert that seemed to stretch on forever. Each mountain we would summit only revealed many more miles of straight driving and no rest in sight. We stopped at the only place between Kingman, AZ and Barstow, CA which was the dingiest Dairy Queen situated in a gas station ever. Maybe it’s the only Dairy Queen situated in a gas station, I don’t know for sure, but they had cold ice cream and a place to stretch our legs.
Driving, driving, drivingdrivingdriving.
We drove on and on. The only thing keeping us sane was the car DVD players the kids received for Christmas from Mr. B‘s dad and step-mom. Those things were life savers.
Driving, driving, driving.
Up and down hills and mountains until finally! We were finally winding down the mountain, through the ominous cloud of smog the LA region is notorious for, 10 minutes away from our hotel. We were cheering and clapping in our semi-delirious road-worn state.
Here we are, resident tourists. We couldn’t even fully relax because the next few days were filled with meetings and preparations to make our next few months successful here, thus why this post is so late (we arrived on Saturday)!
We are ready though, homeschooling our way through California, one day at a time.