As many of you know, I am in the process of moving my family from Northern California, where we’ve lived the last 10 years, back to my home state of Texas. This past week, my parents flew out to accompany my kids and I on the drive. My husband is remaining a while longer to wrap up work and house stuff there.
We decided to extend what is a 3-day drive to a 5-day drive and enjoy short stops at some of the sites that the southwestern area of the United States has to offer. I thought I’d share some thoughts and picks from each.
I had been there, but this was a first time for parents, and really for my kiddos who’d seen it too young to remember. I’d forgotten the harrowing drive down into the valley (they really need to think about more guard rails on that darn road. I was really glad we weren’t hauling a Uhaul behind my truck.
Yosemite is incredible with it’s massive granite domes and walls. The waterfalls weren’t running by now. Bridal Veil Falls had a little water wisping over the top and then disappearing in the air.
On a whim, we decided to add an hour to our trip and drive through Death Valley. We were all expecting flat, sandy, nothingness as far as the eye could see. Instead, the valley truly is a valley with mountains on both sides and fascinating geology and colors. No two formations or mountains are the same. Some red, some grey, some white, some black volcanic rock. It was 117 degrees when we drove through at 12:30. Holy smokes!
Look for another post on this from me on this place because it might be a setting in an upcoming book (or 2).
It had been a while since my parents or I had been. Amazing how fast they can put up new hotels around there. We stayed at New York New York which is still one of my favorite hotels. A couple disappointments in terms of things to do. For example, the Bellagio Fountain kept getting stuck. Not that we could have seen it through the crowds anyway. But we played at the arcade in the hotel and enjoyed the donut place. My parents had fun gambling. (Not my thing. I’m a cooler.)
Only Dad had seen the Grand Canyon before. I have to say that it’s incredible. “Grand” doesn’t really do it justice. I’ve seen pictures of course, but they just can’t capture the magnitude of that canyon. I got some great pics of the Watchtower in the sunset. I watched some really stupid people ignore the barriers to go out and take pictures at the very edge. Most interesting to me was that, from the south side where we were, you don’t see it until you’re in it practically. Makes me wonder if any of the first explorers fell in accidentally as they stumbled upon it. Amazing!