We’ve now been home from vacation for 4 days and I’m finally sitting down and starting to catch up on posts. I hope it won’t be weird that I still post one day at a time, because I’m gonna do it anyway. I wrote a post almost every night we were gone but didn’t always have the internet access to post or upload pics so I just saved them. If you missed the first few days of our trip, here they are:
If you’re all caught up now… let’s continue with Day 4, June 1.
Today was a glorious day!! A lot less driving than the first 3 days of our trip and SO many beautiful things! We woke up, ate breakfast, packed and loaded and were out by around 9:30am. I know it’s not early, but it works for us!
Our first stop was to backtrack a little bit and go see the Petrified Forrest National Park and the southern part of the Painted Dessert.
WOW am I glad we didn’t miss it!! We initially thought we’d spend an hour or two there and move on, but we ended up being there between 4 and 5 hours.
Why don’t I know how long?? Because we cannot figure out what time it is here. When we crossed over from Texas into New Mexico, we changed from the Central Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone. But then when we crossed into Arizona (still in Mountain Time) we found out that most of the state doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time, which actually made them the same time as the Pacific Time Zone. !?!?! Basically our phones say one time, our computers another, we tried to update our truck time but everywhere we stop says something different. SO – we have no idea what time it is – all the time! HA!! Are you as confused as we are??
That aside, the kids had a blast – Joshua took lots of pictures of all of the native flowers in the desert and then the four middle kids even completed the Junior Ranger Program and earned badges and patches (totally forgot to get a pic) and Richy and I really loved it too!
We again enjoyed a picnic lunch at one of the picnic areas and we (me and the kiddos) took around 1000 pictures. Not even kidding.
By the way – I’m happy to report that although I’m SURE I’m going to be sore – I kept up with the kiddos for all the hiking they wanted to do and logged over 11,000 steps today!! Whoo-Hoo!!
So after driving through the entire park and stopping at least 20 times to walk trails, read signs, and take pictures, we made our way back to the interstate and headed for Meteor Crater.
I’m not gonna lie… this was not on my list of things I wanted to do. This is something my husband and boys really wanted to see. But in the end, it ended up being pretty interesting and I’m happy we stopped!
Most memorable thing for the kids?? They thought the wind there was the most fun thing ever. Obviously…
Another favorite thing… one of the Arizona Rest Area’s. We stopped for a bathroom break, but there were big red rocks for climbing so we stayed a little longer and let the kids run off some energy and stretch their legs!
From there, we headed toward Flagstaff. We tried to get up to Volcano Crater but the visitor’s center and gates were already closed. 🙁
However, we were able to drive out toward it for a little ways and get a few amazing pictures of Humphrey’s Peak (highest point in Arizona) and we saw some deer (too fast for a pic).
We weren’t sure what to expect at the lodge in Cameron (or the surrounding area as far as places to eat), so we decided to go back into Flagstaff for supper because we were HON-gry.
Using the Roadtrippers app, I found Salsa Brava and saw that it had fantastic reviews. Honestly, I was scared to try another “new” restaurant after the disappointment on Saturday night, but when we saw that Guy Fieri had featured it on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, we figured it must be good.
And let me tell you – it did NOT disappoint. The food was SO amazing!! Everything from a Salsa Bar to the drinks to the servers and toys for the kids and the super nice hostess and ultimately a delicious meal! I highly recommend this place if you’re ever in Flagstaff and want some delicious Mexican (?) food!!
After eating, we headed back up to Cameron where we are staying at the Cameron Trading Post. Funny thing…. we had only been there about 5 minutes flat when I was in one room lecturing my kids about NOT locking the keys in the room… when one of my younger kiddos locked BOTH of the room keys in our other room where Asher was sleeping (we had just carried him up from the truck).
After calling the room a dozen times, knocking on the door and windows and even the walls (we had rooms next to each other), we realized the sleeping child was NOT budging so we had to walk back to the office and ask someone to come unlock our door. Oh the joys of children!! Color me embarrassed!
Because I couldn’t begin to narrow down all of our photos, here are a few more favorites from today. I only have about 1000 that I left out 😉
Anyway – tomorrow the Grand Canyon and hopefully many new adventures are waiting for us, so I’m going to try to get some much needed sleep!!