it's been about a week since we got back from our road trip and i am smiling ear to ear just thinking about the fun we had. before we left on the trip, when i mentioned our plans to my friends or people i talked too, they would say...
"Wow! that's a lot of driving."
"And you're taking the kids????!"
"You call that a vacation"….Good Luck!"
since it was our first experience doing a road trip, i started to get worried that i was crazy for thinking this trip was going to be fun. but i couldn't help but think it was going to be wonderful experience for our family. the only expectations that i had were the hopes that my children would see other areas of the country, enjoy the outdoors and see things they haven't seen before. i had the same hopes for myself and my husband.
16 days, 3,187 miles, 7 states and 4 National Parks later, i would have to say that we had the time of our lives! the road trip was even better than i imagined. so much fun, such beautiful scenery and so many amazing memories. this is one trip my kids will never forget.
now…i will be writing about each stop we made during the trip on the blog in the upcoming weeks, but just to let you follow our route, here are the major stops we made: (click on the links below to read about each experience)
Tahiti Village - Las Vegas
Denny's and Fremont Street - Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion - Virgin, Utah
Zion National Park - Springville, Utah
Kanab - Utah
Parry Lodge - Kanab - Utah
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary - Kanab, Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes - Kanab, Utah
Little Hollywood Museum & Chuck Wagon Dinner Theater - Kanab, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park - Bryce Canyon, Utah
Dixie National Forest - Utah
Salt Lake City KOA
Temple Square - Salt Lake City, Utah
Cedar Creek Mall - Salt Lake City, Utah
The Real Up House - Herriman, Utah
Heber Valley Railroad - Heber Valley, Utah
The Homestead Crater - Heber Valley, Utah
Heber Valley Artisan Cheese - Heber Valley, Utah
Natural History Museum of Utah - Salt Lake City, Utah
Lava Hot Springs KOA
Lava Hot Springs Hot Pools - Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
Lava Hot Springs Olympic Swimming Complex - Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
Yellowstone West Gate KOA
Yellowstone Hot Pots
Yellowstone Old Faithful
Yellowstone Bear World - Rexburg, Idaho
Idaho Potato Museum - Blackfoot, Idaho
Ruth's Diner - Salt Lake City, Utah
Gadgets & Gifts - Parowon, Utah
Las Vegas Strip - Las Vegas, Nevada
these stops were not all planned before we left…many of them were recommendations from people we met along the way and readers who emailed, facebooked and messaged me while we were traveling. the visitor bureaus were also amazing at finding special and unique things for us to experience. they really know there stuff, so it's great to give them a call if your need some help in your planning.
it may sound crazy to travel without knowing what you will be doing, but i think this is what made our trip so much fun.
being flexible is the key.
we knew some of the stops we wanted to make and cities we wanted to visit…and booked KOA and a few hotels a couple days before we left, but we kept our schedule open to allow us to do activities we discovered along our journey. which was great…because we actually deviated a bit from the original plans. we ended up taking out the end of our trip and adding a day in Idaho and Yellowstone. also, the frequent stops is what made the traveling so enjoyable. the most we drove was 4-6 hours at a time. and thanks to DVD players, iPads, a few games and beautiful scenery, there was little whining from the kids. i was really impressed at how good they were.