Sunday, June 1, 2014

Planning A Big Family Driving Vacation...Again

We are trying to plan another big, family driving vacation for this summer.  This time, we're hoping to actually get to go on the vacation (last time was interrupted by a family tragedy, and no one wants to have to go through that again, thank you)

This has kind of come together on the fly.  My planning is a little all over the place at the moment -- completely not me, as I am much more of a type A plan-a-holic about this sort of thing.

The plan is a sort of cross-country jaunt, punctuated in between by working weeks for Mr. ReddHedd at various offices along the way.  It came about because he had to be out of town for meetings in various places while we are off for our all-too-short summer break, and we decided that we'd like to actually see him for more than 2 or 3 days at a stretch, thank you very much...and thus, the driving idea was born.

Our plan is to go from here to New Orleans for a couple of days, to ride the street cars and see some glorious old mansions and live oaks, and perhaps listen to a little live jazz as well, if we can find a place or two that will allow The Peanut to jam along with us.

From there, we'll head over to Houston on the coastal road of I-10, and stay for a week.

Then across Texas to the Alamo, then Carlsbad Caverns, then over to Tucson, then Phoenix, Arizona to see family for a several days stay.

Then, we'll drive up through the Rockies and over them, taking in the glorious mountains and perhaps a little Mesa Verde as well, then over to Denver for a week's stay there.  Then, we'll head back over across the plains to home.

Thus far, I've managed a lodge reservation at the Grand Canyon, and I'm pretty proud of myself for finding space at this late date.  Yay!

Beyond that, though, there is a lot of planning ahead.

My hope is to get The Peanut to write to the various National Parks we'll see along the way and ask for some information.  We might as well soak in some knowledge as we drive, right?

The Peanut did her National Park report for my class on Carlsbad Caverns, so she is going to have some very definite ideas about what we ought to do there.  I am told the bat flight program in the evening is an absolute must do that we cannot miss under any circumstances, so we'll be staking out a seat in the bat amphitheater one evening, for sure.

The next few days are going to be a whirlwind of planning.  But that is going to be seriously fun for all of us.

If anyone has some tips about how they have successfully managed being on a long, driving trip together without getting to the point where they wanted to throttle each other, I'd love to hear them.  We have a DVD player in the car and a great sound system, so there will be both movies and awesome musical playlists on the iPhone for distractions.  We're also planning a book or two on Audible, for reading aloud as we drive.

But I'd love to hear other ways of managing this that have worked for any of you.  Advice on what to do -- or what NOT to do -- would be much appreciated!

(Photo of the Grand Canyon via Moyan Brenn.)


PegLeg said...

We went to Arizona in January. Went to the Grand Canyon and other usual sites. Loved all of it, but if friends from Flagstaff had not told us, we would not have gone to the Chiricahua National Monument. I did not know anything about it. For me, it was the highlight of our trip, not unlike the experience of visiting a beautiful cathedral of worship. Just gorgeous. We also toured the Kartchner Caverns. Incredible and much different from Carlsbad -- they are warm and humid! And, if you are driving through
Oklahoma, we have our own beauty, Alabaster Caverns located near Freedom, Oklahoma. Definitely worth a stop! Happy travels!

Christy Hardin Smith said...

Oooooh, will have to look into the Chiricahua. That sounds fascinating! Love a good side trip -- thanks so much! :)