The nice thing about looking at everything as an adventure is that the next adventure is right around the corner. At the end of the year, my family is going to be driving halfway across the country (again) to go to Phoenix for my grandmother’s memorial. We were going to fly because, frankly, that is one heck of a drive and 6 people in a minivan for 18 hours is gonna suck.
But not for $3000.
The gas, the food, the hotel rooms for 6 people is gonna cost a heck of a lot less than $3000. So that is what we are gonna do.
Although this particular drive has been featured in my family’s history for generations, this time will be different. It has been a LONG time since I have been to Arizona in winter. Or rather, “winter”. They have winter like we do. Which is why it becomes so expensive to go there in the wintertime – all the snowbirds. And we will be squeezing all six of us (my parents, my kids, my husband and I) into one minivan.
I think that I will definitely be taking advantage of hotel laundry facilities, because I will have to pack even lighter than for my flight to Utah. At least I won’t have to pack real winter clothes and jackets.
So, the plan:
- Day one: drive from Houston to El Paso. O.M.G. 11 hours on the road is going to suck, but we will have 4 drivers. Stay at a nicer hotel in El Paso than the last time. That rathole was awful. No coffee maker in the room.
- Day two: drive from El Paso to Phoenix. Only 7 hours on the road. The biggest issue is going to be the kids’ electronic devices, and how long they can hold a charge. Because they will drive me crazy if they get bored.
- Day three: Memorial. Hmmm, maybe I will wear my navy blue again.
- Days four through six: visiting family, especially the cousin who currently is gong to school in Germany and ask him what is up with all the stuff he is tagged with on Facebook. Also visiting Phoenix, and showing off the local family landmarks to my kids – who haven’t seen them before.
- Day seven: drive from Phoenix to Las Cruces, NM. Pretty little town a little north of El Paso. I like the towns in New Mexico, they have the familiarity of Arizona, with a touch of “different”. West Texas has some of the same feel, but those towns feel very thrown together in a rush, rather than something that grew organically out of the desert. I want to go back to New Mexico when I start getting into real hiking shape, and climb down into kivas and up into cavern homes.
- Day eight: drive from Las Cruces to Kerrville, TX. Another little 7 hour drive. We decided to break up the drive home into three segments to make it a little easier on all of us. I highly recommend this. Especially if you have kids. But DON’T stop in Fort Stockton. Seriously.
- Day nine: drive from Kerrville to home. A nice short 4 hour drive and a whole nother day to get ready for work/school after this.