Travel

Albequerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico (3/22/16-3/25/16)

For the last leg of our southwestern vacation we stayed at Santa Fe Skies RV park in Santa Fe. Our main motivation for choosing this place to stay is because we saw it recommended on the Loloho YouTube channel as one of their top 5 RV parks to stay at in the US. The park was very nice and we would stay there again. We picked site 23 which was near this section of old tractors that the boys loved to play on. 

     
 

 
We arrived Tuesday and spent time just relaxing, doing laundry, and going grocery shopping. The boys played forever on those tractors. 

Wednesday, we rode the Railrunner train to Albequerque. It was a 1.5 hour trip one way for only $10 per adult and the kids were free. Then we took a city bus (free with valid train ticket) to the New Mexico museum of natural history. 

   
   
That place was neat because they had a huge section on dinosaurs and James has an upcoming project on dinosaurs and we were able to find his and find some info on it. We also saw a 3D movie about robots that the kids loved. They also had a planetarium that was showing some space movies, but we didn’t have the time. 

     
   We ate lunch at a New Mexican restaurant called Little Anita’s and that was the first time we were exposed to a dessert called sopapillas. It’s a large triangle or rectangle of friend dough that you then pour honey on. It was yummy! 

We then went to a place next door to the museum called Explora. The boys absolutely LOVED that place! It’s basically a huge area filled with hands on science experiments that they kids can do. There is a section on water power, wind power, electricity, bubbles, lights, and more that we didn’t get to. So FUN!!! 

   
    
   
  
Then we took the bus and the train back home to Santa Fe. 

   
 Thursday, we went to Pecos National Historical Park. It was a beautiful 30 minute drive from Santa Fe into the Santa Fe Forest. The park is a small park where you basically enter a visitor center, get a map, and then do a walk/hike that’s a little over a mile long. The whole time you are on the walk, you learn about how the native Americans of the area used to live, and then how their life was affected by the Spanish settling and trying to convert them all to Catholicism. There were ruins of a church that you get to walk around and a Kiva that you get to crawl down a ladder into. 

   
    
    
   
Then we went into downtown Santa Fe and walked around. There was a central plaza where there were many native Americans selling jewelry and other handmade items they made. It would’ve been nice to spend more time walking around there and looking in stores, but the boys are really too young for that. We did get some more sopapillas from a restaurant and enjoyed them. 

   
 We went back to our trailer, the boys played on the tractors some more and Wyatt almost got bit by this 3 legged dog wandering around. 

This trip was a great first experience taking our trailer out of state. It has really inspired us to get out more. It would be really fun just to pick a state, go stay in a few of it’s major cities and see what there is to do, see, experience, etc… It would also be nice to travel that far in a RV, so you might see us upgrade some day in the future! 

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Travel

The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park (Holbrook, AZ) 3/21/16-3/22/16

Since we left the Grand Canyon a day early, we decided to visit a national park that none of us had ever been to before: the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park! 

   
 It didn’t take us long to get to Holbrook, AZ. We stayed at the OK RV park. We were in spot yellow 13. It was a nice little quiet park that is a fine place to rest at if you’ve been driving a long time. 

  
We dropped the trailer quickly and took off to the national park. This park was very interesting because you enter at one end, and slowly go through it and exit at the other. 

The first stops were all along the Painted Desert. It was breathtaking! I had never seen anything like it! 

   
    
 Then we crossed over the old Route 66. There is no more asphalt but there still are telephone poles up that show the route of the old road. 

  
Then we passed through an area called the Tepees which are small rock formations that are striped with the different rocks based on what was happening when the rocks were formed: rivers, volcanic activity, etc… 

Then we went onto areas like the Blue Forest, Jasper Forest, Crystal Forest, and the Rainbow Forest, which all are areas with large amounts of petrified wood. That was really interesting to learn how petrified wood is formed. 

At the rainbow forest museum, the boys took their oath to be junior rangers there. The rainbow forest museum also had lots of info about dinosaurs which is cool because James is about to study them in school. 

   
   
We left the park and got the boys each some petrified wood and a shop outside the park and then we went to a place my friend recommended in Holbrook called the Wigwam hotel. 

The wigwam hotel was inspiration for the cozy cone motel in the Cars movie. It was really cute and had old cars parked at each wigwam. The boys loved it and there were little cotton tail bunnies running around everywhere. If we weren’t staying in the trailer, it would’ve been fun to stay there. It was a great day. 

   
    
    
 

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Travel

The Grand Canyon! (3/19/16-3/21/16)

We’re doing a tour of the southwest for spring break! Our first stop was the Grand Canyon. It was the boys’ first time in Arizona!

  
  
We stayed at the Trailer Village RV park inside the national park. We were in spot 2 right in the front. The sites were small, but had full hook ups. We were by a patch of trees that the boys loved to climb. I would stay there again because you’re just minutes away from seeing the canyon and doing any activities there. 

   
   
We woke up Sunday morning and got going quickly. We went to the Grand Canyon visitor center and got our national parks passports stamped. We took some pics at the Canyon there. 

   
   
Then we moved on to the Tusayan Museum where the boys annoyed the lady worked there so we did our stamps and left. We went to the Desert View View Center and the boys climbed up in the tower. We sat on some benches for a while and we helped the boys complete their junior ranger books. 

   
 Then we drove to the other side and saw the train station and the Grand Canyon train. It runs to Williams, AZ and we were really interested in taking it. The problem was it only runs from the GC to Williams once a day, so we couldn’t get back. Also, the cheapest tickets were $75 per adult and the most expensive were $220 each. So needless to say, we didn’t take the train. 

   
 We went to the Verkamp’s visitor center and got more stamps and then walked down to the Kolb studio and got a few more stamps. There are lots of little buildings with interesting things to see and buy, but with the boys being how they are, we didn’t go in. 

To complete the junior ranger program, you have to attend a class offered by a ranger. We attended a geology class by the Yavapai Geology center and then the ranger had the boys take the junior ranger oath. This was their first at a National Park. 

   
   
There were deer everywhere! They stopped traffic and came very near our campsite. They were fun to watch. 

   
   
We rode the blue shuttle around a bit and then took the red shuttle up the east side of the canyon to Hopi point. We watched the sun set over the canyon there. Beautiful!!! 

   
 We were planning on staying another day, but we had done everything we could do on the South Rim and all that the visitors center could suggest we do was hike into the canyon, but we didn’t feel comfortable doing that with the boys so we decided to leave a day early and head to Holbrook, AZ. You’ll see what we did there in my next post. 😉

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