We are not your typical road trippers. We don't just drive from point A to point B following the shortest route possible. Oh no. We will go far out of our way to find cool, fun things to do. And that is how we ended up driving through Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado on our way to Utah from Louisiana. The direct route would have taken us through Kansas, but where would the fun be in that?
Day 1 took us from Louisiana to Kerrville, TX. We had debated about spending a few days in the hill country of Texas, but since we had seen it before when we lived in San Angelo, TX, we decided to use our time on other things. But we thought Kerrville was a great little town. We ate at a fun Mexican restaurant then wandered around a park by the river. A nice evening after a long drive.
The next day began the real adventures. Our fun stop for the day was Carlsbad Caverns. It's a National Park in a bit of an out of the way place. But since we were driving right by it, we stopped. The kids were a bit whiney and misbehaved while we were in the cave, but Anton and I really enjoyed it. The cave is huge and full of beautiful formations.
The kids were able to pick out the ones called popcorn by the time we left. I love forcing nature and culture upon my kids.
Day 3 was the true reason we drove this out of the way route: Roswell, NM. I couldn't pass up the chance to see the International UFO Museum and Reasearch Center.
Sadly, it wasn't anywhere near as kitchy and tacky as I'd hoped it would be. It was much more informative than entertaining. But never fear, we found a little place down the way that was all I was looking for in Roswell and more. This place was called Area 51 something or another and it was a gift shop full of alien themed stuff. However, the best part was the little room off of the shop that was full of different alien scenes that you could pose with and take pictures in. It was so cool.
I took a million pictures in there, but figured I'd spare you all and only show a couple.
It was so tacky. I loved it. We had lunch at the only themed McDonalds in the world. It was UFO themed, of course. Lots of fun.
The next 2 days we spent getting to and spending time in Colorado. We visited with my friend Julie and had the fabulous surprise of having my friend Emily come into town while we were there too. We all just hung out and ate fabulous food and had a great time. Sadly I didn't take any group photos.
Next stop, Dinosaur National Monument. We spent two days exploring there. The first day we drove through the canyon area. Such beautiful views, and the smell of the dessert/mountains was so delicious. It was such a difference from the humid mildew smell of Florida.
We camped that night along the Green River.
It was the perfect weather for camping, and our campsite was right next to the river. It was great. The kids actually slept well. We hadn't been camping since Alex was a little baby. We didn't bother with a campfire at all, so it was really only half camping. But we had fun anyways. We took a little hike and the kids were so proud of themselves for being such good hikers.
The next day we went to the dinosaur part of the park.
I think Ella and Alex were a bit disappointed when it was all over and we had seen no real dinosaurs. They didn't quite get it that the bones in the rocks used to be dinosaurs. We did about half of a guided hike around the park, but gave up after the long windedness of the ranger and the heat got to us. The really cool dinosaur quarry that they have there is closed because the foundation is falling out from under the building.
We finished off that day by driving the rest of the way to Salt Lake. And that is where we are now. It was a pretty good trip. Every day there were moments where we wished we could pull over and throw the kids out. But overall, we had a really good time. But this hasn't ended our adventures. They continue still here in Utah. Just you wait until you see all the fun things we've been doing here!