We left Albuquerque pretty early this morning, but the driving stretched incredibly long. The GPS said 7 hours and we were pretty discouraged when the first child called a potty break after we had been on the road less than half an hour. The road wasn't great anyway, but we forged onward.
After a couple of hours on the road we saw signs for the Petrified Forest and my sweetie was immediately interested. We stopped at a gas station to buy a map. The maps were sold out, but we finally decided we were just going to stop and check it out. Neither one of us had heard of it before, but my dad happened to call about that time and he had been there and said it was good, so that was the final endorsement. We pulled off on the appropriate exit.
After a little while in the visitors' center we got on the road and began the 28-mile loop through the park. Once again the Dog Walker's all access pass saved us $10. I spread peanut butter on bread and dished out chips and watermelon as we traveled. The petrified forest was really cool! The crystals in some of them were amazing. The heat was incredible and it cut short one of the hikes we intended to take.
After finishing up the Jr. Ranger patches at the other museum, we got back on the road to Holbrook. Half an hour later we finally hit freeway and we sailed along to Phoenix. We stopped at a Chick Fil A for dinner and checked into our hotel around 8:30. Guess what the kids wanted to do?! You got it! They wanted to get in the pool. So we spent an hour in their outdoor pool. The water was warm and salty, something the kids had never experienced since every pool they had ever been in was cleaned with chlorine.
We sent them off to bed around 10:30, but when I just checked on them at 12:30, kids were still awake in both rooms. Tomorrow is a big travel day with lots of driving and a peek at the Grand Canyon. I've never been there before, so it will all be new to me. We just need to get moving early so we aren't rolling into Kanab at midnight tomorrow.
The kids would just be so sad if they didn't get to swim...