Tag Archives: arizona

Day Three: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

Today we arrived to New Mexico.  It is gorgeous here. As we drove through western Arizona, the landscape grew more and more desolate; as we traveled further into New Mexico, it improved.

As we drove east, we drove through the Navajo Nation, Apache Country, and countless Indian reservations and pueblos. It was very interesting. Did I mention the landscape was beautiful?

We passed the Continental Divide today, too. We stopped at a little gas station/convenience store/souvenir shop. It was filled with American Indian crafts, petrified woods, Route 66 souvenirs, and, of course, Continental Divide souvenirs. I almost bought the most adorable set of mugs with the vintage-y ‘Route 66’ logo on them, but refrained. If I published how expensive it was to move our household goods to IOWA, your jaw would hit your keyboard.  So I refrained.  And bought a magnet instead.  I have started thinking in terms of cost per pound…I mean we will eventually have to move everything back to the West Coast again. And this time I plan to downsize even more and/or find a job that will pay for moving expenses.  But I digress.

So, from Flagstaff, we drove through the Painted Desert to Albuquerque and then north to Santa Fe.  Along the way, Paolo had his first drive-in experience. He wanted some Diet Coke and made chewing movements with his mouth as we ate. It is hilarious how he acts around grown-up food.

Santa Fe is amazing. Absolutely adorable.  I am in love.  We are staying right in the historic district.  Even the hotel is a historic building.  I think it reminds me Europe, with the old buildings and central square surrounded by shops and restaurants. And everything is decorated in a Western style, but very tastefully. After we checked in, we took a stroll around the downtown and stopped in at a ‘New Mexican Diner.’  Then we strolled around a bit more to stretch our legs before calling it a night.

Tomorrow morning is Paolo’s first Easter. And we will be celebrating very unconventionally, without Easter baskets and candy at home. Instead, I think we will sleep in here at the Hilton, then walk to downtown Santa Fe and have coffee and pastries in the plaza. Next stop: Denver.

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Day Two: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

Today started off to a leisurely pace, which was lovely.  We enjoyed (well, we ate) the hotel breakfast before heading off to the Grand Canyon.  The scenery was gorgeous, but it was cold outside!  I never associated Arizona with cold weather, but it is rather chilly here.  By the time we got to the Grand Canyon, it was in the 40s!  Paolo prefers to be nakie, so you can imagine how he felt about being all bundled up.  But we got a smile out of him. I think he was just so happy to be outside and not in the car.

We stopped for lunch at a little town just south of the Grand Canyon National Park.  Giuseppe wanted a steak since we are in the Far West.  (Which can only be said if it is followed with a little Western-sounding theme song; you know the one when the bad guys face the good guys in a crowded parlor.)  There were a few a funny things at this restaurant:

No firearms allowed in by order of the Sheriff! Really? People have to be told where they can and cannot bring their personal firearms?  And if that wasn’t strange enough, the first thing I saw on the menu was an appetizer of RATTLESNAKE meat? People eat that?  I suggested we order it just to see what it looks like, but Giuseppe wasn’t up to spend the extra money for that.  And no, I am not brave enough to try snake meat. I draw the line at escargot.

The Grand Canyon was more beautiful than I remembered.  It wasn’t sunny, which was a bummer, but it was breathtaking.

Oh, and we saw elk! I thought Giuseppe was going to pee his pants, he was so excited.

Again, I never really associate Arizona with cold weather, but the drive to Flagstaff was beautiful and snowy.  Snowy Arizona.  We had to stop and get out warmer clothes.  From our backpack on top of the SUV. It was totally worth the hassle. My Uggs have never felt so great.

So, once we got to Flagstaff, we stayed in and ordered room service. I mean, there is snow outside. Reason enough to stay in and snuggle with my chub-a-lub. Tomorrow: Santa Fe.

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Day One: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

I am happy to report that Day One of our cross-country adventure was a complete success.  We left Orange County all packed and ready with our baby, dog, suitcase, stroller, diaper bag, car seat, baby bag, dog kennel, dog food container, nav system, ipod, camera, video camera, the list goes on… Did I mention we have a ‘backpack’ for our SUV? That is where we put the suitcase… We left after stopping for, of course, a scrumptious little lunch at In-N-Out.   (We are leaving the West Coast; we have to up on our In-N-Out intake while we can.)  Lucky for us, Paolo also fell asleep pretty much the same minute that we turned on the car.  He slept pretty soundly for the first half of the trip, which made the driving very easy.

We made our first pit stop not too far from the Arizona border at a gas station/Dairy Queen.  We were excited about the Dairy Queen part.  This ad made us laugh. It was actually an anti-advertisement, really:

I mean how gross is that? A giant close-up of fried food.  Really?  (Notice the three lighting fixtures to illuminate this mural by night.) Nice.  Although it didn’t stop us from going in to order some ice cream.   (We were totally on a roll today. In-N-Out and ice cream.   Delicious ways to hold on to my baby weight a little longer.  The good news is that we already have a gym membership in Iowa.)

I had forgotten how gorgeous the drive east really is.  As we left the Los Angeles area, the desert scenery grew increasingly beautiful.  We only scheduled about six hours of road time today, but it went by quite quickly!  Giuseppe loved the scenery; he has wanted to make this drive since we moved to California.  He was so excited to be on the Mojave Highway, and even more excited to see signs for the ‘Historic Route 66.’  I took a million photographs, but taking them from the car didn’t really help my already mediocre photography skills.  I wish the photos really showed the amazing beauty of this place.

Now we are all snuggled in our king size bed at our dog friendly hotel resting up for tomorrow’s trip to the Grand Canyon.

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