*deep sighs and a head slap*
Yep. That was the drive there and the drive back. We left early Friday morning and got back home Sunday night. It's been described as a "whirlwind trip" and that's exactly how it felt. Too much time in the car, not enough with the person we went to see.
We spent time and money preparing for this trip. I wanted to make the road time as painless as possible. I wanted to keep the kids as entertained as possible. I wanted myself and my husband to feel as comfortable as we could. Sitting for 12 hours... I can barely manage 2 hours at time! But I had a goal. A very important goal. We were going to see Great Grandpa Al!
One thing we purchased to make the trip better was the Ozark Trail cooler.
It was truly worth the nearly-$50 price tag! If you make long trips, plan to go on all-day park adventures, or otherwise need a long-lasting drink/food cooler - this is it! They boast staying cold for up to 3 days. And they aren't kidding. I had 2 ice packs and enough drinks to cover us for at least half the drive one way. We thought we needed more ice, so we filled 2 gallon-sized baggies with ice to add on the bottom and the top of the waters. After 12+ hours, the ice from one bag had melted, but was still icy cold. The other bag still had ice! The zipper on this thing is water tight. Keeps liquids from spilling out like you wouldn't believe! The carrying strap that goes over your shoulder has gel in the center to keep it comfortable. I can't stand chaffing straps. And it has a convenient zipper pocket in the front. Need I say more? My husband and I were thrilled all throughout our trip that we had decided to spend the money and get one. We have so many plans to use it. Water park, lake, road trips... Oh yeah, gonna have some ice cold water all day today and tomorrow without adding ice! If you are looking to get one for yourself, we picked ours up at the local Wal-Mart. *These opinions are strictly my own. I was not paid, given incentive, or otherwise coerced into writing this mini review!*
Most of the trip was through flatlands.
Seriously. Everything is flat and looks the same.I even got so bored that I started playing with my sons fast food toy...
Most towns we drove through were ghost towns. People lived in shacks, but there was nothing in the form of businesses. How do they manage?!
We did enjoy some rainbows along the way.We stayed at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico right alongside the airport. It was affordable, we were able to book it online, in a safe part of the city, and within a 5 minute drive to Grandpa's house. Let me just say, this hotel room was perfect for our 6-person family.
Trash cans were larger than your standard hotel rooms normally carry. This is a big deal when you have kids.They even set my daughters Minecraft Ocelot stuffed toy in her pillows to greet us when we came back that afternoon. I only had 2 issues with this place. One elevator was constantly having issues. We found it quicker to take the stairs sometimes. And then we had issues with drainage being slow in the shower. Other than that, it was a wonderful stay!
My baby girl even begged Daddy to let her "drive". I can already tell, she will be quite the troublemaker! Just like her Mommy.
Every time we stopped, we all had to get out. Potty, food, gas, and stretching those legs. Probably why the trip took 12 hours. But the time we spent there was totally worth it. The weather is a million times better than what we have here in Texas. They actually had cool breezes! Can't tell you how refreshing it was.
I'm looking forward to the next time we go. So much more to do!