Let’s jump back into our summer narrative, and I will pick back up with the day we left The Grand Canyon.
Our check out time was 11 and we left promptly at 11. As with most national parks we visited there was no cell service so we were relying pretty heavily on our paper map and our memories to get us to our next destination. Our destination was a hotel/ casino just outside of Death Valley. As we started driving and David scrutinized the map we lamented the fact that we were passing so many great things on our way! We planned to stop at Four Corners (I was so jazzed by the idea of standing in 4 states at once), but a detour ment it took us longer to get there than expected. Not a single picture that I took turned out. It was hot and so bright out, and there was a long line just to take a picture so we felt a bit rushed. Still a totally cool experience, jut no photographic evidence.
After Four Corners we planned to drive as far as we could stand to before stopping for a potty break and lunch, then getting right back into the car for more of the same till dinner. But we just couldn’t pass up how close Zion National Park was on the map… We just had to take a short detour and drive through the park! Zion derailed our plans by a solid 2 hours but it was well worth it for the views. We had lunch on the side of the road waiting for the traffic to clear and our turn in the one way tunnel into the valley.
After a quick bathroom break at the visitors center, and a rough “time still to travel” calculation we got back on the road. Still limited cell service. We note that we are practically driving right through Las Vegas, and of the four of us only David had ever been. So we decided to stop in Vegas and have dinner on the strip. OMG what an overwhelming experience! So many lights, so much going on! We had dinner at The Hardrock Cafe just to cement the Vegas experience, and Patrick says it was one of his favorite memories of the summer! It’s funny what stands out to kids, amazing scenery, some pretty great meals, lots of family fun, and what sticks out the most in dinner in Vegas.
Unfortunately Vegas also brought the return of reliable cell service, and google maps let us know that it was still another 2+ hours to our final destination. Bummer. We left the city a little after 9p with coffee in hand, and the kids instantly fell asleep in the car. David did the driving, and I did my very best to stay awake and keep him company. We pulled into the hotel parking lot a bit before midnight totally exhausted and collapsed into bed.