Wow, I cannot believe how fast this trip is going! Except for a couple of things, I think I could extend this trip for a very long time. The few things stopping us from doing that:

1. Money. Ok, it’s very expensive to travel this way…and we are frugal!
2. Messy Minivan. No matter how hard I try, the minivan continues to be a total disaster area about 5 minutes after we load up into the car. And there now seems to be a lingering odor that I will have to deal with as soon as we land in San Diego.
3. Obesity. Eating out 3 meals a day and virtually no exercise is taking a serious toll on the belly. Can’t wait to get some home cooked meals and cardio exercise.

Other than those few things, I’m pretty sure I could do this forever πŸ™‚ Ok, now on to the highlights.

Day 3

This was our day to spend in Santa Fe. We kicked the day off with opening Easter Baskets from the Easter Bunny. We had managed to hide the baskets up until the night before when Rip spotted some unusual colors in the Infiniti (vs. the mini van). Thankfully he was easily distracted allowing the Easter Bunny visit to be a surprise.

After we managed to get everything packed up and loaded into the cars, Kirk & I gave the kids to Mimi and Bumpa and then went to meet with a franchisee of a franchise we’re considering investing in. The meeting went great and gave us an hour of downtime from the kids πŸ™‚ Mimi and Bumpa took the kids to Wal Mart to run around and pass the time.

Although we managed to remember Easter baskets, we didn’t really consider how the holiday would impact our visit to Santa Fe. It became clear quite quickly that between the incredibly cold temperature (35 degrees) and the holiday we were going to be limited on what we could do. We considered just skipping town and heading straight to Flagstaff (a night early) in hopes of having more time for the sights there. Of course it was lunch time so we needed to eat first, then we remembered Kirk was supposed to meet someone in Albuquerque so we ultimately decided to stay in Santa Fe. We ate at the La Fonda Hotel which was beautiful and had WONDERFUL food…and margaritas πŸ™‚ We then ventured out into the little shopping district to mostly window shop as it was a holiday and many of the stores were closed. Around 3pm we were all ready to get in the warm car and hit the round to Albuquerque. Nothing too exciting about the rest of the day except that Ripken and Riley spent some more quality time with Mimi and Bumpa in their hotel room. Riley fell asleep almost immediately after getting her PJs on. Rip sat in bed with Mimi and watched a movie. Kirk and I sat in our hotel room enjoying the no-kid time for the second time that day!

Day 4

Today was spent mostly driving. We had about 300 miles to get from Albuquerque to Flagstaff. Our main objective in Flagstaff was to visit Sunset Crater Volcano. We had forgotten about the time zone change which gave us an extra hour so we were able to stop at Meteor Crater about 40 minutes outside of Flagstaff. This was very cool to see and I totally recommend it to anyone who is in the area. And we were very grateful to step out of the cars to nice high 60’s temperatures. As a matter of fact, it was warm enough we were concerned about leaving Camden in the car for too long. The kids enjoyed getting out of the car and stretching their legs and the adults enjoyed the cool scenery and warm temps.

After an hour, we moved on to Flagstaff and the Sunset Crater Volcano. This was definitely the highlight of everyone’s day. We did a nice 1 mile loop that had fabulous views (make sure to checkout the slideshow to the right). Ripken had a blast hiking while Riley entertained herself playing in the crater dirt. After our short hike, we headed over to the Waputki Indian Ruins. This was pretty awesome as well. By the time we finished looking at the first ruin, we were all pretty tired and headed straight for the hotel. We were pretty convinced that the kids would be exhausted after short naps in the car and lots of exercise…how wrong we were! Riley was FIRED UP and it took us a couple hours to get her to sleep. Thankfully she is down and we are now relaxing and getting ready for bed. Tomorrow is the train ride to the Grand Canyon and then on to Vegas on Wednesday.

Day 3 Video