Sunday, October 30, 2011

Planning the Trip

Justin started college when our oldest was seven and our then youngest was just a few weeks old (we've grown since then).  It wasn't the time to go to Disneyland.  We have been promising the children for all those years that we would go when Dad graduates from school.

In our matching Mickey shirts.  I'm on the left, in front of my Mom.

When I was eight years old, my parents took our family to Disneyland.  We each saved for a year so we could go.  Instead of a straight drive down and back (from the northern border of the US to the southern), my parents planned a loop for us.  We went to many of the National Parks (Redwoods, Zion), visited national symbols (Golden Gate Bridge, Salt Lake Temple) and saw natural features outside our familiar home-base habitat (desert, Great Salt Lake).  It was two weeks of exploring many of the Western States of our great country.  Needless so say, it was the trip of a lifetime.  Disneyland was the pinnacle, but the rest was awesome.

Flying seven people to California, renting a car for while we are there, and sleeping in a hotel the whole time would be more expensive than us taking a longer car trip (and spending most nights in a tent).  So, with a few exceptions, we will be repeating the epic journey of my childhood.

I have just begun planning for this trip.  There is so. much. to think about!  I know many of you are travelers and I have lots of questions.  For the next little while, keep your eye on my sidebars.  I am going to have regular polls with some of those questions.

First up?  Should we visit Death Valley?  It would add about three hours to our trip.  I've never been there and it looks cool to me.  Have you been there?  Do you think it is interesting?  We would be going at the beginning of May, so we are to expect temperatures in the high 90's, but we would try to arrive in the evening and we would leave before it gets too hot (May = longer days).  Feel free to add comments if you have something to add, but don't forget to vote.

Thanks, dears!

The MotherShip


  1. Can I tell you how much I LOVE trip planning? It is a glorious way to spend time in one's own mind......

  2. YEAH!!! What fun! I love planning, and taking, road trips! Reminds me of the trips my family took when I was a child. My husband doesn't have fond memories of his childhood family trips, but he's starting to realize how fun car trips with the family can be!

    I've never been to death valley so I don't have much of an opinion. Some of my family have been so if you need more input I could ask around and see what they think.

  3. @HeatherThat would be great if you would ask, Heather. I am having a hard time getting good answers for this question!

  4. I don't know about Death Valley, but I think you should definitely visit Lompoc, CA! Lompoc has a prison, a couple stores, sky diving, and The Bullocks! ;) No, but seriously, let us know if your going down or up the central coast, i.e. between LA and San Fran. We would love to see you guys, and you could definitely park it here for a night if you need a free place to stay.

  5. So I didn't get much response from my family, I thought a few more of them had been, but maybe not. My mom and dad did visit Death Valley a few years ago in April. They both said they enjoyed it, my mom's favorite thing was the Devil's golf course (she said it just made her laugh to think of playing golf there). She also said it they walked around for some time looking at and identifying wild flowers and really enjoyed that. They had a small booklet or brochure that they used, she couldn't remember if they had purchased it or if it was free.

    They drove that morning from Las Vegas and spent a good part of the day driving through- they first drove up to Dantes peak and saw the view (they said it was very windy and cold on top- even though it was quite warm the rest of the day). Then they drove down to the Devil's golf course area and did the Artist's Drive loop. From there they headed out.

    My dad said they drove quite a ways out of the park to find a place to stay for the night (but they were looking for a hotel)- so I'm not sure what they campgrounds are like.

    Hope this helps- if I get any other responses I'll let you know.