One of the many challenges when travelling with young children, is one of mobility.
When they are travelling in the car, they have generally been good, except for the last stretches. I am also using the word ‘generally’ very loosely. Ok I need to give thanks to the movies on the iPad.
When we are not in the car, we need a few creative ways to cart the children around.
Both walking at the same time is almost unseen of.
This is the back view of the said strived standard method.
But the kids play up and they want to swap seats, because, you know, whatever is NOT theirs is obviously better.
Then we have the small one in the bjorn. I think he’s already exceeded the max weight on that thing. Ah well, tough.
Or we have the traditional hand carry way.
Or we have both vying for the same damn spot. Again, because whatever the other one wants is clearly THE BEST option.
Or we have them on our shoulders. Like this.
Or we have this in the supermarket instead of a traditional trolley, and we hoot the whole place down.
Moving on literally. In a more conventional transportation mode, i.e., our minivan, we made our way from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon on day 16.
One of the attractions to see en-route was the Hoover Dam. It was right smack on the state line between Nevada and Arizona.
1931 was the year they started the dam construction and 1935 the year they were done.
This was the reservoir side, called the Lake Mead.
Water levels were pretty much at historical lows. There have been severe droughts in the last few years.
And then we have this at the other side of the dam.
Everything was pretty impressive. However I have to say it was really too touristy for my liking (ok I know I was a darn tourist myself and I was adding to the crowd).
When I read up on the Grand Canyon, one of the common themes was that ‘you have to see it for yourself’ or ‘words fail to describe the awe’ etc etc.
So I thought, ‘meh, how great can it be right?’
Ok fine. You really do have to see it for yourself.
Ah ma gawd. The Grand Canyon was quite something and was bloody impressive.
We took this photo using just a normal camera. See what I meant?
How was it that the top rim was so straight? And those layers of rocks were so symmetrical like some piles of neat layered cakes.
Seriously. Trying to get a decent family photo was like waiting for all stars and the entire solar system to align. Impossible!
It was a pity that we didn’t have that much time in the Grand Canyon. Plus with 2 young children, we couldn’t do much hiking trails, and it was seriously nerve wrecking for us adults as the rims had no barrier. It was straight down to the canyon just a few metres from where the foot paths were. Way.too.scary.
We then drove across to New Mexico which looked something like this.
The clocks changed – we lost an hour in a second we crossed the Arizona/New Mexico state line. Another jet lag to deal with. Crap.
So the random stop we had to do to breakup the journey before we hit Santa Fe was called Gallup. There was absolutely nothing here to do.
Hilton did have a nice pool though for the kids to burn off some pent up energy having been cooped up in the car.
Both looking hot, young and sexy post swimming.
It was dinner at the Applebee’s.
We visited Walmart to get some milkies for Daniel. Look at all the Halloween goodies coming out!
It was so tempting to get them but I exercised all my almighty strength to not put any sweetie bags in my shopping trolley.
There is this one good thing about travelling with kids. We adults want to ‘set a good example’ in front of them right?
So we pretend we are all healthy and we don’t eat any junk food. When all of us are always in close proximity, there is no hiding room.
Instead, before we went to bed, we had some apples in the room. =.=
Bugs bunny said ‘I knew I should’ve taken that left turn at Albuquerque’.
Well, we made sure we were no bugs bunnies as we did take that left turn.
We did some usual touristy stuff at Albuquerque.
The Albuquerque aquarium turned out to be a big hit for Daniel.
Emily seemed to like the ant more at the Botanical Garden. Yucks.
Here in Albuquerque, we broke the record of latest bedtime for the kids.
How? Unbeknownst to us when we planned the trip, our time here coincided with the… wait for it… the annual International Balloon Fiesta.
Hey, it was international ok, this better be bloody good.
We had a live band going and the children were rocking it.
Here was the deal with this fiesta. There were 2 balloon activities for us to see.
One was the hot air balloon mass ascension. Imagine hundreds of balloons all going up in the air at the same time. Sounds damn cool right? The only problem was this was at 6/7am, which meant a 4am wake up. I’m sorry, there was no.farking.way.
The other option was to wait for night time to see the ‘Special shape glowdeo’. This was going to be many many cartoony shaped hot air balloons glowing in the dark but they didn’t fly up in the sky. So we went for this.
Emily was waiting in real anticipation.
And we witnessed one of the most bizarre yet really cool things. There were many, like MANY, funny shaped hot air balloons being blown up.
Starting here you can see the balloons were gradually being blown up.
Then we had this full on thing.
Sorry these photos really don’t do it justice. It was truly one of the most funky things I had ever seen.
We finally left Albuquerque in the dark. We arrived at our accommodation in Santa Fe pretty late and we encountered our first hotel problem. I wouldn’t bore you with our hotel saga, we basically got double relegated to a different hotel and to a small room. Not happy bloody hell.
Anyway. We got compensated with brekkie. So that took away some of our grumpiness.
One of the highlights in Santa Fe was the Loretto Chapel with its Miraculous Stairway.
This was how the staircase looked like. But they built banisters around it, I guess for safety reasons. That took away the originality in my opinion.
Because take a look at how the staircase originally looked like in this photo.
This showed more of the real deal.
The set of 2 full spirals staircase does not have a centre or side support, and this defies engineering logic. And legend has it that the carpenter who built it simply disappeared and did not wait to be recognised nor paid. Well, I thought this was pretty cool.
In the afternoon, we did something we have never done ever before. We went to a children’s ‘museum’. I used inverted commas there, because museum was quite a grand word for the wonderful play area we had.
Daniel spent ages with the train tracks.
Emily was busy with her fancy dressing.
And both had a whale of a time with water play.
Overall, we did struggle to find child friendly stuff to do in downtown Santa Fe. May be it was because we were tired. May be it was because the average tourist age was around 102 years old so that didn’t help the city to cater for little youngsters.
Nonetheless, Santa Fe was a beautiful and quaint little town.
We hit our ‘second millennium miles milestone’.
In the mean time, we have been following news on Hurricane Matthew. It’s battered Haiti hard, and caused major havoc in Florida. We are meant to be in Florida in 3 weeks’ time so we are watching the developments closely.
Next, we have 2 short nights in Amarillo (in Texas) and Oklahoma City (in Oklahoma duh) before we park ourselves in a cottage in Mena near Ouachita National Forest (in Arkansas) for our long stay.
Stay tune folks for the deep and mid southern US part coming up.