On a short trip to the Mainland (Continental U.S) we were able to visit four states: California, Nevada, a bit of Utah (just a drive through) and Arizona. Our main goal was to visit family. Mary’s brother was graduating elementary in California. We went to show support although, it was the perfect alibi to plan a road trip! We made the best of it.
One night was spent in Chino Hills, California (we arrived late in the afternoon). Grabbing dinner and picking Gavin (Mary’s brother) were all the things we could fit in on our first day. It consisted of mainly leaving the airport, getting the rental car and driving to the hotel.
Eight hours and approximately 451-miles/725-kilometers later, we arrived at our first destination: Sedona, Arizona. The sunset driving in was beautiful however, we reached the hotel too late at night to see anything noteworthy. Another day concluded too quickly. Well into the night the drive continued but we thankfully checked in and went to bed briskly. Even though we were in a car all day, it was still exhausting in the end.
What seemed like a nap rather than deep sleep, we were awoken by sun streaks peering through a window curtain. With loud gasping and awestruck body language by Mary’s mom and Gavin, we quickly jolted up to start our day. Nothing could have prepared us for the beautiful view that greeted us. It was something out of a fictional narrative. Pictures are really unable to do it justice. The rest of the day was reserved for a Pink Jeep Tour in the morning, a visit to Chapel of the Holy Cross (pictured below), and viewing of nature’s finest work like Cathedral Rock. We called it a day.
Chapel of the Holy Cross.
We stayed at Slide Rock for the majority of our day to soak it all in.
A pit-stop in Flintstones Bedrock City.
The Second and sadly, the final day in Sedona was set aside to accomplish a hike into the desert wilderness or see any other spot of our choosing. Knowing another long drive (not as long as the first leg of the road trip) was ahead of us, (4-hour drive) the selection was Slide Rock. It was very hot (high 90’s F/30’s C) that day and we didn’t want to exhaust the driver (Reid) too much or the kids (Landon & Gavin). We eventually stayed a couple hours at Slide Rock when originally it was only going to be a quick pass-through (mainly for photography) then head off. It was far better than expected and THE highlight of the entire trip!
By 9AM, we were on the road again and eating on the go. The Grand Canyon was our next stop. Alas, arriving in the afternoon we checked-in to our new lodging, within the Grand Canyon, and headed out to explore the park! The sunset was amazing.
It was extremely neat to stay within the Grand Canyon National Park but only had reservations for one night. Waking up shortly after sunrise, we packed our bags and exited the park. With the benefit of leaving early for such a compendious drive, we had time on our side to explore the new locale: Page, Arizona.
We called it a day after sunset and stayed at Lake Powell’s Best Western.
Quite possibly every person’s highlight for a trip, Las Vegas, Nevada was our next and final city to visit (other than returning back to Chino Hills, CA). Another early morning and another short drive allowed us to hit the famous Las Vegas shopping outlets! In Vegas, we stayed at The Jockey Club. The location of our stay was superb. We were walking distance from anything of significance on the main strip. At night, we booked a showing for the highly acclaimed David Copperfield. After the show, Mary and I walked the streets of Las Vegas, had a few drinks and had a jolly time before calling it a night.
Dolefully, our trip was nearing its end. Our second to last day began late in the morning, having used the right to check-out late. On our way out Sin City, we had the pleasure of viewing a temporary art installation (pictured above). After this final stop, the tedious drive back to California was inevitable, thus, began the end of our amazing, busy, entertaining road trip!
EIGHT DAY – HOME SWEET HOME
After our amazing road trip, we headed back home to Hawaii.