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  1. #1

    Default Military moving from TX to CA

    Hello to all. I am new to this blog so please bear with me. I am military currently in Iraq and as soon as I get home in NOV I will be moving to CA.

    I will be traveling in DEC from central TX all the way to Monterey... trying to make it there a week before X-mas day. I am looking for at least two destinations that my family can enjoy. I have three kids (9,7,2) and I would like to show them a good time but at least one stop should have some educational value. I am planning for 5-7 days of travel with 2 days being for fun.

    I need help being that we have never been to the West Coast and we have never had a roadtrip this loooong! I really appreciate your ideas and assistance. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default On the move again

    Quote Originally Posted by papalugo View Post
    I am military currently in Iraq and as soon as I get home in NOV I will be moving to CA.
    Thank you for your service in Iraq! Our hopes for your continued safety and those of your companions. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Monterey? Going to the language school?
    I am looking for at least two destinations that my family can enjoy. I have three kids (9,7,2) and I would like to show them a good time but at least one stop should have some educational value.
    Every road trip is fun! Here are some family roadtrip planning tips I think you might find useful.

    I think the 9 and 7 year old youngsters might enjoy one of the cave crawls at Carlsbad National Park in New Mexico. The shortest and fastest route is I-40 to I-5 and over to the coast -- about 1700 miles and if stick to a very reasonable 500 miles per day on the travel days, you will have ample time to stop and see Carlsbad, the Grand Canyon and maybe even stop at Oatman where the burros act as traffic cops along the historic Route 66.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  3. Default November?

    If you're heading west from Texas in November, you'll want to keep an eye on the weather. I've seen snow in the Grand Canyon in April (Admittedly, it was only an inch or so), but November might be cooler. The GC is at 7000' altitude, so it can be cold there in the winter.

    Sounds like you have a couple of options to consider --

    One route is to do the Carlsbad Caverns, then through Albuquerque and then west via Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas into California and up to Monterey. Places to stop along this could include White Sands National Monument, Santa Fe, the Navaho Nation, Petrified Forest/ Painted Dessert, Meteor Crater, Grand Canyon, Hoover, Dam, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite, Hearst Castle, the Elephant Seal Colony at Pedros Blancos, and Big Sur. You might not be able to go over the Sierras on Tioga Pass (It'd be a 50/50 odds at best, since the pass typically closes in Novemember for the winter), but if you have the time you can drive through Death Valley, and then around the southern end of the Sierras to Bakersfield and on to the coast. You could head west instead north to Yosemite, and pick up Coast 1 at Moro Bay and visit Hearst Castle to go north on Coast 1 to Monterey.

    Your other option would be to do Carlsbad Caverns, and then head west through Tucson (visiting the Dessert Museum there, and Sagauro National Park), and then continue west towards Yuma (and the Yuma Dunes), and San Diego. In San Diego there is always the San Diego Zoo at Balboa Park (with all the Musuems there), and then you can follow the coast up through LA to Santa Barbara and the start of Coast 1 at Moro Bay. Places to stop along this could include White Sands, Chirachua National Monument, Old Tucson Film Studios, Dessert Musuem (Tucson), Sagauro National Park, Kitt Peak National Observatory, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, old Yuma, Yuma Dunes, the Salton Sea, San Diego Zoo/ Balboa Park Musuems, Sea World San Diego, Lego Land (Carlsbad), San Diego Wild Animal Park (Escondido), the surfing beaches in SoCal, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood, Santa Barbara, Hearst Castle, and then up the coast as previously listed.

    Either trip should have enough "Get out of the car and run around" stops for the kids and some "Oh my!" scenic stops they should really remember. For educational -- well, part of that is the national parks and them remembering what they're seeing, and part of it can be places to stop.

    Depends upon what you & your family would like, and what you think the family would be most interested in.

  4. #4

    Default San Diego is a good stop for kids

    I agree about Legoland and SD Sea World, especially for kids If you are in the military, check out discount for military personel and family. I've made a trip to SD Sea World and Legoland (2 days for the the price of 1 day admission) last year with a 9 yrs old and got some discount through the military.

    At San Diego Zoo, kids got free admission for the month of October, by the way.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Going to the language school? Every road trip is fun!
    Yes, I'm going to Language School.

    There is alot to do and you have given me alot of ideas. We will be driving two vehicles so there are some logistics to consider. I've been doing alot of research and I was thinking about driving to CO to see the Grand Canyon, spend a full day at CO then drive to Vegas and spend another day there. And finally drive to Monterey.

    It's about 2K miles so I estimate about 1 1/2 days to drive to CO, stopping along scenic/historical spots that I find along the way... playing it by ear. Then once in CO spend a night and then next day go to the Grand Canyon. I still need to find out what else we can do in the area.

    Then, the following day drive to NV and spend the night and a full day at the atractions and shows. Spend another night and then drive to Monterey. So far the trip should be around 6 days. I have to consider the weather so if it's too bad to drive to CO I might head south to NM/AZ and then to NV (back-up plan). I'm going to look into Carlsbad National Park... it sounds interesting.

    I really appreciate your comments, they are very useful. Thank you. There is still much to do to get this planned...
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-22-2007 at 08:54 AM. Reason: format for clarity

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Arizona

    Quote Originally Posted by papalugo View Post
    I was thinking about driving to CO to see the Grand Canyon,
    The Grand Canyon is in Arizona just north of Flagstaff.
    It's about 2K miles so I estimate about 1 1/2 days to drive to CO, stopping along scenic/historical spots that I find along the way... playing it by ear. Then once in CO spend a night and then next day go to the Grand Canyon. I still need to find out what else we can do in the area.
    You need to look at the map again, Colorado is a long ways out of the way -- lots of cool places therein, but...

    Mark

  7. #7

    Default Grand Canyon

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    The Grand Canyon is in Arizona just north of Flagstaff.
    You need to look at the map again, Colorado is a long ways out of the way -- lots of cool places therein, but...

    Mark
    I went to the Rand McNally website and used their tool for planning trips and when I wrote Grand Canyon they pinpointed to CO. I am guessing that there are several parks along the Grand Canyon... I am going to go back and re-plan the route. Thank you for the clarification, guidance, and advice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Nope! Look here

    Quote Originally Posted by papalugo View Post
    I am guessing that there are several parks along the Grand Canyon...
    Nope, there is only one Grand Canyon and it is in Arizona. Here is a map to look at.

    Mark

  9. #9

    Default Oops

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Nope, there is only one Grand Canyon and it is in Arizona. Here is a map to look at.

    Mark
    Pardon my ignorance and thank you for the correction. This forum has been very helpful. I should have used Google first and then the Trip Planner.

    I corrected the trip and I think I will be able to make more stops. I might stop at Carlsbad Caverns first, then go to Oatsman, Grand Canyon, Vegas, and finally Monterey. Of course, depending on the weather and how the family feels we can delete some stops.

    Again, thank you very much.

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