I have the great fortune to be leaving England behind and visiting America again.
I'm travelling with my wife, 4 year old son and 1 year old daughter and this is what we have lined up.
We are landing in Las Vegas and then having a couple of nights to let our (especially the children's) bodies adjust to the gained time, then we are picking up our hire car (booked a LDAR class vehicle) and doing the following trip (the flights, accommodation and car are already booked).
Las Vegas (via Hoover Dam) to Cottonwood (nr Sedona) - 2 nights stay
- Scottsdale (3 nights) day tripping with in laws who live in Phoenix
- Tuscon for (4 nights) day tripping with in laws who live in Phoenix
Driving through the desert to San Diego, hmm, that'll be fun !!
-San Diego (4 nights)
- Palm Desert (3 nights)
- Santa Barbara (2 nights.)
- San Luis Obispo (3 nights)
- Morgan Hill (1 night).
Depart from San Jose for England.
All in all, we are in America for 24 nights/25 days, and I've tried to devise a route which doesn't involve a great deal of driving each day (Las Vegas to Cottonwood is about 300 miles. Tucson - San Diego is about 400 miles), but will give us a taste for lots of different aspects of SouthWest America.
I think that I've set a fairly gentle pace, and to be honest, we're not in that great a rush to get from A to B to C. Our journeys will probably last as long as our childrens interest/hunger and restroom requirements --- so here's my question for you. I've gone looking through the threads (and man alive, there's a lot of really good indepth stuff there !), but what I would like from anyone who can help, is some advice on childrens playgrounds or rest areas with childrens playing facilities, that are easily accessible from roads like I-8.
As the main driver, I take the view that if the children are happy, then my wife is happy. If my wife is happy, then I can relax and enjoy the trip as well -- so, if it was a matter of carrying on for another 10 miles or so, and stopping somewhere where the children would have a fun, energetic and running around break, rather than a diner on its own, that would be great.
p.s. we've toured differing parts of America before, both as a twosome and a thressome, but this is the first time as a four. If people are thinking things like 'hey, these guys are going to Vegas, but missing out on the Grand Canyon, they must be mad', we've considered it, but we didn't think that our 4 year old would appreciate it enough, so that's for another trip. But we are going to do things like taking the Verde Canyon Railroad, which will give him (& us !) a taster for the area in the future.
If anyone would like to make any observations about our trip/itinerary, I would very gratefully listen to them