I'm very sad today . . . we were planning a month-long drive across the country for next summer, the big goal being to show our teen and our tween the size and diversity that is America . . . well, my husband said last night that the previously discussed month is impossible, and we must downsize the trip to two weeks. Of course, I plan to cheat; since July 4 falls on a Saturday, he'll have off Friday, July 3 -- that's a "free day" that doesn't count in our two weeks! While I know I should be very grateful that in today's uncertain economy he's in a solid job, but the part of me that's fussy and greedy isn't so happy. He just passed the 20 year mark -- can't they give him a month?
I'm not complaining to him. He feels badly enough about it . . . so, on to being constructive . . .
We've decided to make it a western trip. We are thinking of flying into Vegas (because prices seem to be lowest there), renting a car, and making a loop that'll be something like this: Vegas - Grand Canyon, North Rim - Arches - Mesa Verde - Colorado - Yellowstone - Grand Tetons - Mt Rushmore - Vegas. This, of course, is very sketchy, having just been chopped in half.
On the up-side, I'd already saved enough for a month-long trip; now we have plenty for a two-week trip with splurges!
Is Vegas indeed my best (best in this case meaning cheapest) starting point? I looked at one-way flights /car rentals (so we wouldn't have to back-track), and the prices were astronomical. Any thoughts or tricks?
Any hints on managing a fly-and-drive? Any difficulties that I might not've thought of yet?
We're not carrying camping gear, so I expect we'll each have a carry-on for clothes (we pack uber-light), we'll each have a day pack, and we'll have our food-gear.
On the plane, can I check a medium-sized rolling cooler (and inside it my dry-foods tub with a thin cutting board, 2 sharp picnic knives, a can opener, a bottler opener, and a couple plastic storage containers)? These are the things that I normally take on road trips, and I like MY STUFF. I'm thinking of wrapping the cooler in duct tape to keep it closed and to keep the handles down. I don't care that I'll look like a Beverly Hillbillly checking into the airport, but I am a little concerned about those two sharp knives. I love them for road trips; they're just the right size for cutting up apples or opening sandwich meat, and they're in sheaths so you don't risk cutting your hand if one of the kids doesn't put it away carefully in the dry-foods tub.
And nothing to do with our changes . . . we just got back from an absolutely wonderful trip near home, and we toted numerous ticks out of the woods. We Carolinians are used to ticks, though we hate and fear them. Will we encounter these disease-carrying bugs out west?