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  1. Default Dallas to Durango with 5 kids!!

    Hi all! We are planning a road trip in August starting from the Dallas area and ending in Durango. So far I've planned a night stay in Albequerque, NM for one night and we are going to check out the Sandia Tram. I've also booked a cabin in the Durango area for our stay. With 5 kids, I'm wondering if anyone has some tips on traveling with lots of kiddos. Also, with gas prices the way they are we are looking for coupons or bargains for any attractions along the way. If anyone has any ideas on that please let me know. Also, if there is anyone that has made a similar trip and has ideas on attractions in the Albequerque or Durango area, that would be great. We of course are going to go on the Silverton train and check out Pagosa Springs.

    It's funny, when I was a kid, my parents just threw us in the Winnie and we went, no planning or anything. These days you can do so much planning just from the internet that it almost takes the fun out of a road trip! :)

    Oh, also, we are big foodies, so if you have some really cool hole in the wall places that are off the beaten path let us know!

    Ok, really, one more thing. I love those sites like the biggest ball of twine or the biggest watermelon. Those ideas would be appreciated too!

    Thanks!
    Last edited by ehrharts7; 06-27-2008 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Asking for more info.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Family Road Trips!

    Quote Originally Posted by ehrharts7 View Post
    I've also booked a cabin in the Durango area for our stay.
    Sounds like a pretty fun trip so far -- Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Here are a few tips I have learned over the years about planning family road trips.
    Also, with gas prices the way they are we are looking for coupons or bargains for any attractions along the way.
    Make a point of stopping at the State "Welcome to (name of state)" visitor centers as you cross state lines from the Interstate highways -- they always have discount coupons and good insider tips. Also if you belong to AAA or another of the national road service firms, they offer discount coupons.
    Also, if there is anyone that has made a similar trip and has ideas on attractions in the Albequerque or Durango area, that would be great
    . You are already mentioned the train -- but here are a couple more articles about it and here. I would drive the Million Dollar highway, and a couple more threads about Durango. Here are some tips about visiting Albuquerque.
    Member "Howard" is our local Albuquerque expert and so beyond that last thread, if you search for ideas by his name you will find many, many suggestions.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  3. Default Overwhelmed with planning the itinerary...need some professional help!

    We are planning a trip from Dallas to Durango and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with all this planning and making sure we have enough time or enough things to do. I've come to you all for some professional help! LOL! First off, we are traveling with 5 kids, yes 5! So I'm a little worried about the drive time because I know there will be extra stops with that many kiddos. Our plan is to leave on August 16th and get back to Dallas on August 24th. I've planned a night stay in Albuquerque on the 16th so we could check out the tram on the 17th. I also plan on getting into Durango on the 17th with the only idea of getting to the cabin we already have booked. So our adventures in the Durango area will begin on August 18th. And I have a list of things we want to do, but not sure if we can realistically fit it all in. Here's my list.

    Whitewater rafting (1 or 2 hour trip)
    Check our downtown Durango and the breweries, shops and Chocolate Factory.
    Durango Mountain Resort to check out the Alpine slide and other things there (think this is an all day thing)
    Mesa Verde and the Four corners (again all day thing)
    Durango/Silverton Train
    Pagosa Springs
    AND we are considering getting married while we are there....nothing elaborate, just hire a officiate to marry us maybe by the lake or some other pretty spot.

    We will be leaving Durango on August 23rd to get back to Dallas on August 24th. Not sure where we will stop on the way back. My fiancee and I will be taking turns driving and we are both used to driving long distances. But again, all the kids.

    Does this all sound like it's too much in too small of a time frame? Are my choices of things to do "the things" to do while we are there? Or are there other sites we will be missing? Does anyone have any suggestions for an itinerary? And help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default If it were me.....

    Quote Originally Posted by ehrharts7 View Post
    Does this all sound like it's too much in too small of a time frame?
    Your pace does seem a bit rushed to me -- especially if you are going to throw "the wedding" in there too. I think making Durango your hub makes a lot of sense -- there are lots of cool things to do -- the train ride will be a "winner" for all of you. I think you have a list of several good things to consider doing -- but I would let the vacation dictate what you actually do there. Vacation road trips really don't have to unfold with the logistical plans of full-scale military invasion. Kicking back by the swimming pool or playing in a playground would, in my view, have the same weight as driving all day to see the Four Corners. Go armed with all of these ideas and be fully prepared to chuck all of the plans upon arrival in Durango. It's what I would do. Or alternatively, pre-book your day's activities so that only 3-4 hours per day are scripted --let the pace of the vacation dictate the rest.

    Mark

  5. Default Right!

    Maybe that's what is stressing me out! The planning and re-planning. We never did that when I was growing up, we just went. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders! LOL!!

  6. Default Gotta go with Mark...

    Relax... You don't need to have every minute of every day planned out. If you're getting married, I think you need a bunch of flexibility in what you're doing and a lot of unplanned time without stressing as a couple.

    My suggestion would be that all the things you do are options -- if you get the bug to do something, do it. If you wake up and are feeling lazy or the weather's not perfect or you hear about something that sounds fun -- you want to be able to kick back, sit by the pool, or do something totally new and unexpected.

    So.. Relax.... Sounds like you've got a bunch of options on things to do, so you won't get bored. And other than that.. planning's done!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default Albuquerque

    Sure sounds like a great trip! A whole week in Durango, with a cabin by the river. Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by ehrharts7
    Also, if there is anyone that has made a similar trip and has ideas on attractions in the Albequerque or Durango area, that would be great.
    Quote Originally Posted by ehrharts7
    Oh, also, we are big foodies, so if you have some really cool hole in the wall places that are off the beaten path let us know!
    ehrharts, I made a little map of Albuquerque** for you that shows where some local attractions and restaurants are located, including the Tramway, Old Town, and Petroglyph National Monument.
    **Note: The map isn't centered quite perfectly, I can't figure out why. I'm still learning how to use Google Maps. Sorry.

    Here are some more links to local museums and other attractions:

    Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
    Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
    Albuquerque Museum of Art & History
    Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum
    NM Museum of Natural History & Science
    National Atomic Museum
    Rattlesnake Museum In Old Town.
    Albuquerque Biological Park, which includes the Rio Grande Zoo, the Albuquerque Aquarium & Rio Grande Botanic Garden, and Tingley Beach.
    Tinkertown This is one place you really shouldn’t miss. The kids will love it!

    Some good local restaurants:

    The Range Café
    Christy Mae’s
    Japanese Kitchen
    Siam Cafe
    May Hong
    66 Diner 50’s-style diner. Popular with the kids.
    Yanni’s
    Saggio’s
    Route 66 Malt Shop This really is a hole-in-the-wall. Very small place with one booth and a few tables. Homemade root beer!

    Some good New Mexican-style places:

    Padilla’s Very crowded at lunchtime. Opens at 11 am. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
    Cecilia’s Café
    Mary & Tito’s Cafe
    Perea’s
    Duran’s Central Pharmacy
    El Charritos
    Barb’s Place

    Remember to bring a jacket, hat and sunglasses with you when you go up the tram. It’s usually pretty breezy at the top, and the weather can change from good to bad very quickly. Also, bring binoculars if you have them.(and your camera, of course!)

    Have fun!
    Last edited by howard; 07-14-2008 at 02:25 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Excellent post

    Howard, Excellent job on the map of Albuquerque attractions!

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Oh, wow!!!!

    I have tried doing similar maps and I don't get it. I don't understand how to change the markers to different colors, for example. I'm very impressed with what you've done.

    Any chance you can give me a brief tutorial or give me a link to someplace that gives a simple explanation on how to do this?

    I hope you don't mind that I've saved your excellent map to "My Maps".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default All of the RTA writers do this....

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    Any chance you can give me a brief tutorial or give me a link to someplace that gives a simple explanation on how to do this?
    Judy, if you look at any of the articles in this "Day Trips From...." series you will see that the Google maps all use different markers and colors for the various routes. I was going to attach our tutorial for creating these maps to this thread, but we don't have an option for a word document. So, I have made a thread in the Gear-Up forum with this information.

    Mark

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