New to the forums.
I'd like to bring my kids (16 and 12) and husband to see what Utah and Arizona has to offer in Aug 2010 or 2011 (as a kid in 1980 I travelled with my parents from Mi to Ca and took in some of the canyons, Petrified Forest, Navajo country and have dreamed of coming back ever since!).
I'm at the very early stages of planning (i.e. started looking at a Dorling Kindersley Guide yesterday and jotting down places to see) and would appreciate some advice.
We are, ideally, a 'rent a car, get a villa with pool' kinda visitors. However, I do realise that Utah and Arizona are big places so first wanted to ask if there is anyplace that would be a good villa base (or two bases across the 3 weeks) for seeing the canyons in southern Utah, Vegas, and as far south as, perhaps, Sedona? We don't mind driving for up to 4 hours some days (perhaps we could rent a villa and arrange a stopover at a cheap hotel if we have a very long drive planned?).
Other options are moving around hotels for the 3 weeks (although this would probably be more costly in that we'd need to book 2 rooms per night as the kids are too old to share a bed), or, rent an RV. We once owned a 19 foot motorhome here in the UK (and took it to Frane, Holland and Scotland)....nothing on US RV sizes I imagine!
Options for flights include Phoenix and Vegas, although there may be other options from London airports I haven't yet found them.
We aren't city-lovers, nor serious hikers but don't mind half hour to an hour walks and I think the kids would enjoy visiting historic places (Mesa Verde or similar, ghost towns, gunflight sights, museums) whilst hub and I will love the canyons and would like to see Vegas (not for gambling but for seeing the Strip). I also have an interest in the Oregon trail stemming from childhood reading and wonder if there are any similar trails and museums in the area we plan to visit.
I suppose what I am asking is where do I go from here? I will be looking out for some trip reports for those similar to my plans but I really have no idea who much we will actually be able to see in 3 weeks and whether it will be too much to take on Southern Utah and northern Arizona.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'll be sticking around for a long time so am happy for replies or any length and any links you think would help.
Thanks in advance,
Tina (Kent, UK)