Monday, November 25, 2019

Our Newlywed Road Trip Circa 2015

Back in 2015, Josh and I decided to take a road trip to the Grand Canyon over Easter break. That was the extent of our planning...we would make it to the Grand Canyon and play everything else by ear, even where we were staying. The morning of, we decided to hit Joshua Tree first. With coffee in hand, we hit the road and let a bit more of our plan form. We would hit as many national parks as possible along the way. I think it's important to note we were 4 months married and a total of 8 months together and decided to hit 4 national parks + a must-see location in a mere 5 days. Needless to say, we learned a lot about each other + our limits.

Joshua Tree // Twentynine Palms, CA // Day 1
We were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we pulled up to Joshua Tree. Did I mention we didn't have a plan? We also didn't have a ton of money either. We had no idea we'd have to pay to get into each park, but we pushed on and explored a bit before we headed to Arizona for the night...with no reservations.

Sedona // Sedona, AZ // Day 2
By the time we found a place to stay in Arizona, we were at all of our limits. We were minutes away from just sleeping in the car before we decided to just spend a bit more money a place to stay. However, I have to tell you that the place we found seemed sooooooo creepy at midnight, like one of those places where scary movies take place. It was in the middle of nowhere and our "cabin" was down a dirt, lightly lit path. When we woke up, we were pleasantly surprised. It was beautiful and the restaurant on site was hilarious. I wish we would have taken photos of it. It as definitely in what seemed like the middle-of-nowhere. Over breakfast, we decided to book our hotel for the night to keep from driving around for hours in a serious state of hangry-ness. Once we were coffeed up, we hit the road for Sedona, which was just beautiful.

The Grand Canyon // Grand Canyon, AZ // Day 2
Sedona was just a pit stop on our way to The Grand Canyon. Holy moly guacamole. The Grand Canyon is breathtaking. Seriously. It was so peaceful even with the hustle and bustle of everyone oohing and awwing over the views. This is a great time to let you know that Josh has a serious fear of heights. I asked him to turn around so I could walk to the edge and look down knowing that if he watched me he would be a mess. Well, he did turn around but by the time I was done he had regained view of me and was visibly shaking. I'm pretty sure I laughed.

Mesa Verde National Park // Cortez, CO // Day 3
We were planning on seeing The Four Corners but quickly changed our plans based on the recommendations of our barista that morning. He said Mesa Verde National Park would be a much better use of our time and it absolutely was. Josh is a huge history person and Mesa Verde is chalked full of culture. It was by far the most interactive of all the parks we went to. We were able to see the ancient cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Wowza. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I wish our cameras were of better quality 5 years ago.

Zion National Park // Springdale, UT // Day 4
By the time day 4 came around we were really ready to head home. We had played the alphabet game a gazillion times and were getting a bit delirious at times. I'm pretty sure a quail tree doesn't actually exist. We drove through Zion when it was pitch black on our way to find food and get to our hotel. I remember being the crabbiest because I was so hungry. I basically just told Josh to pull over so we could eat at the only restaurant we had seen for what seemed like forever. Josh wasn't exactly in the best mood either, since his fear of heights was really wound up after driving those curves in the dark. Thankfully, we got food in our bellies and got some sleep before venturing through Zion in the light of the day. It too was breathtaking. 

We look back on this trip with so much joy. Roadtrips will forever be on our bucket list. There is something about the open road, coffee, conversation, music, Dave Ramsey podcasts, and laughter that made this trip one of our favorites. Plus, it was the last real trip and the only road trip we took before having kiddos. Our goal is to see all of the national parks. It's been a slow process to plan the next one, especially with having 4 kids come Feb/Mar. It's always on our hearts get out on the open road and see the beauty of God's creation. 

What national parks have you been to? Do you have a similar item on your bucket list? 

Happy holiday travels + traveling mercies to all you holiday travelers. We will be celebrating in the comfort of our cozy home. 

How we saw 4 national parks in 5 days and loved it.

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