2023 Vacation Report: Petrified Forest National Park

If you’re driving along Route 66 through Arizona, you will go straight through Petrified Forest National Park. Not that you’d see anything of it if you don’t get off the freeway. MC was quite disappointed that there weren’t actually stone trees looming over us on every side when we visited (and that would have been awesome). But you can get off the highway and take a 28 mile drive through the park. Yes, you’re taking a break from driving by driving somewhere else, instead, but I put it to a vote in the car. (I didn’t want to be the

Visiting Nauvoo with a Family

This post will be more aimed at Latter-day Saints than most of mine, unless there are some of you who are planning to travel across the country by car and are looking for an interesting, free place to stop along the way. In that case, I’d definitely point you in this direction, as it’s very well-run and was my kids’ favorite part of the whole trip. (Sorry, Grand Canyon.) Why? Read on. First, a bit of background. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bounced around a lot in its early years, mainly because anywhere they started to establish

How to Break Up a Cross Country Trip into Manageable Chunks

My road trip this summer was a doozy, as I’ve already said. 5,037 miles driven, total. Yeah, that’s a lot of miles, but to put that a bit more into perspective, to drive from Fort Kent in absolute northern Maine to San Diego in southwestern California, you’d go 3,257 miles. So we could have almost gone across the country and halfway back, the long way. (And mind you, we flew home.) When I first approached the family with the idea, it was not met with glowing reactions. Daniela and MC were particularly less than enthused. As if sitting in the

2023 Vacation Report: Niagara Falls

The last time we headed to Niagara Falls, ten years ago or so, Denisa and I were decidedly unimpressed. Not with the falls themselves, mind you. They’re stunning. Rather, we weren’t fans of the stuff around the falls. It felt like you had to drive through a whole lot of tourist-trappy places before you got there. There was a real disconnect between the natural beauty of the falls, and the commercialization of them that we didn’t care for, so much so that I even debated going back. Still, when you’re headed west, there are only so many places to see

2023 Vacation Report: Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour

I knew we were heading from Maine over to upstate New York, since we wanted to see some church history sites. The trouble with that direction is that there really isn’t much in the way of “short stops to check out” on the way. Also, there are no real highways that go east to west over there, so it would take a long time and have plenty of windy roads. After some research, I found out that Ben & Jerry’s factory is pretty much right along the way, however, and who doesn’t like Ben & Jerry’s? (Ironically, after I visited,