Well... its been almost two weeks since we got back from our road trip. I think we're almost back to "normal". I wanted to do a really detailed account of our trip but here I am ending up doing a brief summary instead. Such is life.
So, the trip included Isaac, myself, Nate (5yr), Joe (4yr), Christine (almost 1yr), my sister Shan & her son Wy (9mos) and our friend Jess. On Thurs we finished packing and loaded the van. (We were so blessed to borrow one of my parents' 15 passenger vans for the trip.) When Isaac and Jess got back from work around 7pm we loaded up the kids and headed out. Because we had four drivers we chose to rotate every few hours and basically drive through to ABQ without overnighting anywhere. We were able to designate the back bench as the "sleeping bench" which helped a lot with the driving situation. I still was anticipating the drive to be a day and a half to two days since we were traveling with four kids under 6yr old (two of which are nursing). Along the road we stopped at a Route 66 Museum in Oklahoma, and on the return we saw the Worlds' Largest Rocking Chair. We made much better time both coming and going than we expected.
One of the things that we enjoyed most about the trip was the food. Big shocker. ;-) We had a wide variety of cuisines while on our trip. We tried both Indian and Greek food on top of the various contemporary and New Mexican dishes as well. In particular we visited two diners that were featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. We ate at both The Standard Diner in ABQ and Zia Diner in Santa Fe. We highly recommend the Bourbon Butter burger at The Standard and the Blue Corn Enchiladas at Zia Diner. Amazing food people!!
We were able to take in some of the local attractions around Albuquerque while we were in town. We visited Explora, the National Petroplyph Monument, the flea market, Old Town, the ABQ BioPark Aquarium & Gardens, and others. We took the Rail Runner train to Santa Fe one evening and walked around town for awhile before having dinner at Zia Diner there. And of course we were excited to spend some time with my family that lives in the ABQ area. We do not get to see them often enough!
The cons: Nate and Joe both threw up our first night in ABQ. Yuck. Joe might have had a small concussion from falling off of the hotel bed. We missed our original train and instead of spending the day in Santa Fe we ended up spending just a couple of hours. The day we chose to drive up the beautiful Sandia mountains ended up being the only rainy, yucky day the whole trip.
The pros: We got to visit with our family that we do not get to see often. We were surprised at how smoothly things went, all things considered. We still liked each other at the end of the trip. The kids behaved pretty well. The food was great. We took an extra adult so we were not outnumbered by the children - thank goodness! We have finally tackled a big road trip and now future trips will not seem nearly so daunting! ;-)