Road Trip!

We were sad to leave the boat, but we focused on the excitement of our road trip, and the anticipation of seeing friends and family back home. With a big push, we were ready to go on Memorial Day! We set our sights on Tucson and were off.

Mistake Number 1: We didn’t take into account that half of Arizona was in Mexico for the weekend, and all those people were also crossing back into the US that day. We had a lot of time to figure this out, waiting over 2 hours in line at the border.

Mistake Number 2: We didn´t fill the tank, jerry cans, our water bottles, or a kiddy pool strapped to the roof with $2.50/gallon gasoline. When Capn Bright Idea wondered aloud if we should get gas before crossing the border, First Mate Clueless dismissed the notion. “Gas can’t be that expensive in the US,” I said self-assuredly. “I mean, what did we invade Iraq for?” “I thought we were spreading democracy,” chimed Koiya from the back seat. Todd and I had a good laugh over that! Kids say the darndest things!

Well, one good thing about the long wait at the border was that Todd had time to jump out and buy us a last mango with chili. We were a bit worried about getting searched, because the van was just packed with stuff. Luckily the agent at the border crossing was tickled by our Canadian license plate number, “456 BRP”. “456 Burp?” he asked. We were quick to appear jovial. “I know, it’s wacky, eh?” He chuckled and waved us on through.

We got to our hotel in Tucson around 10pm, and Koiya was disappointed to have to go straight to bed. We promised her waffles at the breakfast buffet followed by a swim in the pool in the morning. Once she was in bed, Toro and I slipped out to the hot tub. I let him bring a drink, but stopped him when he grabbed a bar of soap. “But all that fresh warm water…” he whined, “Next you’re going to tell me I can’t walk around town with an open beer!”

It was our first night off the boat in eight months, but the weird thing was that it wasn’t weird. Just like driving felt totally familiar, so did falling into bed next to a bourbon-scented Todd. The only odd thing was that he and the sheets were clean!

The next day, we all enjoyed a visit to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, which is cleverly arranged so that you walk a bit through the desert, then get to cool off at exhibits featuring live animals and birds. See our Tucson photos here:


That night, we got in a quick visit with my friends Matt and Margaret, who live in Scottsdale. We found a hotel in Camp Verde for the night, and spent the next day around Sedona. We went on a hike and got to see some cool pictographs. We also went to Slide Park, where the river has carved out some natural water slides. I was pretty psyched to get into the water, until I found out it was only 57 degrees! But Toro was insistent, declaring, “We spent 10 bucks to get in, so we’re all going swimming!” Two words: frickin’ freezing! See our Sedona pics here:


We spent that night in Williams, Arizona, at the Grand Canyon Hotel. What a cool little place! It was built in 1891, then fell into disrepair and was vacant for 35 years until the current owners bought and restored it. We had reserved the cheapest room with two beds, which turned out to be two twins… but since she had rooms available, the owner upgraded us to two adjoining rooms. Todd and I were in the “Missouri Room” while Koiya, appropriately enough, got the “Mexico Room”. She loved the decor, but pointed out a little authenticity problem: “They have some Marys, but no Virgin of Guadalupe!” Still, we loved staying there, including seeing the staged gunfight in the street.

The next day, we drove north to the Grand Canyon. We walked a couple of miles along the Rim Trail and a little ways down the Bright Angel Trail. See all of our Grand Canyon photos here:


One Response to “Road Trip!”

  1. Uncle Don says:

    Don’t sweat the gas prices. Everybody knows that Mexican fuel contains high amounts of sulfur and other impurities which will foul your engine, and probably increase pollutant emissions. Besides, if we don’t buy our gas, “they” will have won!