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Welcome to our blog. We love exploring and sharing about wondrous places like the National Park System, obscure roadside attractions, and other curious destinations!

Epic Road Trip - Week One

Epic Road Trip - Week One

Our epic road trip would end up taking us to 14 states, 11 National parks and Monuments, and 7 Art Installations. In total we drove over 8500 miles!

 

We had been dreaming about a trip out west for several years. It started with Ryan’s bucket list of folk art installations, and it grew from there. We saved for almost two years, and finally on my 40th birthday my husband gave me the go ahead to start booking everything! It was the best gift ever. Week one was the hottest week of the trip. We started in New Orleans, Louisiana, went to San Antonio, Texas, and then Carlsbad and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Here are some highlights of week one.

Day One: After we arrived in New Orleans and got checked in, we had a little time left in the day to shop at the French Market and of course eat Beignets at Cafe Du Monde. I was nervous it might be really crowded, but we went at dinner time (you know dessert before dinner!) and it was fine. It was a stop the kids had been looking forward to for awhile. It was messy, but yummy. You can’t tell in the picture below, but when our daughter took a bite powdered sugar went flying. As a side note, they only accept cash at the original location.

Taking a little break at a Louisiana rest stop on our way to New Orleans!

Taking a little break at a Louisiana rest stop on our way to New Orleans!

Addy enjoying her beignets at Cafe Du Monde. There is powdered sugar everywhere.

Addy enjoying her beignets at Cafe Du Monde. There is powdered sugar everywhere.

Day Two: One of our favorite stops of day two was The Tree of Life, located in the Audubon Park. It is believed to be between 100-500 years old. The kids had a blast climbing on the huge branches. At one point Addy climbed so high, I was nervous she wouldn’t be able to get back down:) We also got to explore the Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Bonus: The Sculpture Garden is free to walk through!

Climbing the Tree of Life in New Orleans.

Climbing the Tree of Life in New Orleans.

Day Three: After lunch on day three we were off to San Antonio, Texas. Here we stayed in our first, of several, KOA Camping Cabins. We really enjoyed our stay there and the beautiful pool was a plus.

A quick picture as we crossed into Texas.

A quick picture as we crossed into Texas.

Day Four: Our day in San Antonio was very busy, but so fun. Our first stop was to see the Largest Virgin Mary Mosaic at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. It covers the outside of a four-story building.

Then we were off to the Alamo and Riverwalk. It was really crowded at the Alamo, but we enjoyed walking around and we also enjoyed the short film. Then we went over to the Riverwalk and took a narrated river cruise with Go Rio. Not sure I would pay to do it again, but it was fun and informational.

Virgin Mary Mosaic located at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

Virgin Mary Mosaic located at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

“Remember the Alamo” - The battle cry of the Texans, led by Sam Houston.

“Remember the Alamo” - The battle cry of the Texans, led by Sam Houston.

Day Five: The next morning we were on the road again, which is a reoccurring theme of this trip:) This time we were on our way to Carlsbad, New Mexico.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks” - John Muir

Day Six: We were up early to explore The Living Desert Zoo. If you are visiting this zoo in the summer, I definitely recommend getting there as soon as it opens. It gets hot as the day goes on. After we finished at the zoo, we headed to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. If you love caves, I highly recommend Carlsbad Caverns. While they do offer some guided tours, they also let you explore at your own pace. We spent 3 hours in the cave!

Fun time observing plant and animal life of the Chihuahuan Desert region.

Fun time observing plant and animal life of the Chihuahuan Desert region.

Having fun exploring one of our favorite cave systems.

Having fun exploring one of our favorite cave systems.

Day Seven: We finished out this week driving up to Santa Fe, New Mexico and spending the day at Meow Wolf. This was Ridley’s favorite stop of the trip. My best description is if an Escape Room and the City Museum in St. Louis had a baby, it would be Meow Wolf. But my kids hate when I describe it that way, so I guess you should go check it out:)

Not sure how to describe Meow Wolf, but it was a favorite stop.

Not sure how to describe Meow Wolf, but it was a favorite stop.

Well that rounds out our first week on the road going west. Stay tuned for week two. Thanks for following along!

Epic Road Trip - Week Two

Epic Road Trip - Week Two