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Days 1-3: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas & Oklahoma

The past few days have been spent doing A LOT of driving.  We’re focused on getting to Michigan to pick up our RV and have to stay in hotels in the meantime while en route.  Therefore, we’re trying to get to Michigan sooner rather than later, so we don’t have to live out of suitcases for too long.  Plus, hotels like to charge pet fees, which can add up!  Once we have our RV, we’ll be able to spend more time at places.  That’s why we decided to drive through the states we were least interested in on our way to Michigan since we knew we wouldn’t be able to stay in them for too long.

 

Day 1 (6/1/14): Flagstaff, AZ

imageIt’s the beginning of our journey…FINALLY! 🙂 On the first day of our road trip, we drove to Arizona where we stayed the night in Flagstaff.  I’ve been to the Phoenix area before and assumed that the entire state of Arizona was a desert like Phoenix.  However, on the way to Flagstaff, the scenery began morphing into a forest.  I had no idea that parts of Arizona had so many trees! Flagstaff was actually really pretty.  Who knew? The weather was also really nice.

 

Day 2 (6/2/14): Flagstaff, AZ | the Grand Canyon | Albuquerque, NM

The next morning, we headed up to Grand Canyon National Park.  The drive from Flagstaff was about 1.5 hours.  We paid a $25 entrance fee for the park, and then we were at the Grand Canyon! We visited the South Rim area where we walked to Mather Point to check out the view.  It was pretty impressive, although I have to say, it wasn’t as colorful as I thought it would be.  But maybe we didn’t see the right section(s) of the Grand Canyon.  We weren’t able to spend too much time there with the pups as it was pretty hot, but at least we got to see it! It was the first time Justin and I had ever seen the Grand Canyon.  We’d love to be able to go back sometime with our RV or even a National Park RV Rental to really explore the world-famous canyon by hiking down into the natural wonder and floating through it on the Colorado River. How incredible would that be! We’ve added it to our list of places to go back to! After visiting the Grand Canyon, we set out for Albuquerque, NM where we ended up staying the night.

 

Day 3 (6/3/14): Albuquerque, NM | Amarillo, TX | Oklahoma City, OK

This was a productive day with us seeing 3 different states all in one day! In the morning, we drove through downtown Albuquerque to check out the area.  The downtown area was smaller but eclectic.  I always imagined Albuquerque as a desert with big cactus plants everywhere, but surprisingly, I didn’t see any cacti other than the ones that were potted in front of our hotel.  Albuquerque was also greener than I pictured with some shrubbery as well as some scenic mountains in the background.  And a random fact: there were grasshoppers everywhere! One parking lot we walked through was covered with them, and we literally had to dodge them with each step we took!

After leaving Albuquerque, we headed east toward Oklahoma where we passed through Texas and grabbed some lunch in Amarillo.  Texas was probably the least scenic state we’ve driven through so far with flat lands as far as the eye can see other than a few sporadic farms scattered here and there with some cows grazing.

Once we got through Texas, we were in Oklahoma! It was about a 7.5-8 hour drive to Oklahoma City from Albuquerque.  Oklahoma was surprisingly pretty and green compared to Texas with hills and a lot more trees.  To be honest, Oklahoma was probably the place I was least excited about seeing, but it caught me off guard and won me over with it’s charming greenery, trees, roadside farms and a clean, un-crowded downtown area (so refreshing from Los Angeles!).  While we were in downtown Oklahoma City, we visited the Oklahoma City National Monument for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.  It was a lovely and touching memorial (see the pics below), and I highly recommend visiting it.