Remember that balmy night?
It's just a tad bit warmer during the day. When we finally loaded up (Pete let me oversleep again) and headed on our way at 11:45 in the a.m., it was a not so breezy or balmy 99. Actually, I should add that I spent a good hour just getting the packages mailed, as the Barstow post office is the place to be on a Monday morning (so not entirely my sleeping past 9 a.m.). Who knew?
It was supposed to be 106 F today, so I suppose we were cut a break. I also have to add that this was a dry heat, which makes a huge difference. Very different from those summers in Memphis with 100% humidity and 100 F! Not that DC is much better, but with several pools available to us, and beaches not too far away, it's a bit easier to tolerate.
Barstow was only the beginning of the heat wave, as we traveled a bit further south and then east, the heat stayed with us. Granted, we were driving through miles and miles and miles of desert, but still amazing how the sun can just beat down, even later in the afternoon. We stopped for lunch in Needles, CA, and it easily must have been, well, very, very hot. So hot, in fact, that we are guessing this prevented the opening of the Latte' Cafe (note that I am merely copying the accent abuse in the sign).
We instead ended up at Jedro's Wagon Wheel restaurant, the highest rated eatery on Yelp for Needles. The iced tea wasn't bad, and while not gourmet, the food sufficed to fill our bellies and get us back on the road. We made a brief stop in Seligman, AZ, home of the Road Kill cafe which earned a photo op, but not an actual stop to taste the 'kill. The kids enjoyed hanging out in the jail next door, and then we crumpled ourselves back into the car and drove, drove, and drove to arrive in Tusayan at the ever so timely dinner hour.
Dinner at the hotel was longer than necessary, but did involve a banjo player and Indian dancers, so we forgave them the slow service. They had a family dancing circle, which Nicholas loved, but I only managed a few iPhone shots and a very dark and grainy video not even You Tube worthy. We followed up dinner with a trip to the pool to make up for the long hours in the car.
Now despite my worries that they might spend the entire time complaining about the trip, it really hasn't been quite that bad. I have been doling out one gift per day (wiki sticks, Brain Quest, books) and that has helped with the boredom. In Nicholas's case, I am not sure he needs much entertainment, as his entire day is spent looking for and discussing trucks and trains. Thankfully, many of both in Southern CA and Arizona. And, despite the heat, the desert is an amazing area to drive through. The kids are getting a lot of interest out of the scenery and the trip itself spurs so many questions about geography and travel. It's a long haul, and a lot of work, but I think it will definitely stand out as a unique and (mostly) fun family event. And tomorrow?
The Grand Canyon, baby! Stay tuned...