No, our vacation didn't last a month. (If only!) But it's taken me a few weeks to get back into the groove of normal life. I'll be posting my backlog of sewing in the next few weeks.
You probably don't want to see ALL 1400 photos from our trip, so I've uploaded just a few highlights.
But first, the trip statistics. You know I love statistics, but my husband may love them even more.
We took 12 days to drive from Minnesota to California and back again, driving different routes to and from.
Total miles driven: 4800
Average miles per gallon: 19.17 (fully loaded van, driving through the mountains = not fuel efficient)
Total fuel stops: 24
Average price of gas: $3.89/gallon
Lowest gas price: $3.529 in Wyoming (our local gas prices are $0.10 - $0.15 higher)
Highest gas price: $4.699 in California
States visited: 10
Public restroom visits: 70 (including an outhouse at a state park which was a terrifying experience for the youngest two)
New bird species identified: about 35
We made a short stay at two different resorts: one in Newport Beach, California and one in Phoenix, Arizona and tried to stop at as many state and national parks as possible.
Our first two stops were the Lewis and Clark National Monument in Council Bluffs, Iowa and The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Petrified Forest National Park may have been my favorite stop. Molly's an aspiring paleontologist in the visitor center.
Through binoculars (and camera zoom in this case) we got a nice look at a good number of petroglyphs (rock writing) dating from 1000-1350 A.D.
The old Route 66 used to run through the Petrified National Forest. This old car part is from Route 66's glory days, but it's not petrified yet.
I love this photo of Sara doing what she does best: reading. Here we were packing up the car in the morning after stopping over at a hotel on our way to the Grand Canyon.
A great shot of an Allen's hummingbird. My husband spent a lot of time getting shots of these birds and managed to get a video of a parent feeding a young one.
The whole family at Crystal Cove State Park right on the beach. The state park is an ideal way to see the beach and its flora and fauna.
As we entered the Mojave desert, heading toward California, our air conditioner's blower fan went out. At the dealership, we discovered it'd be good to replace the leaking water pump and radiator, too. The good news is the dealership was just down the road from Kinokuniya, the Japanese bookstore. The kids got some cute erasers and I got some pattern books.
Leaving California, we stopped at Joshua Tree National Park on the way to Phoenix, Arizona.
It was crazy driving through desert and a blizzard in the mountains in the same day. Here we're in the Colorado Rockies, where we stopped to do a bit of hiking at Genessee Park.
On our last leg of the trip, we stopped by Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug, and Buffalo Gap National Grasslands in the Badlands. Phew! It was a great trip.