I would like to say that today was productive, and that we made it to our destination goal of Amarillo, but I'd be lying. And if I said that today was the best day of my vacation, I'd be lying again.
We stayed last night at the Wigwam Motel, and then went out for breakfast. And just as we headed out on the highway, our truck started to chug, and we barely made it to the gas station. It actually died once just off the exit ramp right before the gas station. Here is where the day got excellent. (Do you hear my sarcasm?)
After the tow truck came, we all piled into the mini van, yes all 1o of us, like Mexicans and drove around Holbrook, aka the town with nothing to do in it, population 5085. We visited a rock shop, a wanna-be Wal-Mart (as described by the auto mechanic), and ate lunch outside at Taco Bell.
So then what's a family to do when we have more time to kill than things to do? You drive the streets of said foreign small town. We ended up at a park where the kids got to play until we could pick the truck up.
We finally were able to leave at 5, slightly behind schedule. I do need to say that if you are ever broke down in the Holbrook area, call Scotty and Son. He had 3 guys out there working on the truck so we could get on the road tonight and it was a very reasonable bill.
So now we are currently headed for Albuquerque. We plan on staying at the same hotel because we know that it's somewhat clean and that it's in an ok part of town, lessons we've learned along the way. Hopefully tomorrow is filled with more fun adventures.

Sunrise over Wigwam Village

Freezing outside our tee-pee

You just can't make these things up. I can only imagine the stories they'll tell about this!

We had a little bit of a delay to our morning, but we still managed to make it to Hoover Dam. We took a tour of part of the dam. We stood in one of the diversion tunnels that they used while making the dam, and we also saw the generators. It was pretty amazing to see how it was made, and still functions, without any of our modern technology. The dam has enough cement to pave a 2 lane highway with curb and gutter from New York City to San Fransisco!

"Welcome to the hotel California..." Well actually just the side of the highway in California, but we were there.

This is Lake Mead, on the other side of the dam. It is the largest man-made lake and has enough water to cover the state of Pennsylvania 3 inches deep!

In this picture we are in Nevada and Arizona

The Colorado River was once a destructive force and they created the dam to tame it and still allow each of the 7 states it flows through access to it.

Our sunset as we drove to the Wigwam Hotel

LFCV Day Six

I need to start off by saying the weather is great! There's a breeze, but the sun warms you up. Today we drove around and went to a few shops, and then we found a park for lunch that was down by the lake. The girls were just itching to be able to run so we spent the afternoon here. We went and saw the London Bridge that was moved here from London in 1971. We walked across it and underneath it. We also drove around the island, which once was connected with the main land and became an island after the bridge was reconstructed and it was drudged out underneath it.

Silly Sara playing on the jungle gym

Eve just hanging around

Leigha getting pushed on a swing

Enjoying the winter sun on the beach

Playing on the beach

This picture was a lot harder to get than you think!

The London Bridge

Greetings from London

Where I'd like to live.....

Where I'd end up living.

I've now reached the point of the vacation where I can't remember what day it is. Which isn't really a bad thing, unless you are blogging and are using some number system correlating with what day it is. But I'm pretty sure that I'm right on here.
We finally had a lazy morning! And by this I mean that it wasn't a 8 a.m. and we were on the road. It was 8 a.m. and we are all just hanging out in the room. We finally did leave around lunch to go to Oatman. Up there we saw wild burrows and walked the street of shops. Although the burrows are wild and walk free through the streets, stores, or where ever they want to walk, they have no problem being fed carrots from your hand.
The night ended with me putting 5 teen thousand quarters into washers and dryers that did neither wash or dry. This put hating doing laundry at a whole new level!

This is just one of the many mountains Abe wanted to climb. He thought that he could do it with 2 Monsters and 3 Sundrops. I told him I didn't think so.

This cactus was so nice to pose with us in this picture.

All the girls with a wild burrow in Oatman.

Here's Grandpa with the burrow that bit him in the butt. Guess that will teach him not to keep carrots in his pocket.

Grandpa Fritsch, Grandma Teddy, and the family

And I'll leave you with this. Talk amongst yourselves......

NLCV Day Four

Today was just like home....cold, snow, had to warm the car up before you leave, you know all the good stuff. We did have a ski hill right behind our hotel, I told Abe we should have brought the skis!
We had breakfast and then headed over to the Grand Canyon. On the way up, we commented how nobody must be there because we were the only ones on the road. We were VERY wrong!!! It was packed. Naturally, Leigha was the one that was always a little to close to the edge for comfort! Imagine that.
After the canyon we drove over to Lake Havasu City, our final destination. We are going to be staying 3 nights here. We will visit with Abe's grandpa, and get to see my grandma too before we leave.
Today we started out with winter jackets, hats, mittens and ended our day in sweatshirts.

Abe and the girls at the Grand Canyon

Just one of the incredible views we got to see at the Grand Canyon

Abe's pretty much in love with this place!

Now here is somewhere I could retire! The palm trees, the sun it's all a little to inviting right now. I'm still debating if I'd miss the snow...

Here's the view out our back door over Lake Havasu

I love being able to step outside at 7 a.m. in December without a coat! We drove from Albuquerque to the Petrified Forest. The roads where icy and snow covered it was just like home. We even got to see a car backwards in the ditch. Because of the snow the colors were a bit muted at the Painted Desert, but we could still see the reds and browns. The girls became official Junior Rangers here with official badges and patches! From here we hopped in the car and headed to Flagstaff for the night. The lesson we learned after arriving at the hotel is...we will no longer book hotels by looking on the internet or at stupid hotel books! Great view of the mountain, but that was about it.

P.S. I hate wearing my coat in December in Arizona!!!!

Here's the view from our hotel this morning

Wow! This was yet another awesome picture opt that I actual got!

Dear Wisconsin, I'm sorry that I said I had a hard time remembering cold weather and snow. Thanks for reminding me.

See, when I think of Arizona I always thought warm and sun. That's why old people go here to retire right? Well, I WILL NOT be retiring here! Abe might though.

Here we are at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Behind is is part of the Painted Desert. Can you feel the wind? I think Eve's face says it all.

Part of the Painted Desert

Chillin' with some old wood. This wood had amazing colors!

Abe and his dad in front of the largest piece of petrified wood in the park.

As you can see as I was once again not ready here, hence the back window picture. This is right from the movie Cars! This is on Route 66, and you can get your own wigwam, cozy cone, for $54 a night. Check out their site here.

One majestic mountain on our way into Flagstaff.

I asked Abe if we just a higher standard of clean, or was it all in my head. Apparently Sara agrees with me! Here she's cleaning the luggage stand, although only in her diaper, maybe she's found her calling.

I'm so glad we took Elizabeth's advice with food!! We ordered food from New Jersey Pizza Company (as opposed to Papa Johns), and it was awesome!! Their ingredients are top quality, much of it organic, from small family farmers, ranchers, and artisan cheese makers. Their ham is actually from Nueskes! Our pizza is half 4 cheese (housemade mozz, ricotta, reggiano, and cheddar) half morotto (extra virgin, greens, fruit, blue cheese, housemade mozz, toasted nuts)

Fruit & Nut Salad- farm greens, seasonal fruits- ours was apples and pomegranate, nuts, and artisan cheese

NLCV Day Two

Merry Christmas!!
If you know me, I am not a morning person, but alas, when the alarm was going off at 5 I got up and hopped in the shower. We had planned on a quick continental breakfast and then hit the road by 7. We did fairly well, on the road by 7:45. I know you're thinking that it's almost an hour later, but for 4 adults with 6 kids that's pretty good for being on time. Today was A LOT of driving, but that makes tomorrow a little bit more relaxed (hopefully).

Here is the quietest part of my day!

The girls in front of the tree in the lobby with their sock monkeys from Grandma and Grandpa.

Welcome to Oklahoma. It really is a lot harder to take pictures of signs than you think! But I'm sure that I'll improve.

This wasn't even the best sign we saw! And we still had no idea what kind of smoke we were looking out for. But the sign of the day was, "Be careful Hitchhikers may be escaped inmates." And that was just so unexpected so I totally missed that photo op!

Here's making lunch road trip style. At this gas station, Abe gave up his sandwich to feed a homeless cowboy. Well, he probably wasn't a real cowboy, but he had a cowboy hat, but he was really homeless. This made us really appreciate the things we have, and make us see how much we take simple things for granite.

"Can we say that Texas is dumb?" No, but we can say that it has a ton of cops!!

Wide open range of Texas. It was just miles of land as far as you could see without any interruptions. Today it got up to 70! So how's the snow up there? This seriously made me question why I stay in Wisconsin and freeze half the year when there are so many other possibilities.

Recognizing the Lone Star State

Not sure what was more strange: The large leaning water tower, or the small replica that was on top of the sign right next to it.

See now this is a better picture! I'm not sure if this is the land of enchantment, I thought that was Disney World. It started to get more rocky and Abe was really enjoying the scenery.

After we drove 750 miles, this was the best way for it to end. Good night!

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