Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ultimate Road Trip Southbound - Recap

Finally I am getting around to writing a recap of our trip. to put this trip into perspective you can read about our crazy year leading to this endeavor.
Since we were downsizing as we unpacked in our new condo we put aside a plastic bin to capture items we thought we might need in our temporary accommodations over the winter.
This bin was not meant to be unpacked until we were settled in a condo. It remained in the car until Sedona.
Some of these items were:
Portable toothbrush charger - we had two so one stayed in Toronto.
External hard drive - it has backups of our photos that would provide projects over the winter such as scrapbooking.
Winter gloves, hats and mitts - in case of storms on the road south or north bound.
Extra kitchen supplies - we had extras of dishwasher tablets, aluminum foil, baggies, j-cloths etc.
Extra bathroom items - medicines, creams etc again extras from home that might come in handy and also a good way to reduce all the extras we had.
Night lights from the dollar store - handy in hotel and condo bathrooms to find your way during the night.

We packed a small bag that contained a few days clothes and personal items that we would take into our hotels during the drive.
A cooler (thanks K and B) for any food items such as cheeses and bread that we bought along the way either for dinner in a hotel when we didn't feel like going out or for lunch on the road.

We also had all our electronic paraphernalia with us, cameras, laptops, iPad, e-reader and all the associated converters and plugs. We wanted/needed to have access in the same manner as at home.
We considered bringing a printer but decided we didn't need it.

We left on Monday November 26, 2012 with plans to be in Sedona AZ by Saturday December 1. On the 26th we left at 10:30 and here is a recap of the first day.  After crossing the border into New York we then entered Pennsylvania We spent the night in Springfield Ohio.

Day 2  we left Springfield OH early morning, crossed into Indiana, Illinois where we stopped to see the World's Largest Wind chimes, Missouri and spent our 25th wedding anniversary in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Day 3  we woke in Jefferson City, MO and had lunch in Claremont OK and made Clinton OK our stop for the night.

Day 4  we realized that we were making excellent time so decided to slow down and enjoy some of the sights on the way. We spent time at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton OK.

we spent the day meandering across Oklahoma and into Texas making many stops along the way. Our destination for the night ended up being Amarillo Texas as we realized that the Big Texan had a motel.

Day 5  started out in Amarillo TX and we traveled into New Mexico again taking our time.

We lodged in Gallup NM for the evening after crossing the Continental Divide.

Day 6  we spent the morning sightseeing in Gallup NM. Then it was time to head to our first stop Sedona AZ.
We made a stop for lunch in Winslow AZ to revisit "Standin' on the Corner".
We sailed into Sedona in time for our check-in at Diamond Resorts Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort.

Day 7 and we're quite pleased not to be packing up the car and getting on the road for a week.

One of the week's highlights was a hot air balloon ride.

A recap of our seven days in Sedona.

Next leg of our journey is Sedona to Las Vegas with an overnight stop in Hualapai Resort with a stop in Jerome AZ.

Getting settled in Las Vegas for a week at the Wyndham Desert Resort then we moved to our final location in Vegas for two months a rented condo off the Strip across from the Rio Casino.
Sunset from our window

Snow on the mountains from our window

What would we have brought along that we didn't or forgot?

More cleaning supplies rather than having to buy them.
Extra condiments such as coffee, tea, salt and pepper, corn starch and other spices etc than you might want to use. However we did get asked at US Customs if we were bringing in any food.
DH forgot his cigars so bought a travel humidor and stocked up.
Had to buy a potato masher!!
Definitely should have packed some plastic storage containers.
Ice packs for the cooler.
I should have packed something crafty to do, especially my knitting as I could have done a lot while in the car. But then again, I would have missed a lot of photo ops!!

Good ideas - emptied plastic water bottles are great for storing and moving some items. We had bought soup stock that comes in a box which didn't transport very well so we used the water bottles.

We also used emptied water bottles as ice packs we froze them with tap water.

Gas - $425
Hotels - $622
Timeshare condos (2 weeks) - already owned paid RCI exchange fees of $500. Will try to avoid that fee on the way back using internal resorts with no exchange fee.
Condo rental Las Vegas - 2 months
Timeshare condo (2 weeks) planned end February 2013 - no exchange fees
Air fare to Mazatlan - not yet booked
Internet - was free at all hotels. Diamond Resorts charged $45 for the week (shame on them).Internet is included in the condo rental.
Cell phones

We could probably have flown for that price, however, once here we would have had to rent a car for three months which would have been prohibitive.

Hotels could have been cheaper as we mainly stayed at Hiltons. They ranged from $100 to $125. This could have been cheaper if we had booked ahead of time online or phoned ahead.
However, having having stayed in one Super 8 for $60 I was quickly reminded why I would rather spend the extra money for cleanliness and comfort.

Every hotel (except The Big Texan) included breakfast. I didn't calculate the cost of our meals as this is a vacation as well.
Our food costs while in Las Vegas are not included as we would have had to eat at home anyway. However, food is much cheaper here as are many other items such as hair cuts and pedicures.

Once we were established in one place we changed our cell phone coverage. DH obtained a new SIM card for his with a local phone number. Since I hated my phone I bought a new one and bought a monthly plan with no contract from Straightalk.
We also opened a mailbox at UPS so our mail could be redirected by our friends.

TCHOTCHKES (Souvenirs/junk) TO DATE:

DH - 4 t-shirts Route 66/Jerome
      -  1 golf shirt
Me  - 1 hoodie Jerome
       -  1 cat.shoe box
Us - 2 coffee mugs
     - 2 beer glasses Harley Davidson

1 comment:

  1. We leave on New Year's Day for a four-day drive to Tucson. I could not bear to fly and then pay $600 a month for two months of car rental.

    Your trip looks like fun!


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