Monday, June 20, 2011

Vacation 2011: The Recap

Road Trip 2011: The Stats
Ten Days on the road/8 days with a car
6 National Parks: Zion, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Kings Canyon,Yosemite, Alcatraz
2 National Forests: Kaibab and Sequoia
1 Metropolis: San Francisco
Modes of Transport: 4 Planes, 1 all-wheel drive SUV, 3 Taxis, 2 Town Cars, 1 Trolley, 5 buses, 1 boat, 4 horses, 4 bikes, and 8 legs.
Starting Car Mileage: 8546
Ending Car Mileage: 10,266
Miles Traveled: 1, 720
Average Drive: 215 miles 
Road Trip 2011:  The Favorites
Favorite Destination:
Emma:  Sequoia National Park
Finn: San Francisco 
Mel: The French Laundry
Leif: The Giant Forest

Favorite Activity: 
Leif: Lunch at the Grand Canyon and the hike at King's Canyon
Mel: Driving us home from Kings Canyon
Finn: Visiting Alcatraz
Emma:  Seeing the Giant Forest in Sequoia

Best Meal:
Mel:  The French Laundry in Yountville
Finn:  Hamburger helper in the cottage at Sequoia
Leif: #1 The Laundry (including the company) #2 Buma Superstar
Emma: Mexican at Los Domingo's during our stop in Barstow
Best Road Trip Snax:
Leif: Corn Nuts
Emma: Combos...they are entertaining!
Mel:  Beef Jerky from the road side jerky stand in Three Rivers
Finn: Corn Nuts

Favorite Road Trip Song:
Mel: Judas, Lady Gaga
Finn: The Show Goes On, Lupe Fiasco
Leif: Scheibe, Lady Gaga and Beautiful Day, U2
Emma:  Beautiful Day, U2...that song matched everything we were seeing!
 Best Lodging:
Finn:  Kaibab Lodge because it was easiest to sleep there
Emma: Sequoia Village Inn, Alta Cottage
Mel: Napa Valley Railway Inn
Leif: Kaibab Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn...TOTAL decompression!
Best Laugh:
Emma:  All four of us falling asleep before it was dark out at Kaibab Lodge!
Finn: Dad was making his bed in Yosemite and the boards fell out from under him!
Mel:  Leif panicked and shoved  the guide book for the Grand Canyon  in my face and asked me to read it while I was driving when he realized he had picked the wrong hike for his fears!
Leif: Family renditions of or GPS "Wanda Whereuare's" drunken street pronunciations.
Favorite: View:
Leif:  The opening view of the Grand Canyon from the lodge. It was a total gut check.
Finn: Eating Lunch at the Grand Canyon; you could see all the way to the bottom.
Mel: The view from Bright Angel Point at the Grand Canyon on the hike Leif picked and panicked about. Standing in front of the Grand Canyon sure makes you feel small, but  standing there and knowing that all is well in your microscopic corner of the world was pretty inspirational.
Emma:  Lunch at the Grand Canyon overlooking almost the whole thing.
Biggest Surprise:
Emma:  The General Sherman Tree because it was just so massive and took up so much space.
Finn:  Driving through Zion National Park with out planning on it.
Leif: Yosemite...beautiful place, but too much of a zoo.  Alcatraz was way cooler than I thought it would be!
Mel:  Leif's new found love of birds!  Ask him how many hawks he saw...
Favorite National Park:
Finn:  Sequoia
Mel: Sequoia
Leif: Sequoia
Emma: Sequoia
What I read:
Leif: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Mel: Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
Finn: The Hunger Games and Cathching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Emma:  The Time Traveler's Wife by Audry Niffenegger,
Flawless, Perfect and Unbelieveable by Sara Shepard
Road Trip 2011: The Feedback

"This trip was an amazing chance to see the splendor of our country and build memories at a pivotal time for all.  Changing scenery for ten days was much needed and experiencing a road trip of this magnitude together expanded our entire family's world view." -Leif

"We've been a solid family for so long and there are many big changes on the horizon for our family. I just really felt compelled to share big beautiful moments as a unit at this time in our lives; our trip succeeded in providing those moments on every level.  Every single thing we saw on this adventure was new to me and I was constantly reminded how much I love my family and I really like being with them. I am not sure many people could say that after being cooped up in a car with their spouse and kids for ten days, but I am sure glad I can!" -Mel

"This trip was so amazing and life changing.  When I grow up and have kids, I am SO taking this trip with them." -Emma

"This trip made me feel grateful for my entire family and showed me how beautiful the world is." -Finn


Angela said...

What an amazing vacation. I honestly sounds like a dream, and I can't wait to take the boys on a trip like this.

Mary said...

I really loved this last post, very touching

Virtual Farmgirl said...

What a great roundup of your trip. We're taking our first long road trip with the kids. It's so much fun and I look forward to taking in some of these majestic sights as a family.

I can't believe I've never made the Grand Canyon a destination.

Bronwyn said...

Hurrah Elsmos! This just looks like an amazing trip all around :) It is a wonderful thing to share all these amazing sights and experiences and also to share your family's company! I'd love to see the rest of your pictures!

Anonymous said...



Lourdes said...

Love the recap! Can't wait to hear more in person!!! You are my idol!

RJ Hannagan said...

This is so beautiful. I am grateful for the Elsmo four. What great people!

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