September 29, 2014

The Great Southwestern Road Trip of 2014

When we left El Paso/Ft. Bliss, my parents came down to help us move. We did a full DITY, which deserves its own post (and which it will receive). Anyway, part of the process was taking our leave time and going from El Paso to Sierra Vista and back up to OKC to introduce Baby G to family, by way of the Grand Canyon.

road trip

1700 miles. Not counting the return trip. With a three-month-old.

We were crazy.


After delivering the dogs to the kennel in El Paso, we set off, as my mom said, like the Jodes. Cars and UHaul packed to the brim with stuff. Once we dropped it at the new house, we set off due north. The trip took us through a couple national parks before we got to the actual Grand Canyon National Park, and the sights were pretty spectacular.

Yes, that is a real cactus. There were tons, in the Tonto National Forest. This wasn’t even the biggest one, it was just the closest to the road.

We also drove through the Kaibob National Forest, which looked nothing like the deserts surrounding it, which was a nice change. As we drove through the parks, my mom played her Harry Potter soundtrack CD. It made the viewing even more epic. I don’t have any pictures because, well, to me, once you’ve seen one tree, you’ve seen them all, but they were pretty.

After a couple of days of driving, we made it to the Grand Canyon.




As it happened, that day was our anniversary, too.



Not Disney World, but spending our anniversary at the Grand Canyon was pretty cool.

That night, my parents treated us to an anniversary dinner at the nicest restaurant in Holbrook, Arizona.


If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend Mesa Italiana.

The next day we made an epic push the rest of the way to OKC, with a planned stop in Amarillo to hit up the Big Texan for the first time in years.



We even saw someone eat the 72 oz steak. From there we pushed the rest of the way into OKC, arriving about 2:00 in the morning.

While in Oklahoma, we finally introduced Baby G in person to her family -



Also, since our trip overlapped, SoldierMan and I went to the opening day of the Great State Fair of Oklahoma (leaving Baby G with my parents, a manifestation of my germaphobia). We haven’t been able to go since the Army, and it was awesome.


We got Indian Tacos, Alligator on a Stick, I finally got to try fried butter (totally worth it), we saw a dozen friends from the past 20 years, and I got my picture with a fair cop (full disclosure: he’s a relative).

The rest of the trip involved lots of family time, eating Ted’s, and generally getting intensely homesick all over again. After about a week at home, we packed ourselves up, drove back to El Paso, retrieved the dogs, and arrived in Sierra Vista for the duration.


**The majority of these pictures were taken at the Tonto National Park and the Grand Canyon National Park.
These parks belong to the people of the United States, not the National Parks Service, the park stewards.
These pictures belong to me and my family to use in the manner of our choosing.
Molon labe, bureaucrats.


  1. I love road trips! Granted I have never done one with a 3 month old. I am sure that was interesting.

    The longest road trip I have done is from Georgia to Texas and back. The scenery of America is one of my favorite things about road trips.

    The Grand Canyon is on my list of places to visit.

  2. That looks like fun! I bet you were very excited for everyone to meet your baby too.

  3. I'm so glad that you were able to get some much needed family time! :) The pictures are great.

  4. Wonderful pictures!! Looks like a fun road trip :)

  5. I've totally been to the Big Texan! It's fun and a good place to eat. Glad you had a good time!


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