our epic road trip leg two: Texas to California


After deciding at the last moment to take route 40 instead of the significantly hotter route 10, R and I set off into the sunset.

Oh my goodness. The landscape did not disappoint! 


The sunsets were breathtaking. 

I had never driven this route* as an adult and it was gloriously beautiful and amazing and I kept wishing I had another driver so I could take more photos. I pulled over way more than I usually do, especially at sunset, just for the view.

And what a view. 


New Mexico won me over, heart and soul. I already knew I loved Arizona, but after the glory of New Mexico, Northern Arizona was windy and sadly run down. That's OK. I loved it anyway. 

We sidetracked to the Grand Canyon. After a few days of me waffling on whether we'd go to the north rim and/or stay there overnight, I decided to just do a quick stop, with lunch and photos, which was probably for the best because R got anxious about the height of the canyons and I didn't do great with the altitude adjustment. 

(I didn't do as poorly as the passenger in the car in front of us, who pulled over to the side of the road and hurled.)


I booked us a swank hotel (at a great price) outside of Las Vegas and somehow managed to not find anywhere to pull over to take a photo of the lights of Vegas as we descended from the mountains. (Even R ooohed in amazement.)

Leaving Vegas, I had another decision to make and it's one I'm very glad we took: we made a detour to Southern California to go to Universal Studios Hollywood. 

Krusty Land, for the win! 


Actually, because of the size difference, we were able to do much more at Universal Studios Hollywood than we had in Florida, despite the crowds. 

It was pretty neat and might warrant a post of its own. 

(My goodness, though. The crowds. Wow.)


And then we were off to Northern California, via the fast and familiar, if slightly boring, 5. 

We spent two weeks in Northern California with our families, including M, who flew out to join us. We spent a weekend in Carmel Valley (taking R back to the Monterey Bay Aquarium). We swam a lot and generally had a good time. 

(I'm probably going out again with R sometime this winter. Northern California is still home, for me. I love it so.)


Coming up next, leg three: California to Colorado with my mom!

*I think we may have gone this way from California to Texas, when I was a kid, but I don't remember anything from that road trip except listening to The Cars new cassette tape and eating bags and bags of sunflower seeds with my aunt.