I just came back from a 5-day road trip to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon Skywalk, Antelope Canyon, and Grand Canyon National Park. The schedule was very tight and it was a lot of driving, so we didn’t get to see much of each place, by that I mean much of Antelope Canyon and Grand Canyon National Park. I’m neither Las Vegas nor Grand Canyon Skywalk fan, but it was on the itinerary and I had to perform my duty as a trip guide to my relatives who are visiting us from Australia. Anyway, for me, I think 5 days is probably only good for Grand Canyon National Park alone. Nevertheless, that’s not to say it wasn’t fun. It was fun. I got to see parts of Antelope Canyon and GCNP and enjoyed them both very much.
Before going back home, we made a stop-by visit to the Big Island for several days. I didn’t mention in my last post that up until planning our trip, I had no idea there was more than one island in Hawaii. I had no sense of its geography. The term Polynesia didn’t mean anything to me. I knew there were volcanoes but wasn’t sure where they were exactly. I guess I just didn’t care to read about it. But that’s how most of us are, right? We don’t feel the need to learn something or do something until we have to.
The moment I decided to quit my job, I had this idea of going away for a while. I knew I wanted to travel for a little bit before looking for a new job. And I knew I’d be due back in the states during July and August, so I didn’t want to go anywhere out of the country knowing I had a deadline to come back. In short, I had no plans. So what’s a better place to be than in Hawaii? So the plan was conceived. We wanted to stay there for two months and maybe look for some random jobs to help pay for expenses. We picked the date and booked our one-way tickets with Hawaiian Airline. By the way, Hawaiian Airline is awesome. The flight was very pleasant. During our ~5 hours flight, we got plenty of drinks and snacks and even a sandwich. Anyway, then I began the search for an apartment and failed because even short-term rental required a minimum stay of 3 months. The ones that allowed for two months stay cost more than what we would pay if we were to stay for 3 months. We ended up booking out stay with Airbnb. We only booked a month stay thinking that we could book another month later on and because the place we booked was only available for one month. And that was proven to be the right decision!
I had never heard of this temple until about three weeks ago when my sister mentioned it to me. The moment she showed me the pictures of the temple, I immediately set my mind to visit the place. So my family and I went on a Saturday afternoon. There are no parking or entrance fees. And there’s nothing that makes my family more pleasing than that :D. Yeah, free is good, right!?
So I finally got to check off my list, not a bucket list, just a regular list. Solvang, you are as beautiful in person as you are on Google image! It felt like I was walking around in a Disney themed town at least for awhile during the early morning when there were not many cars and many of the shops were still closed. Then brunch time came, people started coming in, and I had to watch out for cars.
I woke up and it didn’t feel like New Year’s Eve to me because my husband, Mann, and I had absolutely no plan. And it has been like that for… I don’t know how many years, lol. But just like usual, we always end up doing something, big or small.
We passed ideas back and fourth. Mann suggested Solvang because he knew I wanted to go there. But I don’t wanna go there on a whim because it’s like almost 3 hours drive. So, rejected! I didn’t want to go anywhere too far because it was already like 9am and we were still in our Pjs. We came so close to going to Disney Land, but we decided we didn’t want to go through the crowds and the longgggg waiting for rides.
Day 1: Santa Ana to Las Cruces (~745 miles)
By 4 am, eight of us (my mom, my mother-in-law, my aunt, my uncle-in-law, my sister, my sister-in-law, my hubby, and me) hopped into a 2019 Chevrolet Suburban, which we rented from Enterprise, and started our trip without any written plans. Because the only sure plans we had were stopping by my cousin’s house for lunch in Phoenix, stopping by my other cousin’s house in Tucson, and the final destination which is my brother-in-law’s house in Sugar Land. Everything else was ~90% sure only.
So off we drove! We got on a bunch of freeways before getting on I-10 E and stayed on it for a majority of our trip. We didn’t make any stops at any touristy sites in Arizona both back and fourth. Hence, I have nothing to report about Arizona ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.