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Arizona Summertime: Driving Across the Country with Six Kids!

After spending pretty much all of 2020 at home (which was so amazing in many ways honestly) we wanted to do something big this summer! Our goal was to spend an extended period of time in Arizona near Wes’s family, and we also discovered that VRBO started offering big discounts when you rented for longer periods of time.  We found an amazing deal on a house, and booked it for a whole month! Thankfully Wes now works remotely, so he can take minimal time off as well. We’ve now been in Arizona for about a week, so I thought I would share our journey so far!

 

Getting There

The drive from Iowa is about 24-25 hours of time on the road (depending on the route you take) so we decided to break it up into three days each way. Starting in Iowa, we drove through Nebraska and into Colorado for our first day, through Colorado and into New Mexico our second day, and had a relatively shorter third day finishing the drive into the Gilbert area in Arizona.

 

We were pretty nervous about how the kids would do with all the driving, so we did a few things that I think helped a lot! First we left crazy early (4am) so they could fall back asleep for the first few hours on the road. Then I had a packed breakfast for days 1 & 3 so we could eat quickly when we stopped to gas up and to stretch out. After breakfast we let them watch a movie on our van’s DVD player, then finally we let them have access their tablets for the second half of the driving.

Breaking up when they could do what seemed to help them have things to look forward to and the days really didn’t seem too bad! Because we left so early each morning, we always reached out hotel (or final destination) at a reasonable hour so we were never driving into the night when historically our kids would get the crankiest.

 

 

 

Settling In

We didn’t get access to the house until 4pm, but the first thing the kiddos had to check out was the pool! We were also able to borrow a folding table and chair from Wes’s parents to help set up his office area in the master bedroom. He also has a nice view of the pool so he can see the kiddos having fun all day too! {And since he is still working Iowa time, he gets to be done at 3pm each day!}

 

Doing Life

 

Our rental is in walking distance of a park, so most days we make our way over in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. The path through the neighborhood green space is so beautiful! We also got to meet the kids’ new baby cousin, and they adore her already!

 

 

Photo Ops

No vacation would be complete without a few staged family photos! The kiddos are basically living in the pool at this point, so I had to capture the cuteness!

 

Part 2: Sedona & The Grand Canyon

Part 3: Our Final Days in Arizona

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