Arizona

Flagstaff has to be one of the noisiest places ever with huge slow trains rattling through the town all night long. Subsequently I didn’t sleep too well and was awake from 4.30am until about 7. When Simon woke me up about 8ish I was feeling tired and not too enthusiastic for the days drive. After some coffee though I perked up a bit and we pack up and head into downtown Flagstaff in search of some breakfast.

After porridge and pancakes (Maisie) we set off south towards Phoenix. Our map driving distance thing says it will take us about 1 hour 30 mins but soon it becomes clear that it will in fact take much longer. Today is Labor Day and the road is so busy. As the general speed limit is 60 we’re surprised to see a few people racing along including pops who Simon is getting ready to ram after he cuts us up for a second time!

The road is very beautiful, the town of Sedona is famous for its spectacular red rocks and we pass some wonderful scenery on the way. We have both been awed by the sheer size of Arizona – it’s really massive and although driving here isn’t unpleasant we are all feeling a bit uncomfortable due to the heat. We have our aircon on full, but it makes my eyes so dry we have to stop and buy some eyedrops. A thermometer showed the temperature to be off the scale at over 120 degrees (Not sure what that is in degrees c but damn hot!)

By the time we get to Phoenix its past 1pm and we have to make a decision. Our plan has been to travel further south to the town of Tucson and then back to LA tomorrow. From Tucson to LA will take about 8-9 hours according to our map and we decide we just can’t face another long journey this afternoon and then again tomorrow especially after yesterdays mammoth trip. Arizona has beaten us and we sadly decide that the amazing saguaro cacti of Tucson will have to wait until another time.

Once our decision has been made we can relax a bit and we stop off just outside Phoenix for lunch before heading west towards Los Angeles. It takes us a few hours to reach a halfway point at Blythe and we are all so relieved when we find a lovely Best Western Motel with a gorgeous pool, free wifi and complimentary breakfast for 70 dollars a room. As we are all feeling a bit frazzled we get 2 rooms and I lie on the bed nursing my pounding headache whilst Simon takes the kids swimming.

9.10pm- we’ve just got in from dinner. We had a look around and having discarded the choice of McDonalds, Taco Bell, Mexihitas, Jack in a Box and Wendy’s we decide on Sizzlers. They offer a salad bar dinner for $5 and as we have all noticeably gained weight in the past week we’re desperate for something a bit healthier.

Half way through our salads we are surprised when the waitress appears at our table with a huge plate of thick sliced white bread, soaked in melted butter and grilled and two large plates of fried chicken dinosaurs and fries. We start to tell her we didn’t order it but she explains it’s free and comes complimentary with the kid’s salads! Oh my god- no wonder there is an obesity problem in America. We really have tried to make healthy choices but unless you have exceptional will power its very difficult when food is placed in front of you to refuse it.

With that in mind – I give up!