Recently, while on vacation, the Daves visited many dinosaur places and had a blast doing it. Being on vacation though you sometimes take for granted what may be in your own back yard. It may be ok to travel thousands of miles on vacation to a particular place but oftentimes you neglect driving just an hour to a similar place in your very own or neighboring state. This was the case with THE DINOSAUR PLACE in Montville, CT.
Finally, after fifteen posts we’ve reached the conclusion of our 2016 Terror Dave Road Trip! Are you sick of it yet? Because at this point of our vacation we sure were…and of each other too for that matter. I was reminded of that while going through all the photos from those last couple of days and noticing how whenever we’d photograph one another in front of a dinosaur, we’d angle the camera so it looked like the other was being eaten. Talk about passive/aggressive photography!
We left Moab, Utah on the morning of Friday June 17th and began the long, seven hour drive back to Colorado. Fortunately, I discovered a dinosaur museum that was en route called The Museum of Western Colorado’s Dinosaur Journey. Actually, it could have been The Museum of Barney the Purple Dinosaur and we’d of still stopped there just to break up the monotony. Fortunately, this was a lot better than that.
On the last leg of our road trip, we stayed a couple of days in Moab, Utah where we could finally relax and get a vacation from our vacation. Naturally we still enjoyed many of the things this fun, tourist town had to offer but without having to adhere to any tight schedules or long drives. Consequently, our first afternoon there was spent lounging around the hotel, catching up on emails, going through photos, and watching AMC’s presentation of JAWS which was an exercise in futility thanks to all the commercials they smothered it with. Later we stopped in the heart of Moab for dinner at an Italian place that served the best ravioli I’d ever tasted. Up until that point, I found southwest cuisine to be rather lacking so this truly hit the spot. With renewed vigor, we drove to Arches National Park which was just ten minutes away. Next to Saguaro, this would be our favorite national treasure and we loved the fact that it was open 24 hours. We spent the evening checking out all the lookout points before watching the sunset.
I had a couple of big epiphanies during this road trip but the biggest was that I really want to live in Utah. I honestly never thought much about the State before arriving there but was immediately captivated by its natural beauty and geological wonders. Or perhaps it simply stirred a semi-dormant aspect of my childhood.
Utah is a time capsule with a direct link to a group of animals that I absolutely adored as a kid and am still fascinated with today. Although it wasn’t the primary theme of this trip, there was never any doubt once we got there that we were firmly in the land of the dinosaurs…and neither of us were complaining. Seriously, how many of us Godzilla fans can’t tie our love of Japan’s most famous export to the real giants that once roamed the Earth? And how can we call ourselves animal lovers while completely ignoring the ones from our planet’s past?
After our success at Aztec we headed down to Gallup, New Mexico and spent the night. The next morning we decided to skip the crappy, free hotel breakfast in favor of McDonald’s and a southwestern variant of their breakfast burrito with green chiles (I swear, everything down here had green chiles in it). We barely sipped our ice coffees before hopping on to I-40 towards Petrified Forest National Park. It was just over an hour from where we’d been staying but, as soon as we crossed the Arizona border, the clock gave us those sixty minutes right back courtesy of the Arizona Mountain Time Zone. In many ways it was like going back fifty years…
As our trip was winding it’s way down, we found ourselves with some extra time in New England. In a former life I used to be an Assistant Activity Director for a home that served adults with disabilities, so planning trips and activities is something I’m pretty good at and really enjoy (and, yes, that’s an open invitation for anyone who wants to whisk me away from my crap day job and hire me as their travel agent) . Anyway, I had this whole vacation worked out including driving times, fun restaurants, and goofy attractions. Looking back I’m pretty proud of myself with the exception of the Maryland Aquarium (which was a total rip-off as David mentioned in his last post) and also going too cheap on hotels.com. Believe me, some of the dumps we stayed at could have warranted horror blogs of their own!