Saturday, October 29, 2016

Cross Country Itinerary #3

This itinerary is for 9 people, in an RV, from July 25 to August 12, starting and ending in Utah. LDS and Historical sites emphasis.
Total trip cost $12,000.
RV rental: $4500
Fixing it back up (broken driverside mirror): $1300
Gasoline: $1200
Mileage: around 6,200 miles
Oil change: $52
Where it's easy for me to find the record, I've added where we gassed up. Before we started out, I was wanting to know how long we would go in between gas stations. So this gives you an idea. We checked and filled the air in the tires at every couple gas stops. 

Monday July 25
Leave 10:30am

Gas at
LOAF N JUG #0154 Q
515 E. FLAMING GORGE W, WY 82935

Slept at North Platte Flying J, no hookups or wifi, just parking lot
101 Platte Oasis P
North Platte NE 69101

Tuesday July 26
Gas and Showered at Grand Island Pilot Bosselman
3335 Wood River Rd
Grand Island, NW 68801

Gas at
4601 S. LEONARD RD., MO 64507

Arrive at Liberty Jail
216 N Main St
Liberty MO 64068

Arrive at Independence MO
Ate dinner at Updog in the center of town (delicious, gourmet hot dogs)
114 N Liberty St,
Independence, MO 64050

Spent night at Campus RV Park,
full hookups and wifi, showers, laundry, 
$32.03/day, 9am-9:30pm
406 S. Pleasant
Independence MO 64050

This park is in walkable distance to the LDS Independence Visitor's Center. It was VERY hot and muggy. Independence holds a walking tour of 14 different historical sites. But there are just plaques in the ground that you see. We decided to just to go the LDS Visitor's Center and then see Temple Mount (which is across the street from the Center) and then head out. I wouldn't have stopped here if I had known how little there is to see. You can visit the Community of Christ temple for a nominal fee, but not much else to see.

Wednesday July 27
Head to Independence Visitor's Center (while husband worked)
Visited Temple Mount

Gas at
514 W. Main
Monroe City, MO 63456

Headed to Carthage Jail
310 Buchanan St,
Carthage, IL 62321

We thought it was open till 9pm, like Independence and Liberty. But it wasn't. And it took forever to arrive! We didn't take into account driving an RV slower than a car. We didn't arrive till 6pm, so we never got to see Carthage Jail. We then headed to Nauvoo.

Arrive Nauvoo Illinois late at night. Stayed at Nauvoo State Park for 2 nights
Address: 980 S Bluff St, Nauvoo, IL 62354
Phone: (217) 453-2512
ManagementIllinois Department of Natural Resources

Thursday July 28
Dropped youth and Dad off at LDS Nauvoo Temple
Headed to Nauvoo Visitor's Center 8am, 217-453-2237
Picked up all the info we needed, instantly regretting we only have one day here!
Picked up family from temple. Then:

Oxen Wagon Ride
Wagon Ride
Gunsmith shop

Explored Nauvoo town, bought t-shirts
Ate at Nauvoo Mill & Bakery
Bought groceries at Nauvoo Store
Looked all over for the Post Office, but it was closed

Country Fair
Watched the awesome Pageant

Slept another night at Nauvoo State Park

Friday July 29

We have family in Wabash Indiana, so that's where we headed next.

Gas at
21575 US 31 SOUTH, IN 46034

Arrived at 3pm in Wabash. Got an oil change and explored the city. 
Spent night with family

Saturday July 30
Spent day with family
Visited an Amish store

Sunday July 31
Left early headed to visit friends in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Attended LDS church in St. Mary's Ohio
Arrived at our friends in Virginia Beach very late at night

Monday August 1
Went to Virginia Beach. Fabulous fun! (make sure everyone brings swimsuits, it's expensive to track down a pair in town! If you have boogie boards, that was extra fun too!)

The road to the beach was a small two lane without a shoulder. A truck passed too close to us and its mirror slammed into our mirror, shattering it. We turned around and looked for the truck, but couldn't find it We fixed it so we could see out of it, and continued the rest of the trip with a patched together mirror, but it ended up costing us $1300 to fix! And a month to track down the parts. So hopefully that happens to no one else in the universe! 

Spent the evening with our friends (delicious food! And Telestrations was never so fun as this evening!).

Tuesday August 2 
Headed to Washington DC. We were parking the RV on a military base (Fort Belvoir) with other friends. We got to wear badges with our pictures on them.

Arrived, said Hi, grabbed their older kids and headed to the LDS Washington DC temple.

Wednesday August 3
We drove the RV to a Target and parked in their parking lot. We called two Ubers and they dropped us off at the Smithsonian of the American Indian. Cost us $11.55 for the morning trip ($17.68 for me, because I had a car seat).
3101 Jefferson Davis Hwy,
Alexandria, VA 22305

We had called our Senator's office and set up a tour of the Capitol. There was a lot of construction going on, but it was absolutely worth it.We even got to ride the underground train that connects the Senate offices to the Capitol (Thanks Senator Mike Lee's office and staff!!)

After the Capitol tour we went to Union Station to eat (it's a food court). Outside Union Station was a kiosk for DC Old Town Trolley tours. It was 4pm (last pick up is technically 5pm). Considering they don't kick you off at exactly 5pm, and we were tired from walking a lot it was a great introduction to the city and helped us make plans for the next day.

We took Ubers back to the RV and played with our friends that evening. That cost that evening was more, because it was a high demand time. Cost $21.28 and $21.96 per Uber.

Thursday August 4
We parked at the Target again (we bought some things at Target before we headed out, so we'd not feel guilty about taking their parking, although the parking lot is huge).

We took Ubers to the Smithsonian Air & Space museum (amazing!). Then we caught a bus and rode around DC, finishing what we started the afternoon before. We ate at Union Station.Then we visited the National Archives--we went straight to the line for the Constitution and Declaration of Independence (not a whole lot of individual time, but pretty special to me!). Then we looked over the Magna Carta downstairs before we walked (and walked and walked) to the Holocaust Museum. We made it when it was almost closed, so we only got to appreciate the Children's Section of the museum (which was worth it--sobering and powerful).  

Our devices were almost out of juice--and we needed them to call an Uber. So we found an outside plug on the Holocaust Museum (which had now closed) and hung out there for a bit until we could call Ubers. 

I wanted my kids to see the White House so directed the Uber that direction before taking us to Target. Big mistake. Traffic was terrible in rush hour and it was an expensive ride with barely a glimpse of the White House. Don't do that. :)

Friday August 5

Drove to New York. Be prepared for toll roads.

We'd left a bit late and were concerned the kids wouldn't get to see New York City that night. So we parked at a Target in Hoboken so Dad could take all kids (except the two youngest and I) into the City. I stayed behind because we felt this parking lot wasn't a place we could leave the RV without getting towed.
Note that there is a low bridge to get to this Target. Make sure you know your RV height--including air conditioning unit!!
100 14th St
Jersey City, NJ 07310

They were able to move faster without the littles, and they hit a couple highlights (including Strand (bookstore!!)) and rode the Metro in (the Hoboken Metro stop was a 2 minutes walk from this Target). If I hadn't been so concerned that we'd be towed in this parking lot, I would've taken the littles to the nice playground around the corner while we waited. As it was, when they olders returned, my husband took me to see this awesome view of the city (this is the view on the way to the Hoboken station:

We decided we would park the RV at the Croton Point RV Park and take the train into the city. This was a great idea, and we'd do it again, but driving from Hoboken to Croton was terrible! We discovered there are a lot of low bridges that we hadn't planned on! Use the truck route from the beginning, and you will do better than we did. We finally pulled into the park very late (we called on the way to ensure our spot wasn't taken, and it worked out fine). But it was a tense drive, with a lot of turn arounds or pull offs near low bridges. 
Croton Point Park
Phone: (914) 862-5290
$55/night, full hookups
1A Croton Point Ave
Croton on Hudson NY 10520

Note: The walk from the Park to the Croton-On-Hudson Metro station is about 2 miles. That isn't a big deal, unless you're carrying a baby and/or returning from a long day walking in the City. We used a taxi one day: J&S Croton Harmon Taxi & Car Servie 914-271-3333. Another day, we drove the RV and parked it in the station lot. We took two parking spaces (there are only a few spots where this works) and paid for both (I think $20 total). I don't know if this would work for overnight, but it was SO MUCH better than walking with littles and a baby. 

Saturday August 6

Took the train into Grand Central Station. The train takes around 45 minutes to arrive from Croton-on-Hudson to Grand Central Station.
We looked around NYC, ate at a restaurant, and then the olders lined up for Les Miserables on Broadway, while the youngers and I headed to the American Museum of Natural History. We used Uber to get around the city. 

The youngers were so tired after, that we headed home separately. We took a taxi into Croton-on-Hudson (because it turns out Dad had the RV keys!) and ate pizza at Capriccio Pizza 4 maple St. Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.

It was a fun day, but everyone was very tired from all that walking! Make sure you bring water bottles or are prepared to buy water bottles. Touring is thirsty work.

Sunday August 7

We took the train into Harlem and walked from the station to the LDS church there. We were meeting family members there too. We picnicked in Central Park with them after church (it was such a lovely day!!).

Monday August 8

We had plans to go to Boston next. But our kids set us down and explained that they were tired out of all the walking and touring and seeing sites. Our eldest had just become unofficially engaged (and the fiance was in Utah), which might have affected this family meeting as well. They proposed we started for home now, so we'd have more time to stop driving and see things, rather than have a huge driving rush at the end of our trip. So...we started driving west.

Something that we should've planned for is a down day in-between 2 touring days, so that people didn't get so tired of the sightseeing and walking. Swimming, relaxing with movies, things like that would've helped, I think. We crammed in too much walking/sightseeing, at least for our crowd. 

Our first stop was Palmyra, NY. We headed to the Hill Cumorah Visitors' Center 653 State Route 21, Palmyra NY 14522 (315) 597-5851. Dad was working, so I took a couple of kids up the Hill Cumorah (the others just wanted to sleep). It was a beautiful view of the valley and there's a neat monument on top of the hill. Sadly, the pageant had ended so we couldn't stay and watch that. The visitor's center gave us some tips for seeing the area. 

Then we drove to the LDS Palmyra temple, took pictures out front, and then toured the two Smith houses (our guide was fabulous, we learned a lot). Even though our kids were weary of sightseeing, they enjoyed the Log and Frame homes. Then we walked to the Sacred Grove in the back and just sat, rested and enjoyed the beauty and spirit of the place. For one of our children in particular, this place was the highlight of the entire trip. 

We drove until we spent the night at:
River Trail Crossing 
1597 STATE ROUTE 97, OH 44822
(419) 883-3888

Tuesday August 9

Drove all day. Stayed at the Wilmington Trailer Park for the night, because it was 25 miles away from Kings Island.

Wilmington Thousand Trails
1786 State Route 380, 
Wilmington, OH 45177

Wednesday August 10

Time for some fun! We headed to Kings Island, Ohio for some roller coasters.
Use their online system, that was cheaper for parking and for entry fees.

Kings Island
6300 Kings Island Dr, Mason, OH 45040
(513) 754-5700
There was parking for RVs.

Stayed at Interstate RV Park
8448 N Fairmount
Davenport, IA 52806

Thursday August 11
Drove West.

Loves Country Store #3
7880 N. Old US HWY. 42, IN 47272

Becks 18
1581 E Main ST, IL 61401

Spent the night at Holiday RV Park
601 E. Halligan Dr
North Platte, NE 69101

Friday August 12

Drove west and arrived home in Utah around late dinnertime. 

No comments:

Post a Comment