Throwback Thursday: Road trip USA 2002

For this blog post, we’re going back in time a little far… 17 years to be exact. That’s when my family and I went on a road trip in the South Western USA to conclude our time living in Arizona! We saw a lot of cool things, so I decided to make a post about it!


Obviously since I was seven years old at the time, I don’t remember this road trip as if it was yesterday. I will also 100% recount things in the wrong order, but the most important part is that y’all know where we went, not how we got there:)

We lived in Tucson, which is all the way in south Arizona, so we drove to Phoenix first to pick up this bad boy:

Picture of our road trip vehicle of choice: our RV
Look at that date stamp! So vintage

Now we were supposed to go to Sedona, but we got a flat tire so we never made it. I honestly have no idea where the picture above was taken, but I think our first big stop was Antelope Canyon! This is one of those places that I would 100% visit again. The entire canyon is hewn from thousands of years of water cutting through the rock, and the result is a surreal underground formation of smooth rock.

Antelope Canyon on the inside
The entrance to Antelope Canyon
The entrance to Antelope Canyon

Up to Utah

After that, our trip took us further north into Utah! We stopped at Lake Powell for a couple of nights. I hardly remember anything about the days there, except that my brother and I preferred swimming in the pool over the actual lake. But it’s still a beautiful place!

road trip to Lake Powell

The other places we visited in Utah were Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. All of this was relatively in the south. I’m pretty sure we never made it all the way up to Salt Lake on this trip.

Zion National Park
Bryce Canyon

A quick stop in Arizona again

Our next stop was the north side of the Grand Canyon. You obviously can’t travel through Arizona without visiting the Grand Canyon. By now I’ve been to the there twice, and driving up there feels so surreal. I remember the last time we were there in 2013, we were coming from the south, and you basically drive on a plateau. But you know that your altitude is actually very high. There’s a few stray mountain peaks in the distance, and then suddenly there’s just a gigantic hole in the ground.

Into Nevada

I’m fairly certain we only went to Nevada to visit Las Vegas. I don’t have a lot of memories from it, except that it was stupidly hot outside. This was also the first time we stayed in a big city, so the RV parking ground was a whole other experience. We did the typical Las Vegas things that you can do with kids that are seven and two years old. We visited Treasure Island, walked across the Strip, and took a gondola ride at the Venetian.

Treasure Island
The Venetian

Next stop: California

Our next stops were Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks! I’m fairly certain it was in Sequoia where we saw a mama bear and her two baby cubs. They were so cute! We watched from a safe distance and there was a park ranger present, too. The trees at Sequoia are truly huge! I would love to visit this park again.

Yosemite was awesome, too! I love national parks like this, because when you’re there and see the mountains and the trees stretch on forever, it’s hard to imagine that it ever ends. You could walk weeks and still be in the same park.

The mountains go on forever!

Now it was high time to visit some cities again. We traveled straight west to San Francisco. Now if you know what San Francisco is like, you know that it’s often really foggy out there. However, when we were there it was hot and sunny! So warm in fact, that we got to comfortably swim in the ocean. San Francisco was overall a great time! We also obviously took a boat tour passing the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz prison.

After that we travelled further south and made it to Anaheim. What’s in Anaheim? Disneyland of course! For now, it’s been the only time I’ve ever been to any type of Disney amusement park. That is kind of sad because I never lived that far from Paris, and I was in Orlando two years ago. Anyway, I don’t have a lot of memories from Disneyland, but I do remember being obsessed with Ariel/The Little Mermaid.

Our road trip took us to Disneyland

Our road trip is coming to an end now, but not before we visit San Diego! San Diego is famous for its zoo, and at the time they had giant pandas as well! I’m not sure if they still have them, because this was so long ago. If I need my panda fix now I’ll just go to the National Zoo here in D.C. Anyway, this day at the zoo was really fun! We also got to go to Sea World.

San Diego Zoo: the end of our road trip

And that concludes today’s throwback Thursday! Have you ever been on a road trip? Do you prefer traveling by RV or by car? For my it’s definitely RV. It feels way more authentic that way!

More Blogtober here!

Leave a Reply