Our Road Trip Playlist

We’re a musical family and enjoy listening to a variety of music on the road. We listen to a lot of Broadway Musical scores (our four year old, Claire, can sing much of the Les Miserable Broadway soundtrack!), movie soundtracks – yes, Frozen is the big favorite this summer 😉 – Christian music, and good old fashioned rock and roll. Yesterday we awoke at 4:00 a.m. to travel to the Grand Canyon in order to beat the heat and the crowds. We loaded eight sleepy Glen kids into the van and headed out in darkness listening to John Michael Talbot, a favorite of mine and Andy from our college dating years. As we (driver and shotgun) needed to stay awake, the ballads of JMT changed to Neil Young, then James Taylor, Billy Joel, and more JMT. The kids woke up as we traveled the final hour into the Grand Canyon and the Frozen soundtrack helped us get through the last tiring bit. Our youngest son, Michael (our 8 year old with Down Syndrome), is particularly fond of these songs and it has really helped him with his speech as he sings along at the top of his lungs! All the other kids encourage him and we all were smiling as we stopped at the Visitor’s Center for breakfast and our first views of this majestic canyon.

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon

Only Andy had been to the Grand Canyon before so it was a time of wonder and discovery. I wasn’t really comfortable with the little kids at some of the views and we did not venture on any trails for hikes due to that concern. But the several hours we spent at the Grand Canyon will certainly instill some amazing memories for all of us. As we left one National Park (remember, Active Duty can get a free annual pass for all National Parks!) for another, we looked forward to getting to our hotel and spending some time in the pool.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat got us through 1.5 hours of driving and then we switched to some Billy Joel and local radio stations. The 4 remaining hours in the car included the surprise find of Glen Canyon where we stopped for a very, very hot picnic lunch! From there on it was very windy, switchback filled mountain passes (somehow all other drivers were too tired and it was my turn…) and then we entered Zion National Park. Amazing, incredible, beautiful, unreal are all adjectives that come to mind. More switchbacks and a mile long tunnel and we finally reached our stop over. The La Quinta Inn and Suites in Zion ( did not disappoint! We were in the pool in a jiffy and all the road grime was washed away. We found several family friendly hikes in the Park and enjoyed more swimming this afternoon.

We LOVED the Zion LQ!  It’s a large property but the staff was friendly and able to support all of the guests.  The vista from our rooms and the entire complex is absolutely stunning.  The rooms were large and very clean, the pool was big and well maintained, the breakfast was outstanding and, in addition to the standard waffles, cereal, yogurt, and fruit offered at the other properties, had very popular egg sandwiches.  Our request for cots was easily met.  The only thing we could see improved is the business center.  Our oldest wanted a quiet place to video conference for an online course (definitely not in our rooms!) and there wasn’t a good place to do that. Overall, “big bites” to Zion!  Best of all, the shuttle service for Zion National Park was very close – we were ready to be driven around instead of doing all the driving!
Tomorrow we hit Bryce Canyon and then will spend time with family in Utah! I wonder what music we’ll play…