I left work at about 3:30 PM with the idea that we would be on the road by 5:00. A series of sitcom-like problems conspired to delay that until after 6:30 PM.
We had the kids watching movies on our two laptop computers, powered by an inverter and hooked to headphones. We secured the laptops in the car using bungee cords and small tables so that they would not become missiles in the event of an accident.
Children normally make a long roadtrip unbearable because they get bored ten minutes after you leave and start looking for ways to entertain themselves. This usually means they will consciously or subconsciously irritate everyone else around them. By the time you have reached an hour, that irritation has reached the adults in the front of the car and everyone wants to kill everyone else. Movies with headphones take care of that problem, making it possible to actually enjoy the trip.
With only a few quick stops to use the bathroom and change drivers, we arrived in Cedar City about 10:30 PM, where we filled up the gas tank at a Sinclair where the store was closed but the pumps accepted credit cards. We wanted to get a snack but not pay for a fast food restaurant so we went to a convenience store. Between the four kids and some other people, we spent over half an hour getting everyone through the single bathroom. In retrospect, going someplace like McDonalds would have been better just from the bathroom aspect, and after all was said and done, possibly even cheaper from the food aspect.
From Cedar City, we drove pretty much straight through to Las Vegas. We had told the hotel we would be arriving around 1:00 AM. Due mostly to the horrendously long bathroom stop in Cedar City, the clock read about 1:30 when we finally arrived. I had been driving 85 MPH for the last hour of that trip trying to beat the clock. I realized after I had obtained the room keys that Las Vegas is in the Pacific timezone, so we were actually in no danger of losing our room.
That night we snacked on food that we brought with us and crashed out. We discovered that their idea of a room that sleeps six is two queen beds and a sofa sleeper about three quarters the width of a twin bed. We made it work, putting the boys on the sleeper with the three year old’s head by the nine year old’s feet and the 11 year old twin girls on one of the beds.