Yikes, the kids woke up at 5 am and the parents tried to stay asleep but woke up (reluctantly) at 6 am. Obviously, we were not quite on an Arizona-vacation-sleeping-in schedule! The kids got dressed pretty quickly claiming to be "starving" and couldn't wait to check out the breakfast buffet. Thankfully, G is usually willing to go with the kids and let me wake up sloooowly with my little cup of coffee in the room. I did join them, but 7:30 am seemed more reasonable to me!! (Hello? I'm on va-ca-tion!!??)
By 8:30 am we were on the road to the Grand Canyon! George and I had been to the GC years ago, but we were excited for the kids to have this experience...afterall it IS one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!!!! Oh, and Kristin thought that every mountain we saw was either Mt. Everest or the Grand Canyon....obviously the girl needed to learn that a canyon is deep... So away we went on our little learning adventure!
G kept looking out the windows a little too much instead of keeping his eyes on the road while driving...he later confessed he was keeping his eyes peeled for an authentic roadside Indian taco stand...lol!!?? It's probably best that we never did find one. Plus, it was 9 am!! G also informed me that we were taking the "back" way to the Canyon which would be more scenic since we would eventually be driving along the GC to get to the various lookout points. Obviously, this is not a top secret route, but more people do come up 180 North, we took 89 North and 64 West along the GC.
About an hour into our drive, we came upon a Navajo Tribal Park along the Little Colorado River. It looked interesting and we were ready for a little break from driving. Upon entry G found out it was $2 to go to the lookout point and wasn't going to pay it....I said just give the Indians the $2 and let's check it out...!! (Seriously, $2!!??) It was well worth it, hardly anyone was there, and it was a great sneek peek of a smaller canyon before reaching the much bigger GC. Also, the Indians were setting up their market where they sold things like jewelry, pottery, leather goods, etc... I bought a cute little $3 bracelet that the lady said her grandchildren made...my kids also bought some handmade goodies (remember, this is their allowance money from our new Job Charts)... They were cautioned not to spend it all before we even got to the Grand Canyon (Jacob)!
Back on the road around 10:45 am...the views are getting more and more beautiful. Everything looks like a picture...and we did snap a lot of pictures, mostly with our phones. Around 11:30 am we arrived at Desert View Watchtower...our first great view of the Grand Canyon!!!! Then Lipan Point, Grandview Point and then to the GC Village for browsing and lunch. The General Store is a nice grocery store with souvenirs as well. We ended up putting our own deli sandwiches together and ate outside in the village while writing postcards to the grandparents and kids' friends. The Grand Canyon Post Office was right next door so we easily got them quickly written out and sent and people actually received them before we returned from our vacation (that may be a first)!!
After the Village we planned one last lookout which was Yivapi Point. All views were spectacular and the pictures (at least mine) do not do it justice. The kids also got a kick out of the mountain lion crossing signs along the way...like our Michigan deer crossing signs. By far, the most moving part of the Grand Canyon experience for me (besides sharing it with my kids and seeing them in awe of something non-electronic) was the quote from Theodore Roosevelt etched in glass at Yivapi Point overlooking the Canyon (see below).
Sadly, it was time to head back. Believe it or not, one last stop at the National Geographic Visitor's Center for the Grand Canyon IMAX movie which is 34 minutes long. It's a good history lesson and gives you the feeling of flying over the Canyon which is neat -- remember it's all about the kids, right!? Finally, drove back to Flagstaff and had a late dinner at the Lumberyard Brewing Co. (what can I say? two breweries in two nights? possibly a record for me, but certainly not G!). Somehow, without even trying, we got there just in time for the last half of NCAA Final Game UConn v. Butler :( What a nice long memorable day....stay tuned for more.....
|The Drive from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon|
|Navajo Tribal Park|
|Navajo Tribal Park/Little Colorado River|
|We Have a Feeling Mom is Going to Take a lot of Pictures!!??|
|Desert View Grand Canyon|
|Desert View and Watchtower, Grand Canyon|
|"Do nothing to mar its grandeur, for the ages have been at work on it and man cannot improve it.|
Keep it for your children, your children's children and all who come after you."
|The Grand Canyon brings out the LOVE!|
|Jacob - King of the Canyon!!??|