Grand Indeed

We visited one of the Seven Wonders of the World these past 5 days.
Preston and I drove our little family of 5 down to Arizona in our minivan to stay at
Jacob Lake's Kaibab Camper Village with the Ayalas and Grandma & Grandpa Pond
and to see the beauty of the Grand Canyon.

The days were jam packed with driving to see the overlooks, hiking to see even better views,
eating fatty vacation foods, relaxing around the campfire at night and sleeping in a tent for the boys and a cabin for the girls.

Our first night started out at a meadow at mile and a half lake. Mind you, there was no lake,
but the wide open grassy area was fun for the kids and the trees were great shade for the rest of us. This was the most shocking part about the trip for me. I had seen the Grand Canyon as a kid, but I had never been to the North Rim. It is not just the red/orange rock like the South Rim, it is filled with all sorts of pine trees and greenery. It was beautiful!

{Grandma, Grandpa & Grandkids---but James wasn't being so Grand}

{Family Photo...the first of many}

Our next stop that night was the Arizona Trail. We just went on a leisurely walk before heading back to the campfire for a hot dog roast and s'more fest.

{Ready to go with Stella in tow}

{James- happy again}

Preston's parents started planning this trip last year, and we were so excited to be able to join them.
We stayed in Jacob Lake, Arizona. Again, no lake, but a beautiful area filled with pines.
The nightly campfires were one of my favorite things...yummy food, adult chatter, warm fire, cool breeze, kids playing happily and then kids asleep.
{Campfire Crew}
{Who is "s'more dirty?}

The boys were pumped to sleep in a tent with Daddy. They were equipped with
PJ's, headlamps, sticker books and glow sticks. Heaven for them.
Mommy and Stella, on the other hand, slumbered in a warm cabin with Janelle and Afton.
Babies and tents just don't mix for me. And it was definitely a good choice on my part
because Stella barfed in her Pack 'n Play, and babies & tents & barf REALLY don't mix.

{Bedtime Boys}

The next morning we made the 45 minute drive to see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
We started off with a small hike to Bright Angel Point.

{Grandparents at the Grand Canyon}

{What a site!}

{Lil' hikers}

I was really fearful to take my 3 small children to the Grand Canyon, but I did my best
to prep them about the "big hole" that they did not want to fall into or else...
We ended up taking 2 backpacks and a leash which came in handy to keep them all close.

{My 3 wonders of the World}

Henry was actually the hardest one to wrangle in. He's a climber and wanted to climb everything.
I had to watch him like a hawk.
{an Angel at Bright Angel Point}

I let my worries loose for a few minutes to allow Preston to climb with the boys up some large rocks near the edge. I stayed long enough to snap a few pictures then forced myself to walk away so that I didn't scream in terror and make a scene.

{Kings of the world}

After our first hike we took a break for lunch at the Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room.
We sat near the window overlooking the "big hole" and took in some great food and views.

Then we hit the trail again....this time the Transcend Trail.
Preston packed Stella and I walked with the boys. This was an easy, shady trail that the boys loved. They tossed pinecones, peed on trees and hunted for chipmunks.

{2 of my favorite things}


{Stella, pointing at her favorite, the birdies}

{Double Duty: What a Dad!}

{Crazy Cousins}

The park day ended at Point Royal.
The kids were sleeping in the car, so Preston and I took in the views by ourselves.
{11 years}

Day 2 at the park began at the Kaibab Trail.
This trail descends into the canyon. It's filled with switchbacks and on the way down you drop hundreds of feet. The walk down was low-key.

{the reward}

We stopped the Coconino overlook for a snack and a picture then headed back up.
That was a booger. Stella was crying in the backpack, I think she was dehydrated.
I was sweating profusely and my shoes were filled with red sand. As much as the calorie burn
felt great, I swore a postcard picture could've been just as rewarding. I'm not much of hiker.
But, I made it, and so did the rest of my little family. I was proud that we did it together.

That hike called for a much needed food and beverage break.
{Picnic at Grand Canyon Lodge}

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the car, driving to overlooks.
This was great for the kids....they needed a nap and a break from the heat.
One of the favorites was Angel's Window. It was a nice little walk with this amazing view.

{the "window"}


That's a small summary of our trip. We had a great time as a family and with the Ayalas and the Ponds! It was so much fun to take our kids to see something they had never seen before
and be able to see this amazing land that we have been given. It's truly breathtaking!
I'm so happy we all survived, after all of my worries.
It's great to travel and see one of the seven wonders of the world,
but I still know that the greatest wonders to me are my little ones here at home.

Thank you to the GRANDparents for such a GRAND adventure!!!

1 comment:

sarita said...

Wow! Looks like you guys had a great time at the Grand Canyon!

I'm so glad you liked NurtureShock--it was pretty shocking at times, wasn't it? I wish I still lived in UT so we could chat about it! Skype maybe? :)
Keep me posted on Stella's speech development and the other methods you implement!