Grand Canyon – South Rim

I always plan our family vacations, and this year it landed us in sunny (almost hell-like) Arizona. After last summer’s New York debacle-long story short, it’s like pulling teeth to get my dad and sister to follow a tight schedule of sightseeing-I decided a nice, flexible, relaxing, vacation would be more suitable for our family’s needs. Mainly referencing greater satisfaction of my sister’s need to tan, my father’s need to sleep in, and my need to take tons of photographs.

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I wanted to see the Grand Canyon and thought that staying at a resort nearby would be more of something my family would enjoy-think High School Musical 2’s Lava Springs. Sidenote-the resort in the movie is an actual resort called The Inn at Entrada in St. George, Utah-which unfortunately I didn’t know until we came back-but since Arizona’s temperature was in the high 90s and Utah’s was in the high 110s we decided Arizona would be better. My father vacationed in Sedona, Arizona with his family as a kid and wanted to go back. So after a month of planning, we were on a flight to Phoenix! Sidenote-the flight back was definitely not as enjoyable! But more on that when I post about Sedona.

Midway through our week in the Copper State, we made the 2 hour drive from Sedona to the Grand Canyon. That morning we were relieved to find that it was rather overcast so it was not as deathly hot-we are Bay Area folks so 75-85 degrees year round is what we like. But when we finally pull up to pay our entrance fee my dad asks “You don’t think it will rain, do you?” And the man replied “I sure hope so, we could use all the rain we can get.” My family and I just looked at each other unanimously thinking that yes it would be good to get rain but we don’t want it to rain today when we are here. Ah the egoistic view of the world, I’ll admit that I have it, but acceptance is the first step right! And I have learned to be flexible….which would come in handy in this case.

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So we drive up to the parking lot, find a spot, turn off the car…and bam rain! Sidenote-the week we went was flash flood season. Rain starts pouring down as we look at each other, our worst fears confirmed. It is the desert and we were planning on hiking so my sister and I were wearing spandex shorts and a tank top-definately not prepared for rain. I grabbed a jacket that luckily I had brought and hurried to the main visitor center. My dad had the great idea to go grab food before they run out so we quickly bought peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They were actually delicious and I cannot remember the last time I have had one.

photoWe grabbed our spoils-the cash register was broken so we didn’t pay at first but my dad went back and paid the $20 I promise you!-and snagged a seat on a bench outside. We met a family vacationing from Atlanta-a boy about 10 years old and his two grandmothers. They explored the Grand Canyon the day before and even took a helicopter ride! They took tons of photos and showed them to us-so we were fortunate to live vicariously through their pictures. Virtually everyone visiting the Grand Canyon that day ran for cover under the few buildings near the visitor’s center. The food area was so crowded the line of people spilled out the door. Luckily there was overhangs on the buildings so our bench had some refuge from the rain.

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securedownload-5The little boy above absolutely loved the rain! He inspired me to be happy and make the most out of the trip. We were talking to a woman who worked at the park and she gleefully proclaimed that the rain would not stop all day! She also warned us about going out to the viewing spots because there was metal railing around the cliffs and there was a lot of thunder and lightening. After over an hour of waiting, we collaborated on a plan. We went back to the car and I grabbed my dad’s pants, my sister grabbed her sweats, and we all braced ourselves (and our cameras) for the pouring rain.

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Surprisingly, the rain slowed down to a sprinkle just as we were walking out to the viewing area. We got some great pics and I was in awe of the massive landmark. On the drive home we stopped at the Grand Canyon IMAX theater and saw “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.” It had an amazing video footage of the Grand Canyon so I felt better about not seeing more of it in person. The video had tons of history about the Grand Canyon dating back to the first tribe people thought to have lived there and traces the story through discoveries and exploration up to current day. Definitely recommend! Even though the visit to the Grand Canyon was not what I expected it to be-whatsoever-it will still be a memory I will never forget!

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