The low the morning we woke up by the Grand Canyon was 14 degrees. There was wet, sloppy, icy snow everywhere. It was overcast and there were signs at the park entrances that read, "Views are obstructed due to weather. No refunds."
I was freaking out a little bit. I told David that if we couldn't see the canyon we would have to stay longer. No ifs, ands, or buts. We would extend our stay and figure out the logistics later. David just nodded and let me have my freak-out moment. We let the kids swim in the pool that morning, because the weather was so poor. We had planned for David and Lily to go on an hour horse back ride through the woods (the rides on donkeys and around the canyon are $250.00 a person--not happening), but when David called the stables they had cancelled all rides for the day because of the snow. Lily was heartbroken. After swimming, we got dressed and headed to the visitor's center. The roads were so icy and slippery and while they had cleared some of the sidewalks, it was a mess.
And I fell flat on my butt in the parking lot in front of everyone. Not so bad, you say? Well, when was the last time you fell--horribly, with arms flailing and feet coming right out from under you--in public? I was mortified. I tried to brush it off, but later that morning a woman actually approached me at one of the viewing areas and asked, "Aren't you the one who fell?"
OK, enough about me. Let's get to the good stuff. The clouds had started to lift a bit and the views were amazing.
The pictures just can't show the scale of the canyon. The best way I can describe it is to imagine that if a person were standing at the bottom, you would not be able to see them--at all. A group of people at the bottom of the canyon would look like a tiny, tiny pin prick on these pictures. You can see photos of the Grand Canyon, but it isn't until you are standing there that you feel the earth drop out from under you and you stare at the depths that you begin to grasp the scale. The first time I glimpsed a view I actually screamed out loud. It is that amazing.
|Of course I had to take a picture of the woman in stiletto heels. And here I was feeling bad|
that I hadn't packed our snow boots.
|See the person in the red coat? That's David.|
True confession time: the kids were tired and grumpy that morning. There are several places you can view the canyon, and David and I had stopped at a few of them and Zinabu actually said, "How many times do we have to look at the Grand Canyon? I've seen it! I'm done!" We tried to stay upbeat, but the kids were determined to spoil the morning. We pushed through until lunch.
We ate at the Blue Angel Inn (I think it was called?) which was built in 1910 for park visitors. The lunchroom was lovely and old and perfect. Great food, too. Organic and vegetarian options. Hooray! After a hearty meal, surprise surprise, the kids perked right up!
After lunch we walked the now snow-free sidewalk along the rim. There was the El Tovar lodge, which opened its doors in 1905 and has hosted the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Einstein. We popped in to admire the old rustic beams. Awesome! We walked some more and I took more pictures.
I was so disappointed we couldn't do any hiking. The trails were so snow packed and icy and we were unprepared for the weather. So hiking was out. We drove from lookout point to lookout point and just admired the awe-inspiring view.
As we drove, the kids were doing this.
We ended the day by visiting a couple of Trading Posts and Gift Shops. My kids proved once again that they have horrible, ugly, terrible taste in all things. We headed back to the hotel for more swimming and called it a day.