Category: Sedona

My Southwestern Vacation

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here.

I’ve just recently returned from a week long family vacation to Arizona where we had an absolute blast.  There were twelve members in our group, though we didn’t all travel together. Me, my husband and two of our kids flew together into Flagstaff.  My oldest daughter and her husband flew into with plans to drive to the Grand Canyon from there.  And my youngest daughter and her extended family (a group of 6) decided to drive and make several stops along the way.  All through the week our groups came together in a very fluid way, different combinations breaking off on different days to do things of particular interest to them. But by mid-week we were all together at Bright Angel Lodge on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon.  For about half the group it was their first time to view this awesome wonder in person and they were blown away by the views.  For the rest of us, revisiting the place had almost as big an impact as seeing it for the first time.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you all a little taste of what we experienced by sharing just some of the many pictures we took.

Flagstaff was our home base for this trip. Our first full day there, we took the scenic drive from Flagstaff to Sedona, stopping at several points along the way to admire the scenery and take pictures.

When we returned to Flagstaff we decided to take a trip out to the nearby Lowell Observatory. We were lucky in that there was a cloudless sky and we were able to get clear views of the sun, moon, Saturn and  Jupiter through the many telescopes they had set out.  Seeing the actual rings of Saturn as well as the pencil dot moons was VERY cool.

The next day we all headed out to the Grand Canyon Notional Park.  Six of us decided to take the two hour train ride out of nearby Williams to get there. Williams is a fun place right on Route 66. They are set up to entertain tourists and there are fun little Wild West shows at the train station you can watch while waiting on departure time.  The train ride itself was fun (it was my first time on a train) and as you can see from the photo below it was quite comfy 🙂

We spent two days at the park itself, staying in cabins at the wonderful Bright Angel Lodge which is located right on the south rim itself.

Our first day there we  just enjoyed the area around the lodge and got the lay of the land. Our second day, we all headed in different directions.  Four of our group decided to hike down into the canyon along the Bright Angel Trail (it goes without saying I wasn’t one of their number!).

The rest of us went on various exploration trips. Hubby and I saw both the Desert View Watchtower and Hermit’s Rest, two structures designed in the early twentieth century by Mary Colter, one of the few females architects of her time.

We also stopped at a lot of the viewing sights along the way. At one particular spot hubby spotted a rock formation that resembled a human profile. I took a photo of it – can you make it out? We also spotted several elk along the roadside and folks in our group managed to get photos of two of them.

After two days at the Grand Canyon, we headed out, again splitting into two groups, those that were driving the whole way started home, the rest of us headed back to Flagstaff. Along the way, though, we visited a wildlife park called Bearizona.  There were lots of different kinds of animals there – mountain goats, buffalo, wolves and more – but my favorites were the bears. And we got photos of two especially enterprising ones that found a way to cool off.

Our last day out we revisited Sedona for a jeep tour of the area.  It was a teeth-rattling bumpy ride but so worth it for the views.  Here is a picture our driver took of the four of us.

When we returned to Flagstaff we decided to cap off our vacation with a trip to the Snowbowl. It’s a ski lift that operates in the off season to take tourists up to the top of the peak. It’s a thirty minute ride that carries you up to an ear-popping elevation of 11,500 feet.

And then it was time to head home.

As I said it was a wonderful vacation, one that will make me smile whenever I remember it.

What about you? Have you ever visited this part of our country? And do you have a favorite vacation you look back on fondly?

 

 

 

My Southwest Vacation – And A Giveaway!

Hi!  Winnie Griggs here.  Last month I told you about our planned family vacation to the southwest part of the country.  Well, this month I thought I’d share a little of what we saw and did while we were there.

The first stop on our trip was Vegas and it was the only destination where all 12 of us were in attendance.  Here is a picture of the whole crew shortly after we arrived. 

Several of us were not really into the whole casino thing but there were lots of other things to do.  Our first night we went to see Jersey Boys – great musical!!  The next day we went out to tour the Hoover Dam.  It was an amazing place and I learned lots of interesting and fun facts – some day soon I’ll do an entire blog on it.

 In the photos below, the picture on the right shows me and hubby standing at the state line – hubby is in Nevada and I’m in Arizona.

Another place we visited was the Ethel M Chocolate Factory.  I didn’t get any pictures of it – too busy sampling the wares :).  But there was a beautiful cactus garden next door, and I did take several picture there.

 When we left Vegas, two of our number – my brother and his wife – headed home.  My two daughters stayed over an extra half day but eventually connected back up with us at the Grand canyon.  So there were eight of us  in two cars traveling together.   The scenery for our drive was amazing and  we made a couple of roadside stops to enjoy the view.  Here we are at one of them.

 

 Next stop was the Grand Canyon and WOW!  It was everything I’d heard it was and more.  My sister scored us reservations at Bright Angel Lodge which was literally right on the rim.  Here is the amazing view I had when I stepped outside my cabin.  (Just wished they would have trimmed the bushes).

 

I was told that pictures really can’t do justice to the Grand Canyon, and I now believe that.  But of course I took a whole slew of them anyway :).  Here’s some of the sunrise.

 

And here are a few others I couldn’t resist showing you

 

 When we left the Grand Canyon we lost two other members of our group – my daughters spent an extra half day there and then headed home.  For those of us still roadtripping, our next stop was Sedona.  Again, fabulous scenery everywhere you looked.  We took a ‘Pink Jeep’ tour and had a fabulous time – our tour guide was really entertaining!

 

Of course I have tons more pictures but I’ve probably given you much more than you wanted already :).

So now, on to the giveaway!  I learned just a couple of weeks ago that my September release, Handpicked Husband, was nominated for an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award!!!  I’m super excited and very honored to be in such august company as the other nominees.  So to celebrate, I’ll be giving away a copy to two of today’s commenter.

Here’s a short blurb of the book:

Can she drive away not one, but three suitors?

 Free-spirited photographer Regina Nash is ready to try.  But unless she marries one of the gentlemen her grandfather has sent for her inspection, she’ll lose custody of her nephew.  So she must persuade them – and Adam Barr, her grandfather’s envoy – that she’d make a thoroughly unsuitable wife.

Adam isn’t convinced. Regina might be unconventional, but she has wit, spirit and warmth – why can’t the three bachelors he escorted here to Texas see that?  He not only sees it, but is drawn to it.   His job, though, is to make sure Regina chooses from one of those men – not to marry her himself!

 Can Reggie and Adam overcome the secrets in her past, and the shadows in his, to find a perfect future together?

 

Updated: November 19, 2012 — 2:27 pm
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