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?


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Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at or email her at

44 thoughts on “My Southwest Vacation – And A Giveaway!”

  1. Beautiful pictures Winnie. We live in the West Valley of Phoenix. When we first moved her almost 11 years ago we made plenty of trips up to Sedona. Only been the Grand Canyon once so far but our son worked there for about a year. I took a mess of pictures there as well. It is really beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Judy – thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. We had a great time on our trip and I am in awe of the gorgeous sights we got to see. I’ve been to Phoenix a couple of times too and love that area as well.

  3. Wow! It’s been since the fall of 2001 that I was last in Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We only saw it at sunset (no overnight) so the sunrise photos were a nice treat. My in-laws winter in Tuscon and we’ve gone out there 3 times. They love Sedona an we’d like to go up to see it. The photos look great! So could you imagine living out there with all that wide open? Do you think you’d miss the trees?

  4. Awsome photo’s!! I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, but it looks amazing. It’s on my list of places it would like to visit one day… 😀

  5. This past August, I visited the North Rim and a lot of Utah. Gorgeous scenery. The Grand Canyon is truly an awesome sight to behold. I’ve never been to Sedona. Your pictures all turned out beautifully!

    CONGRATS on your RT nomination for HANDPICKED HUSBAND. I do like marriage of convenience stories. Sounds like Reggie is going to give Adam a few headaches on their way to happy ever after.

  6. No need to put me in for the book. I have it and loved it.

    LOVE the ideas for our own trip to Grand Canyon territory! Now just to figure out which side, end, and if I am brave enough to ride a donkey down!

    Peace, Julie

  7. Hi Winnie, your photos brought back so many happy memories for me. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon numerous times and it’s always a new experience. You should see it with snow!

    How wonderful that you got to share it with your family and
    congratulations on your RT nomination. I’ll be rooting for you! Have a great Thanksgiving.


  8. Thanks for the great photos, Winnie. They brought back a lot of memories for me. Years ago I rafted the river with a tour group and hiked out from Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the canyon.
    But what a great experience it must have been seeing this country with your family.
    Congratulations on your RT nomination. Your book looks like a winner!

  9. Winnie, but a special time. THANKS for sharing all your pictures. I’ve been to Taos and Santa Fe, but not the Grand Canyon. Must add to my list! And super congrats on the RT nomination. Soooo well deserved!!!

  10. looks like you had a great trip,those pictures are awesome,maybe someday I can go,looked like a beautiful place

  11. Hi Angie! I don’t imagine the GC has changed much since you were there last, but yes it is an amamzing place. And no, I don’t think I’d want to live there full time – the high altitude woud get to me and I love my home state too much.

  12. Stefanie, so glad you like the pics. And yes, this is one place I would recommend everyone see up close and personal at least once in their lives!

    Laurie, we didn’t get to the north rim but I hear the views from there are even more spectacular. Maybe I’ll get to see that side of it someday. And thanks for the congrats!

  13. Julie – thanks for the nice words about my book! And no, I did NOT do the donkey ride down. Send pictures if you do – would love to see them.

    Hi Margaret – ooooh I’ll bet it’s gorgeous with snow! And thanks for the congrats!

  14. Elizabeth, you’re quite welcome! I don’t think I’d ever be brave enough to do a rafting trip, but it is something my daughters would totally be into!

    Renee – yes, you definitely MUST add this to your must visit list. And thanks for the congrats!

  15. Loved the pictures! So glad you had the opportunity to spend extended time with family. A road trip is one of the best ways to enjoy this beautiful land! Thanks for sharing. I have not been to the Grand Canyon yet, but certainly hope to see it someday.

  16. Hi Vickie – yes, we had a FABULOUS time and the scenery was so much more amazing in person as it is in these pictures.

    Rhonda – Hi! So glad you stopped by and glad you enjoyed the pictures. Hope you’re feeling better these days.

  17. Nice photos, Winnie. I’ve lived in the west my whole life so I have been to the areas where you visited. We lived 6 years in Arizona so I know the Grand Canyon but it’s awesome not matter how many times you go! So glad you got to visit and spend time with your family. Those memories are priceless.

  18. Wow, Winnie, such spectacular pictures. I LOVED THE GRAND CANYON PICTURES! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHOWING THEM TO US!!!!
    Sedona was spectacular, too. There’s so much I haven’t seen in this country!

    I’ve wanted to see Hoover Dam for a long time.
    Love the family trip, too. Such a great idea and so hard to get everyone together!
    And the chocolate factory was an extremely nice touch, too. 🙂

  19. Betti – Hi! Glad you like the pics. And yes, being with family made the trip extra special. The drives from Vegas to the Grand Canyon and then the Grand Canyon to Sedona were long but didn’t seem so because of the company and the scenery.

  20. Hi Valri – lucky you to be able to make multiple trips to these areas, there’s just too much to take in in one trip!

    Mary – LOL so glad you liked the pictures. Sounds like you’re ready for a trip out west yourself. I HIGHLY recommend it! And yes, the chocolate factory should be on the must visit list for anyone who goes to Vegas – yummy samples included in the tour 🙂

  21. Wonderful photo’s Winnie.. You had a great time and the Grand Canyon is on my bucket list of places to visit. All the times I have been in Las Vegas, I have never visited the Hoover Dam.. I must go the next time..
    How wonderful to that your family could join you for part or most of the trip. What wonderful memories you will have.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.

  22. Anon1001 – Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the congrats!

    Kathleen – You’re quite welcome and now that I’ve been, I firmly believe the Grand Canyon should be on EVERYONE’s bucket list. It was amazing how many people from other countries we ran into while we were there – Australia, Germany, India, France, Canada, Great Britain and so many more.

  23. Loved the pictures, Winnie. So glad you got to enjoy it with much of your family. Your mother looks wonderful!
    Congrats on the prestigious nomination!

  24. Thanks for sharing, it’s been years since I hiked down the Grand Canyon.. Glad to see no photos of the glass look-out that I’ve read about… I’m not good with heights and that thing is never going to appear on my bucketlist!

  25. Hi Cate! LOL on the skywalk – I was game to try it but several of our party had major hesitation issues. In the end time ran out so it was decided for us. If I ever go back, though, I may try it. I hear it’s a fabulous experience.

  26. Thanks for sharing your pics and bits about your trip! 🙂 One of these days I have to go and see The Grand Canyon in person myself. Congrats on the nomination! 🙂

  27. Hi Colleen – glad you enjoyed the pics and thanks for the congrats.

    Charlene – yes on the research – I even got to do some target practice with a 45 – never held any kind of gun before (except a bb gun) in my life.

  28. Winnie, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful trip and family photos. What a handsome group! The logistics must have been amazing, organizing such a journey. The Grand Canyon is sure something spectacular. We would just sit in the evening and watch it. xo

  29. Winnie, thanks for sharing your pictures and travel adventures. We (including our own fellow Filly Linda) were at the dam on our way to Anaheim for RWA this summer. Really enjoyed it. PawPa and I took three of our grands to the Grand Canyon when our oldest grandson was six and the girls were younger. He’s now a junior in high school. The girls and I came back to the cabin and PawPa and Alex stayed out to watch the sunset and then take the tram back to the cabin. I was kinda getting uncomfortable as to where they were when it got dark and they didn’t show up. Suddenly, the door flew open and Alex ran in saying, “We got lost in the Grand Canyon!” At the same time, PawPa said, “We missed the tram!” It’s so funny to see how two people can view the same incident. Thanks again for a great blog that brought back some wonderful memories for me. Also, a big congratulations to you! Hugs, Phyliss

  30. Hi Tanya. Yes the logistics were something – we started planning this nearly a year in advance. There were twelve of us, living in 6 different towns scattered across 350 miles. My sister did most of the planning and at times I’m sure she felt like she was herding cats to get us to make decisions!

  31. Hi Phyliss. The Hoover Dam is really a marvel of human engineering isn’t it. And what a very special vacation that must have made for your grands! Enjoyed the story about your grandson and his PawPa – thanks for sharing your own memories.

  32. Mornin’.
    Great vacation pics. I have been to Hoover Dam, but before they added the highway in the sky. Our Education Center took high schoolers (Native American students), on a 3 day trip. We toured the inside and down into the bowels of the Dam. It was daunting, to say the least.
    Vegas is only 5 hours from my town, via Death Valley. So we go there often.
    Never been to the Grand Canyon, but I have been in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, just inches from the North Rim.
    Now, Sedona is one place I would love to go. You had a great trip.

  33. Hi Mary J – That must have been an exciting trip for a group of high schoolers! And I hope you get to see the Grand Canyon and Sedona someday – totally worth the trip!

  34. Wow, makes me want to go to that area. Was in Vegas last summer overnight on someone else’s dime so did not see a lot and have never been to the Grand Canyon. Now I really want to go.

  35. Wow what beautiful pics! Congrats on being up for RT Reviewers Choice Award. This has got to be a great honor.

  36. Connie J – if you get the opportunity to go – jump on it! Definitely worth the trip

    Quilt Lady – So glad you enjoyed looking at the pics and thanks so much for the congratulations!!

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