Arizona Adventure - Day 2 - April 25, 2010

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Everyone slept very well last night.  Robby woke up around 4 to cover all of the kids back up so no one would get cold.  At 5, Campbell fussed a bit so Tara put her paci in and that appeased her.  She was kicking her feet and talking after that, and when Graham woke up at 6 she was still kicking her little feet.  He sat up in his bed, looked around and then laid back down.  Soon after, everyone started stirring and we were out the door before 8. 


Our cabin was about a 3 minute walk from the edge of the canyon.  We saw the train tracks that bring the Grand Canyon train to town and we even smelled the mules as we approached the canyon.  The first trail we saw was the Bright Angel Trail which goes all of the way to the bottom of the canyon.  Of course, we didn't make it that far but we did take turns walking a little ways down to say that we had been down the trail.  Campbell decided that she wanted to stay in the stroller and skip the trail.  Anderson and Graham went with Robby and when they returned that had red marks on their hands because Robby was holding on to them so tightly.  You could see the mule tracks on the very edge of the trail (along with some mule poop which highly entertained Anderson and Reagan)


After the trail, we saw the Lookout Studio and Kolb Studio.  The "good kid" moment of the day was when we went inside the Kolb Studio.  We had told the kids to not touch anything and they didn't!  We never even had to remind them-even Graham.  Next, we hiked from the Bright Angel Lodge up to the El Tovar Lodge.  And it was quite a hike with the altitude and while pushing the strollers-a minimum of 45 pounds plus the weight of the stroller.  We managed to take our back picture along with a few other pictures.  The El Tovar Lodge was nice but we much preferred our little cabin out in the woods.  It was quaint and full of Grand Canyon charm. 


We had loaded up the car before our walk, so after one last bathroom stop we worked on getting the car out.  Robby managed to wedge the car out between the light pole, tree and boulders easier this morning.  By 10:15 we were on the road and needed to bite to eat for breakfast.  We stopped at the McDonalds at the park entrance to get our food and it was highway robbery.  We paid a zillion dollars for what doesn't cost that much at home. 


The drive back to Flagstaff took us through the St. Francisco Mountains.  It was a beautiful drive and the GPS wanted us to see even more beautiful sights.  In the middle of the mountain ranges, the GPS said "turn left."  Robby slowed and looked for the road and was able to make out a few tracks that might be considered a road.  Thankfully, it had a closed road sign or we just might have tried it! 


A little outside of Flagstaff, we stopped at the Sunset Crater National Volcanic Monument.  We got out at the Visitor's Center and then again at the Lava Flow Trail.  We walked around the trail and then Robby took the 3 big kids off the paved trail onto a side trail.  The ground on this trail was covered with volcanic dirt and ash and soon Graham was also covered with volcanic dirt and ash.    There was a little downhill section that Graham didn't think he could walk down, so he just sat down and started scooting on his bottom down the trail.   While sitting down, he discovered the rocks were fun to throw so he just had himself a big time!  This reminded Tara of when Anderson scooted down the Oregon Sand Dunes on his bottom when he was about the same age as Graham. 


After the trail, we were back in the car with a drink and a snack.  Our snacks are getting pretty limited so everyone just had one peanut butter cracker.  By Winslow, we were hungry to lunch and had to drive thru to pick up some food.  Usually during trips, we but groceries and have picnics.  But we had thought that since this trip was short, we wouldn't need to do that.  We were wrong-we should have bought our sandwich stuff the first day.  Now we have learned our lesson and know that no matter how short the trip, we need to buy picnic food. 


Graham was fighting a runny nose and cough for a few days before we left home but he seems to be feeling better today.  He spent some of the car ride with his fingers in his ears imitating a siren.  The other bits of the ride, he has waved bye bye to the trucks or screamed at Mom and Dad about being buckled in his car seat. 


Robby told the kids that we were going to see the Painted Desert next.  Reagan asked "who painted it?" to which Tara and Robby replied that "God did."  Anderson then asked "is it dry yet?"  It was a spectacular sight-a smaller, more colorful Grand Canyon.  The Visitor Center and then the Painted Desert Inn were our next two stops.  During the drive through the Petrified Forrest National Park, we crossed a part of Route 66 which had been abandoned (just old power poles left) and stopped at the Agate Bridge and the Long Logs trails.  At the last visitor center, there were fossils of dinosaurs and when Reagan and Anderson saw them they started yelling "fossils"-no idea where they learned that!


We left the park about closing time and just had a short drive to Holbrook to find out hotel.  Our hotel was easy to spot since we are staying on one of the wigwams!  Tara saw the Wigwam Motel in a travel book and remembered it from an Oprah.  She mentioned it to Robby and it was our one hotel that he hadn't booked.  We are in wigwam #10.  It is on Route 66 and is the coolest thing!  There are antique cars parked outside of each wigwam and ours even has a cement dinosaur right beside it.  This town has dinosaurs everywhere and this dinosaur by us has been perfect for the kids.  They have rode the dinosaur, fed it and loved on it since we arrived-giving us time to unpack!  There is also a child sized window that the kids have loved looking at each other through.


After unpacking, we thought we would walk down the road to a BBQ place-it was closed.  As well as the diner Tara had seen to eat at (not doing very well with her picks).  But since there was a Safeway across the street, we walked over there.  The kids quickly picked out their food-an apple along with mixed fruit and mandarin oranges in a can and a few boxes of cookies.  While there, Campbell spit up all over everything-luckily the stroller is fairly water proof so that was easy to clean and she was given a sponge bath and was as good as new. 


Robby ended up having to go out and buy us some food, since the only food we could find at the store needed heating.  (Again, should have had picnic food)  While he was out, Tara managed to organize all of the stuff from the car and get everything ready for tomorrow.  Robby did take Graham so the easy 3 were there.  Graham, who usually doesn't want to get in the car, was ready to go with just Dad-probably because he let him ride in Anderson's car seat.  When they came back, everyone sat down and at their supper.  Campbell even woke up to have another bottle before heading back to bed. 


The kids sat and watched tv for awhile until they started getting too noisy for Tara to type and then they were sent to bed.  Sounds like they were sent far away but we are all still pretty close!  This room manages to have 2 double beds in it and isn't that crowded.  The bathroom and shower are fairly tight but fairly spacious for a wigwam!  Graham fell asleep first (mainly since Robby was lying on top of him), followed by Campbell, Reagan and then Anderson.  The plan tomorrow is to sleep in (ha!-we thought we had slept in this morning when we didn't get up until after 6)

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