Saturday, April 21, 2012

ALL ABOARD to the Grand Canyon!

This year during Spring Break, we took a family vacation to Phoenix, Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. We also visited our friends, the Allen's, (who moved to Scottsdale, AZ last summer) for a few days. Along with the Allen's clan, we took a day trip to Sedona's Slide Rock National Park.

The trip was unique in that it all started when we hopped aboard an Amtrak Passenger train for an overnight adventure. We had a family "sleeper" car where our family of 5 could sleep comfortably. When it was time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner we made reservations to eat together in the "dining" car.

Throughout the 28 hours that we rode, Ashlee and Sydney were able to hang out in the "lounge" car, playing cards with the other kids on the train. We had a "porter" who helped us with our questions, reservations, and woke us up so that we didn't miss our stop in Maricopa, AZ.
Houston train station
Waiting at the train station in Houston
view of the Pecos River from train

James enjoying the view of the countryside

Sleeper car

checking out the beds
Sleeping on the train
Our Porter

Dining car

Eating breakfast in the dining car
Getting off the train in Maricopa
 Once we arrived in Maricopa, AZ we caught a taxi that took us to the car rental place in Phoenix. We rented our SUV and drove to Peoria, AZ where we stayed for 3 days at the Cibola Vista Resort. And boy! This resort was a fantastic retreat!!!

After our relaxing stay in Peoria, we headed to the Grand Canyon where we spent 2 days hiking and touring the South Rim. An absolute awesome creation... Someone stated something like, "The Grand Canyon is God's canvas for us to see His beautiful artistic creation." I completely agree! The beauty is indescribable.

We walked along the South Rim where at times was quite scary. There was a trail but sometimes we would be walking along a cliff with nothing between us and death! When we got tired of walking we hopped on a tram that dropped us off at different scenic views until we arrived at Hermit's Rest...the last stop on the South Rim...19 miles west.

After 100 times of hearing their mother say "Get away from the edge!" the kids started giving me a hard time. hahaha!

View of several hiking trails 
Close up of hiking trail with a shelter. If you look closely you can see hikers.
Powell Peak
Colorado River 
Colorado River
Bus ride to Hermit's Rest
Hermit's Rest was the last stop 19 miles down the South rim.

Hand built fireplace (now coffee/gift shop) from 1914
After we left the Grand Canyon we headed to Scottsdale to stay a few days with the Allen's. We BBQ'd, hiked the Indian Preservation in their backyard (literally!) and took a day trip to Sedona. The Allen's had just finished building a pool and the weather was perfect for outdoor fun!

Leaving for a hike up Indian Reservation

Hiking on the Indian Reservation
Top of the Indian Reservation behind Allen's house
View of the neighborhood in Scottsdale

Once in Sedona we stopped at a tourist rest stop where the park guide read The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss and the kids gave an oath to take care of nature. It was perfect timing because the movie had just come out and we ended up seeing it a couple days later.
Giving the Lorax Oath!

We drove through Sedona's beautiful red rock, mountainous countryside and arrived at Slide Rock National Park. We ate lunch and went to find the sliding rock! We found a popular river with rapids that we enjoyed even though it was extremely cold! The kids had a blast climbing the red rock and exploring!

The day after Sedona it was time to pack our things and head back to Maricopa where we caught the overnight train back to Houston. We were supposed to have arrived in Houston by 4:30am but apparently the train ahead of us hit a pedestrian and we were delayed 5 hours while the police did their investigation.

We eventually arrived safely at home after 9 adventurous days seeing the beautiful earth that God created for us to explore. Definitely a family trip we will remember forever!!!

1 comment:

Scott and Jessica Shobe said...

What an awesome trip. How fun to take the train!