July 12th, 2012
Even as a skinny kid I had a low tolerance to heat. Maybe it’s the whole being born in February thing or my DNA, I do not like heat.
Returning our car in the morning turned into chaos. The rental company did not give me a specific requirement. They called and I said, “Oh yah we’ll be back by 10:30am” and proceeded to not realize it was 10:15am and we were no where near leaving.
Making matters worse was my Mom and Dan had some errands they wanted to run which made it a little more confusing to coordinate, and then it turned out Prescott had Rodeo Days going on, so traffic was insane. I did finally get the car turned in, the guy was very nice and the room full of people waiting on our car return kindly did not kill me.
We then needed to go to FedEx to ship our stuff back home. Lest I not forget, the other car of my parents, now had no fan working. So we were stuck in traffic with no A/C or even air moving.
Boxes shipped and we were off to Lowes because they needed a few more things. We had to do the very scenic route to avoid the Rodeo Days event and parade. Then back to the house to relax.
We opted to eat dinner at my parents place so as to not add another stop on the way to the airport. Dinner was delicious. The mood was bitter sweet knowing I wouldn’t see my Mom for many more months.
Craig and I packed efficiently and we were off to the airport. Now this shouldn’t have been a big deal, our flight was at 11:39pm out of Phoenix. We were driving into the night and it gets cooler, right? No! As we headed south out of the mountains, it got hotter and hotter and hotter. 45 minutes away from the airport I tried to roll down my window for some fresh air, which proceeded to burn as if a hair dryer had been put in my face.
I checked my weather app to see it was 102ºF at 8:50pm. At this point Craig and I couldn’t wait to get to the airport, all we wanted to do was sit in air conditioning. As we got into Phoenix the temperature continued to rise to 106ºF. Hot is hot and I have never experienced heat like that. We had quick hugs and went into the airport and cooled off. I worried about my Mom and Dan getting home. By the time they’d be getting home, we’d be in the air with no communications. Gratefully they did arrive home safe.
I had a feeling the whole trip I’d be randomly checked by the TSA and I was. My laptop is what got flagged and thus me. The woman was very serious and swabbed my laptop and of course there was nothing. Off we went to put our shoes back on and go find our gate.
The flight was packed. Craig slept. I dozed on and off, which meant when we arrived in NYC I was exhausted. Kelly picked us up at the airport and we had one of the easiest exits from NYC ever and were back in Danbury very quickly.
We proceeded to sleep on and off all day. We went to dinner with my inlaws but the following day it felt like a blur.
Glad to be home in a land where temps rarely make it over 95 for any more than a few days a year. Where water is not sparse and electricity doesn’t cost more depending on the time of day. I miss my Mom and I do miss the relaxation of their home and the amazing views around them.
July 12th, 2012
We woke with the sun at 5:30am and we were out the door and on the road at 6am. From my Mom’s place the Grand Canyon is about 2 hours away. The day before I read up on visiting the Grand Canyon, what to do, what to avoid and so forth.
We headed north on AZ 89 to I-40 and then east to Williams. We stopped in Williams for both Starbucks and gas. We had driven by here twice in the past week but never got off the highway, I wish we had. Williams is a really cute town with lots of Route 66 charm. In many ways it looks like Radiator Springs from Cars.
After stocking up on gas and caffeine, we headed north on AZ 64 to the Grand Canyon. It’s a straight shot, 1 hour of driving to the main gate. We passed through the little town of Tusayan where there are resorts, McDonald’s and Wendy’s, plus a National Geographic IMAX exhibit.
When we got to the gate there was only two cars ahead of us in our lane, and finding parking at Mather’s Point was easy. We stepped out of the car at 9:30am and said, “oh god it’s this hot already.” We made our way over to the Canyon edge with all of the other people and were kind of disappointed. It felt odd, it was hot, it was hazy from the Utah and Colorado fires, there were lots of people and it just felt touristy not magnificent.
We lingered around Mather’s Point for a little while longer until we just couldn’t take all the people anymore. Visited the book store and got some goodies and then back to our car for A/C. Craig was really feeling disappointed since this was the location he’s had at the top of his bucket list for some time.
Looking over the park map, we decided let’s give the Desert View end of the park a shot. Along the way there were several turn outs and we hoped there’d be less people.
We were right. Once we got 10 minutes down the road and past the Grandview pull out, there was almost no one. We passed a yellow caution sign like we have back here, ours have deer on them and the note “next 10 miles”, this one had a mountain lion, next 10 miles. While I like the kitties, I don’t ever want to meet that one.
As we drove on it became quite surreal. I’d look to my left as the driver and see small trees and through those the edge of the canyon. No guard rail. No fencing. If you want to go out Thelma and Louise style this was possible.
The further east you drove the more of the Colorado River you got to see. There is something amazing standing near the edge, no railing and just listening to the silence. It starts to feel mind boggling, knowing that to reach the Skywalk on the far west end of the Canyon is a 7 hour drive. The Canyon is so massive.
I tried to take pictures through the haze. I was regretting not ordering the 10-22mm lense to fully take in the massiveness of what was before us. I can see why photographers could spend days here trying to get the right photo.
We made it to Desert View and it was worth the drive. We went up in the tower looked around. I got some more goodies as gifts. The heat though was really starting to affect us. Craig’s voice was officially gone, and I was wilting with cotton mouth. At the general store I got Gatorade and water. We chugged as much as we could before leaving the store’s A/C.
Officially exhausted and now 2:30 in the afternoon we headed south and back to my Mom’s. But not without a stop in Williams to explore more.
I got a parking spot on the main street and left Craig in the car with the A/C going. I walked down the street snapping photos and visiting the fun stores along the way. Everyone was smiling and very friendly. Elvis has plenty of visitors wanting photos with him.
I coordinated returning our car rental the next day and we headed back to my Mom’s place and took a break. It was an experience and one worthy of having. We’d love to go back to the Grand Canyon but in February or March, even if it is a bit snowy.
July 12th, 2012
We relaxed, slept in and just caught up on life. I got a lot of the travel logs updated. I finished processing photos while Craig worked on lyrics. All in all a very relaxing day.
Mom and Dan had to return their moving truck, run errands and continue working on getting settled.
Somedays you just need to not leave the house and just relax.