Friday, September 1, 2017

Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas

We drove from Cameron Trading Post through the east entrance of the Grand Canyon. We were happily driving along when all of a sudden there was a break in the trees that briefly showed us something we had never seen before. Thousands of feet below us were deep canyons of red and brown tones that were just stunning. We had planned on stopping at Devils Tower, which is one of the first viewpoints on the road, but decided we'd see it later since both kids were taking a nap and it was better if we didn't wake them up until we got to the hotel. We drove about 30 minutes more to our hotel which was only a few minutes outside of the gate to the park. We spent the afternoon at the pool and made it an early night.

The next morning everyone was up early since we gained another hour so we packed up and got to the park around 6am. I can't even describe the sheer vastness of the Grand Canyon. Pictures don't do it justice and it is beyond anything I have ever seen. We started off at the more popular viewpoint, Mather Point, which is supposed to be a good spot for first time viewers. It's over 7,000 feet in elevation and has just an amazing view. And we were there early enough to see the very early morning sun beam off the ridges. We then walked the Rim Trail for a little bit. It was nice and cool in the morning and we were able to push M in the stroller while she napped. Next, we hopped on the shuttle and took it to Yaki Point where we had the place to ourselves and could look at the canyon from another vantage point. We took the shuttle back to the main visitor center and decided that it was time to leave the park. At this point it was only 9:30, but we were quickly losing the attention of J and figured she (and us) could use a couple hours of zone out time with a movie and the pool.

View from Mather Point

Walking along the Rim Trail

Eating a snack at Yaki Point 

Later on in the day we decided to go back out and drive back to Desert View Watchtower - I won't go into any details, but it ended up not being the best decision! Albeit a quick visit, we did see some nice scenery and get some nice shots...

We checked out the next morning and started our drive towards Las Vegas, stopping at the Hoover Dam on the way. We didn't stay too long at all since it was around 112 degrees! M was basically stuck to my body and J wanted no part in walking around. And honestly, neither did we after a while!

Jon and I have each been to Vegas many times, but not with each other. While Vegas has a lot to offer kids and families, it's really not my ideal place to take them since I'd much rather be doing more adult things there! But, it was a great spot to rest our heads for a night so we didn't end up doing too much driving in one day. Planet Hollywood was right next door so we walked around there for a little bit, watched a water show, and grabbed some dinner to go since the girls were beat and ready to go to sleep pretty early. Jon and I longingly looked out of our hotel room window, and we wondered if anyone else on the strip was turning out their lights at 8pm and going to sleep for the night. At least we didn't lose any money - I'd call that a win!

Our tamest visit to Vegas yet!

Watching the thunder and lightning show
Taken at 5am when we were waking up 

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