A "Grand" Memorial Day Getaway- Part I ▌Sierra Vista Photographer, Arizona

Last week my husband and I decided on a whim that it would be a fine idea to take a four year old climber, and a two year old follower, to see the largest whole in the earth, The Grand Canyon. According to Tom Tom, it takes 6 hours and forty minutes to reach Williams, AZ. Factor in a toilet trained preschooler, a newborn who loves to eat, and two children in diapers, and you have won yourself a 12 hour journey. We stayed the night at the Grand Canyon Railroad Hotel, right at the Depot where the train was to depart on Saturday morning. (Be sure to call for your tickets and get the military discount, which is substantial!) After mis-reading the alarm clock, I found myself showered and dressed at 06:00; I grabbed my camera and snuck out the door before any of the boys realized I was awake. The next 45 minutes were possibly
the most divine of the entire trip. I meandered through the quaint little town of Williams all by myself, sharing the streets with one lone Japanese tourist, also out with his Canon; we exchanged several knowing smiles over the gorgeous morning sunshine. The train excursion itself was memorable; comfortable, peaceful, we were treated to a continental breakfast with our First Class tickets. The two hour trip passed quickly and we found ourselves gazing at the view of the Grand Canyon at high noon... NOT ideal for photography what so ever, which would explain my over the top post processing of otherwise totally drab pictures of a dramatic landscape. Seriously, from 12-3pm, on a clear blue sky day, my timing could not have been worse. By 1pm, after a lousy lunch of bratwurst and ham and cheese on white bread (if you have room in your day pack you should definitely pack your lunch to allow you more time to explore the South Rim) we had The Baby asleep in the stroller, The Bundle asleep in the Bjorn, and The Boy's enthusiasm was seriously dwindling. There is no picture of the entire family together in front of the Canyon, though I did make sure nine other families went home with such an image by offering to snap the shots for strangers. Thinking that they would sleep on the ride back to Williams, we booked Coach seats for the southbound train. No such luck, we found ourselves trying to entertain two very bouncy little ones while I tried to feed a very hungry Bundle. We were treated to two musicians on the train, with oldies such as "Route 66" and some Tim McGraw. Finally, right before our arrival back at Williams, the train was robbed by bandits, who in my opinion passed by the kiddos much too quickly in favor of the Japanese tourists in our car who were eagerly waving their money with the joy of women at a "Thunder Down Under" event... Train travel is by far the best way to travel with children. You can feed them, walk them, relieve them, let them sleep, all while sitting comfortably, gazing out the window. I wish I could say the same for the 14 hour car ride home...


AEM said... at June 2, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Great pics! I love the train one!

Holly said... at June 2, 2010 at 6:44 AM

Love the clock and the last one! Sounds like a good time but I'm pretty sure the trip from PA would be even longer!

Julie Rivera Photography said... at June 2, 2010 at 7:55 AM

How do you even whittle down the choices to blog?! My two favorites are the sandwich on the newspaper and the Diet Coke ad...you need to send that one to Atlanta...but your Grand Canyon shots turned out far better than you led me to believe they would be. And how awesome are your bandit pictures?! Can't wait for parts 2 and 3 and...

Skeller said... at June 2, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Absolutely gorgeous pictures (I especially enjoy the robbers!) and hilarious commentary (really, I expect nothing less from you!) that reminds me that I've been there, done that. And I can tell you, that those crazy baby/toddlerish years last seemingly f-o-r-e-v-e-r and pass as quickly as the blinking of an eye. Really truly.