Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Grand Canyon Trip

For Thanksgiving we decided to take a trip to the Grand Canyon in the 5th wheel. We had a lot of fun, but I wish I had researched it a little better before I planned it all.

The Drive:
Was long! About six hours because with the 5th wheel we have to drive slower than we could in a regular car/truck. The kids actually did okay because they planned on our phones or tablets during the drive. We stopped 1 time for gas, food, and bathroom stops on the way there and the way back. I wish that on the way back I filled up before crossing from Arizona into California. Gas was nearly a dollar more expensive in California!

RV park/resort:
We stayed at the Railside RV Ranch, which is located in Williams, Arizona right near the train. When we arrived the front office had already closed, but just to the right of the door was a bunch of clipped papers- one had our name on it! It had the site number and a map of the park. Very easily we found the site and got all parked and hooked up! The park had nearly all pull thru sites. There were no fire rings, but it was too darn cold to sit out by the fire anyways!

We went over to the office in the morning and got all checked in proper. The people who own the park were so nice! Every morning in the office there are waffles, hot coffee and cocoa, and some eggs. This is all included in the cost of staying there! It was really nice the last day we were there to not have to cook and just go to the office for waffles to go!

While we were in Williams, it was so cold!  Well probably not for most  people, but being from California- we were frozen. Since this was the first time we had ever used our heater, we ran out of propane the second night! Once again the owners saved our butts! I called the after hours number and they had a supply of already filled propane tanks for us to use! So we used one of those overnight and in the morning they filled up our propane tanks (total of 50 dollars). 

Another really nice perk was the ranch has wonderfully clean facilities. In the womens bathroom there were several showers that were spotlessly clean! We used these several times.

After staying at the Ranch for 5 days, Joe actually said he would like to stay longer!! Which I have never heard him say!

The Train:

From several friends we had heard how wonderful the Grand Canyon Railway was, so we were really looking forward to this (at least I was!).  The tickets seemed a little pricey- so we just did the coach class. They do have really fancy cars that have more comfortable seats, food, drinks, etc. I can't attest to the differences in the cars, but we were quite comfortable in the coach car.

In our car there was an attendant that was just wonderful! Her name is Amber Rose- and I know what you are thinking! It is not the slutty one that dated Kanye!  She was a wonderfully kind and hilarious woman who somehow made us all laugh and have a great time! There were two different musicians who played in our car. Also there was a staged robbery by some cowboys!
Amber Rose with Claire and Brooke aboard the Grand Canyon Railway

As for the actual train ride, I was a little disappointed. This was probably my fault because I thought with a name like the Grand Canyon Railway that we would go through the Grand Canyon- but I was so wrong. The train goes between Williams Arizona to the Grand Canyon by taking a very slow 2+ hour train ride through a desert type environment. It wasn't the beautiful landscape I had hoped. We did see some wild animals, and a lot of cows.

The Grand Canyon Railway also does a Christmas themed "Polar Express" trip. We didn't go on that one but saw a lot of families headed in with the jammies on.

The Grand Canyon

Once we got off the train we were at the train station.

At the Grand Canyon South Rim, there is a series of shuttles that will take you all around so you don't have to have a car there. The shuttles run every 15 minutes so whatever time you need to go somewhere, the shuttle is very convenient.

We decided to have lunch up at the
Bright Angel Lodge. We ate at the El Tovar Dining Room. I was disappointed with my beef stew filled bread bowl. My husband and I both thought it was Dinty Moore beef stew!

The kids really enjoyed the canyon! It was funny to see their different reactions. Jordan and Brooke were both terrified of falling in! Even with the railing they were very hesitant to get anywhere close to the edge. Claire loved it and wanted a picture in every location!

I think that maybe Claire would like to go hiking with me through the Grand Canyon. There is a hiking trip that goes from "Rim to Rim" and Joe has told me he has absolutely no interest in doing this! Maybe when Claire gets older she will want to go! 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Very late late update!

My life is too crazy to keep up!

I'm still working full time, and Joe works now as well. He was working full time at a Physical Therapy clinic, but hated being a manager. After several requests to not be the manager, his higher ups made it clear he would continue to be the manager if he stayed there. Fortunately we were able to say, no thanks!  And he quit working as a regular employee there- no just does per diem work for them. No longer a manager, and the per diem rate is better than what he made as the manager!

The kids are driving us to the point of insanity. They constantly fight with each other and it is miserable to listen to. The constant bickering and tattling is unbearable at times. Then other times they get along wonderfully. You just never know what kind of day they will have.

Jordan is 11 and started middle school. He got nearly all A's on his last report card. He got one B- and blames me for it because I made him miss two days of school to go camping over labor day! Jordan is a perfectionist- and gets mad if he isn't winning. His competitive spirit is a constant motivator to him to keep busy and achieve more. He is still in karate- but hates it. Joe doesn't want to let him quit because he is so close to a black belt.  I kind of want him to quit because I hate arguing about making him go every week (and he goes 3x per week!).

Claire is 8, still a little drama queen. She is overly emotional and such a sensitive little thing. She cries often and gets her feelings hurt regularly over very small issues. Her sweet little face gets all purpley when she starts to cry. She does well in school and loves to read. Of all the kids, she is going to be the most outdoorsy. She loves when we go camping and likes to ride her bike.

Brooke is 6 and in the first grade. She is very strong willed and determined. She is quick to say that she can't do something- but if pressed, she will do it. Brooke is really funny and has a great sense of humor. She still has the tiniest head!