Saturday, April 29, 2017

To Phoenix...and Beyond! Part Three

My third day in Arizona started early. Summer and I were up at 7:00 so we could drive to the small town of Williams to catch the Grand Canyon Railway. We had to take Interstate 40, which is part of the Historic Route 66. I adore that old American kitsch, so I was very excited.

We listened to Chuck Berry telling us to get our kicks on Route 66, and arrived in Williams ready for an amazing day.

A few weeks before I left, Summer had emailed me a link to the Grand Canyon Railway, asking if I was interested. My response was succinct: "Oh, hell yes!!"

The train takes two hours to get there, but we completely avoided the madness that is driving in and finding parking. There was a dining car on board and tons of entertainment. It was absolutely the best way to get to the South Rim.

Along the way, we passed the North Pole. In December, Grand Canyon Railway does a Polar Express trip that stops here.

Each car has a tour guide of sorts, to give information, point out interesting sites, and help people figure out what they want to do once at the canyon itself. Ours was Amber Rose, and she was hilarious.

There was even musical entertainment.

Finally, we reached the canyon, promising Amber Rose we'd take "that moment" before we sought out lunch.

Summer had never been to the Grand Canyon at all, and I had only been to the North Rim, and this over 20 years ago. We were both excited. We walked through one lodge building in Grand Canyon Village, and out towards...

Life is Grand, Cali Swimmy.

I was in front as we walked out of the lodge, and I started laughing. The view is so incredible, and the canyon is everything you could possibly hope it will be.

I turned to see Summer's reaction. She was silently mouthing the word, "Wow." We spent a few minutes just taking it in and snapping pictures, before going back inside to find lunch.

After lunch, more wandering. We weren't out to hike, because Summer had foot surgery last summer and still can't do strenuous hiking. The South Rim Village was perfect, because we could walk around taking pictures, but also have plenty of opportunities to rest. There's an interesting gallery and, of course, plenty of shops.

There were books on hand for children, and I thought this was genius. 

A squirrel, eating food given to it by people... to a sign that warns people not to feed the squirrels (and other animals).

But the squirrel was CUTE, so I used my zoom lens. 

Hopi House

We had about three hours in the park, and then it was back to the train. 

I'll write another post about having dinner in Historic Williams on Route 66. 

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