With our oldest going off to college next Fall, this year we have pushed to accomplish a family bucket list item. Over the last few years we’ve remained around town. This time we decided we were heading out of town for Spring Break and finally checking off a visit to the Grand Canyon as a family.
We decided to use our timeshare points (bought them young) and set-up the majority of our accommodations in Scottsdale, Arizona. From there we planned an overnight to the South Rim of the Grand Cayon and stayed at the YAVAPAI Lodge.
With approximately 3 hrs to and from Scottsdale, we decided to get an early start (as recommended.) We grabbed a quick bite at a local Starbucks drive-thru and planned to stop for a bigger meal in Sedona, AZ. My only regret is not going inside because I forgot to buy our tourist mug.
We made excellent time and even took an off road detour to Montezuma Castle National Monument. It was a great stop for so many reasons. We were able to purchase a National Park pass there and so we bypassed one more thing at the entrance of Grand Canyon Park. Although, we were still in our lounge wear we took a couple photos and pressed on to Sedona. I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Also, when else would we be back?
After visiting this incredible Native American dwelling we set off to Sedona, AZ. As we were making our turn back to the highway I had to get a quick pic in front of this little store for my dad who’s name is Ernie.
A little off the direct route to the Grand Canyon we ventured to Sedona, AZ. I had done a little research before hand to find a cool coffee house that served breakfast on YELP. We knew exactly where we were headed.
Oh Sedona, we wish we had time to really stay and hang. It is as beautiful as you’ve heard, and it’s known for some supernatural spiritual stuff too. But our time was up, we had to keep moving and keep our eyes on the prize.
Of course, we did stop off one more time. We spied a swimming hole that families and friends were gathering at for the day. Our curiosity got the best of us and we turned around to check out what the excitement was all about. Click to see a clip of this cool swim spot.
Finally, at mid day we arrived to the National Grand Canyon Park South Rim. Open year round. We waited almost an hour in a long trail of cars and finally made it past the guards. We drove deep into the village to our lodging for the night. Well actually, I got that all wrong. I confused our reservations up but eventually we found where we were supposed to be. After a mini freak out, by me because I was worried we didn’t have a place to stay for the night. We got settled in, had some food, walked the upper South Rim trail for the common folk “non-hikers” and took in the views. It was truly amazing but we kind of felt like there was something more. This is also the spot if you take the train it lets you off here at South Rim Village. We walked in and out of hotels, shops and mini museums.
Sophia set her eyes on a ring from one of the very first shops we visited. Adding to our adventure we got miserably lost trying to find this ring. Luckily, we gathered our patients and figured it out. She loves that ring. As we set to turn in for the night we decided getting up for sunrise would be ideal. So we grabbed convenience food at the main market, cozied up in our double room suite, played cards and watched Jaws 3 till we fell asleep.
Our alarm went off at 5:30am it was dark and cold. The kids opted out but Pax and I pressed on. My advice DRIVE, we decided to walk because we thought we were close to the Yavapai viewing point. You know, because we were stayin at Yavapai Lodge. Haha, NOPE that’s a NEGATIVE we were quite far. Oh and did I tell you? Soph and I only brought shorts and one pair of jeans? I looked like a hobo with all my layers. We had to wear our lounge wear as layers because we were freezing. We thought it would be HOT at the Grand Canyon. I thought I had it all planned out. Joke was on Mom.
I’m telling you it was worth the adventure, getting up in the dark and embracing the cold air. We were enthralled with the glorious sunrise. After we got breakfast and I took a 3 hour nap before we headed to the Desert View. This would be our last stop and tourist moment, while visiting the Grand Canyon South Rim.
Before the trip we had decided the Grand Canyon would be an incredible spot for family photos or even Trent’s senior photos. We donned our fancy tourist clothes and grabbed the tripod. I just kept picturing those old family road trip photos of days past. Our boy is heading to college in the fall, and let me tell you WE LOVE OUR PHOTOS! We’re not pros but we have some solid gear. I framed the lot of these almost immediately when we got home.
Look I’m going to tell you if you can plan a family trip DO IT! Don’t get caught up in all the fuss and must do’s at home, or obligations you may have. Grab your partner in life, your kids and go.
Cheers to many more great memories!