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Celebrating at Grand Canyon

An anniversary at the Grand Canyon

30 °F

We made it to Grand Canyon after dark, we’d forgotten about the time change. But we got settled into our cabin, part of the Bright Angel Lodge, and then went to have dinner. The cabins are historic, very old but refurbished with modern plumbing.

I must explain that there is a rim walk that goes quite a way around the South Rim. I’m not sure exactly where it starts or stops but we have been on several sections. There are low walls on some of the edges and other places no wall at all.

Along the South Rim are 3 hotels; the El Tovar, then just west the Thunderbird and then just west of that is the Bright Angel. The El Tovar is probably the most famous. Only 2 hotels were open now; the El Tovar and the Bright Angel. These hotels are in very close proximity to each other, each connected by the rim walk and separated by large driveways. The walk from Bright Angel to the El Tovar is about 5 min. The walk in the area is paved and wide and can accommodate wheelchairs. Other portions of the rim walk are dirt.

The Arizona Room, attached to the Bright Angle Lodge, had been recommended to us for dinner. The Zanterra Co is very conscious about food issues and the staff were aware of Celiac. There were many items on the menu gluten free as well as bread. This was evident quickly as we reviewed the menu with our waiter. We had a nice dinner, me a stuffed Native Squash that I’ll for sure try to replicate at home.

The weather was so cold, but we found that by layering up we were not cold at all. The only issue was icy spots on the walkways. The sky was clear with sparkling stars.

I woke up at about dawn to a beautiful blue sky and went out to shoot photos. There were no clouds and no apparent haze. It was cold and my fingers were the worst since I had to keep my fingertips free for the cameras. Few people were out so I had the canyon nearly to myself. I shot a bunch of photos with my big camera and several with my cell phone. It was so enjoyable to be out without many people, shooting photos where I liked.
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We had an anniversary breakfast at the El Tovar, complete with a glass of champagne. We had a large filling breakfast so that it would last until an early dinner. The El Tovar has a huge fresh tree in the lobby that extends up to the 2nd floor. The dining room has farolitos around the room, on a shelf close to the ceiling. Wreaths hang on the walls. Everywhere there is a feeling of Christmas.

Feeling full, but not stuffed we decided to take the free Shuttle out to the Visitors Center. Even though it was not above freezing outside, we were toasty warm and able to just enjoy the drive thru the snow.

We walked from the Visitor’s Center to Mathers Point, rim walkways had been cleared and were free from ice. Mathers Point itself was full of people, especially from other countries. It seemed like a bus full of Asians had stopped there. Other years we’ve seen busloads of people from Spain and other countries. But we went to the areas not so crowded so it wasn’t a problem.

We went out a little before sunset, as at sunset the canyon is actually mostly dark. Unfortunately, the sky was quite hazy so photos were not so nice.
We had a nice walk up to the El Tovar and got there just a little early as we hoped to enjoy the tree. We’d wanted a window seat, but the hostess recommended that we have the table in front of the fireplace as the canyon would be dark. We realized that she had a good suggestion. So there we had a table front and center of the large fireplace.

Arizona law prohibits ones from bringing their own wine in so we had to order from their menu. We had a wonderful ½ bottle of Champagne and ½ bottle of Zinfandel. Dinner was good, but dessert was amazing. We’d ordered a piece of Flourless Chocolate Cake, which the chef then decorated for our anniversary. So memorable. It was amazing with the 20-year old port.
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We walked back to our room in the cold night air, full and happy after a wonderful day.

Posted by Miss Chris 14:32 Archived in USA Tagged grand_canyon travel anniversary trip bright_angel_lodge rim_trail el_tovar Comments (0)

An Anniversary Trip

A trip to the southwest

sunny 57 °F

IMG_201512..0014387_HDR.jpgIMG_201512..0508586_HDR.jpgIMG_20151215_141908771.jpgWithout a word of blog we are off on another short trip.

Tomorrow is our 43rd wedding anniversary. Amazing. We’d planned a trip to include Taos, Hovenweep, Jemez and ending at the Grand Canyon today. Alas, when the weather was predicted to be frozen we decided to forgo that trip. The RV has too many issues and we’d likely be found as frozen mummies.

New and improved plan is the one we have now. We should be at the Grand Canyon by dinner time. We will stay at the Bright Angel Lodge, a place we’ve been in when beginning our hike across the canyon years ago. We’d wanted to stay at the El Tovar, but the rooms didn’t look appealing, so we will go for breakfast and dinner there tomorrow.

After the Grand Canyon, we will head to Santa Fe, where we will make a stop at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. We won’t go for cooking lessons, this time, but rather supplies and Christmas presents.

From Santa Fe, we will drive on to Taos. This should be towards evening so we will get to see the city and Espanola decorated with Farolitos. This is truly a wonderful sight to see and we are so happy that we can see this again.
In Taos, we plan to eat and eat some more! La Cava and Orlando's. OMG!!!! Also, we must buy some spices and fabrics for our RV. It is due for a major remodel.
This trip is only for Dale and I. We are basking in the aloneness!

Posted by Miss Chris 14:02 Archived in USA Tagged grand_canyon travel anniversary trip taos Comments (0)

Swimming in the RV

A flood as we are getting ready to leave.

sunny 99 °F

IMG_2489.jpgThe camping trip is upon up us, we leave this afternoon and hopefully not hours later than planned, us being Dale and I plus 3 granddaughters and the daughter of our Belgium friend.

Our grandson doesn’t want to drive up with us and we are a little bit disappointed but also a little relieved. He fights with each of the girls in no particular order, mostly just words; pick, pick, pick.

We went up to our youngest son’s on Saturday for our granddaughter’s birthday party but just made it a turnaround trip. We told them we just knew something would go wrong if we stayed overnight. And since Dale worked Monday and today we could be in trouble with leaving by 2 p.m.

On Sunday Dale stayed home to ready the RV while I took two granddaughters for the huge grocery shopping trip. It took some time as we had to shop at other places too and granddaughters just add time to any trip. We got home to find water running out of the bottom of the RV, not a good sign.

I went straight into the RV where Dale was sponging water out. It seems he had started to fill the water tank and walked away, as he has done before. This time however the overflow hose had cracked above the floor level allowing the water to pour into the RV. My stomach sank as I realized, being a property claims adjuster, what this meant.

After putting groceries inside the house instead of straight into the RV, we reviewed the situation together. Carpet was soaked, water in the heater ducting meaning that it was also likely under the vinyl.

We ripped out the carpet and the wet parts of the vinyl and tore out the felt in the basement. In our favor was the fact that it was a very hot day with a great breeze. We left the basement doors open as well as every other door and window so that everything actually dried quickly.
Monday morning I called out a water restoration company just to test the walls and by yesterday afternoon they came out and found the walls to be dry but the bottom insulation soaked in standing water. Dale cut the plastic barrier and water poured out on him. We then talked with our local RV repair shop and he assured us that the wood floor is fine and the whole thing is an easy repair. We think we will go back with better carpet, pad and actually wood flooring, something we’d wanted to do anyway!

Posted by Miss Chris 08:37 Archived in USA Tagged people children family camping trip preparation rv family_travel grandkids water_damage Comments (0)

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