17.01.2014 - 19.01.2014 6 °C
Being able to step out your door and see the huge view of the Grand Canyon left us in awe, for a moment I did feel a little emotion at being able to stand in front of this sight.
Hubby and I woke early to see the changing light over the canyon at sunrise, because we were on the south rim opposite the north rim, we couldn't see the sunrise unless we drove to another section. But when we had this spectacular view in front of us, it wasn't necessary?
So we stood in the cold and watched the moon over one side, with the purple and pink light in the sky. The purple gave way to pink and the shadows over the canyon began to change. We started to see some orange and sandy colours, some greens and blues and then the tips on the top of hue he peaks began to light up as the light touched them. When the light started to hit the peaks of the canyon we escaped the cold (and the teens- still drooling on their pillows) for a breakfast date in the El tovar dining room. Well it had a warm fire and was a nice elegant (in a log cabin type of way) place to dine. We had a table by the window, so were able to see the rest of the changing colours as the light hit the canyon and the sun continued to rise. We took the moody teens back some pancakes 'to go' and woke them for the day ahead.
We went for a small hike down the canyon on recommendation from one of the staff, she said it is nice to see the canyon from lower down looking up as well as looking down into it. She was right it really gave you an interesting perspective...... And we went only a small way below the rim in comparison to the huge size of the whole depth. We found a spot where our voices echoed off the wall of the canyon and had some fun with that. As you will see by the photos the path was a little icy, we were fortunate that the weather was warmer than normal this time of year so that we could wander around easily. Teen1 took a tumble after cleverly having a 'look at me' moment...... He tried to slide his way along the ice - being silly and fell flat on his backside almost straight away - this provided some entertainment for the day!
We also discovered that the temperature increases the deeper you go into the canyon, I summer it can get as high as 120 Fahrenheit. This is due to the elevation of the rim of the canyon being so high, above 5000ft.
Following our hike, we went for a drive along the rim to some of the lookouts to see a different viewpoint and then had a relax for the afternoon before dinner at El tovar. You'll see the buildings on the rim in the photos below, that is where we stayed!
We were impressed with breakfast so decided to have dinner their, it is interesting to watch the boys become more comfortable in a fancy restaurant, ordering, navigating which knife and fork to use, I feel proud of how they are growing up.....The tween still figuring this out, but the older two are definitely more experienced at this now. I have included a photo of dessert, check out this chocolate mousse taco
Yes taco, it was yum, big but yum!
Home to bed for our big drive back to Vegas, then flight to Hawaii tomorrow!
By the way, if you are wondering about time needed for a visit to the Grand Canyon 2 nights at the Grand Canyon for a look around was enough, if you are interested in hiking and staying down in the canyon, a donkey ride for the day down into......or some time on the Colorado river, then definitely longer. It is a nice place to stop and relax also. There are day visits by helicopter, these would be interesting too, if you don't want to stay there, but we enjoyed having a bit more time to look around and stop a while.