Monday, June 24, 2013

Day four - Just Grand

Phew! Another long day but totally worth it! We were a bit late leaving the hotel because at first we didn't think the hotel offered breakfast. Then, right before leaving, we found out they did, scarfed down the mediocre food, and rushed off to our first destination: the Hoover Dam. We all agreed that, though it was quite large, it was just as we imagined it. To avoid overpriced parking, we drove across the dam and parked at an upper parking area and made the trek back across for pictures and souvenir shopping.

Its so big, its difficult to get a picture of the whole thing. This panorama is the best I could do.

Near the Hoover Dam visitor center and gift shop are these large guardian...people with wings...things that are accompanied with a very patriotic sounding voice explaining their importance. Apparently its good luck to rub the feet. Blake thought it would be even more good luck if he rubbed his face on them. So many germs!?

I settled for a soft tap and some hand sanitizer

The Hoover Dam is also right on the Nevada/ Arizona border. At the end of the trip I'll be putting together all our border crossing videos but here's a picture of our jump. I think we're getting pretty good at it.

Here's the bridge we eventually crossed to go into Arizona. Unless you stand on the edge, you're unable to see the Hoover Dam from it. Another hour drive, we made it to our lunch spot. We started the day out all smiles and, even after hiking across the Hoover Dam in 90 degree weather, we continued in our happiness.

Here's Jazmyn working on her journal as we drive

What roadtrip would be complete without stopping at an In-n-Out? Since we were a tad behind we opted to eat on the go rather than sitting down. Jaz was pretty stoked because her boyfriend loves this restaurant and filled us in on the "secret menu": Animal style fries or burger, triple, and 4x4. I opted to just got with a regular ol' hamburger. Now in Arizona, we got off the main road and began to "get our kicks on route 66". I thought it would be just a drive by but we ended up stopping in Hackberry - once a town and now a gift shop surrounded by everything you picture route 66 to be... Also known as a tourist trap that we allowed ourselves to get sucked into. Wouldn't you though?

Mom and Blake takin' a rest in some comfy chairs
Inside the gift shop there was a small diner setting, obviously set up for things like this

After spending close to an hour here and filled up with all our trinkets, we continued along the mother road through more route 66 ghost towns. The weather was beautiful and, while we were enjoyed getting to see route 66, we were even more eager to see the Grand Canyon. To complete our route 66 day, we stopped in Williams, Arizona - Gateway to the Grand Canyon.

As always, I found a diner on Yelp that described it's very authentic cafe and how welcoming it was. We weren't terribly hungry but wanted to at least experience it. Below is a picture of the menu that you are first greeted with at Cruisers Route 66 Cafe. Looks exciting, right?

 Well, the restaurant is similar and lives up to the authentic look. The down side to this restaurant, however, is that they charge $2 more per plate, if you're going to share, the food is way over priced for not very much (ex. the "bucket of fries" was definitely just a small basket), and they took forever with getting anything we requested (there was maybe 3-4 other groups also eating at the time)


Tummys full and my parent's wallet empty we made the much anticipated drive to the Grand Canyon. It was everything I imagined it to be. We even got to see an old friend that moved to Arizona a few years ago and works at one of the gift shops near the rim. She filled us in on all the ins and outs of the Grand Canyon and how to get the most out of our time. After making our purchases (we weren't sure we'd be able to afterwards), we hopped on the free shuttle to a few different view points.

My phone camera just doesn't capture how beautiful it is

Sometimes I think I'm really funny: Mom and dad were super nervous about a gust of wind surprising one of us and pulling us over the edge so we were told not to go within 6 feet (or more) of the edge. We came to this one spot and were instructed that since there was no railing, to not cross over the rocks marking the path. I looked at my parents, lifted my foot up towards the rocks, and said, "I'm an adult" (If you've ever seen "I Threw it on the Ground" by Lonely Island - I said it like that) and proceeded to cross to the edge of the canyon. Don't worry, I was still safe but I just couldn't miss out on this view.

My amazing parents
We spent the rest of the evening here, waiting for the sun to set. I'll admit, while there is no doubt that this sunset was amazing, it's nothing compared to the sunsets I've seen at the beach. There's just something different about how the light reflects off the water that just can't be replicated here. As I said, though, it was beautiful and definitely worth the wait.

What an absolutely perfect way to end another fun day. Another 1.5 hour drive and we were at our hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona. An especially long day of driving tomorrow so until next time, live long and prosper!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you guys are having a great time! The girls and I are having fun "following" you on your blog. Be safe, we love you! Love, Holly