“Let’s go where there’s CHEESE, Gromit!”
Perhaps you’re familiar with the cartoons “Wallace and Gromit” and the short entitled “A Grand Day Out” in which they build a rocket to go to the moon to eat cheese, their favorite food. Our Grand Day Out was at the Grand Canyon, though, which looks quite different from the moon.
I was brought to tears twice on Tuesday by a few of those “I love America” moments, one of which I’m sure you’ll understand, and the other probably just because I’m a girl who just had a baby, so I cry at the drop of a hat. 🙂 The day had an innocent enough beginning, with the children and I going down to the hotel breakfast and then to the pool. When it was time for me to feed Daniel again, John came down to the pool and took over so I could return to the room.
We quickly packed up our things, visited McDonalds for some fortification, and drove the few miles up to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, arriving around 1pm. The parking lot was pretty full, and I knew from the map that we were near a vista point, so we opted to park towards the back of the lot near the trail to the good views. I honestly found myself thinking that if we could drive up to the view without having to really get out, perhaps we’d leave the kids in the car and just hop out ourselves for a few quick photos. I was interested in seeing the Grand Canyon only because we’d be driving past it, and, by all accounts, one should see it if possible, but I wasn’t too keen on VISITING the Grand Canyon. Boy am I an idiot sometimes; I just had no idea what awaited us when we rounded the corner on the trail to Mather Point.
Sure, I’ve seen all those aerial pictures of the Grand Canyon, but seeing it for the first time in person was actually breath-taking (I know I described the California Coast in the same way) in the truest sense of the word; I almost felt like the wind had been knocked out of my chest, and it was all I could do to keep from sobbing. As it was, I had trouble enough with maintaining my eye makeup, but I don’t think anyone except John noticed, so I didn’t embarrass the family with my blubbering 🙂 Here’s what set me off – and I do realize it will not produce tears to anyone looking at these pictures. This is really just something you have to experience for yourself.
Worn out from all the majesty…
That covers just about all of our awesomeness for Tuesday – the rest of the post is mostly a few silly things from along the way 🙂 As we drove out of Grand Canyon National Park we noticed the Flintstones Campground. I had to take a few pictures off the internet for you so you could see how lame this place is:
This picture makes it look kind of cool…
I guess I can’t show you how lame it looked from the road – guess it’s cuter inside?
I took a bit of a snooze, and John told me later that I missed a few towns: one was called “Twin Arrows,” and the next was called “Two Guns.” Hmm. Wonder what that was all about. Obviously, being in Arizona and New Mexico for a few days we would find ourselves in Indian Country. I remember as a child stopping occasionally at Indian Trading Posts here and there and always enjoying browsing the jewelry, leather goods, and animal furs. Oh, and rocks. And petrified things. I had hoped to find such a place for one of our pitstops, and my hopes were buoyed by some of these billboards:
Yup. The Indian trading place next door was closed down, too.
John said, “Guess we should have just stopped at Knife City!” Don’t ask me why there were at least five knife shops along a stretch of I-40 that didn’t even have places to eat for 100 miles. Here’s what we found when we followed a billboard to the “Route 66 Diner” after our attempts at an Indian Trading Post had failed:
False advertising…it wasn’t even on Route 66
Along the way…
Um, no thank you. It was at this point that we looked for food on the GPS and settled on a Cracker Barrel about 30 minutes farther East. This was good because it left us only 2 hours to drive after dinner and because we hadn’t yet eaten at a Cracker Barrel – a MUST for any authentic American road trip. I took a few pictures of the shop because the stuff they sell is just so “southern.”
The necessary Cracker Barrel photo: rocking on the front porch 🙂
And here we come to the second time I had tears in my eyes on Tuesday — the Yankee Candle area of Cracker Barrel. There were Yankee Candles in England, and I’ve seen them a few times since being back, but for some reason, when I was in Cracker Barrel, with all the other scents of the food and cute crafty things around, in the midst of overwhelming amounts of Americana, opening the Macintosh Apple Yankee Candle jar just made me feel so happy that I almost cried. I sure do love living in America 🙂