Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weekend in Williams, AZ Part 2- Grand Canyon

Today we lazed around for part of the morning, then decided to go to the Williams visitor center to get info on things to do. Our agenda for this trip: go to the Grand Canyon, and go to the snow (for Jovie- she just wanted to sled, throw a few snowballs, and build a snowman). Once we realized we missed the train that goes to the Grand Canyon, we decided to drive the hour to get there. Not a bad drive. Not much to see, but good conversation. (This was the original Grand Canyon train that began the tourism boost in 1901)

This was our first look at the Grand Canyon from Yavapai Point on the South Rim. I'm not gonna lie. It took my breath away and just the sheer magnitude of what I saw made me cry. It was emo. In such a good way. Blake got choked up too, so I knew it wasn't just hormones. These are the moments where I will never understand people who don't believe in God. (Bright Angel Canyon- the one that looks almost vertical from front to back of picture)

We took a nice leisurely walk (per my doctors orders) along the trail (.7 mi.) and even found some snow to throw! It was perfect for snowballs!

 We did a lot of Jovie hand holding along this trail, not only because we love her dearly and adore that she loves this physical connection with us, but also because there were no guard rails along the trail, and a few steps off the path and you plunge 7,000 ft to your death. Not my (or my loved ones) ideal way to die. 

Just look at this place...breathtaking! And what a beautiful family of mine! 

Jovie's airplane was ready for takeoff! I love her imagination these days!

First time riding in a (shuttle) bus. Pretending to be sleeping- but was really exhausted from all the sightseeing and hiking around!

My favorite stop along the way from the Visitors Center out to Hermits Rest was Powell Point. Such a gorgeous view. Jovie makes a great Vanna White. 

I loved these long skinny inlets that look like Mesas. So cool!

The best part was when I freaked Blake out by taking Jovie out onto this ledge. It's all about trust. 
(Besides the fact that there was another landing about 6 feet below us- and I knew that. I just waited to tell Blake that AFTER he took the picture. He was sweating bullets. Jovie and I were free as birds)

"This place is HUGE"

I love this little angel of mine. And I love the fact that she is obsessed with (and very good at) climbing trees. 

Completely bushed. Couldn't have seen that coming. ;)

Seeing the Colorado River below was almost surreal. That's 7000 feet away. OVER 1.5 MILES below us.  

Finally made it to Hermits Rest. Got an ice cream sandwich at the snack bar, took a potty break, then back on the 40 minute shuttle back to the Visitors Center. 

 Along the way back we even saw 6 Bighorn sheep. That is so rare to see in the wild. And I just couldn't get over this spectacular view. Such an amazing adventure. Glad we were spontaneous and just did something great. I will NEVER forget this amazing day. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekend in Williams, AZ Part 1- the town & Bearizona

This was a much needed getaway for our little family. Why was it needed so bad? Well, we have been doing fertility treatments since last June and timing is (literally) everything!

I bought a Living Social deal last October for my birthday in November- but we just couldn't find a weekend to go. Then In-Vitro started and there were appointments after appointments, church calling commitments, and other, no trip...until now!!

So the trip included a two night stay at the Days Inn in Williams, AZ and 2 adult tickets (worth $20/each.) to Bearizona (sort of like a mini Yellowstone National Park! Not to mention being an hour drive to the Grand Canyon, which we have wanted to see for a long time!

So this post will be dedicated to the town of Williams, as well as  Bearizona- which was totally cool. So, we pulled in to Days Inn, and the first thing Jovie said was "SNOW!!!!" She was ecstatic. Even if it was probably a week old and melting. She and Blake had to have a snowball fight!

We drove through the town of Williams and I just loved this mural that we passed. It was just a sight.

Mini Yellowstone - AKA Bearizona
I loved this place. The cool thing was that you drive through the park in your car, and they give you a speaker box that you put on the dashboard that tells you all about the animals you are seeing and changes each time you go into a new exhibit with different animals. Pretty sweet. It was like having my own park ranger in the car. 

The American Bison- crowned in glory!

 The White Bison were really neat- never seen one of those before!

Rocky Mountain Goat- I asked this guy to say "cheese" and he did.

Alaskan Tundra Wolf- they were pretty content just laying in the middle of the road. 

America Burro- these guys were quite friendly.

Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep- such majestic animals.

Black Bear- a big mama out for a stroll.

This one we spotted hanging out on top of a den. So close! 

 Fort Bearizona was the walking section of the place- much like a zoo but a much smaller scale. I loved it because there were animals I had never seen in a zoo or even in the wild! This Red Fox was just gorgeous.

The rooster and hen were cracking me up. I guess you could say they were having a mohawk sort of day!

 Jovie is obsessed with pine cones. I guess she shares that tradition with my family. Every time we'd hike as a family- if a pine cone was spotted, a war was started. Who knew they would be so fun to throw?

Jovie getting all sorts of weird up in here. Evidently, she wanted to be an animal too.

They also had a petting zoo with goats, ponies, chickens, etc.

Jovie even found some snow to throw. It was hard dodging the "chocolate chip" and "peanut butter" looking snow. Lets just say the goats left their business any and everywhere.

Jovie "cock-a-doodle-doo-ing" back at the roosters

There were about 10 bear cubs inside this cave (you could go behind this cave and see from the inside angle and they were all snuggled up into a big pile. These three cubs decided to emerge for a stretch and some fresh air. 

Raccoon- these little guys were so cute, I could hardly stand it! So inquisitive. 

The Swift Fox- evidently it didn't feel the need to be swift. Crazy eyes!

Porcupine- This one must've been in a fight, cuz it wan't about to leave its perch at the top of the tree.

Canadian Lynx- it had unusually large paws. 

Badger- This crazy little guy wanted to just bask in the sun. 

The best part was going into the gift shop and seeing 8 week old brother and sister bear cubs in a little incubator. We were all enthralled! The girl had pink nail polish to identify it as female! 

Overall our day at Bearizona was a blast. We went through the park twice and through the walking area twice. And each time saw something new and exciting! Great place for a family and not crowded at all. That 55 degree weather didn't scare us off a bit.