It’s spring break in these parts, and we’ve embarked on a trip to sunnier parts. Namely, Arizona. Our first night we stayed in Page, near Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam. There were no more spots available for tours when we were there in the afternoon, so we decided to reserve spots on the first tour the next morning. Which happened to be Megan’s 14th Birthday!
So, bright and early at 8:15, we were there for our dam tour. I had the kids say “Dam tour” as much as possible while we were there, because it cracked me up. I know, I’m evil. We had an interesting tour of the dam, and were awed by the engineering of it all. Those turbines are enormous. Did you know that 25% of the Nation’s food is grown from water from the Colorado river? Wow. The kids enjoyed earning their junior ranger badges,– which is much easier to earn than the Jr. Ranger badge at Yellowstone, by the way– and enjoyed the tour. We went down, down, down in the elevator (the second longest elevator ride in the country), and then saw the interesting innards of the power generating facility. Wow! At the end of the tour, while we were in the echo-y tunnel, the nice tour guide said, “This is the birthday part of the tour, where we will all sing Happy Birthday to MEGAN.” So we all sang to Megan in the echo tunnel at the dam. I tell you, it’s the best DAM birthday ever!
After the dam tour, we made our way to the Grand Canyon for the day. We went to the old watch tower (where John promptly fell down and hurt his elbow, launching his first tantrum of the day), then later worked on the junior ranger badges for the Grand Canyon. We went for walks, looked for animals (big fat squirrels and even a HUGE elk!), took lots and lots of pictures, and generally enjoyed the day. Except that it was cold. It’s April, and it’s Arizona, but I guess at 7000 feet it’s not that warm in the spring. After our Ranger led presentation on geology and the history of the grand canyon, we’d had about enough for the day. The wind was strong, and our patience was getting short. We decided we had had about enough of Nature for the day, so we headed to Flagstaff to our hotel.
When I was booking hotels, I waited until the last minute, and it took me a while to figure out WHERE to stay. If you put in “Grand Canyon” you get varied locations anywhere from Page, to Tuba to Flagstaff. I decided to do Page the first night and then Flagstaff the second night, since we are making our way South. Our hotel in Flagstaff would not qualify as a winner. Since it seemed quite Bates Motel-ish, I was a little worried for our lives. I reserved this off brand hotel because I could get three double beds and didn’t have to pay for a suite to get them. Then I wouldn’t be having three kids sleeping on the floor like we sometimes do. (We’ve been spoiled by traveling with my parents recently. They always will put two kids in their room so then I don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to house us all.) But the room was spacious enough, even if it was very old. But the kicker came when I turned on the “heat” trying to warm up the room. The little heat/ac unit in the corner just blew COLD air. No hot air could be found. It was FREEZING! The windows were old and didn’t close all the way, either. I called the front desk and told them it was really cold in our room and could I please get three extra blankets, and she said (in her Indian accent), “You come lobby?” Sure. I’ll venture out in the cold and get the blankets.
We did survive our cold night, and were none to happy about getting out of bed in the morning, I’ll tell you. Luckily we had places to go and didn’t need to hang out in the motel for very long. I took a quick shower, thankful that I always pack shampoo, since there was none here, and dried as quickly as possible.
“Breakfast” consisted of bread, a toaster, and some mini hostess donuts. Seriously. Next time I’ll read more of the reviews, and perhaps look harder when I’m searching for a hotel.
But for Megan, it will surely be a birthday to be remembered! I’ll get some pictures up later–stay tuned!