Part 2: Page, Arizona
Joel: The second part of our trip was Page, AZ. Page is very near the Utah border. In fact, we drove very briefly to Utah when we were first exploring the area. We are staying in a pretty sweet VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner). The house is huge and has a sun room that overlooks Lake Powell and the dam. The dam provides local businesses here with funny, but overused, business names. For example, "The dam deli", "The dam plaza", etc. The house is also right up against a golf course with a nice trail for walking/running, which I've done almost everyday since being here. Here is the view from the sun room.
One of the first things we did in Page was go see Horseshoe Bend, which is a bend in the Colorado river that looks like a horseshoe. If you google "Horseshoe bend" and look at the images, you'll probably find that you've actually seen pictures of horseshoe bend before.
Wendy: Since Horseshoe Bend has no railings and it's a 1000 foot drop straight down, the entire edge is one, big "nope spot." Kendra, with complete disregard to her mother's and my anxiety levels, sat on the edge for some pictures. This is where we got our second, full-group shot. I wish I had taken a photo of the trail to get there. It was short, but I'm not kidding when I say it was "uphill both ways.". Big climb up from the parking lot, then down to the rim, then back up from the rim, and down to the parking lot.
Joel: Along those same lines, google "Antelope Canyon". This is where we went the second day. Apparently, Microsoft uses a popular image from Antelope Canyon as a default screen saver. We learned from the tour guide (you can only see Antelope Canyon with a tour guide) that the image was sold to Microsoft for 1.6 million dollars. The canyon walls are shaped by the running water that comes through when the dry river floods. This happens fairly often, and it can be very dangerous to anyone in the canyon. That's why they close the canyon when in rains, even if the rainfall is a few miles away. The canyon was, at times, very narrow and cold. We were constantly being told to press up against the walls so a group that was leaving could pass. We learned that the fine for writing anything on the walls of the canyon is $5,000.
The last thing we did in Page was a boat ride on Lake Powell. There were 31 people on our boat and the whole adventure took about an hour. We went out on the big part of the lake, then sailed through one of the 96 canyons. The canyon was narrow and people were kayaking and using their jet skis right next to our boat! Apparently, the lake is only filled up 46% of the way right now, and when it's totally full, the water comes most of the way up the canyon walls. The black streaks on the side of the canyon walls (shown in the picture below) are created by waterfalls. On our way back into the Marina, we saw some house boats. Our tour guide told us they start at $900.00/day to rent. Some had jet skis attached, 2 - 6 bedrooms, living space, hot tubs, pools, and more. One day I'll own one... right after I switch my career path!
For our last evening in Page we played many games of dominoes, and yes, we broke into the "groceries" we picked up before the trip began. :-) Tomorrow...Sedona!
Event: 2017 Arizona mini-vacation
Culprits: Joel, Wendy, Pat, Chelsea, Linda, Wayne, Jaimie, Kendra, Ella (dog)
I was finally able to take some time off this month! Our plans are to go to the Grand Canyon (I've lived in Arizona for almost 20 years and have never seen it!), Page (near the Utah border), and Sedona.
Part 1: The Grand Canyon
Joel: We left Tucson early to go pick up Wendy's mom from the airport in Phoenix. After picking her up we stayed in Phoenix and we all went to this great brunch place called Fame (pronounced fah-mey... it's french). I judge breakfast places by their mimosas, and this one had a great one. Not as good as my favorite, Prep and Pastry, but pretty darn close. Let's just say it did the job and I didn't get stuck with the driving... at least at first.
On the second day, we were able to see more of the canyon, but it was freezing outside. At times it snowed and the wind was pretty intense. Still, it was the Grand Canyon, so we forged on. At the end of the day we had dinner at the El Tavor dining room. It was super fancy and super expensive, but also super good. I ate quail for the first time. Now when I see quail on the road, I'll think of how delicious they taste with a balsamic glaze and a side of baby carrots. :-)
We bothered one other tourist long enough to get this one-and-only, whole-group shot at the grand canyon. L to R: Jaimie (cousin), Joel, Kendra (cousin), me!, Chelsea (daughter), Pat (mom), Uncle Wayne, and Aunt Linda (mom's sister).