The last roadtrip update was of our time in Yosemite. From there, we spent a few days with friends in San Luis Obispo (such a fun time for the kids and grown-ups! See a few photos here and here). Next, we drove to Malibu and spent a day in Hollywood doing the Hollywood things like seeing the stars on the sidewalk, visiting the Natural History Museum (so cool!), and we even stopped off at the university where Ryan and I met to show the kids around.
We left California and drove through Las Vegas and on to Hoover Dam for a quick stop.
Then continued our journey into Arizona to The Grand Canyon. This was a first for all of us and words can’t describe what a cool experience walking up to the edge of the canyon is for the first time.
We arrived just in time to look over the edge, facetime with my parents and head to El Tovar for our dinner reservations.
A friend of ours from home used to work at the hotel and told us months ago that we needed to do dinner at the restaurant. We had no idea how nice it was! It was such a fun way to spend our first night at the Grand Canyon – eating fancy food and using our best manners and getting a front row seat at the gorgeous sunset.
Day two was planned as a hiking day. We walked into the park and did the obligatory sit-on-the-sign picture:
Funny story: there was a group of tourists from Taiwan who were pretty smitten with our very American-looking children and they wanted photos with them. This has now happened to us twice on the trip :)
We walked to Mather Point, which is a great overlook where you can see for miles.
And then we did something spontaneous and so worthwhile and hopped on a helicopter tour over the canyon.
It was amazing.
The views from the air were truly impressive and it was such a cool way to experience the Grand Canyon. We even got to see a rare California Condor (here’s some interesting facts, if you’re into animal extinction-turned survival stories)!
The Grand Canyon is pretty incredible. It is so big. So hard to photograph to really show its scale. The canyon goes down nearly one mile and covers more area than the entire state of Delaware. It’s so big. I especially loved seeing where the Little Colorado River feeds into the Colorado River (see the lighter aqua blue above? That’s the little colorado), and the variation in colors on the canyon walls.
Our whole time in The Grand Canyon felt like a once-in-a lifetime experience. The sunset. Our dinner out. The views. The helicopter ride. I think this will be seared in the kids’ minds for forever.