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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One Grand Adventure

One great bonus of having to move around a lot is being able to explore different parts of the country that you probably wouldn't get to see otherwise. So this past weekend we decided to take a mini vacation to go explore some of the wonderful places around us. We decided to check out the Grand Canyon and stay in Flagstaff for the weekend.

Both of us had been to the Grand Canyon before when we were little, but we were still really excited to see it again. I personally felt like I would appreciate its beauty more now that I was older. Last time I visited, I remember being impressed for about 10 minutes then just bored because it was the same "hole in the ground" for the rest of the day. 

So we booked our hotel, packed an overnight bag for ourselves and Tifa (did I mention this was also our first vacation with her??) and off we went! 

She was very excited for our adventure! 

Family all ready to go! 

On the way there we passed signs for Montezuma's Castle. I had remembered my Grandma mentioning it was a cool landmark to see, plus Tifa needed to let off some steam, so we decided to stop there as opposed to at a rest stop. If you are ever down in Arizona (and/or just a huge history buff like myself), Montezuma's Castle is definitely worth seeing. Here is a link to the National Park Service's website so you can read more about the castle and it's history if you are interested :)

Such an amazing sight to see. 
Wish they still allowed people to go up into the castle! :(


Tifa wanted to be included in the photos. 

Essentially that is Montezuma's Castle. There are other, smaller caves carved into the hill that were used for storage and spiritual activities, but that's about it. It is a quick little walk around, all paved with spots to sit and enjoy the view. There is also an area where you can sit and interact with a ranger to learn more about the castle and the people that lived in it. 

Or you can just press a button and have a recording tell you all about it ;)

Anyway, if you are driving through the area I would strongly recommend stopping here for a rest stop and a chance to stretch your legs. That way you can take care of yourself, get a quick history lesson, and some awesome pictures! 

After our quick pit stop we hit the road again to continue on our way to the Grand Canyon. As we got closer we realized we were driving into a rain storm. According to the weather forecast there was a chance of thunderstorms, but oh my goodness were there thunderstorms!! 

Driving to the Grand Canyon.. AKA right into the storm!

So when we finally got to the canyon we arrived right in the middle of a HUGE storm, complete with lightening, thunder, and hail! We hid in the car for a while then just had to take sweet Tifa out to go potty. After she did her thing (TMI?) we ran in the visitors center to wait out the rest of the rain. While inside we met an adorable couple from Holland, they were doing a month long trip along the west coast of the US. They were so sweet, and made waiting for the storm to pass so much fun! 

So then the rain stopped and we dashed outside to enjoy the beautiful view!! The Grand Canyon is so much more beautiful that I remembered it being. The pictures we took do not do it justice. For whatever reason we could not drive around the whole canyon, so we walked some of the way and just enjoyed the parts we got to see. We also learned that Tifa LOVES jumping and playing in puddles. Can you say cute?? I'm thinking she was made to be an Oregon dog ;) Hopefully she will get to play in more puddles soon.. but I digress! 

We stayed at the canyon until it started getting dark, then made our way to Flagstaff. The next day it was raining again in town so we didn't do much exploring, but maybe another time! We would prefer to go back once we have some bikes anyway! :) Then we started on the journey home, only to get stuck driving in crazy intense thunderstorms and traffic. But we made it home safe and sound, then enjoyed a relaxing Sunday together. 

All in all it was an awesome trip. Tifa was the ultimate dream puppy, and we enjoyed our time together exploring nature! Plus Thomas was SUPER snuggly when we got home :P That always helps! Here are some pictures of our time at the canyon, and some cute puppy shots as well! :)

First picture :)

Such a beautiful view.

I was so scared in this picture... 

Our fearless fur ball. 

Cute :)

Puddle lover.. Wish we would have recorded her playing in them. 

On the drive to our hotel. She was so sleepy from her day of fun! 


  1. Aww, looks like you had a great time! I wish you had done some exploring in Flagstaff, but I totally understand the rain making it not fun. Yuck. Now you can wait till we can all go together!!!

    1. I was really excited to explore Flagstaff, but the rain did make it no fun. It will be more fun to all go together anyways! ;)