Published: October 27th 2012October 27th 2012
The day we left Vegas, we made it almost all the way to the Grand Canyon. Instead of going in during the evening time, we stopped at a pretty much scary motel about an hour outside the park. The town where Motel Route 66 was located was pretty cute- like something out of an old Western. Except that it had a Starbucks. However, the motel itself was to date the sketchiest place we had stayed. Upon arrival, around 5pm, Rob went to sleep and didn’t wake up until the morning. Little guy was just tuckered out.
The room was teeny-tiny-tony, with a bathroom the size of that on an airplane. Every time I went in there, I felt like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy
trying to maneuver around unsuccessfully. Additionally, the room was actually 2 rooms, with an also tiny other bedroom connected to the main part. The other bedroom was just white walls and a bed, with no lights. There was a lamp, but no plug- so it was really just for show. I had to download a Night Light app on my phone just to make it through the night. I digress.
The next morning we packed
Ain't it grand.
up and headed to the park (thankfully, we made it through the night). Meow I had been to the Grand Canyon as a kid, when my family all went on donkey rides and left me alone with Grandma, but I wanted to see it as an adult. I actually remember that the first time we went to the GC, I was wearing a fruit on fruit shorts and t-shirt combo. Precious. I miss that outfit. OK moving on. We drove into the park near the south rim, and really just moseyed around a bit.
The walk around was really beautiful. We saw many different overlooks, and could see the river a’runnin’ in the bottom of the canyon. At first, we thought that some hiking was in order, but we had kind of a long drive into Tempe. Plus, it was shockingly cold and we were unprepared for the weather. Good news: we snapped some memorable pics. Sad news: Rob was out of memory on his phone and his camera battery was dead, so he had to use my little blue camera for his artistic shots. It was OK though, because his photography skills came through in the clutch.
We arrived in Tempe around nightfall, where we were lucky enough to stay with a camp friend, Colleen. The gang hung out a while, and I went to a super hipster coffee shop to get my work done. The music in this joint was really loud and scary, but thanks to my 80s nerd glasses, I was able to somewhat fit in. When I got back to the house, we just chilled for a bit round the fire, and then set up our air mattresses in their kitchen. Or maybe dining room. That night, it was our campsite. We set up our beds just as we would inside the tent, to make it feel more authentic.
The next day, we went all over Tempe trying to find a coffee shop to get some work done. It was kind of fun walking around Tempe in general: the place where it all began in old camping class (this is where my parents met during their educational times at ASU- funny story: we never once went camping as a family when we were kids. But being in Tempe on a camping-ish trip really gave me the Circle of Life feeling, eh). After
zero Starbucks had seating, we ended up back to the weird coffee shop to get some more work done. Actually, the music was too loud for Abigail, so she opted to read in the car in the parking lot. While at the shop, I was picked up by my Uncle Al for some catching up. He recently-ish moved to Phoenix from Chicago, so we got to spend the afternoon together. Just lovely.
First we went to a deli in Tempe. It had been way too long since I had eaten real Jew food, so I indulged in a Rueben and matzo ball soup. It was dece, but not as good as my mama’s. After chit-chatting for a bit, Uncle Al took me to downtown Scottsdale. It was just chock full of little cutesy shops and other Southhwesty looking establishments. At the end of a little walk, we went to the Sugar Bowl, an old ice cream shop where my parents used to go when they were in college at ASU. The place was so cute, with light pink and white everything, and has allegedly not been redesigned since it opened.
Uncle Al ordered an enormous sundae or parfait
or something delicious-looking, and I ate a banana split with 3 different kinds of ice cream and strawberries and whipped cream and maybe some caramel. Even though I didn’t finish it, I’m pretty sure that eating a banana split is equivalent to eating a salad as it has a fruit base. It’s really just potassium and calcium- healthy ingredients for a healthy lifestyle.
After we finished our dairy delights, Uncle Al dropped me back at the house. The gang was sitting around chillin, so I got out my laptop to also work on the blog or homework… I really can’t remember at this point. Anyhoo, we were all sitting in silence getting work done, when an amazing event took place.
Attached to Colleen’s house is another little apartment in the back yard. The girl who lives there is a clarinetist, and we were lucky enough to wake up to her playing that morning (I’m just kidding. We weren’t lucky. It pretty much sucked). We heard (and witnessed) that she normally just plays scales. However, that afternoon, she had something else in mind. First we heard some friends walk over, and then they all began playing together. It was the most magical song in the world: the Super Mario Bros Nintendo theme music. We were all taken aback at first, and it turned out to make a wonderful backdrop to our once-silent work setting. As if we think it couldn’t get better, the group next played the underwater music. Totally and completely winning. If only I still owned my Nintendo set.
So that night, we drove to Barnes and Noble to plan the rest of our trip and try to get work done. We didn’t get work done, but I did bite Rob’s arm in the parking lot. I think he deserved it. After the bookstore, we went back to the house, played some cards, and then turned in for the evening.
In the morning, we ate some delicious pancakes and eggs, and then headed for New Mexico. P.S. the car still smells like pee.