They don't call it 'grand' for nothing...

Trip Start Sep 16, 2011
Trip End Nov 20, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We are happy to wake up in Flagstaff knowing the canyon is waiting for us today.

We have a spot of breakfast and Elwood makes some friends in the way only a 3 year old with messy hair, ill fitting pyjamas, and carrying 'buzz light year' and ‘woody the cowboy’ can. Noah and I both feel shattered (from what?, we don’t know).  The president’s private jet comes on TV at breakfast and Elwood asks who’s plane that is.   Noah answers that it is the president of Australia’s, absent-mindedly, before correcting himself and saying America.  Too late, Elwood considers president of Australia and says ‘Is that Steve Irwin’s plane?’ What follows is a whispered and confused conversation about who the president is, and of what country, and generally how great Steve Irwin is.  Elwood was not happy about it being Barack Obama – as he said he couldn’t say it (by the way, this is nonsense).  He is just a massive fan of Steve Irwin.

Elwood does not realise that Steve Irwin has passed away.  Elwood was only about 18 months old when Steve Irwin came on his radar and Elwood was taken with him straight away (and has been known to push his Steve Irwin doll around in a push chair).  So, that is a tricky conversation we need to tackle soon.  At the same time we need to tackle the Elvis issue.  This is, Elwood still holds a grudge that Elvis was not home when we went to Graceland last year.  He tells everyone that Elvis was asleep and did not come down stairs...

So, after breakfast we have a dip in the pool and then we are canyon bound.  The journey is absolutely beautiful.  Lots of forest (which looks like bush), and then vast plains, and then the snow capped mountains which we are getting used to, but never tire of looking at.   We are surprised to read that we are at 8,000 feet elevation, as neither of us remember going up any hills.  Weird.

We arrive at the Grand Canyon and it is beautiful.  So, so many people but there is a weird sense of quiet when you are looking over the canyon. It is surprisingly calm, despite the chaos which is everywhere.  People jostling for the best photos and looking unimpressed when people inevitably walk into the frame.

In a place which is renowned for it’s rock – the boy who likes to climb thinks this is one big rock climbing fest.  Noah and I have our hearts in our mouth and try not to come across like over anxious parents whilst very much being over anxious parents.  Elwood see’s someone climbing up onto a massive rock in the distance and says to Noah, ‘How cool is that boy, I’m going to do that’.  We try and steer him away from anything too dangerous, which pretty much rules out most things, other than eating a sandwich.  But woody just wants to climb the rocks. 

We call it the day with mum and son feeling tense, retire to our hotel, and Elwood and I promptly fall asleep.  We had both been feeling under the weather, and sleep was about all we could manage after the canyon.

We woke up later, feeling much perkier.  The TV in this hotel room is in a cupboard.  Elwood noticed the lack of TV and he also noticed the remote control, so he built a TV out of pillows for him and his toys to watch.  He briefly watched his pillow TV.  (Elwood has also been known to build a TV on the beach out of sand, and actually sit and watch it!)

We then head out to a place called ‘We cook pizza and pasta’ – and that is exactly what they do.  We, in turn, ate pizza and pasta.  It was very good.

Back at the hotel, more playing, and Elwood starts to feel poorly again.  We are keeping fingers crossed that he ‘mends’ overnight as we have another canyon jaunt planned for tomorrow.

Good night from the Grand Canyon, Arizona.  As Elwood would say, ‘how cool is that?’
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