16 May 2013

Arizona Trip: Final Days

After our Grand Canyon finale, we headed back to Flagstaff, AZ, to stop for the night before heading back to fly out of Phoenix on Tuesday. Little did we know, Flagstaff has the NICEST PEOPLE ON EARTH. Seriously, there is not a sourpuss in this town.

After an evening of relaxation and swimming at the Drury Inn, we visited the Lowell Observatory Tuesday morning. If you know me, you will understand that going there is a little like getting a piece of heaven in advance. We got a free tour through our KU Natural History Museum membership (reciprocity rocks!), and our tour guide was really pretty much my dream job.

She was funny, personable, a scientist who studies meteors, and she works at an observatory giving tours to people interested in science. Aggghhhhh. English major be damned, I was meant to be a science girl.

Anyhow, here's a bit of that.

Checking out the grounds. Yeah, these people pretty much work (and some of them live)
in a forest at the top of the hill in Flagstaff.

Percival Lowell Mausoleum. In the shape of a telescopic dome. Mark it. 

Max, listening to the presentation.

Family picture with the Clark Refractor. Cool.

Space glove. Cool.

Tire from a real space shuttle. 

Captain Max

First Lt. Susan. 
The tour could've only been better if Neil deGrasse Tyson had shown up. Anyhow, if the days comes when you try to call or message me, and I cannot be found, it may be because I've moved to Flagstaff to work here. A girl can dream, right??

Following our short sweet time at Lowell, we headed back down into the city to see the train depot. Yep, more trains. This depot is where the Southwest Chief, via Amtrak  will deposit you if you choose the scenic route out west. It goes on to LA, but again, if I disappear, I may be on the Chief on my way to Flagstaff.

Finally, we began to head back to Phoenix. After getting in, we stopped at the Mesa Natural History Museum to check out the dinosaur exhibit. I'm sure it was cool. Max backed out after the exhibit started growling and snarling at him. If there is one thing this kiddo does not like, it is loud noise. So, we looked at everything else. Pretty nice museum, really.

Panning for gold. Guess who liked that best? 


Brushing off the brush to find fossils!

This is what Paul's dreams look like. ;-) 
After that museum, we got our goods packed and organized, then headed out for a final meal with Beka and Steven. Love them. And Max really, really loves Beka. ;-)

Sly dog. Good thing she's married already. 

And oh yeah, there was Batman at the restaurant.
And Steven acting like a natural father. Max was peeking over the rail watching some roadwork.
Pretty sure we coulda just left him, and he'd have been fine!


The next day was filled with car returns, flights, waiting, flights, and what not.

 We got home safely and soundly. And I'm not sure Max will be the same. We had a LOT of adventures. Can't wait to show him more of this crazy world.

06 May 2013

Arizona Trip Day 6: Grand Canyon!

After leaving Sedona early Monday morning, we drove the "back way" near Flagstaff and over to Williams, AZ. We thought Max would at least like to see where the Grand Canyon Railroad left from, and we could catch a bite before heading  up to the canyon itself.

Max was thrilled to see the steam engine, though the wind that day was overpowering.
Grand Canyon steam engine at the Williams station.
Rail fan but not a wind fan.
Got to catch a real train going by before we left.
 Then we headed up to the canyon's main south rim entrance. I always find this drive interesting for the mere fact that one would simply have no idea what he was going to come upon leading up road to the canyon. The landscape gives no indication that a gaping gorge is about to open up before him.

And it is a difficult expanse to comprehend. Particularly for a four-year-old. He played along with all of our walking a pictures, however. Good kid, that Max!

Paul and Max, trying to make me nervous by posing next to the edge.

Sassy canyon Max.

Explorer Max.
Not-looking-at-the-camera-again Max.

Colorado River cutting through.
Playing-with-dad's-face Max

Here is the sequence of trying to get a picture of Max on a trail with the canyon in the background. Hmm.

That kid.

Here we are trying for a family picture. A nice man finely volunteered to take a picture so we didn't have to do a selfie. :-)

It was a good trip, even if pretty cold. After touring, we drove back down to Flagstaff and enjoyed a relaxing night eating in and swimming at the hotel. The journey was beginning to end.