It was late November 2016, my husband’s Mom reached out to us and wanted us to join her on vacation. We were to fly out and meet them at Vegas to spend the night, spend some time in Vegas and then hit up the Canyon later on that week.
Day 1 of our Trip:
We landed early, around 9 and started off. We hit up each hotel along the north strip to check out the hotel lobbies (my husband and his mother BOTH are hospitality management so this was a must). We stopped to sleep at the Paris Hotel in Vegas with a view of the Bellagio Fountain! Exhausted we retired to our hotel room AFTER we check out the FANCY Taco Bell. If you haven’t heard about the craze, you can check out their site here. LET ME TELL YOU ITS AMAZING.
Those tasty starburst flavored icy’s? You can add any type of alcohol you can dream up. Who could honestly want more in life. (Orange Starburst + Rum)
Day 2 of our Trip:
Next morning we checked out even more hotels and took in all of the sights. We drove further down in Vegas to Laughlin, Nevada staying at the Aquarius over night. We saw a TERRIBLE comedy show, ate at the In’N Out Burger and we saw live music on the pier. It was such an incredible night, walking along the water and hiking through the desert! (Photo below) I love Nevada! SO MUCH HIKING and we honestly could not ask for better weather.
Day 3 of our Trip:
We started driving. The actual goal this trip? I was supposed to see snow for the very first time. I’ve lived in Florida all of my life, coming for a poor family, I was never able to travel. My mother in law has been on a mission to try to fix this. (We are going on a cruise together in February to Haiti!!)
My mother-in-law drove us to the top of a mountain in Arizona (the “Snow Bowl”) filled me up with cocoa and tucked me into about five layers of clothes. She then sent me off to play in the snow. (In all honestly, I only married my husband for his mother. She’s incredible). I played in the snow and fell in love. I never though I would love the cold! BUT OMG SNOW.
We go back into our car and drove to the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. After checking into our cabin, we walked around the rim during sunset and the snow was just starting to come down. We slept peacefully (but freezing) in our cabin and woke early the next morning. I knew from the start of the trip, I REALLY REALLY wanted to hike a part of the Bright Angel Trail. The snow was getting thicker and thicker, we loaded up on cocoa and headed down the trail. Even if you are not a hiker, step just a few feet down into the trail and you run into your first small tunnel. The trail is carved into the side of the canyon, some parts you actually walk through these small tunnels (making for a very CUTE Instagram spot)
The sun started to come up, we were surrounded by wildlife and it was the most incredible experience of my life. We sat there for a while, watching the snow come down and the sun fighting to rise behind it.We turned back and decided to walk the rest of the rim near the touristy side, since the snow was so thick it was unsafe to continue hiking the trail. We walked the entire length the South Rim, along all of the museums and cafes (just about 20-25 miles).
Exhausted. We retired at the pizza shop bar next to our cabin and re-told our adventures to my husband’s Mom. I probably will never forget this moment. Standing on a ledge, covered in snow, completely still.
This is what travel is about – having these moments where you feel grounded and small.
Day 4 of our Trip:
The next morning we woke up early again. Walked through the blizzard to the State Park’s transportation (bus service). We wanted to take the bus up on a tour of the canyon. Little to our knowledge, the bus service closed because of the snow storm and we turned back around. We ended up sitting in this small wooden cafe at the edge of the canyon sipping on home brewed coffees.
At least we got to experience one of the most rare weather occurrences in the Grand Canyon; a full blizzard. I asked to see snow and BOY did my mother in law deliver.
Later in the day we made our way back to Vegas for the night, to catch our flight the next morning. Have you ever seen Hoover Dam? WELL STOP AND SEE IT! $12 for parking and it was NEAT. Don’t pay for the tour (it’s kind of scam), instead walk around the damn and enjoy all of the sights! They do have a small cafe here as well, if you are looking for a place to stop for lunch!
What’s really neat? Walk your way to the middle and you can stand in two different time zones at once! (OK – maybe it’s not that exciting. But my husband got a kick out of it)
We walked the north side of the Vegas strip (another 15+ miles) and I have honestly never slept so hard in my life.
Exhausted. We caught our flight back home and have been relieving the trip ever since. Overall we walked close to 50 miles, we had tons of blisters, but honestly it was the most incredible trip of my life. Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon before? I’d love to see your photos below!
To end this: here’s a cute picture of a friend I made on my trip. OH! And if you are looking for a more recent #TRIPINSPIRATION check out my weekend in D.C here or our trip to Gatlinburg! Happy Thursday!!