Have I really not written since August? Well, gosh. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess. Perhaps I should start by getting caught up.
In September, S & I took my parental units on a trip Out West. So here's the deal. My Dad turned 80 this year, and my Mom turned 75. I really wanted to do something to celebrate their milestones. It had been a while since we'd done a trip together (actually, the last time I did any significant travel with my parents was in 1995 when I took them on a road trip to New England and Quebec). Anyway, it was time.
We asked them where they wanted to go. At first, they said Maine. But something kept bugging me: I knew that Dad had never been west of El Paso, Texas. It took some convincing since Dad doesn't like to fly, but finally, he agreed to my proposal. We flew out to Las Vegas, then rented a car and spent a week on the road. Our first major stop was the Grand Canyon in Arizona. (Our first actual stop was Hoover Dam, but we were only there for about an hour.)
I wish you could've seen the look on their faces when they saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. We arrived at the South Rim a few minutes before sunset, so they got a peek of its largeness before the explosion of colors took place. Mom just stopped a few feet away from the railing, her mouth agape. It was much bigger than she ever expected, she said.
Dad couldn't quite make himself get too close. He has vertigo and I think his head must have been spinning just walking on the sidewalk with the huge canyon at his side.
S & I returned early the next morning with the hopes of seeing the sun rise over the canyon. Lucky us! This photo was taken just moments after. We were really surprised with the number of people who joined us. Lots of Japanese tourists, and plenty of German speakers, as well! A very international experience.
Later that same day we returned with Mom and Dad. We drove to the east side of the canyon, where we had a completely different view . . . it's amazing how the geography and flora are so different just a few miles away. We had dinner at El Tovar and watched the sunset again, and then we said goodbye to the Grand Canyon.
I'll reveal our next major stop in my next post.