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Trip Report Grand Canyon and more with kids -- a trip report

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We just got back from eight days in Arizona and New Mexico -- what a great trip. We drove over 2100 miles total and stayed in four different hotels/motels/condos. This was hubby (age 45), me (43), and our 13-year-old boy/girl twins.

Day One: nothing too interesting today...drove to Albuquerque. Stayed in a Hampton Inn free on points. The kids were bummed because it was 65 degrees and raining hard, so it was a little cold in the outdoor pool.

Day Two: Drove to the Grand Canyon. On the way, we stopped at the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. This was actually more interesting than I thought it would be. We skipped the visitors center to save time though and just did two short hikes.
We went in the GC through the eastern entrance, which had almost no line to get in. Then we drove along toward the village, stopping at all the points for pictures. What can I say about the view? Amazing and something everyone should see!! These viewpoints were not particularly crowded (and this was the last week of July). The kids loved hearing all the different languages...based on what we heard and saw, the tourists seemed to be almost 50% foreigners. It seemed that we especially heard a lot of German and Japanese.
We stayed at the Yavapai Lodge for three nights. I know others just insist that you must stay right at the rim, but Yavapai was great for us. There was plentiful parking, and it was only a short walk to the grocery store, shuttle bus, and cafe.
By the way, the shuttle buses worked well for us. We took them several times. At times, we had to wait quite a while for one (because of long lines of people), but this was not a problem.
Dinner that night was at the Yavapai Canyon Cafe. Loved all the choices here...maybe it isn't gourmet cuisine, but it suited us fine. Pot roast, fried chicken, hamburgers, etc. We ate here three times during our stay. Couldn't beat the convenience!
More to follow later...

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