When I sat down to write my life list I tried to think of all the things I wanted to feel in my lifetime and worldly was pretty high up on that list. I’ve always imagined myself as the kind of person who would one day travel the globe and experience all it had to offer. What better way to do that than visit the coolest, most amazing places ever: The Seven Wonders of the World. So I wrote it down and it became number twenty-two on my life list.
It wasn’t until my life list was finalized that I actually googled the Seven Wonders to see what they were and it turns out that we can’t really come to an agreement on that. There’s the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Modern World, the Natural World, the NEW Seven Wonders, the Underwater World, and I’m pretty sure that there’s an eighth wonder that nobody’s telling me about. I didn’t know which list to pick. Would you? How can you pick between the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Wall of China? Stonehenge and the Grand Canyon? The Colosseum and the Taj Mahal? So many choices! I didn’t want to give any of them up and I’m not going to. I decided to compile my own list as I go and the first place I wanted to go was the Grand Canyon.
I’ve actually been trying to go to the Grand Canyon for the past four years. It’s just so close that it seemed weird not to go. So every three-day weekend and every vacation I would suggest going there to my mom and she would agree, but we never actually went. Not a big surprise seeing as my family is not too big on trips, but still a bit crushing. It wasn’t until this year that I got a bit more serious in my attempts to go there (probably because it was an actual goal now) and I even planned a trip there with my friends in March, but it didn’t work out so I forgot about it for a while. It wasn’t until Colin’s birthday was over (when I usually start think about my birthday) that I started thinking about what I wanted to do for my own birthday. I wanted to do something big and what’s bigger than the Grand Canyon?
It was actually only supposed to be me and Colin going on the trip. I figured that since I was going to be transitioning into adulthood (are your 20’s still considered adulthood?) it would be appropriate if Colin and I went on our first trip alone as a couple. Isn’t that what adults do? Go on trips with their significant others. Then I told my mom about the trip and she mistakenly thought I was inviting her to go too and she got so excited. I just couldn’t let her down. So I reserved a room for four people instead of two. Maybe Colin and I will get to go on our couple’s trip next year. We could go to Vegas and visit all the awesome wax museums!
The Actual Trip
Fast forward to October 19th. We piled our stuff into the truck and picked up Colin, then we were on our way. The ride wasn’t as eventful as I thought it would be (Colin slept most of the way and my parents aren’t really talkers), but it was pretty pleasant. It was really cool to see the landscape transform from an arid desert to a green forest with actual trees. We even made a quick stop at a gas station with a Subway so that Colin and I could celebrate our 50 month anniversary. We’re cute like that. Quick Trivia: Colin and I have a tradition of going to Subway every month on the 19th. It’s our way of (inexpensively) celebrating our anniversary and making sure that we get a date at least once a month. Excuse me while I go make googly eyes at myself in the mirror. :3
It took us a lot longer than I though it would (almost 6 hours!), but we finally got to our hotel. Makes sense that it took so long since we kept getting lost. In fact, we almost went the opposite direction when we left the Subway. Thankfully Colin knows how to read a map. Anyway, we made it and checked in to our room. The room wasn’t very much to look at, but it had a fridge and a tv so it was pretty much perfect in my eyes. We chilled for a little bit, made a few sandwiches and watched Adventure Time (against my will might I add). Then we were off. We wanted to see the canyon on our first day there so we got on one of the shuttles. We got off at one of the stops, took in the beauty of the Canyon and then because we didn’t want to wait for the shuttle we walked (or in Colin’s case, hobbled) to the next stop. Let me just say that the maps that came with the guidebook they give you are NOT up to scale. The next stop seemed like it was five minutes away, but in reality it was more like a mile away. That’s a lot to someone who doesn’t hike or walk long distances (or in my case distances).
This was the point where I started to resent my parents (mostly my dad) just a little bit. The sun was starting to set (that looked amazing, btw), the temperature was starting to drop and we had no idea how often the shuttle would actually be picking anyone up. They said every 15 minutes, but it felt more like 15 hours. I’ve seen too many episodes of I Shouldn’t Be Alive to want to be outside after dark in the WILDERNESS. I was READY to go back to our hotel room. So we (Colin and I) took another quick look at the canyon and we went back to the bus stop. One bus passed, my parents were nowhere to be seen. Another bus, my mom is there, but my dad is too busy taking pictures. Finally we’re able to get on the third bus. RELIEF! I don’t care what anyone says, I’m still convinced that we almost died.
We went to bed early that night (not that we got any sleep, my parents snoooooore) so that we could have an early start the next day.
We woke up at 6 am, got ready, saw some cute deer and hopped back on the same shuttle. We saw the rest of the red route (which is the best route, btw) and perused the little gift shop at Hermit’s Rest. The guide book made it seem more like it was going to be a museum so I was a little disappointed, but we did pick up a few commemorative magnets so I guess that’s something. We made it back in our hotel room before the 11 am check out time. Then packed everything back into the truck, got some quick grub at the Pizza Pub (Pizza Pub!) and then hopped on another shuttle. My goal was seeing a much as we could before we had to leave. We saw most of the blue route and then transferred to the yellow route so we could go to the Yavapai Geology Museum before we had to go. The view there was AMAZING. We saw the Colorado River and the bridge to the Phantom Ranch. There were displays showing what types of rock were in what levels of the Canyon. It was all very educational.
After that we were pretty much pooped, Colin slept the whole shuttle ride back. It was time to say good-bye to the Grand Canyon. We weren’t there for very long, but I got the see the canyon from as many angles as I could so I’m happy. It wasn’t the most glamorous trip, but it was my trip and it sure made me feel worldly. Mission Accomplished. :D