14 August 2012

California & Grand Canyon Adventures, Part 3, Day 2

Let's get going onto Day 2 of our vacation to California and the Grand Canyon.  After a half decent continental breakfast in Lake Havasu, we headed off the the Grand Canyon.  About 4 hours later we arrived to our destination.

When we first arrived, we did an initial drive around to check out the South Rim and Grand Canyon Village. We parked near El Tovar (planning on having dinner there later) and walked along by far the most crowded part of the rim trail.  It was like tour guide central all up in there.  We wedged ourselves through the tourists and made our way to a couple of amazingly old buildings (early 1900's) that seemed to be barely hanging on to the end of the cliff - Mary Colter's Lookout Studio and Kolb Studio.  

After a few hours of ooo'ing and aahh'ing, we were hot, hungry, and tired so we checked went to El Tovar for noms.  It was a pretty neat lodge atmosphere with the restaurant and pub nearest to the edge.  We actually didn't even realize the pub served food AND you could sit outside until after we ate in the restaurant.  The restaurant was pretty nice, but it was so gorgeous out, we would have definitely opted for a smaller menu to sit outside.  We were seated near one the huge windows, which made our experience really nice.  Below was our view. 
Our food was decent, it was a lot of food, and knowing we'd be walking around and camping and driving a lot, it was really nice to have a sit down, relaxing, quiet meal.
 We then checked out the area near The Grand Canyon Visitors Center.  Lots of sitting around going "oooooh" and "aaaahh", and that was totally okay.  I could sit for days there.  The only thing that would make it better would be to have a hammock to lay on.
 It was getting late, so we headed to check into Mather Campground and setup so we could go watch the sun set at the rim.
Something that we heard from nearly everyone we knew was how amazing sunsets at the Canyon are.  It was pretty hazy later in the afternoon, so although it was very awesome and beautiful...I think the haze covered up some of the colors.  And please, don't get me wrong...it seriously was so freaking amazing.
 Aaron has been obsessed so disciplined in teaching himself Kanji (漢字)1.
He did put his phone down long enough to watch the sunset with me.
 It was amazing how hot it was during the day (approx. 90°F) and how cool it got as soon as the sun set (approx. 40°F).
I'll be continuing this California & Arizona series, but in the meantime, check out Part 1 and Part 2!

1 Kanji (漢字):  Chinese characters used in modern Japanese writing.  Hiragana and katakana are also used.  There are 5-10 thousand Kanji characters, and Aaron is focusing on learning the basic 1,000, which, if successful (and I have no doubt), he should be able to read things like menus, signs and newspapers when we arrive in Japan.

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