All your eggs in one basket, depend on one week out of 52 for dear life, a small cramped room with space for 3 in which you cram 5, a five hour airplane journey and six hour delay, no vegetables or fruit for significant periods of time and an overload of sugar, a limited supply of toys and no really safe free running and energy release zones, no access to a working toilet for at least four or five hour intervals, no phone reception and several hundred $$$ down?????
The average family holiday!
Okay, but let's be totally honest, it wasn't a great start, the day due to leave, we were hit by a Nor'Easter leaving us 3 inches, falling snow and a dismal forecast for the next 24, but we are seasoned travellers, we improvise, we got a cheap motel room near the airport the night before determined that we would travel to hotter climes, even if it killed us........and it damn near did! Bundled wee bairns into the car for a three hour trip to said motel, then tried to find food, which one would think would be easy in the 21st century in NYC near the airport.........
So of the necessities for human comfort we had warmth so far, food was a comin' courtesy of Mr Pizza man (who obviously had to get his bow and arrow and go out and shoot the bastard pizza!) and sleep would be in the making (almost! Suffice to say that, after a very late pizza arrival and rubber sheets on everyones bed, indigestion and an accute awareness as to how many times each person rolled over in the night was actually more true.)
Moan moan moan moan moan then...........
It is a little like childbirth I think.........alllllrrriiiiggghht! so I HAVE to make a corrolation, but bear with me! You know before you have kids, everyone claims to prepare you? You think life will continue, you have taken the classes, seen the pictures, you have a high pain threshold then......
It is nothing LIKE the pictures, it blows your breath away, you know it is similar to the pictures but nothing, nothing prepares you for the reality. This was a view that no picture or video that we shot will ever really do it justice. The actual visual connection was just incredible. I had never felt so in awe of nature until I saw the Grand Canyon.
In the two brief days that we were there we managed to turn ourselves into geology and nature boffs going on trips to learn about all the flora, fauna and geology we could. Books have been bought in abundance for hope of further quenching of this thirst that it has given us all. T. was truly in his element........like father, like son *yawn*.
And then on to Sedona.
This one is Phoenix. Actually for the record, this was the first picture taken on the trip. As an ignoramus I was all ready for the abundance of cacti and "desert" flora at the Canyon. Of course, the Canyon is some 7000 feet above sea level, way too high and too cold for cacti other than the prickly pear! Fortunately both my 6 and 4 year old were of the same mentality, as was R, so I feel better. We saw more pine trees than any other tree, in fact on the days when it rained and the mist came down, it actually gave Ullswater a run for its money!
Our last day was spent trying to track down some Membrillo for a friend who went to school in Phoenix. Map-less and without any remote idea of the city, we trailed through the streets searching for liquor!! Unfortunately to no avail. I am not sure if this is a sign of our age? Alcohol that we used to drink as students is no longer around?? or perhaps we were just not frequenting the right suburbs?? Speaking of age, today I have turned 35! Well I actually turned it at 9pm in Phoenix, or was that 4am in the UK? but then the clocks were turned forward last night, so that would have made it 5..........funny feeling - time, age, nature......small people in a very tiny pond.