Sunday, March 25, 2007

A rather large hole!

What do you get if you put:

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 father, like son *yawn*.

And then on to Sedona.

This is truly a cheap shot. It doesn't reflect in any shape or form the unbelievable redness of the sandstone rocks, nor the surrounding landscape which all adds to the awe of these structures of weathered and erroded rock stuck up in the flats. We resorted to buying a couple of professional pictures to try to capture the real depth of colour. These rocks change dramatically with the conditions of the weather (believe me, we did a bloody good job of seeing all these weather conditions in four days! I quote our guide " we only get about 60 out of 360+ days as rain in a year" - GREAT they saw us coming!) However, we are British, a little ponsey rain up a 4000 ft mountain in an open top jeep with hail ain't gonna stop us !! I. slept through it, awoke on the top of the mountain in the hail with a "yahoo!!!" and LOVED the plastic poncho, which we have kept for Niagara next week! and bar the intense cold (35F) watching the weather come in, hail on us, lightening on us and then clear to sun, was again, reassuring me of the power of nature and the frailty of human life.

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.


pansy said...

Surely you must be 36 after all that time changing??

pansy said...

Just an after-thought - the plastic poncho will be very useful for dog washing!