So I'm trying to keep up with monthly blog posts and I don't want to write about flowers. Sometimes I get tired of flowers. Flowers will pretty much be my life with weddings, the upcoming holidays over the course of this month and next, and growing season is just about to start.
Last August, I won two permits to visit the Wave at Coyote Buttes on the border of Arizona and Utah. Once word of that spread around my family, my short trip to Arizona became a week-long mini-van adventure with my parents, niece and nephew. We actually did a similar trip a really long time ago; I think 2006(?) when my niece and nephew were a lot younger (and cuter) so I did want to bring them back to some of the same locations.
I'm always the planner for family trips and family trips really difficult to plan for a number reasons -- fitness levels, different interests, sleep schedules, etc. How did I cope with it all?
- rented a car that sat more people than the group size; in our case, we rented a mini-van that sat 7 for 6 people and stuffed it chock-full of snacks and water
- had at least one activity planned for each day and left the rest of the day for downtime, a nap or to revisit a spot (particularly important for landscape photography);
- each day I communicated our plans and, in the evenings, discussed the next day's plan and wake-up times; I was literally the tour guide
- reserved hotel suites or apartments with kitchens and cooked our own food; everyone was happier because their diet remained the same. some nights we ate out but no one was actually happy about it
Where did we visit? In Page, Arizona, we went to Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, the Wave at Coyote Buttes and Buckskin Gulch. In Utah, we did Zion National Park (hiked the Narrows and did some nighttime photography) and sunrise at Bryce Canyon (I still remember the killer headache from waking up so damn early).
In the end, the kids and my parents had a wonderful time. Pete still brags that he took the mini-van to 90mph while my dad was in the car, blissfully unaware (or so Pete thinks...).