So, it turns out taking two MBA classes in summer school and having a full time job is actually, like, really time consuming. So here we are with the final leg of the trip!
We woke up bright and early and had breakfast at the hotel before it was time to board the Grand Canyon Railway. The train leaves from Williams, AZ and goes to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Right before you get on the train there is a cowboy show. The cowboys also make their way onto the train too.
The train ride take a couple of hours, and honestly I was shocked by what you see on the way there. For the most part it is surrounded by evergreen trees and some areas have big grassy fields. For whatever reason, in my mind I thought it would look like a desert. Our seats on the train were in the caboose, so it was fun to be able to go out on the plank at the end of the train to look around. The cowboys made there way through the train and there were also musicians that came through the car. We had access to snacks and drinks in our train car as well so that was really nice. Overall I really enjoyed the train ride, it was very relaxing.
We saw a quick glimpse of the canyon on the train ride in, but when we got off the train we were still surrounded by trees so we still hadn’t had a chance to take it all in yet. We walked to a bus stop after we got off the train and took a bus to the rim. The bus made several stops so we were able to get lots of different views. Y’all this place is unreal. I don’t care how many pictures you have seen, the pictures cannot do it justice. It is an absolutely amazing place.
After the bus tour we walked around a bit, there are a few shops that we checked out, and we had lunch at the Arizona Room. Just an FYI, if you’re planning a trip to the Canyon, pack a water bottle. There are signs everywhere advising you to drink because of heat related illnesses that are common there, but there is NO water for sale anywhere. The park is trying to cut back on littering so they have water stations where you can fill up bottles everywhere, but you have to buy a $15 dollar souvenir bottle if you don’t bring your own. Also – you can buy all the sugary drinks in plastic bottles, just no water. Just Saying.
We spent the night at the Maswik Lodge. There are only a few hotels to choose from on the Canyon rim and they fill up quickly so you have to book your trip pretty far in advance. It was so cool to spend the night on the rim. We watched the sunset, which was amazing. The canyon changed colors as the sun went down, and it was absolutely beautiful. The night we were there the moon was bright and full so we were even able to see a little of the Canyon late at night. We had diner in the dining room at El Tovar. El Tovar is a really neat historic hotel and the food at the restaurant was great. The restaurants and shops were all within walking distance once we got off the train, so after dinner we walked back to our room. If I get the chance to go back to the Grand Canyon in the future I would love to go on the mule ride to the bottom, but they typically book up months in advance.
The next morning we got up and had breakfast before heading out to take in more views of the Grand Canyon. We walked around and took another bus to different parts to take in all the views. It was so beautiful. That afternoon we boarded the train back to Williams, AZ. After the two hour train ride we had another long ride. We loaded up the car and were off to Phoenix. We spent the last night of our trip at the Marriott at the Phoenix airport. We had an early morning flight home from a great trip.