It's Saturday and I am still recovering from my smashfest the week prior, so we decide to pack up the kids and bikes and head over to the Grand Canyon for some quality family time. The kids can't quite believe that I'm not going anywhere (i.e. leave to go biking or running) and Max keeps asking: Are you leaving now, Mom? Yes. It's definitely time to just hang out with the kids from the minute they get up until the go to sleep. Not an easy feat for me but definitely worth it!
We are taking the bikes because the Grand Canyon isn't necessarily the most kid-friendly National Park, at least not for young kids. All of the fun hikes go down into the Canyon and then back up. Not ideal for a 3-year-old. There is also a paved path along the rim but what kid is entertained by hiking on pavement? Not ours!
Biking seem like a good idea until we get out of the car and realize that it's much colder than anticipated. And, of course, windy! We head out on the bikes but quickly realize that it's just too cold to have fun. I hate to admit it but we weren't prepared for 40 degrees. Instead, we take the shuttle bus (always a highlight, at least for a few minutes) to the Kaibab Trail and head down into the Canyon. The view is just phenomenal! It never gets old.
You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to keep these kids from hiking all the way down to the bottom. It's obviously downhill and thus basically effortless. All we can do is try to keep Max from running too far ahead and falling off cliffs. Fortunately, there are plenty of rocks to climb on as well.
I knew it would be hard to get the kids, especially Max, to hike back up by himself. But, don't you worry, I had a plan. It involves an Easter bunny...
...and plastic eggs with candy inside. I, the easter bunny, would hike ahead a little, hide an egg, and then the kids would follow looking for the egg. It worked out great! Each egg only had 2 little candies inside, which would get them just far enough.
The both made it all the way back up without complaining or whining.
Yes. I know. I am a genius.
Once we got back to the car, it was time for lunch and Playmobil.
Their play figures needed to do some off-roading and such.
I mean: Why wouldn't they?
Then we gave the biking another try.
Much better this time around. It had warmed up and the wind was much more bearable.
We brought the trail-a-bike and Max's balance bike. He would ride his balance bike as long as he wanted to and then take a break on the trail-a-bike until the next downhill.
We didn't make it all that far but who cares? We had fun!
Karl was itching to go for a run. So I let him go. How nice of me! This must mean that I am not only still smashed but also injured... At least one of us was running!
The kids wanted to see the little presentation at the Visitor Center and I didn't mind a little break either.
The boys showing off the Playmobil guys and pointing out a mule deer munching on leaves:
Then we took the shuttle all the way to Bright Angel's Point because Noah insisted that we get ice cream at the same place Oma and Opa bought it for them last summer. It was worth the ride!
The kids love the Grand Canyon. They really wanted to go back again the next day! It's super nice to have such a great place so close to home and I am sure we will go camping there as soon as the nights get a little warmer.
If you take a trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, make sure you stop by in Flagstaff and say Hi!