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My Grand Canyon Vacation

Location, location, location; that is what they say in the real estate market. That is also what I say about the Grand Canyon. My first trip was four years ago at the mere age of nine; an impressionable preteen. At that time, all I had ever heard about the Grand Canyon came out of documentaries and films. Was I ever surprised when reality hit! My family and I spent six glorious days exploring all that the Grand Canyon had to offer and barely covered ten percent.

Finally: the day of departure. After a restless night of sleep, I was anxious and ready to go to the first natural wonder of the word I had ever seen, the Grand Canyon. The estimated time of house departure had been selected as six in the morning. We all got up promptly on time, threw the luggage in the car and drove to the airport, fatigued from the lack of sleep.

Nevertheless, we caught our plane and the butterflies that were fluttering around in my stomach began to recede. We slept the entire way there, occasionally stirring to get a drink or eat a snack. We were well-rested and well-fed (this was in the days before they skimped on in-plane meals). by the time the plane landed seven hours later. It was all we could do to check into our hotel and drag ourselves into bed.

We decided to sleep in that day so we could enjoy it without combatting our own fatigue. I remember how excited I was to finally be in Arizona to witness something I had wanted to see for a very long time, the Grand Canyon. The only obstacle separating the Grand Canyon and I then was a seven hour drive, because our hotel was in Las Vegas. The most suspenseful seven hours in history was ahead of me. I felt like a giant vacuum cleaner had sucked the air right out of me; the majestic awe of the Grand Canyon far exceeded what I had imagined. My family and I spent the entire day meandering around the perimeter of the canyon, occasionally stopping at rest stops and merchandise stands for a break. The good news is that it was rather windy and the wind felt calm and soothing on our hot skin. Thankfully, there were plenty of things to do, such as use binoculars to see far into the canyon. I was absolutely astonished when I saw that the Colorado River still ran through it! I thought it had dried up long ago. We took a break sometime in the middle of the day and ate lunch in this restaurant on the edge of the canyon. I will never forget the succulent burger I ordered, the way it melted on my tongue and how it was so refreshing, compared to the arid outdoors. Then we decided to return to the hotel and sleep the rest of the day and night away.

The next three or so days were almost carbon-copies of the first one, and passed by without incident. Finally, I woke up with an extreme case of anxiety because after walking around the perimeter for several days, this was the day when we would hike into it! We decided to take a hike down the easiest trails into the canyon. Midway down, a pack of mules passed us, dropping dung everywhere. The dung was a persistent assault on out olfactory nerves. I was not old enough at the time to participate in a mule tour and I made up my mind there and then; I had to come back. Unfortunately, an hour and a half into the hike, we ran out of water and we had not even hit bottom yet. I started to panic. Was I going to die at the bottom of the Grand Canyon? I thought to myself: “what a business opportunity.” I would have been willing to pay a hundred dollars for a bottle of water at the bottom of the canyon. That was a valuable lesson to learn because next time I return; I am going to be doing much more difficult hikes.

To my complete dismay, we had to leave the very next day for home, cutting our vacation short. Hundreds of events remained unexplored when we had to leave. It was then and there I vowed that I would put revisiting the Grand Canyon on my bucket list so I could continue exploring the many wonders within the Grand Canyon and around it.

Without a doubt, the Grand Canyon is a repeat performance. With its stunning vista, and nearby entertainment, it is definitely the place to be. Choosing an alternative vacation site seems like a crime when the Grand Canyon is so accessible and one for the picture books.


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