Friday, May 1, 2009

something grand

My kids joined me last week when I traveled to Phoenix for a conference. They were out of school, and it’s an easy trip on Southwest, so we made an adventure out of it. The conference was being held in a downtown hotel, and we love hotels.

At the end of our third day, we were excited because Daddy was coming to join us for the rest of the weekend. His flight was a little delayed, so I wanted to grab some dinner to kill the time, but my girl was complaining of a stomach ache (cue dramatic foreshadowing music). I figured that she had gorged herself on the airplane snacks she had unearthed from my carry on, and I was not overly sympathetic. In fact, I dragged both kids down to the wine tasting reception to see if there was any good grub. She actually gagged at the sight of the crudite, which I thought was some mighty fine acting! As you may have surmised from that ominous music earlier, she was not acting.

Thankfully, the virus was short lived, and although a night of puking into an emptied fruit cup is probably no one’s idea of fun in a hotel room, my girl handled it like the champ that she is. I shudder to imagine what hell would have been endured if the illness had befallen either of my boys.

End of story? Hardly. Our adventure was just beginning!

Our chariot awaited

I had never driven a convertible, and I can tell you that it really does not suck! With the Arizona sun on my shoulders, I turned that bad boy toward the mountains and we flew. We flew! We flew right up until that dead stop. The kind of stop that is so dead you can stand up in your convertible and try to peer down the road. The kind of stop where something big and bad had just better have happened. It was a terrible thing to watch the minutes tick by, knowing that the daylight hours at our destination were slipping away.

We’re all about finding the bright side, though. It was a good opportunity to gather up headgear and reorganize, to take in the lovely cactus infused scenery, and to soak up the rays. Finally, we started to crawl forward. We crawled right into a swarm of bees. In our convertible. Did you know that it is impossible to raise the roof of a convertible when you are moving, even at a crawl?

But let’s not dwell on the low points, shall we? Let’s not focus on our silliness in dressing for summer as we climbed to 8,000 feet. Surely we had packed warm clothes in our suitcases! Shirley?

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a trip that just seems to be beating your ass to the ground? It is impossible to imagine redemption, it’s a category 5 shit storm. Even the most bright-eyed optimist begins to weigh the option of eating a change penalty to just get the hell home. It would take something really major to salvage this wreck.

Something breathtaking.

Something vast.

Something Grand…

Next comes the stuff too grand to be shoved at the bottom of this woeful prelude. Our trip had indeed been salvaged, we were dazzled and dazed by our adventures in this wonder of the world. This was my third trip to the canyon, and my family had only seen it in pictures. But it's really not something that can be represented in one dimension.

The grandness of the canyon was enough to carry our weary souls all the way home.

Well, it should have been enough.

At least it got us back to Phoenix

to be continued....


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh, Jacquie, I love every moment of this soaringly ecstatic-to-tragic-to-ecstatic tale, and I simply cannot wait for Part Two.

And it's true. That Canyon is so Grand that photos of it look like crayon drawings. Well, crayon drawings by a very talented kid, but still....

I await Wednesday's episode with bells on. Really.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Such a cliff-hanger (pun completely intended)! I can hardly wait for the vivid description of the third, and I'm thinking, final installment.

You guys are all champs, BTW.


Debbie said...

Wow. Your trip covered all the bases, didn't it? I'm glad you had some good with the bad.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the rest of the trip since I lived in AZ for over 20 years... You are so right... the Grand Canyon is far too grand to be enjoyed in a photograph... It takes your breath away when you are right there in person looking at it.. just awesome!

The Blue Ridge Gal