Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mini Vacation!

My hubby said he wanted to go somewhere with me before racing season starts March 18, plus it is my birthday March 13. He said maybe to Arizona for spring training, We love baseball. I started thinking about it and I came up with this plan:

Hubby has never seen the Grand Canyon, we only live 3 hours from it, plus he loves trains, he watches any show with trains.
I jumped on the internet and put the plan in motion.
We would drive to Williams, AZ (3 hours from Las Vegas) have dinner and stay the night. Get up in the morning and hop on the Grand Canyon Railway Train for a 2 hour ride that takes you to The Grand Canyon. From there we hop on a bus that drives the South Rim with stops for photos. We get back to the Depot, have lunch, back on the train 2 hours to Williams, hop in our car and be home that night! Whew!

I told him the plan and he was all in! So here is our Mini Vacation:

I chose the Best Western Inn, it is on route 66 at the start of Williams. Nice Hotel 90.00 for the night, had a restaurant, lounge and live music. We checked in then I jumped on Yelp to find a good restaurant:
We chose South Rim wine and beer garage, it had great reviews. We drove down the road and walked in. The first thing you notice is a 1967 Pontiac GTO in the middle of the place, it was beautiful!

The fun thing about this place, choosing your own beer and wine flights. You circle the 4 choices you want and for 11.66 you get to try them. Hubby tried a Big Blue Van beer, which he loved, I liked all 4 of my choices, a riesling, a pinot gregio, white blend, and a sweet red.

The food was very good quality, limited menu so they make sure things are well crafted. I had the Pretzel burger, it comes on a soft pretzel bun which was outstanding. Hubby had a pizza and caeser salad.
We left very happy, got back to the hotel and went to the lounge to sit and listen to a man play the guitar and sing, I forgot to get his card so I don't know his name, but he sang cool songs, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Van Morrison. We called it a night and went to bed, we had a big day ahead for us!

In the morning we got up early to be at the train depot by 8:00 am to get our tickets for the train ride. The hotel has complimentary breakfast so we filled up and drove 1 mile to the station.
Once you pick up your tickets they direct you to a little western show they put on, then we boarded the train:

The cowboys put on a little gunfight which was a funny little show, they had a good time, but we were so happy to get on our train!
 I chose the Luxury car tickets, I wanted hubby to be comfy and enjoy his ride, it was worth it! We got plush seating, free coffee, soda, water, juice, pastries, fruit platter. On the trip back we got the same but they switched to a cheese and cracker platter. Beer and wine were 6.00, near the end they poured us champagne and thanked us for riding the rails with them.

 Our comfy car with our own bar! We only shared the car with 2 or 3 other people!
You could get up and sit anywhere and you could walk out onto the back of the train since we were in the last car!
Off the back platform

We liked going up here in the observatory deck and watching the world go by.

This is his favorite thing to do, go between the cars, open the half door and stick his head out!

Grand Canyon:

It was breathtaking! You have to see it in real life to really know just how massive it is! Hubby was impressed!
Our bus ride lasted and hour and a half, our tour guide was full of amazing facts and information about the canyon. We had 30 people on our bus and at one stop, one of the men took his girlfriend out on the rim and asked her to marry him!!! When they got back on the bus we all cheered and congratulated them! How exciting!!

Once we got back to the depot, they had lots of lodges, shops and restaurants to choose from. We picked the Arizona room in the Bright Angel Lodge. Chicken and rice soup with a blue corn muffin was fabulous!
I have to tell you this funny story:
At the depot, the shops and food places are all set along the rim of the canyon, and you can sit out there and eat hot dogs and ice cream and your lunches if you packed any. BUT they tell you do not feed any squirrels or chipmunks that beg. The most injuries that occur at the canyon are squirrel bites! We were standing by the wall where everyone sits to eat and there was this one squirrel running from person to person trying to get a snack, no one was giving in to him, so he ran along the wall until one man set his hot dog down to open his mustard packet and BAM, the squirrel ran up and took a chunk out of his hot dog!! Everyone was laughing at the speed that squirrel had once he got a shot at food! Someone offered to buy the man a new hot dog and everyone learned not to set their food down, not even for a second!
Super fast squirrel enjoying his hot dog!

At 3:30 we had to be back on the train for our ride back to Williams. We enjoyed our comfy seats back to town. I enjoyed the wine and champagne, They even staged a little train robbery and everyone laughed and had a great time!
Our robbers ambushing the train!

We had a wonderful time, hubby got to see a natural wonder, and he got to ride on a train. He really loved that train ride, he was so relaxed and comfortable.

I would highly recommend Grand Canyon Railway Tours, they even turn the train into the Polar Express during November and December for the kids to enjoy!

You can make your Grand Canyon trip by going here:

Get out and enjoy the world!


Tanya said...

So happy you guys got away on such a breathtaking adventure. Yeah, those munks are speedy suckers!

Tanya said...

PS - you told us what everything cost BUT the Grand Canyon Trip/Tour - I want to know, Chica!

Hindustanka said...

Hi Jackie!

Loved reading about your short trip... Would love to ride that train.. looks cozy and comfy..aww.. a dream! And would love to visit the Grand Canyon.. maybe some day... When we have enough means, and baby grows a little bit more.
Thanks for sharing this story, I am glad you and your husband enjoyed travelling there.

Sara said...

What a nice trip! Grand Canyon is definitely in my list of places to visit but I had no idea about the train tours. I enjoyed reading your post about your experience!

Colleen Mcgraw said...

Sounds like a blast, loved seeing the Grand Canyon