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tammydel 08-14-2008 07:45 AM

You Go West Girl!
Well the time is upon us. While my family's Southwest Splendors trip officially begins Saturday, our adventure begins today.
We are:
Tammy - (that's me the mom and Disney planner)
Chris - (DH not the Disney planner)
Tyler - (DS 11)
and Kaleigh - (DD 10)
Usually this time of year you would find us preparing for, in the midst of, or jut back from Disney World. OK, really that could describe almost any time of year for me....But the past couple a years DH has been saying there are so many other places to go. The kids have started mentioning places they would like to go someday. Then ABD comes out with so many wonderful itineraries to places I would love to go to and to show the kids. After looking them over, and giving some serious consideration to the Wyoming trip, my husband and I decided that the Grand Canyon would be the place to go. While I'd traveled to a number of different countries, I've never been west of Pennsylvania. This would be an adventure!
So here we are, skipping Disney this summer, but so excited for our new adventure.
In middle of our pre-trip preparations and packing, we had the opportunity to go to Saratoga to the racetrack (the real Saratoga, not in Disney World!!!)
We had a wonderful day there with the kids and my mom - but the funny thing was there was a horse running in one of the races named You Go West Girl. I thought, well, yes I will.
So the Plan is:
Today we drive to NJ to my mom's house. We will have a little birthday celebration tonight for my mom and me. EARLY in the morning Friday a car will pick us up to go to JFK Airport. We fly into Phoenix and are staying the night at the Arizona Grand. Then it is back to the airport to meet up with the ABD folks. When the trip ends in Grand Junction we are not flying out. We will rent a car and first, stop at Glenwood Springs for the night. Then we will go on to Denver for a few days. We fly back to NY late 8/27, with another stay over at my mom's house. We will get home 8/28, days before school starts (DS starting middle school, DD gong into 5th and I teach 4th) and a full 2 weeks away from home.

So now I better go finish up with the packing and get the doggies to the vets.


sayhello 08-14-2008 09:39 AM


Originally Posted by tammydel (Post 26908203)
Well the time is upon us. While my family's Southwest Splendors trip officially begins Saturday, our adventure begins today. [...] So now I better go finish up with the packing and get the doggies to the vets.Tammy:)

Have an absolutely MAGNIFICENT TIME!!! I'm looking forward to your on-the-road reports, if you manage to work that out. :banana:

Oh, and Happy Birthday!

Say "Hello"! to Delicate Arch & the Grand Canyon for me!


Turtlemom 08-14-2008 10:41 AM

Go get 'em Tammydel!
Have a great trip! I'm looking forward to reading your posts along the way. I'll be right behind you!!!!

Turtlemom :cheer2:

LocustPoint 08-14-2008 12:14 PM

Have a great time. I just loved the Southwest Splendors trip that we went on last year! Safe travels.

tammydel 08-14-2008 12:35 PM

Thanks guys.
Tried not to pack too much - but we still have so much! I'm hoping our bags will fit into the trunk of a towncar:scared1: !
Shoes, hats, sunscreen, electronics, laundry supplies, you'd think I'd be an expert at this traveling to Disney frequently...I have so many plastic zipper bags!!!:rotfl:
I'll keep you posted.

cindy18 08-14-2008 03:19 PM

Congrats that you are finally on your way! Can't wait to hear how it goes for the four of you. Knowing the magic that awaits you, I am sure you will have a blast!

tammydel 08-15-2008 07:24 PM

Well here we are - live from Phoenix!

It was a long flight (for a family used to flying to Orlando) and I don't love JFK Airport. But we're here. We are staying at the Arizona Grand Resort for tonight. I really recommend it for anyone flying out ahead of time for the Southwest tour. It was only about 10 minutes from the airport, the rooms are very nice suites, there are many dining choices, there is a spa and best of all (if you have kids) there is a small water park. That's what we've been doing all afternoon.
We had lunch in the room first (or some meal, the time change has us a little off kilter) they have a pizza, soda and cookie delivery deal - perfect. Then we spent a few hours at the waterpark. It was really great, not crowded and frozen adult beverages available. The kids really enjoyed the wave pool, we all loved the lazy river and we experienced with varying degrees of enjoyment - the water slides. I'll try and take some pictures and post them later. We are getting ready for dinner now, going to restaurant the kids have discovered that they can enter via an old tin slide.
Weather is hot, but dry, no surprise. I just can't get over how different the scenery is here. I'm not a plant person by any stretch of the imagination, but I am amazed none the less at what different trees, bushes and flowers there are, not to mention cactus! Then there are these rock mountains that don't look a bit like our mountains back in NY.
Promise there will be pictures soon. Gotta feed the troops now.


disneytraveler 08-15-2008 07:29 PM

Have a wonderful adventure:goodvibes I went on the Viva Italia tour last year and had a blast.

tammydel 08-15-2008 10:53 PM

Here is a picture of a quiet pool in a courtyard of our building.
My 1st effort of importing a picture - let's see how I do.

tammydel 08-15-2008 10:58 PM

Here is another picture of us going to dinner. I have to figure out how to resize I know.

cindy18 08-16-2008 07:39 AM

Wow, posting pictures in real time. That's excellent! Hotel looks lovely, and you guys don't look too hot in the picture! Hope your jet leg didn't wake you up too early this morning. Can't believe you're meeting up with your tour today. So exciting!!

tammydel 08-16-2008 09:14 AM

Good Morning!
Today's the day! Today's the day :jumping1:
Our Adventure by Disney officially begins today. We are all really excited.

Before we go back to the airport to meet the tour, we have a little more time here this morning.

Yes, Cindy we are still experiencing the time change effects, but maybe it will work in our favor if we don't try too hard to adjust. Early to bed and early to rise and all. Last night we were in bed at 8 pm and up at 5 am this morning. :rotfl:

SO we are planning to go have breakfast, then swim awhile before checking out and heading back to the airport. I'll try to get some pictures of the waterpark area, it is quite nice. The hotel reminds me of the Coronado Springs (with bigger rooms- only of course this is the REAL southwest!

It is really hot, but it is more bearable without the humidity. We felt it walking to dinner (after the picture was taken) the walk to the restaurant was longer than we expected and up a steep hill. We used the hotel shuttle coming back. On the brighter side the dry heat is great for drying clothes! I set our wet suites out on the balcony last night and this morning they feel like they were in the dryer.:woohoo: (G00D because I HATE putting on a wet suit.)

I'll write morefrom Sedona tonight. Have a great day everyone.


tammydel 08-17-2008 11:42 AM

Sorry for being MIA last night. After our welcome dinner I could not keep my eyes open. Also we have 2 rooms that do not connect and my DH has the computerin his.

I will do a full report with pictures tonight on yesterday (and today) but I just have to say: The drive into Sedona was amazing! I couldn't have imagined how spectacular and how stunning it is.

Turtlemom: I'd say be prepared for amazing views, but there is no way to prepare for it. So just be ready to take pictures.

Cindy: I am even more in awe of your daily reports knowing now how sleepy I am at night with the time change.

Off for our jeep tour now.


Turtlemom 08-17-2008 01:56 PM

Thanks Tammydel!
Glad to hear you are having a great time! We've been assembling camera equipment and gear all week. (my 2 girls actually conned DH into buying them each a small digital camera for the trip--now they are armed and dangerous!!!! Especially since DD(8) just took a digital photography camp this summer--so she knows what she's doing--she chased the dog around for 2 weeks taking pictures of him and made a power point presentation of the poor guy!)

Anyway--can't wait to hear and see more of your trip report!!!! Just three more days away!!!--Eeek--I have to pack!

Turtlemom :laundy:

Turtlemom 08-17-2008 02:32 PM

I forgot to ask--who are your adventure guides?????

Turtlemom :rolleyes:

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