Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disneyland > Disneyland Trip Reports > California & the West Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-27-2013, 10:42 AM   #1
OhioStateBuckeye
DIS Veteran
 
OhioStateBuckeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,834

Get your kicks on Route 66! With some Grand Canyon and other adventures

Hello everyone!

My BF and I went on a very fun trip to Arizona a few weeks ago.

We flew into Phoenix and visited:

Flagstaff
Grand Canyon
Route 66
Petrified National Forest
Painted Desert
and
Sedona

some of our adventures included:
-a stargazing tour
-a Grand Canyon mule ride
-a hike into the Grand Canyon
-exploring Route 66 (including finding a lot of Lasseter's inspiration for Cars)
-and more!

Background:

I am Rachel, a 30 year old attorney from Columbus Ohio (originally from the Pittsburgh area, go Pittsburgh sports teams!).

My BF is Brian, a 29 year old engineer. He is an eagle scout and way into backpacking/camping, so he was the planner for this trip.

This TR will probably be more abbreviated than my Disney ones, I just wanted to get some info out there. Don't hesitate to ask any specific questions!

I am working on getting my pictures uploaded into photobucket and hopefully I'll start on day 1 this weekend
OhioStateBuckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
PHXscuba
Mouseketeer since birth!
I am lucky to have kids who also love Disney and a husband who loves it (and us) enough to humor my passion!
 
PHXscuba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Blazing Heat, AZ
Posts: 2,514

Neat! Hope you had an awesome time. Be glad you didn't come this weekend -- 120 degrees predicted.

PHXscuba
PHXscuba is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 06-27-2013, 04:38 PM   #3
kylieh
DIS Veteran
 
kylieh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,843

Looking forward to reading along!
__________________
DL May 1976, May 1983, August 1990, September 2008, April 2010, December 2013 | MK / DW May 1978 September 2011
KylieH ; DH; DD Princess & Alice The Bear
kylieh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2013, 04:54 PM   #4
Pooh2
DIS Veteran
 
Pooh2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NH
Posts: 1,581

Hoping to do this in the fall. Looking forward to your photos!
Pooh2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2013, 06:27 PM   #5
msdaisy
Mouseketeer
 
msdaisy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 354

We are leaving Texas tomorrow at one and headed that way! We will pick up I40 in Amarillo. Does I40 follow much of Rt 66?


We will stop at Grand Canyon, and then head to DL. We are going to take three days to drive out there.

Can't wait!
__________________
_____________________________________________
Me DH DD DD

2006 Offsite, 2009 Yacht Club, 2010 Offsite, 2011 Coronado Springs, 2012 Old Key West, 2013 Port Orleans Riverside, 2013 First Trip to Disneyland! Embassy Suites North
______________________________________
msdaisy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2013, 07:31 PM   #6
OhioStateBuckeye
DIS Veteran
 
OhioStateBuckeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,834

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHXscuba View Post
Neat! Hope you had an awesome time. Be glad you didn't come this weekend -- 120 degrees predicted.

PHXscuba
I'm glad you found your way over! We had real awesome weather for our trip, low 80s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kylieh View Post
Looking forward to reading along!
Welcome! Nice to meet you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooh2 View Post
Hoping to do this in the fall. Looking forward to your photos!
Oh I have tons and tons of pictures! I got the new Samsung Galaxy right before I left (my first smartphone ever) and it has a 16 megapixel camera and the pictures came out sooo good. Brian took his DSLR and I thought the quality was pretty close together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msdaisy View Post
We are leaving Texas tomorrow at one and headed that way! We will pick up I40 in Amarillo. Does I40 follow much of Rt 66?


We will stop at Grand Canyon, and then head to DL. We are going to take three days to drive out there.

Can't wait!
I think it does! If you pass through Holbrook be sure to stop, and look into Joe and Aggie's cafe, it has a lot of Cars memorabilia and the owner loves to tell Lasseter stories.
OhioStateBuckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2013, 05:14 AM   #7
PrincessInOz
in
Catch you at the other end
 
PrincessInOz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 85,776

Sounds like an awesome trip to get my kicks on.

I'm heading to the Four Corners area in September; so this will be a lovely way to get in the mood for it.
__________________

Disneyland - Dec 1986, May 1990, Dec 1997, Aug 2003, Jun 2005, Jul 2007 TR, Nov 2008, Jan 2011 and Nov 2012 Another Mad Dash TR
Walt Disney World - Jun 2005, May 2010 (POR, BCV) PTR || TR, Oct 2010 (CSR) PTR || TR, Oct 2013 Anyone Game? PTR || TR in progress
Hong Kong Disneyland - Mar/Apr 2012 TR
PrincessInOz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 05:51 PM   #8
OhioStateBuckeye
DIS Veteran
 
OhioStateBuckeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,834

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Sounds like an awesome trip to get my kicks on.

I'm heading to the Four Corners area in September; so this will be a lovely way to get in the mood for it.
My parents did a 4 corners trip! We were interested in going to that area, but we didn't have too many days and there were really just too many places in Arizona we wanted to see. Oh well, maybe next time
OhioStateBuckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 05:55 PM   #9
OhioStateBuckeye
DIS Veteran
 
OhioStateBuckeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,834

Getting there is the hard part

OK! Its time to get this thing started. First off, an introductory pic so you know who your following around:



Our flight left late on a Wednesday afternoon. We usually like to leave early morning, but I had wanted to get almost a full work week in (a full work week for me is 40 hours, and I can get those hours in anytime I want during the week days). This didn't really work out for me so well since the office I am doing contract work with was shut down for Memorial Day on Monday, so I couldn't work and I was only able to get about 16 hours instead of close to 30. But what are you gonna do.

I left work around 1 pm. We had set our absolute must leave for the airport time at 3p m.

We are notorious for cutting flights close and we had to drop the car off at the airport lot, so we wanted to make sure we had time.

I had done very little packing the night before (pshh, who needs to be prepared), so I had a lot of running around and shouting about items' locations when I got home.

Brian had all the camping stuff packed up and most of his clothes so that helped.

Much to my surprise, we had Roary (the car) all loaded up and ready to go by 3:05. Not bad!

We only live 10 minutes from the airport so that was also super convenient.

Security was kind of weird. Let me start this off by stating that this was my day to encounter mean and out of line employees. Sounds great, right?

There was one woman ahead of us, then Brian and I were literally the only ones in sight of the scanning belt. We already had our shoes off and our laptops/tablets out ready to go.

The woman in front of us was loading up the belt and had left a little bit of space, so we started to use that to load our stuff onto the belt. The second the woman left, the security agent ambled up to me and said something along the lines of how he always found it helpful to everyone else if people loaded their stuff up toward the middle/end of the belt.

I looked behind us to make sure no one else had arrived (they hadn't) and then I gave him a really weird look (I am pretty good at making weird faces). I kind of thought he'd been joking but he hadn't really sounded very jokey. After I shot him the weird look he then continued to talk to me and said that I had real pretty red hair and that it'd be a crime if I ever dyed it. I kind of was like 'haha, ok thanks' and quickly moved on.

In retrospect, it doesn't really sound creepy to relate the story, but it was just a super weird situation. At first it sounded like he was yelling at me for not moving along fast enough, then he gives a compliment that probably wouldn't normally be creepy but it definitely was coming after his first weird statement. I dunno, guess you woulda had to have been there.

Brian also had a strange encounter with him in line for Starbucks, so who knows what his deal was.

We had a nice long wait at the Southwest gate and then we got to board, we were in the very beginning of B group so we got seats about midway back and we took off right at 5:25.

It was a pretty uneventful flight and before we knew it we were touching down in Chicago at 5:35 (pretty short flight, right??). We weren't leaving from Chicago until 8:30. The layover really wasn't that bad since we needed dinner. We looked all over the airport and finally settled on this little deli that turned out to be amazing!! Seriously it was one of my favorite meals of the trip, and that is not to say the other meals weren't great. Wish I had a picture. Sorry Looks like I really just don't take a lot of departure day pictures.

We were in the end of A group for our next flight, so we got awesome seats. I think Brian slept a bit and I read my new library book, The Maze Runner, which I was really enjoying.

Finally we arrived in Phoenix right on time at 10:10 pm. We were both pretty tired since it was 1 am our time, so we quickly got our luggage and boarded the bus to the rental car station. I was anxious to see what Phoenix looked like since we'd only ever stopped here for connecting flights on to LA/San Diego.

The rental cars all seemed to be in the same station, and it took us about 10 minutes to drive there on the bus from the airport.

Buckeye Street!! yay!!



Here comes employee jerk experience number 2 of the day.

Brian sat back on a bench with all our bags since my name was on the rental car. I had booked with Advantage through Expedia and got a rate of $109 for an economy car for 4 full days and some sort of combo of extra hours.

I get called up and am having a pretty pleasant interaction with the sales guy until he started in on the up sell. And guys, I am used to up selling at car rental desks, I am sure we all are. But this guy took the cake.

He asked where I was headed. I told him we were first headed to the Grand Canyon then we were kinda just going to go all around. He tells me very seriously that my little economy car won't be able to make it to the GC. I look at him funny and say I'm sure it'll be fine. Then he asks if I have roadside assistance and I am like yeah...then he says good because your going to need it. I send thousands of people in rental cars to the GC each year and I know for a fact that our economy car can't make it. Ironic point: he wanted me to upgrade to the mid size car, which I believe was still a V4 that had a .2 bigger liter
engine, and that probably weighed a good couple hundred pounds more. At this point I helplessly called for Brian. I knew there wasn't a big difference between the 2 cars and that I still wanted the economy but he wasn't letting it go and it was 1 am (our time) and I was exhausted and just wanted to leave.

After the fact, I kinda think he was just blatantly lying to me because he didn't see Brian with me and thought I was just a little girl who wouldn't know enough about cars to realize that he was lying to my face. Do I still sound angry about this? Yeah, I think I am.

Brian came over, listened to the situation and laughed at him and said we'll be fine, we'll take the economy. The sales guy mumbled through the rest of the transaction and ended up charging me for the gas option, which I never agreed to but didn't realize until we were downstairs in the garage ready to leave.

I was really not happy about this. I understand up selling, I'm fine with it. Usually the car sales people point out how much luggage we have and how we'd be a lot more comfortable in the mid size. Saying that is fine with me. Telling me that the economy car has no chance of driving to the GC is a blatant lie (we made it just fine, thank you very much sales guy). I was not pleased with him at all and ended up writing a very strongly worded letter once we got home.

We ended up with a nice little Nissan Versa who we promptly named Little Big Engine, in honor of his engine which would surely never get us to the GC. We left the garage and headed for our first stop: Flagstaff. Brian had booked a pretty cheap motel for that first night. We wanted to get some of the distance traveled in between Phoenix and the GC, and Flagstaff looked like a good stopping point.

And it would have been...had it not already been after 1 in the morning for us and a 2 hour drive. The drive was pretty miserable. It was dark so I couldn't see any of my surroundings and I really wanted to. Then I was exhausted. Then we had to sit for 20 minutes while someone did some sort of blasting on the hillside.

We finally made it to our little hotel, checked in, unpacked, and were instantly asleep.

Geez...it sounds like this trip really sucked. But honestly, it was just this first day of travel. It was a really great trip! And now that I've got all the traveling out of the way, we can start with the good stuff! And the pictures!

Highlights of the coming day:
-we eat at our first Route 66 diner!
-we arrive at the Grand Canyon!
OhioStateBuckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 06:44 AM   #10
PrincessInOz
in
Catch you at the other end
 
PrincessInOz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 85,776

I hate the pushy sales to upsize at the counter as well. If they want us to upsize, they should offer it for free...don't you think?


Nice to "see" you and looking forward to the rest of your pics and trip.
__________________

Disneyland - Dec 1986, May 1990, Dec 1997, Aug 2003, Jun 2005, Jul 2007 TR, Nov 2008, Jan 2011 and Nov 2012 Another Mad Dash TR
Walt Disney World - Jun 2005, May 2010 (POR, BCV) PTR || TR, Oct 2010 (CSR) PTR || TR, Oct 2013 Anyone Game? PTR || TR in progress
Hong Kong Disneyland - Mar/Apr 2012 TR
PrincessInOz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 07:47 PM   #11
disneyfaninaz
It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!
 
disneyfaninaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 11,419

Just found your report. I applaud you guys for setting out for Flagstaff after flying half way across the country. I would have booked a hotel at the airport and started out the next morning. Yes, they are doing some road widening outside of Verde Valley so they blast the mountain side at night. You missed some nice scenery heading into Flag. Hopefully, you saw it coming back.

Anyway, we are heading up to the Petrified Forest in October, looking forward to hearing your experience.
disneyfaninaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2013, 08:09 PM   #12
OhioStateBuckeye
DIS Veteran
 
OhioStateBuckeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,834

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
I hate the pushy sales to upsize at the counter as well. If they want us to upsize, they should offer it for free...don't you think?


Nice to "see" you and looking forward to the rest of your pics and trip.
Bah, I just have nothing to say anymore about the Advantage guy. If you can't say anything nice, then stop talking after the first ten minutes lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyfaninaz View Post
Just found your report. I applaud you guys for setting out for Flagstaff after flying half way across the country. I would have booked a hotel at the airport and started out the next morning. Yes, they are doing some road widening outside of Verde Valley so they blast the mountain side at night. You missed some nice scenery heading into Flag. Hopefully, you saw it coming back.

Anyway, we are heading up to the Petrified Forest in October, looking forward to hearing your experience.
In retrospect, I wish we would have stayed in Phoenix. We wanted to break the drive up some, but 2 hours after a long day was too much. There were definitely some coffee and mountain dew breaks.

Ah, I'm glad you were able to fill me on in our traffic woes! And yes, I got to see loads of scenery (including the way back to Phoenix). I have soooo many petrified forest pictures! There are just way too many pretty trees.
OhioStateBuckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2013, 08:17 PM   #13
OhioStateBuckeye
DIS Veteran
 
OhioStateBuckeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,834

Our first look!

We were supposed to sleep in this morning, but guess who woke up after roughly 5 hours of sleep?? Yeah, it was me. I just can't sleep on vacations, I'm too excited.

We were all packed up and ready to go about 9:30. Brian thought to check on urban spoon for a good place to have breakfast, and I am glad we did.

But first I took some pictures of the hotel room:





He found the Galaxy Diner, which was pretty old and was on Route 66!





Seriously you guys, this was the best breakfast ever! So good I even took a picture:



Soooo good. I wish we could have come back later and tried lunch, but it was not to be.

We needed to find a Target so we could buy a cord to plug my ipod into the car, and I was super excited to be able to see my surroundings so I had Brian take some random driving pictures.



We made our Target stop and headed out to the Grand Canyon!!

I think it took us about an hour to get there from Flagstaff. We made a quick stop at that little town before the GC to look into that big building that has the imax movie and I think a lot of tours leave from there. We were kind of unimpressed so we headed into the national park.

It cost $25 per vehicle to enter the park. Once you pay you get a paper that has the date on it and says you are all paid up for the next 10 days entry into the Park (so you can come and go for free once you get there).

We were staying inside the park. Once you are in there, you pretty much have 4 hotel options if you are not camping.

1. El Tovar Hotel: this was the original GC hotel and it is pretty old but still very nice inside. It is also the most expensive of all the options.



2. Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins: this is where we stayed. There is the main building, then there are little 'cabins' sprinkled around all over. I say cabins in quotes because I didn't see any single cabins, they were all buildings that had 4 or more rooms in them. If you want to pay the big bucks you can stay right on the rim of the canyon. We did not, so we were about 20 feet away from the rim.

3. Yavapai Lodge: this hotel has probably the best place to eat inside the GC (that we tried, anyway). There is a huge foodcourt that has different stations: hamburgers, pizza, hot food like chili in a bread bowl, and just really most things you could imagine. It is not near the rim.

4. Maswik Lodge: we just drove by here and never stopped in, it is pretty far from the rim.If you want to read more about the hotel options this is the site:

https://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/

Parking is a little tight. Bright Angel guests and El Tovar guests can park wherever they want, and the lots are also open to tourists. So in the middle of the day it can be a little trying to find a spot. It took some doing but we eventually did find a spot. We were going to check in early but first we had to see the main attraction.



Tada!! Pictures don't do it justice.













I wasn't bothered so much by the height as the sound of the wind whistling past. I imagine that is what it would sound like if you fell...so maybe my imagination is just too good but the wind kinda freaked me out.

The area around the rim by the hotels was packed at this time of day. We would find out later that the morning and nights were the best times to see the Canyon from our hotel area. Trains come in during the daytime and everyone flocks over to the main viewing area at those times.

Then we went to check in and they had a room ready early!! There is a little activities desk next to the main check in desk where you can sign up for tours and shows. We stopped over because we wanted to make sure that we got signed up for a mule ride, since we'd heard that those fill up fast. We ended up getting spots on the morning mule ride for Saturday morning (today was Thursday) and we also signed up for a sunset bus tour for Friday night.













We both thought the room was great. I don't know if these would be for everyone, there was no air conditioning and no tv (gasp! the horror! there is something else to look at when your at the GC than the tv!).

OK I am about out of space for pictures, so my next installment will include a short hike around the canyon rim, exploration of the hotels and dinner!
OhioStateBuckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2013, 08:21 PM   #14
OhioStateBuckeye
DIS Veteran
 
OhioStateBuckeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 1,834

Oops

Aaaand I already forgot to include some pictures. I was jumping around in time a bit during that update because I wanted to show any pictures I had of the different hotels so I totally skipped my photobucket page with the pictures from the drive from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.

So enjoy!











and here are a few more of the GC



OhioStateBuckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2013, 08:44 PM   #15
disneyfaninaz
It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!
 
disneyfaninaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 11,419

Quote:
Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins: this is where we stayed. There is the main building, then there are little 'cabins' sprinkled around all over. I say cabins in quotes because I didn't see any single cabins, they were all buildings that had 4 or more rooms in them. If you want to pay the big bucks you can stay right on the rim of the canyon. We did not, so we were about 20 feet away from the rim.
We stayed in Bright Angel for our honeymoon. It was very close to the rim.
Quote:

The area around the rim by the hotels was packed at this time of day. We would find out later that the morning and nights were the best times to see the Canyon from our hotel area. Trains come in during the daytime and everyone flocks over to the main viewing area at those times.
I know what you mean. We have been there when the tour buses unload in front of the Bright Angel and everybody goes straight through the lobby, right to the view area, take their pictures and then head straight for the gift shop. We found that if we walked a few feet in either direction away from the Bright Angel, the crowds diminished substantially.

I love the Grand Canyon, you're right in that pictures just don't do it justice. I especially loved sunset.
disneyfaninaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.