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Old 07-26-2008, 08:56 PM   #61
DaddyBrady
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Quote:
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Traveling with your parents, eh? You're very brave!
Brave... Crazy... It's a thin line.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:29 PM   #62
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Quote:
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Brave... Crazy... It's a thin line.


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Old 07-27-2008, 09:21 PM   #63
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OK, so here are some pictures. We decided to choose just a few, to give you a feel and a sense but not too many. You need to experience this all for yourself first hand! I tried to focus on Tammy's request for shots of the hotels and the coach. We really had almost no food shots (too busy eating to take pictures, I guess).




The girls' room at the Amara. Very comfortable beds.



The views from the pool and restaurant at the Amara. Really gorgeous.



This is the coach.



Here's a shot of some of the views we got to see on the Red Jeep tour we took. Tiffany and Geraldine were really good at getting family shots.



Tiffany on the coach. A pretty common sight.



Airport Mesa at Sedona. This is one of the vortexes, and we had an unscheduled stop there for some great photo ops and for positive energy flow. Not sure about the latter, but the pictures came out great.



Our room at the Grand Hotel. Not as comfortable as the Amara, but as you see, large and clean and just fine.



Family shot at the Grand Canyon. Enough said.



Tiffany and Geraldine at the Watchtower at the Grand Canyon. We have tons of amazing shots of all the kids there too. This was really the day where we came together as a group.



Helicopter ride at Grand Canyon. For those of you considering it, it's worth the $$ for the once-in-a-lifetime feeling experience.



First of three sunset photos of the Grand Canyon.



Second of three.



Third of three. You just find yourself taking more and more pictures, desperately trying to capture its vastness and majesty. As the light changed, we just keep snapping photos.




Tiffany on our jeep tour in Monument Valley.



Monument Valley. Hard to believe, but that's not a movie set. It's all real.



Geraldine on the photo op horse during one of our stops on our Monument Vally tour.



The Colorado River seen from Red Cliffs Lodge. We don't have any shots of our rooms at Red Cliffs Lodge, but this picture gives you some sense of how beautiful the setting is.



Delicate Arch. Trust me, the hike is absolutely worth it. I deliberately didn't post the photos from up close in the arch. That you have to see for yourself.



Tiffany, Freddy and Geraldine on our last night.



Red Cliffs Lodge. That's DH 12 heading to our room. Just trying to give you more of a sense of how amazing it was there.



The gang at Grand Junction. Trying not to cry in front of the coach right before we said goodbye.
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:54 PM   #64
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Beautiful pictures, thank you so much. Having a hard time decuding between SOuthwest and London/Paris for next year. Thank you so much for sharing!
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:01 PM   #65
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Hey, cindy18, fun looking at your pics! I'm impressed you were able to select so few! I'm terrible at that.

That's a great shot at Grand Junction. It wasn't until later I realized that we didn't take any pictures there. We hugged & we cried, but we missed the photo-op!

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Old 07-28-2008, 06:44 AM   #66
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Yipee! Pictures!
Thanks for the posting your photos. The views look spectacular!
I noticed you said "the girl's room at the Amara".
We took 2 rooms as well. When Disney came out with this year's pricing and they had gotten rid of the quad discount, we figured if we were going to pay for 2 rooms we might as well take 2 room.
So did you have connecting rooms at any/all the hotels? I'm not sure my kids (or I) would becomfortable yet with thier own room if it were not connecting. But that leaves me sharing with DD(10) and my husband sharing with DS(11). The kids will think that's great and we can deal with it, but I'd so rather have connecting. I'm very curious to see how this was handled.

Your girls do look like they are having a marvelous time. Even the Delicate Arch picture (was that taken during the hike? No one looks ready to pass out!!!)

Thank you again - I keep saying to my family - 3 weeks from now we'll be doing this or that. The pictures help bring it home, but I still can't believe WE are really going to be there.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:46 AM   #67
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The quantity of amazing pictures is staggering, Say Hello. Even after we went through the photos that DH and I took that were really duplicates, we have over 1,100. It was hard to decide what to post, but I decided to go the approach of just a teasing taste, which made it easier because the idea was a few scenic shots at each destination, plus the few shots I had to give a feel of the hotels. Every time we go through all the photos, we wish we were there again!

At Grand Junction, I think the cameras came out because we were stalling!
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:40 AM   #68
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Tammy, I'm glad you asked about the rooms. We had the same reaction when we saw the pricing and switched to 2 rooms, requesting adjoining. ABD was clear that they could not guarantee adjoining. Our kids also would not have slept in their own room if the rooms weren't connected, but we figured we'd have 2 beds in one room and 1 king bed in the other, so if the rooms weren't adjoining, we'd all sleep together in the room with the 2 beds, but at least we'd have 2 bathrooms and 2 rooms for our stuff. As it turns out, all 3 of the hotels gave us adjoining rooms, so we just propped open the doors between the 2 rooms and spread out. At both the Amara and the Grand, the bed configuration was as I thought, one room had 2 beds and one room had 1 big bed. At Red Cliffs Lodge, both rooms had 2 queen beds, which was fine (the king bedded rooms are all in one area of the Lodge, and the queen bedded rooms are in another, so if you have connecting rooms, you either have 2 2-queen rooms or 2 king rooms). So it worked out great, and we were thrilled with the extra space. A few other families had thought about getting 2 rooms but hadn't done it when the adjoining rooms couldn't be guaranteed. We may have been lucky in how it turned out, but as I said, we would have taken the 2 rooms even if they weren't connecting for the extra space and extra bathroom and then just slept together in one room.

The Delicate Arch picture was taken right when we got to the arch, so now you know what we looked like after the hard part was finished. As Say Hello described in her trip report, to get to or under the arch, you have to go around a slopped area which is a little harder than it looks and freaked a few people out because the drop-off is obvious. But most everyone did that as well. As I said, we stopped to rest several times and were very careful about water and sun protection. Everyone helped everyone else. We were up at the arch for awhile, actually, getting lots of pictures and taking it in. On the way down, everyone went at his or her own pace, without rest stops, so we were pretty spread out. Obviously, down is a lot easier, but it was also hotter and we were pretty tired, so it was a great relief to get to the air-conditioned coach!

You will have a fabulous time!
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:58 PM   #69
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Thanks for the pictures. This looks like such a great trip.
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:49 AM   #70
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Hi Cindy18!
Thanks for the awesome trip report!!!! and the terrific pictures!!!!
Now I'm really excited to go on our Southwest Splendors trip--Just 22 days to go!!!!
Thanks also for all the travel tips.

Now that the new 2009 destinations are slowly leaking out--I'm ready to plan my next trip before this one even starts!. . . . .

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Old 07-29-2008, 05:08 PM   #71
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Tutlemom, you must be on the tour right after Tammy's. I'm expecting pictures and lots of reports from both of you!!! I'll definitely need to relive the whole thing through your own experiences.
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:26 AM   #72
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I'm definitely charging up the camera batteries! Not sure if I'll be able to master the fabulous "real-time" reporting that you have done--but I promise I'll share pictures and experiences as soon as I can. . . .

Can't wait!!!!!!

Thanks.

TM
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:48 PM   #73
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Turtlemom, you've got to be pretty close now to the start of your trip. You too Tammy Del! I'm envious that you are about to start. I realized today that we left one month ago tomorrow for Phoenix. Can't wait to hear how it goes for you and what parts of it just blow you away!
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:43 AM   #74
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I can't believe we go next week! So much to do before we go.
I'm going to look into a photobucket account or something like it so that I can try and post during the trip. We'll see how that works out....
Now it's trying to make sure my kids are ready for school when we come back and that my classroom is set up (I'm a teacher).
Oh, and packing...if we could just stop wearing clothes, packing would be easier.

Tammy
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:02 AM   #75
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I stressed the packing too, but it turned out to be easier than I thought. Just lots of shorts, t-shirts and tanks, a few bathing suits, good walking shoes, one pair of jeans, one sweater, a good hat and I guess one nice summer dress or skirt. And sunscreen, of course! And you're set. Remember you won't carry your bags once you meet up with your tour, but you will be unpacking and packing a few times. Laundry is easy to do both at The Grand and at Red Cliffs Lodge, but then again, you're on vacation. We packed enough not to have to do laundry until we got home.

Are you flying in the morning of the tour, or the day before?
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