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Old 08-17-2008, 04:43 PM   #16
jenbadeaux
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Turtlemom,
I just got back from Southwest Splendors last week. For packing purposes, know that the guides keep sunscreen and bug spray on the bus. You are encouraged to use it upon debarking the motorcoach. They also have washing powder available for doing laundry free of charge. Just thought it might help to know!
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:13 PM   #17
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Thanks Jenbadeaux!
That's good information to know! I was definitely planning to bring some sunscreen and bug spray with us--but it is also helpful to know that there is washing powder available--one less thing to pack!

Did you end up doing any laundry on the trip? Just wondering if I should try to pack enough so that we don't have to do any wash--or if I should try to pack light and plan on doing a load or two.. . . Any advice???

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Old 08-17-2008, 07:10 PM   #18
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Grand Canyon --flood and evacuation?

Uh oh. . .
Saw this on the news tonight. There was a dam break near the Grand Canyon village--flooding of a native american village and helicopter evacuation of campers and hikers in the canyon. Yikes!!!!!

Hopefully, this will not affect your trip--or mine! Also, hope no one is hurt and all are evacuated safely.

Here is the link to the story on MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26256451/

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Old 08-17-2008, 07:56 PM   #19
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Turtlemom, I was going to post this on my trip report thread, but since we're all tracking Tammy Del now, this is just as good a place to say to have a great trip. On the laundry front, it's really up to you in terms of whether you want to do laundry while you're on vacation. We decided to bring enough clothes not to and use our free time (there wasn't tons of it, more in Moab than in the Grand Canyon) for more fun stuff. But the laundry facilities are readily available and easy, if you want. We basically packed a pair of shorts for every day, t-shirts and tanks to cover a change per day (or close to), one nice outfit, one sweater, one pair of long pants and some bathing suits, plus the right shoes and a hat. The four of us managed in two LL Bean duffels (size large) and one small bag that our shoes fit into. It'll be great!

Tammy Del, waiting for your next post with your thoughts on Sedona!
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:19 PM   #20
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What fun - a live as it happens - trip report. Thanks for sharing. We are going on the Quest for the West next summer and love to hear from other ABD travelers.

TK
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:27 PM   #21
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We also packed enough clothes to not wash. However, 19 of our group rented ATV's in Moab and we were COVERED with mud. All 19 of us washed clothes when we got back to the hotel.
FYI, the ATV's were a HUGE hit. We also did the hour helicopter tour over grand canyon which was amazing. 3 of my kids and my husband rode horses in Moab while my youngest daughter and I did the hummer tour. All were very fun. Your guides will set up any activity for you. Very easy and so many great memories.
Have the adventure of a lifetime!
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:32 PM   #22
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Thanks Cindy18! Sounds like packing light is the way to go--and we may be able to still avoid laundry. (I always end up taking too much though!--but I will try to resist. . . .)

Looking forward to Tammydel's next post. . . and watching the news for any new reports on the flooding!

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Old 08-17-2008, 11:44 PM   #23
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OK
I know everyone is waiting to hear about the start of our ABD trip, but I have to finish up about our stay the night before. I really feel for anyone with kids who wants to come out before the trip begins, the Arizona Grand was a great place and you may want to plan on more than one night. We wished we had.

Saturday morning my DH went to the fitness center and the kids and I packed up and went to breakfast. DH met us there, it was very nice. Then we went back to the waterpark. They had band playing some Hawaiian music. As much as we were looking forward to our Adventure, we were sad to be leaving so soon, we seriously talked about going back. Here are a few more pictures.
This is the wave pool - during an off time for the waves.
Band playing under tent.
view of lazy river.
The 2 big slides. There is also a lower twisty slide to the side.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:46 PM   #24
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Funny, I didn't hinkI did those pictures any different than the first ones. But these turned out so small and the others are so big?!?
I'll get there.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:10 AM   #25
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So our car comes and we go back to the airport. We managed to find the right Starbucks (Terminal 4, 3rd floor). We were lucky because later we saw there was another Starbucks on the same floor.
Anyway - arriving was a funny moment because you are looking around for people with the ABD bags and wondering about who else is going on your trip. After a few minutes our guides Geraldine and Korey arrived. They greeted us and told us to leave our bags with them and go have some lunch. We would meet back in about 45 minutes.
*Note for those coming into Phoenix airport, I had a really great sandwich at the Paradise (I think) Bakery.
We met back up and loaded into the bus. On the way out of Phoenix we spent time admiring the very different scenery, then hit....traffic. There was an accident that slowed us down, some things not even Disney can control. We had brought a lot to entertain us on the bus rides, we really didn't need anything. Almost everyone spent most of their time watching the landscape change, even the kids.
Montezuma’s castle was very cool, you so wish you could get inside, but of course you understand why you can't. We were a little confused about the Jr. Ranger program. I some people knew more about National Parks, and knew what it was it about. The "step on guide" said that he had some books with activities and if they did the activities they got a badge. Well we got the books, but then the kids were caught up in the sights and listening to the tour. We thought they could just take the books back to the hotel and work on them in the room. We were wrong, the “step on guide" explained that it was almost time to turn them in and then there would be a badge ceremony. Well my kids looked at the books and we realized the activities were broken down by age and theirs were too involved to do in a few minutes. We ended up not doing it (only a few did do it in the end) and had to give the books back. It seemed that people who know more about the National Parks Program knew what to expect - we didn't. So now you know. If your kids want the badge, hop to it and do your activities!
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:21 AM   #26
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Next we are back on the bus and off to Sedona.
I was not prepared for what we would see. I was prepared to be in awe when we arrive at the Grnad Canyon, but i didn't know it would happen this soon into the trip. If I had to go home as soon as we got to our hotel, I would have felt like the trip was worth it. I have some pictures, but they are all from though the bus window. As we sort, I hope to pickout the best, but here are some... and as you know, pictures can not do it justice.


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Old 08-18-2008, 12:44 AM   #27
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We had some rain as we arrived (they call it monsoon season, in NY we call it thunderstorms). Dinner was pushed back 1/2 hour because we were a little later due to the traffic leaving Phoenix and entering Sedona (lots of crazy construction going on). Dinner was fun, all the entertainment was great. Tyler held both the tarantula and the snake.



We were all getting sleepy by the time food was ready. There was a sliced beef, salmon, au gratin potatoes and mixed summer vegetables. The food was very good, I enjoyed it, but my kids were hoping for a more "kid friendly" choice. Perhaps they are just picky, other kids seemed to take what was offered, not sure how much they really ate, but they could have been just sleepy.
Speaking of sleepy, I was asleep very soon after I swallowed my last bite. That's why no trip report last night.

Last edited by tammydel; 08-21-2008 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:11 AM   #28
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Sleepy is coming into play again. I may need to get some sleep before all my pictures from toady are uploaded.

I'll give you some random thoughts before bed.

Weather has been quite cool in the early morning and evening. Bring a sweatshirt for sure, and a rain jacket - because of the afternoon rain.

Cindy - I told Geraldine you said hello. She was pleased. There are some folks on this trip that have read the trip reports on the Dis boards and were talking about them (very favorably!)

We had he cowGIRL for our jeep tour. She was awesome, try and get her if she here that day.

The jeep tour was another one of those moments that I thought, if I had come and only been able to do THIS it would have been worth it.

I kind of thought the lassoing and soap carving would be a little ho-hum. I was wrong. It was the perfect, down time activity. We all laughed through the rope throwing and the kids loved the soap carving, so did I. It is very relaxing, the 4 of us each made one and then the kids each made another. (You can but the tools in the gift shop)

The kids had bonding time in the pool with the other kids from the tour. I said to my husband that this "making friends" at the pool happens at Disney a lot. But then they usually don't see the kids again. Here, they get to spend the next week with them. I see how they will grow close.

My DH had a massage at the spa. I said I'm waiting for after the Delicate Arch hike!

The Cowboy Club (maybe the name) was very busy for dinner so we went to The Orchard instead. Our server didn't have much English, but they did have all the food my kids were craving (spaghetti, mac and cheese, chicken tenders). Here's the hint***none of that is on the menu, you just have to ask about a kid's menu and they tell you what they have. Strange but true.

Guides are great, others on the tour are very nice.

I'm sad we did not get connecting rooms, I knew it could happen. They are right next to each other. Last night DD and I slept in one room and DH and DS in the other. Tonight we are all sharing in one. But having 2 bathrooms is great.
We'll see what will happen at the next hotels. (This affects my posting because DH is the keeper of the computer.)

OK, gotta sleep. Hoping not to wake up at 3:50AM like this morning!

Happy Trails!
Tammy
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:33 AM   #29
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Have a great day!
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:22 AM   #30
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Great to hear updates Tammy! The pictures of Sedona from the coach made me grin. I absolutely remember that sense of astonishment as we got close to those red rocks for the first time. I know that by the end of your day today, you will be at the south rim of the Grand Canyon, and it just keeps getting better. Give Geraldine a hug from me and from our family too, and keep having a blast!
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