Sunday, July 12, 2015

Nolan, we are not blending!

The family and I just went on a trip to four corners.  For those of you who know four corners, you get it.  For those of you who don't, it is this ridiculous trip to a place where four states come together.  I was there when I was young, like under 15, and it was like a crooked sign in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE AND YOU TOOK A PICTURE.  See below.....

Grant has never been to the Southwest.  This is a bit of an issue with him.  I have been to the Southwest a ton.  This is not an issue with me.   I love the Southwest.  And so goes the story.....

When I got sick, I never thought I would see the Southwest with Grant or my kids.  I didn't think much of it, because I knew Grant was interested and I knew he would take them.  With my good fortune, Grant and I decided to go, but it all depended on our friend in Kelowna that was fighting cancer.  Although I had planned the trip; all the reservations in place; we did not pull the trigger until we knew he did not need us.  We really did not know we were going until June 18th.  We left the 20th.  So, for most of you, you were like, "Wha?  She is out of town?  Where is she?"  I apologize for that, but in the end, maybe I do not.  We had an awesome trip and that is what life is all about, right?!?!?!?!

Kids got out of school on Thursday at noon.  We left on Saturday at 9:00am.  We stopped in Mountain Home Idaho for the night and dinner.  Nolan was in heaven because they served popcorn BEFORE dinner.  There was a pool and it as 95 degrees.  We landed in Moab, UT the next three nights.  We did Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.  It was HOT.....highlights were the woman at the local history museum.  Could not have someone more excited about Moab history....I LOVED her.  We also 4 wheeled out of Canyonlands.  Okay, so, I am going to say something I will probably get a cross eyed look when I do, but Grant is GREAT at starting the 4 by trip, but when things get rough, he gets nervous to the point of bailing.  He is a Toronto City boy.  I am not.  So, when we get "stuck",  I take over.  I love and trust my Grant, but I know when I have to literally take the wheel.  The boys get this about us.  I love that.  Maybe someday they will respect their wife to take over the wheel as mine does.  It really is an honor.  My friend is Rick, who told me years ago, "Ang, you are lucky you have him and that he lets you do what you do."  When he said this, I stared at him and I think he thought he might die, but it was true.  Grant gives me a very long leash.  A padded room if you will.  I get to do 98% of what I want and when he says no, I am fine.  Truly.  I could have married no one else.  So, as we were staring at the rock that had fallen over the trail, he said, "I am sorry.  We should have checked with the ranger station."  At the same time, I said, "I just need to see if there are tire tracks on the other side of the rock.  If so, we can probably do it."  There were and we did.  The boys, as usual, were like,"Mom, should we be doing this?!?!?!"  I responded with, "This truck was ACTUALLY DESIGNED to do this, if not now, when?!?!??!"  Exhale.  We made it.  The road was washed out, we were in the thick of it, but we made and that is all that mattered.  We did it - together. 

We left Moab and when to Mesa Verde and Four Corners on our way to the Hopi reservation.  I have been to Mesa Verde with my parents and all I remembered was going by latter into a kiva.  We got to Mesa Verde at 10am and all the tours were BOOKED until 3pm.  There was one place could go that had no restrictions and my only question was, "Can they take a latter down into a Kiva?"  Grant looked at me, like, "Wha?"  But, when I was young, I went down into a kiva via latter and I was never the same.  I wanted the same for my boys - all three of them.  "Yes. Yes, there is.  Absolutely."  We went there.  I took pictures of up and down. Grant is claustrophobic, so he came out quickly, but it was done and we did it. We got to Four Corners which is now a "Navajo Park" so you get to park for $20 and then go to a monument, to stand in line to take a picture that is SURROUNDED by Navajo vendors.  So, I am okay with all this.  I acknowledge all of them, we talk about it, and we moved on or purchased.  I hope that I am training my boys in the respect that they need.  Time will tell.  At the end, Mason purchased some Horsehair pottery and Nolan purchased a Navajo Spear.  I was proud of both of them on how they treated the vendors and their products.  We got pictures and then we left - without fry bread which was a faux pas we will learn about later.....

It was a big day....we breezed by Chinle and the canyon there, which is not visited by many, but HOLY COW it is beautiful!  We got there at dusk and the lighting storms had started.  It was amazing.  However, the amazingness of it all was dampered by Mason saying we were all going to die......  Sometimes he is such a buzz kill!....

So we go on to the drive to the Hopi Reservation.  Have to say, there are not a lot of directions.  There is a P.O. Box on the confirmation and, FYI, none of us look HOPI.  SHOCKER.  Grant was like, "Ang, it HAS to be on this is the only road."  And it was, but four miles after I thought.  We check in.  At check in they tell us that it is illegal to have alcoholic beverages in the room of the hotel.  I am thinking we are going to die over two beers and a couple stupid coolers.  Apparently, my face say it all and she smiled and said, "Just keep them in your car."  Fair enough.  So, we unpack, and I tell Grant to put the beers in the car even after his analysis of "How are they going to know...." We settled in and decided to go to the restaurant for some ice cream.  As we sit down, Nolan says to me (mind you this is the ONLY restaurant for miles), "Mummy, you look stressed.  Do you need a.......wait for seriously...this is unbelievable.........martini or margarita?!?!?!?!?!

The woman in the booth right next to us BUSTED up laughing.  Before I can say, "Nolan this I a dry campus." I come out with, "Nolan!  We are not blending!!!  All the other tables start laughing also.  Before he things he is a regular comedian, I shut him down.  "Nolan, we will talk about it later...." Everyone is SUPER welcoming, especially since we are clearly alcoholics ....

SIDE NOTE - I am volunteering at the library at school this year and we have some canned and dried food for people to take. We also, however, ran out of plastic bags, so I went through them with my boys before I took them to school......There was Fred Meyer, Safeway, but also there were a fair amount of "Total Wine", "Black Cat Fireworks" and even a one from KFC.  I guess we really also drinkers that have a horrible diet and blow crap up.

We spent the night and woke up our Hopi Guide after checking out the museum, met up with our Hopi guide, Gary.  SO COOL.  We learned a lot about the culture, history, and current challenges for the Hopis.  One thing they are awful at is negotiating their goods, "I usually sell this for $40, but I will give it to you for $20."  Where is the pause?  Maybe I want to give you $40.  Even Gary was like, "Well, I told you x, but just give me y."  So, I just told him, "I am not paying you less that z."  Business classes....white man business classes.  I may just make that my mission in life!  Gary thought I was hilarious, but said it probably was a good idea.

Wrapped that up and went to the Grand Canyon South Rim.  It was well, grand.  I have never seen it from the top.  Every time we went it was winter and it was fogged in - no lie - three times.

We then ended our trip in Zion.  AMAZING three days.  The best hike was the River Walk at the end of the road.  You walk for a mile and then river is your path.  When it is 108 degrees, walking in a shady canyon in cool water rocks!  Best hike ever.

We ended out trip taking a vacation from our vacation and just hangin' out by the pool one day, being lazy, and then the trip back, popcorn at dinner in Mountain Home, ID, and home.

The boys did great, Grant drove most of the way, and everything went according to plan.  Road trips are in Grant and my blood - nothing like a good road trip!

Happy Sunday,  Ang

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