We had an active and productive last day of the conference filled with presentations, social events, and dinner with the students and faculty.
Tuesday morning, we stopped by Claremont where I went to grad school. The childrens were NOT amused about seeing where I lived for 8 years. In fact, it wasn't until Conor went: "Is there where you got your doctor degree?" that he was impressesd. I only took them by my old house and the (old) Village. The last time, I went to the new Village and it still gives me nightmares.
Then, we drove up to the Grand Canyon.
We were only there for a few minutes when a huge storm blew in and out. This provided us with that crazy moment every family vacation needs: running back to the car while painful rain drops pelted us and we struggled with the altitude to breathe and move our legs. We arrived to the car wet and lauging and with a great story from the vacation. Plus, we saw some other visitors to the Grand Canyon.
The next day, we did not get our sorry asses up in time to see the sunrise. However, the morning started off overcast so we felt CLEVER for sleeping in.
While all the cool kids recommended the Bright Angels hike, we note the young whiners in our midst (surprisingly, NOT Dave and me) and opted for the 2 1/2 hour ridge hike. There were few people on it and we were able to have a nice time without a lot of other people.
We saw some amazing views and vistas. I would love to be someone who hikes the canyon or camp on the canyon floor. But I'm going to blame the two little ones for why we didn't hike more this time. They can blame us later, when they write their own blogs.
So now we are on the way back. It's really a beautiful drive. But, as my marathoner friends know, it's an out-and-back marathon and that's not nearly as much fun as a loop. The fun thing is recognizing the same cites on the way back, waving to cities where we stayed, and freaking out when we realize we stopped at the same remote gas station in OK that we stopped on the way out.
But we're a wee bit focused on getting home. It's still fun! And we're still having fun as a family. But I'm ready to snuggle with my dog, cats, gerbils, and say Hi to the chickens.