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Meat the Vegetarian

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This past weekend, Max and I went to Arizona!  We had 4 days, and the first stop was the Grand Canyon.  We flew from NYC to Phoenix, rented a car, and drove a very scenic 4 hours to the Canyon.  The drive wasn’t that bad, especially because they upgraded us to a Camaro!

Well after sunset, we arrived at our hotel, the historic El Tovar.  Built in 1905, its visitors have included: Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and now, Max and Lindsay.  We stayed in the Fred Harvey suite – one of the only rooms in the hotel with a balcony overlooking the Canyon, which was absolutely gorgeous at sunrise. (More on that later.)  We dropped our bags and headed down to dinner in the El Tovar dining room.  This room probably hasn’t changed since 1905.  It was a HUGE room with fire places at either end, and we were cozy sitting next to one during dinner.  You are probably thinking, why would you need a fire place in Arizona?  Let me tell you, it was cold.  And that is coming from some one that can stand the NYC winters.  But, cold is nothing a fire and a bottle of wine can’t fix.  Max had an awesome steak with a side a fingerling potatoes.  I had a sad excuse for pasta – it was the only thing I could eat on the menu, besides a vegan stuffed mushroom.  I wasn’t bothered by it though– places like that don’t usually have any choices for me.

We woke up early for sunrise – about 7:30 am.  I thought it was going to be earlier, but hey – with the time difference, it was like waking up at 9:30 am.  Except, there was the two hours before the time of rise, where both Max and I woke up in a panic every 5 minutes thinking we missed it.  We took a short hike and a lot of pictures.  At about 9:30, we headed in for breakfast, in the El Tovar dining room, again.  Breakfast was AWESOME.  I had the pancake trio – which was way too big – the trio included a blue corn, a buckwheat, and a buttermilk pancake served with the most DELICIOUS prickly pear syrup.  Max had some beef hash thing with scrambled eggs and peppers.  I wasn’t really paying attention, because the pancakes were way too delicous to focus on anything else.

After breakfast, we set out on a hike.  We were going to hike down into the Canyon, but the trails were ice impacted.  The safest bet was to hike around the Rim of the Canyon, following the trail that I have dubbed the Rim Job.  If you stayed on the path, it was an easy hike – it was also paved most of the way.  But, for the more adventurous view gazers, you could get EXTREMELY close to the Rim on the trail-ish area next to the designated Rim Job Path.  The views blew us away; we couldn’t stop taking pictures.  We hiked about 6 miles before returning to El Tovar to have a MUCH needed beer.  We each had a local beer, which were fine. I think they tasted really great, but only because we had been hiking for hours.

By then, it was about 4 pm, so we had to load up our gear and say goodbye.  We had a few more stops before we decided where to watch the sunset.  We drove out to Hopi Point, which was an over look, and then to Hermit’s Rest.  Hermit’s Rest (I forgot the name while we were driving there, so I just started calling it Hermit Crabs) had a couple of short hiking type trails, so we meandered around there for about an hour.  We headed back to Hopi Point, because the views were spectacular there.

Along the way, we came across some wildlife… Literally, we almost ran into it.  These things look like something out of Buck Hunter.  Seriously – does anyone know what they are?  I am open to sending a prize to someone who can tell me what these are…

Anyway, sunset was lovely.  We then popped in the car and headed to Scottsdale… More on that tomorrow!

Interesting Links:
http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/el-tovar-409.html
http://www.nps.gov/grca/parknews/upload/2011SRwinter-guide1103.pdf

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