Posts Tagged ‘bus’

Family Vacation Extravaganza!

November 5, 2016

My baby sister called me a year ago to tell me some thrilling news but her voice didn’t hold the excitement I felt it should have. A couple from their church invited my sister and her pastor husband (whose rapper name is Big Sexy but that’s not part of this story) on a two week cruise in the Mediterranean with 3-day stops in Venice and Paris. A DREAM vacation! I am pretty sure I was WAY more excited than she was about the cruise! I have taught Renaissance history… there are about 27 million places, buildings and works of art that I would kill to see. Well, maybe not kill, but close. Maim. Yeah. Maim.

My baby sister lamented, “I don’t think we should go because then we couldn’t come home to Arizona for Christmas next year.” I laughed loudly in her ear. A three week trip to Europe or Christmas with the cousins??? Seemed like a no-brainer to me. I felt like asking, “Are you dumb?” but I’m the nice sister, so I refrained. Then I remembered that we were going to Canada for Christmas and wouldn’t even be in Arizona. That encouraged her just a tad to consider the magnificent adventure at her finger tips.

The fervor had not returned in her voice. Still sounding forlorn she asked, “What would we do with the kids for three weeks?” HELLO!? You live in Maui. I WILL COME! Hence yesterday’s blog about Hana, the beach chair, returning joy and cat barf. So they went.

Knowing that we would be staying in my sister’s home, which is the parsonage twelve steps away from the church they pastor, (which consequently used to be the offices for a sugar cane plantation 50 or so years ago) I began to have visions of our own Crosby Family Vacation Extravaganza!  Whooo HOooooo! With some cousins thrown in! Party like it’s 1999.

Mr. Wallet and I discussed the opportunity and we enthusiastically presented it to the kids one night at dinner. Here is how it went down:

Me: (Can’t stop smiling!) Your Auntie and Uncle are going on a trip next November and have asked us to go over and take care of your cousins for two weeks. So we are all going to go and have a blast in Maui together!

(No one cheered.) (Maybe they didn’t hear me?)

Our 17 year old son: I don’t want to go. It is my last state band competition for high school.

(Again, I am weighing the alternatives: band or Maui?) (No brainer.)

Me: We could go the last two weeks so you could do the state competition and then go.

Our 17 year old son: I don’t want to go then either. That would mean I would have to have my 18th birthday in Maui.

(And the problem is?????) (I am pretty sure my mouth was hanging open.) (Well, that just saved us $600!)

Our 19 year old son: Yeah, I don’t want to go either. It would be hard for me to get my jobs covered and I’m driving bus for the homeless on Sundays.

(Since when did ministry come before self indulgence?) (KIDDING!) (Another $600 saved!)

The 12 year old Colombian princess: Do I get to go? 

(Didn’t I say FAMILY vacation?)

YES!!!! Her eyes lit up and a smile spread across her face. That’s my girl.

THEN a few months into the planning, Mr. Wallet counted his vacation days and decided he was going to save another $600 and stay home. What the heck? How can all these men be related to me? I live for vacations! My sons had free food, lodging and flights to Maui but turned them down. I just don’t get it. I am pretty sure when they are 40 they will regret the foolish decisions of their youth.

You guessed it… GIRLS TRIP! Nora and I are having a blast! She hasn’t flown on a BIG plane since she came to America six years ago, so of course she had to tell me all about them…. trays that come down out of the seat for your table… tiny bathrooms… free nuts! So many things to look forward to!

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Oh, you know I’m posting pictures of facebook, snapchat and instagram and tagging my sons. BEST GIRLS TRIP EVER!

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Grand Canyon Travel Advisory!

June 7, 2013

grand canyon

Yes, I’m here as your valued travel adviser having returned from the grandest of canyons a mere three hours past.  Here are my Top Eleven-and-a-half Suggestions for visiting the Grand Canyon National Park in Northern Arizona (brought to you by Hershey’s smooth milk chocolate bars):

11.  Hold onto small children around the rim.  There are not railings everywhere…. I mean, come on… it’s 277 miles long on EACH side.  Safety first, people.  The guide told us that 12 people die each year from falling in.  WHAT?  Yep.

10.  Take your camera.  This may seem like a DUH!, but I didn’t have one with me as ours landed on the ground too many times.  My friend brought hers and hopefully she will share her pictures!

9.  Engage those around you.  We met delightful people from Utah, South Africa, Maine, Germany, Pennsylvania, South Korea, South Carolina, India, China and even California!  There were plenty of elderly folks who love to chat.  They asked to see our paintings, asked to take a picture of my drawings, asked if all these kids were mine and visited about lovely information of their experiences from their homelands.

8.  Stay until sunset at least once.  The colors are unbelievable, incomprehensible, and awesome!

7.  Plan an extra hour for every event you want to attend if you are taking the free shuttles.  Yes, they are free.  No gimmicks.  The only place in the USA where FREE isn’t a catch word for “sucker”. Thank you, U.S. Government, for providing free shuttles in the park.  At the beginning of the week, I thought the bus drivers were grouchy and mean.  After four days of witnessing what they go through with wild American kids that can’t sit in a seat for the love of God, and ALL the lovely foreigners who just needed more help with the maps, the schedules, the standing-in-the-white-space-by-the-door law, the back door and front door loading and unloading rules, the no eating and no drinking rules and the back-away-from-the-curb-when-bus-is-approaching guideline….. I realized I would probably be grouchy too, or supremely sarcastic, which is usually over foreigners’ heads and would cause MORE confusion.

6.  Go inside Kolb’s Studio.  Downstairs they still play the original moving pictures that the Kolb Brothers showed to visitors in the 1930s.  The artwork in the studio is outstanding!  Well worth the time, it’s air conditioned and the historic photos are the BEST of these two renegades, even at the age of 93!

kolb

5 1/2.  Drive all the way to Desert View Point and climb the smelly tower all the way to the top.  The views of the Colorado are supreme.

desert view tower

5.  Bring your own food from home.  And solid blocks of ice, if you are camping.  Prices inside the park are astronomical….. seriously from outer space. A 2 litre pop was almost $4.  If you are coming from Northern Alberta, that is a reasonable price, I understand.  But you can go to Walmart in Flagstaff and fill up on 2l pop for $.99 each on your way.  One trip I purchased 1 bag of charcoal, 2 bags of ice, a lemonade, a greeting card and 2 packs of gum….. guess how much….. go ahead….. guess…… higher…… higher….. yes, $30.26.

4.  Camp!  Ok, I know you hotel-cushies just rolled your eyes and I lost ya, but seriously, to stay at least four days and not spend your children’s college funds, camping is the way to go.  You will never forget the stars in the night sky!!!  Amazing!  No bugs.  Hot showers.  Or rent an RV and use the microwave.  Be somewhat cushy.  The camp sites are only $18 per night.  The CHEAPEST room in a lodge on the rim is $169 per night/low season/2 people.  Or stay at a motel outside the park and use the free shuttle every day.

3.  Carry your own lunch.  This is from experience, people.  Take responsibility and pack in your own food.  Mine “accidentally” got set down at a shuttle stop somewhere… and I had to beg for 1/2 sandwiches from my sons.  Some lucky soul is now carrying a bright yellow lunch sack with Linda Crosby written across the bottom.  If you see him/her, please tell them you read my blog.  It looks exactly like this:

yellow lunch sack

2.  Plan at least 4 – 5 days to see everything.  There is SO MUCH to see!  We stayed five days and I still didn’t get to tour the insides of the historical buildings or hike down a bit of Bright Angel trail (you know, just to say “Yeah, I’ve hiked Bright Angel.”)

and the NUMBER ONE Suggestion for visiting the Grand Canyon is….. (drum roll, please)…. WEAR SUNSCREEN!  Learn from my mistakes, people.  And take it from me, if you think your facial make-up has sunscreen, you may be fooling yourself.  Mine used to… and stopped including it without my knowledge…. and my face got toasty roasty… but not as bad as my red v-neck burn.  Say no to skin cancer and wear sunscreen…. waterproof sunscreen, because you will sweat.