Spring Break Surprise Vacation – Day 3

This morning we got up about 7, got ready and head to the Cafe for breakfast. It was buffet, just like dinner last night. I had a made-to-order omelet and YUM!!!!! They have some GOOD food at this place. But, oh, the prices! We would never eat here if it weren't part of our package deal I got. $30 for the 3 of us for breakfast, and dinner is $50 for the 3 of us!!!!  Ack! After we ate breakfast, we headed next door to the train depot and after a short wait, boarded the train to the Grand Canyon. It was a really fun ride and there were very few people on board so we all had lots of room. There's a cafe car, so of course we had to get snacks. The countryside was beautiful with all the snow.

The train ride is 2 hours and 15 minutes and near the end we saw lots of deer laying under trees really close to the tracks. We got to the Grand Canyon and had about 3 hours to see the Canyon and the buildings and everything. The first place we went was to the Visitors' Center to get Robert his Junior Ranger booklet. There are different activities for kids of various ages and if the child completes at least 4 activities and listens to a Ranger talk and gets the Ranger's signature, the child becomes a Junior Ranger. They have this at all the National Parks, and we did it at Mt. Rushmore and Wind Cave as well. After we got Robert's JR book, we took some pictures by/of the Canyon, checked out the Hopi House, bought a couple of souvenirs, and the headed back for the Ranger Talk. The lady that did today's talked about split twig figures that they have found in some of the caves, and then the kids (there were maybe 8 or 10) and parents got to make their own, not from twigs, but from REALLY long twist-ties. I didn't get to make one because Thomas decided he was hungry, but the Ranger did send home twist-ties with everyone so we could do more at home. Then she did a little ceremony where the kids were "sworn in" as Junior Rangers and got their badges. She even gave us a sticker for Thomas – that will be going in his baby book.

We headed back to the train depot and were able to board right away. We had a nice ride back – it sure looked different this afternoon as the sun had come out and the snow had stopped. We did have a little excitement on the way back, though, as some "train robbers" got on board and came through the cars. But the Marshall got them. They have some guys that portray wild west cowboys and they usually do a gun fight show before the train leaves in the morning, but the set is under 2 feet of snow so they couldn't do that. But they also portray the train robbers and meet the train at 5:00 each day and put on a show for everyone. It was pretty neat – I knew it was going to happen because I read about it online, but a lot of people had no idea what was going on.

After we got back to the depot in Williams, we headed back to the Cafe for dinner and then to the hotel room to change to go to the pool/hot tub. Thomas continued to be a hit with everyone – he was on the train both ways, he was at the Canyon, and he was at the pool. Everyone comments about how wide his eyes are and how much he's always smiling. I'm glad I have a happy baby!! Thomas and I left the hot tub about 15 minutes before Ryan and Robert, but I could tell Thomas was getting sleepy. We came up to the room and he was just finishing up his bedtime snack when Daddy and big brother came up. I'm about to head to bed as well – long drive home tomorrow.

I got a lot of pictures today, but you'll have to wait a bit to see them.

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