So... ever wonder what it's like to take a trip with a large family? Well, today I am going to give you a peek into the lives of the Macy Family and let you tag along on our trip to the Grand Canyon.
First, did I mention it was the GRAND CANYON we went to?! None of us had ever been before, except Mom, and that was in the fourth grade. This is a trip that we had always planned on taking, but never actually got around to... (I am sure we aren't the only family that does that, right?) Well, this year it finally happened! And it was perfect! Except for the part where it got below freezing at night when we weren't exactly prepared for that (not fun in tents)... or the fact that Daniel and Hannah came down with the flu... But other than that, it was perfect!
Before I get any further into our vacation, I should give you an idea of what it is like to travel with nine people, and their gear, in one vehicle. Actually, it is a lot of fun! Yes, it is a bit tighter now that we don't have any little kids, but we also have fewer bathroom stops and less crying! There are pros and cons to everything. (Although, honestly, I do miss having the younger ages in the family.) We still play some of those road trip games though, even with teenagers and adults, and we found license plates from almost all fifty states! Where were the visitors from West Virginia, North Dakota, Louisiana, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Delaware? That was our biggest disappointment of the weekend. By the way, if you ever happen to see someone in a big blue van watching cars through a camera, don't worry. It's not some creep taking pictures of random people, it's just Josiah trying to zoom in on a license plate that went by too fast. Confession time, there were a few times when someone (or several someones) asked/begged Dad to speed so we could catch up to a car and see their license plate. There is only so much a camera can do. Please, if you have an out of state license plate, do everyone a favor and drive slow! You have no idea how much joy you might add to someone's life.
Melissa does an awesome job of packing the van (a trait she inherited from Dad), and we managed to stay pretty comfortable on the eight-hour drive.
As I said earlier, it was colder the first night than we had expected. Everyone got up the next morning and compared how many layers of clothes they had put on throughout the night, and how little they had slept. We realized something was wrong when Daniel told us how hot he had been, and that he even had to take off his shirt and unzip his sleeping bag! Then Josiah told us that he actually had been warm and comfortable. Turns out, Daniel had quite the fever that night and acted as a heater for the guys' tent. But he still wanted to go see the Grand Canyon, so after breakfast everyone loaded into the van and we were off!
Unfortunately, Daniel was only able to handle the first half of the day on his feet. After that, he slept in the van while we continued to go. There are definitely benefits to having a large van, one of which is there is more space to stretch out.
We were hoping that Daniel would get better without sharing with anyone else... Well, he felt better the next day and was able to keep up with us, but Hannah started to go down. Thankfully, she held it at bay until the last day, but the trip home was pretty miserable. They both would say that the trip was still worth it, though. And we would all agree!
Although we only had two full days at the Grand Canyon, we made the most of it! From Hermit's Rest to Desert View, we traveled the South Rim and saw almost everything in between. We managed to view both a sunset and a sunrise while there, and even though we missed part of one, and smoke obscured some of the other, it was definitely worth it! We met people from around the world (just not from West Virginia, North Dakota, Louisiana, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Delaware), saw wildlife up close, and just enjoyed being together!
As far as experiencing the Grand Canyon itself...
I know everyone says this, but it is true, you cannot capture the Grand Canyon with a camera. And there aren't words to describe it! Grand is not an accurate name. It is so much more than that. How do you even begin to put words to what you are seeing? The colors, the lines, the shadows, the textures... As an artist, you can not help but feel overwhelmed by the amazing beauty surrounding you.
I have heard people say that the Grand Canyon makes them feel small, or insignificant, but it didn't have that effect on me. In fact, I don't remember thinking about myself at all, or really, anything else for that matter. It was all I could do to just see and feel.
Our family is probably different that way, we love to see. Long car rides are full of talking and laughter, but also hours of contentedly watching out the windows as the world goes by. It's not uncommon for someone to say "Do you see that rock formation?" "Look at that old barn." "The light on those bushes is beautiful!" But sometimes, you can't even say what it is you are seeing because you are feeling it too deeply to put it into words. All you can do is just breathe in the beauty surrounding you. That was the Grand Canyon. Amazingly indescribable.
One thing I can tell you after visiting the Grand Canyon, there is not a painting or photo that can compare with being there in person. God truly is the Master Artist.