Because I am a planner by God's design, almost the entire trip has been planned ahead of time. Though we taught the kids the word "vagabond" during car-schooling, we actually have been on a well orchestrated journey rather than a follow the wind sort of trip. But after we hiked out of the bottom of the Grand Canyon by 10:30AM last Tuesday, we were ready to leave the canyon after peeling our clothes off and showering at the campground (actually at the same time as our three Hoosier friends, Steve Carr, Kurt Strueh, and Eric Scudder who were also hiking out of the canyon and showering at our campground--tiny, tiny world.)
We decided to move on to our next park which was Zion in Utah. Spontaneously again, we drove into Page, AZ which was on the way and took the Antelope Canyon tour that the Dulls raved about. Sure it WAS great, but at 7:00 at night our plan to "just grab a hotel" began to unravel when every place in Page was filled. No big deal. We'll just get a little closer to Zion and grab a hotel there. At this point, I had not even begun to have any anxiety. Camping places were no where to be found either and after hiking into and out of the Grand Canyon in 24 hours, I was hobbling rather than walking fluidly. By 8:30 we were given the news that "every place in town was filled...except maybe one." So we came in weakened by the hike and clearly no longer reasoning well when we fell victim to the panic of no where to sleep with four, now cranky boys. We paid $112 dollars for the privilege of staying at "The Mission Inn."
When we pulled in the parking lot Michael said, "Please tell me we're not staying here. This looks like a slum." Sure there was only one other mini van in the parking lot amidst the motorcycles and pick-up trucks, and the mini van couple had the same pained look on their face that we did as they hurridly ushered their kids into the building. The dad saw us and smiled, "Last room in town, huh?"
Once inside Christopher asked, "Are we sleeping in those twin beds?" While they were indeed double beds, they did seem small since the room was only large enough to hold the two beds and one broken end table. The 12 inch TV was mounted to the wall and screwed into a random sheet of plywood. Since I insisted that no one touch the bed spreads and keep shoes on at all times, it proved difficult to move around out of a single file line, so we had to smash by each other to get dressed for bed or move to the bathroom. The older boys slept on a set of sheets in a closet inside of the bathroom (picture already posted by Andy while he played with my blog this morning without asking.)
We survived the night with no sighting of pestilence (of course it was dark), but we did get someone else's wake-up call at 5:00AM which only served to remind us that we had paid over $100 for a room with no fitted sheets so they came off in the night, a pillow case with a monogram on it, and only enough hot water for one shower.
When the boys woke up, Bryan asked if the front desk might have a toothbrush for him since he couldn't find his after hiking. Andy said, "Sure they will. But it will be someone else's."
My favorite thing was Matthew's innocent heart when we left. Although surprised they weren't serving his continental breakfast in the morning, he still commented, "It's OK, I liked this place. It was fun."