"ON THE ROAD WITH THE FAMILY (2014 edition)" stamporama's Profile

After 5 long years, my family heads back to the USA! As before, we shall visit and bond with family members both on my side and that of my wife's. Since we've been to their respective homes and cities a number of times in the past, I wanted to make the most out of our trip by going to places we haven't been to before. So for the US, we headed out west -- to Arizona and Utah! And we also flew out of the US -- to Peru!

Our first stop: SEDONA. After arriving and sleeping the night in Phoenix, we rented a terrific SUV (a Dodge Journey) and headed north. Just after a couple of hours, we knew we were in Sedona already when we began to see these amazing red rock formations.

Just after a night in Sedona, we left for the Mother of all National Parks: Grand Canyon. On the road something caught us by surprise: we ran into a snowstorm! OMG, I've never experienced this before...much less drive in one! Snow in the middle of the desert?!? I knew it could snow in GC but we haven't even reached Flagstaff yet. This went on for almost an hour.

To make it short, the storm cleared after we passed Flagstaff. That was a relief as we could have cancelled the journey had the storm continued all the way to GC but when we made a quick call to our hotel there, we were assured that the weather there was bright and sunny.

WHEW!!!! That was a SCAAAARRYYY drive! Glad it was over, I thought our trip would be cut short.

Upon gazing your eyes at the Grand Canyon, you are immediately reminded of what photographers frequently say about it. That no picture ever taken can do justice or capture the immensity of this place. Indeed to describe it as "grand" is putting it so mildly. One really has to go here and FEEL how small you are in the great scheme of things.

Onward now to Monument Valley. I have seen its picture many times in US travel guidebooks, movie scenes and computer wallpapers and I have always been intrigued to know exactly where it was in the US.

So when I told my family that we were going here, they asked, "Where's that???"...I replied "Just trust me and come!".

So that's it for Arizona. We pack our gear and move further north to cross the state boundary to Utah!

On the last leg of our tour, we stopped by at Bryce Canyon. It's a far smaller place than the Grand Canyon, but what it lacked in depth it made up for it through weird, alien-like rock formations called hoodoos.

Finally, the highlight of our entire summer trip -- to see the famed Incan ruin of Machu Picchu. It definitely deserves to be one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, for there is something to be said about a lost ruin rediscovered atop a mountain and amid the clouds.

  • Intro Updated Aug 20, 2014
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