Monday, October 6, 2014

Trip To the Grand Canyon: Stop 1 ~ Williams, AZ

Visiting the Grand Canyon has been on the top of my bucket list for a long time. The six-hour drive to get there must have prevented me do so until now. But last Wednesday, very unexpectedly, we finally decided to take the trip. 

This is how it all came about ~ since my Honey and I are not very good at planning ahead, we found ourselves talking about taking a break from work... now. (I've been pretty vocal about the importance of work/life balance). So, last Wednesday, we decided to plan our annual vacation... except that we could not agree on dates and were not willing to spend much money. Agh! 

So we had to settle for a quick getaway on a budget. 

One of California's great perks is that there is no shortage of beautiful quick getaway locations. Napa? Santa Barbara? Oh, how about California Working Farm? 

Finally, he said: No, let's go to the Grand Canyon. 

Oh, brilliant idea ~ the beauty of the Natural World's Wonder must make up for the lack of vacation days and wouldn't cost a fortune! We only needed a car, a hotel room, and enough excitement to survive the long drive.

Two days later, we were were off to Arizona. The trip itinerary included three stops: Williams, AZ; the Grand Canyon National Park; and the Grand Canyon Caverns. 
Honestly, the only reason we stopped to spend the night in Williams was because there were no hotel rooms available in the Grand Canyon park. But we were in for a treat. I did not realize that the little town Williams lies on the route of the Historic Route 66! In fact, Williams, AZ, was the last town to have its section of Route 66 bypassed. (Oh, I need to brush up on my American History knowledge... or watch the Pixar's Cars...) 
Yes, I know, it's nothing but a street... but the story behind it is quite impressive. 

10 facts about Route 66:
1. It was one of the original highways in the U.S and is known as the Main Street of America
2. Route 66 was established in 1926, and was 2448 miles long, stretching from Chicago, IL, to Santa Monica, CA
3. Route 66 passed through 3 time zones and 8 states
4. In 1930s, during the Dust Bowl Era , people used US Route 66 to migrate to California. 
5. Route 66 TV show began in 1960 and ran for four years
6. Gradually, Route 66 has been replaced in its entirety by the Interstate Highways, and, in 1985, was officially removed from the US Highway System. 
7. Portions of the Route 66 have been designated a National Scenic Highway of the name Historic Route 66
8. The last original Route 66 road sign was removed in Chicago in 1977
9. Williams is the last Route 66 Arizona town bypassed by interstate 40
10. The famous Route 66 "Suicide Bridge" is located in Pasadena, CA (Colorado Street bridge)
The Williams town is very small, but has a lot of character. It also is a home of the Historic Grand Canyon Railway which takes daily trips from Williams to the Grand Canyon. It is one of great ways to experience the ride to the Grand Canyon. 
Awe, remember Doc Hudson from Cars?

People in Williams are very warm and welcoming. The next morning, in search of a good breakfast place, we walked into a place that looked like a small coffee shop. Once inside, the place looked more like a tiny diner of the civil war era.

Check out the baby carrier from the 1800s! 
The apparent reminder of the modern days was the iPhone that Alex was using to text pictures to his favorite auntie. 
Lisa (a mother of five boys!) was a wonderful host. 
Shopping in Williams was also a lot of fun. There are quite a few unique shops where you can find unique gifts and western collectibles. 
Oh, the dreamcatcher, I need one! 
Williams was fun. And, at the end of the day, we were ready for bed. We could not wait to see the Grand Canyon after a goodnight sleep. 
xo, Zuma A.

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