April 24th: A Valley, a Canyon, and some really bad food.

Today was the second day of our Southwest trip—little did I know that by the end of the day I would be condemning Denny’s to the fiery depths of hell. ..

We woke up really early, ate some breakfast, and got on the bus. Again, I fell asleep because I was extremely tired. After awhile we got to Monument Valley Tribal Park, which was really amazing. The view of the valley and the rocks was stunning, and we all took a bunch of pictures. I got some more postcards and I also bought a compass. This wasn’t really for directional purposes…More aesthetic than anything. While there, we checked out the Navajo Code Talker museum thing. There was a Navajo man who actually came and explained a lot of the details to us; it was really cool to meet someone who is actually a part of the culture and speaks the language that was used during WWII.

After Monument Valley Tribal Park, it was time to get back on the bus. I drifted in and out of sleep while listening to my iPod (which is filled with an impeccable array of music). We reached Kayenta and went to Burger King, which had a pretty impressive display of WWII memorabilia relating to the Code Talkers. I guess the man who owns Burger King put the artifacts there because his dad was an actual Code Talker. I picked up a brochure there to keep as a souvenir. There was even a G.I. Joe doll that was modeled after the Navajo Code Talkers and spoke Navajo words!

Most of us on the bus got some sort of snack before we hit the road. I looked outside at the scenery a lot on the bus today—the Southwest is a really beautiful place, which isn’t what most people would think. A lot of people believe the Southwest is just dry desert, but the mountains, trees, rock formations, etc. are all completely unique.

The bus pulled up in Cameron, Arizona, and all of us entered the biggest souvenir shop we had ever seen. I spent probably close to an hour picking out things for myself and my family. June got a really cool arrow, which will come in handy if we should come into contact with bus robbers… or if we need to re-enact a Native American battle. Either of the two is pretty likely, so I’m glad she picked one up! I also took a really funny picture of Kracker today outside of the shop—there was a sign that said “no pets” and he was acting like he was peeing on a fire hydrant. All I can say is that it’s definitely going in the slide show.

When we got back on the bus, I moved up to the middle to sit near Kracker, Megan, and some other people. We spend a long time laughing about ridiculous things and playing “20 questions”. And then it came into view…. THE GRAND CANYON! I have seen pictures of the Canyon before, but nothing compares to the real thing. It was absolutely breathtaking and I couldn’t wait to take pictures. We made a lot of stops at different places along the rim and took the most ridiculous pictures ever! We also hiked to the gift shop/visitor’s center and museum. The museum was really cool , and we signed this chalkboard in there.

Sadly, it was time to say goodbye to the Canyon, and we left. The boys on the bus decided they were going to put on a concert, so I definitely put my iPod in and relaxed while we made our way to the hotel. Brandon gave me a Kool Aid bottle and me, being the clumsy person I am, spilled the drink all over my t-shirt and hair. So now, I smell like Kool Aid until it’s shower time. After what seemed like forever, we got to our hotel and walked across the parking lot to Hell. I mean Denny’s. It took an hour just to get our food and it was disgusting. Nathan (who is now my hero) negotiated with the people so we only had to pay for half. I didn’t even want to pay that, but I was too tired to argue anything. There was another lady and her husband in the “restaurant” who yelled obscenities at the Denny’s people, which made us happy. They were also in our hotel, so we went up to thank them for doing what we could not. Isn’t making new friends lovely?

Currently, me, June, Emily, and Megan are all sitting in our beds in our pajamas, typing vehemently out of rage towards Denny’s. Too bad they will never see this post! Tomorrow we are hitting up the Petrified Forest, Hubble Trading Post, and Canyon de Chelly. It will be another long day but I am especially excited for Canyon de Chelly. Any day that I get to look at ancient ruins is a good day for me.

Stay classy.

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