I Found Radiator Springs On The Way To The Grand Canyon

5 Aug

Staycations are my jam.

With two kids active in sports throughout the school year, the summer budget for Destination Vacations Extraordinaire often become limited. But this year I decided to find an adventure, either road tripping or checking out the scene from an airplane above, this was the year we took a mini-vacation and explored something awesome that was not in our neighborhood.

I also thought it would be a good present for all of us seeing how July was full of birthdays and we didn’t have a grand celebration, travel and adventure would be our gift.

So … we took on The Grand Canyon. But I decided to make it more than just a driving road trip … we’d take the train too. The Grand Canyon deserved that.

It’s one of the most amazing forces of nature I’ve witnessed and thought it would be a great way to explore the outdoors and appreciate a little corner of our country that the kids had yet to discover. We had a couple of crashers joining us, as my family came into town and decided to see The Canyon too. I had no idea they hadn’t experienced it. Seeing how I’d been there and gone white water rafting before I had kids, I felt like I had a good sense of where we could go. But seeing how it was family and multiple personalities vary at times, we thought it best for everyone’s sanity and comfort that we take two separate vehicles and travel with plenty of leg room in caravan fashion. Best. Decision. Ever.

The road trip began with 80s and 70s songs, as well as the kids’ feel-good songs from current artists. Goodbye Stranger by Supertramp, followed by Funkytown, Earth Wind and Fire, and Duran Duran were some of the highlights that pumped us up while sitting in traffic. I feel that the Car DJ’s biggest responsibility is ensuring the mood in the car remains at a steady I-Woke-Up-Today-and-I-Feel-Good-Like-Saturday-Morning Cartoons-When-I-Was-A-Kid-Good kind of feeling.  You need a good car DJ until the radio gives out on you and all you hear is static. It’s about that time that movies come out on the road trip … Kung Fu Panda and Cars were in the possible in-transit movies for the day, and then an awesome podcast for the adults in my car. I had no idea what type of hangry was going on in the other car, but I imagine everyone had a different road trip routine to keep the journey fun.

But I didn’t think of the heat.

The fact that it was 114 degrees the day we left worried me a little. There was a fire right off the highway and a detour needed to be taken. The Arizona climate will be hotter than this I thought … I was grateful for over packing gallons of water and sunscreen. Adventure awaits in heat or rain, the journey is there.

But I had no idea Arizona, or The Canyon, had something called monsoon season. It was a sweet 86 degrees when we arrived at our first overnight pit stop. Williams, Arizona.



I felt like a tourist walking around in the evening through town and at peace when I woke up for my early morning run.



We stayed at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. The rooms and staff at our hotel were very welcoming and pleasant.



Everyone in our caravan was satisfied with the place, and that definitely says something. There are a lot of strong opinions in this travel posse, so the fact that everyone enjoyed the hotel after a long drive was a bonus.

Stopping by this little Radiator Springs kind of town made me feel like Huell Howser. I loved Huell Howser and his travel programs. If you don’t know Huell Howser you need to look him up … you probably have someone like that in your neck of the woods. He enjoyed uncovering hidden gems, exploring all parts of California, and inspiring others to get to know the awesomeness of their state. It definitely brought some needed energy, and curiosity zest for the journey.

I was enjoying the vacation me … and this was only the pit stop.

Stay tuned …

Buen Camino my friends.





8 Responses to “I Found Radiator Springs On The Way To The Grand Canyon”

  1. susielindau August 5, 2018 at 1:38 PM #

    Fantastic! I’ll have to check out Huell.
    The Canyon is on my bucket list! Danny went backpacking there with his buddies three years ago.
    Stay cool, my friend!

    • The Guat August 6, 2018 at 10:02 AM #

      You would love it Wild Rider! So many things to do and so much to see … maybe on your next road trip West you can stop by South or West Rims or any Rims of The Canyon for that matter. It’s all a great experience 🙂

  2. teachezwell August 5, 2018 at 3:17 PM #

    Awesome start! What a creative and diligent DJ you are!

    • The Guat August 6, 2018 at 10:04 AM #

      I try to set the mood … especially when it’s a long drive. When we got home after a couple of days I thought … maaaan! I was like Jack Nicholson movie As Good As It Gets trying to get all the good songs on there for Good Times and Noodle Salad moments

  3. Sorryless August 17, 2018 at 10:16 AM #


    WOW to your vay-cation in which you snuck in a train-cation (my word, I think?) too! I love the pics, the vibe, the whole dang thing. And I had no idea there was such a thing as a monsoon season at the Canyon either, whoa. Love the tunes list, you know your music.
    I’ll have to check out Huell Howser, thanks for the 411.

    Peace and separate vehicles (I know . . that’s redundant)

    • The Guat August 31, 2018 at 6:15 PM #

      You’ve got to have a good car DJ! Got to! Monsoon Season! I know right?! Crazy but it was such a great vibe that we went with it. And yes. Check out Huell Howser … there might be a guy or gal like that in your city! Hope you’re good buddy!

      • Sorryless August 31, 2018 at 6:51 PM #

        Yes indeed . a good car DJ is a MUST for any road trip! You guys always have such a great vibe going on, whether you’re hitting the road or chilling in your crib. And yes! He is a hoot and a half!

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