Deer Me

After yesterday's 1" of rain in about 12 hours, I was worried today's plans would get washed away too, but this morning dawned cloudy and dry.

We might have passed up the Grand Canyon Deer Farm in favor of higher-profile sights in Phoenix,

but a guy we met in our hotel elevator said it was not to be missed.

And he was right.

Leanne loved this place.

She was a little nervous about the deer being able to walk right up to her but she got over that real fast.

After the rains, I thought we'd be wading through muck and mire,

but the paths were paved and mostly mud-free. There were a lot of animals besides deer for Leanne to pet,

the miniature horse

and donkey being her favorites. She wanted to pet a llama that was near the fence line but we explained about "spitting" and she decided to pass. Smart girl.

Then we were off to lunch and the 2+ hour drive back to Phoenix. Before heading to our hotel, we stopped by the Rosson House, a restored Victorian mansion built by a doctor in 1890, and were fortunate enough to get in on a tour that had started 5 minutes previously.
The house was beautifully restored, with original ruby-red transom windows (the color came from gold dust used in the glass-making process),
and gib doors which opened upward like windows (don't think I've ever seen these before).
The lights were both electric and gas; the electricity grid was still fairly new and only came on at night.
None of the furnishings are original to the house.
This gorgeous coal stove came from a Tombstone hotel that was torn down.
I loved the dressmakers model and sewing machine in an upstairs alcove.
My favorite thing was this curved oak staircase. During the restoration, the crew found numbers on various parts - the entire staircase was a kit originally purchased during construction from Montgomery Wards!

Tonight we did homework (look at that nice kindergarten handwriting!) and taught Leanne about room service. She highly approves!

Tomorrow we head for home. I'm sad to see this trip end; Leanne turned out to be a fun travel companion. I see lots more trips in our future.



Big Plans

We had big plans for today - Bearizona! Grand Canyon Deer Park! and a car trip to another point along the Grand Canyon. But the view from our hotel window this morning meant a downsizing was in order.

Fortunately, Bearizona is an all-weather adventure.

Leanne was a bit worried that the animals were allowed to roam free but she got over it pretty quick, especially when this guy greeted us at the entrance, standing like a boss in the middle of the road, waiting for us to go around him.

The constant rain made picture-taking a challenge.

On our first drive through tour, the animals were mostly hunkered down in shelters or asleep.

The second time we drove around, an hour or so later, they were much more active.

One deer came right up to the car and was licking rain water off the doors and mirror.

A pack of Tundra wolves ran right in front of our car, on a mission to defend their turf from the neighboring Arctic wolves (separated from each other by a tall, sturdy fence).
This Arctic wolf was within inches of Leanne's (closed) window, much to her delight.
We also did the walking tour to see the smaller animals -
black bear cubs, frisky otters that were playing with Leanne through the glass,

and best of all, a black jaguar that seemed just as interested in Leanne as she was in him.

We could easily have spent another hour on the walking tour,

but the steady rain - along with the discovery that Leanne's jacket was water "resistant " not water "proof" - had us heading back to Williams for lunch,

a chat with the King,

and a dip in the nicely heated, indoor pool.

If the rain stops tonight, we may try the deer park tomorrow. Otherwise, we'll be heading back to Phoenix for our last day of adventure.



Grand Canyon By Rail

Taking the train from Williams to the Grand Canyon has been on our bucket list for awhile,

so when we decided to take Leanne on a short trip the top two contenders were Williams and Seattle. Guess which won??

We booked the dome car for the canyon-bound trip and it was spectacular, as promised.

Well worth every penny (and it was a lot of pennies).

Leanne was thrilled to be upstairs

and to have a window seat next to grandma.

I was afraid we'd get bored on the 2+ hour ride but between the scenery

and the entertainment, the time flew by.

(The lady accordion player was especially good; I think Leanne wants an accordion for her next birthday . . . Sorry, Marie!)

After lunch at the El Tovar Hotel,

we hit the South Rim for three hours of sightseeing

before our train headed back to Williams.

The views were spectacular and Leanne was a great travel companion.

She hiked, scoped things out with her new binoculars, worked on her Junior Ranger book, and generally had a good time.

I fully expected her to pass out the minute we boarded the train - in coach class this time -

but between the travelogue and games supplied by our PSA "Kathy with a K", and the musical interlude with guitar, harmonica, tambourine and vocals, Leanne was awake and participating the entire 2+ hours we were onboard.

She even took the mic and told her favorite knock-knock joke. What a star!

By the time we got back to the hotel at 7:30, Pop and I were beat but Leanne was still raring to go swimming. Good thing she's easy to bribe!