Another big journey awaits us this morning.
We spent the night here,
at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel.
Before our grand adventure was about to begin, we were invited to a Wild, West, show.
And even cuter Outlaw Cowboys (Miss Merrimiff, you are welcome.....)
Well, heckfire we sure did get us one heck of a heckfire Wild West Show.
There was even a real, live, SHOOTOUT!
He even lost his hat on the way down.
And what would a Wild West Show with horses be without a Wild West Show with ....
After the awesome Wild, West, Show, we boarded our...................
Grand Canyon Railway for the 2 1/2 hour train trip up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
It was a beautiful ride, stress-free, relaxing ride.
Do you see any stress on that face?
In fact, when we pulled into the hotel, and Jake saw this:
he begged and pleaded and cajoled and entreated that he be allowed to take a train ride.
We told him we didn't think we could make that happen, for a whole bunch of reasons (even though tickets for the afore-mentioned train ride had already been purchased).
Besides, we all know that little boys just LOVVVVVE trains.
And this guy, well this guy, is wondering if there are going to be anymore wild west cowboys or train robberies or stuff.
So when he actually got to BOARD the train, he was pretty thankful and giving lots of hugs of gratification.
And the Sparrow behaved himself quite nicely on the train ride.
Upon arrival at the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park, the Pirates enrolled in the Junior Ranger program.
They were required to walk about the park, using all of their senses to really see what different ecosystems live within the National Parks, as well as why we have National Parks at all.
Here is Two Swords helping the scallywags with their Ranger homework:
And here is Two Swords basking in the beautiful canyonesque splendor.
After finally capturing enough data to qualify for the Junior Ranger Program, we turned in our homework, said a few oaths, and received gold Junior Ranger badges and cool Junior Ranger patches, all specific to the Grand Canyon. (In the meantime, Mom and Dad were a bit miffed that we didn't learn about the Junior Ranger program at the St. Louis Arch or at Zion National Park, but we have let it go.)
So here they are with their badges, and of course, with their blue gatorade and susbsequent side effects:
Since Reilly's tongue and lips didn't turn nearly as blue as Jake's did, she asked us to take a picture of her teeth, "just in case they were blue." They really weren't, and yeah, this is kinda gross, but this was her request so I can't get in any trouble later for slathering it all over the blog.
The splendor awaits.