Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!
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USA
(West Coast)
(27 Jul 2012 - 19 Aug 2012)

Day 8

Grand Canyon (03 Aug 2012)

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Good morning Williams! Visiting the Grand Canyon has always been our travel list. In 1997, CNN listed Grand Canyon as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. It’s so exciting that we’re going to visit the Grand Canyon today!

 We had complimentary breakfast (including coffee, tea, juices, muffins, danish, fruit, yogurt, cereals etc) at The Lodge on Route 66, which was very good as the room. We enjoyed making our own waffles with the waffle machine provided.

Long before there were Grand Canyon helicopter tours, there was the Grand Canyon’s train. The fare for the train is a little steep (US$75 for Coach Class, excluding taxes and fees, for a round trip), but if you are a train buff or hate driving, taking the train can be quite a fun experience.

Don’t forget to catch the Cowboy Show (West of Depot) at 9 am. The train departs for Grand Canyon at 9.30 am sharply.

Each car had a host talking and joking and we were lucky enough to have Kathy with a “K” for our journey. She was extremely enthusiastic and helped pass the otherwise relatively long (about 2 hr 15 mins ride each way) and boring ride.

Inside the Grand Canyon Rail…

We reached Grand Canyon around 11.45 am and we were left to explore the gorgeous Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) for 3 hr plus (Train departs for Williams at 3.30 pm sharp). The Grand Canyon is something hard to describe, it is breath taking to look at and makes you wonder how the nature can create something that’s so beautiful.

 There are three primary entry points into the Canyon. Firstly, the Canyon National Park (South Rim),  the Canyon National Park (North Rim) and the Grand Canyon West (which is often referred to as the “West Rim” aka home of the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Part of the road to the West Rim is unpaved and poorly maintained, aka not recommended for rented vehicles. Given the exorbitant prices and various ridiculous restrictions (including cameras not allowed on the Skywalk), we decided to give West Rim a miss.

The Grand Canyon is an incredible beauty of nature that you don’t want to miss! This is a must-see for all tourists visiting US. Do always remember to stay off the edges at all times. There are various areas that does NOT have railing. Don’t put yourself at risk since many of the edges of the canyon consist of dirt and gravel which can be very slippery or would simply give way. Remember, it’s a point of no return should you missed your step!

Cooling Spring Water from the Grand Canyon… Do bring your water bottle for unlimited (free) refills…. :)

Leaving our trails behind @ Hopi House…

On our way back to Williams now. ‘Robbery’ was expected after we saw the cowboys from the start of the show riding along the train. This is also the “tips time” for the cowboys.

There seems to be no ‘written’ rules on tipping the car host, but Kathy did such a great job and we were more than happy to tip her for her great service rendered.

The Grand Canyon Railway also features ‘The Polar Express’  in every Nov/Dec, where train departs the Depot in Williams for a special visit to the ‘North Pole’ where Santa Claus and his reindeer awaits the passenger at the end of the day. Hopefully some day, we would be able to go on board ’The Polar Express’.
 We had dinner at The Singing Pig BBQ Restaurant (http://www.thesingingpigroute66.com/) operated by Kathi and Kevin. The moment we walked in the door, Kathi and Kevin greeted us with the warmest hospitality. Kathi asked us where we were from and when we replied we were from Singapore, she welcomed us by saying ‘欢迎光临’ (Welcome in Mandarin). We really appreciate your efforts, Kathi! (P/S : We were the first from Singapore at the Singing Pig BBQ Restaurant! Yeah!)

Choose to have your dinner either in the restaurant or at the adjourning pub (In the 100-Year-Old Saloon). Best part of all, it is smoke-free!!! Pretty yummy food and all American ambiance here! Great music, pool tables and friendly staff! We loved the seriously fast Internet connection here (Especially on this remote town). Interestingly, the restaurant actually put up their prices and full menu up on their website. Looks like there’s really nothing to hide here :)

We had the Pulled Pork Sandwich and 1/2 Rack Smoked BBQ Baby Ribs (which was their signature dish)… Both were equally yummy!


  Another long but fruitful day…

Hopefully we will have a chance to return to Grand Canyon one day! Resting early tonight as we have 1 whole day of driving (To San Diego) tomorrow!



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