098 - Geography is all over the map

I suck at geography. I don't know where anything is unless I've been there, I am there, or I'm going there soon. I am so bad that Daniel's comment about my dream tripped me up. I began to worry that maybe Mozambique wasn't in Africa... so I looked it up. Phew. It is. (and I didn't put two and two together... Daniel is Mozbak... got it!) Today my boss told me that one of our technicians will be going to Geneva for five weeks (jealous) for work (I take it back) and I had to double-check... that's in Switzerland, right? It's a little embarassing. But at least even if I wasn't sure, I turned out to be correct. Sometimes I retain information without realizing it.

Tonight I repacked my entire suitcase... I realized that I was bringing way too many shirts. And I forgot that my costume replaces one day's outfit. I am bringing a lot of black and white... I read somewhere that Europeans can always recognize Americans by their lack of colorful clothing, and by their baseball hats, lol. I know, any more about packing and I'm on the cusp of boring you. But I think my fragile hold on my sanity is about to snap... It's only five days away now, and I'm starting to feel the pressure... gotta do this... gotta do that... shit! gotta do one other thing... ARGHHHH!!! Once I get there, I can relax...

One of my cousins wants the family to go to the Grand Canyon when she graduates from high school. Part of me is really excited at the prospect. Love to travel? Me? Yeah... and I definitely want to see the Grand Canyon. There are a lot of interesting things to do out there. I also like the idea of getting the family together somewhere different, not just going to their neck of the woods. That way I can see my family and still see the world. Otherwise there just aren't enough vacation days to go around.

The rest of me thinks it's going to be a huge mess. I'm not sure everyone has the money to do it; some can probably swing it if they don't fly -- but to drive from where they are is about 36 hours all totalled, still costly (that's a lot of gas!) but also tedious. From my parent's house it would be 19 hours... and I think there's a whole lot of nothing between here and there. Coordinating that many people (~10) is going to be a big hassle. Too many people means being pulled in too many directions, especially with the strong personalities in my family.

Also, the Grand Canyon isn't the most easily accessible place to visit. It's about 230 miles from Phoenix. Our hotel would be in a town about 55 miles from the South Rim. A hotel inside the park is about triple the price. Yeowch. And once we get there I don't see my parents, my grandma, or my aunt wanting to ride the mules to the bottom of the canyon, go white water rafting, or take a helicopter tour. I'm really not sure what they're going to do while they're there. I'm not averse to hiking, but I think grandma would be.


Ashley is a teenager who shouldn't have to think about all the logistics of how much it costs in terms of money and sanity, or how taxing a drive that long can be. She's never asked for anything before, and she wants this one thing -- to celebrate a momentus occassion in her life by going somewhere amazing, with her family (which is a really nice thought for a girl her age to have and I think we should jump on it). She's a great kid, young, but in some respects, mature beyond her years. So I really want it to happen for her. I just know my family, and they'll find reasons not to go. If that happens, maybe me, Jamie, Ashley, and a friend of hers can go. I want to encourage her to get out and see the world, not put up roadblocks. I waited until I was 30 to start exploring, and I wish I would have done it sooner. The part of my family who lives where she does never really strays far from home; I don't want her to feel stuck. If she ends up there I want it to be because she chooses to stay, not because she doesn't realize she has a choice.

I wish my family were more adventurous. They make excuses that start off small and quickly build momentum, so they talk themselves out of a lot of experiences they might enjoy. They have about a year and half to go back and forth on this one. In the end, we can always make excuses, and stay in our box, but life is far more exciting when we seize opportunites to grow. Sometimes it means stepping out of your comfort zone, which can be scary, but soooooooooooo worth it.

Anyone been to the Grand Canyon? Any advice on where to stay, tips on things to do, or things I should know about to make life easier?


  1. who's daniel? LOL its andy!
    went to the grand canyon about 12 years ago... did a helicopter trip around and through the canyon, unforgettable!

  2. *embarassed* Gak! Sorry... Usually I'm good about names, but my mind is not focusing on anything that doesn't deal with Scotland right now. Please don't hate me!

  3. no worries, happens to me too!