Friday, October 7, 2011

Grand Canyon, Arizona


For my dad's 80th birthday, Chris and I flew mom and dad to Phoenix and drove north to the Grand Canyon. I was amazed by the change in climate the accompanied the change in elevation. We stopped at a meteor crater and some native ruins. At the canyon, we had lots of fun, but most remarkable was the helicopter tour above the canyon rim. On the trip back to Phoenix we spent some time downtown Flagstaff, which seems like a great university town. Near phoenix we explored in the desert off the highway a bit and found a pull-over were people must come to shoot their guns, because the ground was littered with old ammunition.

Sat Oct. 8th

  • depart utterson no later than 1pm, preferably 12:20pm
  • drive 2hr 25min to "value park lot" $70
  • take "link train" 10mn (top-right) to terminal
  • checkin at least 90min prior to departure
  • no meals are provided on flights, 1st checked bag $25
Sun Oct 9th, 5:02pm-5:51pm,  UA3550, Toronto (YYZ) to Chicago (ORD), 1hr 49mn
layover                                                            , 3hr 15mn
Sun Oct 9th, 9:06pm-10:38pm, UA0702, Chicago (ORD) to Phoenix (PHX), 3hr 33mn

Sun Oct. 9th

  • after 10pm, pickup midsize car from budget, open 24hrs, free shuttle from PHX
  • wave insurance, unlimited mileage, all costs paid
  • drive30mn to hotel "days inn pheonix north"
  • 11:30pm, checkin at Days Inn Phoenix North, 1 room, 2 queen beds, non-smoking, paid in full
  • best case, we're asleep by 2am our time, checkout before 11am their time, possible 10.5hrs sleep
  • wake, breakfast


  • drive 3hr 21mn to "grand hotel" in tusayan
  • Tue Oct 11th, checkin at "Grand Hotel", 1 room, 2 queen beds, 1 night, expensive, paid in full

Wed Oct. 12th

  • 10am, Canyon Spirit Helicopter Tour
  • Duration: approximately 45-50 minutes
  • Departure Point: Grand Canyon South Rim terminal
  • $250.00 inclusive per person


  • thu night must sleep in phoenix so we can fly out friday morning
  • gas station near PHX

Fri Oct 14th

  • before 10am, drop off budget car, fully tanked
  • checkin at least 90min prior to departure
  • no meals are provided on flights, 1st checked bag is free
Fri Oct 14th, 10:50am-5:54pm, AC0590, Phoenix (PHX) to Toronto (YYZ), 4hr 4mn
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