A few weeks ago I was able to take my babies to Bryce Canyon National Park. My Father-in-law worked at Bryce Canyon Lodge in the 60's for 9 years! Every five years there is a reunion for those who worked at Bryce from 1950 to 1970s. He was in charge of the reunion, so we kind of invited ourselves. It's not very often we get Grandma ANNNDD Grandpa to ourselves!
This was my first road trip all by myself with just the #ohniceandchubbybabies. Bryce Canyon is 5 hours away so I wasn't quite sure how all of this was going to go.
We stopped just a few times on the road to have some snacks and run around. Actually, it made for quite the nice little road trip and I actually got to listen to a book on tape.
We were getting close, the kids were sleeping and I think I was near Tropic when I found him.
Honestly, I can't remember his name, it was like Blu, Lu, something...I know I should remember because I REALLY liked his name. I'm going to call him Beau.
Well, I guess I shouldn't say it was all about him, what I really wanted was his fresh pine nuts. My FIL used to go pick pine nuts, but it seems everyone else does too, so he rarely finds them anymore. I haven't had fresh pine nuts in like 7 years. The husbands family introduced me when we first got married 10 years ago and they are a rare, expensive treat. They boil them in salt water until tender. Oh, my. They come out all tender and delicious...it's worth having to break each one open to eat the tiny seed.
Funny how in just a few minutes all this lush greenery would be replaced with the red desert.
Finally, we rolled into Bryce Canyon National Park and headed straight to the picnic.
Aiko and little brother wasted no time finding Grandma.
After eating we headed over to the Bryce Canyon lodge to help check in the Reunion Guests and wait for our cabin.
The Lodge was built in the 1920s and is one of the last buildings left from that era in The National Parks. It's also a National Historic Landmark. The rustic charm will just warm you up all the way to your heart, it's that cute.
My FIL says the lodge eally hasn't changed much since the 60s.
No TV. So cool. But they did have Wifi and there were plenty of people hovering around with their laptops.
Back when my FIL worked there, the girls lived upstairs in the lodge. They used to sneak in out and of the windows, and if you were ever caught with someone in your room, you were immediately fired. Naughty, naughty.
We spent a few hours walking the patio area. It was a beautiful day. Cloudy, yet no rain and surprisingly cool.
Here Aiko is helping check in the guest.
The stage room is just amazing. From the original glass, to the stage, and the floor...it's all wood and so lovely.
When we first drove up to the Lodge, I was like "look how amazing all these cabins are." I had no idea that was where we were staying. I was stunned when I found out. It was like a magical dream. So picturesque and breathtaking. I. Could. Not. Believe. It. How did we get so lucky?
To make things even more magical, each cabin was made out of ponderosa trees. These, my friends, happen to be my all time favorite tree. It’s a type of pine tree that only grows in high elevation and smell of butterscotch.
No joke. Every time I see one, I try to get out and at least get one good smell in. In the hot sun, these trees smell glorious.
To find out we were staying in the super cool cabins that were made out of ponderosa trees and smelled like butterscotch, I mean really, life couldn’t get any more amazing.
I’m not sure how many cabins there are, but every time I walked to ours I would snap a photo, because it was just too perfect. The details are crazy. Once upon a time, they had a bunch of mini cabins that had two twins in them. I think my FIL said they once had 150. Managing 150 mini buildings would be so crazy. Since then, they've taken down a bunch to bring in another lodge around the corner. Now, these mini cabins are just for the workers to live in.
The ponderosas, the pathways...so amazing.
Be sure to check out the roofs. They aren’t roofed perfectly straight, they have these dizzying designs in green shingles.
Inside the cabins are just as adorable.
The cabins are split into two sections and sleep four on each side. I wish I had taken a picture of the bathrooms. Priceless. The vintage tile and old painted wooden windows. Perfection.
The kids promptly check out all section of our side of the cabin. We actually brought two pack and plays for them. The closet and small hallway were perfect little rooms.
I'm not sure why, maybe Orion was drawn to the ponderosa rafters, but every time we put him on the bed, he would just roll around like it was the best ride ever. He'd just get a goof look on his face and drool everywhere.
My father in law, Tom Walker (I always call him by his full name, I’m not sure why, but I like it.) reserved the cabin right next to the rim, well the closest you could get to the rim anyway. I mean seriously, I bet there isn’t another man out there who knows as much about Bryce Canyon. He worked every job there was and eventually became the manager at the Lode. He knows it ALL. In his retirement, he works with a local tour shop and comes back to Bryce all the time.
We were so close to the rim, like 100 yards, we walked over to it multiple time a day.
Maybe Aiko can teach me.
One of the times we walked up to the rim, I was chatting with my mother in law Carol. I suddenly stopped mid-sentence and started running while pushing a stroller and yelling over my shoulder, “THERE IS A RAINBOW!!”
Again, it was amazing, I can’t even begin to explain. I had been to Bryce Canyon before as a teenager, but for some reason I was just overwhelmed at the beauty and majesty of it all. It could have been my hormones, but I was slightly weepy with how beautiful it all was, I don’t think there was a sappier person there.
I hope that my kids can appreciate it as much as I do now.
After watching the rainbow disappear, it was time for bed, I was just as tired as the kids. Tomorrow was another big day, we were going hiking THROUGH the canyon and I wanted to be as well rested as possible.
Be sure to book ahead early!
I feel like everybody bypasses the Lodge, so make sure to add the Lodge to your itinerary.
The gift shop has different items than Visitor Center.