My husband has been wanting to do this for years. It has been on his bucket list, it just seemed like the right fit for our family. We would get the opportunity to take a small airplane ride. We would get an opportunity to take a helicopter ride, which none of my children have ever done. We're not true campers, this isn't something we do every weekend. So we're newbies to the outdoors. We didn't really tell them a lot, we said we're just going to see how it goes, we're not totally sure. Everything was taken care of. We said, "We're going to be on the river, we going to eat, our needs are going to be met and it'll be wonderful."
Really, we let the whole trip unfold. A lot of nice little touches beyond our expectations. The guides held our hands and showed us how to setup our cot, showed us how to set up our tent. The guides really seemed like they wanted to take the time to get to know the families and to tell you a little about themselves. They just put everybody at ease. The hospitality has just been so genuine. When walking in sand and the rocks you're a little unsteady, and it's laughing at your family member while reaching out a hand to them, "I got ya".
As a mother you're always trying to teach your kids that they have so much within them. You never know what is going to inspire your kids. A landscape so far from what we're used to, what I've ever seen, it's my first trip to the Grand Canyon. I told the kids, "You are so lucky to be seeing this now". I want my children to have no fear of walking outside of their backyard getting on a plane or train and exploring another part of the country. I get emotional when I talk about my kids because you realize as they get older that time is so short. The days are very long but the years are very short.
What I think is great for busy families is to plan a trip like this. Then just disconnect from the world so you can reconnect with your family. We have 3 out of 4 teens right now, there are so many options because they can stay connected to their friends through social media, through their cellphones, through the internet; that they can be in the same room with you but not even be listening to what you're saying. And say, "What did you say? I didn't hear, I was checking something, I was on twitter, I was on this". So a trip like this where they don't have access to anybody except the people around them to enjoy the experience. There are no distractions. I would just really encourage families to schedule the time, we're all busy and you think you don't or won't be able to take a week, it's too long and it's too much work.
There is nothing like investing in your family and this is an investment. It is just building such good memories. I looked over last night and the kids were playing cards and laughing and you know at night when you're laying on your cot and your loved ones are kind of lying in a row around you and the stars, and that's like, priceless.
I think it's everything and more that we hoped it would be.