Road Trip to the Grand Canyon: Our Engagement Story!

Hi friends! This blog post is coming SO late. Like…six months late. Oops!

As most of you probably already know, Mark and I took a road trip to the Grand Canyon in May, and….we got engaged! We had both never been to the Grand Canyon, and though most of our friends + family thought we were crazy to drive, thought it would be fun to make a long road trip out of it!

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We did this trip on a budget, which actually ended up being super fun! We brought two huge coolers to keep food and drink in, and we ate out of those most of the time! We had so much fun making little stops for picnics, listening to podcasts and custom playlists, and seeing so many different states - even if only from the car. It was interesting to see the landscape change drastically as we made our way out west!

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Along the way, we just stayed in whatever cities we started felt we needed to stop in, but once we made it to Arizona, we stayed at the beautiful Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. The lobby (above) was to die for. The railway hotel is a historical part of the Grand Canyon, and is located in the town of Williams, about 30 miles away from the actual canyon itself. I found that it’s really difficult (and expensive) to stay at or closer to the canyon, so we opted to just have a short drive to and from, which didn’t bother us. As the name implies, the hotel also doubles as a railway station, and guests of the hotel can ride the railcars to and from the canyon, which was super cool!

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We got in to our hotel later in the day, so decided to rest up and head to the canyon the next day. The next morning we took things slowly, had a yummy breakfast, checked out the railway gift shop, and then headed to the canyon!

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Check out the film that I made from our trip! Makes me cry every time I watch it! I’m so glad that I annoyed Mark with the camera the whole time so that we’ll always have this to look back on!

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I wasn’t really sure about what to expect from the Grand Canyon, but it truly blew me away. I was surprised at how emotional I got when we stopped at the first point. Luckily, we went in late spring, so there weren’t too many people around, and we got to do a lot of exploring on our own. I loved seeing all of the unique plants, and stopping at so many different points on the canyon, because each had such different views. We also were lucky enough to hear some off the cuff presentations from park rangers, and learned a lot of interesting stuff! I truly cannot believe that people trek all the way down into the canyon, and back up!

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We spent the day running around to so many spots in the park. I cried approximately 100 times from the sheer beauty, and then later in the afternoon, we headed to the main visitor’s center to grab some hot dogs and buy some souvenirs! How cute is Mark in his hat? I just love him so much.

Later that evening, as the sun began to set, we headed to Lipan point, which we had read was one of the most beautiful spots on the south rim. The view there truly took my breath away, and after taking it all in, Mark and I started reminiscing on the whirlwind of the trip, and on our past few years together. Before I knew it, he was down on one knee, and with tears streaming down both of our faces, I said YES!

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Looking at these photos, I can still feel the excitement and happiness of that moment. Calling our families and friends to tell them the good news, just soaking in the beautiful moment and being together in one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Not to mention, I couldn’t get over that rock on my left hand! So weird, and amazing!

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After about one million photos and ring selfies (it’s good that Mark really loves me), we headed back to the hotel. We ate takeout in our hotel room, and had such a fun night soaking in all of the excitement and love!

The next day, we headed home on a high. The drive home was something i’ll never forget. We talked and talked about our dreams for our wedding day and our future marriage, and I cried so many happy tears. We also got to stop at Cadillac Ranch as we made our way through Texas. This has been on my “bucket list” for as long as I can remember, and it was truly a magical experience. Something about the combination that perfect Texas evening, and the history of that spot, and our love and happiness - i’ll just say that how I felt in that moment was something i’ll never forget.

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It was a truly amazing trip, and not just because I came home with a fiancé! It probably goes without saying, but it’s not something i’ll ever forget. I’m so thankful for Mark, and for all of our friends and family who showered us with love during that time. It means more than anything.