Monday, August 17, 2009

President Obama and My Issues with the Grand Canyon

President Obama visited Arizona this last weekend. Not only did he stop by, but he took the family up to the Grand Canyon for a little trailblazing.

I've been to the Grand Canyon...A LOT!

You see when we moved to Arizona in 1979 all the visits from friends and family since then centered on seeing three tourist locations.

The first is Mexico, and I’m sorry, I’ve never been impressed there. I know we have only visited border towns and that makes a HUGE difference, but I hate it there. It probably started the first time we went to Mexico when I was a little girl and a strange Mexican man grabbed my wrist and put a bracelet on me as we were walking. I’m surprised I didn’t pee my pants as much as I freaked out. And, let’s face it; it’s certainly not the most sanitary environment to sight-see in.

The second place to visit was South Mountain. My parents liked to scare the crap out of people traveling up the side of that mountain in our huge van to watch the lights come on throughout the valley of the sun. Now, well, you don’t go there unless you’re packing and you have your gang with you. That’s too bad; too, because that is the one place I did like to go. Probably because it wasn’t a 4-5 hour drive there.

Last, and certainly not least, is the Grand Canyon. Yes, it is beautiful, yes it is majestic, and yes it is a HUGE HOLE IN THE GROUND. We have taken picture after picture of this magnificent wonder, so much so that a few years ago when I went through photos with Mom, we probably threw away a hundred pictures of the Grand Canyon, the ones that were taken with no people in them. I hate the drive there, I hate the walk around, and I hate that about 10 minutes after you’ve been there you turn around and leave. It’s so boring and I must say it hasn’t really changed much in the 30 years we’ve lived here.

The following will come as a surprise to my family, as I have made it clear on many occasions that I would die happy never seeing the Grand Canyon again.

I’m very proud that our President decided to take a little family trip to the Grand Canyon. Although, even he said it hadn’t changed much since he was there at age 11, hmm, maybe we think alike.

The Grand Canyon, along with the Saguaro cactus and scorching heat are what make Arizona, Arizona. It seems like all too often Arizona is in the news for so many negative things, that I found the President’s visit refreshing and wholesome. It wasn’t a golf trip, even though I heard he’s played a round or two, it was a family outing. And, not only that, but his wife and daughters dressed appropriately in tank tops, shorts, and sandals! President Obama even wore a white polo (gulp) and what looked like Dockers, poor guy probably isn't allowed to wear shorts. They looked like a family, enjoying their time together as a family. I love that. It didn’t look like a publicity stunt, as the cameras were far away from them; it looked like they had a good time.
I know someday it will be my turn, yet again, to go to the Grand Canyon to show my children the big hole in the ground. Yes, I will fake awe and wonder, and have lots of facts about it all. Yes, I will encourage them to learn as much as they can about our time there. And, yes, I will enjoy it, because if I get lucky, it may be the last time I will have to go. Oh, and NO, I will NOT be riding the donkey down to the bottom or walking out on that new glass bridge. I don't like to tempt fate.

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