Williams, the apple of my PIE!

Trip Start Aug 26, 2011
Trip End Sep 13, 2011

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Where I stayed
Grand Canyon Hotel Williams
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Monday, September 5, 2011

The reason we came to Williams, AZ was to see the Grand Canyon, as the sleepy town is approximately 40 minutes drive from the South Rim entry. It was not my first visit to Williams, as the first time I came to see the Grand Canyon I stayed in the same little hotel. I know that it is a tourist town, with all the trappings, but there really is something genuine and charming about Williams, so I was happy to come back for another visit.

The Grand Canyon Hotel is a historical relic (but in a good way), originally opened in 1891, and it still welcomes travellers today. The rooms are themed, we stayed in the 'bunkhouse' with two rickety single beds and really old cowboy pictures hung on the wall, along with memorabilia, giving it an old-world feel. The hotel feels like it should be haunted (maybe it is) the floorboards creak and the hallway lights have sensors so that they automatically flick on, giving the place an eerie vibe. The decor looks like my Grandmother decorated (circa 1940/1950), but it has such charm because it doesn't seem forced. All in all, it is a charming and historical place to stay.

Now onto my favourite topic, PIE! I am not ashamed (well maybe a little) to admit that in my two visits for Williams, I have been to the Pine Country Restaurant a total of 3 times, that works out to 50% of my meals. Twice I went specifically for pie (66.3333 % of the visits), and the other time was for breakfast - where I seriously considered having pie – but decided against it (for some silly health reason). They have a separate pie menu, which shows they take their pie seriously! They have apple pie, blueberry pie, cherry pie, peach pie, pineapple-coconut pie, lemon meringue pie, Mississippi mud pie, key lime pie, banana cream pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, Boston cream pie....the list goes on...and on, and they are all homemade! I love pie, it is in my top 5 foods list, and this place has award winning pies that are so delicious that your toes will curl! Besides the awesome pie, the do lovely meals here, for breakfast I had the steel cut Quaker oats with soy milk and brown sugar (divine for what is essentially porridge), and the half roast turkey dinner was delicious, I recommend the half serve if you are saving room for pie (and who wouldn't be).

Now I suppose I should share a little about the main event, the Grand Canyon. It is impossible to describe it, you really need to stand there yourself and take it all in. My first impression of the canyon was that it was named wrong, it should be called the "Super massively enormously mind bogglingly Grand Canyon." Epic is another word that comes to mind. It is vast, and sometimes when you are standing there it seems like it is not really a physical thing in front of you, but rather an amazing landscape painting. The depth and breadth of the Grand Canyon is so immense that my mind (or eyes) tried to make sense of it by making it flat. It really is a wonder of the natural world, and I recommend it to everyone.

So we took hundreds of pictures, peeked over the edge (fighting off vertigo), ate some ice cream, and then Simon got touched up by a squirrel. As there are so many tourists (read sources of food for natures scavengers), squirrels at the canyon can be very bold. While we were walking back to our car we were accosted by a squirrel, who thought that Simon may be carrying some food. We froze, and the brazen fellow started hopping closer to Simon’s foot. I tried to get the camera ready, but before I could snap the picture, the squirrel made his way onto Simon’s foot, which caused Simon to flail his limbs outwards, flicking the little rodent off, sending him scurrying away into the shrubbery. It was hilarious. So be warned, if you have food (or perhaps if you are Welsh) squirrels will climb you like a tree if you let them.

All in all, a great little day trip from Las Vegas, or an overnight, if you want to experience Williams. Next off to the land of John Wayne and the wild west, Monument Valley, Utah.   
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