Holiday. Experience. Excellence.
 

Grand Canyon Delights

Including Chip and Joanna Gaines Magnolia Market and The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

1st Day: We begin our journey west today, passing through South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama on our way to Meridian, MS where we will spend the night.

2nd Day: Have breakfast and depart for Shreveport, LA. Upon arrival, we will tour the Pioneer Heritage Center. At the Center, the buildings, exhibits and trained staff guide visitors through the structures that give insight into the diverse cultural history, the natural environment, and the daily lives of the settlers who lived in the region from the 1830s to the 1930s. Our home tonight is in Tyler, TX. (CB)

3rd Day: We will depart for Waco, TX this morning. Our first stop will be  Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market at the Silos.  There’s a little something for everyone at Magnolia Market at the Silos - shopping, games, and the gardens. The Market itself is staged and set up as a place to find inspiration and renewed vision for your home. We will continue on to San Antonio to see the Alamo.  The Alamo was established in 1718 and was the site of the famous battle of 1836, where 189 brave men gave their lives for the freedom of Texas. You will also have some time at the famous San Antonio Riverwalk. Stroll along the river and visit shops, restaurants, boutiques, view beautiful tropical foliage and enjoy a bite to eat. Our overnight will be in Kerrville, TX. (CB)

4th Day: After breakfast at the hotel, we will continue making our way across the great state of Texas. Known as the "Lone Star State", Texas is the second-largest state in the U.S. (Alaska is the largest). The Lone Star nickname comes from its former status as an independent republic, and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. We will stop and visit the Fort Lancaster State Historic Site - a former United States Army installation located near Sheffield, Texas. The fort was established in 1855 on the San Antonio–El Paso Road to protect migrants moving toward California through Texas. Spanning 82 acres in the Pecos River valley, Fort Lancaster State Historic Site commemorates the vestiges of one of several posts established in the 1850s that played an important role in westward expansion by providing escorts for mail carriers, wagon trains, and settlers on the San Antonio–El Paso Road en route to California. Today, visitors wander through ruins imagining the once-impressive establishment of over 30 permanent buildings—including a blacksmith shop, hospital, sutler’s store, and bakery—and enjoy the sights, sounds, and wildlife of West Texas. Later today, we will visit the Chamizal National Memorial. The park honors the peaceful resolution of a 100-year border dispute between the United States and Mexico that came about when the Rio Grande river changed course between the cities of El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Take your time to enjoy the Museum or stretch your legs on one of the walking trails. Today's journey ends in El Paso, TX, where we will spend the night. (CB) 

5th Day: As we say goodbye to Texas, we continue on to Arizona - getting closer and closer to our ultimate destination. We will visit the Saguaro National Park - an icon of the Southwest and home of the nation's largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset. After visiting the Park, we will continue our journey to Phoenix, Arizona for our night’s lodging. (CB)

6th Day: Today we begin our journey to the Grand Canyon National Park, crossing through the Coconino National Forest. We will stop at the south entrance visitor center to see the IMAX movie of the Grand Canyon.  We will continue on to our home for the next two nights at the Thunderbird Lodge at the Grand Canyon. The remainder of the evening is free for your enjoyment. (CB)

7th Day: The Grand Canyon...one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This is your day to visit all the look-outs and take pictures on a tram that picks up every 15 minutes, running from one end of the South Rim to the other. You may attend free Ranger Programs and learn more about the nature, science, history, and culture of the Grand Canyon. Visit an Information Center or Museum, which houses exhibits and provides park information. If you’re really adventurous, try a South Rim Mule Ride. The Canyon Vistas Ride is a 3-hour trip that travels along the canyon rim. The day is free to spend as you wish. (Any admission costs are each individual’s responsibility.)

8th Day: This morning we head for Albuquerque, NM stopping enroute to see the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. The Painted Desert derives its name from the multitude of colors ranging from lavenders to shades of gray, with vibrant colors of red, orange and pink. It is a long expanse of badland hills and buttes, and although barren and austere, it is a beautiful landscape of a rainbow of colors. The Petrified Forest is like walking back through time in a place where dinosaurs once roamed and volcanic mountains erupted toppling the trees; these trees became entombed and petrified. Through gradual erosion, gigantic logs and remnant pieces became exposed for the world to experience. Now, it’s on to our home for the night. The remainder of the evening is free for your enjoyment.

9th Day:  Today we will visit Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas: A sculpture made of 10 Cadillacs as a monument to the “Golden Age” of the American automobile.  As we continue on through Texas, we will stop to see the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Cross rises 19 stories up from the Texas Panhandle, a landscape as flat as unleavened bread and as empty as Jesus' Tomb.  We continue on to our home for the night in Shamrock, TX. (CB)

10th Day: This morning we will depart for some beautiful Oklahoma scenery. We will travel through Oklahoma City, and then it is on to visit The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska. The Pioneer Woman Mercantile is a bustling bakery, a delicious deli, and a gorgeous general store owned and operated by Ree Drummond, star of the Food Network Show “The Pioneer Woman.” After the Mercantile, we’ll head to Tulsa, OK and our home for the night. Evening is free. (CB)

11th Day: After breakfast, we head across Arkansas on our way to Memphis, TN and then on to Jackson, TN. We will enjoy dinner at The Old Country Store & Restaurant. One of the South’s great restaurants awaits you here, serving a delicious buffet meal. Pure, honest, Southern cookin’ brings back memories of Sunday dinner at Grandmother's before turning in for the night. (CB, D)

12th Day: We depart for home today. Arriving back approximately 9:30 PM. (CB)

Special Notice: $100.00 per person deposit is required to reserve your space. Balance due 45 days prior to the departure date. Cancellation within 45 days prior to departure date will result in payment forfeiture. Trip cancellation insurance is available upon request.