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Seven Magic Mountains was just what I needed...

I had pinned this art installation well over a year ago with no idea I would ever end up living in the U.S. We had planned to visit it before going to the Grand Canyon but we took so much time faffing getting food for our trip and discovering the RV that we had to leave it and I thought I would miss out as it is only up until May 2018.

When we got the news about Dexter  I insisted we had to go, I knew the colours and size at such a random location would life their spirits and I 100% knew it would mine!

It did!!. We all voted on our favourite colours and the kids ran around and burnt off some nervous, sad energy. I just felt happy.. there are so many things you see on Pinterest that are just a dream to think about visiting and this was one of mine.

A set of fluro rocks.. who gives? Well I did and on a day in which my heart was filled with so much sorrow this was the perfect, simple yet stunning display that serviced my need for pretty pictures to take me away from reality.

If you are Las Vegas way it is well worth a visit as not far from the city and just 'fun'.. you can find the full website here 

I lost my dog.. I didn't cope well..

I felt the need to write this post as whilst lots of people talk about losing a pet and how awful it is most are lucky enough not to have to loose them before their natural life ends..

I posted about our trip to the Grand Canyon last week.. well it was amazing but that was dramatically changed the minute we came back into cell phone range. I had a phone call from our vet to tell me that overnight we had lost Dexter.

We were sitting in a Petrol Station, Marcus was in paying and the kids were above my head pretending to spit on me from their bed.. He started talking and I told the kids to 'shut the fuck up' I don't swear at my kids but I couldn't hear and I knew from his voice the call was serious. By the time Marcus returned I had just hung up and was staring into space with my eyes all welled up. 'Whats wrong?' he said.. 'is it Dexter?', I nodded 'Is he sick?', I shook my head and burst into tears.. (and now they are flowing again).

'He's gone' I said and Marcus started to cry too.. the kids were shouting 'Whats wrong? whats happened?' for a second I thought I should lie but we never have and it appears I couldn't start and I looked up and said 'Dexter has gone, he is dead'.

He had died from a non bacterial and non viral form of meningitis..

We sat there in our RV all 4 of us crying really ugly uncontrollable tears. Harrington asking if when you are dead you can be made better again, Kitty spouting out classic lines of 'he will be ok' 'at least he is with Obi & Tyler' ' he is not in pain so that's ok'..

After well over half an hour we discussed how he would have loved to have been there with us and would want us to continue on and enjoy our holiday.. so we did..

The thing is, we couldn't truly.. every morning and night we cried as we were not distracted by the daily activities. Harrington cried when he saw a dog. Kitty couldn't eat for the pain in her tummy and she got so tired..

Why was this so hard on us when we had already lost dogs before? Because those dogs were 14 years old, they had become slow and grey, we had readied ourselves for their departing day and quite frankly their quality of life was obvious that a younger happier soul over Rainbow Bridge was welcome.

I haven't lost that many relatives or friends in recent years but I feel awful to say this feels like the worst grief I have experienced out of them all.. can it really compare to the loss of a human?

My relationships with my dogs have in some cases been better than with people, hey how could it not when they don't nag or ever tell you that you are wrong.. they just want to be fed walked and loved!

They say dogs just make you feel better about yourself and dogs seem to feel the same way about us.

I read an article that said 'Dogs communicate with us as no other animal does. They are skilled at comprehending spoken words and using their own vocalisations to communicate with us in return'

Have you ever heard a dog family member call one of the other siblings or kids the dogs name? It turns out that it happens often. The dog’s name is being pulled out of the same place as other family names showing how equally they rank in our thought process.

In loosing Dex I lost a few things. My constant companion, my youngest child who I trained to be the gorgeous guy he was and my source of unconditional love. He was so much part of my daily routine he has calendar slots on my weekly calendar which is not something most of my friends and family even have.

My friend Charlie on Instagram said 'I was once told during a time of grief that some souls are only meant to visit for a brief time, they come teach us to love selflessly to teach us to live life to the full now!!'

I could not agree more.. 

He was only in our lives for just under 3 years but he taught us so much, he showed us what undeniable devotion looks like and he had the best life. My favourite thing I shared with him was our walks.. he loved to be out and was grateful for 10 mins or 3 hrs.

He was Eckhart Tolle in a dog.. He believed in The Power of Now

Do I have the answer to fix it? No just the reason and rationale for why it hurts so much.
Do you get another dog? Totally up to you.. your heart will tell you..

Tips on visiting The Grand Canyon

The 7 Wonders of the World has been re worked a few times and whilst I have no idea if I will ever see them all I know that whilst we live in the U.S.A we plan to visit as many of the places that would come in the top 10 if they were all American and nature related.. 

We will visit Disney World and some of the more famous man made ones but for our most recent road trip it was all about what Mother Nature has provided.

It was a real mixed bag this road trip and for so many reasons.. I'll split up the posts and add our school kid errors that we learnt along the way so that you hopefully learn a little if your planning the same and if not you can just see the pretty pictures and potter off back to your day :).

We were lucky enough to see the GC in the snow which is pretty rare but our first rookie error was arriving at campsite too late after sunset.. we couldn't see enough and got caught driving down a driveway that narrowed to much and had used wedged on a snowdrift... oops!!.

We dug ourselves out the next day and I reversed that big baby back where we had come from. The kids pelted snowballs, we discovered Deer and headed off to see what was what.

The GC is huge and you can drive to all the lookout spots or get a shuttle bus. Trekking wise there is not much chance of much in the snow but the Rim Trail runs around the top, goes for ages and is easy flat path.

For anything decent you are looking at a few hours plus so I would advise going in Spring or Autumn and packing snacks and water if taking kids. Adults solo? take a tent as there is an amazing spot Indian Garden but the return hike is a REALLY full day..

If you were not hiking then one full day there driving to each spot is enough to see it all. Stay 2 nights so you can start earlyish and see the sunset before moving on the next day.

The kids were bored of the views by the end of the day but Marcus and I certainly could have sat for hours at some of the spots.. We even witnessed a proposal at the spot where I was sitting on the ledge, they cleared us all out so they were all alone but I had to spy from up the path and it was as magical as expected.. can you imagine the pictures?!.

There is not much you can do wrong in The Grand Canyon except try and do it too fast as it is a really decent drive in and out with not much to do to break it up so cracking it in 24hrs or under will feel like a bloody long drive with not enough awesomeness in between to make the driving boredom worth it..

Have you been to The Grand Canyon? 
Any tips on amazing places in the U.S we MUST visit?