The first stop on ourmassive family vacation was Montezuma Castle.
We left Phoenix after breakfast. Our bus ride took us through some of Phoenix's suburbs. It was cool, but long.
I really had no idea what to expect from the Caravan trip. And since I didn't know, I couldn't fully prepare the kids. Reagan was ok. Actually, she was incredible. She and I studied parts of the southwest over the last few months, so she kind of nerded out on all the history and experience. It was awesome to see.
However, Riley was not so interested in the trip. He liked it. He loved it even. But he was not happy about all the time spent on the bus. And I can't blame him for that. We covered so many miles, we spent so much time on the bus.
But we made it!
Montezuma Castle is a complete misnomer. It is not a castle. And it was inhabited nearly a century before Montezuma was ever born, plus there is nothing in history to suggest that he was ever present at this particular location.
The castle is a cave dwelling. It's probably the most well-preserved of its kind, according to the National Park Service.
When you pull into the parking lot and disembark, you first have to walk around (or through) the gift shop. Follow the path down a bit (not far), look up and you can't miss it.
I've never seen a cave dwelling in person before. I was surprised how cool it truly is. And I'll be honest, I was a tad disappointed to hear that we would not be able to go into it. Disappointed until I actually saw it. It is really high up in the cliff side, and there is a ZERO percent chance I would have climbed up there on a rickety ladder. Zero.
Reagan loved it. She was a YouTube video making fool. Riley was not so thrilled. This was the beginning of the end for him. He found no appeal in the bus. The heat was bothering him. He did not care at all for a building in the side of a cliff. He got a tiny cactus pricker in his thumb (scroll down). He was grumpy.
That's it for Montezuma Castle. Cool to see, but it definitely does not take long. 45 minutes should be more than enough time. And bring water. It is hot - hot - hot.
*FYI- when you're traveling to the National Parks (and any place from our trip), there are water bottle filling stations. So bring your own water bottle and refill for free!
See you next time... in Sedona!
How did Riley end up with a cactus pricker in his finger?
Well, he brought along two of his beloved Stikbots. He took them out so he could get a picture of them with a cactus for his Instagram page (for real). He is a true artist, since he suffered for it.
We love to travel. Although our roaming souls often come back to the same places.