Taking the baby bump on a National Park babymoon

I know that expecting parents seem to be on the fence about babymoons. What is a babymoon, you ask? It’s essentially a last-hurrah vacation that you and your significant other take before the baby arrives.

I don’t know why it’s called a babymoon as it’s actually nothing like a honeymoon. I would consider it to be more like a pre-baby bachelor party. In my opinion, a babymoon is a vacation that you take to enjoy two things before the arrival of baby: 1.) precious alone time with your significant other and 2.) sleeeeep. I didn’t need much convincing to plan a couple of babymoons as soon as I found out we were expecting.

Our job as freelance travel writers afford us many opportunities and one of the most recent of these would be our week-long road trip in Arizona. We were given six days to explore Sedona and the Grand Canyon. While we would normally attempt to cram in as much sightseeing as possible and choose the most budget-friendly sleeping option, we decided to turn this trip into a makeshift babymoon and splurge a little.

Spoiler alert: it was lovely.

Planning our National Parks road trip. Doughnuts were obviously in order.
Planning our National Parks road trip. Doughnuts were obviously in order.

At 24 weeks pregnant, we decided to take our time and enjoy Sedona before making our way to the Grand Canyon. Being at the end of my second trimester, I still had a fair amount of energy but knew that I needed to get a full night’s sleep. This meant allowing time for me to sleep in before exploring every morning.

I woke up feeling refreshed and ready for what the day ahead of us held. With fresh snow on the ground, we decided to forgo any long, strenuous hikes and opted for jaw-dropping vantage points.

A light hike to this gorgous viewpoint of Sedona.
A light hike to this gorgous viewpoint of Sedona.

We spent two nights in Sedona and made sure to explore as much as possible. Neither of us were prepared for the sheer beauty of the area. We also had no idea how high in elevation it was. I found myself huffing and puffing just to reach the peak of the smallest hikes.

Happily babymooning in Sedona
Happily babymooning in Sedona
Chapel of the Cross was one of our favorite stops in Sedona
Chapel of Holy Cross was one of our favorite stops in Sedona

After our two days in Sedona, we hit the road and headed north to the Grand Canyon. We stopped in Flagstaff for a healthy lunch and rolled into Grand Canyon National Park in the early afternoon. I had only been to the Grand Canyon once before and it was in August. I remembered the stifling heat and didn’t realize just how cold it got in the winter months. Luckily, a few of my warm jackets still fit around the baby bump.

Cradling the bump at the top of Bright Angel Trail
Cradling the bump at the top of Bright Angel Trail

Due to the recent snowfall, cramp ons were highly suggested for most of the nearby hikes. We resigned to walking long the canyon’s edge and reminiscing about our last visit where we hiked the 12-miles to Bright Angel lookout and back.

The Grand Canyon holds a special place in my heart. It’s one of my father’s favorite locations in the world. In fact, it’s where he ran off to shortly before he married my mother. Needing time to think and reflect, he left Hawaii (without telling anyone!) for the Grand Canyon where he spent a few days in solitude. Luckily, he found whatever peace he was looking for, returned to Hawaii, and has been happily married to my mother for 40 years.

The Grand Canyon is where my dad goes when he needs to get away from it all and spend some much needed time enjoying the sheer beauty of nature. He’s passed his love for the canyon on to me and I hope to do the same to our little one.

We caught this stunning Grand Canyon sunrise on one of our early morning drives.
We caught this stunning Grand Canyon sunrise on one of our early morning drives.

Seeing as there wasn’t a ton of hiking to be done at the Grand Canyon, we planned a day trip to visit one of the places we’ve had on our bucket list for years, Antelope Canyon.

I had first seen a photo from Antelope Canyon a few years ago. I remember the beams of light streaming through the earth red walls of the canyon. The photos were almost other worldly and I knew I had to visit as soon as the opportunity arose.

Exploring Antelope Canyon
Exploring Antelope Canyon
The gorgeous colors of lower Antelope Canyon
The gorgeous colors of lower Antelope Canyon

We booked a day tour of the canyon and the surrounding town of Page through Expedia and met up with our guide (and the rest of our group) an hours drive from the Grand Canyon.

Upon arrival to lower Antelope Canyon, we were set up with our Navajo guide who lead us down into the canyon. We spent an hour strolling through the endless waves of the canyon, taking photos along the way. Our guide was informative and full of advice on how to best capture the canyon in all its glory. It was by far one of my favorite stops on our trip.

Overall, our 6 days in Arizona were magical. It was the perfect amount of time to explore before becoming overwhelmed and fatigued. I can’t believe that the next time we return to the Grand Canyon we’ll probably have my dad and my son in tow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *