Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Great American Road Trip

Summer is really here! All is quiet on the home front so far. No visits from the water police, no wacky neighbors now, just peace. Sort of. I have a 10 year old, there is never complete and total peace.

John and I began planning our summer vacation in earnest over the past few days. For those of you that don't know, we are taking a 6 state road trip into the Southwest USA in August. Some people have gasped when I told them, citing the dangers of children and road trips. Then suggested portable DVD players or Game Boy things. Not for us. Kevin does very well, thankyou very much, with low tech items. Books. CDs. Card games. Lego. And then the good old fashioned scenery that we encounter. Who needs a DVD when you can look out the window?

We didn't really know what route we were going to take initially, but we've hammered it out now, right down to what we want to see, how long we'll be there, and (gulp) reservations.

My last experience making reservations to a place in Utah didn't go so well. We found a certain budget hotel via the Internet. The pictures made it look clean, beautiful, and a great bargain. Nice pool, new kitchenette suites, BBQ grills, you name it. We booked it and then gloated. Big mistake. Upon arrival, it was easy to see that the photos on the Net must've been from a different hotel, or taken many years ago. The building was run down, the pool was tiny. We held out hope that the room was okay, but that was short lived. Kitchenette? Doesn't that mean that it's supposed to stuff? It was dirty, falling apart, and run down. We complained. The guy moved us to another, bigger suite, not much cleaner, and then wanted to charge us double, but he wasn't sure. We left. Across the street was another budget chain that had a nicer pool, and a room that was somewhat cleaner-not a lot, but bearable.

So this trip we have decided to do Best Western all the way. We did stay at a few of them on the last trip, and all were really nice. It helps that we have some points cards that eventually gives us a free night's stay, and they include breakfast and have pools. They are more expensive, but definitely worth it. Besides, we noticed that the budget hotels charge the same amount if you're just walking in and the town has been busy (like near Yosemite National Park! Ouch!)

We are going to stay in Twin Falls, Idaho, then Green River, Utah and then mosey over to Cortez, Colorado. After that we go to Flagstaff, Arizona, and then onto Tucson, Arizona. On the way back we'll get whatever we can find. Once I look through everything there is to do in those areas, the hardest part has been figuring out what we want to see most.

Suggestions are very much appreciated, should anyone have any (Thanks Cecily!).

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