September 1, 2006

The Birthday Vacation

Coming back from our five-day trip to Utah and Arizona, I wish I can say that I'm relaxed and refreshed. I'm not. It doesn't mean we didn't have fun though.

Visiting three national parks in one trip is not for the faint-hearted. My husband did all the driving, yet strangely, I'm the one who was exhausted at the end of the trip. It's my first time to see long stretches of road surrounded by miles and miles of no commercial establishments. Just you and the road. It alternately relaxed and stressed me - enjoying the view and then suddenly thinking what might happen should the car break down, that sort of thinking, followed by "well, if the car breaks down and we break down, then that's that. At least it was fun." Ho-ho.

I'm inclined to rave, wax poetic and spew superlative words about the parks, but no picture, no description will be enough. You have to see it for yourself.

Kudos to the National Park Service for doing a good job. Visit their website. They have a fantastic National Parks Pass that costs $50, which is good for 1-year from date of purchase and can be used in all national park areas. Each park we went to charged $20 per vehicle 7-day pass, yet we
saved $10 by getting the pass. I don't work for the NPS, but I'm just so impressed by the work they do. I was even checking out how to work for them! A season pass for one person to an amusement park is already in the $50+ price range and that's just for one person. The National Parks Pass covers everyone in one vehicle. I think I'll blog more about this sometime. Oh, and I bought the National Parks Passport. I went crazy going to the different cancellation stations.

Anyway, to continue on about our trip...

The night before our flight, we stayed in a hotel close to the airport the night before our 6 a.m. flight. With all the security procedures and checkpoints, we had to be at the airport by 3:30 a.m. Thanks to Priceline, we found a hotel for cheap. Sadly though, it was so close to both the airport and Grand Central Parkway that sleeping was an impossible dream. I was constantly awakened by car and plane sounds, on top of other, more human sounds. So when the alarm clock buzzed, it woke the awake.

The flight went smoothly. When we finally landed in Las Vegas, that's when chaos started. Too many people + too much heat = a darn headache that wouldn't go away. We underestimated that time it would take us to get away from the airport. By noon, we were hungry and tired. We ended up stopping at a local Jack in the Box. After that, we embarked on the long scenic drive to our first stop: Zion National Park in Utah.

To be continued...


Paige said...

We keep saying that we are gonna get the pass. But yet we have not. We have been to several differnt parks this year. Maybe next year
Happy weekend. Glad y'all are safe at home