I like plans. Making them. Sticking to them. Of my many faults, one is that I have trouble, as my mother would say, just going with the flow. I get discombobulated when my husband calls from work to say he'll be on the 6:20 train instead of the 6:00. I'm flustered when the baby decides not to nap. A running joke in my house is that even on weekends I ask, "What's on the agenda?" and pester everybody until we have one.
Last December, just after Christmas, I, along with my family—meaning my parents, my brother and his wife, my sister and her fiancé, my husband, and our two kids, ages six and one—took an exceedingly well-organized trip to Colorado. It was a blissful week. We went skiing, snow tubing, and dogsledding. We rode horse-drawn carriages through the glittering snow. And finally, when it was time to leave, we took a shuttle to the airport so we could catch flights back to our various homes.
At least, that's what was supposed to happen. Instead, my husband, kids, and I watched as our relatives boarded planes while we waited for our flight to Chicago, which was delayed, then delayed again… then canceled (a mechanical issue, we were told).
We'd been in the airport for five hours by the time of the cancellation, and we would spend another five retrieving our luggage, commiserating with other passengers, walking in circles around the gift shop, and trying to get rebooked on a new flight. Finally, we succeeded. The catch? The flight was three days later. And out of Denver, three hours away.
Well, whatever it takes, we thought. We hunkered down in a hotel. We cooked food in the room and washed clothes in the sink and tried not to bump into each other with every move. It wasn't until the night before the new flight that we started to relax. The children pulled the sheets off the hotel beds and made a fort in the bathtub. Tomorrow, I kept thinking. We'll be home tomorrow. Ultimately, no one would miss much school or work.
Then our flight got canceled again, this time due to weather.
We called the airline. "Three more days," they told us. "That's the best we can do." Frantically, we tried other carriers without any luck. My husband called our original airline and set his phone on the bed, hold music playing in the background as both of us checked flights online. Was this some sort of cosmic joke? Would we ever get home?
Two hours of synthesized Muzak later, an agent answered. My husband dove for the phone. He started explaining our predicament. Then I heard him say, "Hello?" "Hello?" he said again, the panic in his voice rising like a flood. "Hello!" He stared at the phone in his hand. The call had dropped.
Desperation is the most irrational of motivators. We thought we had been at the end of our rope before. Now we were someplace new—utterly defeated.
Which is why, when my husband suggested that we rent a car and drive 14+ hours in winter weather from Denver to Chicago, I agreed. It might not have been such a long trip for someone else, but the thought of a restless baby and an impatient six-year-old in the backseat for that long didn't sound fun. Worse, this wasn't anything close to the original plan. So I was reluctant, but given the dearth of options, I was on board.
We went to a grocery store and stocked up for the trip. A Styrofoam cooler and a bag of ice. Juice boxes and string cheese and grapes and yogurt squeezies. After we paid, the cashier gave my daughter a quarter to ride the mechanical horse at the front of the store. We have a picture of her on that horse, an enormous grin on her face. It was the first time that she—or any of us—had really smiled in days.
The sky was white as salt as we drove. Mountains rose in the distance, massive and stoic.
After a time, we stopped at a gas station, where the children pressed their faces to the beverage cases and ran around for a few minutes before we corralled them back into the car. We did that every hour and a half or so for the rest of the trip, and usually that brief release of energy settled them down enough to get through the next leg of the trip.
In the car, we turned on the radio and blasted "Wake Me Up," by Avicii, whose lyrics about traveling the world without any plans seemed oddly apt, given the circumstances. When nothing good was on, we sang every Christmas song we could think of, and then every children's song, and then every song from The Sound of Music.
That night, as we neared Lincoln, Nebraska, I was gazing out the car window into a navy sky when I saw a shooting star. A sign, maybe, of good things to come.
We stopped for dinner at Applebee's, and when the waitress asked if we were from out of town, we told her the condensed version of our sorry tale. When it was time to pay, she said, "Your bill's been taken care of." My husband and I looked at each other, confused. "The couple in the next booth heard your story," the waitress said. "They paid for you. They asked me to wait until after they left to tell you." If the shooting star had been a sign, it was for this simple act of generosity, one of the nicest things a stranger had ever done for me, for us.
We spent the night in a hotel off the highway, one that, contrary to my nature, we booked at the last minute. In the morning, we piled back into the car, through Omaha, into Iowa. We stopped at gas stations along the way, and then soldiered on. The kids were surprisingly well-behaved. The baby played happily with his shoe for untold hours. My daughter talked to my husband and me—really talked—about her friends at school and about some of her fears, conversations that I'm not sure would have occurred if we hadn't been stuck in that car together for almost 1,000 miles.
By the time we approached Iowa City, we were in the homestretch, and we stopped at Prairie Lights bookstore, where we let the kids each pick out one book. We drove by the building that houses the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where I did my graduate work, and I told my daughter, "That's where I learned to write." She looked at it in wonder and said, "I want to do that one day."
The traffic picked up as we neared Chicago, and though the temperature was minus 15 degrees, a mere polar vortex was no match for our soaring spirits.
"We're almost there," I remember whispering to the kids. I could hardly believe it.
And when I thought about it, I could hardly believe this, either: how wonderful it had been. How, after days of being miserable because I was trying so hard to stick to the established plan, the thing that had saved us in the end was changing course, and taking a different road—literally. Maybe it shouldn't have been a revelation, but for me, someone who puts so much stock in order and routine, it was. Our vacation had been full of incredible memories, but the long journey home, the part that I hadn't seen coming, was the part I now cherish the most.
My father-in-law was waiting at the rental agency when we pulled up. We hurried into his car, which he'd been keeping warm for us, and then we took off, at last, to our house.
"How was the drive?" my father-in-law asked us as he pulled out of the lot.
"It was great," I said.
Nothing can be better than having a travel getaway. This is a vacation I want to take with my friend. I plan to travel to Lake Powell in Arizona. It is Popular for the great canyon at the border of Utah. Having done enough research on the place, the vegetation, mountains and the coast is worth the visit. I did all the research online with the help of my friends. On this trip I plan to take my best friend along. We settled on the day that we were going to travel. The best time for us was during the summer holidays after we had closed schools. Planning a getaway can be exciting and at the same time hectic. A lot of anxiety can be experienced since this means a long journey away from home and the people that you love. It is a three day visit and I intend to make use of every minute that am there (Sheridan, 145-150).
I and my friend had been planning for this getaway for a long time. We made sure that we had saved every penny that we could for it. The company I am working with had made good returns and we had a great bonus. I had planned for this vacation for nearly two years and I knew this was the right time. I had heard a lot about vacations at Arizona and I was sure that this is the place I wanted to be during the summer holidays. It was the first time I was taking a holiday without my parents and I was wondering if they were going to give me the permission to go with my friend. I had been good with my finances, paying my credit cards in time and so my parents really appreciated how responsible I had become. Breaking the news to our parents was the most difficult part. We planned on the day for this and to our surprise they were very fine with the idea. They gave us a few tips on how to go about. We were happy that they trusted us and they were impressed by our decision. We had worked overtime all through the year to make this getaway a success (Duke 155- 170).
We had to get a tour agent to guide us in all this. We searched throughout our friends and also through the internet. We had several offers and it was a bit hard too get the pick the best. This is because we wanted the best trip and we were afraid of picking a bogus tour company that would let us down. We included our parents to guide us pick the right company because they had it before. The company would be responsible for the whole trip. The tour company will provide us with the required maps, population pyramid, weather report, major cities, languages used in the area, among other things (Duke 172-175).
Navigate through the area because we were not familiar with it. We needed to hire a car for the drive and the maps would assist us around. The maps would help us mostly with the directions. We will need a recreational director from the company who will assist us in organizing for the daytime recreation for the three days. He will also plan for any activities that might be done at night providing options. The travel agent will also arrange for the transport and accommodation (Duke 180).
A lot can happen also when planning for a trip. Sometimes we have delayed flights which build in more anxiety. Interestingly, flight is not a problem while travelling to Grand Canyon. There are available, along with cars and also Train. There are times the exchange rates will also be higher than expected and this can add to unexpected costs. It’s important to set up a higher budget in preparation of all this. The following is the plan of how I plan to go about it (Sheridan 245).
The most important thing to do is to start planning early enough. During these holidays everyone wants to travel and so you will find a last minute rush can bring problems. Early planning means that one is assured of getting hotels rooms of his/her choice. I would hate to find fully booked hotels because that would leave me stranded or make me book second best hotel rooms. Last minute planning can also make me miss out on plane tickets. This can also add to the costs since it would mean buying the tickets at higher rates experienced during the rush hour. The airlines always tend to inflate their fares during the holiday season hence the important of doing early bookings (Sheridan 250).
There are also cars for hire that are included in the trip. With late planning I could miss out on them adding to more inconvenience. There are also cars for hire that are included in the trip. With late planning I could miss out on them adding to more inconveniences. We managed to get a good airline whose fares were pocket friendly. At least the rates were reasonable and we really appreciated them. The airlines promised to stay on schedule and they were almost guaranteeing us on punctuality. The weather was good and we did not expect any hitches along the flight (Sheridan 245).
Holidays can be very expensive if the budget is not well done. I have been saving throughout the year for this holiday and I plan to have a pocket friendly budget. The holiday season has inflated expenses since everyone tends to travel during this season. The air tickets are usually higher than normal. The gas prices tend to shoot high during this season too. The food prices and gift packages are all inflated and this makes travelling very expensive. I need to enjoy this holiday and so I have listed all the expenses and set aside extra cash to meet any extra expenses. I have also cut my budget to fit my pocket. I plan to spend wisely without going out of my intended budget (Sheridan 200).
Packing early and appropriate is a very important factor when one is planning a getaway. The most important thing to pack is a first aid kit. This was not in my mind until our parents came up with it. It was an eye opener for us proving we really did not know much on travelling. In this case there should be band aids, antiseptic creams, and paracetamols and allergy tablets. Depending on ones destination, it is important to know the type of dressing required for the region and the season (Duke 195-200).
My visit to Grand Canyon has surfaced at the right time during the summer time, but one is required to be prepared since the weather might change. There are no extreme temperatures and dressing becomes easy for me. Near the shores of Lake Powell in, the weather might change. So I have parked for a fairly warm weather. However, the type of weather in Arizona is manageable, since its summer time and so I don’t need to carry the mink coats and fur boats (Duke 180).
Other items that can easily be forgotten are undergarments, pajamas, sanitation items, shoes and swimsuits. It is important to have all the clothes laundered to avoid a last minute packing. I had called Grand Canyon Top Tour Company to guide me with the type of clothes that I will need. This has made it easy for me and is set to for the vacation. I have parked a few sweaters incase the weather changes. I don’t intend to go mountain climbing and so I found no need for the winter clothes. I learnt that sometimes we have holiday discounts from some tour firms. This made me do a thorough research and I happened to get a very good offer. They gave me discounts on everything, from the air tickets to the accommodation. This was facilitated by the fact that I was doing an early booking (Duke 180).
The offer has enabled me to set enough money for spending on my vacation. I purchased this package as a joint package and I was able to get discounts even on the rental cars. This was the best deal ever and I thank my parents for guiding me to this. I have a few last minute errands that I have to run. It is important for me to visit my doctor for a clean bill of health. There is a lot of malaria in the tropics and it is important to take some precautions before the travel. I will have to get medication from the doctor on that. It is important for him to check if am good to travel or my health hinders me in any way (Sheridan 200).
During holiday seasons most of the places are closed and so I have to check out for the hours they are in operation. This includes the banks because I have to visit the place before leaving. There is also the laundry mart for the last minute laundry. This makes it important for me to check the special hours the places are open. I am expecting impediments and holdups along the way. Everyone is travelling around this time and I expect a lot of traffic on the roads. This makes it important for me to leave early giving myself an allowance in time. Clearing at the airport is also jammed and that is why it’s more important that I leave early.
I have to be prepared for flight delays too. For this I have carried my mp3 to keep me busy when waiting. I have also carried my sp2 to play games as I wait for any delayed flights.
On day one we were planning to visit the great canyon. It is known for its great length and the color which is so breathtaking. It has an enormous size that is awesome. We shall have the relevant magazines with articles about the place and this will assist us in exploring the place. This place is known for its good hikes and the mule rides. The tour company has promised to provide us with all reading materials. We shall do the hiking for most part of the day before getting back to our rooms.
Arizona is governed by Jan Brewer. It has warm weather which has become a major tourist attraction. It has a share on the Colorado River though there was a dispute by California government. The great canyon is what made the state very popular. During the world war people took refuge at Arizona because of its location whith made them feel protected. The geographical attractions are the ones that made us chose on the vacation place Mobile reference 160).
Grand Canyon National park is in Northern Arizona. Both the Grand Canyon South Rim and Grand Canyon west are accessible all throughout the year. In most cases, Grand Canyon North Rim is closed in the wintertime (Sheridan 205-218).It is very important to note that, the two places are very different. Even though, the North rim remains closed during the winter time, the highway 67 from the Jacob Lake headed to the park may stay open for an extended period of time in case the drier weather exists. In order to identify Grand Canyon, one may find it from the Tours Brochures. In order to find the Grand Canyon Location on MapQuest or yahoo, one can use a particular code that is usually provided in the Brochures (Sheridan 205-218).
Also an airport locator would also help in identifying its location. Mapping sites are also very essential in helping one get to be aware of some of the inaccessible routes that are unpaved and are often considered inaccessible during the winter weather. There are various means that one can use in getting to Grand Canyon. Most of the people intending to visit the place, commences on their vacation from one of the metropolitan airports. Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS) is one of the airports and it is 280 miles from the south rim, which is approximated to be a 5 hours drive. The other metropolitan airport is Phoenix, Arizona (PHX), which is estimated to be 240 miles from the south rim, and takes an estimate of 4.5 hours while driving (Sheridan 205-218).
Albuquerque, New Mexico (ABQ), is the third metropolitan airport, and this is about 400 miles from the south Rim, and it takes one an average of 6 hours while driving. There are also commuter flights that are available at the said airports; also cars for hire are also accessible within the airports. In essence along with using flights inn touring the park, cars and Trains have accessibility to this place. Grand Canyon National park is one of the places that one would ever wish to be there and probably spend some time there (Sheridan 205-218).
On the second day we shall do the skywalk which is a walk on glass edge enabling you to watch down like an eagle. This sounds frightening since the height below is over 2000 feet of air only. It’s a distance from the south Rim is popular for the first time visitors and that’s where we shall begin the tour. It has an advantage because it is open all year round (Mobile reference 170-185).
There are around six hotels here and so we have booked one of the best. We have chosen Lake Powel which is about 2.5 hours drive to the Canyon. This is where we shall be spending our evenings. This hotel has everything we required. The swimming pools, Jacuzzis and the steam baths are some of the facilities we will enjoy. I also checked out on their meals and they were great. They had a variety from the English menu to the local stuff (Duke 1187-189).
On our third day we plan to visit the Navajo Parks and Recreation centre. This place is known to have been the most photographed on earth. We can also ride to monument valley of Arizona. The place is adorable providing the best images of Arizona. This getaway is well planned and if everything goes as planned, we will live to remember it. In Navajo Nation, is regarded to be one place having exclusive landmarks- the four corners (Duke 180).
We intend to comprehensively visit all the places within the park. Amazingly, it is a place where the four states, namely Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado converge at. Besides its uniqueness the place is also considered as being very remote, and as were informed this is an experience that we would learn one we are their. We intend to visit an original marker that is said to have been erected in the year 1912. Originally, the erection was very plain and cement, and since then some renovations have been done and the cement replaced with granite and brass. It’s awesome! I desire to have a view and a touch on it (Duke 100-105).
Another gorgeous within the park that we intend to visits is the visitor center, and this is opened all throughout the year. The center features an exhibition center with Navajo artisans. The vendor linked to Navajo gets an opportunity to sell their products in the nearby neighborhoods. Some of the items that they sell are inclusive of, jewelries, crafts and customary Navajo Foods. Also available are the picnic tables and self contained restaurant rooms. Having an appointment in this place would be very significant, since the services and accommodations are very inadequate to undersized cafes, grocery warehouses, and a gasoline stations that is self-service which is located in about 30 miles radius (Duke 180).
Therefore, most visitors, particularly tourist gets most of their services within the exhibition center. Before making a visit to this place it’s a requirement that one should have with himself or herself some few things. For instance, plenty of water, enough food, snacks, and hand wipe area also necessary. As mentioned the place is very remote and dry, so one may not have an access to some of the things mentioned herein. One must be very specific place to visit once within the Navajo parks. Navajo park is…