Saturday, October 30, 2021

The Moviegoer

 I still plan to post more about our recent vacation and include pictures, but need a little more time to get some in order. In the meantime, Kelly's recent post about a classical reading challenge piqued my interest. I try to read one or two classics each year, but I plan to join the challenge to motivate myself to read more.  I recently wrote in my weekly column about one I recently read, and thought I would share. Vacation pictures soon!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Out west

 Wife and I were supposed to have spent the last week in Hawaii -- specifically, Maui. 

When Wife retired a couple years ago, her employer gave her a gift card good for air flight with all the airlines. It had an expiration date. 

(As an aside, because I have for 25-plus years worked in finance and banking, specifically banking law and regulation, I know gift cards cannot have expiration dates unless the issuer has met a number of disclosure requirements. I knew this issuer had not met those, so I thought, "aha, I've got them," and couldn't wait to let them know, and defer our use of the card until this *&^% COVID thing is done and we could use it for overseas travel. Alas, the issuer was from another country, and did not have to comply with such. The expiration date would stand). 

Since, due to COVID, we are still not comfortable traveling overseas, we decided we would be OK with Hawaii. We went there on our honeymoon 37 years ago and Wife has always wanted to return.

So we booked the trip back in the spring. Using the gift card was not easy, as travel had to be booked through the issuer, but Wife was able to make it work. 

Because we have accumulated a large amount of hotel points with a certain franchise, Wife was also able to book a place for us to stay using those. It would be a vacation with some great discounts. 

We did not give this a lot of thought until along about August when the delta variant was surging. We began to hear that Hawaii was reinstating many COVID restrictions, such as limited occupancy in restaurants and attractions. The governor of Hawaii asked visitors to reconsider and postpone visits to give them time to regroup a bit and hopefully get their cases down. 

We decided maybe it was not the best time to visit Hawaii, so we canceled. 

But not to be deterred, Wife quickly switched gears and began planning a trip we have been trying to take for years, to Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and other national parks in Utah, as well as some other places in the area.

On Saturday morning, October 2nd, we flew to Las Vegas, where we got a rental car. We drove that morning to Hoover Dam, and later in the day to the Grand Canyon south rim.  

After a couple of days there, we drove to Sedona, AZ, then to Page, AZ, where we visited the slot canyons, then into Utah where we went to Bryce Canyon National Park, then Zion National Park. 

We flew back from Las Vegas, after spending one night there, this past Monday, October 11th. 

These were all places I had never visited, and had never even been in the states of Arizona or Nevada. The beauty was spectacular, and I will give more detail and post some photos in my next entry. 

Wife continues to plan great travel for us in our "golden years" and I continue to be grateful. I still have about eight states to visit to have made it to all 50, and I told her I would like to make that a priority. (Iowa is one of them, blog friend Ed!)