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!)


The Weaver of Grass said...

I have been to those places - never put off going (except for covid of course) my farmer and I toured all around the US and Canada in the last five years of his life - many, many happy memories and when he finally died with a brain tumour four years ago he left me with many many happy memories.

Ed said...

I really love that part of our country. We too have been focusing on domestic vacations these last two years and I don't regret it at all.

Kelly said...

I think you know my family loves Las Vegas, so I'm glad you spent a short time there. Three of us visited the dam on our last trip and enjoyed it.

My brother has made it a goal to visit all the US states. I think he lacks only one. They are currently in France! (after an 18 month delay)

Andrew said...

Glad you were able to visit some spots here out west. My family and I were at the GC last spring... first time.

Also glad you continue to blog. I was revisiting some old posts on my blog and I noticed comments you made over 10 years ago. :) There were so many names from back then of folks who have since dropped off the face of the earth. Their blogs haven't been updated in years and my attempts to contact them haven't been successful. But their thoughts meant so much to me in those transitional days. So, I am glad to see some of those names I have connected with since on Facebook... or in your case, still sharing life insights in the blogosphere. :)

Bob said...

Thanks Andrew! Hard to believe we’ve been at it ten-plus years, isn’t it? I remember somehow connecting with your brother first, which led me to you. I eschew traditional (I guess that’s what you call it) social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), but still enjoy blogging and people like you I’ve come to know.

Debby said...

Wow! Can't wait to see the pictures. A real vacation!

Jeff said...

I love it out there--having lived a decade in Cedar City, UT. I tend to fly into Vegas, but never spend more than a night there as I want to get it in my rear view mirror as soon as possible. I haven't flown yet, since early March 2020, but did take a train with a sleeper to a theology conference I'm attending in Atlanta this week.