Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Trip Planning

Peony Bud, Conservatory Garden #peony #peonies #conservatorygarden #centralpark #nyc 2014
Peony Bud, Conservatory Garden
It seemed like a relatively simple assignment -- find hotels for a driving trip out West with the intrepid Nancy B (aka the B).  She is in charge of the car and the mapping and I am in charge of finding us places to sleep.  I thought I had it all figured out with the park lodges but these are booked, booked, booked.  Head slapping moment -- I know those park lodges book a year in advance.  On to web searches to figure out where to stay.

Hmm, pretty much everything is booked, booked, booked.  Apparently, Zion, Bryce, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon are very popular in late September/early October!   Who knew?  We jiggered the timing a bit and we are almost finished with the hotel reservations.  None too soon because I am exhausted!

Ethereal, Conservatory Garden #peony #peonies #conservatorygarden #centralpark #nyc 2014
Ethereal, Conservatory Garden
You're probably thinking to yourself, what is she nattering on about with sites like Travelocity, Expedia, and kayak to do the searching and price-comparing.  And there is TripAdvisor for seeing feedback from real customers.  There-in lies the rub -- there is such a plethora of information that it can be a bit overwhelming.  That from an experienced traveler!  Add to that the variability of opinions on TripAdvisor and you get "headache inducing" as I wrote to the B at one point this evening.   

Unfurling, Conservatory Garden #peony #peonies #conservatorygarden #centralpark #nyc 2014
Unfurling, Conservatory Garden
At some point, one just has to take a deep breath and book a room (or two) and put the reviews aside because there is no way you can decide between the cadre of folks that say the beds are too soft and the ones who say the beds are too hard.  Much less discern whether a stranger's opinion of what constitutes clean is in sync with your own opinion of what constitutes clean.  I had someone contact me once (while I was on vacation no less) to ask about a review I had done on TripAdvisor -- she noted that mine was the only one that seemed like it had been written by a real person!  High praise indeed.

Tomorrow I am going to tackle lodging at Bryce Canyon -- for the third time -- I am sure that that will be the charm.  We have zero'd in on a Bed & Breakfast.  It seems to have a room that meets our requirements.  And it is within striking distance of the canyon.  If all else fails, I am sure we can rent camping gear.  We'll just need to practice our fire starting skills a bit more.

Perfection, Conservatory Garden #peony #peonies #conservatorygarden #centralpark #nyc 2013
Perfection, Conservatory Garden

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