Sunday, October 4, 2009

Win some, lose some ..... vacation stories!

Okay - back to our vacation.

We love staying in B&B's whenever possible. I don't think we've ever been disappointed even when we were shipped off to what appeared to be the basement! Often, we are ecstatic about the accommodations. We've met some extremely interesting people. Other guests staying at Bed and Breakfast Inns are anxious to share their travel stories and suggestions with you, and the hosts are extremely knowledgeable about what to do and see in their little corner of the world.

It would have been nice to stay within Bryce Canyon National Park at the lodge, but we're trying to be a bit frugal while the economy is still in the dumps. So, we searched the Internet and found the Buffalo Sage Bed and Breakfast in Tropic, Utah, and signed up for two nights. It really IS minutes away from the park, scenic, comfortable, and quite reasonable. There are only four rooms, so booking in advance is a must. Breakfasts were fabulous! One dog, four cats, warm & friendly hosts - a nice find. If you stay, request one of the rooms upstairs. One of the attractions at Bryce is to see the sunrise which means guests are rising early (5:30 a.m.) in order to get into the park in time to see the sunrise.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is much less visited than the South Rim - hence, there are fewer places to stay. We chose the Kaibab Lodge which is a good 30 minutes from the entrance to the park. Although the drive back and forth is beautiful, and wildlife plentiful, the accommodations were "rustic" at best. You don't have a lot of choices, but be prepared for surprises and disappointments. Internet reviews ranged on this place, and I can see why. There are old cabins, new cabins, and cabins that should have been raised years ago. We were in an older cabin, which was really comfortable, except for the people adjacent to us who took 30-minute showers at all hours of the day (and night). You are also a captive audience as far as meals are concerned. We had a terrific meal the first night (substantial spaghetti & meatballs); the second night, we arrived at the main lodge and saw about 30 people waiting for dinner. At 8 p.m., we gave up and went to bed without dinner. Lots of unhappy people there.

Best meal of this part of the trip was at the Jacob Lake Inn, Jacob Lake, Arizona. It is even farther from the North Rim than the Kaibab Lodge, but the restaurant is fantastic! Have the whole wheat pancakes if you go .... super, super, super.

In case you think that this whole trip was about food, here's a glimpse of Bryce. More later...

Friday, October 2, 2009

This is a pain in the gut --- Chapter 3

If any of you have been reading this (except my family), you know that I've had an unexplained pain in the rib area directly under my right breast for about 3 months. I've had an ultrasound of my gall bladder (doc's first diagnosis), an x-ray (doc's second diagnosis), a preliminary dose of prednisone (doc's third diagnosis - pinched nerve something or other). All of the tests have been negative, and I am still experiencing the pain on a regular basis - both day and night. Last night was pretty typical. I had pain around dinnertime, went to bed early, and was awakened around 2 a.m. with pain that kept me awake for several hours.

I'm trying to track this thing. Some days, I can get through the morning pretty well without much discomfort. Once the pain sets in, it is pretty intense until I take an ibuprofen and wait a half hour or so for the medicine to kick in. As the doc said, serious problems are not solved by ibuprofen! That's the good news. The bad news is that we can't figure out what is going on. I'm leaning towards the nerve damage that should have been helped by the prednisone.

Anyway, tomorrow I go for a CAT scan of my abdomen and chest. If that comes up negative (which I really expect to happen), my plan of attack is to meet with the doc (with Doug in tow) and have all my points mapped out. Do I tough it out for another couple of months? Do I go with the nerve damage theory? If so, what is the treatment? I'm nixing the idea of a psychosomatic illness. Not my type of thing.

It sure does impact one's day. I get into a project or an activity and then WHAM - I'm in so much discomfort that I can hardly stand up. Makes me sympathetic to those who know they are going to deal with pain on a daily basis.