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...

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