Friday, June 06, 2008

Vacation 2008: Highlights and Lessons Learned

  1. Don’t be afraid to board the pet. Tidbit did great at the vet’s. It was cheaper than having a petsitter come by once a day and she probably got a lot more attention.
  2. A toiletry organizer will save your sanity. For the first time I traveled with a multi-pocket, clear plastic organizer and boy, did it cut down on the cussing! I just took the organizer out of the suitcase, used the products I needed, put them back in the organizer, and tossed the thing back in the suitcase so we could move on to our next destination. So easy it’s probably a crime.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use hair conditioner in the west. In Houston, conditioner drags my hair down, but in the desert, it’s the only thing that keeps it from sticking up in every direction.
  4. Stock your cooler with blue ice instead of regular, water-everywhere ice. Almost everywhere you go now in Texas and New Mexico will have a fridge and freezer either in the room or available on premises for guests. The ubiquitousness of fridge and microwave access in hotels these days means there’s no excuse for not taking decent road food with you.
  5. Nearly everywhere has wireless internet access, it seems. Still, it’s not a bad idea to keep that dial-up account for another year or two, just in case. I was glad I had it at my Dad’s place.
  6. Most decent hotels have workout rooms these days. No excuse not to get a little exercise each day, and it really helps for those days where you spend a lot of time in the car.
  7. When it comes to family, less can be more. It’s great to see them, but it’s a good idea to leave before you or they begin wishing the Acoma natives still threw people off the cliff.
  8. When you find a place that has a good price on local goods (such as Indian pottery), buy a lot. I wish I had bought more at Acoma.
  9. Keep extra camera batteries with you at all times.
  10. Although it’s lots of fun to just take each day as it comes, have a backup plan in case you get to a town only to find the hotels all booked. We had trouble finding a place in Las Cruces and were unable to get a room in Fort Stockton or Ozona. Two years ago we had the same problem, unable to get a room in Silver City and getting one of the last rooms in Fort Stockton.
  11. Be glad camp food lasts up to ten years. Last year we couldn’t camp because of rain, this year it was wind. Maybe the third time will be the charm.
  12. Follow those spur-of-the-moment impulses. We found Pagosa Springs that way and it’s on our permanent must-do list now!
  13. Out of the way places can be really cool. The population of Kingston in the Black Range is only about 30, but the Black Range Lodge is beyond wonderful if you want peace, quiet, a rambling old house in the wooded mountains, and a hot breakfast made with all organic and homemade goodies. Their guest house would make a fantastic writer/artist retreat.
  14. Host dogs make excellent running companions.
  15. Do your homework. A lot of fun things, like a massage and a soak in the hot springs can be done for a lot of money or for just a little. Go cheap so you can splurge on an extra day!
  16. Own a pair of really nice pajamas. I have a pair of red silk ones that I'm not embarrassed to be seen in at any time. Not that I go running around in my pajamas, but it's nice to know that you look great if room service or housekeeping show up.
  17. Take your own pillow.
  18. Make use of the guest laundry. Often.
  19. Cousins have better family gossip than parents and uncles every time.
  20. Count your blessings. Not everyone can take a paid vacation. In many countries, it's a totally alien concept.
  21. Remember that vacation is supposed to be fun. When it starts becoming work, it’s time to go home.


the Bag Lady said...

Great vacation tips, BG!

I'll keep them in mind if I EVER get to go on a vacation (that is, if I still have enough of my faculties to remember them!)

Thomma Lyn said...

Great tips! :) I'm glad you had a fun vacation, and I sure had fun "following along!"

I'm tickled that Tid is back to normal -- WOO HOO! And I laughed out loud at your less-is-more family comment. Ain't it the truth. ;)

And YES on extra camera batteries. So important! :)

Rabbits' Guy said...

We enjoyed the trip reports and photos a great deal. Having taken a few roadtrips ourselves, all your hints are well appreciated, some learned by us the hard way too!

SO happy to hear how well the Bunn did! Nobody needed any more bad-bunn news.

I once drove leisurely (I planned) in my conversion van from Washington to Michigan (and back) across I 90 in early July. I planned to camp along the way and when I coudn't, to stop at motels with nice outdoor pools! See a lot of fun places.

The first night in West Montana it was OK (after 100 degrees across Eastern Washington)but it rained all night. From then on the temp never got below 90 nor did the humidity! Not camping weather, although I did camp on the banks of the Missouri in a horrid all night lightning and thunder storm.

None of the motels have outside pools ... it is too cold during the winter.

It was the same on the way back, soI drove like crazy and made it home in three days and that was enough of that!

mum of critters said...

welcome home! i'll have to go back and catch up on your posts - i got a mac book pro and have been working to get everything set up for my vacation that starts tomorrow and will have some work days in it ;-p so i've gotten way behind in my blogs.

love the highlights though, it helped get me up to date. glad you're home safe and tid is well :-)