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ArubaMilie Thursday, May 20th, 2010 03:45 PM

Napa-San Fran-Yosemite-Las Vegas-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Bryce NP-Moab-Salt Lake-Rapid Ct
This will put you to sleep, but here you go!

Babymoon April 24- May 9, 2010

Napa Valley: Gaia Napa Valley Hotel
San Francisco: Columbus Motor Inn
Yosemite Valley: The Homestead
Las Vegas: Bellagio
Sedona: Sedona Real Inn & Suites
Grand Canyon: Tusayan Holiday Inn Express
Bryce Canyon: Best Western Ruby Inn
Moab: Best Western Greenwill Inn near Canyonlands
Salt Lake City: Fairfield Inn by Marriott Salt Lake City Airport
Rapid City: Howard Johnson Inn & Suites - Rapid City

Rental Cars:
Sacramento to Salt Lake City: Avis- Kia Optima
Rapid City: Hertz- Nissan Pathfinder

What would we have done different: Maybe spend another day or 2 in CA and skipped Salt Lake City.

April 24, 2010-Saturday: Sacramento & Napa, California
We left really early on Saturday morning on Delta direct into Sacramento, CA. We had an ok flight, it was about 4 hours. Upon arrival, we grabbed a cab to downtown Sacramento to pick up our rental car at Avis. We then started our journey to Napa. We checked into our hotel (Gaia Napa Valley Hotel) a little early, went to grab lunch, then went to take a nap and relax. Later we went to explore Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, and drove around vineyards and wineries. We ate pizza with a salad bar at some shop, then went back to the hotel and rested!

April 25, 2010- Sunday: Muir Woods & San Francisco, California
We left around 8ish in the morning. We were still messed up time wise, so Marc initially woke up around 6am! We packed, and then headed out to Wal-Mart. We ate at McDonald’s for breakfast which was located in the Wal-Mart, and then shopped for snacks, and water! We packed up on fruit, snacks and bought some other items needed for our journey! Then headed off to Muir Woods and San Francisco!
The drive to Muir Woods was about an hour long. We got there early…it wasn’t fully busy yet, and it was FREE that day! So no need to use our America the Beautiful pass.. We walked around for about an hour I think we stayed about 2 hours... it was really cold.. but heated later. We then headed to San Francisco. We went to our hotel first! We were able to check in early at Columbus Motor Inn (free parking). We went to the room, rested for a minute, then changed into shorts, and headed to the Wharf area to grab lunch. We walked around some first, checked out a sub, and boat in the harbor, went to a game “room”, then we walked all the way to the Slanted Door Restaurant, which was a huge disappointment! We got the spring rolls for appetizer, I got the guava spritzer, and had the flat iron steak, Marc had the chicken stir fry. We will never go back, despite the recommendations we got for it from several people. We slowly walked our way back to our hotel. We stopped at Fegway grocery store, and Marc grabbed a Turkey Sub. We stopped in a park for him to eat it, then off to the hotel we went. Took a while to get there! We stopped at a candy store, and I bought some taffy. We went back to hotel to take a nap, then later headed out to the Golden Gate Bridge! We stopped by, it was super busy. Took tons of pics, then headed out to the Pacific Ocean! We stopped by, walked around some, then headed on to drive further down along the Pacific. Ended up in Pacifica, then we grabbed a quick dinner at McDonalds, since we had a fancy and $$ lunch. I haven’t had a big mac in over a year.. so I enjoyed it! We grabbed some ice cream, then found a spot to eat them. We waited for sunset, and watched it near Pacifica on this nice spot. We then drove back to San Francisco to our hotel and went to bed!

April 26, 2010- Monday: Yosemite National Park, California
We left early to Yosemite, Columbus Motor Inn did not have free continental breakfast, so we stopped in Vacaville at an IHOP to get some breakfast! We had a yummy breakfast and off we were, first stopping at the University of CA at Berkeley campus first, we drove around some then headed off to Yosemite! It was about 3.5 hours driving. We stopped in Ahwahnee first to try to check in. Our cottage, at the Homestead, was not ready yet, so we were not able to check in. We then headed to Mariposa Grove. It was about 25 min from the hotel, a very scenic drive. Mariposa Road was closed, so we decided to hike up it was 2 mi up and 2 mi back. Once we got up there, we had to hike some more. We enjoyed the giant sequoias very much! It took us about another hour to go down those 2 miles, I am glad I had my maternity belt on to help support my belly and back! Snow was on the ground, but it was not cold enough to wear a jacket, all I had on was a shirt with jeans. Glad I bought those sneakers, they were of great help! We did not go into seeing the Grizzly or the Tunnel, there was a lot of snow on the trails, and we were POOPED after our 2 mile hike up! The weather was nice.. not too hot, not too cold.. no sweaters needed, and we probably could have gotten away with shorts.
We then headed back to our cottage, and checked in around 4pm. We rested and soaked in the tub, then went off to AKI Japanese in Oakhurst for dinner. Went back to cottage and went to bed, we were pooped from the hike.

April 27, 2010- Tuesday: Yosemite National Park, California
We woke up around 6am again.. our clocks are still messed up.. I fixed breakfast.. We got a nice basket with muffins, fruit, granola, and fresh orange juice every day, so I prepped some nice plates and made some coffee for Marc. We then headed out to Yosemite Village! The drive was a little over an hour. We stopped at Starbucks first to pick up some coffee, and then off we went. It was about an hour drive. We saw snow! We stopped at the Village first and we ate at the café, never had $20 hotdogs before, but that’s how much it was for 2 combo’s.. It was raining a little, so the seats were wet. We then drove around some, then parked and went to hike up Lower Yosemite Falls. We saw el Capitan, the Cathedral, and numerous gorgeous waterfalls! The Yosemite Falls was amazing! We were told best time to see the waterfalls. We roamed around for a few hours. We contemplated hiking up to Mirror Lake, but were too tired, and with the rain, we decided not to. We had seen enough and were very content with our day! We then headed back to Ahwahnee where we rested, soaked in the tub again, then went out for dinner, we tried a BBQ place this time, it was YUMMY! We stopped at McDonalds for sundaes then returned to cottage. We enjoyed the fireplace there, then went to bed.
Let me note that CA is a beautiful State! It was amazing to see the different landscapes! It was also different, with regards to all the organic food that goes around, seeing billboards for crop insurance! Not something we see everyday in GA! Really enjoyed it!

April 28, 2010- Wednesday: Las Vegas, Nevada
Since we were on a Queen bed, we were up by 7am! I got breakfast ready in the cottage, we packed, and then headed out to start our journey to Las Vegas! We were told it was about 7 hours away, the longest stretch on our trip! We went through Fresno and Bakersfield, then through the Mojave, we passed by Andrew Air Force Base (Iron Man 2). Before we exited CA, we stopped in Bakersfield to potty, and we grabbed Subway for lunch, it was a little after 11am. Off to Vegas we went, stopping one more time to potty. Once we passed PRIMM we were in Nevada. There was a complex on the border, with roller coaster and casino and shopping. We arrived in Las Vegas around 4pm. We checked into the Bellagio and explored our gorgeous room! We rested some, then walked to Venetian for dinner at Canaletto! We walked around some.. heard the Pirate Show at Treasure Island, and also the Volcano Show at The Mirage. It was VERY VERY windy! We literally had sand thrown in our eyes! Most of the fountains in Vegas were off that day, and Bellagio did not have it’s fountain shows! Bummer! Since we got lake view rooms!
We gambled some on our way back, stopped at the Shoppes at Ceasar’s Palace.. went back to our room, watched tv, and went to bed!

April 29, 2010- Thursday: Las Vegas, Nevada
We woke up around 7am again. Around 8.30am we went downstairs to Jean-Philippe Patisserie to get some breakfast. We got 2 berry crepes, an OJ and a coffee, all for about $32.. It was delish! We walked around the Gardens some, they had a really cute Garden exhibit. Then we headed on the tram to City Center to check out Aria, etc. There is a Tram from Bellagio to take you there. We walked around some, then crossed the street and went to Planet Hollywood. We got some Gelato (before lunch time), and enjoyed the shoppes. Walked to Paris, then gambled some, and headed to lunch at Mon Ami Gabi! Yummy! We got some awesome steak sandwiches, and I also tried the mushroom soup as appetizer. We gambled some more, then went back to Bellagio to pick up our “O” tickets, and back to our room to chill. I made reservations for Olive’s Restaurant at Bellagio for 5.45pm, and we rested. We went to Olives where we had an awesome salad, I had the filet mignon and Marc had the pork chops! Out of this world. We were stuffed, so headed back to our room to rest, then went down to get ready for “O” we gambled some before the show. The show was at 10pm, but we had to be there at 9.30pm, the place was PACKED!!! We had 2nd row wet seats, luckily only got some mist on us! But we had a fabulous view!!!
We were back in our room around mid night. We did get to enjoy the fountains at Bellagio on this day. Marc had put our chairs in front of the window, and we enjoyed the show every 30 min…and 15 later at turn your tv to channel 23 I believe and you can follow the fountain music from your room!

April 30, 2010- Friday: Sedona, Arizona
We checked out around 8am to start our journey to Sedona, Arizona! We stopped at McDonald’s for a McMuffin breakfast and splurged with some mini buns, all for $13.. lol..We stopped at Hoover Dam for a bit, mainly to check out the progress of the new bridge and roadway. We changed time zones as we finished crossing the dam. Took a few pics, and continued our way to Sedona. There was not much for a long time after you crossed Hoover Dam! We arrived in Sedona early, but they checked us in anyways. We had a suite, it was an online deal I got. We dropped off suitcase, and off we went to the Holy Cross, we stopped at Domino’s for some quick lunch. We drove around some, I saw the bell, and all those snoopy, elephant formations! The red rock was quite amazing! We then headed to Red Canyon Park, they were closing soon, so he let us in to use the restroom, and then gave us info about a trail we could do out of the park, and be able to use our America the Beautiful Pass whenever we parked. We drove about 10 min to hike Fay Canyon Trail. It was a very nice walk, and we hiked for almost 2 hours.. then got back to our car around 7pm. Luckily it was still daylight. We headed back to our hotel, and then headed to Tlaquepaque to walk around and dinner. We ate at El Rincon, Mexican. We walked around some, there were a few art stores open, but pretty much everything shuts down at 5pm in Sedona!

May 1, 2010- Saturday: Grand Canyon, Arizona
We woke up early again, and headed to the Continental Breakfast at the hotel and then checked out. On our way out of Sedona we made a stop where we got ripped off buying Native American Crafts.. J We were only about 2-2.5 hours away from the Grand Canyon. Before we headed out there we stopped at the Volcano Crater, walked around some, then had lunch at Flagstaff Mall. I had Subway, and Marc had Chinese. Then off we went to the Grand Canyon. Soon after entering the road to take you up to it, we stopped at a Gas Station to fill the car up, and potty. We checked in at the Holiday Inn Express in Tusayan, and then off to the Park we went! It was an amazing view to see the Grand Canyon! We walked around and walked around. We did not go to the visitor center. We hiked some, got some ice cream near Thunderbird lodge. We also got to see a California Condor! Pretty great sight to see! Then went to our hotel to take a nap! We went back to the Grand Canyon around 7.15pm to see the sunset! We had a fancy dinner at Wendy’s.. Not much to choose from out there. We also stopped at the General Store where you get ripped off! We thought about going to the IMAX, but recently had seen a GC IMAX movie in Atlanta, so thought they might be the same, and skipped it. After that we went to bed! The room was nice, we had a suite again, and we had free wi-fi and breakfast.

May 2, 2010- Sunday: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
We woke up around our usual time, no alarm clocks. We went down to get our breakfast, finished packing then off we went! We stopped at the Grand Canyon NP sign to take our photo, and what did we get? SNOW! You could see the snow in our photo’s! We went to some other South Rim View Points on our way out of the park. We also stopped at the Tusayan Tribal Area, and then the Watch Tower, and off we were. We stopped at a small Canyon right outside the park. Here again you would find several Native Americans selling jewelry. On our way we were! We encountered some sand storms, nothing like the Middle East, but they were pretty bad! We stopped in Page for some lunch at Sonic, and went to eat it overlooking the Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell. We stopped at Wal-Mart right before that to use the potty. Then off to Bryce we went, which was about 5.5-6 hours. When we arrived in Bryce, we tried to check in a little earlier. We got our room at Ruby’s Inn, at the Ponderosa. We dropped off our suitcase, then off to Bryce Canyon National Park, which was only a few minutes away! It was very cold, and we had seen snow on our way! We stopped at the Visitor Center we watched a video, bought souvenirs, and then off we went to check out the park. We stopped at several lookout points but 2. It was really cold, and the highest point was 9115 feet! We got out in all of those, and took some great pics! We left the last 2 spots for the next morning around sunrise… We went back to the hotel probably around 7pm, and then headed to dinner at the Restaurant in Ruby’s Inn, we had a nice buffet, with tons of salad and veggies! We were in heaven, and I am not a buffet fan, but we were here! Then off to walk some around the hotel, buy souvenirs, and off to sleep!


ArubaMilie Thursday, May 20th, 2010 03:46 PM

Re: Napa-San Fran-Yosemite-Las Vegas-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Bryce NP-Moab-Salt Lake-Rapi
May 3, 2010- Monday: Moab, Utah
We woke up around 7am, got ourselves ready, went to get breakfast at Ruby’s they had an O.K. breakfast buffet, we ate, and packed the car then left for Bryce Canyon NP again, so we can hit the 2 view points we missed the day before! It was gorgeous! We enjoyed the views. It was cold, but the wind was not blowing like the day before, it was really bad then! Phheww.. We headed out to Moab. Not much to see out there, and at one point our last service point was in Salina, so we stopped and had Subway, and off we went. There were only like 4 places to choose from. We enjoyed very nice scenery from Salina to Moab and we stopped several times to enjoy the scenery! No cell service most of the way until you reach part of Moab area. We arrived in Moab around 2.30pm. We stayed at the Best Western Greenwell Inn. Very nice room. They had a nice Keurig, very clean, and we also had a nice fridge! Also free wi-fi! We napped, and went out around 5pm and headed to Carrana’s (something like that) Italian for Dinner. It was a very cozy restaurant, we enjoyed our Brushetta, Salad, Calzone, and Spaghetti with Meatball. Then off to Arches we went! The Visitor Center was closed, so we just kept going. For one there was no one at the front, and we entered for free so to say. We stopped at several view points, and got out to check out Pine Arch and Tunnel Arch. We hiked a little, and then around 8pm headed back out to our hotel to sleep.

May 4, 2010- Tuesday: Moab, Utah
We slept in today. We had no idea what to eat since we were getting tired of the same thing, so we headed to Burger King this time, I wanted a Croissant with ham and egg and cheese.. We got some fruit at the local grocery store, so I was stocked up again on goodies. We then went off to Arches. This time there was someone there to collect the entrance fee, again with had our pass. They usually did ask us for our ID with the Card. We headed out to check out the Delicate Arch, but didn’t make it all the way up to it. I was really sore that day, my calfs were on fire. We then drove around some more, and then headed out to then head to Canyonlands. There is really not much out there, and nothing to eat, so don’t go hungry! We stopped at the Visitor Center, then started to check out the lookout points. We took a hike to check out Upheaval Dome, my legs were feeling a little better. There was a nice Ranger out there explaining the dome, etc. We then headed back it was the most congested area we saw in the park! We then checked out the other view points, we got out at most and took pics. Coming from the Grand Canyon a few days earlier I guess by this time we wanted to see something different than Canyons! But it was gorgeous, and we had a great time!
We then headed out of the park after several hours, and headed back into Moab. We stopped near the bridge at the Colorado River, and just took that road and drove up the Colorado. We enjoyed that scenery a LOT! Marc wanted to do the ATV tours.. or Rafting, but being pregnant put a burden on his plans. J We drove all the way until the road sort of ended.. there were a lot of rock climbers along that road. We also stopped to check out some Dinosaur Tracks.. but didn’t see a thing.. On our way back we stopped to check out some Indian Petroglyphs! Very cool stuff!! Marc wanted to keep following the Colorado, so we went across the street to check out the other side as well… We started to get hungry, and went to our hotel where we went to Zax for dinner, it was at walking distance. Marc loved their pizza (he’s a huge pizza lover), they had an awesome salad bar, and I had a great steak sandwich and salad. Then check out some shops and off to the hotel to rest!

May 5, 2010- Wednesday: Salt Lake City, Utah
This was mom’s birthday! Last year (and about 3 years in a row before) we would be in the Caribbean to celebrate it with her, but this year we were on a trip in the US! At this point though we had enough of LAND, and wished we were on a Caribbean Island, on a nice beach.. LOL!
Called her to wish her Happy Birthday, packed, checked out, and headed out, we stopped at Starbucks, and I got me some joghurt and fresh fruit again at the grocery store. We filled up the car, and off we went to Salt Lake City. This was about a 5 hour drive. We didn’t have to take the same route back, so that was nice. We were stuck on a 2 lane road though, and it was pretty amusing with the 18 wheeling road ragers. We came across some small towns, where the speed limit would drop to 35, and you usually had a cop waiting… As we started approaching Salt Lake City, we came across most of the population of Utah I am sure, reminded me of Atlanta! Lots of stores, houses, cars, etc. We arrived around 1pm, and went to check in, we were staying at the Fairfield Inn-Marriott near the airport. It was a very nice, clean hotel, more business oriented. We had free wi-fi, and a nice microwave and fridge. We rested for a minute, then wanted to eat something for lunch. The GPS had a few places, but we decided to try the Perkins at the hotel itself.. I haven’t been to a Perkins in YEARS, since we were in Florida on our way from Miami to Orlando back in 1997!! So we stopped by, and I had a great tuna melt and salad, and Marc had a Reuben. He was in heaven, food was pretty decent, and great service and so convenient.
We then headed back to room, short rest, then off to explore Salt Lake City. It was pretty chilly, cloud came and went. We headed to a State Park nearby, but it was hard to check out the Salt Lake. Then downtown we circled around, and found some parking a few blocks from the Mormon Temple. We stopped by, but felt a little weirded out by girls continuously asking us questions and wanting to help. Very nice of them, but at that point I was just too tired, and we just left. We did walk around some, they had very nice grounds! We then headed to the car, and off to the hotel. Don’t remember what we did for dinner. We also did laundry here, we were out of socks, and some other things, so we washed a full load! Then off to bed…

May 6, 2010- Thursday: Salt Lake City, Utah
We woke up late so we missed our continental breakfast! So off to Perkins. I had some pancakes with strawberry and extra fruit, and I think Marc had the same.
We went off to Antelope Island. The weather was still iffy, but later we got some beautiful blue skies! We had to pay here, since it’s a State Park, I think it was $9. We stopped at the Visitor Center, and then headed out with the car.. We saw some cute foxes, and bisons, and also some weird birds! Marc pretty much wanted to see the Salt Lake.. and thought he could go float in it.. well, then he says, maybe it was the Dead Sea I meant.. ggrrr…. Only reason we were in Salt Lake City is so that he can see the Salt Lake!!!! Then he said, nah, this is cool too.. but with the small shrimp in the water and temp, he said, no need to get into the water! We just drove around some more, then stopped to touch the Salt Lake.. and off to the City we went. We stopped at Bajio Mexican Grill, it’s more upscale Mexican than a normal place, and was pretty good. It’s about the same thing as a Willy’s or Moe’s, just with “fresher” stuff… We just drove around some more, then went back to hotel to rest. Later we went back out just driving, and headed to Red Lobster for dinner. I had seen an Olive Garden also, but wanted Lobster.. it was decent.. Marc didn’t eat much, he was still full from lunch and snacking. On our way back we drove around some neighborhoods, and got to pass by Westminster College wherever that was! They had some cute shopping establishments in that area. We did stop at a Whole Foods for a minute as well, then off to our hotel. We had to finish packing since we had an early flight to catch next day! We cleaned out our rental car, and vacuumed it. We were going to run it through the car wash, but I told Marc it’s OK, we cleaned the windows, and we vacuumed!

May 7, 2010- Friday: Rapid City, South Dakota
We woke up before 6am, were pretty much done packing just toiletries and headed downstairs for the breakfast. We checked out, then headed downtown to the Hilton where we were going to drop off the car. We didn’t choose the airport, since it added an extra $200+ so at the Hilton we dropped our baby off.. We did enjoy that car for 2 weeks! It was great with fuel, glad we didn’t get anything bigger, it was a Kia Optima. We took a shuttle ($8 pp) to the airport, and off we went. We checked in pretty fast, then had to walk to International Terminal since they had no lines. We had to wait almost 2 hours, yes, we were early. We got freaked out by some of the propeller airplanes, but luckily we ended up on a Delta Connection CRJ jet! It was a little uncomfy, those airplanes used to have bigger seats I remember from a trip to Mexico a few years ago, but they have 4 seats in each row now! We had enough space for our carry-ons, they wanted to check my bag, but I said I had snacks in it, so they let me carry it on. The flight was about 1 hour and we then landed in Rapid City! Not much out there! It was COLD also and snowing some. We headed to Hertz to pick up our rental. They gave us a Mustang.. mind you in Florida it would have been cool, but NOT when snowing… I drove around the airport, and said no thank you, so went back in and got a Pathfinder. HOTWIRE messed up the reservation and told them I wanted a 2-door!!! I thought I was getting a mid-size SUV, so I got screwed up somehow. It was $10 a day to get the Pathfinder, I said, fine by me! So off we went, MUCH better! I could not see out of the back rear side with the Mustang and felt uncomfortable. Again, we rented one in Florida one time and with the cap down, it was a blast.. not when snowing.. J
We headed to our hotel, they checked us in early, and off to a short rest. We stayed at the Howard Johnson. We had a nice room, and being the cheapest room by far at $60 this was a steal. Microwave, big room, fridge..We then headed to Sanford’s for Lunch! Yummy place! I had some recommendations for lunch, but Marc had wanted to try this place out and it had LOTS of character!! We got so much food, and enjoyed it all.. Then off to hotel, and then get ready to head to Mt. Rushmore. It was very cold and windy, and snow on and off, so we got there in less than 30 min.. it was nice and empty.. we had to pay $10 to get in for an annual pass.. We walked around some, obviously visitor center was closed, so we couldn’t check that out. Took some photo’s, saw some amazing mountain goats, and then off to the hotel we went. For the life of me I can’t remember what we did for dinner! Off to bed we were..

May 8, 2010- Saturday: Rapid City, South Dakota
We woke up early enough to just barely get breakfast J We ate, then headed back out to Mt. Rushmore. We went to the Visitor Center and Museum area, watched 2 movies, and walked around some more. Took some more pics that came out better than the day before! It was very nice to see it all.. then off we went. We stopped in Keystone where we stopped at Teddy’s Deli. At this point I really wanted a hot dog, and my luck, they had it! It was really good as well. Right behind us a tour bus came in and flooded the place. We walked around some, then explored a little on side roads. Marc wanted to check out the mines, and I was freaking out, so we didn’t. Now that I am pregnant I am very cautious, and I guess lame at times.
We wanted to check out the Reptile Gardens, and Bear Country. First up was Bear Counrty. We drove in, but drove on the side to go where the cubs were. I did not want to drive through the park with a rental car, but wanted to get tickers to see the babies. Well, when we parked we got approached by this pissed off lady that said we bypassed the entrance bla bla, and we need to go back and get tickets. Well at $15 per person we didn’t want to pay that just to see the babies, since they don’t have separate tickets! So we told her this is really awkward and left. Like I said, I did not want to DRIVE through the park… Then we decided we don’t like snakes either, and just kept driving passed the Reptile Gardens. We then stopped at the Dinosaur Park, which was more for kids, but we got some nice views of Rapid City. After that we went to hotel, and off to the South Dakota Museum of Air and Space. Really enjoyed it. We wanted to check out the Museum of Geology, but it closed early!!! So we missed it…and also the Journey museum. Summer hours are not in effect yet. We went back to hotel to rest, then off to Olive Garden. I had tons of salad, and shrimp alfredo, Marc had the stuffed chicken. I wanted to try the Firehouse place, but was craving salad and shrimp! After this we drove around some, stopped at the Berlin Wall Memorial, walked some in the park there, and then off to the hotel.

May 9, 2010- Sunday: Rapid City, South Dakota, St. Paul, MN, Atlanta, Georgia
I was awoken about 11.48pm by puking noise, I know, gross, too much info, but Marc had gotten food poisoning!!! OMG!! Hour after hour.. I only got about 2 hours of sleep up to this point.. poor thing got it really bad… around 7am I asked him if he wanted some toast and tea, and me to go to pharmacy, and he says, there is no way I am flying today. I freaked out… after 16 days, I just wanted to go home!!!! I had him call his mom, and she said she wouldn’t miss the flight either… so I went to pharmacy and got every imaginable med he would need… He was pissed about it.. and I ended up packing up, checking us out, grabbing a quick breakfast downstairs, getting him ready, packing all the meds in my carryon/bag, put gas in the car, drop off the car, check us in, you name it! It was hard on me, but I managed to do it all. We checked in at Rapid City, then had to wait about 1 hour before our flight left. He was sleeping on the floor at one point. Right before that my apple sauce was taken away by security.. even though it went through in Salt Lake.. ugh.. I ended up buying snacks 4x what I’d pay at the store, but it was needed. Got some vitamin water also for Marc, then off we went. He was uncomfy during the flight, but did good. We had asked for a seat next to the bathroom, but it was not needed thank goodness. We landed in St. Paul/MN around 2pm, it was luckily only an hour flight. We waited for about 1.5 hours in MN. Marc was not hungry, but I picked up some amazing chicken on ciabatta at a French Café! Out of this world!!!! I also had some all natural smoothie and a nice salad.. I made sure Marc had enough vitamin water/Gatorade/sprite.. Then off we went to our flight back to Atlanta. That was about 2.5 hours.. we arrived in Atlanta around 7.30pm. My in-laws were at the airport to greet us, and off home we went. The kitties were very happy to see us, we have 3. One poofed his tail at me, then they all came purring and wanted attention. Marc was back in bed, and we both went to bed early we were exhausted. I had called in on Monday to keep an eye on Marc, and he had the week off, so he had no worries. I had an OB appt that afternoon and went alone, and ended up making him some chicken soup. It was great to get some home cooked meals again we so missed them!

All in all it was an amazing trip! We drove over 3500 miles, flew over 2500, touched down in 7 States, and crossed 4 times zones! If we would change anything I would say, skip Salt Lake City, and maybe start up the opposite direction. We knew the weather was going to be chilly/cold, but were happy with what we got. We didn’t want to go too late, since I am in my 3rd trimester now. The maternity belt did help me I am sure get through all of it and all the walking we did… we did over 15 miles of walking/hiking, which is great for us, since we don’t on a normal basis. I would have also spend 2 more days in California instead, gorgeous state! The most disappointing park to Marc was Arches. I enjoyed most of them, but at the end like I said wanted to see beaches! We enjoyed them all, they each had something different to offer.. Napa/Sonoma was amazing, San Francisco was out of this world, Golden Gate Bridge was amazing to see personally, Yosemite was gorgeous with its waterfalls (and the tallest in the US) and the Giant Sequoias, Muir Woods was amazing with the Redwoods, we got to see the Hoover Dam again, the Grand Canyon was Grand, Sedona was gorgeous, Las Vegas was fancy and fabulous as always, Bryce Canyon was spectacular with the “hoodoos”, Moab was amazing with the nice warm weather and what it had to offer, Salt Lake City home of the Salt Lake and Rapid City home of Mt. Rushmore!
The hotels were all great and most let us check in early, except the cottage in Yosemite. Our most expensive was the cottage B&B in Yosemite, followed by Bellagio and the cheapest was Rapid City! The best hotel experience was Bellagio in Vegas, followed by the Cottage in Yosemite. Don’t have a worst hotel experience.. the others were all about the same..
We liked dealing with Avis a LOT better than Hertz, and Marc said never again with Hertz OR Hotwire.. Each state was unique! We were so happy we got to do this trip! Of course we blew the budget.. it is just hard not to.. Can’t wait to print out my photo’s and add to the album! Our next vacation is going to be AFTER baby in Dec/Jan, we will be heading to the Caribbean for 2 weeks! We would like to now, LOL! But we need to get the nursery and house ready! But who knows.. J


Day 1: Napa: Jamilie Rader-Geerman's Photos - Babymoon Day 1: April 24, 2010 | Facebook

Day 2: Muir Woods-San Fran: Jamilie Rader-Geerman's Photos - Babymoon Day 2: April 25, 2010 | Facebook

Day 3-4: Yosemite: Jamilie Rader-Geerman's Photos - Babymoon Day 3-4- Yosemite: April 26-27, 2010 | Facebook

Day 5-6: Las Vegas: Jamilie Rader-Geerman's Photos - Babymoon Day 5-6: Las Vegas, April 28-29, 2010 | Facebook

Day 7: Hoover Dam-Sedona, AZ: Jamilie Rader-Geerman's Photos - Babymoon Day 7: Hoover Dam-Sedona, AZ- April 30, 2010 | Facebook

Day 8: Grand Canyon, AZ: Jamilie Rader-Geerman's Photos - Babymoon Day 8: Grand Canyon, AZ- May 1, 2010 | Facebook

Day 9: Bryce Canyon, Utah: Jamilie Rader-Geerman's Photos - Babymoon Day 9: Bryce Canyon, Utah- May 2, 2010 | Facebook

Day 10-11: Moab, Utah: Jamilie Rader-Geerman's Photos - Babymoon Day 10-11: Moab, Utah | Facebook

Day 12-13: Salt lake City, Utah: Jamilie Rader-Geerman's Photos - Babymoon Day 12-13: Salt Lake City, Utah | Facebook

Day 14-15: Rapid City, South Dakota (Mt. Rushmore): Jamilie Rader-Geerman's Photos - Babymoon Day 14-15: Rapid City, SD- May 7-9, 2010 | Facebook

Elaine S Thursday, May 20th, 2010 07:01 PM

Re: Napa-San Fran-Yosemite-Las Vegas-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Bryce NP-Moab-Salt Lake-Rapi
Milie... fantastic trip report. I got tired just reading everything you and Marc, and "the little" one did!!

I've never been to that part of the country...

Thanks for the great read!

ArubaMilie Friday, May 21st, 2010 07:30 AM

Re: Napa-San Fran-Yosemite-Las Vegas-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Bryce NP-Moab-Salt Lake-Rapi
Thanks! Ohh I know.. just reading the places we went I would get tired.. :tounge_sm I had to write stuff on cards for each day, otherwise I would have no clue what went on.. it did take me about 3 days to write..

captmorgnsgrl Thursday, May 27th, 2010 10:40 AM

Re: Napa-San Fran-Yosemite-Las Vegas-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Bryce NP-Moab-Salt Lake-Rapi

Sounds like a great trip! I have many fond memories of summers in yosemite. When I was little they would have fire falls off of glacier point. quite remarkable, when I think about it. Of course with conservation now they stopped it many years ago. I am headed to San Francisco in November, and our son lives in Vegas so we go as often as we can. So nice to read about your trip.

Thanks for sharing!


PS. Are you the same Jamillie that kept me posted regarding Lennie?

ArubaMilie Thursday, May 27th, 2010 02:35 PM

Re: Napa-San Fran-Yosemite-Las Vegas-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Bryce NP-Moab-Salt Lake-Rapi
We had a great time!!

Enjoy your trip to San Fran!

Yes I am! Can't believe it's going on 2 years since she left us :-(

captmorgnsgrl Thursday, May 27th, 2010 02:44 PM

Re: Napa-San Fran-Yosemite-Las Vegas-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Bryce NP-Moab-Salt Lake-Rapi

Originally Posted by ArubaMilie (Post 99687)
We had a great time!!

Enjoy your trip to San Fran!

Yes I am! Can't believe it's going on 2 years since she left us :-(

I can't believe it either! I was just online with a friend from Conneticut Jodi, whom I met on the BB and we met up in Aruba. We had a BB party with Lennie, Marlene & Mark, Jodi her hubby, My family and a few others at Pinchos in 04. We had a great time and it was beautiful there. Lennie was the center of converstaion that night. She had all the answers and everyone was listening to her talk about Aruba. I miss her! It is so strange but I live on the west coast, and met Lennie first through the BB and then in person in Aruba. As we were talking I told her of my family and that my SIL&BIL that lived in NY. As it turned out she know's my BIL's family and has for decades. Such a small world...I am now mourning the loss of my BIL who passed on May 16th. He mentioned to me how he remembered Lennie. Truly a small world!

ArubaMilie Thursday, May 27th, 2010 02:52 PM

Re: Napa-San Fran-Yosemite-Las Vegas-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Bryce NP-Moab-Salt Lake-Rapi
Wow! Small world indeed! Sorry about your BIL :-(

It was crazy through the correspondence when she was sick, I also connected with someone who went to college with my uncle.. don't even know how we got on that... later when she went to Aruba, her and my uncle revisited after not seeing each other in YEARS! The world sometimes can be very small indeed...

roschone Thursday, May 27th, 2010 11:30 PM

Re: Napa-San Fran-Yosemite-Las Vegas-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Bryce NP-Moab-Salt Lake-Rapi

Originally Posted by ArubaMilie (Post 99550)
Thanks! Ohh I know.. just reading the places we went I would get tired.. :tounge_sm I had to write stuff on cards for each day, otherwise I would have no clue what went on.. it did take me about 3 days to write..

I thought it was a great report, I enjoyed every word. Thanks for taking us with you. We used to write a trip diary on every trip we took, hiking, camping, boating, skiing. Mostly it was kind of boring facts, how much $ we spent, what we bought, what we cooked on the campfire, etc., but then mood altering anecdotes starting filling in here and there about the sunset, the sky, the water, the fish we caught, how hard the highest mountain was to climb, the people we met, and before you knew it you had a full-fledged story. We love reading these old diaries whenever we come across them. We stopped writing them when we kept returning to Aruba, but this year I was determined to get back to it. I wrote stuff every day, on anything I could get my hands on, the back of the paperbook I was reading, a menu, a napkin, etc. If I had brought a laptop with me, I would have been writing the same stuff in my posts so it's kind of the same thing. It took me many days to write my trip report. But I gotta say, I had a good time doing it. A real good time.

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