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About harryfat1

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    Cruise (of course)
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    Whoever saves me money

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  1. WOW - as in "Wow, what are you guys doing? This is supposed to be a trip report on Freedom of the Seas cruise and we have with bunch of old guys talking RV driving and rocks in area at least 500 miles from nearest ocean..."😜 Apologies to any new readers that started reading this thread recently and actually thought we are talking cruises...
  2. First of all, how do you insert picture within your text? In the old days, I inserted my picture links from Flickr or Shutterfly using the embedded link. But now with the new CC format, I can add a ton more pictures to the post but the software adds them for me at the bottom of the post. Cheapo dad not up to date with the newer technology...😉 Depending on how much you are in love with Yosemite, if you want to cut off your trip into two smaller ones for later, it could save yourself some driving. One option is just do the CA based national parks on its own. Fly to Vegas and then do death valley and go up to Kings NP and Sequoia NP and then Yosemite and back to Vegas. That would be a lot less driving and you get to see 4 NP is one trip. I have never been to Kings or Sequoia but I have been to the Redwood National Park up in the Oregon border. If you want to see big old red wood trees, doing just the 4 CA parks is easier on the butt. Then you save the Arizona/Utah parks as a separate trip. One thing you didn't have on your map is Grand Canyon. If you stay at Kanab, Utah and use that as a base, you can see Zion/Bryce and the north rim of Grand Canyon from Kanab as a day trip to each area. The north rim of Grand Canyon is seldom visited as they said 90% of the people sees the south rim from Vegas. North rim is more remote and likely less people. But do note that they close the road to north rim during the winter season so check with their web site on when you want to go.
  3. Thank you for the compliment. I typically save my road trip pictures as an add on with my cruise trip report to break up the monotony on describing the daily route of the cruise. But who knows when we will cruise again given the Covid 19 issue so I'm just going down memory lane to help Bob and others with my old vacation pics as well as re-living our previous vacations as it's unlikely we will have one this summer or this winter.
  4. Thanks. We just got really lucky in getting to the Bad Water Basin area within couple days of a big rain storm where the water pooled in the more shallow part. With sunset, it's as if you are standing on water. BadWater Basin is known as the most sea level area in north America at 282 feet below sea level. There's a sign up in the hills on the other of the first picture that tells you where the sea level is - 282 feet above you. But it's a pretty decent walk from the parking lot (at the foot of the hills) to the water area. Few more pics from the area.
  5. Here's the 2015 Rushmore trip, including Badlands and Devils Tower. If you do Rushmore, be sure to do the hiking trail where you are underneath the Presidents as you look up. Many people just take a picture from the platform and walk around and leave. Oh, another thing we like to do is visit all the state capitol buildings for every state we were in. This one is from Wyoming.
  6. Hi, Bob, We were at Yellowstone in 2012 and Mount Rushmore in 2015. The Rushmore trip was the furthest we have ever driven eastward. We went as far as Badlands NP before turning back. Per Google map, that's almost 1,500 miles one way. Seeing these national parks is like going to Caribbean islands (need to tie back to cruises somehow as this is CC afterall), it's too hard to try to see everything in one trip. You should try to break things up to different trips. Since you are coming from the north, I would do the northern sites like Yellow stone and Rushmore and Devils Tower as one trip and then leave the southern ones as another trip. Have to go pretty far back in the archives to get these old pictures from 2012 when the boys were so much younger. This is even before our 2014 Allure cruise. We rented a log cabin at Cody for couple nights.
  7. Hi, Patti, Nice to hear from you. I'm envious of your retirement. I wish I am there now but have to wait until my kids are done with college and pay off the mortgage before I can retire and binge on Netflix all day long. We were in Southern CA last December mostly for the college visits and the national parks were most just add on as something fun to see instead of "business trip" like environment of looking at colleges. But we were caught in the Christmas week storm down there where they closed I-5 at the grapevine and 15 going to Vegas. So we had to do almost double the driving time in going on 10 and then Joshua Tree to 95 over to Needles to get to Vegas on the backside away from the snow storm closure area. The house in the background is the inlaws house. We were there to drop off father's day gift last Sunday when I saw the post on this thread on my cell phone so I just took a selfie to say hi to everyone as I just happen to be wearing the Mickey mask that day. My wife made over 150+ of masks for families and friends and donation to local charity that requested mask donation during the early outbreak so I have other patterns like Looney Tunes besides Mickey. To keep social distancing, I didn't even go inside their house. I stayed outside while my wife dropped off the stuff by the entrance way while keeping distance and wearing a mask. So weird to be visiting families nowadays but can't go inside and must wear mask. Here are few more pictures for you from Joshua Tree. Difference of one day before snow storm or after snow. And windmill farm for people that haven't seen them before...
  8. Hi, Thanks for reading the info even though it's pretty outdated. Nowadays the kids wouldn't know what's around them unless it's from an text/tweet/social media posting. They never look up or around to see what's around them. Just eyes on phones. Vacation is only time they somewhat get away from that but they still posts or checks on social media to share in real time what they are doing that minute... Harry
  9. Hi, Thanks for the post. Yeah, we miss cruising as well. Maybe summer 2021 Alaska cruise or winter 2021 Caribbean cruise once things are more settled with the virus situation. Harry
  10. Hi, Thank you for the compliment. My joke writing team (of one) will be happy to hear the positive feedback on the crude juvenile humor throughout my cruise reports. It’s good to take a “mental vacation” instead of an physical one – especially given the Covid19 virus. Certainly much cheaper and you don’t have to deal with the heat and stress of flying across the country when you are at home. Harry
  11. Part 2 of the 2018 Road trip. After Bryce Canyon, we went to Pink Sand State Park and then Zion and then Vegas
  12. So after 2017’s summer trip, we decided to go back for more heat and punishment on another road trip in 2018. In between these two road trips, we did the Independence of the Seas cruise in December 2017. This 2018 trip was slower pace compared to 2017 as we didn’t see as many places but more time at each site. Same start at Vegas where we saw the Cirque show – Ka. This one is much more martial arts oriented on a big old moving stage. One of a kind show and they actually allow photos of the show – just no videos so Cheapo dad didn’t break any rules in taking these legit pics. From Vegas, we drove to Bryce Canyon City to stay for 2 nights. Next day we went to Bryce Canyon. The area is like a big soup bowl where the stops are at the top and you walk down the path to the bottom of the bowl area if you want to see things up close to if you are short on time, just drive by each stop area and see the park from the rims above. After Bryce, we headed south to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park as my wife like sands. They call it pink sands but looks more orange to me. Nevertheless, it was very hot to walk on as it was 90+ degrees outside when we there. From there, we went to St. George and stayed three nights there renting another townhouse. Then spent the next 2 days driving to Zion National Park to see the various sites. The place is crazy popular/crowded. During the summer months, they won’t allow any cars inside the park so you have to park your car in the nearby city and take the shuttle bus from inside the park to see various sites. Of course, this was all before Covid19. No idea what the new policy is currently. The wait just to get on the tram in the morning to go inside is like 45 minute wait. Worst than trying to get a tram at Disneyland. Took picture of the sign that says 30 minute wait from here after we waited 15 minutes just to get there. Zion is only ok in my book. Maybe it was to hot – over 90 degrees everyday and we had to hike miles and miles with no shade and it was too crowded. But after seeing other areas, this doesn’t have the “wow” factor but it’s very popular with hikers. For the really adventurous crowd, just Google “Angles Landing Zion”, you will see some YouTube videos calling that hike the scariest hike in all the national parks. Not my cup of tea… Finally drove back to Vegas area and on the way home, stopped by the freeway area where they had the art work on the side. Only dumb tourists like ourselves and all other dumb tourists would get out of the car at 102 degrees in mid day Vegas heat to walk around and take pictures of “whatever that is”… Even with two trips, we didn’t see the last NP – Capitol Reef as well as Grand Staircase National Monument and bunch of other places. Maybe that’s for 2021 or beyond whenever I can retire. This should give you (and whoever else) a quick overview of what’s out there. Add in Grand Canyon in the South, you can easily spend weeks in Arizona/Utah region. Come back with questions if you want to know hotels or whatever detailed info you need like more pics of the no toilet seat poop area 😷. You can email me at the Cheapodad@Outlook.com or post them here if you think it’s beneficial for others to know as well… Safe travels, Harry
  13. Part 3 of 3 of the 2017 road trip where we did the big loop around Arizona and Utah. After Arches NP, the stop next day is Canyonsland NP. Note the bathroom sign...
  14. Hi, Bob, So continue on with part 2 of the 2017 road trip pics from yesterday. I already talked about where we went and it took longer than I thought in trying to find the pictures I wanted as you can imagine I have tens of thousands of pics in the hard drive and not always easy or fast to find the info. Anyway, I last left off at the Horse Shoe Bend. I realized I also forgot to mentioned that we did a dam tour at Page, Arizona. It was only like $5/pp (Cheapo dad prices) and you get a guided tour. Getting to the Horseshoe Bend is a pretty decent hike. No rails at the area when we were there. There have been reports of people falling off the edge and died.
  15. Hey, Bob, How goes? Retired, eh? I’ll still need you around to track things for my future cruise report whenever that may be. Our road trip always starts from Bay Area to Vegas so in theory if you fly out, that can be your starting point or you can start from Salt Lake City and head south. There are lots of places to see in the Utah/Arizona region. We went in 2017 and 2018 and still haven’t seen them all. But if you have the time and energy, you can spend few weeks going to each one. I’ll give you the itinerary for both trips and you can adjust them to fit your needs. Just use Google maps to see how much driving you are willing to do daily and map things out from there. I’ll just do 2017 trip in this post and 2018 in next as not to confuse the two. 2017: After arriving in Vegas, we stayed for two nights. Attended the Cirque’s Beatles show at the Mirage. Great show if you are a Beatles fan. From Vegas, head north pass St. George and then eastward for Page, Arizona. Spend the night there. Make reservation ahead of time to see Lower Antelope Canyon before 12 noon. After that, grab lunch and head for Horseshoe Bend just 15 minutes out. After that, drive to Kayenta, Arizona to spend the night there. The town is super small in only 5K population but you need it as a jump off point for next day. In the morning, drive north toward Monument Valley. You need to reserve a slot with the local native tribe to join a tour as only they can take you to their private land. This area is iconic as it gets. Shows up in many movies. We booked the 2 hour trip but they have shorter or longer tours, depending on what you want. After the tour, continue to head north into Moab, Utah. We stayed here for 2 nights renting a townhouse via VRBO. A lot more space to roam around after hours in the van and cooking simple meal to eat in. Not a big city by most standards but it’s one of the largest town in that part of the state. Next day head for Arches National Park. The hike to Arches is pretty intense. Especially if you go in the summer like we did. Bring lots of cold water. It’s well worth it as that’s the only way you can get to the Arch. If the climb is not possible, you can see the arches from couple miles away at a parking lot but it’s not the same. That’s the Arch I used for my CC picture. After a day at Arches, go back to townhouse and rest. Next morning head northwest to go to Canyonlands NP. It’s not as well known as Arches but it also has the iconic Arch picture that you see in many travel pictures – Windows uses it as a background picture. Many people get there for the sunrise photo as you can see the sun peeking out in-between the gap of the arch if you get there super early. Not being a morning person, I’ll pass. So you get to see the mid morning picture instead. No sunrise pic from me. Go to YouTube or online for those professional pics. Just Google Mesa Arch Sunrise and you will see tons of pics. Do note that this NP is middle of nowhere. Running water is scarce. So bring your own bottled water. Even the bathrooms inside the visitor area have no water or even toilet seats. It’s a big old hold and you squat (don’t fall down…) and bring your own hand sanitizers as it has no running water. After Canyonlands we did the loop to St. George on I-70 for the night and drove past Vegas and going home. So if you follow all this on Google map, you will see we did a big outer loop of Utah parks in 2017. In the next post, I will describe what we did for 2018 to see the other Utah parks. Edit: I will wrap up more 2017 pics tomorrow. Have to go for now...
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