Just Struggling….

Reviews, reviews, reviews…..I have literally read hundreds in the past two weeks. The hardest part is that it is someone’s opinion. Not a fact, not a lie, just an opinion. HELP!!!

Let me explain a bit. I have been struggling to plan a winter vacation for my husband and I. We are going somewhere sunny and warm in the middle of winter. I could not be happier….but we plan to hike while on vacation and that is where the issue is. I have read what many, many others have said about the area we plan to hike. Some say don’t try it without a guide. Some say it’s easy and a great place to hike. There is no middle of the line. Some say the hike has literally exhausted them for the rest of the day and some say it was an easy hike and very enjoyable. Again, no middle of the line.

Which leaves me with the big question. Hire a guide or don’t hire a guide? I did talk with a few guides and they all asked very specific questions like, where do we usually hike, do we have any elevation, how far are our typical hikes, and so on.  When I answered them and also added that we hiked Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park  one year ago, which was our biggest elevation ever, they all said the same exact thing. “OH, that is extreme, you will have no problem then.” Which I kind of knew but the reviews all say that the trails we have in mind can be very hard to follow and are not well marked. (Let me remind you, we were guided in Zion National Park) I am not concerned about mileage or elevation. I am concerned about getting lost in the desert!!!

So I sit waiting for another guide to email or call me back and hopefully get more in depth information on whether they think we can handle this one on our own or not….more to come when I finally figure this out.

What would you do?

I Feel a Vacation Coming….

The winter of 2014 will be forever in our minds as the winter of below zero temperatures for 49 days straight. Lately, we have had temps up to 75 and now we are back down to the thirties in the morning hours. I simply can’t believe we have had to turn our heat back on!!! That being said, I really feel the need to do something about where we live.

I know what your all thinking. I just have spring fever. Although, I seriously think it’s more than that. I may have winter pneumonia. I have lived in this city for every single one of my 41 years of life. That’s 41 winters I have remarkably survived. Now, I admit maybe when I was young it was not so bad, but the last 10 years have truly been torture. So, I came up with this plan and ran it by my husband.  He always gets so worried when I say, “Honey, I have a plan…!” (I personally think he just needs to relax) Much to my surprise, he agreed to my plan after very little thought.

We are going to take our first winter vacation ever in 2015. We have decided (ok, so maybe I decided and let him know about it) to go back to the Southwest area where it is toasty warm and sunny.

We visited this same general area for the first time back in September 2013 when we traveled with REI to Zion National Park. This was by far the best vacation I had ever been on. We arrived in the REI van as passengers and it literally brought tears to my eyes at what I saw everywhere around me. I must admit, this was also the most emotional vacation I had ever taken. I cried three times in three days and for no reason other than I was so happy there. I was in my element with sun, hot temperatures and mountains all around me. Someday I have to believe I will live in this area, but until then, I plan to visit and explore every mile that I can.

This time we will be going at it on our own with no guides. We are also not visiting any national parks. Utah in winter has snow, so we plan to go a little more south to avoid the nasty white stuff. I hate to say it because winter 2014 is not that far behind us, but I am actually excited for winter 2015 to arrive. Now that’s a scary thought!

My hope is that by going on a warm vacation for a few days it will at least break up the endless days of freezing temperatures and make winter not seem so long and dreadful for me. It’s the best we can do at this point in our lives so I will take it as a blessing that I will have one week mid winter of glorious sunshine and warmth.

Do any of you vacation mid winter somewhere warm and sunny?

Does it help with the endless days of winter?