After going with my sister to New York City in 2014 we agreed that we’d have another trip to the states the following year. To start with this plan was for a short trip to Florida so we could go to Disney World, and the John F. Kennedy Space Center. With news that Disney had bought Lucasfilm and would be creating a new “Star Wars Land” there we decide we’d delay the trip and instead go to Arizona.
This plan was short-lived though when my sister went into hospital and took months to recover – causing me to instead go to California with a friend. The following year we decided we’d finally get to visit Arizona and invited my friend along with us – after all it’d be an extra person to split the driving across and would give him chance to see these places too.
From our previous plans we already had a rough idea of what we wanted to see – it was just a case of figuring out the best route and how to fit in as much of it as we could. With some of the places being big hiking places it meant we’d have to try and find the best parts of these to see on limited time. Getting things booked wasn’t straight forward though – me and my sister wanted to get the hotels booked as we knew large rooms would be in short supply, but it was insisted that we looked at car hire first. Eventually there was some compromise and we went ahead and booked all but the hotels for the first and last night – as these could be dependent upon where we hired the car from.
With just two months to go before the trip we still hadn’t booked a car or the hotels for the first and last night. It was becoming a struggle. With the car it seemed my friend didn’t want the largest of the cars that was available because he didn’t think it was big enough, however the next size up was a 4×4 (i.e. an SUV) and he didn’t want to drive anything that big which left us a little unsure what to do. My preference was that we hired a large car and we just tried to fit suitcases in the best we could – you never know what car you’re actually going to get until you’ve got it anyway.
For the hotels my original suggestion had been to find somewhere as far south as possible for the first night to reduce the length of the drive the following morning, and to stay somewhere downtown for the last night to make the trip to the airport shorter and to be around restaurants, and shops. What I hadn’t figured though was my friend would be getting in 7 hours before us and was keen to get a hotel close to the airport to make the taxi fares cheaper whilst he waited.
Eventually we had everything booked, including a flight over the Grand Canyon. Now we just had to wait for the road trip to begin…