Things are Gonna Get Quite Colorful

We leave for vacation tomorrow.

A much-needed (oh, the stress) but poorly timed (shouldn’t we be packing?) vacation.

Rocky Mountain National Park by Mark Newman

We actually started planning for this vacation in late-2010. We had such a good time visiting with our friends Annelies and Yves in Belgium, that we all decided it was only fair if we took turns traveling to each others’ continent on a regular basis. Last year, we were in Europe. This year, they’re in the US.

We couldn’t just have them come to our place. That would be boring. Plus, we know they like traveling in the same fashion as us. By that I mean, visiting national parks, seeing different states, etc.

Originally, we were going to join them for a week. Then, when Annelies told me they were going to Grand Teton National Park (GTNP, one of my favorite places in the whole world!) and Yellowstone after we went home, I wisely decided that we should extend our stay. After all, since we’ve already been to GTNP, and there are so many other places we still need to visit, chances of us going back there “just because” anytime soon are quite slim.

It’ll be interesting to see if we all still like each other as much after two weeks of togetherness. LOL.

Each couple will have their own car (a logistics thing), so that should help. Although Annelies tells me she drives like an old woman and Hubby and I are physically incapable of driving slow…

We’ll just have to say “see ya when you get there” when we go from destination to destination.

We’ve got quite an itinerary planed.

First up, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. As an added bonus, because Shannon (recently moved to California) has been wanting to meet Annelies and Yves for ages, and we’ll be renting a house during our stay, and it’s relatively inexpensive to fly from CA to CO, Shannon will be joining us for that part of the trip.

From there we head down to Utah. We’ll be stopping at the Colorado National Monument on our way. Then we’ll hit Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park near Moab. We’ll also be visiting Capitol Reef National Park near Torrey, Utah. And we can’t forget Bryce Canyon National Park a bit further west.

After all that nature-stuff, we’re heading north into Salt Lake City for a visit to Temple Square. That’s like Mormon Central. It’s a convenient stopping point for us. After we see the sites there, we will be taking a peek at the Great Salt Lake. That’ll just be a quick stop on our way further north to Grand Teton National Park. After a few days there, it’s off to Yellowstone National Park.

See what I mean about the itinerary? Annelies and I are the designated vacation planners, for travels with respective couples and for this trip. We collaborated via e-mail quite a bit. And by Skype, too. I think we’ve done a pretty good job.

She made a remark the other day wondering how many pictures we would end up with between the four of us. Hmmm, two weeks, eight national parks, and myriad other sights in between… my guess is THOUSANDS.

That’s what I mean when I say things will be getting colorful. I’ll be sharing some pics here as well as uploading them to my Flickr site.