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Vacation Cancelled

October 3rd, 2013 at 08:14 pm

National Park closure means our vacation is canceled. Frown

Of course our vacation was ruined this year! - because this is how the entire year has been!!

I've been getting lots of well-meaning advice to do this or that instead. (Skip the national parks and do private tours and excursions instead). Rolleyes I roll my eyes because a week in the National Parks was to cost a $25 entrance fee. Everything I have been suggested literally costs 100 times as much.

I am extra bummed because it is just so rare that we do a big vacation like this. A vacation just for the sake of vacation - for more than just 3 days. All 4 of us. Have we *ever* done anything like this? Will we ever make it work? I am REALLY bummed...

We are not out one single penny. I guess that is the silver lining. I am peeved for everyone who flew halfway across the world or spent a lot more time and energy and money. I saw people on the news who had to book their hotels last October, for this October. Thankfully, we planned a more "winging it" kind of a road trip. We'd in general avoid the "mile long wait hotels" anyway. So, we hadn't committed to one single thing. Dh cancelled all of our hotel reservations today (we had booked all but our last night) and he said he got quite an earful. Not just about how all the hotels were now empty, but how all the customer service reps had so many friends and family affected by furlough, and so on. I dealt with the kitty hotel. Apparently they have a generous cancellation policy (which was not in anything I had read or signed before), so glad I asked. I thought that was the only thing we might be on the hook for, but wasn't too worried because it was not a peak travel time. So after talking to them, it was official that we have not lost a cent on our cancelled trip. Phew!

Plan B:

Plan B is not going overly well. But, well, nothing is... We were thinking of going to LA and Vegas, but the LA part seems dead (one show sold out, in the interim, and it was hard to find a decent and reasonable room so last minute).

Right now our Plan B is to just go to Vegas. 3 Nights.

What can I say - we do mini-vacations well? Rolleyes

Even if we throw in a big fancy show, we will probably save $1,500-ish (60%) with the trimmed down trip. Which might be useful next year (Talking about Japan, we have a wedding to go to which happens to be near Yellowstone, and I might visit my sister). That said, all of next year's trips were going to have to be 1 or 2 of us at a time, financially, so I doubt we will actually be able to make up for anything we were planning to do this year. Except be glad if we can make it to Yellowstone. All the other closer parks will have to wait for another time - lord knows when. (& the kids will miss out on Yellowstone because they will have school).

I've been stressed and bummed all week, but feeling much better as we have "given up" and switched gears. It's the sitting and waiting that was driving me the most batty. I am not much of a "looking back" type and with the new room reservation I find myself thinking less about our screwed over trip and more about how we will have fun regardless. I also feel better that we are going on some sort of road trip and can use some of our preparations. Vegas isn't terribly exciting as we've "Been There/Done That" a few too many times, but it will be an experience for the kids. It's probably not something we would have ever planned with them, but it's the only place in our itinerary that we can enjoy. So, it is what it is. I do know there is a lot of cool stuff that they can enjoy.

16 Responses to “Vacation Cancelled”

  1. Kiki Says:

    I am sorry you had to cancel your vacation with the whole family because of the furloughs. I have lost several house sitting jobs because of it. I am so thankful that it is a second job and not a full time job.

    Hope Vegas is a fabulous mini-vacation!

  2. Bob B. Says:

    That's just crap.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Darn government shutdown!! I wonder if you can still drive over Hoover Dam? Obviously, can't go down for a tour, but maybe a drive across.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    Actually, I just looked it up! You can go to Hoover Dam. It is not closed as it is 'not funded by appropriated dollars'.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    @Bob - I think that sums it up perfectly.

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    That is just beyond sucky. Except the no money spent part, that's pretty great! We always buy travel insurance these days if our vacay is going to cost more than a thousand -- hope some of these other folks did too.

    Sounds like you know your way around Vegas, but have you been to the Chinatown (more like pan-Asian town it seemed to us) strip of restaurants on Spring Mountain Road? We had some of the best food of our lives at a couple of little hole-in-the-wall places (including a Buddhist-run donut shop!). We hadn't ventured off the strip much the first few times we were out there, but when we made an effort, we found so many nicer non-packed experiences.

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    Actually, I have never been to Vegas with a car before (usually just use public transport and stick to the strip & downtown). So, thanks for the tip!

    Hoover Dam - meh - wasn't on our original plan. But I appreciate that it isn't a $250 suggestion. Big Grin

  8. PNW Mom Says:

    Sorry! That's a real bummer Frown

  9. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    If you go to Vegas, DEFINITELY do the hoover dam (go down inside) tour. WOWZA on the how did it get built info. Course I am a geek Smile
    Also, another FUN idea: get a rock hounding guide (old ones are ok, but the maps get better each reissue) and GET OFF the highway for some treasure hunting. Nevada is a GREAT state full of minerals. So is CA! Need: a good reliable car. Be cautious and plan like you could be stranded (water, safety) because getting stuck or lost happens pretty often! 4-W drive is good. Ask me for guide book or website recommendations.

  10. My English Castle Says:

    Oh crud. Stupid politicians. One of our friends works at a National Park in Texas; they're a single income family--and he's furloughed. Grrrr. It makes me so mad.

  11. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    What stinky news. Hope Vegas is fun!

  12. wisewoman Says:

    Sorry about your vacation plans. Don't get me started on our government officials (egos over common sense).

  13. looking forward Says:

    Frown I've been thinking about your trip (and every one who wanted to go to a National park) it is a huge bummer.

    If the parks reopen while you are in Vegas would you head over? I think it's only 4 - 5 hours away.

  14. mamasita Says:

    I feel for you. We have friends coming to see us from out of town next weekend, we were supposed to take them to see the sights of D.C.

  15. MonkeyMama Says:

    @LF - We had a loose plan to visit 2 or 3 of 4 planned parks if things re-opened. But, didn't have a strong feeling it would happen. We came home today and barely even looked at the news. It seemed pretty not promising, and I didn't want to watch the news all week on vacation.

    Holy cow was Vegas packed. I don't think we were the only ones who just stayed there. !!!

  16. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. We couldn't even see the Old Woman Meteorite (in a dinky little building off the side of the road). Closed sue to National funding. That's kind of how most things went - bah humbug!

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