Sunday, July 18, 2010

Trip Tips

Thoughts on cell phones and travel.
My daughter had Sprint service, my sister had AT&T service and I had the cheapest pre-paid Verizon phone on this trip. I seemed to have the best signal, even in Grand Canyon and Yellowstone where there was supposed to be no service on the AT&T and Verizon service maps (I didn't check if Sprint said they had service. My daughter had service almost all the time, except in Yellowstone. She was able to get it in the Old Faithful area though. My poor sister had service only in one place the whole trip. Possibly she did not check much after so long without it.

Well worth it on a trip for sure. No problem the 2 times we needed it. They didn't call the closest AAA tow place though for the flat tire. The closest was just across the street from us. But there was no problem in having the 2nd place taking care of us after the 1st found out the tire would hold air long enough to get over there. And he had to take the tire somewhere to find that out! It was just faster and easier for us to use the closer place...playground and all for the kids at the KOA.

The KOAs were all nice places, just a few negative details with one. They were well worth the money. The cabins were all clean and nice with heat and air conditioning (no bathrooms) and electricity for recharging everything.
It just turned out that everytime we stayed in a cabin was perfect timing that we needed a break from tenting. It would have been nicer for the family if they had gotten a cabin at Mt. Rushmore, but who would have known a minor hurricane would blow in!!!! Any how, I was very thankful I had booked the lodge that night. (I had figured I might need a real bed by that time!)

State Parks
A real bargain. All the ones we stayed at were especially nice. Some even had electricity for the tenters! Perfect for charging up all the electronics!

Air Mattress Pump - Coleman has a wonderful electric pump that you don't need the car to run it. It can be recharged and it can pump the air mattresses AND suck the air out really fast for easy getting the mattresses put away!

As the kids found out, Yellowstone is not the greatest place for some kids. Lots of NO, NOs. It can also be a very dangerous place for kids, and older for that matter!! We saw a guy, very old enough to know better, put his hand in one of the pools! He tried to hide it but he looked like he had gotten burned a bit. Not only that, he went next to the edge of the pool (because the railing had a bit of an area open) and we, on the path opposite where he was, could see that the edge of the pool was just a ledge and it could have broken off where he was standing!! Anyhow, very dangerous!

Grand Canyon
Same stupid people that stick their hands into thermal hot water also show up at the Grand Canyon! There are not rails all along the edges of the canyon. People test their luck by standing on the very edges or jump to an outcrop to get their picture taken. Needless to say some have not been lucky. They are certainly not a good example for children at the park.

Anyhow, you can look up on Google : Yellowstone fatalities or Grand Canyon fatalities to just see how stupid people can be!!!


  1. We will be making a trip to the Grand Canyon this summer with a 22 month old, a 6 year old and an 11 year old. I know that I will probably end up tying my toddler to my back! Thanks for such a great blog! I remember stopping by here once before, but I've enjoyed reading it again!!

  2. Hi Shannon, How exciting! I tell you, your children will never forget this trip. Remember half of the memories will be built on the unexpected moments. Things that seem like a disaster, if you laugh, will actually be great memeories. We couldn't believe that one of the families on our trip ran out of gas on our first day! Now that is the first memory we always start out laughing about. Such great bonding. Have a great time! Let me know if you are going to doing a blog. I would love to follow it.
    Oh, we are going on a new trip from Ca to Boston in June, 40days. Check out our new blog at

  3. Shannon, Let us know your adventures with the family at Grand Canyon! I would recommend that you take the Hermit Road Free Shuttle Bus. The views are much better less people and THEY HAVE RAILINGS¡ The canyon is so huge the distances are decieving...I like to have clear limits when dealing with kids, railings give that limit!! Don't want to loose any!

    We won't be visiting the Grand Canyon this summer but will be touching the South and East coasts this time! Our blog for this trip is at Have fun and lots of adventures!!!