Moab 2010

I finally got a chance to get back down to Moab. I won a trip to stay at the Red Cliffs Lodge in Moab (actually just outside of Moab) and this weekend we took advantage of the opportunity. It turns out that the 4th of July weekend is not a popular time to go to Moab – which makes it my favorite time to visit. I think I’ll try to make this an annual event.

Google sends us to the middle of the desert

I’ll start this story with our trip to Moab. To be sure we had the right directions I entered ‘Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab’ into Google Maps and it found it, with the right address and everything. I had it send those directions to my phone and we left. We followed the directions the entire way there and they got us all the way to Moab perfectly. We continued to follow the directions perfectly and it took us to a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. We had never been to the lodge before, so we went along with this thinking that this was a very excluded lodge. As we got further into the desert we started thinking that something might be wrong. Finally, Google let us know that we had arrived at our destination. We were in the middle of the desert with nothing near us for miles.

Desert to Lodge – A is where we ended up, B is where we were supposed to be – 32 miles away

When we realized that Google must be wrong we turned around and almost got stuck in the sand. Fortunately the new minivan is awesome and was able to pull out of it (with a lot of help from above). We got back onto the road and about 10 minutes later we got into cell phone range again. We called the lodge and the directions they gave took us straight to the lodge. Google Maps was 32 miles off the mark.

We finally got tot he lodge and checked in. The lodge was unlike anything I had ever stayed at and without the free stay there we never would have stayed at the place. The normal price is $219/night, which is about $150 more than my cap for a hotel. Needless to say, the place was really classy. There were flushing toilets, beds, a TV… all the same stuff that any other place has but for some reason this was worth so much more than all those other places because I had to drive 20 minutes outside of Moab to get there. Now it sounds like I’m complaining about the place. I’m not, it was really nice and I would stay there again for a special occasion, like my 15th anniversary or something. We didn’t do anything that evening except go to the Pizza Hut in town.

The next morning we got up and had a great breakfast in the at the lodge. The view from the room shows the Colorado River with the mountains in the background, it’s really amazing. It wasn’t busy at all where we were. Everyone else was inside watching some soccer game. We headed out into town to a gift shop then to the information center then over to the Windows area of Arches National Park. The Windows area is nice because it’s not a long hike, but you can see some great arches. It’s perfect for the kids. It didn’t take long for the kids to need to go potty so we finished with the arches and headed back. We got lunch and returned to the lodge to go swimming. my kids are timid to get in the water but after 30 minutes of talking them into holding onto me I got Aubrie to get off the step and let me drag her around in the water. Mackenzie is my little daredevil. Fortunately she’s willing to do stuff first and realize it’s not so bad. Aubrie is timid, but she won’t let Mackenzie do anything that she won’t, so the trick is to get Mackenzie to do it first then Aubrey will do it. Eventually I got both kids to jump off the side of the pool and land in my arms. More people came to the pool and for whatever reason they felt the need to play in the same 5 foot area that the family and I were in. The pool was huge and nobody was anywhere else, but apparently Natalie, the kids and I are just a popular bunch. After swimming we went to the lodge for dinner, I had a $50 gift certificate as part of the deal.

View from the lodge

We spent the entire amount and more. We ate out on the balcony over looking the river. Once again, the view was amazing and you wouldn’t get this view in the city. I tried to capture some of it with some of the images that I took. I had a steak, of course. I was disappointed with how it was prepared. I like my steaks to be grilled but this looks like it was pan fried. It tasted alright, but the presentation was kind of boring – especially for the price I paid. Everything else was great. Next we went down to play with some Teepee’s they have set up. The girls had fun. Aubrey likes to pretend to be a puppy and have Mackenzie as the owner. We also visited a museum at the lodge featuring memorabilia from various movies that had been shot in or around the land of the lodge. We took a walk around the lodge and basically did nothing that evening, it was perfect. We headed to be and the next morning we got up and came home after a disappointing breakfast at Denny’s. Natalie got the Moons over My Hammy, like she always gets and she requests the hammy to be left off and that’s where I jump in and say to put it on the side. Every other Denny’s on the planet does this with no problem but this Denny’s decides this is too much and won’t do it. They say because it’s thin sliced ham they can’t put it on the side. I chose not to fight the logic, but instead I’ll just never visit that Denny’s again. I wish I could say that would affect them, but since I only get there once every few years it won’t mean a thing to them. Our trip home was uneventful, which ended a perfect little trip for me and the family.

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