Tag Archives: Utah

Roadtrip to Los Angeles

Utah mountains
Utah mountains
Utah vista
Utah vista

Packing the car to the roof, stashing the pretzels and the water, and putting the maps on the floor, my son and I were ready for a road trip to the Los Angeles area.

M was moving to Glendale, California. He had rented an apartment with a friend and didn’t yet have a job. He had been working for about a year, saving his money and spending mine. Finally it was time for the big move. We were driving from our home near Denver to California via I-70 and I-15.

We left early on a Wednesday, only getting stuck once in rush hour traffic. Our trip over the Continental Divide was uneventful – though we did see the half-pipe and cross-country ski course at Vail from the highway. I can’t imagine snowboarding on that crazy thing!

After lunch in Grand Junction, we headed out across Utah. As we headed south past the National Parks, it started getting warmer and the snow disappeared. About St. George, M said he was ready to go straight through to Las Vegas to spend the night.

Pulling out the trusty smartphone, I download Hotels.com and started searching for a place to stay the night. This was a Wednesday night which is less pricey than the weekend. Hotels.com doesn’t sponsor this blog, but I got a great deal on a nice hotel on Flamingo Road. We ended up paying 29.00 for the two of us to stay at the Tuscan Suites, just down the road from the Westin. The room was large and lovely. Thanks Hotels.com!

The beach at Santa Monica
The beach at Santa Monica.

The next day, we headed into the north Los Angeles area. Our four hour drive took us through the desert, past the San Bernadino Mountains and into the Hollywood Hills. Compared to Colorado, this place was green and shiny!
We found the apartment, and with the roomate’s help, moved him in. The attraction of Southern California over the Front Range of Colorado is evident in the beautiful and warm sunny days.  We did hit some of the tourist sites before I had to fly home and return to work – the Warner’s Studio Tour and the Santa Monica Pier. What a great feeling to walk on the beach in January.

On the
On the “Friends” sofa at the Warner Brothers Studio

Since he didn’t have any furniture, I rented with AirBnB – Mama don’t sleep on the floor any more. My host was very gracious and we had a great time during the few minutes we had in the mornings and in the evenings. Thanks to AirBnB and Grace for a comfortable stay.

Now that I’m back home and cleaning out the room he left behind, I’m hoping to get back to a regular blogging schedule. Stay tuned for more tips on how to plan your vacations!

Palm Springs, California roadtrip

Palm Springs sign
Palm Springs sign

Earlier this month, my husband and I jumped in the car and hit the road for Palm Springs. From Denver, the drive is about 15 hours straight through. We had decided we wanted to do a getaway, and after adding up the numbers to fly and rent a car in Palm Springs, California, we decided to drive. Our intent was to find some warm weather, and get in a few rounds of golf.

It was a blast. We spent the first night at our friends in Prescott, Arizona. From there we headed out to the Coachella Valley and the Southern California desert. We learned a few things along the way.

Arizona has some beautiful landscapes. We cut across southwestern Arizona on our way from Prescott to I-10. There were some pretty desolate areas we passed through on our way.

Coming into the Coachella Valley is a beautiful drive. Quite frankly, I-10 through the desert is not all that interesting. But once over the ridge on the way into the valley, the views are spectacular. I wish there had been somewhere safe to stop the car and take a few photos!

Palm Springs seems to have a golf course on every corner. It seemed like quite a dichotomy that this city in the desert had all these green golf courses. I’m sure that’s a discussion the residents are having as we speak.

The Tahquitz Golf Course - Legend Course. Hole 4
The Tahquitz Golf Course – Legend Course. Hole 4

The Palm Springs Follies, an institution in town, is closing this year for good. This show has been going on for 25 years. The performers are all over the age of 55 and do a great show. The Master of Ceremonies, who always manages the show, was happy that the shows were sold out through the end of the run but he wondered where everyone was the past few years!

The drive through Utah on I-15 and on to I-70 is still stunning. This drive passes two national parks, Capital Reef and Canyonlands, as well as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the Dixie, Fishlake, and Manti-LaSalle National Forests. You’ve got to stay alert as you drive through the passes. Luckily, there are plenty of overlooks to rest and enjoy the views. If you haven’t made this drive, put it on your list.

I’ll be posting additional posts on this trip over the next few weeks, but these are my first impressions.

Roadrunner at the Living Desert Zoo
Roadrunner at the Living Desert Zoo

A Mediterranean cruise, The Venetian hotel, and Utah’s national parks

This week’s travel deals include a Mediterranean cruise, a great rate at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, and an adventure in Utah.

Sail the Eastern Mediterranean in a balcony cabin this summer starting at $999 per person on Celebrity Cruise lines. This fare is available on the Celebrity Silhouette, August 24, 2014, for seven nights sailing from Venice, Italy. Ports of call include Kotor, Montenegro, Santorini, Athens, and Katakolon, Greece. If you prefer to leave on August 17, 2014, the Silhouette departs Venice and visits Dubrovnik, Croatia, Ephesus, Turkey, Mykonos, and Corfu, Greece. The packages also include your choice of a beverage package, pre-paid gratuities, or onboard credit. Other sailings are available for additional cost. Visit Travelzoo.com for more information and to book by March 18.

A bit closer to home, the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada has partnered with Jetsetter.com to offer rooms starting at $129 per night for two, with dates into September. The Venetian has 1,400 rooms, 19 restaurants and 80 shops.  The famous Canyon Ranch spa is also on property. Take a ride in a gondola or enjoy a few hours in the casino. There is a $25 per night resort fee, collected by the hotel. Visit Jetsetter.com for more information and to book your Las Vegas getaway.

The landscape of Utah is a magical sight. Visit the incredible national parks with Southwest Adventure Tours and Livingsocial.com for $995 per person, double occupancy. Travelers spend six incredible days exploring, the deserts, badlands, and spires of ZionNational Park, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Arches National Park. The package includes five nights in hotels near the parks, round-trip ground transportation between hotels and sightseeing destinations, five breakfasts, six lunches, water, and snacks, daily tours, taxes and park entrance fees. Visit Livingsocial.com by March 19 for more information and to book your vacation.

Like this article? Click the subscribe link at the top of the page to get the latest information by email when it’s published. For more fun deals and information, follow Deb on Twitter at debtalkstravel.

These deals are subject to change or cancellation at any time, and restrictions may apply. Book early for the best deals.