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Old 06-28-2008, 05:35 PM   #1
sayhello
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Trip Report IMAGE INTENSE -- Southwest Splendors! Part 5

After lunch, which was a barbeque with burgers and such out by the winery building, we all went & changed into our swimsuits and whatever, and drove upriver a bit to hook up with the river rafting company that we were going rafting with. Normally, this section of the river is class 1, which means you’re really just river floating. But because of all the snow they’d gotten, the river was running very high, and the curve right by the Resort had a set of rapids that were class 3. There were a couple of other areas that were class 2, but most of it *was* class 1, and that was fine by us. Allowed us to have a little excitement, but mostly just enjoy the gorgeous weather and scenery. EVERYONE seemed to enjoy the rafting.



Yep! That’s our raft back there, on the one Class 3 rapid…





The river rafting guides were great, and made sure each raft had the experience they wanted (the other boat went around the class 3 rapids). This company was different from the one they’d used before, and did not do the whole “water fight” thing. I was actually pretty glad about that. Our guide was going to slip into the water & swim over & pull Chris into the water (he was splashing us pretty good with his oar!) but she was afraid she’d ruin his camera. He was one of the few taking pictures… All in all, a *very* good time.

After the rafting, we went back to the Resort to clean up & relax, until the farewell dinner that night (yes! It had been a week already!) As I started packing up what I could, I kept looking at that bottle of wine. There was really no way I could take it back with me. You can’t put that much liquid in your carryon any more, and there’s no way I’d put it in checked luggage; I’d have red, wet clothing by the time I got home. So I called up Deb in her room & asked if she’d like to share the wine. She said sure, come over around 5pm (she had a RIVER view room). So I went over, and she’d gone up & down the building inviting whoever from the tour she could find to come down. Several people had bottles of wine in their rooms, so it turned into a lovely party, um, wine tasting by the riverside as the sun was *just* beginning to lower. It was a really lovely, relaxing time. I had to thank Cheryl especially for the wine, as I really don’t think it would have happened without that bottle they gave me.







Then we headed up to the winery building for the Farewell dinner, which was a yummy cowboy barbeque with steaks grilled to order and all the fixings. And incredible scenery behind us.













We went inside the winery after dinner for a little presentation. Afterwards, we went out & had a campfire, with the young guy who’d entertained us during dinner, singing Country songs. It was hard to go to bed, knowing the next morning we were heading to the airport to fly home.

Next morning, I got my suitcase out *just* as they were picking them up, and went up to the Lodge for breakfast. We then loaded up into the bus for an hour-and-a-half drive to the airport in Grand Junction, Colorado. It was a beautiful drive, lots of interesting scenery, but also, a trip to the airport.

The airport is really the only part of the trip I complained to Disney about in my survey. They dropped us off at the airport around 10am. They’d told us not to book anything earlier than 11am, and most of us had flights at noon or later (mine was at 1pm). There was NOTHING at this airport. They had a pop machine before you went through security (which didn’t open until 11:15am) and they had a “coffee shop” that was just a very plain room with a bunch of seats and coffee that was only available until 8am. We had a very funny sort of bonding moment, all sitting in this “coffee shop”, appalled and perplexed by the lack of services at this airport. Boy, were we spoiled!

Once we got through security, there was a little newsshop that had candy & chips and THAT WAS IT. Nothing else. And since it was such a small airport, the planes were all small regional planes that had no food on them, either. So I didn’t have lunch until 4:30 pm when I arrive in Dallas/Fort Worth! Unacceptable! The very *least* they could have done is arrange for box lunches from the Resort, or stopped somewhere on the way to the airport to get food. We were stranded, with no options. Or they could have chosen to go a little further, and take us to the much larger Salt Lake City airport, which would have had food & more options for flights. But, all in all, it was a minor frustration out of a wonderfully run and executed trip.

And one of the BEST parts was, as I was hugging everyone goodbye outside the airport, I realized that I had not thought about work ONCE since my coworker had returned my phone call the previous Saturday. And that was a very, VERY good thing. So I *do* think I’m going to have to do more of these trips. I’m not sure which one(s) or when, but I will definitely be returning. Disney did a bang-up job of this, and their employees were top-notch. I DEFINITELY got my money’s worth out of this vacation.



sayhello

Last edited by sayhello; 07-01-2008 at 07:25 PM.
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