And now we’re getting into Covid times…
This trip was supposed to be to Japan. I had held out hope we would be able to make the trip, but it was pretty clear that wasn’t happening not too long after the pandemic started. We also had to cancel a trip to Napa in March with friends for a wedding. That was a big bummer on many accounts.
Mid to late summer, things were looking up on the Covid front. Some travel had started back up. Our vacation time is use it or lose it, so we’d be taking time off either way. I was interested in finding something for Alyce and I to do that was more outdoor focused and preferably not in a big city. We had about two weeks to work with. Just the two of us had not gone on a vacation since our 2017 South America trip, so we were due.
My first plan was Hawaii. They were set to reopen to American tourism on September 1, and it seemed like a good Covid option. Not to mention, they have some nice Hyatts at which I’d be able to put my globalist status and points stash to use.
But mid-August, it became apparent that they were unlikely to re-open for September. [They did not.]
Back to the drawing board. I looked at Alaska, but it would be late in the year for that trip. I considered some combination of Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, and Glacier National Park. Those too were later than ideal in the year (though less so than Alaska) and had some Covid closures. Plus they were an easier trip that we may want to bring James to one day.
California seemed like the answer. We could do Big Sur, Yosemite, and Lake Tahoe. They were good options in consideration of Covid, and again we could stay in nice Hyatt resorts.
Next…bring on the wildfires! Let me clarify, rescheduling a vacation is nothing compared to the devastation caused to Californians by the fires. I absolutely do not intend to give even the slightest indication otherwise. Still, rescheduling the vacation yet again was getting old by this point. We weren’t sure which – if any – of the destinations would be available or worthwhile to go to. Additionally, it could vary greatly week to week. So all we could do was monitor closely.
A week or so out, it became obvious that Yosemite was not happening – and Lake Tahoe too. We were holding out hope to still do Big Sur with something else but had back up plans as well.
Things worked in our favor, and it looked like Big Sur would be ok to travel to. It was, and smoke was a complete non issue.