Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Some Travel Realities

Our first road trip together was to Grand Canyon National Park, Sedona and Surprise. The pictures we brought home and the experience of being up close with nature were inspiring enough for us to seek nature trips more.
Hermit's Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Red Rock State Park, Sedona, AZ
White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Surprise, AZ
However these pictures do not really tell some of the behind the scenes realization. Staying for several days in Grand Canyon and relying our meals to what the hotel restaurants had, made me cry for a home cooked meal, with RICE, soup, and a variety of vegetables! If there are any foods I probably can not live without, they would  have to be RICE and VEGETABLES. Growing up in the Philippines, I was used to eating rice three times a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Like most Filipinos probably, rice is one thing I can not live without! I thrive on it, and get weak when I can not have it for days.
So, imagine me hiking at some trails at Grand Canyon without my rice, I felt very weak. Before this trip, we were used to traveling in cities instead, where finding an Asian restaurant that serves rice is not a problem. But inside Grand Canyon, my choices were limited. I can not have pasta, corn, mashed potatoes, greasy baked potato wedges,  pizza, salad, everyday!
That was my realization, the big difference between traveling in a city and in wilderness. In a city, I have varied choices of restaurants, but in the wilderness, I am limited to what the few hotel restaurants serve. I told my husband that next time we take road trips to National Parks, or escape to the wonders of nature, I will have to bring rice and rice cooker! In our next trips, we therefore sneaked in rice cooker to our hotel rooms, it was not very comfortable and convenient though, since hotel rooms don't have a kitchen!
One of my friends mentioned that if we travel with other members of family (which we do sometimes), and wanted to cook, it is a lot cheaper and convenient if we stay in a vacation home. However, we are not the type who will stay in the same place and laze around for the whole week, we are the type who wanted to explore what the rest of the area has to offer. Like we spent 3 nights at Grand Canyon, 2 nights at Sedona and 1 night at Surprise. So I thought then that vacation homes were only for longer stay, and no 1-3 night deals. But I was wrong. How happy I was to have come across this blog, Vacation Rental Deals, which provides information regarding all things travel. They have articles about airfare, city vacations, Disney, family vacations, Las Vegas and romantic get aways. Through Vacation Rental Deals, I have learned where to look for lodging in our next nature get away, where I can bring my home cooking to our trips!
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  1. aj asks for rice, too, in the middle of nowhere - haha! i know what you mean, beth, it's part of us.

    now arizona is one place we need to see. need is the word. scenic, compelling shots as usual, my friend. now i'm hungry, hehe...

  2. I can understand how it would be hard without a kind of food you are used to eating. I feel the same way without bread. I'm glad it's easy to find, but I have gone without it at times.

  3. i guess it's a typical Filipino thing not being able to survive without rice! hehehe!

  4. < I have always wanted to visit grand canyon. I always dream about it b>

  5. Hi Betchai... your post made me laugh! :)

    Yeah, we also bring rice cooker with us whenever we go on overnight stay at beach resorts as long as they allow it. But personally I have been "riceless" since early this year (I'm on a low-carb diet) and no, I don't feel weak... I guess it really depends on what your body is used to. People even are shocked to see me only eat fish, meat or veggies without the usual rice, but since the low-carb diet has helped me lose weight, I am happy with it. :)

    And yeah, some of those nice travel photos with us smiling or posing happily don't really show the challenges and realities that go with the trip.

  6. We have not done a lot of traveling, lately. However, next fall we plan to take two weeks, to travel back to NY, to visit family, and friends. We may need this website, as we will drive, and wish to go to Niagara Falls too. Should be interesting.

  7. Rice is wonderful to us, I can imagaine how suffering your are without rice.

  8. I am so like you about my rice! After 2-3 days without rice, I feel weak also..

    A delightful post, betchai :-)

  9. Vacation Rental Deals sounds like a great place to find comfortable places to stay while traveling. I'm going to make some rice now...

  10. Yeah, it's good to be prudent about cost when travelling. Mini rice cooker would be a great idea. And few dry dishes that can be steamed alongside with the rice. My mom taught me plenty of trick of what we can do with just a rice cooker.

  11. Betchai, you reminded me of our trip to Yosemite. With four of us and the dog eating out was a challenge as restaurants do not allow pets (of course !) LOL I brought with me rice cooker and my griddle. I found a cabin thru vacation rentals and I would say that was one of my best vacations I ever had. I saved a lot of money on foods and the kids enjoyed "all you can eat" foods. Unlike in restaurants you only get what you order and sometimes not enough.

    Thanks Betchai for sharing. I use vacation rentals website everytime I plan my trip.

  12. i also crave for rice but nowadays we don't eat so much rice anymore. More veggies than rice i should say. I also don't like all those junkie and oily foods but crave for it from time to time...just to eat and taste and not to really have it regularly. Rice meal still is the best to have most esp with those tiring activities. I completely understand how you feel. Now we prcatically eat rice only for brekfast and sometimes i still eat for lunch...depends...ifi have "ulam" to go with it! hahaha! otherwise salads or sandwiches. Just part of our diet. =)

    On vacays, we usually laze around...not much of an adventure seeker =) a vacation cabin will be ideal for lazy travellers like us =)

  13. It is difficult being away and not having your staple food. Like you I am out exploring when I travel so my eating habits take second place to my sightseeing. No need for kitchens :)

  14. I am doing a project on ancient Egypt. I need help, because I need some travel tips for going to ancient Egypt. Remember they can not be modern based.Thanks