Friday, September 25, 2009

Not-So-Grand Canyon Impressions

A few random observations from our two days at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon:

First, and this will not come as a shock, a lot of Americans are fat slobs. You can't fail to notice it, and I find it both distressing and embarassing.

Second, you hear a great many of foreign languages being spoken here ... lots of foreigners enjoying this magnificent area and, by and large, they will come away with a very good impression because the National Park Service does a wonderful job of presenting and explaining this place.

Third, the top-of-the-line hotel here, the El Tovar, is a mix-mash ... some things very special, other things very half-assed, including high rates, small not-very-comfortable rooms. We paid $175 a night for a small room with one double bed, an air conditioner with two working settings: off and full-blast, freeze-ass cold. Oh yeah ... and a ground level view of the employee parking lot.

One of the breakfast offerings in the VERY pricey dining room -- example: $3.90 for coffee, albeit with free refills -- is french toast made with banana bread. Just awful!

Another weird, and admittedly petty example: the soap that they provide in the rooms is round and shaped like a donut, with a hole in the middle. Why the hole? Well, because it "eliminates the unused center of traditional bars." OK, but when happens when it's reduced to the point that it breaks into several little pieces? They get thrown out, of course. Who comes up with this stuff??

We're off in a few minutes, headed for Monument Valley. More to come.

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