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Special Christmas

Old Feb 16th, 2009, 05:24 AM
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Special Christmas

5 years ago my family, (my husband, then 13 yr old, me), had the best Christmas/Vacation ever at the Grand Canyon South Rim. We made a stop in Monument Valley. We spent Christmas eve and day at the El Tovar and went on to hike down to the Havasupai and the falls on our way back. the weather was great, lots of snow, sunshine just when we needed. It was most special because of the remoteness and peacefulness of the locations, the scenery and away from the hustle-bustle. We did have to change routes and stops because of snow, but had room in our itinerary for flexibility.

We now have a 4 1/2 yr old and our older son will be 20 and traveling with us. We want to go out west again for a special Christmas and we are torn between Grand Canyon, Yosimete, and Lake Tahoe.

We have been to the canyon, but never ot Yosimete or Tahoe. My husband is shying away from Yosimite because of bad accommodation reviews. And I am not sure of Tahoe because of the commercialism, hustle.

What do you fellow travelers out there think?
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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 05:35 AM
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I've been to Tahoe at Christmas a couple times, and even though it was in a private home, I know what you mean about the commercialiam and hustle. It's all about skiing over Chrismas and you fight the crowds of skiiers to do anything. If you're not skiing, I'd probably skip it at Christmas. In fact, I'd eliminate any major ski area at Christmas if you're not going to ski.

I can't imagine a more serene and beautiful spot than the Ahwahnee in Yosemite in the snow at Christmas! You've seen bad reviews of that?

Crater Lake also comes to mind, but is it open then? Or the Tetons, Glacier National Park, or Yellowstone. I'm more of a summer traveler, so I'm not sure about those places in winter.

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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 05:47 AM
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The off reveiws for Yosimete were for the hotels accomodations only. Personally, I can stand a little less than perfect hotel if the outside is awesome. But we will be there for a week, with children, so there's the dilema. Thanks for replying, it is helpful.
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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 06:03 AM
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My recommendation for a very special Christmas Eve is Santa Fe. On Canyon Road, there will be no electric light but thousands of farolitos, bonfires, people singing carols, and the flavor of apple cider. Usually crisp cold air with light snow on the ground, scented with pinon smoke.

You may rent an adobe with typical Santa Fe style decoration. Attend Christmas mass and visit Indian pueblos on Christmas Day when they are performing traditional dances. Enjoy breathtaking scenery and fresh air. (We have done it twice and spent last Christmas in Santa Fe.)
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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 06:52 AM
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Crater Lake would not be an option in the winter. You can get there via the south entrance at that time, but the lodge is closed so the only thing to do at CL in the winter is to ski or snowshoe.

We have spent several Christmas weeks in the Leavenworth, WA area. We rent homes near town, and ski, snowshoe, sled, take sleigh rides, and just play in the snow. The town does a Christmas Lighting event on Dec. weekends that draws a ton of people, but it is festive. Staying on the edge of town in a house is our preference as it gives you the best of both worlds, IMO.
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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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Wow. That sounds wonderful, traveller1959. I've never thought about a Sante Fe Christmas, but that does sound great.
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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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Thanks to all for replying. NM is on my list of places to see. But I think the we are going to stick w/ Yosemite as of now. We have reservations at Yosemite Lodge, but we are going to look into renting a house/cabin through Yosemite West Lodging systems. I like the idea of walking out the Lodge and onto a trail, etc. I'm not sure how a cabin will be as far as walking out or having to drive to hike.

So I have a new question - House vs Lodge. I may make a new post for this.

Thanks again - I love talking travel!
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