First we booked a room at the Black Bear Lodge in Grand Lake, CO which is on the western edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. Little kitchenette, hot tub, ya know good stuff. And then the next day we discovered it did not have AC. Being Texans we IMMEDIATELY canceled the reservation. July without AC equals no way Jose. The lodge owner, though very nice, implied that I might be crazy for thinking I need AC up in the mountains.
And then I found out why. Oh right, nothing in the RMNP (as the locals call Rocky Mountain National Park) has AC. But by this point I felt too silly to call the place back and request my reservation back. With Grand Lake being so small, there weren't many other lodging options left on our short notice for a July 19 vaca.
I moved on. Estes Park is the main town along RMNP and is on the east side. At first we avoided this for not wanting to be in a tourist town. But then, there are certain conveniences that come with a tourist town. Like the best hikes are in that area, hence how the town developed. More other things to do, more lodging options. So... Estes Park it is!
I perused the Estes Park Convention & Visitors Bureau and discovered the coolest travel tool in the world. On their site you can enter in your dates, prefered lodging type, price range and a couple other things and the hotels/lodges will EMAIL YOU if they are available. No more Google searching or visitors bureau scanning. Today I got about 25 emails from places that were a good fit for us. After narrowing it down, Ross and I picked Black Canyon Inn. We have a beautiful one-bedroom condo there for what I feel is a steal of a deal...last minute booking did come with an advantage.
We'll stay there three nights and then spend our last night in Denver. We have lodging, plane tickets, know we want to hike and take the Coors Brewery tour. And that friends, ends the planning. Colorado here we come!