How we overcame a pretentious concierge to see awesome canyons and rivers in southern Utah

By noon on Thursday of the first full week in June, the AP World History Reading finished up. College Board only allows readers to fly back the day after the end of the Reading, so Jim and I figured that we might as well stay through Sunday and see some cool stuff in the southern part of the state. We had a hotel in Moab and a car rental to get there lined up, and in the past, the hotel concierge at the Little America in Salt Little City had been very helpful in coordinating the car rental. Not so much this time.

 

Our first clue that the interaction with the concierge was not going to bear fruit should have been her inexplicable pronunciation of “schedule” (as “shedule”). It was puzzling. The lady spoke with no trace of a British accent, and yet she had chosen to pronounce schedule as if she were some kind of Shakespearean thespian taking a break from performances at the Globe. You may be thinking, shouldn’t you expect pretentious pronunciations from someone who has the title of concierge? Nope. College Board has put us in this hotel for the last four years and this is the first time we have heard a concierge pronounce schedule as if she were Jean Luc Picard organizing an attack on the Borg. The only way it could have been worse is if she had told us to be patient “whilst” we wait for the rental car shuttle.

I later found this item which seemed perfect for the concierge.

On top of the pretentiousness, the concierge, after looking at my car rental reservation, arranged a shuttle to the wrong Hertz location. After an hour of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles shenanigans, we made it to the correct car rental location and picked up a Prius.

Two grown men and two full size suitcases in this car is even more adorable than it sounds.

We made a quick stop at the Target just south of Salt Lake to pick up some supplies and found the highest child to adult ratio ever recorded in the history of retail stores. In Richmond, there would only be nearly that many children at a Target if Elsa or Iron Man were making an appearance; in Utah this seems to happen on just an ordinary Thursday afternoon. After extracting ourselves from the parade of children, we had lunch at In-N-Out Burger, giving Jim his first taste of their food.

“I need to consume half of this burger in a single bite in order to adequately compare it to Five Guys. It’s science.”

Then we took the Prius into the desolate wastes of Utah.

For settlers who expected things like “water” and “shade” from the lands they encountered as they moved west, Utah must have been a crushing disappointment.

In spite of our late start, we were roughly on schedule (or shedule, as you already know), and we were able to see some amazing rock formations whilst we traveled.

Rock.jpg

Even the concierge would struggle to find the words to describe this, although once she identified the proper words, she would not struggle to identify the proper British pronunciation.

Our hotel was in the town of Moab, but because it was so late in the day, we went straight to Dead Horse Point State Park so we could see the famous Colorado River overlook before it got dark. When we arrived at the park, we asked the ranger where the best overlook was. Apparently, from the look of utter, soul-crushing defeat on the ranger’s face, this question is asked several hundred times a day.

State_park.jpg

The answer: the overlook is at the end of the road. The ONLY road.

As you can see, the park was great, with clearly marked paths to the overlook and an awesome view of the Colorado River. And yet, while most people had given the park the 5/5 star review it deserved, some had not. My guess is that the people responsible for the low ratings fell into one of two categories:

  • People who never give five stars, ever: These are the people who tell you that NOTHING is perfect enough to deserve five stars. Their reviews read something like this – “Had a great time at this park and really enjoyed the spectacular views of the Colorado River. The best state park I have ever visited. Four stars.” This type of rating is almost as pretentious as an American pronouncing “schedule” as “shedule.” Almost.
Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 10.20.00 PM

Used “your” in place of “you’re” in a review that could not sound more like a 5 star review. Three stars.

  • People who downgrade a rating because of something that has nothing to do with the item they are rating: This is the jackass who downgrades a rating on Amazon because a blizzard caused the item to be delivered in three days rather than two. Their reviews read something like this – “The overlook at the park was fantastic and our campsite was perfect. The only problem was that our car got a flat and we had to change the tire in 95 degree heat. Three stars.”

Sun went behind the clouds at sunset. Minus one star.

Since I have visited Europe over the last few summers and have pointed out a number of the things that Americans do that irritate Europeans, I thought I’d do a bit of a balancing of the scales here. Hey, Europeans at American parks, you do not get unlimited time to lounge in front of the best place to see an awesome natural feature. Take your moment to look at the river, get some pictures, enjoy the scenery, and then MOVE YOUR ASS TO ANOTHER SPOT. I mention this because two groups of Europeans secured premier spots at this park and proceeded to get comfortable for a romantic evening. Unfortunately for one of the couples, someone was standing one foot away from them with a camera taking many, many pictures, ruining the romance.

Colorado_River.jpg

On the right, you can see the possessions of the European couple cuddling on the overlook that everyone in the park visits. Not pictured: the couple angrily glaring at me for taking picture after picture, which was apparently not what they expected out of their romantic night on a super popular tourist attraction. Angry European couples ruining the vibe of the overlook of the Colorado River. Four stars.

But we fought through all of the difficulties to get to Moab just slightly behind “shedule.”

4 thoughts on “How we overcame a pretentious concierge to see awesome canyons and rivers in southern Utah

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