So we experienced several different tours with other people over the course of this vacation. I’m fairly antisocial, and the main reason I’m not interested in cruising is the meal situation, as I prefer a family dinner to dining with a bunch of strangers. Well, I changed my mind during our Fiery Furnace hike, which involved 6 other people on a large bus. We started out in the back but Dean felt this was too antisocial, since the guide Maggie asked us to all introduce ourselves and get to know each other. Well four of these people were Diane and John from NY, and Kim and David from Connecticut. It turns out that Kim and David were staying at Gonzo Inn like us, and she mentioned they had enjoyed the pool the previous day. I then recalled that we had waited by the pool while our room was being readied, and it turns out she and I had said hello to each other! David was a hoot during the whole hike and kept us all laughing, and even engaged with the kids a good bit. He kept asking about how Dean and I met, how we handled the stress of being 2 doctors while raising kids (he seemed to think it was way more stressful than it actually is), etc. Another guy said he felt like he was listening to Dr. Phil interview a couple.
Well that night we ate at Pasta Jays, where we ran into John and Diane, who stopped by our table to chat, and the next day we ran into them again during our rafting trip. But the real kicker was that when we left Gonzo Inn and drove 2 hours to Needles in Canyonland, the first car behind us in the parking lot was Kim and David! We ended up hiking with them the whole time, and when we had to turn around to head on to Monument Valley, David yelled out that he loved us - crazy!
Now I realized that we wouldn’t always win the tour group lottery when we arrived at Monument Valley and went on a sunset tour done by a Navajo group. We again joined 3 couples, who were sitting on 3 different rows in the open jeep (with 4 seats across) and almost refused to scoot over for us! The guide asked them to vacate a bench, but 2 couples argued in German and finally they just scooted over so we could have 2 seats on each row, even though they were all traveling together. (And they scooted in opposite directions so we couldn’t even talk to each other.) The other couple was French, and apparently no one spoke English, because they never spoke to the guide or even responded to his information. The worst part was when we were taken to a Hogan (house) where a lady inside showed us how they make yarn out of wool, and how Native Americans used to live. They all stood looking disinterested, and Lucas told me later that Dean and I were the only 2 who seemed to be listening and asking questions. The funny thing is that the next day at Lower Antelope Canyon (2.5 hours from Monument Valley), who should be sitting there waiting for the next tour when we emerged, but the four hateful Germans!
Do you have any funny or poignant stories about people in a tour group? And how would you feel about group dining on a cruise ship?