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Holiday trips -The Good, The Bad and the Ugly..

April 13th, 2005, 05:06 PM
Okay, now I'm back on to my vacation planning... and where to go.
I guess its pretty safe to say we will be staying in Canada or the U.S.(no-fly)

I wondered what your very favourite trip was.. the best vacation spot, or the happiest memories?
Or.. do you have a trip from Hell under your belt? :eek: Where Murphys Law prevailed and everything went wrong?

Banff for me was most relaxed time - breathtaking scenery, lovely memories of an all-round pleasant trip where everthing seemed in perfect harmony.

We've had no "real" disasters ( knock on wood We "nearly" missed our flight home once when we were leaving Las Vegas on the morning of the switch to Daylight Savings Time.
We had a wake-up call in, but no one told us of this minor detail - we were using our watches. (There are no clocks in Las Vegas)

Good thing the cab drivers are all crazy in that town - record time!
Raced through the terminal like the couple of wild eyed panicked tourists that we were. :cool:
Think it was life-or- death the way we were acting, LOL!
The last flight ever ;)

I'd actually love to go to Las Vegas again... but its a loooong drive :yuck:

April 13th, 2005, 05:17 PM
Well my all time favorite is Assateague Island in Maryland/Virginia. But it's also the hell trip of my life also. There was a major storm and we got stuck on the beach when it started... my dad actually had to rescue a woman from the ocean because of how bad it got and she couldn't be notified in time.
It would've been ok but we didn't have enough notice... we were on the beach waiting for the sand castle contest to start, the sirens went off and the storm was there in a few minutes. That was 15+ years ago though, so I'm sure there are better warnings now... :p
It is still my favorite though, and we will be going back.
It's really nice place to lounge and relax... beaches with wild horses, I love it!

Rick C
April 13th, 2005, 05:33 PM
A couple of years ago in May we flew to San Francisco, looked around that fine city a bit then set out on a SLOW drive down the number one, staying in Monterrey, passing through Pebble Beach, 12 Mile Drive, Carmel and Big Sur, then on to Morro Bay and Santa Barbara then to Santa Monica where we stayed a few days, exploring around LA. We flew home from LA.

As it was Spring, the wildflowers were in bloom and a few whales were still travelling the coast.

Really, a wonderful, relaxing thing to do a little out of season and the colours of spring flowers all over the countryside. A little nippy in places.

Another Spring trip we made was a few days in New Orleans, an interesting city. Try and time it for some sort of Jazz Festival.

And we've done San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country a few times.

In late May this year, we're going to London, England for a few weeks with a side trip to Cornwall for a few days.

Rick C

April 13th, 2005, 06:29 PM
My favourite holiday place is Ireland - and I love both the urban life of Dublin and the rural areas with pubs, friendly people and wonderful scenery. I also feel a connection there since my grandparents were born there (Dublin and Galway).

That said, you are looking for somewhere in North America? I live in the Maritimes so I recommend it as a great vacation spot. Halifax has some great places to eat, wonderful museums and lots of music festivals and activities all summer and fall, and like Ireland, scenery to die for! You could combine a Halifax trip with a visit to Cape Breton or aim to visit all three Maritime provinces and learn more about New Brunswick - lots of lobster (There is a place not far from a beach I like that has All You Can Eat Lobster for $19.99, lol), other seafood if you don't like lobster, lots of festivals (like the Dulce (speaking of unique seafood) Festival in Grand Manan) and entertainment, some quaint hotels and unique hideaway places and lots of other different activities!

My own fav vacations in North America have included Vermont - but in winter (ski and snowboarding season - not a sport I engage in, used to before surgery, :( ) but it is fun to sit around the ski lodge anyway. It is also beautiful in summer and has some cute shops and places to visit. Washington State and the Seattle area or Idaho and the Priest River area are also great getaway places. (The latter a better getaway with Seattle better for more things to do!) Upstate NY is also a neat place to visit - Lake Placid area. As for Canada, I recommend Quebec City, esp the old city and its charm and since I think you may be of Irish heritage as well, a visit to Grosse Isle where the Irish immigrants who survived the Famine Coffin ships went through to get to Canada. (You can go to Grosse Isle from Que City).

Good luck in selecting a place!

Rick C
April 13th, 2005, 06:50 PM
Oh, I forgot . . . . NEW YORK CITY!!!

Really, a wonderful place to visit.

We stayed at the Mayflower across the street from Central Park at Columbus Circle (Trump Hotel is right there too). Walk to Times Square, go running in Central Park, saw Lyle Lovett at Carnegie Hall, saw The Producers at the St. James Theater, eating a bagel on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art after wandering through there . . . . and everything else.

A lot of fun . . . and probably better to visit out of season. We walked right on to boats to Liberty Island and right up to elevators for Empire State Building . . . . but I've heard those lines can be three hours long in the summer.

We were there in early November, the leaves still on the trees, and we broke things up by sailing out of New York, down to Florida and the Bahamas and back to New York on a cruise ship. Then home.

Great trip.

Rick C

April 13th, 2005, 07:52 PM
I've been all over by car and I'd say PEI, Newfoundland and Banff are most worth it. Have you ever driven across the country? It's amazing (except for an 18 hour stretch through Ontario which can be dull if there are no moose..) I swear if any Quebec sovereignist did it, they would not be as strongly devoted to splitting the country up...

I just like the air in those places. You go to Banff and the air is so dry and easy to breathe. And the mountains are like nowhere else. PEI and Nfld the air is fresh and salty when it's misty. The good thing about PEI is that if you stay somewhere near the middle, you can visit all of it in 5 days because from the middle, each end is about an hour and a half. The singing sands are really cool. I haven't been to Nfld since I was nine, but I remember the people being so incredibly nice and boating in a deep valley and whale watching.

PEI would be about 70 hours of driving from Vancouver. (12 hours from Montreal and it took me 60 hours from Whistler to here...) Banff is, what, 12 hours from Vancouver? Nfld would be twenty hours from Montreal about plus the ferry (last time I went it was 6 hours).

I'd say come to Montreal, but frankly, I don't find Montreal that pretty.... It is a really different place as far as people go though. We had Japanese exchange students over and when they had their graduation ceremony, they wore kimonos, with the full make-up and everything and when they walked me to the metro, no one batted an eyelash at them. It was like they were Dull Normals walking down the street like any other. :) And food you can't get anywhere else...

April 13th, 2005, 08:42 PM
John Pennakamp State park is a wonderful place to visit, bring a snorkle & mask, it's underwater.
The Bahamas are going into "off season", you could find great package rates if your departure is from Florida. Island hopping is tons of fun.
90 days away from storm season so go soon.

The Dolphin Research Center on Grassey Key offers a "swim with the dolphins encounter", after completing a short awareness class...I highly recommend this. Mitzi & Susie, the star's of the "Flipper" series both lived here. (Santini's Dolphin Training School)

Oh, lobster season soon too!

(I hate to mention this, the mouse house is always open but costs big $$$, *this was my native Floridian duty disclaimer*)

April 13th, 2005, 09:23 PM
I have really enjoyed reading these, very nice indeed to picture these lovely spots. Thanks for the insight and suggestions!
Ireland!That would be fabulous, Cyberkitten!
Florida and New York both great destinations also. My niece lives in Florida (Venice) and I have been there once - but with my sister.
These require long air travel..thats the big stumbling block

I have to say I LOVE the idea of the Maritimes.. we have never been further east than Toronto. This idea really appeals to me.
Its such a big country Canada. To see the East Coast would be great!
I thought of Montreal, Prin, spending some time there first.
I hope this isnt a too-stupid question - but we dont know a word of French. Is this a big problem?

I have another idea in mind.
An Alaskan cruise. ( they leave right from here) Go downtown, get on the boat, sail away.
Has anyone been to Alaska? Or on any other cruise? I would be interested in hearing about experiences with the various cruise lines. My hubby seems "lukewarm" to this idea so far... but would agree.

You see, its a big milestone anniversay coming up for us this summer, and I would really like something that is memorable and special to celebrate it.
Forty years. I've been married longer than my own parents were. - or anyone else that I know. Good Lord! :rolleyes:
We must "really" be older than dirt.. :eek: ;)

April 13th, 2005, 09:40 PM
You do not need to know French to visit la Belle Province. Even in the most bastion of le Parti Quebecois, you will be welcome. If you want to visit a province and get both languages and cultures of our country (tho I as someone with Irish heritage, I've always felt that was a simplistic perspective and here I am citing it, sigh!) - northern New Brunswick is probably even better than Quebec. (We are officially bilingual so you will always find someone to speak to you in your language. Where I live, even my Siamese kitty understands both French and English, lol)

The Gaspé also has wonderful scenery and lots of bilingual people! But it is a place to visit for seclusion and pastoral settings rather than night life and the theatre. Unless you opt to attend the annual Blues festival in Carleton, a small village that attracts some amazing Blues' luminaries. (I am not a blues fan but this festival is fun!)

But you need not worry about NOT speaking French in Quebec. Most "militants" of the PQ will be most happy to show you hospitality!

April 13th, 2005, 11:12 PM
I thought of Montreal, Prin, spending some time there first.
The only time you need French is when you are driving, but as long as you know what Est, Ouest, Nord and Sud mean you should be ok. Montreal is VERY bilingual.

April 14th, 2005, 05:30 AM

I've only ever been to three places ever in my life. Florida, Antigua, and Hawaii. Florida was with my parents and sisters and way to stressfull (and I got a nasty sunburn), Antigua was for school and it was a nice place, but my classmates were evil. Hawaii was the first time I ever took a trip for me, with my current BF. His uncle lived there, so we stayed for three weeks. It was amazing! Unfortunately his uncle died about a year ago, so we never got to go back. Best vacation ever. And you can take boats to hawaii from BC..ever done a cruise??

Rick C
April 14th, 2005, 08:39 AM
I forgot Hawaii too . . . . we've been to Maui three times, staying on the Lahaina side in the Kaanapali area. Tons to do.

More than 600 curves on the road to Hana . . . and the grave of Charles Lindbergh in an obscure cemetary overlooking a cliff.

Watching the sun rise at the summit of Mt. Haleakala at 10000 feet (take the hotel sheets to keep warm!!)

Tedeschi Winery drive . . . . Io Needle drive . . . . Kula Gardens . . . . the quirky little town of Makaweo . . . . Big Beach and, if you're daring, the nude Little Beach . . . . . .

One of my favourite places.

Been to Cancun and Pt. Vallarta as well.

A drive into BC via the Princeton/Hope route and on to Vancouver Island is always cool.

I rode my bike one time down from Banff through Radium and Yahk into Idaho to Cour d'Alene and Sandpoint which are too beach towns. Then over to Missoula, Helena, Great Falls and back up through Lethbridge.

In a car Logan's Pass in Montana is one of the fantastic drives on the continent.

Rick C

April 14th, 2005, 09:00 AM
Have you ever driven across the country? It's amazing (except for an 18 hour stretch through Ontario which can be dull if there are no moose..)
Oh, Prin, we drove from Montreal to Calgary about 7 years ago (before the kids, obviously!) in a Nissan Sentra with no A/C at the end of July. :eek: We had the best time, but we're really sorry we didn't get out to BC (it was during one of the major forest fires - we almost couldn't see the mountains for the smoke!). And, yeah, that stretch across northern Ontario was something else - Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay - we stopped at a little motel in Wawa used mostly by hunters. On the way back, we tried to make it all the way to the Sault before stopping for the night, but there's this HUGE national park between there, so we white-knuckled it all the way - a great konga line of cars, all too afraid to pass one another in case a moose came out (you see, the first car in line would be the one to get hit, so no one wanted to be first :p ). Sorry, I wouldn't call that stretch "dull" - now talk to me about Manitoba/Saskatchewan - "Oh, look, more corn fields..."

Believe it or not, that had been our first vacation since our honeymoon 7 years prior, and we haven't been on a real vacation since. Imagine - a vacation once every 7 years. :crazy:

April 14th, 2005, 05:24 PM
I'm sorry but I call it dull because it's driving through 18 hours of the same scenery we have 45 minutes north of MTL that I get to see all the time. The prairies are awesome because there is nothing like it anywhere else. And they're only 12 hours long. ;)

By the way, Hawaii is a nice idea but I hear that driving there is hard on account of all the traffic. :p