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 Post subject: Vacation Planning Thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:39 am 
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Hey, why not start one of these?

I'm planning a vacation around my birthday in October to visit my sister in merry olde England. While I'm there, I have a free flight to anywhere in Europe (from England) to use. Since I saved money on the trip by waiting until autumn to go (original plan was to be gone here in August), I'm going to use my free flight to go to a bit more expensive location in Europe... I'm going to Italy.

My problem... I haven't picked where to go in Italy yet. I'm curious if any OTPers have done extensive Italian tours and know of any spots outside of the main cities to go to. I'm flexible with my plans... I could go to around Genova and try to take a quick day trip into France/Monaco. Should I stick to a big city like Rome, Milan, Florence or Naples? Is there anything beyond poor engineering in Pisa? Should I visit the heel or the toe? Sicily?

I'm an open book at this point. My sojourn in Italy will be about 4-6 days.

As for the rest of my trip, I'll fly into Manchester this time so I don't know if I'll get into London or not. I might go north while I'm there and head up to Edinburgh or something... never been to Scotland.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:02 am 
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Visit San Tropez!

Anyways, I'll be hitting up Vegas and Los Angeles in late September. Still looking for the best deal (flying from Montreal to Vegas is surprisingly tough). Plan on renting a car in Vegas and making the Fear & Loathing drive to LA (well, backwards anyways), golfing in Vegas, and visiting a few gun stores/shooting ranges.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:17 am 
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I was thinking of doing a Vegas/LA trip during winter. But it all depends on my other sister (the one you met, E.L.), who recently got laid off. If she has to move some place more than a one day drive away I'll probably want to save some holiday time to go visit her in her new digs.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:29 am 
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depending when i get laid off, my wife and i wanted to go visit her family in Newfieland. But it doesn't look like it'll happen before school starts! which sux would have loved to go out there, its the only province i havn't been to! see everything else, except the rock!!

other then that, besides going to my cabin a few times, not much other travelling!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:34 am 
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Anyone have any recommendations for a honeymoon in the Carribean? Late July next year.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:49 am 
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BoscUlrichIII wrote:
Anyone have any recommendations for a honeymoon in the Carribean? Late July next year.

You sure your white ass can handle the Caribbean heat in summer? :laugh:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:56 am 
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BoscUlrichIII wrote:
Anyone have any recommendations for a honeymoon in the Carribean? Late July next year.


www.tripadvisor.com is your friend!! we used it for our honeymoon, it was great tool!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:13 pm 
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I had a great time in Riviera Maya, Mexico this past June.

Beautiful beaches, open bars, great nightlife scene for dancing and some amazing historical sites like pyramids and cenotes.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:20 pm 
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ohh if your thinking mexico, then yah Mayan is great, really romantic etc. We stayed at the Valentin Imperial maya, beautiful hotel, and it was ADULTS only, so it was quiet.

Dream Tulumen looked amazing but its a 1h 20 ride from the airport!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:22 pm 
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E.L. wrote:
I had a great time in Riviera Maya, Mexico this past June.

Beautiful beaches, open bars, great nightlife scene for dancing and some amazing historical sites like pyramids and cenotes.



Seconded. Pyramids and Parasailing in the same day? Fuck yeah. And I have never felt so refreshed as from a swim as in a cenote.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:40 pm 
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saskhab wrote:
My problem... I haven't picked where to go in Italy yet. I'm curious if any OTPers have done extensive Italian tours and know of any spots outside of the main cities to go to. I'm flexible with my plans... I could go to around Genova and try to take a quick day trip into France/Monaco. Should I stick to a big city like Rome, Milan, Florence or Naples? Is there anything beyond poor engineering in Pisa? Should I visit the heel or the toe? Sicily?

When I lived in Switzerland, I used to go into Italy a fair bit. Never for a very long time all at once, but I've seen a decent amount of the country, although not some of the very obvious places.

I've been to Milan, Venice, Rome, Naples, the Amalfi Coast (Positano, Terracina, Sperlonga, Palestrina, etc.) and a cute little town on the Swiss border called Domodossola. I have even been to the ancestral Luongo hometown (didn't know this at the time, of course) which is a very unmemorable place called Avellino. And passed through many other places en route.

As you have no doubt heard, the north and south are quite different, with the north being European and progressive, and the south being Mediterranean and backward (but beautiful, obviously). Rome falls somewhere in between. If you want to relax and soak in the sun and food, with a bit more exoticism, head to the south. If you want stuff to be functional and have milder weather, while also having equally good food and a bit more hilarious Italian hustle and bustle, then head north.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:24 pm 
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BoscUlrichIII wrote:
Anyone have any recommendations for a honeymoon in the Carribean? Late July next year.


I also did Mayan coast and thought it great. Not a sit around the beach all day type so wanted and area with lots of stuff to do. I put off the Honeymoon from a summer wedding till the early winter so I could appreciate the weather more and avoid Hurricane season.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:34 pm 
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saskhab wrote:
Hey, why not start one of these?
I'm going to Italy.

.


good call, Italy is beautiful country the differences from North South is amazing! they are exact opposites. North is more americanized where as the south is more exotic, with a ton of history around it.

this was my trip when i went

Milan -- Florence - Rome -- Almafi Coast (via naples) -- Bari (Family lives there) --Rimini --Venice -- Padova (nothing major, just a church that has family value i wanted to see) --Verona "ohh romeo romeo" - Como - Milan --home!

Milan - dont' go unless you want to shop, there is almost nothing to see or do there, one crazy ass church and nothing else. Shopping its amazing though.

Pisa - PASS! or do what I did, get on the train, run to Pisa, take the stereotypical picture and then run back to the train and catch the next, seriously its 30 minutes round trip!

Florence - Must see! Tip - if your going to see the statue of David, make an reservation, its much faster, when we went, there was this huge lineup around the corner, and then there was this TINY line up to the left, so we asked, the guy told us the small one was the reso line and the big one was walk ups, we asked how to make resos, he gave us a card to call, we walked around the corner to a pay phone, and made reso's for 15 minutes later, dam funny! Also, take the hop on hop off tour, every other city its useless, but here its great, you get to see everything and we paid the extra 8 euros to make it available for 48 hours, not just 24!

Rome - a guaranteed Must! its huge, amazing, beautiful. The spanish steps are the only thing thats really outta the way, otherwise if you like walking. Take the bus/train to Colesium and then work your where back everything is in a line that you just walk and you can see everything in a day if your so ambitious. We stayed for 3 so we got to soak it all in! don't take the hop on hop off, it just a straight line! Circus Maximus was neat, we didn't realize we were standing on it until we walk past the sign! just an open field with a track! heh

Cinque Terre is awesome if you like to hike! Otherwise skip it!

Naples - best pizza in the country, so venture outta the station to grab a bite, but dont need to see anything else, have you been to Hamilton? its that dirty!

Alfmafi coast - imo is the most beautiful part of the country, crisp blue water, moutain side resorts, women in bikinis! crazy ass volcano! You take the Train from Naples, its one of those local commuter trains, so its a slow go, but on the way down to Sorrento (where i stayed) you can stop by Vesuvius, short walk from the station, and you'll spend a good couple hours there just looking at the history left in stone. Don't feed the dogs though! they will either a) follow you around, or B) beg you for more then eventually start getting aggressive, but if you don't feed them, they won't bother you.
If you have the time, take the train to Capri, we didn't and regretted ever since, note it doesn't go on Sundays!

Bari - Dads home town, nothing really there except the Boat to Greece!

Rimini - its about an hour south of Venice, get there by numerous trains, just don't miss the stop! Its the equivilant of the coast of Miami. Long long beaches, big hotels along the coast, boardwalk, nightlife etc! Easy place to land some young Italian women! AND its topless!

Venice - if you havn't been, GO, if you have been, only if you have time!

Lake Como - Where George Clooney has a place! It about an hour and half north of Milan on the Swiss-Italy border, its the largest fresh water lake in Italy, i think its the deepest in Europe, anyways, its amazing. if you look at a map of it, we stayed in Como, but there is a lake bus that will take you to all the cities on the hills all around the lake, some are lame, some having awesome beaches, so you have to ask around, We went to Bellagio for the scenery and my wifes shopping and went to Mennagio for the beach.


uhh that is all!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:53 pm 
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I've been there twice and only hit the real major cities for the most part. My fave by far is Florence, especially the marketplace. Venice is awesome too. If you can swing it, I highly recommend Assisi, though I'm not sure how much damage the quakes that took place years ago did. It's a beautiful city--the least modernized of any of them--and relatively quiet.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:14 pm 
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It should be noted that there will be two birthdays celebrated in Italy in a 5 day period, so we'll want to have a good city to base out of to party in before hitting the country/sightseeing for the 3 days in between. So the in-Italy travel will be fairly limited.

Thanks guys for the tips. I also have a couple of people in my company here that are Italian... and one just went on a vacation there a few weeks ago.

Also important will be typical weather for the region in mid-October. This is where the South will likely have an advantage. But I'm sure my sister will make a strong push for a northern city.

I don't think Venice will be in the cards this time. Going there with family just seems... wrong.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:23 am 
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saskhab wrote:
BoscUlrichIII wrote:
Anyone have any recommendations for a honeymoon in the Carribean? Late July next year.

You sure your white ass can handle the Caribbean heat in summer? :laugh:


:lol: Just saw this now :lol:

I got burnt to shit my first day in Key West a couple of summers ago...I decided not to put sun screen on right away and boy was that a fucking stupid thing to do :owned:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:57 am 
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BoscUlrichIII wrote:
I got burnt to shit my first day in Key West a couple of summers ago...I decided not to put sun screen on right away and boy was that a fucking stupid thing to do :owned:

Dude, even I wear SPF 45 or higher... And that's just for mowing the lawn...


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:19 pm 
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I might be pasty like a ghost, but it takes a serious amount of sun to even get a slight burn.

When I was in Mexico, I spent the first afternoon on the beach under the scorching sun, for six hours straight and without any lotion. I got slightly red, only some very slight peelage.

Golfed yesterday with my brother, it was mind-bogglingly hot. My brother got completely burnt, my skin didn't even change colour.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:24 pm 
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Even though I could be the poster boy for the Aryan Nation (although my physique is more typical Nazi than ideal), I think my skin got a lot more of my Ukrainian genetic background than Danish/German. I only burn when I'm out on the water for a long period of time on a very hot day. I can also get a very dark tan, but now that I work in an office I'm pretty freaking white.

I rarely wear sunscreen.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Just remember, when you go on vacation, make sure your spouse/partner knows about it:

http://torontoist.com/2009/08/so_anythi ... s_away.php

Oh goodness, that's funny. I've done that before, it was only for a couple of days, but I got the shit torn out of me upon my return.

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