GMG Classical Music Forum

The Back Room => The Diner => Topic started by: SonicMan46 on June 01, 2007, 05:57:18 PM

Title: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 01, 2007, 05:57:18 PM
I realize that many of us travel either locally or widely - might be nice to have a dedicated thread to vacations & travelling - the purpose would be:  1) post on recent vacations of interest; and 2) act as advisors for those who might be travelling to an area near you; e.g. if someone might be visiting the mid-Atlantic area of the USA & wanted advise on what to see, where to eat, etc. then I might be able to offer some suggestions.

My most recent trip was to Atlanta, GA to see the new Aquarium & the Margaret Mitchell House (author of Gone w/ the Wind) - had some great eating & on the return, spent an overnight in the 'Upcountry' of South Carolina - below is a post I made to the 'Eating Thread' on the trip (some great food!).

But hopefully, this will provide an area that we can offer advise to each other travelling in our areas of residence & also some great trip experiences that might stimulate others to visit -  ;D

Quote
Well, this seemed to be a much more popular thread on the 'old forum' - someone must be eating out there!  ;D

Just returned from a long weekend trip to Atlanta - mainly went to see the 'new' aquarium, also took in the Margaret Mitchell house, & the Atlanta Historic Museum - stayed at the Ritz in Buckhead, and then on the way back decided to spend an overnight in the South Carolina 'Upcountry' - fabulous little 'new' place called 'La Bastide Country Inn' (CLICK on the image for more details)!

But this is about EATING - so, if anyone is coming to Atlanta or to the SC mountains, then these are the restaurants we tried and all are highly recommended (CLICK on images for more info!):

Atlanta Fish Market (http://www.buckheadrestaurants.com/afm.html) - fabulous seafood place! Started out w/ oysters on the half shell (4 different types) & 'steamers' (as good as I've had them in New England); main course was Alaskan halibut 'Chinese Style' - steamed w/ spinach & jasmine rice - delicious & healthy - the choices there are astounding (and the 'cheapest' dinner of the trip!).

Dining Room @ Ritz (http://travela.priceline.com/travelguides/restaurants/Ritz_Carlton_Buckhead_Dining_Room_Atlanta_Georgia_United_States-8610.html?plf=PCLN&irefid=PLTGMERCH) - most expensive dinner of the trip but just unique (considered one of the best restuarants, if not the TOPS, in Atlanta) - had a squab appetizer w/ duck main course + Oregon Pinot Noir - this was a great experience; desserts were fablulous w/ French press coffee for me & 'white' tea for the wife from a special cart devoted to a variety of teas - really a treat (but you PAY for it!).

Bluepointe Restaurant (http://atlanta.citysearch.com/review/3016916) - just across the street from the Ritz; owned by the same people as the Atlanta Fish Market but more formal & upscale w/ 'Asian fusion' influences - this was probably my favorite meal; started out w/ a selection of oysters on the half shelf & a unique himachi roll (full sushi menu available) - main course was a curry crusted grouper w/ bok choy (my favorite veggie) - one of the best curry sauces that I've ever eaten! French press coffee (Kona coast) w/ a fabulous chocolate dessert + pitaschio ice cream made fresh (share w/ wife) - hmmm!

Last night was in SC at La Bastide (CLICK on the image below for more info) - fabulous restaurant in this country inn - started out w/ 'boneless' quail, shared a Stilton blue cheese salad w/ spouse, and tried roasted suckling pig (YES, I thought of Babe the Pig - a film that I own!); dessert of fresh sorbets was outstanding.

Don't think we could have had another night - ate lite tonight at home on our return -  ;D

(http://www.cliffscommunities.com/_images/mini-mainpages/cliffs_labastide_mp_corephoto_01.jpg) (http://www.cliffscommunities.com/la-bastide/)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Steve on June 01, 2007, 06:01:03 PM
I will be traveling to Germany in August, just before start of the next term. I will be taking to the streets of Hamburg for a few weeks of bliss. I will post more about the trip, as I receive more information.  ;D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 01, 2007, 06:18:45 PM
I will be traveling to Germany in August, just before start of the next term. I will be taking to the streets of Hamburg for a few weeks of bliss. I will post more about the trip, as I receive more information.  ;D

Steve - Sarge lives over there & has travelled extensively in that area from his posts - hopefully, you two can exchange some posts or PMs - I've been to Germany just once, but enjoyed my experience there -  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: George on June 01, 2007, 06:51:01 PM
Good Idea dave!

I am on vacation in Woodstock, NY with my girlfriend.

I am staying on Abbey Road. (Yes, it was named after the Beatles)  8)

Will post more later.  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on June 01, 2007, 10:42:45 PM
Unless you're from a CIS country, don't plan to go to Russia unless you want to deal with several ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more bureacracy, confusion, and bullshit than just going to Western Europe. I went to China in 2002 and found it vastly easier than the planning required to go to Russia. And this certainly is not entirely the fault of Russia/Russians:

Aside from Air Canada charging my credit card THREE SEPARATE TIMES for the airfare, here is a brief list of my aggravations in trying to book a hotel in St. Petersburg (which took me over TWO WEEKS to accomplish):

- A "Russian" travel agent who advertizes in cyrillic in the local Russian community newspaper refused to even look up hotels in St. Petersburg for us unless we paid them $150 up front for their efforts

- We tried AllRussiaHotels.com. They seem polite and professional, but after waiting 24hours, we found out that our first choice for a hotel (The Belveder Nevsky) is fully booked (supposedly). They offered us the Neva instead but I have read uniformly negative reviews about this hotel on TripAdvisor. So, I declined this offer. Their other hotels are all either way too expensive (We're trying to keep this around $3000 for the two week stay) or not available

- I tried a local travel agent who seemed really good, but then, after twice telling me that the price they quoted us for the Belveder would not change, I received the invoice and it was $258 more than originally quoted (we have not given the agency our credit card info yet). AND their cancellation policy says that NO REFUND will be made for cancellations made 15 days prior to arrival or later. This seems like a very harsh policy; I've had to cancel trips shortly before departure before due to illness or other personal matters and I am not comfortable with this policy to say the least!

- I almost booked the hotel on Hotels.ca BUT they have NO IDEA how I am supposed to get Russian Visa support from the hotels (Most of the people who man their phones have barely even HEARD of Russia!). The hotel doesn't even get your name until 72 hours before you arrive!! So, I asked, "How am I supposed to get my visa? Why in the world would anyone book a hotel in Russia with Hotels.ca?" The reply I received was "Uhhhhh I dunno." 

We finally did book a hotel, and they ignored THREE of my e-mails requesting information about how to get visa support (invitation letter receipt needed for applying for a Russian Visa). Then I finally had to resort to having my friend who lives in St. Petersburg give them a call. Then I recieved an e-mail from another company who deals with them. Their instructions were confusing, so I e-mailed them some questions back and OF COURSE they have not replied!

I've read that Russian immigration / visa laws are in a constant state of flux, and if that were not bad enough, many Russian bureaucrats / police know very little about the laws, and laws that are translated into English are often different in meaning than the Russian originals.

All the tour books say that planning a trip to St. Petersburg is a royal pain in the ass but that it is well worth it in the long run. Hopefully two weeks of browsing the Hermitage, seeing Peter's Palace, Catherine's Palace and all the magnificent architecture and culture will make up for it!!


Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: George on June 02, 2007, 05:39:58 AM
Good Idea dave!

I am on vacation in Woodstock, NY with my girlfriend.

I am staying on Abbey Road. (Yes, it was named after the Beatles)  8)

Will post more later.  :)

Here's a link with more info: http://www.vrbo.com/53557 (http://www.vrbo.com/53557)

Some pictures:

Outside:

(http://images.vrbo.com/vrbo/images/7f7a8)

Inside:

(http://images.vrbo.com/vrbo/images/7f847)   (http://images.vrbo.com/vrbo/images/7f848)  (http://images.vrbo.com/vrbo/images/d2b2)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 02, 2007, 05:51:39 AM
Here's a link with more info: http://www.vrbo.com/53557 (http://www.vrbo.com/53557)

Some pictures:

Inside:

(http://images.vrbo.com/vrbo/images/7f847)   (http://images.vrbo.com/vrbo/images/7f848)  (http://images.vrbo.com/vrbo/images/d2b2)

George - that looks quite nice - checked out the website & like the idea of Wi-Fi!  The place that I was just at (La Bastide, in the OP) had a wired Ethernet connection in the room, but I had my Asus Adaptor w/ me and was able to setup a wireless connection w/ our laptop - an older model from Asus, and can be a little tricky, but worked fine!

(http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/assets/asus-wl330-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Novi on June 02, 2007, 11:34:48 AM
Here's a link with more info: http://www.vrbo.com/53557 (http://www.vrbo.com/53557)

Wow, looks good George. Hope you're having a relaxing time.

George - that looks quite nice - checked out the website & like the idea of Wi-Fi!  The place that I was just at (La Bastide, in the OP) had a wired Ethernet connection in the room, but I had my Asus Adaptor w/ me and was able to setup a wireless connection w/ our laptop - an older model from Asus, and can be a little tricky, but worked fine!

But guys, guys - you're on holiday. Come on, you can do it! Let go, let go ;D.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 02, 2007, 01:20:25 PM
Wow, looks good George. Hope you're having a relaxing time.

But guys, guys - you're on holiday. Come on, you can do it! Let go, let go ;D.

LOL -  ;D   Wife insists on me carrying my IBM laptop w/ us on car trips (don't do planes w/ it) - she gets 'so much' e-mail, even after a few days, she might have a hundred messages or more!  :o  Plus, the laptop comes in handy - I have a lot of MP3 files rip onto the hard drive, and along w/ a 1 GB SD card w/ MP3 files in my Palm PDA & a portable CD player - I can have all sorts of music 'on the road' - just hook up any of those devices to some portable Altec Lansing speakers for an 'in-room' mini-stereo system!  :D

(http://www.alteclansing.com/images/IM4.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: George on June 02, 2007, 01:34:20 PM
LOL -  ;D   Wife insists on me carrying my IBM laptop w/ us on car trips (don't do planes w/ it) - she gets 'so much' e-mail, even after a few days, she might have a hundred messages or more!  :o  Plus, the laptop comes in handy - I have a lot of MP3 files rip onto the hard drive, and along w/ a 1 GB SD card w/ MP3 files in my Palm PDA & a portable CD player - I can have all sorts of music 'on the road' - just hook up any of those devices to some portable Altec Lansing speakers for an 'in-room' mini-stereo system!  :D

(http://www.alteclansing.com/images/IM4.jpg)

Nice, Dave!  :)

To me it wouldn't be a vation without some GMG.  8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Maciek on June 02, 2007, 03:02:10 PM
Nice thread. 8)

And in case you missed it, here's a link to a related one:

Travel Photos (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,897.0.html)

Maciek
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 04, 2007, 03:42:54 PM
Nice thread. 8)

And in case you missed it, here's a link to a related one:

Travel Photos (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,897.0.html)

Maciek - sorry about the potential conflict, but felt that the threads were different, i.e. more interested in suggesting vacation spots or advising those who might be interested in visiting places that others cae provide comments - BTW, I enjoyed your pics - thanks - Dave  ;)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Maciek on June 04, 2007, 04:00:31 PM
No conflict, Dave! I think you're right - the threads are slightly superimposed but they don't cover exactly the same ground. Hopefully they'll somehow fill in for each other.

And anyway - I just wanted to increase traffic on the "photos" thread. ;D

Looking forward to a friendly coexistence! 8)

And while I'm at it - I'd like to let everyone know I'll be away for the next 2 weeks or so. If anyone needs to get in touch with me, they'll have to wait. Sorry. Vacation is vacation. ;D

We'll be at the Polish seaside, living in a friend's hut, with no electricity and no running water. With a 16-month-old to take care of, I'm sure it will be a wonderful rest! ;)

Maciek
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: uffeviking on June 04, 2007, 07:02:53 PM
No running water for two weeks? Maciek, when you return to your apartment you will, please, take a shower before you visit us here?

Have a great time, I know you will and so will Rosa!  8)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 21, 2007, 06:16:00 PM
A couple of weeks ago, we returned from a short trip to Virginia – Charlottesville (home of the University of Virginia) and the mountains; thought that I’d just outline some of the highlights for those who might have a opportunity to visit the area or may want some travel suggestions.  :)
 
First day, drove from Winston-Salem toward Smith Mountain Lake (just to the east of Roanoke) – beautiful ‘man-made’ lake; the Booker T. Washington National Monument is near the lake (his birthplace); headed toward Lynchburg, and stopped at Popular Forest (below, middle), an estate that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, and is presently being restored; this house was his ‘private get-away’ whereas Monticello in Charlottesville was more a ‘public’ home inundated with visitors during his lifetime; BTW, Appomattox is close where Lee surrendered to Grant at the McClean House (below, right).  Then we headed into Charlottesville for a 2-night stay at the Boar’s Head Inn (MAP package – excellent food).

(http://www.nps.gov/ner/customcf/apps/CMS_HandF/GreenBoxPics/BOWA_btwface1.jpg)  (http://www.bedford.k12.va.us/bstc/school/bstclinks/PopularForest.jpg)  (http://www.airwreck.com/life/va/Appomattox/images/P0021.jpg)
 
Full day in Charlottesville which we’ve visited numerous times, so decided to be more selective – a visit to Montpelier, home of James & Dolly Madison, also undergoing restoration – the outside is pretty much back to its early 19th century size (had been tripled in square footage by the Duponts who owned the property for decades – a story in itself); this house is located in the Barboursville area and our day included a visit to several wineries.  In addition to many wineries in the area, a must visit for ‘first-timers’ is Monticello, the fabulous (and restored) home of TJ; another restored presidential home is Ashlawn which belonged to James Monroe – the most ‘modest’ of these historic places.

(http://www.virginia.org/uploaded_images/22152.jpg)  (http://www.aparthistory-design.com/Monticello.jpg)
 
Then we were off on I-64 West which intersects the junction of two wonderful mountain highways, i.e. the Skyline Drive (heading north) and the northern beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway (which extends 476 miles into North Carolina, ending at Cherokee near Asheville); decided to travel on the Parkway for an hour or so – some just beautiful vistas and overlooks; left the road and headed into Lexington, Virginia – a small town that I just love because of its mountain beauty & history – home of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Washington & Lee University, and the George Marshall Library; Stonewall Jackson’s house (below, left) is near the visitor’s center (he was a teacher @ VMI at the outbreak of the Civil War and is buried in the city’s cemetery sans one arm; his horse - stuffed, Little Sorrel,  is in the Chapel Museum (below, right), which is a small but quite well done Civil War presentation).  After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee became the president of Washington College there which was renamed after his death – Lee is buried in the Chapel.  We took a horse carriage ride, which is a relaxing and lovely way to see the town and learn about its history.

(http://www.agpix.com/catalog/AGPix_blackley/large/AGPix_blackley_1537_Lg.jpg)  (http://www.usa-civil-war.com/Lee/wl-chapel.jpg)
 
Continuing into the mountains toward Hot Springs, Virginia near the West Virginia border for a 2-day stay at the Homestead, one of those old mountain resorts; in fact, dates back to the 1760s (Washington even stayed there then), but the current buildings are about a 100 years old; relaxing time with some excellent meals (again on the MAP).

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/161939278-M.jpg)
 
Then back home with a few more winery visits both in Virginia and in North Carolina (some comments about the food & wines made in the ‘eating thread’).   :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 30, 2007, 07:09:29 AM
Just returned from a great 6-night trip to Quebec - weather not great the first few days, but then excellent - great scenery, food, & history!  :D

La Malbaie - first 3 nights at the Le Manoir Richelieu (now a Fairmont property; below left) - day trips out into the Charlevoix countryside - including a drive on the scenic 362 highway w/ stops in St. Joseph-de-la-Rive & Baie-St. Paul; lunch in the latter town (delicious mussels & frittes!).

Then on to Quebec City - left early to see some sights along the way - Canyon Sainte-Anne (below, right),  Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, & Montmorency Falls; lunched on the island of Île d’Orléans at La Goéliche, a charming inn & restaurant w/ a great view of the city -  :)

Quebec City - stayed at the Chateau-Frontenac, now another Fairmont property; perched like a fortress in the old 'upper town' (lower pic) - spectacular views coming up the St. Lawrence River on a cruise; the old 'lower town' has been really built up beautifully since our last visit - great eating & shopping!  :)

(http://www.travelterrific.com/summer2000/images_sum00/037.jpg)  (http://sheridan.geog.kent.edu/photos/the-rest/QO077.JPG)

(http://www.travelwithachallenge.com/Images/Travel_Article_Library/Canada-Quebec-Accommodation/Chateau-Frontenac-Autumn.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 30, 2007, 04:50:45 PM
Ah, the Château Frontenac! This is where Mrs Pastia and your humble servant spent their honeymoon in 1982 :D

This image shows up the south side of the central tower, where we had our room  >:D
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/fr/thumb/6/64/Ch%C3%A2teau_Frontenac_%C3%A0_la_tomb%C3%A9e_de_la_nuit.jpg/450px-Ch%C3%A2teau_Frontenac_%C3%A0_la_tomb%C3%A9e_de_la_nuit.jpg)

In this one you can see (not quite, it's just a dark canyon) the oldest street in North America, in the Petit Champlain sector
(http://bqdms.com//SYSTEM/FILES/LISTING/FRENCH/JPG/picf03_1124379G_R0_1124379_1142267714000.jpg)

And a view of the Charlevoix region by Quebec's most famous painter, Marc-Aurèle Fortin:
(http://www.naute.com/funimages/iledorleans.jpg)

This is the Ile d'Orléans and the St-Lawrence river in the foreground.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 30, 2007, 05:30:14 PM
Ah, the Château Frontenac! This is where Mrs Pastia and your humble servant spent their honeymoon in 1982 :D

André - thanks for the additional info & pics - wife & I were probably there in the mid-80s (i.e. out first time), so not much after your visit - enjoyed the return - a fabulous place & location - being a history buff, the Plains of Abraham nearby,  and the year 1759 makes the experience even more glorious -thanks.  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on August 30, 2007, 05:41:32 PM
Wow, I remember this thread. All my ranting aside, we had a wonderful two weeks in St. Petersburg, although much of the planning is a nightmare. We are thinking about going back in winter some year to enjoy the much lower hotel rates, snow-covered landscapes, the Kirov, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, etc.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 31, 2007, 05:39:40 AM
Wow, I remember this thread. All my ranting aside, we had a wonderful two weeks in St. Petersburg, although much of the planning is a nightmare..............

I've always wanted to go to St. Petersburg, and especially would like to visit the Hermitage museum; my wife has Russsian ancestry (including a grandmother who attended law school in St. Petersburg before the Bolsevik Revolution broke out!  She eventually immigrated to the USA, attended medical school in Philadelphia, and became New Jersey's first endocrinologist - brief bio & pic HERE (http://www.umdnj.edu/librweb/speccoll/Finkler.html), if interested).  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: BorisG on August 31, 2007, 07:04:48 PM
Nova Scotia.(http://www.actp-ptca.ca/images/Japan%20Fam%20-%20NS.JPG)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 01, 2007, 03:53:35 AM
Nova Scotia.

Love Nova Scotia - been there just once (a week's vacation w/ a rental car that included Prince Edward Island) - the Cabot Trail drive on Cape Breton was spectacular - kind of like the Blue Ridge Parkway w/ the sea & birds.

Love the lobster - probably ate that daily (in Maine, include 'lobster rolls' for lunch & you can eat them twice a day!  ;D)

(http://www.northhighlandsmuseum.ca/images/locati2.jpg)  (http://gardenwebs.net/Cabot.trail.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Heather Harrison on September 03, 2007, 11:04:21 AM
I just went on a quick 2-day trip through southeastern Idaho.  From Salt Lake City, I drove almost 800 miles round-trip.  The western U.S. is very big, but also very empty.  The speed limit on the rural freeways is 75MPH, so it is easy to cover a lot of ground.  Idaho doesn't have the best reputation; it is known for neo-Nazis and (recently) a Senator who solicits sex in the men's room.  On top of that, many people think there isn't much there.  People looking for big, famous tourist destinations might not find a lot (except for Yellowstone, a small part of which is in Idaho), but those who like to explore would love Idaho.  There are numerous great natural areas and many interesting historic sites.  I go there fairly often for quick day trips, but this time I want to penetrate deeper and spend more time.  Also, I actually remembered my camera, so there are pictures.

Since I went to a number of places, I will post about this in installments.  This post will cover Craters of the Moon National Monument, Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1, and Tautphaus Park Zoo in Idaho Falls.

From Salt Lake City, I drove north on Interstate 15 to Blackfoot, Idaho, and drove west on U.S. 26.  About 75 miles west of I-15 (15 miles west of Arco) on U.S. 20/26/93 is Craters of the Moon National Monument, the site of some impressive prehistoric volcanic activity.  It features a number of extinct volcanoes, desolate lava fields, lava caves, and an interesting array of vegetation.  It was too hot, so I couldn't hike around very much; I'll have to come back in the spring or fall.  The first picture is a scene in Devil's Orchard, and the second shows a creepy-looking pigeon in Indian Tunnel.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/devils_orchard_06s.jpg) (http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/indian_tunnel_00c.jpg)

Next, I returned to the east.  A few miles east of Arco on U.S. 20/26 is Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1, which operated in the 1950's and 1960's.  It is now a museum.  This was the first location where uranium-238 was converted into plutonium-239 for use as nuclear fuel, and it was the first place where nuclear power was generated from plutonium.  Also, just outside of the facility are two test beds where a nuclear-powered jet engine was tested.  That project was cancelled before it could be put into practice.

Here are views of the test beds for the nuclear jet engine.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/ebr_heater12_00s.jpg) (http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/ebr_heater3_02s.jpg)

Here is the door to a disused old shed outside of EBR-1, with a number of nasty warning signs.  I especially liked the hantavirus sign.  I guess they don't want anyone to go in there.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/ebr_signs_14c.jpg)

Here are two views of the control panel.  The second shows the SCRAM button; pushing this button would drive the control rods into the reactor and shut it down immediately.  The control panel is massive compared to the tiny one in the University of Utah that I operated as part of a lab class that I took years ago.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/ebr_control_15c.jpg) (http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/ebr_scram_17c.jpg)

Here are two more pictures from in the EBR-1 building.  The first is a backup generator, and the second is a warning sign about NAK.  NAK is a sodium/potassium alloy that is liquid at room temperature.  Liquid metals are very useful; in this case, it is used as a coolant.  Unfortunately, NAK is highly reactive; it can burn if exposed to the air, and it explosively reacts with water.  Despite this, EBR-1 never had a NAK-related accident while it operated.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/ebr_generator_22s.jpg) (http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/ebr_nak_24s.jpg)

After this, I drove east on U.S. 20 to Idaho Falls and went to the Museum of Idaho to see a small atomic power exhibit, some historical exhibits, and a traveling exhibit of old Bibles and related scrolls and fragments.  The next morning, I went to the Tautphaus Park Zoo in Idaho Falls.  It is a small zoo, but there are no substandard exhibits and it is immaculately maintained.  The picture below shows a tiger relaxing in a pool.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/tiger_02c.jpg)

After visiting the zoo, I went on a tour of a number of ghost towns.  I'll post those pictures later.

Heather
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 04, 2007, 06:36:09 AM
I just went on a quick 2-day trip through southeastern Idaho.  From Salt Lake City, I drove almost 800 miles round-trip........

Heather - thanks for the travelogue & the pics - there are only 4 or 5 states that I've not visited in the USA, and Idaho is one - most of the others are in the same vicinity (must rectify that soon!).  Love 'ghost towns' BTW, and have visited several in the southwest part of the country -   :D   Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Anne on September 04, 2007, 07:50:39 AM
Sonic Man:

"Just returned from a great 6-night trip to Quebec - weather not great the first few days, but then excellent - great scenery, food, & history! 

La Malbaie - first 3 nights at the Le Manoir Richelieu (now a Fairmont property; below left) - day trips out into the Charlevoix countryside - including a drive on the scenic 362 highway w/ stops in St. Joseph-de-la-Rive & Baie-St. Paul; lunch in the latter town (delicious mussels & frittes!).

Then on to Quebec City - left early to see some sights along the way - Canyon Sainte-Anne (below, right),  Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, & Montmorency Falls; lunched on the island of Île d’Orléans at La Goéliche, a charming inn & restaurant w/ a great view of the city - 

Quebec City - stayed at the Chateau-Frontenac, now another Fairmont property; perched like a fortress in the old 'upper town' (lower pic) - spectacular views coming up the St. Lawrence River on a cruise; the old 'lower town' has been really built up beautifully since our last visit - great eating & shopping!"


Thanks for bringing up Quebec in the conversation.  I went to summer school there in 1965 with 5 other students from Aquinas college (Michigan).

At Ste. Anne-de-Beaupre we were dismayed to see how commercial it was.  There are so many beautiful old churches in Quebec.

We saw the skull of Champlain in the city and were amazed how narrow the streets were.  At the light at an intersection (8 pm), I remember being surprised one Saturday night to see a lady all dressed up, wearing very high heels, and riding on the back of a Harley-Davidson or some such motorcycle!  Immediately after that a car behind us (5 girls and 1 guy.  He had a car) honked.  That was when we learned that no one there waits for the traffic light to change if there is no one else at the intersection.  At that time in the US everyone waited patiently for the light to change.

Every Sunday we would eat lunch together and then go to the Plains of Abraham to play Bridge all afternoon.  There were always others enjoying the Plains.  Some were making love and constantly the helicopters would "buzz" (fly very, very low) over the top of the couple and remain there a few minutes.  We would laugh, then go back to our card game.

We all liked the French pastries and took some home at the end of our time there.  We also discovered their bean soup - very tasty and available almost everywhere.  Since we were poor college students we only went to a nice restaurent on the guy's birthday.  It was his birthday but he took us all out to celebrate.  We were serenaded by someone with a violin.  The girls loved that and were thrilled.  After dinner we went to a dance.  There were people from everywhere dancing.  We didn't dance very much as we only had one guy with us.

Suddenly an old man started to ask us to dance - one girl after another.  He kept saying something to us but with our Parisian accent and him using the local "patois",
we could not understand him.  To be polite and friendly, we would smile and say, "Oui, oui."

When we got back to school on Monday, we asked our teacher what had he been saying?  To our chagrin she told us he had been asking if we wanted to go bed with him.  The laugh was on us.

I believe there is a beautiful area called the Gaspe peninsula (quite far east of Quebec) that might interest you.

I have not been to Europe but the streets of Quebec often reminded me of streets I have seen in pictures of Europe.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 04, 2007, 11:17:35 AM
we could not understand him.  To be polite and friendly, we would smile and say, "Oui, oui."

When we got back to school on Monday, we asked our teacher what had he been saying?  To our chagrin she told us he had been asking if we wanted to go bed with him.  The laugh was on us.

I believe there is a beautiful area called the Gaspe peninsula (quite far east of Quebec) that might interest you.

I have not been to Europe but the streets of Quebec often reminded me of streets I have seen in pictures of Europe.


Hello Anne - thanks for your memories about Quebec City - LOL @ the above!  ;D

Yes, the Gaspe Peninsula was not that far from La Malbaie - there were 'all-day' tours to the area; I've been to Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island, but not to New Brunswick or many other parts of the Quebec Province; and on our last night in Quebec City, I had some wonderful snow crab legs (nicely de-shelled) which were from the Gaspe area.

We love visiting Quebec because it is in our same time zone, a foreign country, and French-speaking, so there is a wonderful sense of goin' to Europe - and in the past the Canadian dollar was much less than the American dollar, so prices were great; unfortunately, no longer the case -  :)   Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Heather Harrison on September 04, 2007, 04:57:04 PM
Here is the rest of my Idaho trip.  After visiting the zoo, I headed north from Idaho Falls on Interstate 15.  I took Exit 143 and headed west on ID-33, and then northwest on ID-28.  About 50-60 miles ahead, in southern Lemhi County, there are some interesting places to visit.  A well-marked dirt road heads west to Gilmore and Meadow Lake.  Gilmore is an exceptionally well-preserved ghost town.  As with many ghost towns in the western U.S., when the mines closed, the town died.  These days, people who are interested in preserving the history of the place are moving back into Gilmore, so it isn't really possible to go into the abandoned buildings.  This is probably a good thing; it will help to discourage vandals.  Here are a few views of Gilmore.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/gilmore_02s.jpg) (http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/gilmore_10s.jpg) (http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/gilmore_17s.jpg) (http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/gilmore_25s.jpg) (http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/gilmore_27s.jpg)

Many of the ghost towns I have visited feature old, rusting bedsprings.  Gilmore was no exception.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/gilmore_15c_bedspring.jpg)

From Gilmore, I drove west on a gut-wrenching narrow dirt road into the rugged Lemhi Mountains to Meadow Lake, which is exceptionally clear.  There is a campground near the lake; it was rather busy.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/meadow_lake_02c.jpg)

Then, I headed back to the south.  A few miles south of Gilmore on ID-28, a sign points west to some charcoal kilns.  A smooth, well-maintained dirt road heads west for about 5 miles, and ends at the kilns, which are now owned by Targhee National Forest.  The Forest Service has stabilized the kilns and placed trails and interpretive signs in the vicinity.  Charcoal kilns are often found near mining areas; they burned wood to provide charcoal for the smelters.  In this case, the smelter was across the valley near one of the area's most productive mines.  These kilns, like others I have seen in the west, have the characteristic beehive shape.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/charcoal_kilns_06s.jpg)

Again, I headed back to the highway and went south.  A few miles down the road, past the Clark County line, is the remnant of a town called Blue Dome.  I have found no information about the town, but I photographed this picturesque abandoned building.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/blue_dome_08s.jpg)

From here, I headed back to the freeway.  This time, I went south on ID-28, then east on ID-22, which meets the freeway at Dubois (Exit 167).  Dubois is a typical agricultural town, and it features the usual array of gas stations near the freeway interchange.  I headed north on I-15 in search of more ghost towns.  I-15 in this area is one of the least traveled freeways in the country; every time I have driven it, it has been nearly empty.  I made a quick stop in Spencer (Exit 180) to buy an opal pendant.  Spencer is near some productive opal mines, and it has a number of stores selling opal products.  If not for the opal business, the town would likely be nearly abandoned.  From Spencer, I went north to Humphrey (Exit 190).  Humphrey is an old railroad town; it probably died when the freeway bypassed it.  There is a very nice abandoned building just east of the freeway.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/humphrey_00c.jpg)

Part of the old highway (U.S. 91) survives in this area.  I continued north from Humphrey on old U.S. 91 rather than the freeway.  On the way to the next town, I crossed this old bridge, which is surprisingly well-maintained to this day.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/US91bridge_02c.jpg)

A few miles north of the bridge, I crossed the state line into Montana and came to the town of Monida.  (Monida is accessible from I-15, Exit 0, less than 1 mile north of the Idaho/Montana border.)  This was an old railroad town.  There used to be a stage coach that followed the Continental Divide east from Monida to Yellowstone, and Monida was the location where passengers transitioned from the train to the stage coach.  The road from here to Yellowstone still exists, but it never became a major highway.  Yellowstone traffic now leaves I-15 at Idaho Falls.  In later years, Monida served travelers following U.S. 91; Monida Pass was likely a good location for people driving their rickety old cars to get service.  After I-15 was built, the town was bypassed and it gradually died.  While not entirely unoccupied, it is a mere shadow of its former self.  The only active business I could find was a junkyard just out of town to the south.  Monida Mercantile and the post office have been closed for a long time, and the garage looks similarly dilapidated.  Finally, there is a picturesque old barn that is popular with photographers; many pictures can be found on the internet.

(http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/monida_stores_03s.jpg) (http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/monida_garage_05s.jpg) (http://www.xmission.com/~dh/forum_images/monida_barn_07s.jpg)

By the time I got to Monida, it was getting late, and I still had a long drive back to Salt Lake City, so I got on the freeway and headed for home.  It was a quick trip, but I saw a lot and there are many places I would like to come back to.

Heather
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Anne on September 04, 2007, 06:45:49 PM
Hello Anne - thanks for your memories about Quebec City - LOL @ the above!  ;D

Yes, the Gaspe Peninsula was not that far from La Malbaie - there were 'all-day' tours to the area; I've been to Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island, but not to New Brunswick or many other parts of the Quebec Province; and on our last night in Quebec City, I had some wonderful snow crab legs (nicely de-shelled) which were from the Gaspe area.

We love visiting Quebec because it is in our same time zone, a foreign country, and French-speaking, so there is a wonderful sense of goin' to Europe - and in the past the Canadian dollar was much less than the American dollar, so prices were great; unfortunately, no longer the case -  :)   Dave



 ;D  I laugh every time I think about it.

If I remember correctly, there was a poster that showed a breathtaking view of the Gaspe Peninsula with a train going through the area with a sheer dropoff that was almost frightening to imagine.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on September 05, 2007, 03:05:30 AM
If you're ever wandering through Texas, there are some really cool things that you might not know to watch out for because they're in the middle of nowhere--

Kerrville has an art museum featuring some great art such as some Renoir and Picasso!!

Dublin is the home of Dr Pepper, and they have a museum and sell the original imperial cane sugar formula.

Oh fiddle sticks I'm out of time, I'll come back to this thread tonight.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 05, 2007, 03:33:12 AM
If you're ever wandering through Texas, there are some really cool things that you might not know to watch out for because they're in the middle of nowhere--

Kerrville has an art museum featuring some great art such as some Renoir and Picasso!!

Dublin is the home of Dr Pepper, and they have a museum and sell the original imperial cane sugar formula.

Oh fiddle sticks I'm out of time, I'll come back to this thread tonight.

David - hello!  Great to see you back, and congrats on the 'new' job (believe I saw that notice on another thread) - been to TX about a half dozen times but mainly the largest cities - would love to explore some of the other areas of that immense state!   :D  Dave

Heather - again, thanks for those pics!   :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: MishaK on September 05, 2007, 11:38:58 AM
I'll be going to Ottawa in two weeks for a friend's wedding. Any recommendations for what to see and do around there? I'll only have a long weekend, one day of which will be completely booked with wedding activities.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 05, 2007, 12:27:41 PM
I'll be going to Ottawa in two weeks for a friend's wedding. Any recommendations for what to see and do around there? I'll only have a long weekend, one day of which will be completely booked with wedding activities.

On a previous visit to Canada (maybe 4 yrs ago), we combined Ottawa & Montreal - was our first trip to Ottawa and had a wonderful experience; stayed at the Chateau Laurier (below) which is in the 'heart' of the downtown district right next to the government buildings & the canal; plenty of excellent restaurants in the vicinity and w/i walking distance.

Plenty to do, but two favorite remembrances (outside of eating!), included a boat ride on the Rideau Canal (below, right - near the Ch. Laurier in the background) & a visit to the Canadian Museum of Civilization nearby in Hull (but plenty of other activities & museums).  Report back please - wife & I would like to return soon!  :D

(http://www.withinsight.ca/en/images/Logistics/chateaulaurier.jpg)  (http://www.canajun.com/ottawa/tourism/pictures/intro/canal2.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 05, 2007, 12:51:15 PM
Ottawa is a very quiet city, large but it just purrs along contentedly. It's a beautiful place, with lots of tree lined avenues and imposing but tasteful government buildings. Make sure to visit the Parliament Hill and maybe take a horse drawn cab ride through the city.

The Museum recommended by Dave is indeed worth a visit. Its architecture is quite spectacular and it boasts a great collection of totems. A lot of focus is actually directed at the First Nations. Currently there's an exhibit of contemporary aboriginal art. BTW Hull has merged with a few other cities, it's now called Gatineau. 
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on September 05, 2007, 02:35:58 PM
David - hello!  Great to see you back, and congrats on the 'new' job (believe I saw that notice on another thread) - been to TX about a half dozen times but mainly the largest cities - would love to explore some of the other areas of that immense state!   :D  Dave

Yeah Texas is amazing! 

I screwed up-- it's Albany, TX not Kerrville I was thinking of.

So here are some pics of this cool little museum from the outside:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b90/mahlerfan999/art_small.jpg)

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b90/mahlerfan999/art2.jpg)

And they have a website-- it's http://www.theoldjailartcenter.org/ (http://www.theoldjailartcenter.org/)

It's really cool if you happen to be in the area.  Hehe happen to the area, that's funny. ;D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on September 06, 2007, 06:57:48 PM
If you're ever wandering through Texas, there are some really cool things that you might not know to watch out for because they're in the middle of nowhere--

Kerrville has an art museum featuring some great art such as some Renoir and Picasso!!...

Don't forget about the "Van Gogh" museum in Van Horn, Texas! I kid you not. (I drove from Austin to Sacramento after 9-11. I was originally scheduled to fly back on the 12th!)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on September 06, 2007, 06:59:23 PM
Heather, thanks for the Idaho report. Any opinions on Couer D'lane (don't know how to spell it, too tired to look it up.)?? Any opinions on Spokane, WA? I might be applying for a job in that area pretty soon. Thanks.

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Heather Harrison on September 06, 2007, 07:26:06 PM
I have only been through Coeur d'Alene and Spokane once, so I don't have a strong opinion of those places.  They are quite far from the part of Idaho that I visited and a long day's drive from Salt Lake City.  I noticed that they have grown together a bit; the town of Post Falls fills the gap between them.  Coeur d'Alene seems like the most attractive of these places.  From what I have seen, it is a very beautiful area.  East of Coeur d'Alene, gorgeous scenery can be viewed practically anywhere; even the freeway is a scenic drive.  I do intend to visit those areas again eventually; I would like to get a better feel for what is there.  The Spokane/Coeur d'Alene area, by the way, doesn't look much like the part of Idaho that I just visited - it seems like a different world.  Idaho is a very large, strangely shaped state; it can be split into at least three regions which have very distinct cultures.  Southeastern Idaho (where I visited) is like a northern extension of Utah; the Mormon Church is a prominent cultural force there.  Southwestern Idaho seems to have more in common with nearby parts of Nevada and Oregon, and Boise is a fairly typical mid-sized city.  Northern Idaho is best known for neo-Nazis, but that element is probably a small minority.  Aside from that, I haven't heard a great deal about it and haven't spent enough time there to figure out what the culture is like.  You might want to ask around; maybe someone else here has spent time there and can answer your question.

If you do end up in that area, I'm sure you will figure out its good points and bad points after a while.  Of course, if you like outdoor activities (hiking, camping, etc.) it should be a very good location.  For classical music, the region is probably rather provincial, but I don't know for certain how good (or bad) the local music scene is.  If you like historic sites, it seems to be a good area; there are many historic mining towns nearby.  If you like wine, you will be within a half-day's drive of two very good wine regions.

Hopefully, this limited information is helpful.

Heather
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on September 06, 2007, 08:35:06 PM
Thanks a lot Heather, it is indeed useful. I'm a bit of a peace and quiet fanatic and also a nature lover (I am a biologist after all), so I think I'd really like such an area. And, I'm really sick of the obscene cost of living in Vancouver. It will be a huge relief to live in a place where a million dollars buys more than a one-bedroom, 800 sq. foot condo, and where an $8 bottle of wine costs $8 and not the $28 we pay here.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Anne on September 07, 2007, 05:46:46 PM
On a previous visit to Canada (maybe 4 yrs ago), we combined Ottawa & Montreal - was our first trip to Ottawa and had a wonderful experience; stayed at the Chateau Laurier (below) which is in the 'heart' of the downtown district right next to the government buildings & the canal; plenty of excellent restaurants in the vicinity and w/i walking distance.

Plenty to do, but two favorite remembrances (outside of eating!), included a boat ride on the Rideau Canal (below, right - near the Ch. Laurier in the background) & a visit to the Canadian Museum of Civilization nearby in Hull (but plenty of other activities & museums).  Report back please - wife & I would like to return soon!  :D

(http://www.withinsight.ca/en/images/Logistics/chateaulaurier.jpg)  (http://www.canajun.com/ottawa/tourism/pictures/intro/canal2.jpg)

If my memory is correct, maybe springtime would be a good time to visit.  Didn't the Queen give Ottawa a large number of tulips?  I've forgotten the occasion.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 07, 2007, 06:07:59 PM
If my memory is correct, maybe springtime would be a good time to visit.  Didn't the Queen give Ottawa a large number of tulips?  I've forgotten the occasion.

Canada provided safe haven in Ottawa for Queen Juliana of The Netherlands and members of the Dutch royal family, who began a tradition of gifting thousands of tulip bulbs each year to the people of Canada to symbolize international friendship. It's the largest tulip festival in the world, with over 3 million bulbs blooming in May.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: longears on September 08, 2007, 04:12:09 AM
I'm a bit of a peace and quiet fanatic and also a nature lover (I am a biologist after all), so I think I'd really like such an area.

Then you'll like the Idaho panhandle.  Idaho (Heather's views notwithstanding), after all, is known for great fishing, great skiing, and vast tracts of spectacular wilderness.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 08, 2007, 05:23:49 AM
If my memory is correct, maybe springtime would be a good time to visit.  Didn't the Queen give Ottawa a large number of tulips?  I've forgotten the occasion.

Anne - not sure (but makes sense!) - we've been to Canada probably a dozen times or more, and typically go around August (mainly to escape the HOT summers in North Carolina!  ;D) - go during the winter & you can ice skate on the canal!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 08, 2007, 05:25:15 AM
I'll probably be visiting my brother in North Carolina next month. :D Hope it's not too hot at that time of the year?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Anne on September 08, 2007, 10:08:17 AM
Canada provided safe haven in Ottawa for Queen Juliana of The Netherlands and members of the Dutch royal family, who began a tradition of gifting thousands of tulip bulbs each year to the people of Canada to symbolize international friendship. It's the largest tulip festival in the world, with over 3 million bulbs blooming in May.

Thanks for giving the important info.  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 08, 2007, 01:53:45 PM
I'll probably be visiting my brother in North Carolina next month. :D Hope it's not too hot at that time of the year?

André - hello!  :D  Not to worry, weather should be comfortable (unless some storms are comin' through - hurricane season?) - my favorite months in the Carolinas are April-May & September-October, so hope your visit will be pleasant & the weather comfortable!  This summer has really been miserable throughout this country - here, we've hit temps into the upper 90s & above (really unusual!).

BTW, let me know 'where' your brother lives - sure he knows the area well, but be glad to make any 'visit recommendations' if desired - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 08, 2007, 06:25:23 PM
Thanks, Dave! My brother and his wife live in Raleigh. She hails from Asheville and I'd think she knows the place inside out. OTOH when they lived in Ormond Beach, Fla, I could spot things on the map (Rand McNally's state Gazetteer - a gem!) that she had no idea about. Like the time we made a swipe to a tiny state park that happens to house the tallest tree in Florida, right outside Orlando. (http://www.championtrees.org/champions/images/baldcypressFL0.jpg)

I'm not sure what will become of that project, though. My Mom just told me she had gotten a call from him saying they were coming here next October  ::)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 18, 2007, 07:26:06 AM
Philadelphia - just returned from the City of Brotherly Love - we stayed @ the Ritz (great meeting rate) next to City Hall (smaller, older looking building in the pic below) - we were there not too long ago and stayed in the 'historic district' near the river - my first suggestion if you plan to visit Philly - plenty of Revolutionary & Constitutional history; this time nearer the Convention Center & the Reading Terminal Market.

Some hightlights this time included a visit to the Masonic Temple & the Rodin Museum - but one of the most pleasant surprises was the plethora of excellent restaurants w/i walking distance of the hotel; ate only seafood the entire stay - will post in the food thread later for those who may be going to this city & might want some restaurant recommendations!  :D

(http://www.ronsaari.com/stockImages/philadelphia/philadelphiaSkyline2.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 08, 2007, 06:01:48 PM
Amazing how these threads go unnoticed - nearly 2 months now since a vacation post!  :o

Well, I've taken a number of long weekend trips locally - the latest yesterday - just an overnight to the Raleigh (North Carolina) area (2 hrs away by car) - visit to the NC Museum of History (http://ncmuseumofhistory.org/index.html) - a very special exhibit on the Lost Colony - the first attempt by the English to establish a colony in North America - during the 1580s (unfortunately, the Spanish Armada interfered w/ checking the status of the colony in the later 1580s).

But, the highlight of this exhibit was the loan from the British Museum of original 'watercolors' of John White (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_White_(surveyor)), an artist who made numerous pictures of the flora, fauna, & the American Natives; reproductions of his works of art appear in many books about the early history of North Carolina - the colony was established on Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks; John White was the governor of the colony, but returned to England to obtain more help in sustaining the establishment; however, the Armada interrupted his return - when he finally got back to NC, the colony had disappeared.

Some of the images are shown below, but dozens were presented @ the exhibit:

(http://www.gmu.edu/library/specialcollections/bodypaintl.jpg)  (http://www.gmu.edu/library/specialcollections/conjurers.jpg)  (http://www.gmu.edu/library/specialcollections/womans.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 06, 2008, 06:10:28 PM
Well, another 2 months have gone by & no posts to the 'vacation' thread!  :o

Just returned from a 'too short' 4-night stay in Florida - St. Petersburg Beach @ the Don Cesar - wonderful historic 'pink' resort - posted on this hotel about a year ago (we had to return soon!) - eating experiences on the trip in the  food thread, if interested!

The Tampa Bay area has a plethora of  sites & activities that could occupy weeks, but this time we concentrated on seeing 'sea mammals' - a pleasant afternoon activity was a sail boat ride on an inner bay looking for dolphins - we did 'luck out' - saw about a dozen, both adults & mothers w/ babies; plus, the sail boat captain was quite astute in 'circling' the dolphins, so that plenty approached the boat & jumped near us - one of my best experiences in viewing these wonderful animals in the wild!  :D

On Monday, a day outing - took the rental car across the absolutely spectacular Tampa Bay Bridge - what a view, both ways!  Headed north to the Apollo Power Plant w/ the Manatee Viewing Center - a unique accomplishment w/ viewing boardwalks, museum, gift shop, etc. - the warm water discharged from the plant attracts manatees when the surrounding Gulf waters are too cold for them - only a dozen or so were there that day and not close enough to observe; however, this is a special experience & recommended if you're in the area!

Same day after lunch at Lee's Crab Trap (see eating thread), headed a little south to the South Florida Museum (http://www.southfloridamuseum.org/) - a gem attraction in AAA, and well worth a visit if you are on the west coast of Florida - a mixture of natural FL history, a 'state of the art' planetarium, and a small aquarium w/ manatees! At present, there is a 59 y/o male manatee named Snooty - an absolute delight; plus, 3 smaller manatees (2-3 y/o) rescued from the wild (and soon to be released back) after some careful care - visited during the 'feeding time' - great discussion of these docile vegetarians.  Just a great day -  :D

(http://www.doncesar.com/images/photos/1.jpg)

(http://www.starstore.com/acatalog/Dolphins-poster-l.jpg)

(http://www.draftexpress.com/gallery/General/1115538256.jpg)

(http://www.manatees.net/manateeb.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: val on February 07, 2008, 03:17:01 AM
Last summer I went to Cabo Verde, an archipelago in Africa and a former Portuguese colony, that even today totally depends on Portugal help.
I almost drowned myself in the last day, and it was a miracle that I survive. I will never return there.
But the best Hotel is very good and original. The problem is the sea, wild and treacherous.

Next summer I am planning to go to Majorca, a Spanish island.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 07, 2008, 10:11:36 AM
Last summer I went to Cabo Verde, an archipelago in Africa and a former Portuguese colony, that even today totally depends on Portugal help.
I almost drowned myself in the last day, and it was a miracle that I survive. I will never return there.

Next summer I am planning to go to Majorca, a Spanish island.

Val - Sounds like a frightening experience!  :o  Hope you trip to Majorca is safer & more pleasant - that's where George Sand & Chopin spent some time - curious if there are any reminders of their visit?  Have a great time!  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: pjme on February 07, 2008, 01:55:19 PM
earlier this year, I spent a couple of days in Northern  France ( near calais) : Cap Blanc Nez.

Saturday I'm off to London (with the Eurostar) for some books, music etc ( Philharmonia / Salonen/Jolivet/Messiaen/Stravinsky). A museum and some Indian food..! Any good address for Kurma, chapati, koriander chicken...???

Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez are lovely!

Peter
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: pjme on February 07, 2008, 02:08:18 PM
This the village of Escalles, where I stayed - a 5 minute walk to the seafront.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: pjme on February 07, 2008, 02:20:58 PM
And it takes only 2.5 hrs to get there ,from Antwerp.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: BorisG on February 07, 2008, 03:23:22 PM
Amsterdam window shopping

(http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2007/09/21/Redlight_wideweb__470x340,0.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: pjme on February 08, 2008, 08:41:48 AM
(http://gardenhomearchitects.com/Amsterdam-CanalScene-SingelgrachtNight.jpg)  the other Amsterdam.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brewski on February 08, 2008, 08:48:20 AM
Gorgeous!

And my favorite place in Amsterdam...

--Bruce
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on February 15, 2008, 05:12:50 AM
Gorgeous!

And my favorite place in Amsterdam...

--Bruce

I have tickets for June 6th, will attend with ChooChoo and his lovely wife. Bruckner 6th...

 8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 18, 2008, 06:06:00 AM
Washington, D.C. - just returned from a medical meeting there (posted my 'eating experiences' in the food thread, already - recommendations for those planning to visit!) - of course, there are just dozens of places to see & visit in the USA capital (and I've been visiting since the early '70s), but this time had to limit my options: major attractions this time included the NMAI (http://www.nmai.si.edu/subpage.cfm?subpage=visitor) (National Museum of the American Indian, both continents) - excellent food court w/ preparations from the different regions - had to return to see our names on one of the donation panels; The Phillips Collection (http://www.phillipscollection.org/) - just off the Dupont Circle metro stop - house collection of mainly 19th & 20th century art, including Renoir's famous Luncheon of the Boating Party (boy, you really need to see famous paintings in person to appreciate their beauty & color!) (the Cocoran Gallery is another great 'house' collection of art; of course, not to mention the numerous other art museums there - all 'gem' attractions in the AAA guide); and finally:

Mt. Vernon (http://www.mountvernon.org/) - George Washington's home on the Potomac, rather modest by European (and later American) aristocratic standards, but just a lovely spot to visit - I had not been there in over 20 yrs, and the main reason for the return was the addition of new attractions, esp. the newly opened museum w/ the 'full scale' model reconstructions of Washington's appearance at three different stages in his life - also, if you do have a chance to vacation in the area, a visit to Alexandria, VA is another hightlight - beautiful colonial town w/ great history, buildings/homes, & food -  :D

(http://www.portigal.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/Renoir-Luncheon.jpg)

(http://www.napolitano.house.gov/images/Old%20Site%20Images/mtvernon.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 20, 2008, 03:19:20 PM
Just returned from a wonderful 3-day trip to Blowing Rock, NC - Blue Ridge Mountain resort just 90 mins from hour home in the Piedmont - 10+ degrees cooler after climbing up the continental divide!

Stayed at the Chetola Resort - first few pics of the lodge/restaurant area & lake in front - huge place w/ multiple buildings in the background (not seen) - we usually rent a 1-bedroom condo.

Grandfather Mountain (http://www.grandfather.com/) is about 20 mins away, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway - additional pics below of views from the top, including the 'mile high' bridge - Susan in the background!

Could not load all of my images in one post - seems to have  been a problem for me?  Will add some more in my next post!  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/314189834_s7ZkY-L.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/314189826_oM5Vp-L.jpg)
(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/314190326_q6SFh-L.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/314190810_bCy86-L.jpg)
(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/314190308_2sjSt-L.jpg) 
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 20, 2008, 03:28:05 PM
Some more pics from our recent trip to Blowing Rock, NC - Grandfather Mountain at the top + a few images from their 'small' nature preserve (i.e. black bear & Mountain Laurel).

Last day, we took a 3-mile walk on one of the mountain trails (plenty of trails in the area and dozens off the Blue Ridge Parkway, so if you're into hiking, then this is the place!  Books dedicated to these trails w/ difficulty levels well indicated!) - view of the beautiful Bass Lake + a look at the Moses Cone House - Cone was a famous textile baron from Greensboro, NC - property now part of the National Park System, contains a wonderful mountain gift shop - let me know if you plan to visit, can provide some ideas (also, look in the eating thread for some Blowing Rock restaurants) -  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/314190805_cVJrN-L.jpg)
(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/314190823_9G33W-L.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/314190830_oq9qy-L.jpg)
(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/314183734_QnJmr-L.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/314190305_EzpuT-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 20, 2008, 07:26:25 PM
Great trip, great pics, Dave !

If I can get my wife into it, I'll post pics of our mini-european trip (from Belgium, with love :-*). We settled in the picturesque Ardennes city of Malmedy for almost 3 weeks. From there, members of our party went places, according to their whims and interests: Paris, Amsterdam, Aachen, Liège, Antwerp, Dinant, Monschau and Gent. A great time was had by all !
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: M forever on June 20, 2008, 09:51:55 PM
Some more pics from our recent trip to Blowing Rock, NC

Is that in the same area as Brokeback Mountain?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 21, 2008, 06:34:13 AM
Great trip, great pics, Dave !

If I can get my wife into it, I'll post pics of our mini-european trip (from Belgium, with love :-*). We settled in the picturesque Ardennes city of Malmedy for almost 3 weeks. From there, members of our party went places, according to their whims and interests: Paris, Amsterdam, Aachen, Liège, Antwerp, Dinant, Monschau and Gent. A great time was had by all !

André - thanks!  :D  Would love to see the pics of your trip - I've been to the 'Low Countries' a couple of times back in the late 80s & early 90s -  :)

Is that in the same area as Brokeback Mountain?

Hi M - assume that you mean the movie Brokeback Mountain (2006), which was filmed in Canada (Calgary, Alberta area) - the Canadian Rockies are just beautiful there, a while back; wife & I did a one-week trip, which included mainly Jasper, Banff, & a short stay in Calgary.

Interestingly, the film Cold Mountain (2003) w/ Law & Kidman based on the book below was about a Civil War soldier who journeys back home to the mountains of North Carolina - however, the movie was made in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania! But, there is a Cold Mountain in North Carolina near Asheville - image below of the mountain (of the book's fame) from the Blue Ridge Parkway - Dave  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FNB3KKSVL._SL500_BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg)  (http://www.romanticasheville.com/images/coldmtnpano.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ChamberNut on July 04, 2008, 03:24:22 PM
I'll be away from the forum for most of the next two weeks.  On holidays with the family.   :)  Take care folks!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: mn dave on July 04, 2008, 03:26:05 PM
I'll be away from the forum for most of the next two weeks.  On holidays with the family.   :)  Take care folks!

Have fun!  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 05, 2008, 11:25:58 AM
I'll be away from the forum for most of the next two weeks.  On holidays with the family.   :)  Take care folks!

Same here - have a great time & please report back!  ;D  Pics & vacation ideas always appreciated!  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 05, 2008, 11:41:33 AM
Just returned from an 'overnight' in the Raleigh, North Carolina area (just 2 hrs. east of Winston-Salem, our home, on I-40) - went to see an exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on the Dead Sea Scrolls (http://www.naturalsciences.org/scrolls/about.shtml), just a superb travelling exhibit; plenty on the history & culture of the times; the discovery & meaning of the scrolls w/ a plethora of pictures/explanations, and an audio tour - about a dozen of the REAL scrolls were present (in a special climate-control room), and apparently will be alternated w/ another dozen or so in the near future - this was really a special & rewarding experience, so if you get a chance to see this excellent exhibit, go immediately!  :D

Also, gave us the chance to re-visit the fairly new Umstead Resort & Spa (in Cary, about 30 mins from downtown Raleigh) - got a great July 4th rate and had a relaxing & wonderful time (will report on a couple of meals in the eating thread!) -  :D

(http://www.naturalsciences.org/exhibits/dss/dss_text1.jpg)  (http://www.southerntravelnews.com/images/contentmanaged/00011.jpg)

(http://www.discoverspas.com/North_Carolina/images/umstead//UH1.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: johnQpublic on July 05, 2008, 12:09:26 PM

Hi M - assume that you mean the movie Brokeback Mountain (2006), which was filmed in......

No, I think M was joking about Blowing Rock and Brokeback being about ....well, you know.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: M forever on July 05, 2008, 12:28:24 PM
M was, but that joke somehow didn't go off...
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 05, 2008, 12:42:18 PM
M was, but that joke somehow didn't go off...

Sorrry, M -  ::) ;D  I'm usually pretty quick at making those kinds of connections, but my mind must of been elsewhere; but, it does BLOW hard in those mountains at times (probably both outside & indoors!) -  :D

Well, I hope that a few people at least enjoyed the Cold Mountain story -  :) 8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 29, 2008, 12:04:35 PM
Just returned from a long weekend trip to the North Carolina mountains near Asheville - stayed at the Inn on Biltmore Estate (first two pics below) w/ beautiful scenic views of the mountains - wife, Susan, below enjoying the mountains from the back of the hotel - fortunately our room was on that side of the building, so we could enjoy the views -  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/338842507_gFDoY-L.jpg)
 
(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/338842515_fcPu4-L.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/338842716_Du2Uc-L.jpg) 
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 29, 2008, 12:12:25 PM
Some more images from our recent Biltmore Estate visit - plenty to do just on the property - exercise room, plenty of mountain hikes, horse activities, etc - the Inn overlooked the Biltmore Winery (w/i walking distance of the hotel) - below a pic of some nearby vineyards w/ gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background!  :)

After a mountain hike in the morning, we took a wagon ride in the afternoon - second pic of me standing next to two LARGE Belgian horses (named Willie & Waylon of country music fame) - trip included some wonderful photo ops of the back of Biltmore House, the main attraction on the property -  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/338842721_4dZgJ-L.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/341232158_hYig7-L.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/341232125_hq89j-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brewski on July 29, 2008, 12:19:02 PM
Absolutely gorgeous.  You've been here before, yes?  I seem to recall the impressive building...such a beautiful part of the country.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 29, 2008, 12:31:59 PM
Hello Bruce - yes, we've been visiting this area for nearly 40 yrs now!  :o

Below is a pic of the front of Biltmore House - house architect was Richard Morris Hunt & landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted (of Central Park fame in your 'neck of the woods'!) - built by GW Vanderbilt in the 1890s - largest 'private' home in the USA.

Yes, believe I may have shown this house on the forum on our last visit - this time we took a 'Behind the Scenes' tour, which included a lot of fascinating information of the 'inner workings' of the house in its 'heyday' - kitchen, heating, plumbing, Mrs. Vanderbilt, etc. - always a fun visit!

(http://www.linvillefalls.com/images/newBiltmoreHouse_550.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brewski on July 29, 2008, 12:35:17 PM
"...kitchen, heating, plumbing, Mrs. Vanderbilt, etc."  ;D

Looks like a hugely enjoyable place to spend time.  (Sort of reminds me, a little, of the Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island, Michigan--or maybe it's just the Adirondack chairs!)

You make quite the (unintended) sales pitch...they should hire you.  :D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 29, 2008, 12:45:23 PM
Incredible 'American Gothic' architecture (if I'm not mistaken), SonicMan!

And some lovely views there, too.

Amazing country, America (I have only been to New York, 30 years ago...)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 29, 2008, 01:12:20 PM
"...kitchen, heating, plumbing, Mrs. Vanderbilt, etc."  ;D

Looks like a hugely enjoyable place to spend time.  (Sort of reminds me, a little, of the Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island, Michigan--or maybe it's just the Adirondack chairs!)


Bruce - yes, the tour included a discussion of Mrs. George Vanderbilt, i.e. Edith - she probably had the most responsible job on the property, esp. running the house!  There were over 40 'in-house' servants and hundreds (w/ families) of others - she had four large 'walk-in' closets & a number of servants, including one that took care of her daily change of clothes (4 to 8 changes per day depending on the occasions) - she was responsible for planning the activities and meals of the numerous guests - I think George had it easy, although he took a keen interest in the entire estate, much of which provided the food, flowers, plants, etc. for the house (and does to this day).

Incredible 'American Gothic' architecture (if I'm not mistaken), SonicMan

Amazing country, America (I have only been to New York, 30 years ago...)

Johan - Hunt did a 'mixture' of architectural themes w/ that house, but was suppose to resemble a French chateau (or castle) on the Loire Valley (I've been to France several times but never the Loire region, so can't do any comparisons) - but the building is beautiful, not only for the architecture but also for the setting - really was GW Vanderbilt's legacy to the world!

And, yes, America is a land of beauty & contrasts (and problems, I guess, like we all have, unfortunately) - I've visited nearly all of the USA, and the cities, scenes, natural sites, etc. are a wonder - but, I particularly love the area that I've called home since 1971, i.e. mid-Atlantic USA - can appreciate mountains or ocean, and plenty of history, which I love -  :)   Dave

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/64/Edith_Stuyvesant_Dresser_Vanderbilt.jpg/261px-Edith_Stuyvesant_Dresser_Vanderbilt.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on July 29, 2008, 02:41:48 PM
Spent a few days in Indiana and Michigan, visiting my hometown (Columbus, IN) and the town where I used to live (Detroit). Got to see a few friends in each place and my grandma in between. And in the rent-a-car and on the airplane I managed to plow through eight books.  :o 

A couple photos of Columbus for the curious:

(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/147/437550518_9e3a871dbf_b.jpg)

very large (http://lh5.ggpht.com/_i4n1fbm1YOo/RsiyhhB2y_I/AAAAAAAACuA/hzJKmNcGETs/IMG_1337.JPG)

And more recently:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3124/2562224889_7eb18d7828_b.jpg)

Fortunately the flood (which occurred June 7 I believe) is long past, though there are still several neighborhoods which look like this:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3266/2575853517_02eb3785ab_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 29, 2008, 04:20:56 PM
Spent a few days in Indiana and Michigan, visiting my hometown (Columbus, IN) and the town where I used to live (Detroit)..................

Hello Brian - very unfortunate pictures of the flooding in that area!  I was born in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in southern Michigan (just over the state line) - spent 7 yrs @ the U of Michigan in Ann Arbor before moving to North Carolina in 1971 (been in NC ever since!) - however, my son attended IU in Bloomington, IN, married a gal from IN and now lives in Indianapolis, which we visit at least once a year (goin' there in October) - so quite familiar w/ that area - hope that you had a good time!   :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on July 29, 2008, 04:39:40 PM
Hello Brian - very unfortunate pictures of the flooding in that area!  I was born in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in southern Michigan (just over the state line) - spent 7 yrs @ the U of Michigan in Ann Arbor before moving to North Carolina in 1971 (been in NC ever since!) - however, my son attended IU in Bloomington, IN, married a gal from IN and now lives in Indianapolis, which we visit at least once a year (goin' there in October) - so quite familiar w/ that area - hope that you had a good time!   :D
Had a great time!
I even spend a day in Ann Arbor, and can assure you that July is definitely the best time to be there.  :D Campus was quiet and almost tranquil, and the weather was beautiful - I could have spent all day sitting out in front of the graduate library people-watching. If only some of that cool weather would get down to Texas, where it was 103 today...

Oh, and Indiana girls are the best.  ;)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 06, 2008, 05:51:27 PM
Well not any activity for over a month!  :o

Susan & I are currently in Memphis, TN for a 5- nighter - staying at the famous & historic Peabody Hotel (fountain in the lobby shown below) - famous for the ducks since the 1930s - ducks appear @ 11AM & leave @ 5PM - dozens (if not hundreds of people show up for this event) - ducks enter or leave on a red carpet to one of the elevators and are taken to their overnight 'home' at the top of the hotel - observed this scene today (and many years ago w/ my son on a 'blues trip' we did to MS w/ a final stay @ the same hotel) -  :D

Activities so far have included Sun Studio (http://www.sunstudio.com/index.aspx?bhcp=1) (if you go, take the tour - the studio remains 'as is' when Elvis recorded his first works); Stax Museum of American Soul Music (http://www.soulsvilleusa.com/) - first visit and extremely extensive & impressive - if you like this music (check out the link), then this is a MUST visit!  And today, a visit to Graceland (http://www.elvis.com/), Memphis home of Elvis Presley the last 20 yrs of his short life - this is a very commercial but well done tour; again, worth a visit if you're in Memphis & like the origins of Rock & Roll music from the '50s.  More activities comin' up the next few days -  :)

Also, we've been eating quite well, so may add a post to the 'eating' thread -  :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 08, 2008, 02:39:03 PM
Well, finishing up the last half of our Memphis visit (ran out of time - plenty more to see!) - yesterday did a Mississippi Boat ride - nothing fancy but pleasant on the river, great skyline view of Memphis on the bluff, and a good guide (other rides for me on this river were out of Vicksburg, MS years ago w/ my son, & a LOT of river rides in New Orleans).

Last full day today - first a visit to the Gibson Guitar Factory (http://www.gibson.com/), just south of Beale Street; short but instructive 45 minute tour of the factory - great shop selling the VERY EXPENSIVE Gibson line of guitars (made in Boseman, Montana now) and other lines of guitars now owned by this company.  Wife was in the market for a 'metal string' acoustic guitar, so bought her an 'early' Christmas present below - from their Epiphone Masterbilt line - natural mahogany body w/ a solid Sitka spruce top - sounds great & expecting some nice singing & playing from her!  :D

After a light lunch, the rest of the afternoon was spent at the Memphis Rock N Soul Museum (http://www.memphisrocknsoul.org/home.htm) - kind of a branch of the Smithsonian in D.C. - nice introductory film + audio headsets - excellent museum outlining the history of regional music, both black & white (and mixed, of course) from the early 20th century into and just beyond the Civil Rights era.

So, if any are in the mid-USA and/or planning a trip to Memphis, then there is plenty to see & do, as is evident in my two posts - hope others will be able to enjoy this fascinating city in the SW corner of TN on the Mississippi River!  :)

(http://www.americanmusical.com/ProductImages/Large/p46338.jpg)




Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on September 08, 2008, 02:54:07 PM
Thanks for the interesting and informative posts Dave  :)

I'd love a look around Graceland one day.

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 08, 2008, 04:53:19 PM
Thanks for the interesting and informative posts Dave  :)

I'd love a look around Graceland one day.

Hi Chris - thanks for the comments - Memphis is just a fascinating city to visit, esp. if your are into musical Americana - years ago, my son & I did a Mississippi Blues trip - started in Memphis, but took our rental car all the way down to Vicksburg, then came up the river w/ a bunch of 'overnights' including the famous Clarksdale (+ a trip into Helena, Ark - which has a wonderful Delta Museum) - plus, the food in this town is quite eclectic - Susan & I are really looking forward to the arrival of the guitar shown!  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 28, 2008, 02:06:47 PM
Just returned from a short trip to the Seagrove, North Carolina area (just 2 hrs from home for us) - just south of Asheboro, NC (home of the NC Zoo); we stay a little further south in the Pinehurst - Southern Pines area, world famous for golf.

The Seagrove area is an historic site for North Carolina pottery w/ some families of potters dating back into the late 18th century - there are now over 90 potters in the region w/ a wide variety of traditional techniques (brownish, earthen colors w/ standard shapes) to more colorful and modern appearances, so quite a choice now compared to over 20 yrs ago (our first visits to the area).

We visited just about 8 potters/galleries (guess we need to go back!) based on their website offerings and 'what' we may like - bought 4 pieces (one for our son & DIL & another beautiful serving bowl); the two more 'artistic' objects are shown below; a crystalline vase from Phil Morgan (http://www.philmorganpottery.org/philbrmorgan.html) - just beautiful & fragile technique (checkout the link, if interested); and a whimsical pitcher from Fred Johnston (http://www.johnstonandgentithes.com/) - had about a half hour conversation w/ him - fascinating character; he combines the traditional clays of the region w/ earthen colors but then adds a wide variety of influences based on southwestern USA/Mexican/Mesoamerican influences - wife really loves this piece - lot of fun!  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/381366056_w9Qct-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/381366080_SC8eq-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/381366065_eXcNQ-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ChamberNut on September 28, 2008, 02:14:30 PM
I'm on a temporary hiatus from work since Sep. 23rd (got terminated at work).  Getting some career counselling, as accounting is not what I'm wanting to continue doing.  Looking for a career change.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Opus106 on September 29, 2008, 05:41:24 AM
I'm on a temporary hiatus from work since Sep. 23rd (got terminated at work).  Getting some career counselling, as accounting is not what I'm wanting to continue doing.  Looking for a career change.

Sorry to hear that, Ray. Hope things works out for the better. :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 04, 2008, 03:07:21 PM
Thanks for the fascinating post, Dave. I'll certainly visit Asheboro next time I go to NC, and no doubt bring back a few pottery items !!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 08, 2008, 03:03:55 PM
Thanks for the fascinating post, Dave. I'll certainly visit Asheboro next time I go to NC, and no doubt bring back a few pottery items !!

Hello André - sorry about the delay, but in Florida for 4 days @ a medical meeting - remember that you have relatives in North Carolina, so if you're into 'pottery', there is now quite a variety in the Seagrove area (if planning a visit, just google 'Seagrove pottery' for plenty of hits) - you'll need to decide on the 'styles' that might interest you and then pick a number of these potters to visit; there are also 'galleries' featuring a number of different artists, some of which are not from North Carolina - if you do go, please reply back - wife & I want to return soon - the pottery of Ben Owen (http://www.benowenpottery.com/) fascinated me (a generational pottery family from the area), but we could not decide on a piece to purchase!  Dave  :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 09, 2008, 04:40:56 PM
Hi, Dave, thanks for that! And sorry for my own belated response. This has been a roooouuuggghhh week  :o.

Speaking of NC relatives, they will probably move North within the next year. We'll see what this entails, but I expect that NC visits will be over sometime in 2009  :P. But so far these are just projects, so we'll see.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 01, 2009, 04:38:06 PM
Well, last posts about 6 months ago - I know that many of us have been taking a vacation(s) since that time - please reply back to this thread, so others may appreciate your experience and if able take the same type of vacation(s), if possible - thanks!  :)

Susan & I just returned from a 'too short' vacation to the Northern Florida coast, i.e. Ponte Vedra (just south of Jacksonville, FL) which gave us quick access to St. Augustine, the oldest European established city in the continental USA - this city is just fascinating and founded in 1565 by Don Pedro Mendedez (History HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Augustine,_Florida)) - Don Pedro was sent to the Florida coast in 1565 (two decades before the English attempted to establish the 'Lost Colony' on the North Carolina island of Roanoke near my home) to deal w/ the French, who established a small colony at Ft. Caroline on the St. Johns esturary just east of modern Jacksonville, FL - Mendedez overland attacked and destroyed the French settlement and then established St. Augustine, which remained the Spanish northern power of government for over two centuries!

St. Augustine changed 'hands' several times, British from 1763-83, then Spanish again until given to the USA in 1821 - the history is just fabulous and plenty of sites to visit; if you're in the area, then a MUST visit; below are just some pics, mostly of the fort of San Marco which was built over a nearly quarter of a century in the late 17th century after the British established an 'early' settlement in Charleston, SC - the 'coquina' fort is a wonder to see and the exhibits & 'live' entertainment a delight!

Top two photos of the 'reconstructed' Ft. Caroline on the St. Johns esturary just east of Jacksonville - this is a National Park Memorial site and the first attempt of the French to establish a colony on the continental USA - the next was up in Canada, Cape Breton Island.

Below are some pics of Castillo de San Marcos (http://www.nps.gov/casa/) - a National Park Service fort monument and just a treat to visit - building started in the early 1670s and taking nearly a quarter of a century to complete; below are a panoramic photo and some close-ups!

Finally, a view of the St. Augustine Lighthouse from the coastal inlet on a boat cruise - great place to visit!  Dave  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/502947184_XoCFV-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/502947174_BqZUd-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/502947730_8ZMVK-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/502947736_fjEmp-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/502947202_5RLCF-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/502947742_wQMMW-M.jpg)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Opus106 on April 02, 2009, 06:26:11 AM
It's wonderful to learn about various places in the world, with their history being influenced by so many other places. Thanks for the write-up and photos, Dave. :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 02, 2009, 12:10:00 PM
It's wonderful to learn about various places in the world, with their history being influenced by so many other places. Thanks for the write-up and photos, Dave. :)

Hi Opus - glad you enjoyed the history & pictures.  Coquina (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coquina) is a sedimentary rock of basically seashells & coral; for the Castillo de San Marcos, the rock was quarried on Anastasia Island (a barrier island w/ a lot of attractions, such as the lighthouse shown in the pic, and some expensive homes) - apparently the rock is rather porous and spongy which meant that cannonballs would either bounce off the fort or stick in the coquina (similar to shooting a BB into foam!).  There was also a 'live' exhibition of two guys dressed as 'Spanish soldiers' loading and firing the flinklock rifles (shown in one of the other pics) - I've heard these guns fired before (quite loud), but can't imagine a battle in which hundreds are goin' off @ once!  :o

On the weekends, the cannons are actually fired!  An aerial view of the fort (below) shows the four bastions and all of the cannons and their potential for 'cross-firing' coverage (there is an excellent video explaining the 'engineering' of the fort for those times); depending on the size of the cannon, the projectiles could be shot from 1 to 3 miles out to sea and w/ apparently phenomenal accuracy - would have been a sight to see -  :D


(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5a/Washington_Oaks_Gardens_coquina01.jpg/800px-Washington_Oaks_Gardens_coquina01.jpg)  (http://floridasundog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/castillo-de-san-marcos-aerial-view.png)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 04, 2009, 05:46:03 PM
What a surprising coincidence ! We were in northern Florida these past two weeks and visited St Augustine March 26 !! Definitely one of the must see places in North america. It was the 3rd or maybe 4th time I visited and it's always as pleasing and fascinating - even more so on renewed acquaintance. There are still many coquina built houses in St Augustine streets dating over 250 years. They are extremely solid.

We stayed in Ormond Beach and traveled around. Two visits to the springs were the high points of our stay. Swimming above a 30 feet deep funnel of gushing water is quite special. The water is so clear you can easily see every individual pebble down below.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 05, 2009, 06:27:11 AM
What a surprising coincidence ! We were in northern Florida these past two weeks and visited St Augustine March 26 !! Definitely one of the must see places in North america.................

We stayed in Ormond Beach and traveled around............

Hi André - amazing - we may have been on the tour of the City Jail together, not even knowing!  ;D

Although we've been to Florida dozens of times, the northern part/panhandle has not been on our radar, at least yet; only our third visit to the area and second to St. Agustine, but Susan already wants to go back (think she loved that ocean front room at the Ponte Vedra Resort; of course, the Sawgrass Resort is just down the road w/ the famous TPC golf course and the island hole on the back nine!).

We've been meaning to get to the Panhandle of Florida for years, Panama City area - the beaches are suppose to be just beautiful, I hear - BTW, I do have a bunch of former radiology residents that live in that area, esp. a group around Ormand Beach!  :)  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 05, 2009, 06:51:42 AM

We've been meaning to get to the Panhandle of Florida for years, Panama City area - the beaches are suppose to be just beautiful, I hear...

You hear correctly. My wife and I used to spend a good deal of time there in Destin and Sandestin and Panama City Beach etc. - back then (the 80's) there were only the original old houses on the beach, and Highway 98 (Highway to the Sun - don'tcha just love that name?) ran along the beach for miles and miles. You could just pull over anywhere and hop out for walks on the sand, or even catch a nice nap and watch the sunrise. Then a couple of years ago we were coming back from our annual pilgrimage to Tampa and swung down to 98 to follow it to Pensacola. Hell, you couldn't even see the Gulf from the road any more! :o All high rise condos on the beach now. :'(  We got back up onto I 10 and headed west as fast as we could. Anyway, the sand is that fine crushed coral that squeaks when you walk on it. Beautiful! :)

8)



----------------
Listening to:
RV 693 Opera "La Senna Festeggiante" - Le Parlement de Musique / Gester Collot / Karolyi / MacLeod - Ouverture - Andante molto
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 12, 2009, 05:50:15 PM
Well, just did an overnight in Charlotte, North Carolina, just 90 min drive, but had a bunch of wonderful experiences - many are along the I-85 route, so if you in the Carolinas on that Interstate HW, then might be a consideration!

Our first visit was the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens (http://www.dsbg.org/), located just south of Belmont, NC near the South Carolina border - below are some pics from the 'indoor' Orchid Conservatory - just beautiful flowers (please don't ask me to name the specific varietals - did not take notes!  ;) :D).

Second visit was the Mint Museum (http://www.mintmuseum.org/) w/ a special traveling exhibit from the New Orleans Museum of Art; a follow up visit was their Craft Museum downtown w/ couple of special exhibits - if you plan a visit, the price of admission includes both museums!

For the evening, we had a wonderful dinner (check the 'eating thread') - next day, returned back home via I-85 toward Greensboro, and stopped at the NC Transportation Museum (http://www.nctrans.org/) located in Spencer, NC (near Salisbury) - I've never been there before, despite being just an hour from my house!  This was an absolutely wonderful experience - Spencer was an important railroad stop between Washington, D.C. & Atlanta - the whole town was devoted to the care & maintenance of locomotives, trains, etc. - the museum was established in 1977 and continues to be developed - I was completely enthralled and will return shortly (just spent 2 hrs but could have done a WHOLE day!) - includes a short train ride w/ a guided discussion!

Last stop was the Childress Vineyards discussed in the 'wine thread' - amazing, just a short 24 hrs & so much to do & see -  :D


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/510935750_CRR5J-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/510935760_aQ5iN-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/510936045_sY5gZ-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/510936055_oxpy7-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/510936039_mzKbv-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/510935764_2Xxi8-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 03, 2009, 04:17:42 PM
Boy, Guys & Dolls, nearly 3 months w/o a post to the vacation thread - now I know that many are travelling, so please post your experiences - may be quite interesting to others & help in deciding on potential travels, despite the deplorable economy in the world at the moment -  :-\

Susan & I just returned from a long 3-day weekend in the North Carolina mountains - we stayed in Blowing Rock, just 90 mins from our home and a frequent destination for us; the temperature change going up the Appalachian continental divide is always 10 degrees (F) or greater, so a great 'summer' relief from the heat!  We usually make this visit a couple times a year & I posted about a previous visit there a year ago!

Although we've been going to these mountains for years, more recently we have been doing more 'mountain hiking', i.e. the easier trails for oldsters like us - plenty of books and numerous options available from 'easy & flat' to 'strenuous & difficult' (the latter including usually rock climbing & ladders!).  Our newly acquired gear include some excellent 'hiking shoes' (hey, they do work!) & even walking sticks, which seemed 'foolish' at first, but really help on balance & support for the more 'moderate' trails.

So, just posting some pics from a few 'mountain hikes':  1) Several off the Blue Ridge Parkway, including a trail around Price Lake; and 2) Easier trail from our rental condo complex to & around Bass Lake and back.  Just a brief description of the photos:

Top - portion of Price Lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway; boating (non-powered) & fishing (skating in the winter) - long trail around the lake which we took, and a good 'work out'!

Next two photos - Susan & I, your intrepid hikers about to go around Price Lake; the walking sticks were quite useful on this trip!  :D

Following photos - around Bass Pond; views of the small island, geese on the shore, several of the Cone Mansion, and a small waterfall on the way back to our car & rental condo - a couple a days of good hiking; also, some great eating which I'll post soon in that thread - Dave  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/581271249_PrXWj-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/581271245_5VRTR-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/581271240_XrX3W-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/581270706_tPY85-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/581270700_CFZmL-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/581270682_J7HeU-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/581270690_5i6bT-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/581271254_mP5eV-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ChamberNut on July 04, 2009, 10:06:59 AM
Gorgeous pictures, Dave!  :)  I'll be seeing similar sites come tomorrow.  My family and I are off to Riding Mountain National Park for a week, as we do every year.  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 04, 2009, 11:03:50 AM
Gorgeous pictures, Dave!  :)  I'll be seeing similar sites come tomorrow.  My family and I are off to Riding Mountain National Park for a week, as we do every year.  :)

Thanks, Ray - have a great time!  :D

Susan & I have been to Canada many times but never the central provinces, such a BIG country to explore and enjoy!  Out visits have taken us to Nova Scotia, PEI, Quebec (a number of times), Ontario, Calgary, & British Columbia; I grew up in Michigan, so we crossed over into Ontario via Windsor in those early years.  Dave  :)   P.S.  Post some pics - might stimulate us to visit!  ;D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ChamberNut on July 05, 2009, 06:20:26 AM
Thanks, Ray - have a great time!  :D


Thanks Dave!  I'm off and away.  Toodleloo!  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Opus106 on July 05, 2009, 06:49:25 AM
Have fun, Ray! :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Keemun on July 11, 2009, 04:08:37 PM
Hello everyone.  The past couple of weeks have been hectic.  I had to travel to an out of state funeral and I've been busy with work, family, etc.  For the next week I'll be at the beach in Florida and not probably not posting at all.  So I wanted to let you know what I've been up to.  I promise I'll be back and more active soon.   :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 30, 2009, 05:00:02 AM
Well, we are in Indianapolis visting our son - some great eating in this town; the other attraction this week is the U.S. Senior Open being held at Crooked Stick golf course (the place that John Daly won his first major, the PGA Trournament a while back).

We've got tickets for the Thursday & Friday rounds, and about to leave - will take the girls on Thursday, and then just the boys (i.e. my son & I) for the Friday round and likely a 'fuller' day -  :D


(http://thingsyoushoulddo.com/wp2/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/broadmoor-golf-course.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on July 30, 2009, 12:26:51 PM
Hi everyone. My wife and I have just returned from a fantastic two weeks in beautiful British Columbia. It’s my wife’s home town and first visit in fifteen years. And my first visit ever and also my first overseas trip in twenty-three years!  We packed a lot into two weeks so here’s an overview and some pic’s.

We spent the first four nights in Mission, about one hours drive east from the airport in Vancouver, with Maria’s parents. Her step-father turned eighty and her Mother seventy-eight while we were there so there was a big birthday party with about forty guests. Her parents are both very fit and active – very impressive actually. Apart from shopping and restaurants we did a wonderful Fraser River Safari which took us inland to the Harrison River confluence. On route we saw bald eagles, herons and sturgeon. Sadly we didn’t spot a Sasquatch which would have been a highlight. We stopped at Kilby Historic site for a wander around this pioneer settlement.

Kilby
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/013.jpg)

We spent the next four nights with friends in Kits and this is where we did the bulk of our sightseeing and activities including: Wonderful epicurean tour of Granville Island food markets, Emily Carr Art Institute, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Nitobe Gardens, ‘The Number 14’ play at the Waterfront theatre on Granville Island, Bard on the Beach, Downtown walk taking in the Art gallery, Christ Church, Provincial Law Courts glass atrium, Fairmont Hotel, Coal Harbour Seashore walk, Hired bikes and cycled 10km around the Stanley Park Seawall, VanDeusen Gardens, drive around Chinatown, Gastown, Yaletown and the notorious Downtown Eastside. We also had a spectacular daytrip to Whistler on the famous Whistler Mountaineer and did the Peak to Peak gondola ride.

On Route to Whistler
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/025.jpg)
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/028.jpg)

Crossing the Cheakamus Canyon
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/044.jpg)

Cycling the Stanley Park Seawall
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/055.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on July 30, 2009, 12:30:51 PM
The Peak to Peak Gondola - longest free span ride in the world
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/033.jpg)

It's high!
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/039.jpg)

Atop Whistler
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/041-1.jpg)

We had lots of wonderful food but the highlight was Lumiere in Kits which had recently reopened after being refurbished for a year. They boast a three star Michelin chef and the food was simply the best imaginable; beautifully presented with perfectly balanced flavours and textures. We had the five course tasting menu.

(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/020.jpg)
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/021.jpg)
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/022.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on July 30, 2009, 12:34:12 PM
The final six nights we returned to Mission and continued with more shopping and dining out. We also did a day trip to Sechoult on the Sunshine Coast to visit a long lost family member. Beautiful ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Langsdale. And a daytrip to North Delta to visit my wife’s childhood home – first visit in thirty-seven years and the owners were the people who bought the house from my wife’s parents in 1972! We were able to go in and have a good look around and it turned out to be a wonderful experience.

On the Ferry to the Sunshine Coast
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/070.jpg)

Mt.Baker in the U.S is visible from everywhere in Mission - could even see it from Whistler!
(http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z274/solitary_wanderer65/072.jpg)

Overall I loved BC. It seemed more affluent than New Zealand and the famous West Coast Hospitality was much in evidence. The service and people in general were very friendly and obliging. The city was quite sophisticated and the collective conconscious of the people seemed very positive. The weather was very hot and dry which surprised me – high 30s every day.

I’m already thinking about returning soon!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 03, 2009, 05:18:33 PM
Chris - thanks for those wonderful posts & pics from your trip to British Columbia - the family, scenery, & food together sound like a memorable trip not to be forgotten - glad that you two enjoyed the experience!

We've been to BC just a couple of times, mainly Vancouver Island, Victoria (wonderful!), cruise up the inner passage, Vancouver, and some side trips (including a great all-day train ride); but there is so much more that we missed (as proven by your many pics); we've also had a wonderful trip to Alberta & the Canadian Rockies (Calgary, Banff, & Jasper) - love those western Canadian provinces - you're 'wetting' my appetite for a return visit!

Glad that you posted - thanks again!  Dave  :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 07, 2009, 02:15:52 PM
Great pics and great posts, Chris !

I've never been to BC  :'( (farthest West I went was Banff, Alberta), but I'll make up for lost time eventually. Unfortunately, plane ticket to, plus meals and  accommodations for one week in BC cost more than three weeks in Cuba or Mexico.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on August 13, 2009, 02:06:08 PM
Chris - thanks for those wonderful posts & pics from your trip to British Columbia - the family, scenery, & food together sound like a memorable trip not to be forgotten - glad that you two enjoyed the experience!

We've been to BC just a couple of times, mainly Vancouver Island, Victoria (wonderful!), cruise up the inner passage, Vancouver, and some side trips (including a great all-day train ride); but there is so much more that we missed (as proven by your many pics); we've also had a wonderful trip to Alberta & the Canadian Rockies (Calgary, Banff, & Jasper) - love those western Canadian provinces - you're 'wetting' my appetite for a return visit!

Glad that you posted - thanks again!  Dave  :D

Yes, amazing place. We're keen to do a Rocky Mountaineer train ride to Alberta, Calgary and Banff next time. Did you stay at the Banff Springs? I'd like to stay there - looks stunning!

(http://www.discoverholidays.ca/images/tour/ab-fairmount_banff_springs_.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on August 13, 2009, 02:08:18 PM
Great pics and great posts, Chris !

I've never been to BC  :'( (farthest West I went was Banff, Alberta), but I'll make up for lost time eventually. Unfortunately, plane ticket to, plus meals and  accommodations for one week in BC cost more than three weeks in Cuba or Mexico.

Thanks Lilas. We were very fortunate in that we stayed with family and friends for two weeks and it didn't cost us a cent. They even insisted on paying for all our dinners when we went out. Of course we wouldn't always have this when we travel, but it sure added to the holiday and freed up our money for sightseeing etc  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 13, 2009, 02:51:21 PM
Yes, amazing place. We're keen to do a Rocky Mountaineer train ride to Alberta, Calgary and Banff next time. Did you stay at the Banff Springs? I'd like to stay there - looks stunning!

(http://www.discoverholidays.ca/images/tour/ab-fairmount_banff_springs_.jpg)  (http://www.askaweddingplanner.com/blog/wp-content/2009/04/fairmont_chateau_lake_louise.jpg)

Well, we were planning to stay @ the Banff Springs, but could not get into the place even though we had been planning months in advance; however, we did make a half day visit, ate lunch, and did some touring just in case we make a 'return' visit!

Lake Louise & the hotel are another wonderful spot (pic inserted above) - we did not stay there either, but again spent a half day w/ touring & a lunch; plus, we rented a canoe and were on the lake for nearly 2 hours - views were just spectacular as you would imagine!

I know that I have a bunch of slides from that trip - must try to find them and post?   ::)   Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 13, 2009, 04:34:33 PM
I did stay at the Fairmount Banff Springs Hotel for 4 nights. I believe the year was 2003. This was of course a congress with all expenses paid  ;D. One of the organized tours was - guess what? - an outing to Lake Louise ! We got to hike along the lake till the end and back (on the same side - you can't make the circle) - that was in November, not the best season to be in Banff or Lake Louise. Not yet Winter, and not good enough to enjoy the outdoors. But still, it's something I'll cherish for a long time. The Banff Springs manages to be both plush (almost luxurious) and family-friendly. A place that is both grand and comfortable. Every night we had a formal dinner in a huge hall, so I can't tell about the restaurant's fares (I mean the offering, not the asking  ;)), but the menus sure looked appetizing. One of my pet memories is discussing and tasting fine teas for over an hour with the tea shop owner in the boutiques gallery. That's about the only stuff I could afford  :D, but if your donna fancies a fur coat, she'll find her heart's content there!

BTW, although the place looks like it stands majestically by itself in the canadian Rockies, it's only 3 minutes by foot to downtown Banff on a well-maintained sidewalk.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on August 15, 2009, 03:50:54 AM
On Wednesday I go here.....

(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Finland/IMG_5090.jpg?t=1250340433)

Then here....

(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Finland/IMG_4930.jpg?t=1250340351)

(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Finland%202008/IMG_7908.jpg?t=1250340601)

Back a week later.

Mike

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ChamberNut on August 15, 2009, 03:53:49 AM
Nice Mike!  Where is that?  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: The new erato on August 15, 2009, 04:11:41 AM
Seems almost Norwegian, the upper picture reminds me of parts of Akerselva in Oslo...
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on August 15, 2009, 04:37:25 AM
It's Finland.

Mike
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: The new erato on August 15, 2009, 04:48:46 AM
What's wrong with Norway?:

(http://www.hifisentralen.no/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=37436.0;attach=97926;image)

(http://www.hifisentralen.no/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=37436.0;attach=97960;image)

 ;D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on August 15, 2009, 04:59:17 AM
Looks wonderful.

Mike
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: matti on August 19, 2009, 12:42:10 PM
It's Finland.

Mike

Just picked Mike and Jane from the airport and took them to their hotel. We had a drink at the lounge bar - lots of laughs. Gonna be a great week, once again.  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 25, 2009, 06:57:56 AM
Highlands, North Carolina near the Georgia & South Carolina borders; named for being one of the highest towns in the USA east of the Mississippi (over 4100 ft.) - location shown below and about a 4 hr drive from our home; 4-night trip.

We stayed at the Old Edwards Inn & Spa (http://www.oldedwardsinn.com/), which has been greatly enlarged since our last visit there - excellent facilities and some outstanding restaurants in the area!

The Nantahala Forest is different in this southwest corner of North Carolina - the area is famous for its spectacular mountain vistas and the numerous waterfalls in the area.  One day we climbed Whiteside Mountain and were rewarded w/ some wonderful views (first two images below the map), and some sweating and panting despite the delighful temperature.

On another day, we visited Glen Falls - this is a steep and difficult downhill climb (1 mile w/ 700 ft. drop) to the bottom; of course, the hard part is returning to the top; the falls are at multiple levels - below are some additional pics at two different levels.



(http://www.fourseasonslandscape-highlands.com/images/contactus/largemap.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/629467311_uVyMs-O.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/629467369_URZpQ-O.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/629465891_2V5Jf-O.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/629467234_kfrGV-O.jpg)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 25, 2009, 04:40:22 PM
Well from my last post about the waterfalls of the Highlands area of North Carolina, I wanted to post a few more pics (gathered from the web) of these falls, just dozens of choices, but a few below (many seen from HW 64 between Highlands & Franklin, NC):

Bridal Falls - virtually next to HW 64 w/ an underpass for your car - exciting when the falls are active!

Dry Falls - again off HW 64; a walk down and then a pathway underneath the falls; again most exciting w/ a high water flow!

Cullahasa Falls - again visible from HW 64 - one of the most beautiful falls from the roadside!

Glen Falls - pic that I posted was about half way up!  One shown is from the bottom -  :D :D


(http://holeinthedonut.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/cashiers-highlands-bridal-veil-falls1.jpg)

(http://www.duke.edu/~jspippen/vistas/dryfalls050515-3265z.jpg)

(http://shoutaboutcarolina.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/whitewater-falls-with-tree.jpg)

(http://images-3.redbubble.net/img/art/size:large/view:main/613598-4-lyrebird-glen-falls.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 11, 2009, 09:19:00 PM
Well, returning to this thread - I'm again SHOCKED that no one has been on vacation since my last postings in August, and if so has not been willing to share some wonderful experiences that may stimulate others to consider travels to areas suggested.

Susan & I prefer to do a lot of 'local' traveling, i.e. car trips w/i 4 hrs or less of our home - and we have plenty of wonderful options in the mid-Atlantic area USA; our most recent trip was back to Richmond, VA - present capitol of the state and former capitol of the Confederacy during the American Civil War (1861-65); thus, plenty of both Revolutionary & Civil War history, and many sites to visit, including innumerable battlefields.

We stayed at one of our favorite places there, the Jefferson Hotel  (http://www.jeffersonhotel.com/)(a 5* rating in several guides) - just a wonderful place w/ a staff that is completely over-indulgent; esp. love the courtesy shuttle service that drives you to local restaurants (and after dinner pickups w/i 10 minutes or so!).

A day trip was east toward the entry of the Potomac River into Chesapeake Bay - about an hour and a half drive from Richmond; located there was the George Washington Birthplace (http://www.nps.gov/gewa/index.htm) (a National Historic Monument) on Pope's Creek which empties into the Potomac River - he was borned on the site in 1732 (same birth year as Joseph Haydn); George's father later moved the family up to the Mt. Vernon area, which was eventually inherited by George.

During the same day trip, we visited Stratford Hall  (http://www.stratfordhall.org/)(just 30 mins between the two sites) - Robert E. Lee was born there in 1807 - the home is well preserved and the tour a joy; much of the furniture is preserved - the room and bed that he was born in are there, and the cradle in slept in preserved - this might be only important to Americans interested in this history, but I'm sure others from different countries can certainly relate.

On our last day there, we visited the Shirley Plantation  (http://www.shirleyplantation.com/)on the James River (famous of course for Jamestown) and site of many famous early Virginian houses; another close by is the Berkeley Plantation (which we went to on our last trip to Richmond); the Shirley Plantation dates back to the 1600s (the original house destroyed) - famous for the Carter dynasty and a Robert E. Lee connection, i.e. cousins - there is a preserved small bed that Lee used to sleep in on visits as a child to that plantation.

Of course, along this plantation road (Rte. 5 out of Richmond), there are plenty of Civil War battlefields that date from the Peninsular Campaign of McClellan in 1862 (visited Malvern Hill & Fort Harrison - McClellan's escape down the James River that ended that failure); and many others several years later when Grant & Lee battled in the area, including Cold Harbor.

For those interested in American history and traveling in the area, this is a 'hornet's nest' of interest - don't fail to do some reading, look at the guide books, and make some interesting side trips -  :D

Below are just some pics w/ captions that might stimulate a trip to the area in you're in the vicinity:

Susan & I at the George Washington Birthplace Monument posing as a surveyor & Park ranger:

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Richmond-09/GWBPDave/708293924_ZCQjB-O.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Richmond-09/GWBPSue/708293936_j8xBt-O.jpg)

Susan at the GW reconstructed home (original burned); picture of Robert E. Lee's birthplace:

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Richmond-09/GWHouse2/708293955_wmBD5-S.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Richmond-09/StratfordHall1/708294841_Gxcfd-O.jpg)

Shirley Plantation - house w/ welcoming pineapple + Susan next to an ancient 'live' oak tree:

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Richmond-09/ShrileyPlant2/708293986_ZGK29-O.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Richmond-09/ShrileyPlant6/708294797_yenA6-O.jpg)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Harpo on November 14, 2009, 05:45:14 PM
Richmond is a great place to go for seafood and American history. As much as I love the Jefferson brunch, I'm beginning to think that I can't eat that much food, even when I try to resist.
Title: Sanibel dolphins
Post by: Harpo on December 10, 2009, 05:19:04 PM
We recently visited Ft. Myers/Sanibel Florida where we spent a lot of time taking educational tours at the nature preserve, learning about Florida Flora and Fauna. We also took a bay boat ride where, unexpectedly, several dolphins followed our boat, played in the wake, and jumped almost close enough to touch them. We didn't have a camera, so all I can show you is this Google image  :D 

 (http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j192/Kuroi-tenshin/Anime/Schoolgirl/school_dolphins_boat.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: greg on December 10, 2009, 05:33:05 PM
Well, last posts about 6 months ago - I know that many of us have been taking a vacation(s) since that time - please reply back to this thread, so others may appreciate your experience and if able take the same type of vacation(s), if possible - thanks!  :)

Susan & I just returned from a 'too short' vacation to the Northern Florida coast, i.e. Ponte Vedra (just south of Jacksonville, FL) which gave us quick access to St. Augustine, the oldest European established city in the continental USA - this city is just fascinating and founded in 1565 by Don Pedro Mendedez (History HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Augustine,_Florida)) - Don Pedro was sent to the Florida coast in 1565 (two decades before the English attempted to establish the 'Lost Colony' on the North Carolina island of Roanoke near my home) to deal w/ the French, who established a small colony at Ft. Caroline on the St. Johns esturary just east of modern Jacksonville, FL - Mendedez overland attacked and destroyed the French settlement and then established St. Augustine, which remained the Spanish northern power of government for over two centuries!
Hmm... I'm kinda familiar with that area.  ;)
For one, I was born and lived the first 6 or 7 years of my life in Jacksonville... I've also been to St.Augustine at least three times- once when I was little, another time during a 4th grade field trip, and almost exactly 2 years ago with a church group. I really do like the castle and all the shops there- excellent vacation spot, and I would definitely go again someday if I can.


We recently visited Ft. Myers/Sanibel Florida where we spent a lot of time taking educational tours at the nature preserve, learning about Florida Flora and Fauna. We also took a bay boat ride where, unexpectedly, several dolphins followed our boat, played in the wake, and jumped almost close enough to touch them. We didn't have a camera, so all I can show you is this Google image  :D 

 (http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j192/Kuroi-tenshin/Anime/Schoolgirl/school_dolphins_boat.jpg)
Did you stay in one of those lodges while there? I went with my family years ago (idk, 5 or 6) and spent a few days in there by a small swamp and some other houses by the beach.

I possibly would've enjoyed it, except I was really, really wanting to take a vacation by myself and not having to be with my family, though of course it was impossible to do so. Then again, the place didn't seem to have much to offer since I don't care for laid back places like those (for example, a vacation to Hawaii might be what a lot of people dream of, but it offers absolutely nothing to me and would feel like it would be a waste of time).

Or maybe I should've been doing what you did... (my trip didn't include dolphins  :-\ )
Title: Re: Sanibel dolphins
Post by: secondwind on December 10, 2009, 05:44:08 PM
We recently visited Ft. Myers/Sanibel Florida where we spent a lot of time taking educational tours at the nature preserve, learning about Florida Flora and Fauna. We also took a bay boat ride where, unexpectedly, several dolphins followed our boat, played in the wake, and jumped almost close enough to touch them. We didn't have a camera, so all I can show you is this Google image  :D 

 (http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j192/Kuroi-tenshin/Anime/Schoolgirl/school_dolphins_boat.jpg)


Sanibel is a great place to see water birds.  Driving through the Ding Darling Refuge and stopping at every viewing site gave us great sightings.  Evidently the birds don't perceive a car as any threat.  If you don't get out of the car, they go happily about their business.  It's a beautiful place.  Dophins, too?  You hit the jackpot!
Title: Re: Sanibel dolphins
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 10, 2009, 06:04:18 PM
We recently visited Ft. Myers/Sanibel Florida where we spent a lot of time taking educational tours at the nature preserve, learning about Florida Flora and Fauna. We also took a bay boat ride where, unexpectedly, several dolphins followed our boat, played in the wake, and jumped almost close enough to touch them. We didn't have a camera, so all I can show you is this Google image  :D 

Well, the pic promised above is not showing, so I copied another which I hope is attached; that was a wonderful boat cruise from Sanibel Island - three dolphins were following at the back of the 'speeding boat' - presumably fun for them; but each was jumping & spinning; the splashes of their bodies were so close that we felt the water on our arms & faces - it was one of the most thrilling 'dolphin' experiences that I've had - just think of the pic below but w/ three animals so close that you could almost touch them!  WOW -  :D

Now if you visit the Ft. Myers/Sanibel area in Florida, my two main tourist recommendations are:  1) J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Reserve (http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/) located on Sanibel Island; and 2) Edison & Ford Winter Estates (http://www.efwefla.org/home.asp) in Ft. Myers; of course, there are plenty of other attractions!  On the Darling Reserve, definitely take the tram tour & the Tarpon Bay boat tour - plan a day or more just there!  Have fun -  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on December 10, 2009, 06:36:53 PM
Sanibel is the GREATEST PLACE! I strongly advise getting a condo and walking along the beach collecting sea shells. Ding Darling is a great refuge and the food on Sanibel is terrific! :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on December 11, 2009, 11:47:12 PM
I will reply to the earlier request from Sonic Man.

Venice 2009

Venice was as beautiful and compelling as I ever remember it. This year it showed more moodiness, often covering itself in alluring mists. Each year we visit on the cusp of the two seasons. If a week is a long time in politics, then in Venice it can be the defining moment between Summer and Autumn. This moodiness provided sights just as memorable as when the city glitters in the sun. My early morning walks meant that I caught the mist each day before the sun burned it off. In St Marks Square there was just me and two sweepers at 7.15am. They were supplied with old fashioned brooms. Half a football pitch to clean with just that broom, a job for the patient and persistent. Autumn is arriving and, as in so many places, the world’s weather shows increasing signs of derangement. The Piazza was flooded daily, this, earlier in the year than usual but not serious. It was sufficient however to close the businesses in the square to protect them for a few hours from the watery inundations and open again quickly to attract the inundations of tourists.

We walked and explored more even than in earlier visits. We are keen to use the Traghetti. These gondoliers plied their trade long before there were bridges. Even now there are now only five bridges across the Grand Canal. In the long bridgeless sections the locals use the Traghetti to cross, almost free. The tradition is that you stand up for the crossing, irrespective of the rocking motion. But even here traditions change and whereas in former years I have seen angry gondoliers drag confused tourists to their feet, this year, the mode was to sit, locals and all.

Another break with tradition was that on one occasion the gondolier was a woman! I think there are only two or three in the city. I suspect the women are kept to the foot ferry business. To be taken through the backwaters on a romantic journey with your partner by a female rather than the traditional false-charm male seems an unlikely commercial proposition on several levels. Another tradition that was at least modified was the pigeon population. Somehow it has been considerably slimmed. I did wonder whether they were following the Cole Porter lyric; ‘We opened in Venice, then onto Verona.’ How many pigeons presently infest Verona I wonder? Of course, there is the standard attempt to reduce comfortable perching spots for them. In addition to the obvious ledges, I noticed that some statues sprout needles, one in particular, a young woman looking heavenward made me think she had been martyred by a particularity aggressive acupuncturist: Santa Lucia of the Needles.

In the ancient world the Cretans held poll position for avarice. Their reputation for parting people from their money in a dishonest way was unsurpassed. In the medieval world, the Venetians eagerly took over that reputation, adding to it as they built their wealthy power base and planted their coastal empire about the Mediterranean. They were especially notorious for having first offered to come to the rescue of the ailing Byzantine Empire…for money of course….and then proceeding to loot Constantinople in a thorough sort of way and drag back amazing treasures to enhance the beauty and prestige of Venice.

The famous four bronze Horses of St Mark’s formed part of this booty. These in turn were stolen from the Republic by Napoleon and, along with almost all the furniture from the Doge’s palace, removed to Paris. Eventually the four horses were repatriated to the now degraded city and sit safely inside St Marks. They belong there, well; they have for almost a 1000 years, so I assume the Istanbul authorities see it as a done deal: though you never know. As to the furniture issue, the Doge’s palace remains almost entirely bare. That palace once constituted the largest suite of meeting rooms in the world. They now echo as you wander them wondering why they needed quite so very many rooms in which to meet. Those Venetians must have been all meetinged out. I assume Paris remains rather well furnished.

Looking out from the site of those bronze horses above the main doors of St Mark’s; Napoleon remarked that he was gazing at the most beautiful drawing room in Europe. It may well be true, standing there you could not deny it, but now in Venice, that drawing room has been defaced by 60 foot high advertising hoardings; as the Venetians exploit their attractions to earn a bit more money. Round the corner, the Bridge of Sighs draws hoards from around the world. One 30 foot section is all that can been seen. The rest, plus the entire walls leading to it, from waterline to roofline constitutes a glossy overpowering advertising campaign. The visitors are baffled and disappointed. I wonder how many determine that whatever it is that GEOX sell, they will not be buying any of it.

Of course these hoardings conceal repairs in progress. At one stage, when working on the palazzos on the Grand Canal, the unsightly scaffolding was cleverly covered by a fine netting that had a life size bronzed photograph of that very façade imprinted on it. It was a superb solution to preserve the general look of the route. Now, that idea has been abandoned and GEOX is spending vast sums wallpapering acres of prestige worksites with bright blue fashion hoardings. Jarring and ugly, they presumably turn a desirably ugly penny or so for someone in Venice.

Now a’ days, Venetians don’t go ravaging about the high seas doing deals and seizing lands….no, on the contrary, they stay home; but do sack the wallet of each and every visitor to what was once a Republic and is now Heritage Italy, a Decaying Cultural Disneyland.

Seemingly there are now fewer than 60,000 Italian residents in the city. That is difficult to accept when you wander off the tourist track. There are large areas of local government tenancy, let alone the thousands and thousands of ancient apartments. But we have known for years that the locals are a dwindling minority in a city that is flooded out with humanity, all wanting photos of themselves by that famous little bridge.

Many cities have a distinctly ambivalent relationship with its visitors. There are real tensions and difficulties in maintaining a constantly degrading infrastructure for so few residents who both need the tourist dollar and detest the human detritus that turns up by the million to spend the million. Three of those millions arrive at the airport each year. Then there are the cruise liners and those who train it. How much must it cost to pipe in from the Dolomites all the water all these people use and consume?

But the real enemy is seemingly the day tripper. Top on the hit list is the cruise day tripper. These moving cities arrive early in the mornings. They dwarf the buildings, blotting out entire islands as they are dragged within yards of St Mark’s. Many thousands are disgorged for the main part of the day and the tempo of the city is greatly affected by this invasion. The Venice Mayor is seriously considering how to limit the number of day trippers by imposing an entry tax onto anyone without proof of a hotel reservation. Despite this impending action there are advanced plans to dredge the channel and allow access for larger passenger liners! The dredging will also permit larger industrial shipping to use the port. But this act further endangers the delicate city by increasing the possibility of regular serious flooding.

But: that proposed tax already exists for those who use the water transport, which almost everyone does. Whereas the locals pay 1 Euro 20 cents per trip, the visitor is fleeced for 6 Euros 50 cents! Over £6 to possibly go four stops on the Vaparetto! You can get a three day ticket for a ‘mere’ 31 Euros. Had Jane and I decided to go for broke, then the five days boat use would have amounted to £110. That acts like a tax and it especially stings when there is this enormous difference between the esteemed visitor and the resident who is in every conceivable way subsidised by the incomers.

This year there were far fewer visitors and very short queues. The recession is taking a toll. Luxury hotels have reduced their rates, though someone we know in Venice had recently arranged a one night stay in the Danieli for a customer. He was amazed that the customer was prepared to pay 550 Euros for a single room for one night and scandalised that this did not include breakfast. Well, how could it? Clearly a coffee and a croissant that was not being specifically charged for would sink the Danieli and its ilk.

We were uniquely able to walk straight into the lift to get to the top of the San Marco bell tower, not even a vestigial queue, and there we spent over an hour watching the sun go down, the light change to silver and the shadows become dark blue. There were very few of us up there, the ships had been refilled with their passengers leaving the city to the real travellers, well, the less reviled ones!

We first arrived late in the evening, dumped our bags and then tried to find somewhere for a drink. Venice is not a ‘late’ city. They are shutting themselves into their shuttered apartimenti at the hour when the residents of Madrid are just putting on the style in order to go out for a drink before they eat. We were turned away from several places. Then on the stroke of 11pm, a restaurant agreed we could be served outside in isolation. I wanted the bar inside, but that was not on offer. Two glasses of Prosecco and water amounted to £20.

 The insult was that four Italian men arrived after we were served and were welcomed inside. You see, at the inside bar the drinks are always very much cheaper, perhaps one quarter of the outside-sit-down ransom. The Venetian’s had given early notice to us that our Euros were only on loan to us. And frankly, although we know many tricks of the trade, that is largely how the visit proceeded. Add a cover charge, service charge, taxes and water to a food bill and you may have almost doubled it. The cover charge was often six Euros. But of course it is best to join this battle with some relish rather than it becoming a dominating feature. We enjoyed our old haunts, watering holes and restaurants and we explored in some detail areas of the city new to us. At our favourite bar, we were greeted as old friends, introduced to new staff and treated to many free drinks and constant snacks. Here we encountered the warmth we so value. Offers made that for our next visit a private view round La Fenice will be arranged for us.

One highlight was our first visit to the Ghetto. This is the city where the word, the concept was invented. Italian for ‘a forge’, two adjacent forges sat on a tiny island within the north of the city. Due to the danger of fire, the forges were removed to the much more distant island of Murano, where the glass industry subsequently flourished. This small space was then dedicated to the Jews who were given a very qualified welcome back to the city in medieval times.

The island has three bridges as the only access and although the Jews could leave the Ghetto during daylight hours, they had to be back on the island during dark. Drawbridges were raised and the exits guarded by Christian soldiers….the Jews had the dubious privilege imposed upon them of paying for these gaolers.

They were permitted to ply only three trades two of which were Bankers, (for Christians were not allowed to lend money, but had a constant need of it), and Doctors. These latter were permitted accompanied egress at night when the Christians needed attention. If there might be an idea that you are merely visiting an historical site; banish it. The past and present collide. Issues around persecution and schism are very much alive here.

We took the official tour, the only way to visit the synagogues for a non-religious purpose. The guide of our 20 or so party was a stylish forty-something woman with a leonine mane of wavy hair. We got off to a difficult start. Climbing flights of stairs we were confronted by a locked door and the key was not doing its job. After quite some effort and no success, I quietly voiced the question: anyone know a prayer for locked doors….thin smiles from the men around me with their skull caps. After a spell in the museum we were recalled.

The door was open and we were ushered, men all with head coverings, into the synagogue. Our guide gave a sensible amount of information. So crowded were the Jews that they had built tenements up to eight stories high. As the Synagogues have to have a roof looking onto heaven, they were built on top of houses. The interior walls were painted to look like marble as the Roman church had forbidden the Jews to possess marble, too good for them seemingly. There had been several thousand living cheek by jowl and very much on top of one another. Some floors have a headroom of less then six feet.

In modern times the Jews were allowed to live wherever they wished but, the centre of Jewish life remains firmly in the Ghetto where The Community comes together on a regular basis. Early in the tour it was explained that before the Second World War the number in the city had dwindled to about 700. There were then three round-ups by the Fascists and Nazis, the last dragging ill Jews out of the hospital. Over 200 died in concentration camps, the rest became part of the Diaspora. Now there are about 300 in the city.

It was tentatively suggested that there might have been some who were saved by local Venetians. This was scoffed at, “No Madame! That was not likely the case. Venetians were in league with the Fascists.” At this point tension was suddenly present and by the end of the tour, the air crackled with it. There was one idiotic Gentile female whose third asinine remark questioned one story that had been mentioned as being in the Torah. “Well, it is not in my Old Testament…Aaron, I do believe, he is in the OT, but that guy you mentioned; never heard of him.” The guide was clearly angry, but did not reply. The screw of tension was again turned.

There was a pattern to this questioning. The guide would give information, ask whether there were any questions, extended silence, then one eventual question followed by a flood. But not the flood one might expect. It was a flood of salt water. Only the women spoke and almost all the questions were barbed. The Venice Community is strictly Orthodox. There is no Reform Community evident and all of the strictest rules are adhered to when joining community occasions.

“Are the women still segregated in this Synagogue?” “Can the women be seen or are the curtains drawn?” “Surely it must get very hot for the women up there?” “Does the Rabbi go to the Torah or is it brought to him?” “Where and how are the children educated?” “Why do you not have your own school?” “If you have no doctor here now, who acts as the Mohel?” “You said this building is used every week for Shabbat, look, this lamp in the sanctuary has been allowed to go out!” “Why are there name plates on these seats?” “Why cannot the seats be passed down the generations within the family?” Subtle meanings here that are only really clear to the initiated.

The men looked on grimly, or stared at their feet. Those of us who were not of The Community were raising eyebrows and catching one another’s eyes. By this time the tension was palpable. Who would ask what, next?

All this may look on the page like a mere list of questions, but they were actually passive/aggressive challenges, some of which were up-front, outright aggressive. The body language added much. The divisions in the community were laid bare and our guide was being used as a punch-bag representative of the ultra orthodox by, I assume, reform Jews, or by some who felt that Venice was not nearly ultra orthodox enough.

Going through this ritual four times a day must become an endurance test. Our guide was a no nonsense feisty sort, restrained somewhat by the fact that these people insulting her were paying for the privilege. Her smile was tight as a thong, her remarks largely uttered through gritted teeth. I suspected she was envisioning piano wire. It was riveting theatre in a way and we learned a great deal; not all of it part of the official menu.

The final of the three Synagogues we entered was more elaborate with beautiful carvings. It had been used to film part of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ with Al Pacino. Our not so tame dolt patsy Gentile asked….’The Merchants of Venice?’ and pulled a puzzled expression. ‘Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice’ she was told. She remained puzzled. I assume there is no such merchant in her version of the Old Testament. 

Interestingly for the creation of this synagogue Venice had in this instance felt sufficiently sure of herself as to defy the pope’s edict. It sold permission to the Jews to use real marble. They however had to employ Christian architects who imposed a modified version of the standard sacred Solomonic architecture, Christianising it to an extent. The ‘pulpit’ was raised higher than the place in which the Torah is stored, very much a solecism, an anomaly, a departure from the orthodox.

The things people do to one another never cease to amaze. No wonder that on occasion the locks refuse to allow the doors to open. On occasion wisdom should prevail and the door be left locked.
 
Early in our visit we decided to ‘do’ the Biennale. This feast of contemporary art centres on two sites and has an official fringe that is dotted around the city and utilises lots of buildings the public cannot normally access. These scattered sites are free; the ticket allows you to enter the gardens where the National Pavilions exist as permanent buildings and to the Arsenale, normally the preserve of the Navy. These Arsenale buildings provide dramatic settings for the art and are worth a visit in their own right. As the Biennale has been going for over 100 years, the National Pavilions were initially built to impress by the old imperial states in the grand style. The more established sit in an avenue running up a low hill. Germany rubs shoulders with Russia and Japan stares across at the French. At the end of the avenue atop a flight of steps sits the British building, again, imperial in essence. The lesser states have scattered buildings in a hinterland behind the top-table players. The USA nevertheless has built something that looks like an annex to The White House.

We had enormous fun at the event. Most of the art we could not take seriously. The recent arrangement for most countries is that instead of a group of artists, one is commissioned to represent a country. This way provides more miss than hit than if the eggs are not all presented by one basket. The theme this year is ‘Creating Worlds’. Almost anything can fit into this very generalised idea. Severe political agitprop rubs shoulders with, for example, a series of small empty specially constructed rooms that are highly coloured each in a single colour. Without doors you see into one vibrant room from its predecessor. We enjoyed this display a lot.

For sure most of the wit and pleasure was contained in the Arsenale, vast high rooms were used with exciting displays of light and colour and darkness enhanced some concepts, providing mystery, some of the murk distinctly welcome. Many works suited the rough walls and great high beams. In contrast, the buildings at the gardens feel cramped.

In one ancient building on the Grand Canal, the bare brick ground floor had been rented to display the achievements of New Zealand. I have no idea how ironic the contribution might have been, but the artist had produced about 200 or so drawings and watercolours of various sizes and they were crowded on the walls and floor, unframed. Every single one was of one subject, himself dressed in pants or swimmers. I then realised  The Artist was present amongst us, wearing a dressing gown he was playing with a vacuum cleaner and sitting on a scruffy couch. On leaving the beautiful old building we saw that right along the floor-line around all the walls was a little trail of orange dust. We were almost watching the bricks decompose in front of us, a sad sight.

Cut it any which way, there was an awful lot of rubbish; poorly executed, tired and casual work. A deal was deliberately alienating, some deliberately offensive and much was accompanied by the usual arts-blah about engagement, fresh vision, new ways of looking at the world, etc. Fine arts are almost entirely absent, I did not notice any traditional sculpture at all and paint was mostly used within mixed media.

We remain in the era of the installation and conceptual art. Video installations were ubiquitous. One country then as representative…Canada, its contribution was a darkened room. Remember the theme, Creating Worlds. Three screens showed simultaneous short loops of respectively, two skaters using an outdoor city ice-rink, enjoying themselves, nice for them. Two pigeons on a cold day warming themselves by sitting on a hot air vent in the pavement: finally a group of eight people having an argument in the street, very staged and creaking like only amateur dramatics can.

The USA building, devoted to Bruce Nauman, consists of roughly modelled deliberately ugly and bald heads; some lined one on top of another, some hung over a pool and spouting water from ‘extra’ holes.

The Brazilian exhibit was genuinely life enhancing, complex canvases, abstract, colour zinging off the wall, burning brightly into the eye. Egypt worked in large scale using tough raffia to create giant tableaux of figures embracing, very daring in the Islamic context, beautiful and imaginative, with an edge and somehow combining the ancient with the new conjuring a world, at last.

We trekked up the imperial avenue, dismissing most of what we saw. Japan, a female artist had produced a handful of enormous framed works, the same hyper realistic woman, upper half naked and her breasts in various exaggerated states of balloon like firmness, or ancient and dried up and deflated, but still outsize.

Finland and Norway combined had come up with a swimming pool sporting a face-down floating dummy, very droll. Inside that exhibit, there was 1960s furniture and a toilet in the woods, complete with trees and autumn leaves. The walls were hung with explicit Tom of Finland homo-erotic works, a panel of nine sets of modern underpants with the name of the owner under each pair. Also a very large photograph of some naked ‘sleeping’ tumescent men. Congratulations to that guy on the left!

I did wonder at what point the artist became curator, having created none of the exhibits, merely assembling them, something we all do from time to time when making a home and exactly what interior designers do. This felt like an example of the mistletoe living off the apple tree, tawdry as well as uncreative.

It is tempting to imagine that whatever is present actually represents a country in not just its arts and its culture, but its current general state. I do hope not. Steve McQueen represented the UK, we had just about saved him for last and by now our expectations were subterranean.

There was a polite notice at the bottom of the stairs leading to the Brit Pavilion. Due to technical problems, the installation was not open, it was hoped to solve the problems later in the day. Yes, yet another video installation and, rather as with the recalcitrant lock in the Synagogue, this may well have been a supernatural attempt to protect our feelings. I therefore have no shame to report about the British entry; except than to suggest that, as with so much in the UK, it did not work and may therefore be a silently eloquent comment on our particular Created World.

As to music, well, as seems to be their habit; La Fenice Opera house hears I am turning up and promptly the house goes dark. Of course there is Vivaldi, a concert of his work just about every night. Talented street buskers stick to the Red Priest’s music. We wandered the Frari, a stupendously large gothic brick-built church containing the heart of Canova in a tomb large enough for a family of six to live comfortably, Monteverdi’s remains lie under a modest stone set in the floor.  We saw instruments lying about that would support a full orchestra. What was happening? At the entry office of the church, all we could establish was that there would be a free concert at four pm that day. We had to be across the city to meet someone at 1.30. I asked at the tourist office what was on and was told it was an organ recital. “No”, I explained, “There is a full orchestra; it is clearly not going to be an organ recital.” Eyes are rolled then narrowed at me, the bottom lip is pouted and she fires a question at her colleague, disappears momentarily and then provides me with a leaflet. “The concert is in there.” She smiles professionally and turns to the next penitent.

Outside I open it up to discover she has given me a programme of….Organ Recitals in the Frari. Still a mystery, we go back to the church again after the meet-up. No seats left but we plant ourselves on the pediment of a broad pillar. It turns out that the programme is mainly contemporary music.

Non other than the Fenice Orchestra opened with the magical Ives’ ‘The Unanswered Question’. This was followed by some Corelli arranged for full orchestra, very Stokowski. Then a couple of pieces by the conductor, can’t recall his name and to follow, an extended piece for tenor and orchestra. Some kind of long-night-of-the-soul I suspect. The tenor sounded pained, as though his entrails were being pulled through his bum. Meanwhile two competing trombones were doing their best to blot out his caterwauling. We left at this point. It had been good to hear the space filled with sound and some of the music was captivating, but without seats, we felt that enough had been as good as a feast.

Leaving Venice at what is still high season; we had wondered whether it might be good to visit some January or other and take advantage of the low season hotel prices. Going to our own B sans B I overheard an Italian explaining to her friends that in January Venice has colder temperatures than London. I have decided, winter is out High Season is, reluctantly, in.


Mike
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 12, 2009, 07:38:35 AM
Mike - thanks for the wonderful and DETAILED travelogue on Venice - thoroughly enjoyable and educational!   :)

We've been to Venice just once (3-night stay) on a 2-week trip to Italy back in 1971 after I graduated from medical school; a gift of my in-laws - I had never been to Europe at that time, but had had a lot of art history courses as an undergrad, so I picked Italy as our choice - we had a great time.  Unfortunately, I been back to Italy just once since in 1996 - spent most of the time in Bologna, but also Milan (side trip to the Barolo-Piedmont wine area) and an unforgettable day-trip to Ravenna on the Adriatric Sea.  In fact the second Italian sojourn was our last trip to Europe despite making quite a few in the 25-year period from '71 to '96!

Thanks again for the memories - Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on December 12, 2009, 08:02:01 AM
Dave, Bologna is on my must do list, it looks like a really beautiful city and not much visited.

Congrats in having ploughed through all that blog on Venice.

Mike
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: secondwind on December 12, 2009, 08:06:55 AM
I was fascinated by your account of the tour of the Ghetto, not least by the pointed questions lobbed at the tour guide like so many hand grenades.  I guess the culture and religious wars are always being fought, on all fronts.   :(
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: owlice on December 12, 2009, 08:49:18 AM
Well, I did go on vacation in September, but I was bad and created a separate thread for it. :( Now I know I should post vacation stuff here.

Mike: WOW. What a trip you had!!

I'm thinking about going to Arizona in March (http://"http://www.adventurecycling.org/tours/tourdetail.cfm?id=165&t=EV10&p=1"), but need to see first whether I'll be in shape for that trip. Depends on how much riding I do this winter.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Wanderer on December 12, 2009, 10:49:21 AM
Mike, thanks for an absolutely absorbing read.  8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on December 12, 2009, 01:35:04 PM
Thanks guys. Here are some photos from the trip
(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Venice%202009/DSCF0501.jpg)

(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Venice%202009/DSCF0641.jpg)

(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Venice%202009/DSCF0676.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on December 12, 2009, 01:39:12 PM
(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Venice%202009/DSCF0882.jpg)

(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Venice%202009/DSCF0981.jpg)

(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Venice%202009/DSCF0998.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 12, 2009, 07:04:07 PM
Mike - thanks for the addition of the pics from Venice - brings back memories for me from a trip there WAY BACK in 1971; stayed at the Gritti Palace Hotel, part of a nearly 3-week sojourn of Italy for us just after my graduation from medical school - we had been married for 1 year - like another honeymoon, I guess?  We had an absolutely great trip; plus, I was still young enough not to be much affected by 'jet lag'! Enjoyed!  :D  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Harpo on December 14, 2009, 04:58:28 PM
(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Venice%202009/DSCF0882.jpg)

(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Venice%202009/DSCF0981.jpg)

(http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k119/demster_2006/Venice%202009/DSCF0998.jpg)

Great photos! Venice is an unforgettable place.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brahmsian on March 18, 2010, 04:54:28 PM
Leaving tomorrow morning.....gone for a week with the family to Cuba (near Camaguey)  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 18, 2010, 08:33:01 PM
Leaving tomorrow morning.....gone for a week with the family to Cuba (near Camaguey)  :)

Ray - Canada to Cuba!  :)  Should be quite a contrast - please report back here at your earliest convenience -  8)

Susan & I are currently in New Orleans - tomorrow we are taking a 'small van' tour of the post-Katrina neighborhoods hardest hit by that hurricane - just want to learn more 'in-depth' experience of this awful storm that hit this wonderful city - spending most of our time in the French Quarter which was pretty much unaffected by this natural disaster.  In fact, the area this week is just OVER-POPULATED w/ tourists - busiest that I've seen the place in years!  :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 19, 2010, 07:08:52 AM
New Orleans - of course the French Quarter (old city) is the focal point of much tourism in the 'Crescent City' - but the architectural and landscape symbol of the Quarter is Jackson Square (below w/ Andy Jackson - victor at the Battle of NO in 1815) - the famous St. Louis Cathedral in the background (third building built on that spot - first in the 1720s or so).

The Jackson Square area is just bustling w/ activity - shops, art galleries, restaurants, carriage rides, Mississippi River cruise (on the huge paddle wheel steamer, the Natchez), and the famous Cafe du Monde (http://www.cafedumonde.com/) w/ its excellent coffee(s) and beignets - we were there yesterday, but the line was so long to get in that we skip a beignet snack - will try again!  :)

Well today, probably another early 'oyster' lunch, and then a Katrina van tour - should be interesting and sad at the same time -  :-\

(http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/00/0f/ca/b2/st-louis-cathedral-and.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Harpo on March 22, 2010, 07:09:01 AM
Cafe du Monde w/ its excellent coffee(s) and beignets - we were there yesterday, but the line was so long to get in that we skip a beignet snack - will try again!  :)

Well today, probably another early 'oyster' lunch, and then a Katrina van tour - should be interesting and sad at the same time -  :-\


The Katrina tour was enlightening, sad, infuriating and haunting. We got personal accounts of Katrina from two of our tour guides whose houses were completely submerged and who lost everything they had. The government was--and is--extremely slow at helping, and frequently added insult to injury. Those neighborhoods that were left are still in a shambles. Many residents and businesses have left for good, and there is still limited health care.

We did love the food and music, though, being a regular "concert-goer" I was distracted by all the drunken noise when I wanted to hear the music. I sang "My Funny Valentine" with the pianist at the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. (One cocktail is all I need for courage.) We have been to New Orleans several times before and have never seen it this crowded. Good for their economy, but frustrating. French Quarter was relatively untouched by the storm, so everything is in full swing there and there are no reminders of a storm. Never got our beignets.

The bayou was a needed respite from the city--mysterious and peaceful. Our driver was one of the people who lost their house. In addition, he paid $30,000 to a contractor who absconded with the funds. Sonic can provide more details.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 22, 2010, 07:57:06 AM
...............The bayou was a needed respite from the city--mysterious and peaceful. Our driver was one of the people who lost their house. In addition, he paid $30,000 to a contractor who absconded with the funds. Sonic can provide more details.

We often like to get out of New Orleans for one day - plenty of options; bayou & swamp tours are a plenty - this time we did a half-day tour near the northeastern corner of Lake Pontchartrain in an area called the Honey River Swamp connected to the Pearl River; now a swamp is basically 'flooded' fresh-water land w/ trees, esp. cypress but plenty of others; most covered w/ Spanish Moss - the day was a little chilly, so the alligators were not out sunning themselves, but we did see a lot of birds (several snowy egets & great blue herons), plenty of snakes and turtles, and even some baby nutria (basically a LARGE vegetarian rodent) - some pics below of the place off the web.

(http://www.wilkinsonsworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/0031-Turtle-in-Honey-Island-Swamp-New-Orleans-28102009_wm.JPG)  (https://secure.reservexl.net/wwwimg/img/tours/797-3.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Miscellaneous/HoneyIslandSwamp/816614149_j2yHQ-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Bogey on June 27, 2010, 03:58:46 PM
Today we ventured to two places within an hour of our homestead.

First, Buffalo Bill's Grave, which included a small, but decently done museum:

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Nevadaville001.jpg)

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Nevadaville002.jpg)

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Nevadaville004.jpg)


Then it was on to one of the many "ghost towns" here in Colorado.  This one is named Nevadaville, which died out due to the silver and gold drying up.  It does have a Masonic Lodge that is still used, though.  Kind of an interesting place to have one if you ask me.  6 residents still live up the hill a bit and I am guessing they or the Masons are responsible for the flag you see fluttering.  As my son put it, it is not "quite" a ghost town, but with over 1,500 here in Colorado we have plenty to meet his strict standards. :)

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Nevadaville012.jpg)

Abandoned store:

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Nevadaville005.jpg)

Also abandoned:

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Nevadaville007.jpg)

Ruins and such:

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Nevadaville006.jpg)

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Nevadaville013.jpg)

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Nevadaville009.jpg)

Masonic Lodge.  Lower level is abandoned.

(http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa35/BillandLinda/Nevadaville008.jpg)


Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 27, 2010, 04:55:32 PM
Today we ventured to two places within an hour of our homestead.

First, Buffalo Bill's Grave, which included a small, but decently done museum:

Then it was on to one of the many "ghost towns" here in Colorado.  This one is named Nevadaville, which died out due to the silver and gold drying up...........................

Bill - thanks for the post and the wonderful pics!  Susan & I have made a number of 'ghost town' visits in the west - but just one trip to Colorado together (mainly Boulder & Denver) - ventured into Cripple Creek & the Rocky Mountain park (bought a couple of art works in the gift shop - a Hopi kachina & a pot, as I recall) - OH, I was also in Vail to a meeting on my own, so I guess 2 trips to your state for me!

BTW - we have a Maine vacation planned for August (about 1 week); decided on a couple of locations in and south of the Portland area on the coast - plan to consume MANY lobsters!  ;D  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: MN Dave on June 27, 2010, 04:56:54 PM
Very cool, Bill. Thanks for taking the time to post all that.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 11, 2010, 04:30:11 PM
Susan & I are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary w/ a long weekend trip to The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA (i.e. Virginia) - near the West VA border (just over a 4 hr drive from our home town) - historic place (started in 1766!) which has been visited by nearly 2 dozen US presidents (there is a beautiful lounge w/ their portraits on the wall, some not that good!).

The food has been just excellent (we decided on the 'meal plan' including room, breakfast/dinner, and the resort amenities); below are two pics (actually taken back in 2007 on our last visit here of the front and back of the main buildings) - typical VA architecture (i.e. plenty of red brick and white painted wood).

Added as an attachment is a pic that I took today - for exercise (to work off part of our meals) we took one of several mountain trails - this one was nearly 3.5 miles and was both difficult & easy - but we both made the trip (more difficult @ our ages!) - but the warning is always bothersome in these Appalachian Mountain hikes that we do quite often -  ;D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Virginia07/HomesteadWeb1/161933548_nCPkT-O.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Virginia07/HomesteadWeb2/161939278_L74X2-O.jpg)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 11, 2010, 05:03:00 PM
Looks very nice, Dave. Our Canadian friends have the market cornered on bear signs though:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Bearshitsign.jpg)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
La Petite Bande / Kuijken - Hob 01 52 Symphony in c 1st mvmt - Allegro assai con brio
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 12, 2010, 02:59:01 AM
Looks very nice, Dave. Our Canadian friends have the market cornered on bear signs though:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Bearshitsign.jpg)


Gurn - LOL!  Just have black bears around these parts of the country (like the one below seen on the Grandfather Mtn nature preserve); I've seen a number of these bears cross the road in front of my car while driving in the mountains, and one was actually killed w/i the limits of our city last year, so these bears are coming out of the western part of the state and moving east!  :o

As for grizzly bears, the only live ones in nature that we've seen were in Denali National Park in Alaska - and would NOT want to come across one, especially after watching the documentary Grizzly Man! Dave  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/Blowing-Rock-June-08/GFatherMtn8/314190823_9G33W-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: pjme on July 12, 2010, 10:54:17 AM
I was recently in France/Normandy.

It is wonderfully lush and green in early summer.

Varengeville is a lovely little village on the cliffs. Its "cimetière marin" boasts the graves of Albert Roussel and Georges Braque.

The nearby "Parc des Moustiers" is a superb wood/garden. The "Arts & crafts" villa was built by sir Edwin Lutyens , the gardens (partially) designed by Gertrude Jekyll.

see: http://www.vacanceo.com/albums_photos/fiche-album_14441.php


( If my memory is correct : sir Edwin Lutyens was father of "enfant terrible" ,composer Elisabeth Lutyens. )
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: pjme on July 12, 2010, 10:56:47 AM
Varengeville / Normandy

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: pjme on July 12, 2010, 10:58:28 AM
The coastline / Dieppe bay.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: pjme on July 12, 2010, 10:59:37 AM
Dieppe bay
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: jowcol on July 12, 2010, 03:19:56 PM
Finishing up a trip to Thailand-- my 8th so far.   (Family on the wife's side is Thai).

Just a brief note-- despite the recent political troubles and protests, we've seen little if any signs of friction, and nothing has caused us to regret coming.  And, as usual, the food is to die for.

Most of our excursions within the country  have been to remote areas that don't have an established tourist industry-- at least for outsiders- and those have been the best!

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 22, 2010, 02:55:43 AM
Well, Susan & I are off on our Maine vacation this week - 3 nights near Camden on the coast, staying at the Samoset Resort (pic below) in Rockport on Penobscot Bay - beautiful view of the golf course running up to the water - lobster the first night, as expected.

Brought along a LOT of electronics including an iPod w/ 40 hrs of music, mini-speakers, laptop, and our 'new' Garmin GPS device - really helpful getting from the Portland airport along these coastal Maine roads and through the small towns and villages!

Our second 3 nights will be at In by the Sea (attached pic) in Cape Elizabeth just south of Portland - near the Portland Light - a previous visit and remember a great restaurant there!  :D

(http://www.camdenmainevacation.com/pads/samosetad/fullsize/01_Samoset-Resort_fs.jpg)

(http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/attachments/monthly-photo-contests/46309d1257207169-portland-light-portlandlight-jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: greg on August 22, 2010, 01:15:07 PM
Just got back from Somerset, KY... we stayed at a little cottage in Nancy and did a few things over the week.

First, we visited the Amish areas and went to a couple of food stores with Amish cashiers. Then, we went to our uncle's place to visit in Columbia. We let our grandma spend a night with us after celebrating her birthday.

We also visited Cave City and went to Mammoth Cave for the second time, this time being a tour starting off with a bus ride to the woods to get to the entrance of the cave. Then we visited some strange tourist shops in the city.

I got to see my dad and spent a night at his place after getting a tour of the town and the library and seeing my sister and nieces and taking a bunch of pictures with them, and yesterday we had the family reunion. We just got back driving home today.

I'll get some pictures later and post them...
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 22, 2010, 05:19:07 PM
Greg - love KT - Susan & I visited Mammoth Cave many years ago (probably late 60s) - we've been to many other caves since but would enjoy returning there - looking forward to your pictures!

Today in Maine, we spent the day in Rockland - we first visited the Puffin Project Center (http://www.maineaudubon.org/explore/centers/projectpuffin.shtml) - rather small place and part of the Audubon Society but w/ a wonderful video, plenty of information, and some gift center items of interest; basically, part of a seabird restoration project that began back in the 1970s - just amazing how many Maine islands now have dozens of breeding puffins that were nearly extinct in the state at that time!

Also located in this quaint coastal Maine town is the Farnsworth Art Museum (http://www.farnsworthmuseum.org/) - a complex of buildings including the museum which is mainly devoted to Maine artists over the centuries, and also including an exhibit on 'rug hooking' - may sound corny but for those 'in the know' and those who have seen these works, the rugs are quite amazing!  In addition to the Farnsworth house, there is also a building devoted to the Wyeth family (mainly N.C., Andrew, and Jamie - a multi-generation of artists); of course, Andrew Wyeth if likely the most famous (Christina's World being one of his most famous paintings, shown below) - but just plenty of other examples, and those of other Maine artists.

Eating has been great - would post in the 'eating thread' but here, Susan & I have been quite focused on the same food, i.e. shellfish!  Last night a special lobster dish for both of us at our resort inn; today for lunch, steamers, Maine oysters, and a shared lobster roll; this evening, Maine oysters again and steamed lobsters - plus a few local Maine beers listening to a jazz ensemble!  Having a great time despite non-sunny weather -  :D

(http://photojosh.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/wyeth.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brahmsian on August 22, 2010, 05:27:40 PM
Gurn - LOL!  Just have black bears around these parts of the country (like the one below seen on the Grandfather Mtn nature preserve); I've seen a number of these bears cross the road in front of my car while driving in the mountains, and one was actually killed w/i the limits of our city last year, so these bears are coming out of the western part of the state and moving east!  :o

As for grizzly bears, the only live ones in nature that we've seen were in Denali National Park in Alaska - and would NOT want to come across one, especially after watching the documentary Grizzly Man! Dave  :D



Dave/Gurn,

Lots of bears up here in Manitoba.  Mostly black bears, except far north off Hudson's Bay by Churchill, considered the Polar Bear capital of the world.

As for a black bear, we came across one when camping, it was about 50 feet from us.  We just started making ourselves look big, start singing loudly and walk in the opposite direction, that is what you are supposed to do.  Make lots of noise and make yourself noticed.

With grizzlies, not the same story.  :D  You should play dead if you are attacked.  (Easier said than done I'm sure!  :o)

With polar bears........ummm, nevermind.  Good luck!  ;D 
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 22, 2010, 05:45:54 PM
Dave/Gurn,

Lots of bears up here in Manitoba.  Mostly black bears, except far north off Hudson's Bay by Churchill, considered the Polar Bear capital of the world.

As for a black bear, we came across one when camping, it was about 50 feet from us......

With grizzlies, not the same story.  :D  You should play dead if you are attacked.  (Easier said than done I'm sure!  :o)

With polar bears........ummm, nevermind.  Good luck!  ;D

Ray - we just have black bears in North Carolina, but have hiked many mountain trails in the Carolinas & Virgina - that was one of the first MAJOR warning signs that I'd seen at the entrance to one of these trails here - but you know what, shortly after reading that sign I heard a big growling noise!  :o

Probably just one of the maintenance machines on the property close by?  At any rate, we encounter nothing but birds, squirrels, and insects along the way - critters that I can handle w/ my walking stick!   ;D   Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: greg on August 22, 2010, 06:06:42 PM
With polar bears........ummm, nevermind.  Good luck!  ;D
Here may be some useful tips:
http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/HowTo:Beat_a_Polar_Bear_in_a_Fight
 8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 17, 2010, 04:22:41 AM
Last main airline trip of the year - off to a medical meeting in San Antonio, TX - probably my 6th visit but first for Susan, so I plan to spend more time showing her the sights than at the meeting.

Today, an all day trip to the Texas Hill Country - I've also been to Austin, but always wanted to see this part of Texas - will be picked up in about an hour and report back later -  :D

(http://www.texashillcountry.com/TXHillCountry.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on October 17, 2010, 06:40:35 AM
Guess it's too late to tell you to visit Fredericksburg for German food, beer and scenic hiking nearby! :)  I think that Kerrville has a good Mexican restaurant but I just can't remember the particulars.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 17, 2010, 06:47:58 AM
Today, an all day trip to the Texas Hill Country

Beautiful country. I was stationed at Fort Hood (about 60 miles north of Austin) twice and know the Hill Country pretty well. It was fun to discover the German influence in the area.

Sarge
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on October 18, 2010, 04:28:07 AM
I hope this advice isn't too late! (Originally posted in the listening thread)


At any rate you will need some advice on where to eat... for great "Mexican fusion" food on the Riverwalk, try Acenar - anything with mole will be great (but spicy - do you like spicy?), and so are their goat and fish dishes. More traditional Mexican can be had at Mi Tierra or Rosario's. For a really nice night out (I went on my 21st), Brasserie Pavil is a great place with fantastic waitstaff, a mean French onion soup and killer creme brulee, and for a slightly more guilty pleasure, you'll have to visit Justin's Ice Cream. If you have an extra day or two to explore, the barbecued ribs at The Gristmill in Greune, TX (about 15 miles away) are the only meat I've ever had that actually DOES "fall off the bone," and the pepper jack cheeseburger at 814 Bistro in Comfort, TX (30 miles away in the heart of the Hill Country) is my favorite burger in all of Texas.

Mandatory: a Saturday night at Jim Cullum's jazz club on the Riverwalk with the Jim Cullum band!

P.S. My own permanent home is in Boerne. Unfortunately, Boerne doesn't really have anyplace memorable to eat, except maybe the cozy Peach Cafe. :( But it does have a wonderful park, Cibolo Nature Center, where you can get lost on little trails following the lovely Cibolo Creek.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on October 18, 2010, 04:32:02 AM
Guess it's too late to tell you to visit Fredericksburg for German food, beer and scenic hiking nearby! :)  I think that Kerrville has a good Mexican restaurant but I just can't remember the particulars.

Fredericksburg's so cool that if he missed it today, he should take another day trip... or book another vacation.  ;D The hiking at Enchanted Rock is great, the salsa tasting at Das Peach Haus is lovely, and it's completely the wrong time of year but picking your own peaches is mandatory. And then there are the great restaurants... The Herb Garden, The Hilltop Cafe... let's be honest. My vacation planning revolves solely around food.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Saul on October 18, 2010, 04:47:16 AM
Last main airline trip of the year - off to a medical meeting in San Antonio, TX - probably my 6th visit but first for Susan, so I plan to spend more time showing her the sights than at the meeting.

Today, an all day trip to the Texas Hill Country - I've also been to Austin, but always wanted to see this part of Texas - will be picked up in about an hour and report back later -  :D

(http://www.texashillcountry.com/TXHillCountry.jpg)

I wish google maps would look like that... :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on October 18, 2010, 04:51:17 AM
Brian I'm sure just thinking about it makes you miss TX. :)  Just remember those sun bathed valleys as you step out into a London mist. :D :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 18, 2010, 05:32:43 AM
Thanks guys for all of the comments & recommendations! Dave  :D

We enjoyed the Sunday excursion into the Texas Hill country - in a small van w/ just a dozen people - stopped off in Fredricksburg to let off some who would explore the town and then go on a wine tour; the remainder including us went to the LBJ 'Texas White House', ranch, and National Park - enjoyed this much more that I thought and the vistas of the hill country were just beautiful from the house - 5 rooms are now restored; also the Leer Jet that LBJ used to fly into his home from either Austin or San Antonio is now on display.

We were then dropped off in Fredicksburg - had lunch and did a lot of shopping and looking around - did not realize that Chester Nimitz of WWII fame was born there - his birthplace is now a quaint shop - there is a large museum devoted to him (and the war in the Pacific) - did not have the time for a visit which likely would have taken at least a couple of hours.  Also sampled 5 Texas red wines, my first experience - quite good!

We are staying at the Hotel Contessa on the Riverwalk (was not on the convention list of hotels but Susan reveiwed the options on the walk and liked the sound of this hotel - we are quite pleased) - our first night after a large lunch in the Dallas airport at a seafood restaurant, we just had some delicious tapas in the bar.

Last night we ate at Landry's - yes a chain seafood restaurant, but were quite pleased; started out w/ some delicious oysters on the half shell; I had the broiled swordfish w/ rice & asparagus - the fish was delicious; Susan had a shrimp dish w/ the critters cooked in 4 different fashions, all great according to her!

We are going to try County Line tonight for some TX barbecue; then Boudro's on Tuesday, and probably Acenar on Wednesday (so glad Brian has it as a recommendation) - I've eaten a lot of animals in my day but not goat, so that may be one of my main options!  :D

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on October 18, 2010, 10:30:42 AM
Sounds great, Dave!! You got a very good tour of the Hill Country, and I'm glad you sampled some Texas wines and saw Fredericksburg. Landry's and County Line are both really strong options, and Boudro's is a great restaurant too (my second choice on the Riverwalk). Also, Boudro's is just one pedestrian bridge across the River away from Jim Cullum's, so maybe you can "misguide" your tour group in the direction of the jazz music... ;)

David W is right, some of those descriptions are making me miss home. :( But I'm glad you're enjoying it so much!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 18, 2010, 05:34:57 PM
Sounds great, Dave!! You got a very good tour of the Hill Country, and I'm glad you sampled some Texas wines and saw Fredericksburg. Landry's and County Line are both really strong options, and Boudro's is a great restaurant too (my second choice on the Riverwalk). Also, Boudro's is just one pedestrian bridge across the River away from Jim Cullum's, so maybe you can "misguide" your tour group in the direction of the jazz music... ;)

David W is right, some of those descriptions are making me miss home. :( But I'm glad you're enjoying it so much!

Hi Brian - just returned from Country Line - sampled both the beef & pork ribs (usually just have the latter back in North Carolina) - the cole slaw & potato salad (esp. the latter) were just excellent; and of course had some Shiner Bock beer  to wash it all down!  :D

Today, I took Susan to the IMax film on the Alamo (which I've seen already several times over), but we are doing a half day 'Mission Tour' tomorrow which includes the Alamo - I think that she'll have a much better appreciation of the event since it looks SO DIFFERENT now in the middle of downtown!

Tomorrow night (i.e. Tuesday), we are eating at Boudro's and then plan to stop @ Jim Cullum's Landing after dinner - should be quite pleasant; and I need to taste some more of these Texan wines - thanks again for the advice - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on November 06, 2010, 03:44:27 PM
From tomorrow afternoon to Thursday night (11/11), I shall be visiting an old college friend in Fes, Morocco.

(http://www.carfree.com/fes/480/2002-01-25-480.jpg)

This should be an exotic trip! It'll be very different in every way from being here in London... and it will be my first visit to Africa!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 06, 2010, 04:02:19 PM
From tomorrow afternoon to Thursday night (11/11), I shall be visiting an old college friend in Fes, Morocco.

(http://www.carfree.com/fes/480/2002-01-25-480.jpg)

This should be an exotic trip! It'll be very different in every way from being here in London... and it will be my first visit to Africa!

Brian - have a great time in North Africa!  Years ago, we planned a trip to Morocco, but my MIL (who had been there) talked Susan out of the visit (believed that she claimed that the 'beggars' would drive you nuts!) - well, we canceled out - but I'm sure that we would have enjoyed - looking forward to your comments!  Dave  :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on November 07, 2010, 02:05:38 AM
Yeah, I've been warned about the "tour guides" who follow you around the streets pleading with you insistently to accept a "tour" of the best parts of town, the little boys who ask if you want tours of the tanneries, and that a lot of salesmen make a "hard sell". Luckily my friend Matt will be able to teach me how to deal with the locals... I hope!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on January 04, 2011, 02:07:21 AM
Can't believe I was the last person at GMG to take a vacation! Or that I was so negligent as not to take photos. :( At any rate, off I go again - this time to Barcelona and Girona, Spain. Here's a photo of Girona:

(http://www.nesthostelsbarcelona.com/yellow/images/barcelona-girona.jpg)

Leaving 4 Jan, back around midnight 9 Jan. See ya, GMG!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on January 05, 2011, 12:04:58 AM
I thought Girona was one of the most charming of places to visit and easily overlooked due to its proximity to Barcelona. The cathedral is remarkable, wide and atop wide steep steps leading down to a tiny square. The river is a dividing line between the ancient city on the hill and the modern area, much of which is over 100 years old and elegant. I loved the place.

My own holiday plans....Northern Ireland in Febuary, Damascus in Syria in April, then Latvia and Finland in July.

Mike
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on January 05, 2011, 03:25:30 PM
Eventually I'm gonna write up two full blog posts about my first day in Spain, because it's the most awesome day I've had in a long, long time, but while y'all wait on that, here's a rough outline...

- Italian roommate in the youth hostel snored half the night
- locked myself out of the room at breakfast
- checked out of the hostel, lugged my 8 kilo (?) backpack around 'til the next hotel...
- wandered through Girona's old city, as charming and magnificent as knight describes
- visited the cathedral
- with aid of no map/guide, and ignoring signs, found my way onto the Roman-built, 1600-year-old city walls simply by choosing the paths that looked most interesting
- walked the walls end-to-end
- stopped for a truly gigantic pain au chocolate
- wandered along the river back into the Jewish Quarter, the part of Girona with the oldest buildings and narrowest streets, where I rounded a corner and discovered
- a HARMONIA MUNDI RECORD SHOP!!! (I didn't know such a thing existed!)
- so I bought a clearance copy of Mravinsky's Shostakovich 10th (3 euros), a clearance Roy Goodman Haydn (90-92, 3 euros), and Tharaud's complete Ravel piano works (25% off) [story about the shop owner and me bonding over Die Zauberflote later...]
- went next door to a cafe and had a superb three-course meal, and resolved to screw my budget and go back and buy Rene Jacobs' Mozart operas, but the HM shop was on siesta
- took train to Barcelona (listening to Vermeer Qt Beethoven and napping), walked to new hotel with a room/bath all to myself, planned to spend night resting out of sheer exhaustion
- went to get a bite to eat [EDIT: and chose off the menu by pointing at something and hoping it was good - it was a gigantic seafood platter] and at the restaurant by chance sat down next to the New York Ska Jazz Ensemble
- got invited to their gig (and given free entry - I've never gone into a club and said "I'm on the list" before. Still haven't of course ["estoy en la lista" ;D ])
- rocked/jazzed/ska'd out to the awesome group
- took a picture of them playing that wasn't even slightly blurry (!!?!)
- bedtime at last

10 out of 10 day, for sure. Just to be clear, I view the initial rough start as essential to the perfect score, because the perfect score means the day overcame things to be awesome. If it just sort of naturally flowed along, it wouldn't have that extra oomph!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 05, 2011, 05:28:11 PM
Hello Brian - sounds like you're having a good time (except for a few usual irritations!) - enjoy the trip and looking forward to your commentary.

Susan & I have done just a few long weekend local trips recently, so have not posted (although we enjoyed thoroughly) - usually don't travel much in January-February, but will be going to Key West (FL) at the end of February - just our 2nd trip there but a delightful place - hope to enjoy and will try to post some comments & pics later - Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: karlhenning on January 05, 2011, 07:49:05 PM
I'll be going soon.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on January 12, 2011, 02:44:00 AM
I've only got one blog post to go until I've fully blogged my Barcelona holiday - been back for a couple days already, though! The essays so far are here (http://bgreinhart.blogspot.com), including two discourses on Antoni Gaudi, an analysis of tapas, and the story of my encounter with the New York Ska Jazz Band.

From La Sagrada Familia, my new desktop wallpaper:
(http://bgreinhart.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/img_16611.jpg?w=500&h=375)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 26, 2011, 08:44:09 PM
Well, Susan (i.e. Harpo) and I are on our first vacation of the year (too short, i.e. just 4 nights) to Key West, FL - been chilly in North Carolina the last few months, so nice to fly into Key West w/ balmy temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s!  Weather predicted to be sunny for our stay (and the daily temperature variation should be just about 10 degrees only - nice!).

Just our 2nd visit to Key West - staying right on the historic harbor area at the Ocean Key Resort - couple of pics below showing the resort sitting on the water (our room is to the far right) - the room image is similar but w/ some of the furniture & decorations different - decorated in the typical south FL/Caribbean colors - first night quite enjoyable -  :D

(http://www.emercedesbenz.com/magazine/wp-content/uploads/ocean-key-resort-and-spa-2-635x360.jpg)

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_1OAkoUxnZfs/S9CupPHYNlI/AAAAAAAAAXg/-qsPxDM2Fxs/s1600/ocean-key-resort_key-west_highslide-07934.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: The new erato on February 27, 2011, 03:10:02 AM
Nothing exotic here:  just me and the wife taking a weekend at our seaside retreat along the Norwegian coast (1,5 hrs drive from home in Bergen):

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa264/oddryd/hyttahyopplsning.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Drasko on February 27, 2011, 03:19:53 AM
Nothing exotic here:  just me and the wife taking a weekend at our seaside retreat along the Norwegian coast (1,5 hrs drive from home in Bergen):

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa264/oddryd/hyttahyopplsning.jpg)

Looks great! The windows and the porch and the view.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: The new erato on February 27, 2011, 03:25:22 AM
Thank you, it is. I have a hot tub on the porch (to the right of the view) and a small 19' boat for excursions and fishing (it's on land during the winter). And a quite small HiFi - last year I heard most of the Sallinen symphonies over a period of a few days as accompaniment to the the Sun sinking into the sea (we're facing due southwest); a very strange and moving experience. Those symphonies have  the mysticism to be the perfect setting for such an experience. Along with a small glass of single Scotch.  ;)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Drasko on February 27, 2011, 03:35:04 AM
Along with a small glass of single Scotch.  ;)

If single is malt (Islay preferably) and glasses are multiple that indeed sounds perfect.

I have a very good friend living in Stockholm, and asking me to come visit him for years.  If I eventually do I might invite myself for a glass of that Scotch, though I'd prefer Desprez to Sallinen. 8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: The new erato on February 27, 2011, 03:43:02 AM
If single is malt (Islay preferably) and glasses are multiple that indeed sounds perfect.
Preferably it is. A big Islay fan.

And Desprez as well. Would like to rip part of my collection and install a hard disc system out there, currently I bring a small selction of CDs on each visit.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: MishaK on March 30, 2011, 02:23:20 PM
I will be in Germany 6/17 thru 7/15, and in Frankfurt specifically from 6/24 onwards. Is anyone around? I note that on 7/7 Inbal is conducting Bruckner 9 with the WDR at the Kloster Eberbach basilica as part of the Rheingau Musikfestival. I am in the process of persuading my significant other (aka the "boss")  ;D to go. Anyone want to join? Sarge?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Sergeant Rock on March 31, 2011, 03:44:25 AM
I will be in Germany 6/17 thru 7/15, and in Frankfurt specifically from 6/24 onwards. Is anyone around? I note that on 7/7 Inbal is conducting Bruckner 9 with the WDR at the Kloster Eberbach basilica as part of the Rheingau Musikfestival. I am in the process of persuading my significant other (aka the "boss")  ;D to go. Anyone want to join? Sarge?

I'm considering it--would like to attend. The Kloster is a great acoustical setting for Bruckner (we heard Mahler 2 last summer). But for health reasons my concert going this year has been greatly curtailed and I'm relunctant to commit this far in advance. I'll keep you posted if things change. If not the concert maybe we could meet for a drink or dinner at Schloss Vollrads. Or Mrs. Rock and I could take you to our favorite picnic place in the vineyards above Hallgarten. Mrs. Rock packs a mean picnic basket  8)

Sarge
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: MishaK on March 31, 2011, 07:00:28 AM
I'm considering it--would like to attend. The Kloster is a great acoustical setting for Bruckner (we heard Mahler 2 last summer). But for health reasons my concert going this year has been greatly curtailed and I'm relunctant to commit this far in advance. I'll keep you posted if things change. If not the concert maybe we could meet for a drink or dinner at Schloss Vollrads. Or Mrs. Rock and I could take you to our favorite picnic place in the vineyards above Hallgarten. Mrs. Rock packs a mean picnic basket  8)

Sounds great! I hope you get better. Let's get in touch again closer to the date.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on March 31, 2011, 07:53:41 AM
But for health reasons my concert going this year has been greatly curtailed and I'm relunctant to commit this far in advance.


Sorry to hear this. Get well soon.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on March 31, 2011, 07:55:52 AM
Nothing exotic here:  just me and the wife taking a weekend at our seaside retreat along the Norwegian coast (1,5 hrs drive from home in Bergen):

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa264/oddryd/hyttahyopplsning.jpg)

But where are the CDs?  ;D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on March 31, 2011, 07:58:43 AM
But where are the CDs?  ;D


Hidden under that hill across the water.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on April 10, 2011, 10:53:49 PM
A week in Istanbul, starting in a few hours. All that schoolwork can wait. My step-aunt M. is going to be an extremely enthusiastic host: last night at 12:48 am London time (2:48 am Istanbul time) she texted me to make sure I remember to go to the airport early.  ;D And her family are amazing cooks, so this should be good.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 16, 2011, 04:18:29 PM
Kiawah Island - beautiful barrier island just south of Charleston, South Carolina - Susan & I love this place and decided to return this spring (kind of a birthday present - next week for me!) - spending 4 nights in a lagoon 2-bedroom condo (picture below) - posted last year w/ some alligator photos from the same place -  :o

The main 'hotel' on the island is The Sanctuary (http://www.kiawahresort.com/accommodations/the-sanctuary/?phonalytics=85h&gclid=CNaDwsSuoqgCFcOd7QodXUGxHA) - quite elegant but we're getting our 4 nights in a peaceful condo for the price of 1 night in the hotel - good restaurants!  But below included a few pics of views on the hotel which sits on the Kiawah beach - the Atlantic Ocean was rather 'rough' today due to the storms coming through the coast.

Have Wi-Fi in the room so posting from my lappie!  Dave  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/i-2K64j2S/0/O/kiawah_condo11.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/i-qgGgw7F/0/O/kiawah_sanctuary11.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/i-JzhH8pw/0/O/kiawah_sanctuary2.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/i-bLc9dXb/0/O/kiawah11_ocean.jpg)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on April 17, 2011, 05:45:08 AM
Wow that looks nice Dave!  They say that money can't buy happiness... but it can buy alot of neat vacations. :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 17, 2011, 05:51:03 AM
Looks like a great spot, Dave. I'll be waiting for your posts on the meals you'll be enjoying.

Sarge
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Wanderer on April 17, 2011, 10:30:24 AM
My father's village near Kyparissia, southwestern Peloponnese, where I've spent almost every Easter since childhood. Hopefully the weather will be as good this year, too. This weekend in Athens: very autumnal and rainy.

(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5262/5628068105_bc7b6197a6_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628068105/)
20042009068 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628068105/) by tastath (http://www.flickr.com/people/57766123@N07/), on Flickr
(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5302/5628611566_b42214ec15_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628611566/)
19042009038 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628611566/) by tastath (http://www.flickr.com/people/57766123@N07/), on Flickr
(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5223/5628073607_36abd43d8b_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628073607/)
20042009066 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628073607/) by tastath (http://www.flickr.com/people/57766123@N07/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 17, 2011, 10:48:03 AM
My father's village near Kyparissia, southwestern Peloponnese, where I've spent almost every Easter since childhood. Hopefully the weather will be as good this year, too. This weekend in Athens: very autumnal and rainy.

(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5262/5628068105_bc7b6197a6_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628068105/)
20042009068 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628068105/) by tastath (http://www.flickr.com/people/57766123@N07/), on Flickr
(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5302/5628611566_b42214ec15_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628611566/)
19042009038 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628611566/) by tastath (http://www.flickr.com/people/57766123@N07/), on Flickr
(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5223/5628073607_36abd43d8b_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628073607/)
20042009066 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/57766123@N07/5628073607/) by tastath (http://www.flickr.com/people/57766123@N07/), on Flickr
That looks like an amazing place to be. Have fun!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on April 17, 2011, 10:52:54 AM
Wow that looks like paradise, Wanderer.  Why wander if that's your home? ;)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 17, 2011, 01:24:44 PM
David & Sarge - hey thanks for the comments; a relaxing day w/ a lot of walking both on the pathways around the lagoons and also on the beach which was quite calm today - the tide was out, so plenty of flat sand to stroll; breezy and refreshing!

Took a stroll around our lagoon for a little extra exercise to work off a few pre-dinner drinks we had at the Sanctuary shown previously - willing to pay that price -  ;D

Below another pic of our lagoon condo (on the far right bottom) across from the water - also while wandering on the shore of the lagoon, came across a 5-6' alligator getting some late afternoon sun!  Image isn't great because of the sun's angle, but decided not to get too close!  Also saw a giant blue heron and an anhinga drying its wings - great to see this as just part of nature here; really a recommended place for anyone vacationing along the coastal Carolina area!  Dave  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/Day2KiawahCondoAcrossLagoon/1255477662_PzGVQVZ-O.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/Day2KiawahAlligatorLagoon/1255477571_fLVKTCS-O.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/Day2KiawahBlueHeron1/1255477643_bxFPMhd-O.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/Day2KiawahAnhingaLagoon/1255477611_tmWspf4-O.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/Day2KiawahAnhingaHeronLagoon/1255477589_5SLMMs6-O.jpg)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 19, 2011, 10:56:58 AM
Well, since last posting a pic of our 'local' alligator (nicknamed 'Wally') - I've seem him (assume a male) cross the pond a half dozen times - our porch juts our to near the water, so when he is close, you can stare into his eyes! 

For those of you who may be visiting the Charleston, SC area, there is just plenty to do; Charleston of course offers many options, including some superb restaurants.  But up the Ashley river road are some plantations that offer a variety of activities - these include Drayton Hall, Magnolia Gardens, and Middleton Plantation; all are unique although Magnolia Gardens provides the most choices - we spent about 5 hrs there yesterday (although an entire day would be easy!).  Just a few pictures below - activities done included a boat ride (Great blue heron - actually saw 3 or 4), nature tram ride (great for some history of the gardens which was a working rice plantation before the Civil War), and slave quarter visit (w/ some long & honest commentary by the guide - was enlightening even for an old history buff of the era like myself).  Also a walk through the gardens w/ the ponds, bridges, flowers (azaleas in bloom) is always beautiful.   :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/MagGardensHeron41811/1258022908_9nMxgn6-O.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/MagGardensAshleyRiver41811/1257987030_ZhKvghB-O.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Kiawah11/MagGardensPondBridge41811/1257987072_2GvG5Bk-O.jpg)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on April 23, 2011, 11:29:25 PM
Today, taking a day hike through the Kent Weald and stopping off for lunch at a "gastropub" with Easter roast.

Googled stock photo of Kent Weald:

(http://catalogue.magnoliasoft.net/i/kentcouncil/supersize/Weald_nr_Goudhurst_002.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Opus106 on April 24, 2011, 02:28:09 AM
*Cues Vaughan Williams in the background.*
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brahmsian on April 24, 2011, 03:59:33 AM
*Cues Vaughan Williams in the background.*

Where are the cows, to truly make it a "pastural" scene?  :D

Of course, had it been a photo of harbour with sailboats, it must be a cover of a Britten CD!  ???
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on May 07, 2011, 09:40:29 PM
Link to blog with photos etc on my recent trip to Rome.

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Xt8_lmrIKkA/Tb5icmwWekI/AAAAAAAAAaU/6ydGwpRNDCs/s320/DSCF3688.JPG)

http://themirrorandthelamp.blogspot.com/2011/05/rome-april-2011.html

Mike
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: karlhenning on May 27, 2011, 04:54:03 AM
Why your brain needs vacations (http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/05/24/vacation.mental.benefits/index.html)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on May 27, 2011, 05:04:04 AM
Why your brain needs vacations (http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/05/24/vacation.mental.benefits/index.html)

If someone really needs a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University to find out that vacation is good for the brain and he should take one, then I really pity him.  ;D  :D

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: karlhenning on May 27, 2011, 05:08:59 AM
You know, there are people here in the US of A who will (or, ought to) benefit from that very article . . . .
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on May 27, 2011, 05:13:12 AM
You know, there are people here in the US of A who will (or, ought to) benefit from that very article . . . .

Maybe a few of them may even apply for a passport for the first time in generations.


Just finished my 12 day 14 city lecture tour in Western Muslem region of China. It is a much safer place than last year when I went. Unlike last year, at no time did I feel any fear of attacks. But I did not go to the southern sector where I heard some Al Qaida members have returned after bin Laden's death. So that place may once again become volatile. I hope not.

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: karlhenning on May 27, 2011, 05:14:40 AM
Welcome home, laddie!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on May 27, 2011, 05:14:51 AM
Maybe a few of them may even apply for a passport for the first time in generations.

 - Passport? What's that?
- Sort of ID that allows you to travel abroad.
- Abroad? Where is that?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: karlhenning on May 27, 2011, 05:15:35 AM
- Passport? What's that?
- Sort of ID that allows you to travel abroad.
- Abroad? Where is that?

Maybe it's, like, Rhode Island, kind of? . . . .
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on May 27, 2011, 05:17:24 AM

- Sort of ID that allows you to travel abroad.


What do you mean "travel" a broad? Is that something kinky?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on May 27, 2011, 05:19:47 AM
What do you mean "travel" a broad? Is that something kinky?

Very kinky: you f^&%k your money in distant places. 
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Mn Dave on May 27, 2011, 05:21:46 AM
No, no. Travel Ab Road.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on May 27, 2011, 05:23:02 AM
No, no. Travel Ab Road.

Abbey Road?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Mn Dave on May 27, 2011, 05:23:31 AM
Abbey Road?

Sure.  ;D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on June 12, 2011, 12:31:54 PM
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-q97SwFGNaJA/TfTX9MMJPjI/AAAAAAAAAjU/WzYtOSoAWLs/s320/DSCF4479.JPG)

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uAI8ecMWVKQ/TfRxTDspNBI/AAAAAAAAAh8/70A08lLvuzE/s320/DSCF4298.JPG)


Report on my trip to Bologna here...

http://themirrorandthelamp.blogspot.com/2011_06_01_archive.html

Mike
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on June 14, 2011, 09:41:10 AM
Will spend my next holidays in Bad Meingarten.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 14, 2011, 04:08:53 PM
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-q97SwFGNaJA/TfTX9MMJPjI/AAAAAAAAAjU/WzYtOSoAWLs/s320/DSCF4479.JPG)  (http://ibmi.mf.uni-lj.si/acta-apa/acta-apa-00-2/history.jpg)

Mike - thanks for your Bologna experience - great pics & commentary - I was there on a medical meeting in 1996 and thoroughly enjoyed - the place, history, culture, food, and more!  The 'towers' were impressive esp. their purpose in history - enjoyed! 

As a physician, one of our highlights was a special invite to visit the famous 'medical theatre' of the medical school (pic added above) - can't remember all of the details of who dissected bodies there but the experience was wonderful for all of us MDs! Dave  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on June 17, 2011, 10:04:38 PM
I would like to go back and explore the city and the area more thoroughly. I should think there is quite a kernal of fascinating university buildings; but they don't seem to provide public access to them in they way that Oxford does to its historic collages.

Mike
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: pjme on June 20, 2011, 11:51:00 AM
(http://freshbump.com/graphics/image_files_480x400/480x400_collages-by-lou-beach.jpg)

I think that "historic collages" look like this..... :D


P.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on July 21, 2011, 11:33:05 AM
'Let the shipwrecks of others be your sea marks' - my advice is make sure that your passport is up to date.  We were supposed to leave for Slovenia last Wednesday.  On Tuesday night my wife noticed that her passport expired in June! So, now we have had to book a separate flight withn BA at much greater expense and lost three days of our holiday. We go on Saturday now and will still have a week away, which is what we usually do - but make sure that you don't find yourself in this situation.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 21, 2011, 11:44:19 AM
I hope you have a lovely holiday, Jeffrey. And who knows, you might even get The Gothic out of your system... [I have been obsessed by it, these last few days. Tomorrow I want to get back to my writing...]
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on July 21, 2011, 11:58:05 AM
I hope you have a lovely holiday, Jeffrey. And who knows, you might even get The Gothic out of your system... [I have been obsessed by it, these last few days. Tomorrow I want to get back to my writing...]

Thanks so much Johan - yes, I've become completely obsessed with the Gothic too - perhaps that's an indication of the works greatness - like Gericault's 'Raft of the Medusa' (perhaps the 'Gothic Symphony' of 19th century French Romantic painting) people become obsessed with it! You will need a rest from the writing too - so I hope that you give yourself a break in due course.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 21, 2011, 12:03:58 PM
Thanks so much Johan - yes, I've become completely obsessed with the Gothic too - perhaps that's an indication of the works greatness - like Gericault's 'Raft of the Medusa' (perhaps the 'Gothic Symphony' of 19th century French Romantic painting) people become obsessed with it! You will need a rest from the writing too - so I hope that you give yourself a break in due course.


Not possible yet. I am completing Part 1 of the novel. The Gothic will give me energy, I know. Only after I have done that, can I give myself a break... High time!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on July 22, 2011, 01:06:59 PM
Going on holiday tomorrow. Where to? Head over to the "Name That Tune" thread and try to decode my hint!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 22, 2011, 08:44:15 AM
Susan & I just returned from a 4-day stay in the North Carolina Mountains - this time in the most southwestern portion of the state, just below the southern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains near Cherokee & Bryson City (see map below - we stayed at the Snowbird Mountain Lodge near the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest) - this is a rugged forested & mountainous area of the state in the Nantahala National Forest - view from the lodge outdoor patio below (top right).

Other views of the mountains also below, including an early morning scene of the mist in the valley (hence the name 'Smoky Mountains'); visited a number of areas and took a few of the easier hikes of which numerous are available.   Finally, in the upper loop of the 2-mile walk through the Joyce Kilmer Forest is one of the largest remaining stands of 'virgin' forest in the eastern USA - Susan is standing at the base of a giant tulip poplar - some in this area are estimated to be over 400 yrs old and stand over 200 ft tall - not quite as impressive as the redwoods that we've seen in California over the years but still awe-inspiring!

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-dDbKQ8f/0/O/SnowbirdMap.gif)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-Lk72bnd/0/M/SnowbirdVista2-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-HxqP5VG/0/M/SnowbirdVista3jjpg-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-839BDTm/0/M/SunsetPoint3-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-ZTnTRTW/0/M/SunsetPoint2-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-dcn9N4c/0/M/Kilmer1-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-qpxL5pC/0/M/Kilmer2-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-ZC5BpJS/0/M/Kilmer3-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Mirror Image on August 22, 2011, 03:36:49 PM
Susan & I just returned from a 4-day stay in the North Carolina Mountains - this time in the most southwestern portion of the state, just below the southern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains near Cherokee & Bryson City (see map below - we stayed at the Snowbird Mountain Lodge near the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest) - this is a rugged forested & mountainous area of the state in the Nantahala National Forest - view from the lodge outdoor patio below (top right).

Other views of the mountains also below, including an early morning scene of the mist in the valley (hence the name 'Smoky Mountains'); visited a number of areas and took a few of the easier hikes of which numerous are available.   Finally, in the upper loop of the 2-mile walk through the Joyce Kilmer Forest is one of the largest remaining stands of 'virgin' forest in the eastern USA - Susan is standing at the base of a giant tulip poplar - some in this area are estimated to be over 400 yrs old and stand over 200 ft tall - not quite as impressive as the redwoods that we've seen in California over the years but still awe-inspiring!

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-dDbKQ8f/0/O/SnowbirdMap.gif)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-Lk72bnd/0/M/SnowbirdVista2-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-HxqP5VG/0/M/SnowbirdVista3jjpg-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-839BDTm/0/M/SunsetPoint3-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-ZTnTRTW/0/M/SunsetPoint2-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-dcn9N4c/0/M/Kilmer1-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-qpxL5pC/0/M/Kilmer2-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-ZC5BpJS/0/M/Kilmer3-M.jpg)

I've been there many times, Dave. I live in NE Georgia and when I was a kid we used to travel up to the mountains a good bit. When I was in Boy Scouts, I believe our patrol hiked all of the Appalachian trails in GA. I haven't been up there in years.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 23, 2011, 07:00:50 AM

Other views of the mountains also below, including an early morning scene of the mist in the valley (hence the name 'Smoky Mountains')

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-HxqP5VG/0/M/SnowbirdVista3jjpg-M.jpg)


Hey, Dave, I had to show Mrs. Rock that picture. We traveled through the Smokey Mountains once...and there was no "smoke" like I told her there'd be. She was not only disappointed she thought I'd been lying to her  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 23, 2011, 09:25:52 AM

Hey, Dave, I had to show Mrs. Rock that picture. We traveled through the Smokey Mountains once...and there was no "smoke" like I told her there'd be. She was not only disappointed she thought I'd been lying to her  ;D

Hi Sarge - well you guys should have been w/ us those 4 days - plenty of fog esp. in the mornings (those first two pics are basically the same mountains from the lodge - the clear one late in the afternoon, the foggy one the next morning about 8AM) and of course after some rain.  Late in the morning on a warm non-humid days, the fogs or mists disappear - but the early mornings can be quite mysterious driving through these mountain valleys and looking up at the mountains and mists.  So, I'll backup your story - it is REAL!   ;D  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 23, 2011, 10:09:16 AM
Hi Sarge - well you guys should have been w/ us those 4 days - plenty of fog esp. in the mornings (those first two pics are basically the same mountains from the lodge - the clear one late in the afternoon, the foggy one the next morning about 8AM) and of course after some rain.  Late in the morning on a warm non-humid days, the fogs or mists disappear - but the early mornings can be quite mysterious driving through these mountain valleys and looking up at the mountains and mists.  So, I'll backup your story - it is REAL!   ;D  Dave

Our journey through the Smokies, both coming and going, happened during a trip from Ohio to Savannah GA and back. We hit the mountains both ways in the afternoon--and it was a a dry summer so I'm not surprised the mountains weren't misty. Disappointing nonetheless. I recall my first experience of the mountains when I was a child. They lived up to their name then!

Sarge
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Harpo on August 25, 2011, 03:52:43 PM
Susan & I just returned from a 4-day stay in the North Carolina Mountains - this time in the most southwestern portion of the state, just below the southern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains near Cherokee & Bryson City (see map below - we stayed at the Snowbird Mountain Lodge near the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest) - this is a rugged forested & mountainous area of the state in the Nantahala National Forest - view from the lodge outdoor patio below (top right).

Other views of the mountains also below, including an early morning scene of the mist in the valley (hence the name 'Smoky Mountains'); visited a number of areas and took a few of the easier hikes of which numerous are available.   Finally, in the upper loop of the 2-mile walk through the Joyce Kilmer Forest is one of the largest remaining stands of 'virgin' forest in the eastern USA - Susan is standing at the base of a giant tulip poplar - some in this area are estimated to be over 400 yrs old and stand over 200 ft tall - not quite as impressive as the redwoods that we've seen in California over the years but still awe-inspiring!

Great photos, great trip. Most breathtaking mountain views in NC. The Lodge was rustic but with many amenities, including private hot tubs  (bet Sonic didn't mention that). The lodge catered to intrepid retirees like ourselves.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 08, 2011, 06:06:30 PM
Well couple of recent trips for us - in September we spent 4 days on the island of Nantucket near Martha's Vineyard - our first visit to the island and former world famous whaling community (early 1700s to mid-1800s) - great whaling museum there.  Loved the history - took several different island tours; bought some hand-made scrimshaw jewelry for Susan and ate plenty of shellfish (lobsters, oysters, clams, etc.) - think that I posted in the 'eating thread' - will have to take a look!  Currently on another trip (below) and just brought along my iPad2 - just not as convenient to putting posts together w/ pics & links -  :( (and am using the Apple BT keyboard at the moment and still not the same?).

At the moment, we are on a short trip to Richmond, VA - been there many times (about 4 hr drive from our home) - staying at the Jefferson Hotel (http://www.jeffersonhotel.com/) - 5* hotel and a favorite of ours (probably our 4th or 5th stay) - main reason for coming was to see the musical Wicked - took in a Saturday matinee - just a wonderful show w/ spectacular scenery (including flying monkeys!) - we also have had a feast here on shellfish - will report on the eating thread when I get back home to my VISTA laptop!  :)

Edits - typos corrected!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: knight66 on October 08, 2011, 10:22:44 PM
We are just back from Krakow where we had an excellent time. I have yet to post photos to the blog. But I have written up the visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

http://themirrorandthelamp.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html


Mike
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: The new erato on October 09, 2011, 02:40:30 AM
Well couple of recent trips for us - in September we spent 4 days on the island of Nuntucket near Martha's Vineyard - our first visit to the island and former world famous whaling community (early 1700s to mid-1800s) - great whaling museum there.  Loved the history - took several different island tours; bought some hand-made scrimshaw jewelry for Susan and ate plenty of shellfish (lobsters, oysters, clams, etc.) - think that I posted in the 'eating thread' - will have to take a look!  Currently on another trip (below) and just brought along my iPad2 - just not as convenient to putting posts together w/ pics & links -  :( (and am using the Apple BT keyboard at the moment and still not the same?).

At the moment, we are on a short trip to Richmand, VA - been there many times (about 4 hr drive from our home) - staying at the Jefferson Hotel (http://www.jeffersonhotel.com/) - 5* hotel and a favorite of ours (probably our 4th or 5th stay) - main reason for coming was to see the musical Wicked - took in a Saturday matinee - just a wonderful show w/ spectacular scenery (including flying monkeys!) - we also have had a feast here on shellfish - will report on the eating thread when I get back home to my VISTA laptop!  :)
Surely that is Richmond and Nantucket, or what's up (as you otherwise write impressively precisely)?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 09, 2011, 04:09:09 AM
Surely that is Richmond and Nantucket, or what's up (as you otherwise write impressively precisely)?

Thanks & correct, of course - typing quickly just before bedtime - still not use to the iPad w/ the Apple KB!  Dave

P.S. Typos corrected hopefully!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Holden on March 29, 2012, 01:48:32 PM
Yesterday was the last day of the term and I'm on holiday (as we say here in Australia). On top of that I have long service leave so my time is my own, fully paid, for 14 weeks.

Tomorrow I'll get into my trusty Nissan Patrol and head across to Perth. According to Google Maps the this will be a 4400 km drive which I've broken up into 7 pieces. I would like to be able to upload a copy of the map (but can't work out how to do it) so you can see how long the journey actually is. It's about 300 miles short of an east to west transversal of the USA. I'll be traveling the famous Nullarbor Hwy which includes this:

(http://www.abc.net.au/wa/stories/m882436.jpg)

I'll have my tablet with me (running W7) so will be in contact most of the way. At the end of the journey I'm staying with my brother and sister-in-law and will spend about a month there before heading back - maybe right through the centre of the country which is an even longer route (about 5000 kms) - it will depend on the road conditions at the time. This will be a much more leisurely journey.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 29, 2012, 01:53:25 PM
Holden - good luck on your trip!  Sounds like quite an adventure and looking forward to your commentary and potential pictures?  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 04, 2012, 04:37:00 PM
Well, Susan & I were on our usual annual spring trip to Florida - usual alternate between the east & west coasts - this time in the Tampa Bay area on the west coast, which is huge!  For those not familiar w/ the area, there are numerous places to stay (and to eat) and plenty of attractions.  The main cities include Tampa (largest), Clearwater, & St. Petersburg; and of course there are island beach areas, i.e. St. Pete's & Clearwater Beach.  Over the years, we've been there at least a half dozen times; the west coast offers beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.

This time we stayed on Clearwater Beach (see map below - HW60 West from the Tampa Airport terminates on the island's large round about near Pier 60; look far left on the map) - we stayed at the Sandpearl Resort (second pic below) right on the Gulf of Mexico - lucked out and was updated to a full gulf view - beautiful sunsets!  Excellent restaurant & bar food - first night we ate at the resort and I had marlin for the first time (like tuna) - may have posted in the 'eating thread'?

Just a few highlights: 1) Day trip to Tarpon Springs settled by Greek immigrants and home of the sponge industry - a couple of images below of a sponge boat w/ their daily take drying out and Harpo enjoying herself - we had a fabulous Greek lunch which included sauteed squid & charred octopus; shared a salad w/ gyro meat which was the BEST that I've ever eaten!  And to top the meal off some wonderful Greek white wine that Susan even wanted a glass!  :)

Another day was devoted to the nature of the area; included a trip to the Clearwater Marine Museum which has become quite popular since the movie Dolphin Tale w/ Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, & Morgan Freeman; a true story about a real dolphin named 'Winter' who lost its tail - a prosthetic replacement was made that worked!  Wonderful family film and we did see 'Winter' sans phony tail - our package also included a nearly 2-hr boat trip w/ a marine biologist on Clearwater Bay (below a pic of the boat & a view from a 'spoils' island) -  after lunch, we visited the Suncoast Bird Sanctuary (http://www.seabirdsanctuary.com/) - just an inspiring story; for those interested, take a look at the link.

Bottom line - we will certainly return to this wonderful western coastal area of Florida; just so much variety - for those who have a chance to visit this state, then consider the Tampa area!   ;D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Clearwater-Beach-0312/i-jfD3kPv/0/M/CleawaterBeach-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Clearwater-Beach-0312/i-FhwWDbt/0/O/SandpearlResort.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Clearwater-Beach-0312/i-mkprbxd/0/O/SpongeBoat2.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Clearwater-Beach-0312/i-SSjHC8z/0/O/SpongeDocks.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Clearwater-Beach-0312/i-sN6FPfp/0/O/SeaSafariBoat.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Clearwater-Beach-0312/i-8KHQ4Bc/0/O/SpoilsIsland.jpg)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 19, 2012, 06:14:09 AM
We recently returned from a trip to Chincoteague Island (upper eastern Atlantic shore of Virginia; map below) - our 'wildlife' adventure of the month; wild horses live on the adjacent island (Assateague) which is a National Nature Refuge - below are some pics of 'moms & their foals', some standing, others curious, and a few sleeping - the babies are all less that a week old and some just a few days. This is the place famous for the yearly July swim between the islands; the foals are auctioned for the benefit of the local fire department.

First two images from a boat banked on Assateague Island - one of the foals nearly came close enough to touch! The other two are from an informative bus tour of the northern part of Assateague - lucked out and capture a couple of families, mother & foal + baby goslings (Canadian geese); additional pics of the the Assateague lighthouse (2nd one on location dating from late 1860s - needs a paint job), and a nightly view of the sun setting from our hotel deck viewing the intracoastal waterway - fun trip, but watch out for the mosquitoes on the refuge!

Also famous for its great shellfish, i.e. oysters, clams, & blue crabs, pretty much our subsistence diet for 3 days!  ;D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/Chincoteague0512/i-6VTDsQt/0/M/HorseBabyBoat2-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/Chincoteague0512/i-PNFCK9m/0/M/HorseSlpBabyBoat1-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/Chincoteague0512/i-XLP3K72/0/M/BusTourMomBaby-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/Chincoteague0512/i-32MTV6B/0/M/BusTourHorsesGeese-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/Chincoteague0512/i-bnQSkRH/0/M/AssateagueLHouse-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/Chincoteague0512/i-cCgrS35/0/M/HotelRmSunset-M.jpg)

(http://www.coastal-sc.com/reform/ES_Green_map.jpg)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ibanezmonster on May 19, 2012, 03:14:46 PM
Holden - good luck on your trip!  Sounds like quite an adventure and looking forward to your commentary and potential pictures?  :)
"Sand... sand... more sand... some native people throwing bones at my car... here's a picture of a kangaroo flicking me off... sand..."
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: mc ukrneal on May 19, 2012, 11:18:28 PM
We recently returned from a trip to Chincoteague Island (upper eastern Atlantic shore of Virginia; map below)....

You really do go to some nifty places! A real mix of nature there.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Harpo on May 20, 2012, 02:09:02 PM
We recently returned from a trip to Chincoteague Island (upper eastern Atlantic shore of Virginia; map below) - our 'wildlife' adventure of the month; wild horses live on the adjacent island (Assateague) which is a National Nature Refuge - below are some pics of 'moms & their foals', some standing, others curious, and a few sleeping - the babies are all less that a week old and some just a few days. This is the place famous for the yearly July swim between the islands; the foals are auctioned for the benefit of the local fire department.

First two images from a boat banked on Assateague Island - one of the foals nearly came close enough to touch! The other two are from an informative bus tour of the northern part of Assateague - lucked out and capture a couple of families, mother & foal + baby goslings (Canadian geese); additional pics of the the Assateague lighthouse (2nd one on location dating from late 1860s - needs a paint job), and a nightly view of the sun setting from our hotel deck viewing the intracoastal waterway - fun trip, but watch out for the mosquitoes on the refuge!

Also famous for its great shellfish, i.e. oysters, clams, & blue crabs, pretty much our subsistence diet for 3 days!  ;D


So where are you taking me next?? ;)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 30, 2012, 12:32:27 PM
Another trip to Somerset, Kentucky. Just back after the 12 hour ride (13 hours going up there).

We stayed at rural Nancy again. Although the scenery is nice, it does get old pretty quickly.
One day, we went to Mount Vernon and Berea. In Mount Vernon, there is a place called Renfro Valley, which is set up to look like a village from long ago. It was interesting, but thinking about how settlers lived long ago was very depressing.

Another day, we went to Monticello and ate at my great-aunt's house. That was the second best part... the best part was visiting Lexington. This city would probably the best city to live in for me, considering you have the University of Kentucky there and my dad living just over an hour away.

In Lexington, we visited Guitar Center and the mall. I played a 7-string Ibanez, which someone had downtuned quite a bit; the low B string was tuned down to a low E, and the rest of the guitar was in standard tuning. Needless to say, quite fun playing that (though it got out of tune while I was playing it, despite not even having a floating bridge, which should be expected).  ::) 

Lexington also has a better mixture of different people/races. People are thinner there and the girls look great, especially in comparison to Somerset, where almost everyone is overweight. It was nice to be in the city for a day, where you see people with money, rather than endless, miserable, rural poverty.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 01, 2012, 02:57:34 PM
Another trip to Somerset, Kentucky. Just back after the 12 hour ride (13 hours going up there).

We stayed at rural Nancy again. Although the scenery is nice, it does get old pretty quickly.
One day, we went to Mount Vernon and Berea.......................

Hi Greg - we've been on a couple of trips ourselves in North Carolina, so not on the forum much the last week or so; but enjoyed your description of the Kentucky places - I need to make a visit to Lexington - actually I was offered a job there years ago (as an abdominal radiologist at the U. of K. Medical School - I was happy at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, so did not even take a look; however, several of my radiology colleagues ended up going to the school).

Berea is pretty famous for woodworking courses w/ a number of well know pros there - I'm an amateur woodworker and have thought of traveling there to take some courses - might be a great trip now in my retirement (BUT, would need to find a great place to stay & some good food for Susan to come along -  ;D).  Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on July 02, 2012, 07:34:24 AM
Vanessa is currently in Anaheim, California and will be there for 3 weeks, leading a group of students on a summer camp. Since all students live with local American families, she really has nothing to do so it is a vacation in reality.

I will be going to Nigeria from July 16 to July 20. Not a vacation but a conference, but it will be my first trip to the continent. I am looking forward to it.

After I return, by which time Vanessa will be back, we will take Kimi to a trip to Rizhao and Qingdao (home of the famous Tsingtao beer), my grandfather's and my father's hometowns respectively. In both places we will live at a beach house, literally at the beach, with the sands just outside the door.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on July 10, 2012, 05:50:12 PM
I will be in South Africa in September for a conference. I am considering staying a few more days afterwards to go to Botswana and/or Zimbabwe, or other surrounding areas. Do we have members in South Africa who can give me some advise on this? My knowledge of Botswana comes mainly from God Must be Crazy, and I love the soapstone sculptures from Zimbabwe. That's why I am considering those two places.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on July 24, 2012, 08:09:34 AM
I have been back from Nigeria for four days. I will be leaving for our family vacation in the morning.

A few memorable things about my short stay in Nigeria:

1: Whenever I leave the hotel, including going to and from the airport, I had armed escort sporting AK-47's.

2: A couple of friends had flight out of Lagos for South Africa departing at 10:50pm. But they had to leave the hotel at 2pm to "beat the traffic". With one of the three bridges under repair, the legendary Lagos traffic is worse than ever. (For my 8am flight, I left the hotel at4 am and arrived at the airport 35 minutes later).

3: "Nigeria reminds me of China 35 years ago..." This is how I started my short little speech. For the next two days, I was always surrounded by people wanting to talk to me. I am sure I will be back there again soon. There is so much important and worthwhile things to do.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 24, 2012, 06:03:39 PM
Hi Paul - some interesting posts - over the years I've had a half dozen South African colleagues and was even invited there as a visiting radiology professor (that was probably in the 1980s) - was a consideration both for that experience & also my interest in wine; South Africa does make some excellent wines just not many entering North Carolina for me to sample - sad!

Your other post also reminded me of a trip to Colombia, SA back in the '80s w/ my colleague - we were invited to be the weekend speakers of the yearly Colombian Radiology Society which was held in the Andes Mtns (Manizales) - arrived in Bogota a few days before the conference and had some wonderful excursions but the driver picked us up @ the hotel front entrance & then locked the doors to the car!

We were driven in two cars from Bogota to Manizales over the Andes Mtns (boy, what a trip - like 7-8 hrs) - on our arrival @ the hotel there, we were met by the doorman w/ a shotgun on his shoulder (reminds me of a favorite film Romancing the Stone - HA!) - we spent two days giving lectures (w/ simultaneous English-Spanish translations) - on the last night in the bar, the radiologist who arranged the conference met us and gave us a PILE of dollars to cover our expenses & honorarium - NOW, we had to take this money back into the USA in a few days!  Well we did get out and flew to Cartagena and had a couple of great days there - finally landed in Miami and stood up and cheered when we touched the ground - MADE it back safely!  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on July 26, 2012, 06:50:29 AM
Hi Paul - some interesting posts - over the years I've had a half dozen South African colleagues and was even invited there as a visiting radiology professor (that was probably in the 1980s) - was a consideration both for that experience & also my interest in wine; South Africa does make some excellent wines just not many entering North Carolina for me to sample - sad!

Your other post also reminded me of a trip to Colombia, SA back in the '80s w/ my colleague - we were invited to be the weekend speakers of the yearly Colombian Radiology Society which was held in the Andes Mtns (Manizales) - arrived in Bogota a few days before the conference and had some wonderful excursions but the driver picked us up @ the hotel front entrance & then locked the doors to the car!

We were driven in two cars from Bogota to Manizales over the Andes Mtns (boy, what a trip - like 7-8 hrs) - on our arrival @ the hotel there, we were met by the doorman w/ a shotgun on his shoulder (reminds me of a favorite film Romancing the Stone - HA!) - we spent two days giving lectures (w/ simultaneous English-Spanish translations) - on the last night in the bar, the radiologist who arranged the conference met us and gave us a PILE of dollars to cover our expenses & honorarium - NOW, we had to take this money back into the USA in a few days!  Well we did get out and flew to Cartagena and had a couple of great days there - finally landed in Miami and stood up and cheered when we touched the ground - MADE it back safely!  Dave

Seems I got to experiencing all of the above except the PILES OF DOLLARS part!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 24, 2012, 04:59:00 PM
BOY - again w/o a response in nearly a month!  Someone must be on vacation?  :D

Well, Susan & I are taking mainly 'short' car trips to the mountains or the coast a couple times a month - nice to be retired & be able to go when wanting to w/o a schedule - nice!  :)

Just returned from a short 3-night trip to a southern Virginian mountain resort called Primland (http://primland.com/) near Stuart, VA - a 12,000 acre beautiful piece of property just a 90 minute drive from our home!  Drive off VA Hway 58 (i.e. the JEB Stuart highway for American Civil War buffs), a road close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a MUST for those visiting the area.

Below, some pics of the lodge; room was amazing - beautiful wood/stone decoration w/ automated lights & even drapery that would rise/lower w/ a switch!  The view from 'Lover's Leap' is great.  The golf course is gorgeous (I no longer play but others, like Gurn would appreciate) as one of the pics shows - mountain trails (one of which we walked - moderate and a good workout!) - wonderful restaurant (which I'll post soon in the eating thread) - on checking out of the lodge, I decided to return via the Parkway, a visit to Mabry's Mill, a popular stop and a few pics below (really a mill that worked on water and included a gristmill, sawmill, & wood working area - amazing all running on water power!); also visited a VA winery, Ch. Morisette (http://www.thedogs.com/) just off the parkway - had lunch there and a wine tasting - the wines have really improved and the tasting room is now first class - a wonderful BUT short visit (easy to repeat!) - Dave :)


(http://primland.com/images/slide-home-escape-1.jpg) (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Virginia07/i-TNdXZzb/0/O/PrimlandLodge.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Virginia07/i-rxZdtjP/0/M/Primland18thHole-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Virginia07/i-6XsX57g/0/O/PrimLoversLeap.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Virginia07/i-r8pSrJw/0/O/MabryMill1.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Virginia07/i-9tPq6zW/0/O/MabryMill2.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on September 02, 2012, 09:50:30 PM
Below, some pics of the lodge

It looks like a Victorian factory turned into a lodge by a not very imaginative architect...  ;D

OTOH the scenery alone is worth the price you must have paid.   8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 03, 2012, 05:11:47 AM
It looks like a Victorian factory turned into a lodge by a not very imaginative architect...  ;D

Hi Andrei - the property is owned by the family of the late French-Swiss billionaire Didier Primat (assume the origin of the name Primland) - the Lodge is quite new, opening in 2009 (golf course in 2006) - a couple of more pics below of the the outside from the green on the 18th hole and inside of the lobby & pool; most of the materials used are local to the area and the inside spaces are beautiful.  BTW, the silo looking portion to the right has the most expensive rooms, but the top is an observatory w/ telescope - for $75 per person, an astronomer presents a show w/ the telescope's images projected on a large monitor for audience viewing - we considered but was cloudy most nights of our visit!

In addition, there are a number of cabins (golf carts are supplied to get to and back from the Lodge) - AND an unusual room option - a TREE HOUSE (pic bottom right) - I'd love to stay there but not sure of the price?  Called the Golden Eagle Tree House which was designed by a French firm specializing in these tree homes - Dave :)


(http://www.goodlifereport.com/uploads/0000003211/original/lodge-at-primland-golf_t640.jpg)  (http://www.golfvacationinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/primland-golf-resort-interior.jpg)

(http://www.huntingandfishingresorts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/primland1-700x464.jpg)  (http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/photo/2011-11/66025572.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on September 20, 2012, 12:12:08 AM
I am in South Africa for the first time attending a conference where I also gave the keynote speech yesterday. I must say that Cape Town is probably the most beautiful city I have ever visited. I know, I have not been to Scandivania yet, and I have heard so much about some of the cities there. But Cape Town is absolutely wonderful. I start everyday with yoga on the htel lawn, which overlooks the city about 30 minutes drive away. The sounds of birdcalls and the occasional birds, some of them very big, land on the lan to feed on the worms. I end the day with a walk outside under the moonlight and the billions of stars, most of them seem to be visible! It is wonderful. I came this time at my own expense, because it is a good cause and I love Africa. I am sure I will come back here again, next time adding some safari to my agenda.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 20, 2012, 09:02:12 AM
Paul - sounds like a great place and congrats on being invited to give the keynote talk!

I had a chance to do a teaching sabbatical years ago in South Africa (forget which of the major cities there), but it was for 2-3 months, and our son was young and Susan did not want to go, so turned the opportunity down - I know that the experience would have been wonderful and that I would have consumed a LOT of South Aftrican wine! :)  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on September 23, 2012, 08:47:35 AM
I was planning to go to Tabletop Mountain today. But something happened that changed my plans. First of all, it was raining and visibility was not good. Secondly, when I went outside, I saw that they were running a Marathon -- the Cape Town Marathon. So I decided to join the Marathon instead. Sure is a great way to see much of the city and its most scenic places! Obviously I did not start from the beginning, but I run most of the race and finished. A wonderful day!

Oh, BTW, I was the only runner without a number and the only one with a backpack!

Well, needless to say I am exhausted. I leave for the airport tomorrow at noon.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 23, 2012, 10:13:58 AM
  Susan & I just returned from a 4-night stay on Kiawah Island (5 hr drive from Winston-Salem) which is a barrier island about 40 mins or so south of Charleston, South Carolina (see map below). As in our last visit, we rented a 2-bedroom condo on a lagoon (next two pics show some of the views); rentals can also be made which are oceanfront, tennis or golf course (five 18-hole courses on the island, including the Ocean Course, site of this year's PGA tournament).  There is a luxury hotel called the Sanctuary (w/i walking distance from our condo), but our 4 nights was slighly more than one night there - but a great place to have a drink and lunch or dinner.

  There is plenty of nature and reserves - over 500 alligators live naturally on the island, and are in and around the lagoons - the sign below is a frequent reminder of their presence; if your small dog disappears, well may have been a quick meal for one of these gators!  On my first walk, I saw at least an 8 ft alligator in a lagoon near our condo. A bridge crossing a lagoon was near the condo and different types of water birds were seen constantly - pics below of a great white egret (3' tall & 5' wingspan for the adult) and an anhinga drying its wings after fishing.

 Finally, we ate (and drank) quite well - there is a fabulous grocery store coming into the island called Newton Farms and we bought several of our dinners there, e.g. local shrimp steamed, spiced, etc., shushi, smoked fish, salad greens, and so much more!  In fact the last pic below is Susan wading in the ocean and looking at a shrimp boat on the left horizon, probably thinking that her dinner was being caught @ that moment!

  For those travelling on the Carolina coast, there are many fabulous towns, islands, and resorts, but we find Kiawah Island quite special and have visited at least a dozen times over the decades - :)



(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Vacation/Kiawah092012/i-QDpT6pP/0/O/Kiawah-Island.jpg) 

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Vacation/Kiawah092012/i-6rJbZ6M/0/O/LagoonCondos1.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Vacation/Kiawah092012/i-KZ7mXtH/0/O/LagoonCondos2.jpg) 

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Vacation/Kiawah092012/i-vDNFH7V/0/O/DangerAlligators.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Vacation/Kiawah092012/i-Ptt7MfW/0/O/EgretWhite.jpg) 

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Vacation/Kiawah092012/i-z5c233Z/0/O/Anhingha.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Vacation/Kiawah092012/i-CV4TTNR/0/O/Susan3.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on September 23, 2012, 10:26:19 AM
Cool beans Dave, I should go there some time! :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 23, 2012, 02:37:15 PM
Hi David - well, you are a LOT closer than me to Kiawah Island - so just get on I-26 to Charleston, then the I-526 Bypass to Savannah which will terminate in HW 17, head south until you see the left turn to Kiawah Island; about 20 miles more to get onto the island and you're there - the Newton Farms grocery store is at the turn - check it out!

For many years, we've alternated our rentals from the Kiawah Island properties and Pam Harrington HERE (http://www.pamharringtonexclusives.com/kiawah_rentals/); we've rented from Pam since the '80s - check her website - a single BR condo on the lagoon would be inexpensive and will include a full kitchen - take a chance and do a visit as soon as you can!  WHY - well, you're want to return!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 29, 2012, 08:51:17 AM
Béatrice and yours truly are currently vacationing on Providenciales Island, in the Turks and Caïcos Islands. This is our second stay here. There are many luxury hotel compounds on the island. This year we again decided to go local and rent an apartment close to the beach for 1/5th of the price. A real no-brainer.

The main beach is along Grace Bay and stretches over 5 miles with multiple beach accesses. With good quality grocery stores, a full-equipped kitchen and a decent cook on board ( that's me  ;D) it could be much, much worse!

The best thing about Turks and Caïcos is that the beaches are mostly empty. Even popular Grace Bay Beach boasts mostly empty stretches of powdery sand and turquoise waters. Just gorgeous.

Can't post pics, as I write from an Ipad. Just google and check what pics there are on the web. You can believe what you see  ;).
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on September 29, 2012, 09:16:01 AM
Béatrice and yours truly are currently vacationing on Providenciales Island, in the Turks and Caïcos Islands. This is our second stay here. There are many luxury hotel compounds on the island. This year we again decided to go local and rent an apartment close to the beach for 1/5th of the price. A real no-brainer.

The main beach is along Grace Bay and stretches over 5 miles with multiple beach accesses. With good quality grocery stores, a full-equipped kitchen and a decent cook on board ( that's me  ;D) it could be much, much worse!

The best thing about Turks and Caïcos is that the beaches are mostly empty. Even popular Grace Bay Beach boasts mostly empty stretches of powdery sand and turquoise waters. Just gorgeous.

Can't post pics, as I write from an Ipad. Just google and check what pics there are on the web. You can believe what you see  ;).

Look north northwest, and imagine me waving hello from 1000km (more or less)  away :)
And some pictures of Wikipedia for you (none of them actually where you are)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5f/Turks_and_Caicos_Islands_sunset.jpg/800px-Turks_and_Caicos_Islands_sunset.jpg)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3d/Cockburn_Town.jpg/800px-Cockburn_Town.jpg)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8c/Grand_Turk_beach.JPG/800px-Grand_Turk_beach.JPG)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a1/Blue_Tang_and_Squirrelfish.jpg/800px-Blue_Tang_and_Squirrelfish.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 29, 2012, 02:14:20 PM
Saint Augustine?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 29, 2012, 03:08:19 PM
Béatrice and yours truly are currently vacationing on Providenciales Island, in the Turks and Caïcos Islands.................

Hi André - enjoy!  Susan & I have not been to the Caribbean in a while, but thinking about a cruise in the near future?  Dave :)

P.S. - we travel now w/ an iPad only and it does have it's limitations, but in general is adequate and easily packed!   
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on September 29, 2012, 04:51:49 PM
Saint Augustine?

Pembroke Pines.   Look at Fort Lauderdale, and then move slightly southwest.  We are in effect a suburb of both Miami and Fort Lauderdale, although we're in Broward County, which ties us to Fort Lauderdale much more than Miami.  My house is ten minutes by foot and three minutes by car from the 26th parallel.

I was basing my mileage figures on Wikipedia.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on September 29, 2012, 04:53:40 PM
Hi André - enjoy!  Susan & I have not been to the Caribbean in a while, but thinking about a cruise in the near future?  Dave :)

P.S. - we travel now w/ an iPad only and it does have it's limitations, but in general is adequate and easily packed!

Carnival and possibly Princess do cruises that stop in Turks and Caicos, but I think you might be more interested in the Western routes which visit Roatan Island, and can be taken from either Houston or Miami.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on October 22, 2012, 02:12:42 AM
In Baltimore for a conference. After the busy conference, got to spend a day at the harbor water front and it was wonderful. Loved the cruise the night before, the wonderful day that followed with crabs, shrimp, oysters, and a wonderful visit to the aquarium. Don't know much else about the city, but that part of the city I like.

Tomorrw a boring day at Universal Studios, but will follow by driving to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. I have about 60 CDs with me, so there will be lots of music during the drive.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 22, 2012, 03:01:43 AM
Weather must have been delicious for you, Paul. Sorry that we don't get to see you here in Boston this trip!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: PaulR on October 27, 2012, 07:41:15 PM
On Wednesday, I'll be heading down to NO until Sunday evening.  I most likely will lurk a bit, but probably won't post much. 
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 28, 2012, 07:39:38 AM
On Wednesday, I'll be heading down to NO until Sunday evening.  I most likely will lurk a bit, but probably won't post much.

Hi Paul - I'm assuming that you mean New Orleans?  If so, checkout Curtis Mayfield's Club (http://www.sonesta.com/RoyalNewOrleans/index.cfm?fa=restaurant2.home) in the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street - we went twice on our last visit to the city, along w/ eating dozens of plump oysters!  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: PaulR on October 28, 2012, 06:37:42 PM
Hi Paul - I'm assuming that you mean New Orleans?  If so, checkout Curtis Mayfield's Club (http://www.sonesta.com/RoyalNewOrleans/index.cfm?fa=restaurant2.home) in the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street - we went twice on our last visit to the city, along w/ eating dozens of plump oysters!  :)
Yeah, I meant New Orleans.  Going down there for AMS conference (and hoping that the trip will make me want to stay in school ((which is a different subject)).

I'll have to check that out, my hotel is about 1 mile away.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 19, 2012, 08:09:07 AM
Susan & I just returned from a 2-day trip to the Triangle (Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh) to see a number of traveling art exhibits @ several museums. First visit, was to the Nasher Museum on the Duke Campus - we saw a 'small' portion of the art collection of the Cone sisters which resides in the Baltimore Art Museum - mainly impressionistic pieces w/ a lot of Matisse, their long time dear friend; their older brother, Moses, is of course famous for NC textile mills, Moses Cone Hospital in GSO, & the Cone Mansion off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Second day after a light lunch that included 18 oysters on the half shell (shared equally!), we visited the NC Art Museum which had 2 exhibits; one (the larger) from Boston's MFA entitled 'Still Lifes....', and an eclectic collection covering a number of centuries - some beautiful compositions, I like one by Renoir the best. Also a smaller exhibit on the prints of Edvard Munch (most famous for the SCREAM - which was there as prints) - I had forgotten how many he had made (woodcuts, lithographs, etchings, and mixed media) - I believe we enjoyed that smaller exhibit the most - some of the many art works seen shown below! - :) Dave

(http://twi-ny.com/angst.jpg)  (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/50/Munch_The_Scream_lithography.png)

(http://antiquesandthearts.com/Archives/2012/06-June/images//2012-06-26__12-32-32Image1.GIF)  (http://www.nasher.duke.edu/matisse/img/striped.jpg)

(http://news.ncdcr.gov/news/wp-content/uploads/clip_image00112.jpg)  (http://www.ncartmuseum.org/images/made/images/uploads/mixed-flowers-renoir_237_286_c1.jpg)

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on November 19, 2012, 06:15:07 PM

Second day after a light lunch that included 18 oysters on the half shell (shared equally!), we visited the NC Art Museum which had 2 exhibits; one (the larger) from Boston's MFA entitled 'Still Lifes....', and an eclectic collection covering a number of centuries - some beautiful compositions, I like one by Renoir the best. Also a smaller exhibit on the prints of Edvard Munch (most famous for the SCREAM - which was there as prints) - I had forgotten how many he had made (woodcuts, lithographs, etchings, and mixed media) - I believe we enjoyed that smaller exhibit the most - some of the many art works seen shown below! - :) Dave


I've been to the Boston MFA once in my life, as a kid;  I'm hoping to see it when (G-d willing) I visit family there this summer.  It has, among other things, one of the best collections of Oriental Art in the US, and also a superior collection of Egyptian mummies (the one thing, naturally, which I remember from my juvenile visit).
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 20, 2012, 05:34:12 AM
If you make it up here, do be sure to ping me!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on March 28, 2013, 07:25:17 AM
This year I am going to the following places on business:

Chennai, India (June 10-14, maybe a few days added to travel a bit)
Singapore (July)
Somewhere in Malaysia (probably in August)
Pheonix, AZ (October)

You think I may meet some GMG'ers? Hummm....
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Beorn on March 28, 2013, 07:26:18 AM
This year I am going to the following places on business:

Chennai, India (June 10-14, maybe a few days added to travel a bit)
Singapore (July)
Somewhere in Malaysia (probably in August)
Pheonix, AZ (October)

You think I may meet some GMG'ers? Hummm....

I'll be in AZ this year, as usual.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on March 28, 2013, 07:30:44 AM
I'll be in AZ this year, as usual.
Before or after the conference, I think I will drive up to Camp Verde just north of there. That little place left very good memories about 20 years ago and I would like to revisit.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Beorn on March 28, 2013, 07:32:46 AM
Before or after the conference, I think I will drive up to Camp Verde just north of there. That little place left very good memories about 20 years ago and I would like to revisit.

For October? Outlook not so good.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on March 28, 2013, 07:06:52 PM
This year I am going to the following places on business:

Chennai, India (June 10-14, maybe a few days added to travel a bit)

You think I may meet some GMG'ers? Hummm....

Isn't that Navneeth's home turf?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on March 28, 2013, 07:10:32 PM
Isn't that Navneeth's home turf?

Yes. He is the Sri Najaraj of Chennai.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Opus106 on March 28, 2013, 10:42:37 PM
Yes. He is the Sri Najaraj of Chennai.

The what?! ???
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on March 29, 2013, 12:42:59 AM
The what?! ???

Oops...
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on June 02, 2013, 05:27:50 PM
More a daycation, than a real vacation.  But a trip of eighty miles round trip should count for something!

Made an afternoon at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, in south Palm Beach County.   The origins of this museum are a century old, with a small group of Japanese immigrants who attempted to make an agricultural community in the area.   The community dissolved in the great land boom of the 1920s, but individual members stayed on; one of them being George Morikami,  who several decades later donated the land on which the museum and gardens stand; the museum was founded in 1977.   Originally it was one smaller building in the middle of the gardens;  now there are two buildings and more gardens.  The original building, which imitates a small Japanese home, has two permanent exhibitions, one devoted to the history of the Yamato colony, as the Japanese community was called, and the second a child's view of modern Japan, emphasizing school and family life.  The newer, larger building, which forms the entrance to the complex, holds a gift shop, a small cafe, a theater that normally shows a continually playing movie about George Morikami and the Yamato colony, a "tea room' used for monthly demonstrations of the Tea Ceremony (October through June), and temporary exhibitions drawn from the museum collection.

In all honesty I found the exhibitions to be at best mildly interesting.  The new temporary exhibition is devoted to contemporary artists use of a pseudo folk tradition of dolls (kokeshi) (pseudo folk is the term I use because it seems these sorts of dolls did not appear until the 19th century).   It was the gardens which are the real beauty of this museum, in all senses of the word.  They consist of a series of six smaller gardens in which are presented the development of the Japanese garden as an art, from Heian times (when gardens were essentially an imitation of Chinese gardens) through the entire samurai era of Japanese history, and into the 20th century when Euro-American gardens began to influence native design.  The tour consists of a walk of 7/8 of a mile in length around the edge of a large lake,  the gardens presented more or less in chronological order, and the smaller, older museum near the end.  Attached to the smaller museum is a bonsai garden of trees grown in the bonsai manner from all over the world, and some incidental garden related items, and a small waterfall, are included near the end of the walk.   I took approximately a 100 photographs as I walked around (it took me about an hour to complete the garden tour), and when I figure out where to upload them online (either Flickr or Photobucket, probably),  I'll post a link either here or in the Pictures I Like thread.  But honestly, a photo online just doesn't capture the beauty  of the gardens.  (Nor the humidity,  but that's life in Florida.)

Meanwhile,  you can view the museum's website here
http://www.morikami.org/ (http://www.morikami.org/)
If you are interested in Japanese tea sets, the museum store had a large selection (I have what I want at the moment, so I didn't get anything), plus some other items of Japanese related interested.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 03, 2013, 06:08:21 AM
More a daycation, than a real vacation.  But a trip of eighty miles round trip should count for something!

Made an afternoon at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, in south Palm Beach County...................

Hi Jeffrey - my in-laws use to live in Delray Beach - we visited them annually (spring or fall) - the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens were several early visits and quite beautiful as you describe; also, we had lunch at their cafe both times - kind of a pan-Asian fusion menu, as i recall.  My FIL passed away in the last decade so we've not returned to Delray, BUT we still go to FL in the spring yearly, usually alternating the east & west coasts - most recent trip to Naples (believe I posted here & in the food thread).  If we do get back to the Palm Beach-Delray area, the Morikami complex will be put on our itinerary - thanks for the reminder!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: The new erato on June 11, 2013, 11:41:31 PM
Leaving for a months vacation in a few hours time, including a week on a river boat on France's Canal du Midi (with another couple from Bergen) and two weeks in Spain's basque country, including Bilbao (with the Guggenheim), a few days in San Sebastian (with several world class restaurants booked), Bourgos (for the cathedral and the pilgrimage road to Santiago), and some wine tasting in Rioja before I return to southern France for a friends 51st birthday before the return. Needless to say I am looking forward to it!   
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 12, 2013, 03:16:44 PM
Has anyone been to Tampa or St.Petersburg, FL? Going there next month for a few days...
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 12, 2013, 03:59:01 PM
Has anyone been to Tampa or St.Petersburg, FL? Going there next month for a few days...

Hi Greg - we've been there many times - Clearwater Beach last spring (our 2nd visit), St. Pete's Beach (Don Cesar Hotel) 3-4x over several decades, and Tampa several times - what do you want to know?  NOW, as you likely also know I live in NC, but we've gone to FL for many years on an annual basis and split the coasts - Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 12, 2013, 07:33:27 PM
Hi Greg - we've been there many times - Clearwater Beach last spring (our 2nd visit), St. Pete's Beach (Don Cesar Hotel) 3-4x over several decades, and Tampa several times - what do you want to know?  NOW, as you likely also know I live in NC, but we've gone to FL for many years on an annual basis and split the coasts - Dave :)
Ha, I had a feeling you've been there. Likely just forgot.

Places I plan to visit:
-St.Pete's Beach
-whatever malls around there
-Guitar Center
-Pete's Smokehouse
-whatever Thai restaurant my friend recommends me

Do you know of any places to visit that aren't expensive or free (maybe even just places to walk around)?

I'm finding that I-75 (275 in Tampa) intriguing... this same road goes to Canada, Flint, Cincinnati, Bowling Green (Ohio), Lexington, Chattnooga, Atlanta, Gainsville, Ocala, Tampa, and starts in Hialeah. I've been up it (to Lexington), but not down it. It also seems useful as a reference point, much in the same way that US 441 is for almost anywhere I go.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 13, 2013, 05:51:52 AM
Ha, I had a feeling you've been there. Likely just forgot.

Places I plan to visit:
-St.Pete's Beach
-whatever malls around there
-Guitar Center
-Pete's Smokehouse
-whatever Thai restaurant my friend recommends me

Do you know of any places to visit that aren't expensive or free (maybe even just places to walk around)?

I'm finding that I-75 (275 in Tampa) intriguing... this same road goes to Canada, Flint, Cincinnati, Bowling Green (Ohio), Lexington, Chattnooga, Atlanta, Gainsville, Ocala, Tampa, and starts in Hialeah. I've been up it (to Lexington), but not down it. It also seems useful as a reference point, much in the same way that US 441 is for almost anywhere I go.

Hi Greg - quoted below is a quick list that I just put together which should give you plenty to do in that tri-city area depending on your interests and times - there are plenty of ethnic restaurants (try Ybor City in Tampa - Cuban/Carribean) - Susan & I invariably eat seafood - pick up a AAA book for attractions & search online for restaurants (I use Trip Advisor & Yelp).

ALSO, be sure to take the I-275 Bridge across the entrance to Tampa Bay - goes from St. Pete's to near Brandenton - if you get there visit the South Florida Museum & Acquarium (see the Snooty show - a 60+ y/o manatee, if still alive - don't know?).  Dave :)

Quote
Clearwater Beach
  Clearwater Marine Acquarium - Dolphin Tale movie; great marine naturalist boat ride
  Suncoast Bird Sanctuary - small & runned down but interesting
  Pier - lot of ladies in skimpy bikinis (BUT, of all ages and sizes!)
  Crabby Bill's Seafood near the Pier w/ also plenty of boat rides

St. Petersburg Beach
  Don Cesar Hotel (we've stay there 3-4x - stop in for a drink at least)
  Dali Museum (and other museums)
  Waterfront area - shops & boat rides

Tampa
  Sea World
  Busch Gardens (African theme)
  Ybor City (immigrant; history) - ethnic food
  Plenty of museums
 
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 13, 2013, 06:11:21 AM
Awesome, thanks for the info.  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 13, 2013, 06:20:01 AM
More a daycation, than a real vacation.  But a trip of eighty miles round trip should count for something!

Made an afternoon at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, in south Palm Beach County.   The origins of this museum are a century old, with a small group of Japanese immigrants who attempted to make an agricultural community in the area.   The community dissolved in the great land boom of the 1920s, but individual members stayed on; one of them being George Morikami,  who several decades later donated the land on which the museum and gardens stand; the museum was founded in 1977.   Originally it was one smaller building in the middle of the gardens;  now there are two buildings and more gardens.  The original building, which imitates a small Japanese home, has two permanent exhibitions, one devoted to the history of the Yamato colony, as the Japanese community was called, and the second a child's view of modern Japan, emphasizing school and family life.  The newer, larger building, which forms the entrance to the complex, holds a gift shop, a small cafe, a theater that normally shows a continually playing movie about George Morikami and the Yamato colony, a "tea room' used for monthly demonstrations of the Tea Ceremony (October through June), and temporary exhibitions drawn from the museum collection.

In all honesty I found the exhibitions to be at best mildly interesting.  The new temporary exhibition is devoted to contemporary artists use of a pseudo folk tradition of dolls (kokeshi) (pseudo folk is the term I use because it seems these sorts of dolls did not appear until the 19th century).   It was the gardens which are the real beauty of this museum, in all senses of the word.  They consist of a series of six smaller gardens in which are presented the development of the Japanese garden as an art, from Heian times (when gardens were essentially an imitation of Chinese gardens) through the entire samurai era of Japanese history, and into the 20th century when Euro-American gardens began to influence native design.  The tour consists of a walk of 7/8 of a mile in length around the edge of a large lake,  the gardens presented more or less in chronological order, and the smaller, older museum near the end.  Attached to the smaller museum is a bonsai garden of trees grown in the bonsai manner from all over the world, and some incidental garden related items, and a small waterfall, are included near the end of the walk.   I took approximately a 100 photographs as I walked around (it took me about an hour to complete the garden tour), and when I figure out where to upload them online (either Flickr or Photobucket, probably),  I'll post a link either here or in the Pictures I Like thread.  But honestly, a photo online just doesn't capture the beauty  of the gardens.  (Nor the humidity,  but that's life in Florida.)

Meanwhile,  you can view the museum's website here
http://www.morikami.org/ (http://www.morikami.org/)
If you are interested in Japanese tea sets, the museum store had a large selection (I have what I want at the moment, so I didn't get anything), plus some other items of Japanese related interested.
That sounds very interesting... I'd like to go, but a 3 1/2 hour drive would be hard to decide with my older car.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on June 13, 2013, 06:21:44 AM
That sounds very interesting... I'd like to go, but a 3 1/2 hour drive would be hard to decide with my older car.

How old is your car then?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 13, 2013, 06:26:24 AM
How old is your car then?
1997, with ~110,000 miles. It would probably be fine, but it has a pattern of having at least one major problem each year. One time, it completely shut down while going 50 mph, and I could barely steer it to get off of the road. That's a scenario I would have to prepare for while 3 hours away from home.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on June 13, 2013, 06:37:18 AM
My trips to India, Malaysia and Singapore has been postponed till the last quarter of the year, which is probably a better thing, since there weather will be more pleasant (for me), and it won't take away from my busy season in the summer.

Looks like I will be in China until my October trip to Pheonix and LA. This is the longest I have stayed in China for a long time. I try to have at least three overseas trip per year. So there should be one every 6 months or less!

Oh well...
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on June 13, 2013, 05:24:46 PM
That sounds very interesting... I'd like to go, but a 3 1/2 hour drive would be hard to decide with my older car.

And most of it would be across the Everglades or farming country where, if you got stuck, you'd be really stuck.

However, if you are willing to get out of the immediate Tampa/St. Pete area,  Sarasota is not that far away, and has the three Ringling Museums (the John Ringling residence, Ca'd Zan, built like a Venetian palazzo; the Museum of Art;  the Circus Museum; and also the Asolo Theater, although I don't know what their summer schedule is).   John was the Ringling in Ringling, Barnum and Bailey, hence the Circus Museum; and RBB&B still keep their clown school and their off season residence/training facilities somewhere in the Sarasota area.  At least some of that is also available for public viewing, although I don't know the details or the summer schedule, if there is one.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 13, 2013, 06:58:38 PM
And most of it would be across the Everglades or farming country where, if you got stuck, you'd be really stuck.
Ouch.


However, if you are willing to get out of the immediate Tampa/St. Pete area,  Sarasota is not that far away, and has the three Ringling Museums (the John Ringling residence, Ca'd Zan, built like a Venetian palazzo; the Museum of Art;  the Circus Museum; and also the Asolo Theater, although I don't know what their summer schedule is).   John was the Ringling in Ringling, Barnum and Bailey, hence the Circus Museum; and RBB&B still keep their clown school and their off season residence/training facilities somewhere in the Sarasota area.  At least some of that is also available for public viewing, although I don't know the details or the summer schedule, if there is one.
Not sure if I'll do it or not, since the three days I took off are starting to look more and more full. I see the museum's site, but it seems hard to find much info about the training facilities.

My parents are going to Sarasota (at least, 90% sure that's the place they said) right when I get back, so I'll tell them about it.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 16, 2013, 10:27:13 AM
Susan & I just returned from a short mountain trip concentrating on a 50+ mile stretch on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) around the 334 milepost marker (Switzerland Inn is located there, our lodging & eating place - food much better than expected!).  We have travelled the BRP for more than 40 yrs and likely have been on the entire 469 miles multiple times, but have not been to this particular stretch in 20+ years!

First day headed south on the parkway and visited Craggy Pinnacle at 5892 ft. for a spectacular panoramic view (first 2pics below); the rhododendrons were in bloom (next 2 pics w/ Susan coming up the climb to the top of the pinnacle).  Next was Mt. Mitchell @ 6694 ft. - highest mountain east of the Mississippi River; now keep in mind that the Appalachians are old & worn down, probably first forming about a half billion years ago - estimated that their original heights were similar to the Rockies w/ a LOT of volcanic activity (about the time of Pangea coming together).

Second day headed north toward Linville Gorge & Falls w/ spectacular overlooks & vistas in both directions.  The Falls consist of upper twin small ones and a higher single lower falls (featured prominently in the film 'The Last of the Mohicans'); there's a spectacular basin where the waters from the upper falls swirls around rock formations (created by a much more dramatic river eons ago); the Gorge is nicknamed the 'Grand Canyon of North Carolina' w/ the river 1400 ft. below; the tree-lined mountains hide the majestic size of this gorge (pics below).  Dave :)


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-cGzbvZb/0/O/BRP13_CraggyPin1.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-crDZ6jb/0/O/BRP13_CraggyPin4.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-Kcspzjv/0/O/BRP13_CraggyPin2.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-XwWv6dt/0/O/BRP13_CraggyPin3.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-jB9C8Pc/0/O/BRP13_MtnVista.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-3m2J8RQ/0/O/BRP13_LinvilleFalls.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-3M8J6Bm/0/O/BRP13_LinvilleBasin.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-KNHfbBK/0/O/BRP13_LFallsLower.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 16, 2013, 10:33:33 AM
Susan & I just returned from a short mountain trip concentrating on a 50+ mile stretch on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) around the 334 milepost marker (Switzerland Inn is located there, our lodging & eating place - food much better than expected!).  We have travelled the BRP for more than 40 yrs and likely have been on the entire 469 miles multiple times, but have not been to this particular stretch in 20+ years!

First day headed south on the parkway and visited Craggy Pinnacle at 5892 ft. for a spectacular panoramic view (first 2pics below); the rhododendrons were in bloom (next 2 pics w/ Susan coming up the climb to the top of the pinnacle).  Next was Mt. Mitchell @ 6694 ft. - highest mountain east of the Mississippi River; now keep in mind that the Appalachians are old & worn down, probably first forming about a half billion years ago - estimated that their original heights were similar to the Rockies w/ a LOT of volcanic activity (about the time of Pangea coming together).

Second day headed north toward Linville Gorge & Falls w/ spectacular overlooks & vistas in both directions.  The Falls consist of upper twin small ones and a higher single lower falls (featured prominently in the film 'The Last of the Mohicans'); there's a spectacular basin where the waters from the upper falls swirls around rock formations (created by a much more dramatic river eons ago); the Gorge is nicknamed the 'Grand Canyon of North Carolina' w/ the river 1400 ft. below; the tree-lined mountains hide the majestic size of this gorge (pics below).  Dave :)


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-cGzbvZb/0/O/BRP13_CraggyPin1.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-crDZ6jb/0/O/BRP13_CraggyPin4.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-Kcspzjv/0/O/BRP13_CraggyPin2.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-XwWv6dt/0/O/BRP13_CraggyPin3.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-jB9C8Pc/0/O/BRP13_MtnVista.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-3m2J8RQ/0/O/BRP13_LinvilleFalls.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-3M8J6Bm/0/O/BRP13_LinvilleBasin.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-KNHfbBK/0/O/BRP13_LFallsLower.jpg)
Unbelievably beautiful! You got some great shots too.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on June 16, 2013, 10:51:41 AM
1997, with ~110,000 miles.

That's about 177,000 kilometers. Time to change it, perhaps?  ;D

Is it oil or diesel?

Quote
One time, it completely shut down while going 50 mph, and I could barely steer it to get off of the road.

Ouch! That's not good at all, my friend! Be careful!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DaveF on June 16, 2013, 11:00:00 AM
Susan & I just returned from a short mountain trip concentrating on a 50+ mile stretch on the Blue Ridge Parkway...

Great pictures!  My son and I are planning on being there in about 4 weeks' time for a first visit (indeed, first-ever visit to the US), so will certainly include Linville Gorge.  Mount Mitchell was already on the itinerary.  What's the weather like at the top in July?  I can't believe it can ever be so evil as on Mount Washington, NH, with its 250 mph winds or whatever, but should one be prepared for anything, or are heat and sun guaranteed?

DF
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: North Star on June 16, 2013, 12:11:01 PM
(
Susan & I just returned from a short mountain trip concentrating on a 50+ mile stretch on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) around the 334 milepost marker (Switzerland Inn is located there, our lodging & eating place - food much better than expected!).  We have travelled the BRP for more than 40 yrs and likely have been on the entire 469 miles multiple times, but have not been to this particular stretch in 20+ years!

First day headed south on the parkway and visited Craggy Pinnacle at 5892 ft. for a spectacular panoramic view (first 2pics below); the rhododendrons were in bloom (next 2 pics w/ Susan coming up the climb to the top of the pinnacle).  Next was Mt. Mitchell @ 6694 ft. - highest mountain east of the Mississippi River; now keep in mind that the Appalachians are old & worn down, probably first forming about a half billion years ago - estimated that their original heights were similar to the Rockies w/ a LOT of volcanic activity (about the time of Pangea coming together).

Second day headed north toward Linville Gorge & Falls w/ spectacular overlooks & vistas in both directions.  The Falls consist of upper twin small ones and a higher single lower falls (featured prominently in the film 'The Last of the Mohicans'); there's a spectacular basin where the waters from the upper falls swirls around rock formations (created by a much more dramatic river eons ago); the Gorge is nicknamed the 'Grand Canyon of North Carolina' w/ the river 1400 ft. below; the tree-lined mountains hide the majestic size of this gorge (pics below).  Dave :)

Sounds (and looks!) like a great trip, Dave!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 16, 2013, 03:54:01 PM
Great pictures!  My son and I are planning on being there in about 4 weeks' time for a first visit (indeed, first-ever visit to the US), so will certainly include Linville Gorge.  Mount Mitchell was already on the itinerary.  What's the weather like at the top in July?  I can't believe it can ever be so evil as on Mount Washington, NH, with its 250 mph winds or whatever, but should one be prepared for anything, or are heat and sun guaranteed?

Thanks Neal et al for the comments on our recent trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway - also on this stretch are three small mountain tunnels - NOW, the best tunnels (i.e. length) are on the southern drive below Asheville to Cherokee, which is the end of the parkway.

@ DaveF - July is the warmest month on Mt. Mitchell - see the graph below (NOW, these are average highs & lows, and the local weather for the day will predominate, so you may arrive @ a day that is OFF these averages - just a prediction); we lunched at the lower restaurant which was quite good; all of the facilities have been updated since my last visit - BUT, please include Craggy Pinnacle - both are close together on the parkway and IMO the panoramic views are the best I've experienced from this area, so NOT to be missed.

And for those interested, an image from the web of the lower Linville Falls entering the river - need to take a Gorge trail to the bottom for this view which we did not do - this would be the scene(s) from the movie mentioned (The Last of the Mohicans) - maybe next time?  Dave :)



(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Travel/BR-Parkway-June-2013/i-Xp8bFnx/0/M/Screen%20Shot%202013-06-16%20at%208.31.36%20PM-M.png)  (http://www.catawbariverkeeper.org/about-the-catawba/hiking-camping/LinvilleFalls2.jpg/image)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 16, 2013, 06:01:03 PM
That's about 177,000 kilometers. Time to change it, perhaps?  ;D

Is it oil or diesel?
Oil.

This car (but not a convertible):
(http://www.autopictu.com/images/pontiac-sunfire-07.jpg)

All of my savings are for school, so no money to get a new car. I'm not even fixing the peeling paint or broken CD player. The less amount of loan money to pay off in the future, the better.
It's not even halfway through its life cycle- they normally last 250-300,000 miles. Getting oil changes regularly is supposed to help. Should last a few more years.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Harpo on June 17, 2013, 03:03:13 PM
Susan & I just returned from a short mountain trip concentrating on a 50+ mile stretch on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP)

Scenery was great, as you can see, but I find I'm getting clumsier with age. Sonic had to pick me up off the rocks and roots several times. New hiking rules: 1. Don't step on logs  2. Don't step on sloping rocks 3. Don't step on logs and rocks when they are wet. We've decided to hike only on sidewalks and parking lots from now on. We'll take along our hiking sticks for old times' sake, though.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DaveF on June 19, 2013, 07:20:27 AM
July is the warmest month on Mt. Mitchell - see the graph below (NOW, these are average highs & lows, and the local weather for the day will predominate, so you may arrive @ a day that is OFF these averages - just a prediction); we lunched at the lower restaurant which was quite good; all of the facilities have been updated since my last visit - BUT, please include Craggy Pinnacle - both are close together on the parkway and IMO the panoramic views are the best I've experienced from this area, so NOT to be missed.

Thank you - so it doesn't look as though low temperatures are going to be a problem.  And I've put Craggy Pinnacle on the list.

DF
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 19, 2013, 03:10:44 PM
Thank you - so it doesn't look as though low temperatures are going to be a problem.  And I've put Craggy Pinnacle on the list.

Hi Dave - nope - temps should not be an issue just the weather for that particular day of your visit, so hope that you have wonderful blue skies & sun - the BEST experience at those mountain tops!  Good luck & report back here!  ;)  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DaveF on June 19, 2013, 10:34:31 PM
Hi Dave - nope - temps should not be an issue just the weather for that particular day of your visit, so hope that you have wonderful blue skies & sun - the BEST experience at those mountain tops!  Good luck & report back here!  ;)  Dave

Dave,

Thanks again for that.  And I'll take you at your word about reporting back and include a link to the holiday blog: http://cwotuc.wordpress.com/ (http://cwotuc.wordpress.com/)
Not much in it yet, unless you're terribly interested in me booking car hires and changing currency, but it will start to come to life in a couple of weeks.

DF
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on July 09, 2013, 10:49:10 AM
I think some of you know I spent last week visiting relatives in the Boston area.  While unable to gain a glimpse of a certain composer named Henning, I did get to see Concord and Lexington,  which I haven't seen since I was a kid.

Photographic results can be see on my Flickr page as a set here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34574498@N06/sets/72157634570842698/
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 09, 2013, 11:02:31 AM
I did get to see Concord and Lexington...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34574498@N06/sets/72157634570842698/

Cool. I've never been to the area. Nice to see.

Sarge
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: North Star on July 09, 2013, 11:26:24 AM
Cool. I've never been to the area. Nice to see.

Sarge
+1
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 10, 2013, 02:24:09 AM
I think some of you know I spent last week visiting relatives in the Boston area.  While unable to gain a glimpse of a certain composer named Henning, I did get to see Concord and Lexington,  which I haven't seen since I was a kid.

Thanks for the link & many pics - I've made one visit to Lexington & Concord but has been 20 yrs or so ago - Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2013, 02:59:16 AM
Lexington is not all that far from the said composer's haunts, but timing is not always propitious.

I trust you saw the statue of the Minuteman's illuminated buttocks?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 25, 2013, 06:59:44 AM
Susan & I just returned from a trip to the southwestern mountains of North Carolina - stayed at the Snowbird Mountain Lodge (http://www.snowbirdlodge.com) in the Nantahala National Forest (a Cherokee word meaning 'Land of the Noonday Sun') - the mountains are different here than along the Blue Ridge Parkway - almost 'piled up' and touching the sky w/ individual trees more easily recognized.  We had a small suite w/ a private deck that had a hot tub - was like living in a tree house - package comes w/ breakfast, superb dinners, & a bag lunch (the main activity is hiking & sight seeing). The trip was in celebration of our 43rd wedding anniversary - YIKES! :)

Some pics below:  Top left - morning scene from our deck w/ the 'smoke' rising (these are the Snowbird Mtns) and close to the Great Smoky Mountains (just bordering Fontana Lake); Top right - same mountains from the main lodge building.

Middle left - just another view of the Snowbird Mountains from near the lodge building; middle right - half mile hike to 'Sunrise Point' and an observation deck w/ spectacular views of the same mountains.

Bottom left - opposite direction from 'Sunrise Point' showing a portion of Lake Santeetlah near the town of Robbinsville; bottom right - sun setting over the mountains from our deck - our second visit here and plan to return - Dave :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-HKF3jDn/0/O/SnowBird_13A.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-dVdL8pC/0/O/Snowbird_13B.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-ZTnTRTW/0/L/SunsetPoint2-L.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-ZHwkc3h/0/O/Snowbird_13C.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-dM6j7JX/0/O/Snowbird_13D.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Snowbird-Lodge-0811/i-JwBXZ8G/0/O/Snowbird_13E.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on July 26, 2013, 05:14:10 AM
The trip was in celebration of our 43rd wedding anniversary

Many happy returns, Dave! Great pics!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 26, 2013, 05:20:00 AM
Huzzah!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on July 26, 2013, 06:42:17 AM
Looks great Dave!  I'll try to visit that region in the future.  I'm currently working on visiting all of the state parks in South Carolina.  The state is so small that all can be done with day trips.  I also want to visit the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.  Think I'll do that soon before summer break ends.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 26, 2013, 06:47:04 AM
I enjoyed a ramble of a walk with my brother in Centennial Park.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 26, 2013, 03:38:06 PM
Many happy returns, Dave! Great pics!

Thanks Andrei - can't believe that it's been that long!  ;)   In fact, our son turns 40 y/o next month - YIKES!  Dave


Looks great Dave!  I'll try to visit that region in the future.  I'm currently working on visiting all of the state parks in South Carolina.  The state is so small that all can be done with day trips.  I also want to visit the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.  Think I'll do that soon before summer break ends.

Hi David - that corner of NC does border SC & GA, so not that far from you - Highlands is another nice area in the same vicinity - we've been to the SC Aquarium at least three times (well done!) - there are also boat rides nearby that tour the harbor or can take you out to Ft. Sumter, if you're into the Civil War; plus so much more to do in the Charleston area, including the great food!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on August 05, 2013, 01:52:58 PM
So I did go on a day trip last week to Charleston.  I went to the aquarium.  I went to the gallery part of Fort Sumter, but missed the last ferry out there for the day.  Had dinner at Hyman's Seafood Restaurant, don't know if you've been there Dave, but for anyone else if you're in Charleston that is the place to eat!  Saw some of downtown, which was very impressive.

The rest of my trips this summer had been to state parks.  As of today I've completed everything in the Pee Dee region.  Even though the majority of the parks are in the mountains or the beach, there are still several in the middle of the state to visit.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 06, 2013, 03:07:39 PM
So I did go on a day trip last week to Charleston.  I went to the aquarium.  I went to the gallery part of Fort Sumter, but missed the last ferry out there for the day.  Had dinner at Hyman's Seafood Restaurant, don't know if you've been there Dave, but for anyone else if you're in Charleston that is the place to eat!  Saw some of downtown, which was very impressive..........

Hi David - glad that you enjoyed; Susan & I have been there dozens of times (in fact, a return visit is probably in our near future!) - but a tour of the harbor & a visit to Ft. Sumter a must - also try the corny horse rides (after, you can walk the areas that looked cool - plenty of 'old' house tours available; PLUS, keep in mind that the carriage rides are regulated to routes, so you can take a handful and go into different areas).  After you've seen Charleston (will take a number of visits), then visit the Ashley River Plantations (Middleton Gardens, Magnolia Plantation, & Drayton Hall) - pic below of Magnolia Gardens).

As to Charleston restaurants, just hard to go wrong - the Meeting/Market Street area has a concentration of good/excellent places.  We've eaten @ Hyman's SF Restaurant a number of times - others in that same area recommended are Hank's Seafood Restaurant & Peninsula Grill (same owner's - former less formal & the latter more pricey); several others - Poogan's Porch & SNOB's - BUT there are just too many to remember - keep us abreast of your experiences in Charleston - AND, if you like an elegant 'jungle' island experience, then pay a visit to Kiawah Island, another favorite retreat for us.  Dave :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Miscellaneous/i-6Q3x5xK/0/O/SC02Mag_Web.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on August 07, 2013, 08:56:12 PM
Thanks Dave, I'm going to save your post on my computer for future reference. :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Parsifal on August 17, 2013, 05:21:32 PM

Will be away for 10 days or so, traveling through Pushchino, Moscow and St Petersburg.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on August 18, 2013, 05:53:06 AM
Cool Scarpia, please share pics when you get back! :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 18, 2013, 04:23:45 PM
Will be away for 10 days or so, traveling through Pushchino, Moscow and St Petersburg.

Scarpia - have a great trip and please provide some highlights on your return!  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on September 17, 2013, 06:18:30 AM
Not a vacation but conference in Arizona. Do we have GMG'ers in Phoenix?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 17, 2013, 03:39:30 PM
Not a vacation but conference in Arizona. Do we have GMG'ers in Phoenix?

Hi Paul - don't live there but have been to the USA Southwest many times including Phoenix & Scottsdale (mostly medical meetings when I was still working) - have you gone yet?  If not, where are you staying?  How much free time do you have?  Plenty of things that I could recommend, if interested - Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 17, 2013, 03:48:28 PM
Myrtle Beach for a week with the wife and boy starting Sunday. It's to my in-laws beach house which means free staying. Can't beat that, which is why we visit Myrtle so often. It's South Myrtle Beach so it's away from the hotels and boardwalk, very peaceful, never have to struggle for a space on the sand.
Hopefully I can produce more great pics like I did last time...

(http://gregscottmoeller.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/img_5247.jpg?w=500&h=333)   (http://gregscottmoeller.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/img_5268.jpg?w=500&h=333)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: springrite on September 17, 2013, 04:10:27 PM
Hi Paul - don't live there but have been to the USA Southwest many times including Phoenix & Scottsdale (mostly medical meetings when I was still working) - have you gone yet?  If not, where are you staying?  How much free time do you have?  Plenty of things that I could recommend, if interested - Dave :)
Since I lived in LA for two decades, I have driven to Phoenix many times. I will have some free time so the only planned trip would be to Camp Verde, a small town with a little over 100 families, including Native Americans. I was there with my parents in 1994, arriving on the day of their celebration of the 100th anniversary of the camp's establishment. It was very unique, one of a kind, and Dad wrote about it and published it in China with photos. I want to go there again to give the book to the town.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 17, 2013, 04:31:26 PM
Since I lived in LA for two decades, I have driven to Phoenix many times. I will have some free time so the only planned trip would be to Camp Verde, a small town with a little over 100 families, including Native Americans. I was there with my parents in 1994, arriving on the day of their celebration of the 100th anniversary of the camp's establishment. It was very unique, one of a kind, and Dad wrote about it and published it in China with photos. I want to go there again to give the book to the town.

Sorry, did not know that you were already familiar w/ the area - hope all goes well w/ your planned visit.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on September 17, 2013, 04:38:27 PM
Myrtle Beach for a week with the wife and boy starting Sunday. It's to my in-laws beach house which means free staying. Can't beat that, which is why we visit Myrtle so often. It's South Myrtle Beach so it's away from the hotels and boardwalk, very peaceful, never have to struggle for a space on the sand.
Hopefully I can produce more great pics like I did last time...

(http://gregscottmoeller.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/img_5247.jpg?w=500&h=333)   (http://gregscottmoeller.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/img_5268.jpg?w=500&h=333)

Hi Greg - great pics!  Our last trip to Myrtle Beach was about 4 years ago (stayed at the Marriott in North Myrtle - like it up there) - enjoy the area - lot of varied eating & entertainment options plus some interesting side trips, such as Brookgreen Gardens - Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 17, 2013, 04:43:20 PM
Hi Greg - great pics!  Our last trip to Myrtle Beach was about 4 years ago (stayed at the Marriott in North Myrtle - like it up there) - enjoy the area - lot of varied eating & entertainment options plus some interesting side trips, such as Brookgreen Gardens - Dave :)

Hi, Dave. Yes, the brookgreen gardens is beautiful, we try to get there with every Myrtle visit. And a fun part of our trips is discovering a new independent seafood restaurant.  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Parsifal on September 19, 2013, 01:28:04 PM
I few photos from the first part of my trip to Russia, Moscow

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5543/9824098675_bc54d599c4_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824098675/)
M1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824098675/)

Lenin would be turning over in his grave if he knew about this rodeo on Red Square, and you can check if you want.

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3725/9824110606_51bd3743a7_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824110606/)
M2 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824110606/)

Some good bargains to be had.  IKEA selling office chairs for 999 rubles, that's about 30 bucks!

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2834/9824097435_7ddd554f5d_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097435/)
M3 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097435/)

Even Stalin liked to go shopping, judging by this shopping mall he built in Central Moscow.

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3691/9824097375_5a89f8a56d_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097375/)
M4 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097375/)

If you sing a bawdy song in here you get sent to a Siberian Gulag for 5 years hard labor.  They said no pictures inside.  Since I'm not posting this from a Siberian Gulag, you can infer I didn't try to take any.

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5529/9824097315_365e342cdb_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097315/)
M5 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097315/)

Relics of the late Soviet era are everywhere in Moscow, like this one.  You can sing all the bawdy songs you want in there.

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: mc ukrneal on September 19, 2013, 10:47:09 PM
I few photos from the first part of my trip to Russia, Moscow

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5543/9824098675_bc54d599c4_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824098675/)
M1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824098675/)

Lenin would be turning over in his grave if he knew about this rodeo on Red Square, and you can check if you want.

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3725/9824110606_51bd3743a7_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824110606/)
M2 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824110606/)

Some good bargains to be had.  IKEA selling office chairs for 999 rubles, that's about 30 bucks!

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2834/9824097435_7ddd554f5d_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097435/)
M3 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097435/)

Even Stalin liked to go shopping, judging by this shopping mall he built in Central Moscow.

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3691/9824097375_5a89f8a56d_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097375/)
M4 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097375/)

If you sing a bawdy song in here you get sent to a Siberian Gulag for 5 years hard labor.  They said no pictures inside.  Since I'm not posting this from a Siberian Gulag, you can infer I didn't try to take any.

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5529/9824097315_365e342cdb_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097315/)
M5 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824097315/)

Relics of the late Soviet era are everywhere in Moscow, like this one.  You can sing all the bawdy songs you want in there.


Nice pics! I see from what follows you also went to Peter's Summer Palance and Tsarskoe Selo. Fun stuff - assume you saw the 'new' Amber room. Did you make it to any of the monestaries in the Golden Ring around Moscow (for example, Zagorsk)? You had very good very good weather too.

It used to be that even taking a picture of a bridge could land you in jail. I was once in Crimea taking pictures of the (then rusting) Russian warships. No one seemed to care, but the bridges in Moscow and St. Petersburg were a different story!!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Parsifal on September 20, 2013, 05:47:08 AM
Also had an excursion to St. Petersburg

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7333/9824176713_1ea5015dc4_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824176713/)
P1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824176713/)

Here are fountains first installed by Peter I, near Petergof.  No pumps are employed, it is all driven by hydrostatic pressure.

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2819/9824072074_d8241c36d2_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824072074/)
P2 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824072074/)

This provides a potential escape route for Edward Snowden, the channel leads to the Gulf of Finland, and freedom.

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3824/9824095475_fd7e865d04_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824095475/)
P3 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824095475/)

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5543/9824173563_79c1d11ef6_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824173563/)
P4 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824173563/)

This marks the spot where Alexander II was attacked by a bomb, very uncharacteristic of St. Petersburg

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3792/9824093505_0b28211f41_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824093505/)
P5 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/102329977@N03/9824093505/)

The Summer Palace.  Supposedly Catherine the Great objected to this because the gold hurt her eyes.  I can relate.

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Parsifal on September 20, 2013, 05:49:00 AM
Nice pics! I see from what follows you also went to Peter's Summer Palance and Tsarskoe Selo. Fun stuff - assume you saw the 'new' Amber room. Did you make it to any of the monestaries in the Golden Ring around Moscow (for example, Zagorsk)? You had very good very good weather too.

It used to be that even taking a picture of a bridge could land you in jail. I was once in Crimea taking pictures of the (then rusting) Russian warships. No one seemed to care, but the bridges in Moscow and St. Petersburg were a different story!!

We did visit St. Petersburg and saw the reconstructed amber room.  It wasn't the most impressive thing we saw.  The golden ring will have to wait a future trip.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: PaulR on November 01, 2013, 06:27:13 AM
Going to Pittsburgh next Wednesday for the AMS conference.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 02, 2013, 04:16:07 AM
Imminent evacuation from The Town of the Pulse.  By good chance, or road to the airport does not conflict with the Sox's "rolling rally."
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Est.1965 on December 04, 2013, 12:18:16 PM
Changing broadband providers this week, may be off for a few days...nothing new there then.   :laugh: :laugh:
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 04, 2013, 12:27:35 PM
Good luck!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Artem on December 25, 2013, 07:16:49 PM
Returned from a week long vacation in the Dominican Republic. Didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Great place for a good rest.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on March 03, 2014, 11:00:33 AM
Does anybody have any recommendations for hiking boots? Next week my friends and I are heading to Guatemala to scale a volcano or two.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on March 03, 2014, 06:06:17 PM
Brand is far less important than making sure they fit.  You don't want to get blisters two thousand feet up in the middle of the jungle.  Plan to spend several hours (afternoon preferable) shopping for boots,  visit several stores, and walk around in them for five or ten minutes at a time.  (Selling shoes is how I get the rent CD purchasing money.)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on May 01, 2014, 06:13:23 PM
May 8-10: Copenhagen, with side trip to Helsingor
May 11-12: Gotland, Sweden to go biking
May 13-15: Stockholm, Sweden

Here's the music I'm bringing for the flights:
Alfven: Symphonies 1-5 etc. (Jarvi, BIS)
Berwald: Symphonic Poems (Sakari, Naxos)
Englund: Cello Concerto, Piano Concertos (Gustafsson, Raekallio, Ondine)
Leifs: Pastoral Variations (Lindberg, BIS)
Linde: Concerto Piccolo (Lindberg, BIS)
Linde: Violin & Cello Concertos (Gomyo, Kliegel, Naxos)
Nielsen: String Quartets and Quintet (Young Danish Quartet, Dacapo)
Nielsen: Symphonies 2 & 3 (Schonwandt, Dacapo)
Nielsen: Symphonies 4 & 5 (Bernstein, Sony)
Nielsen: Wind Quintet (Frosunda Qtt, BIS)
Oscar Peterson: Exclusively for My Friends (4 CDs, originally 6 LPs)

And here are the books I'll be reading (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,68.msg795779.html#msg795779).
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on May 06, 2014, 06:02:24 PM
May 8-10: Copenhagen, with side trip to Helsingor
May 11-12: Gotland, Sweden to go biking
May 13-15: Stockholm, Sweden
Bye folks! I'll be back online May 19.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Mirror Image on May 06, 2014, 06:34:21 PM
So long, Brian! Be safe and be sure to take plenty of pictures for us!

I have a somewhat fascination with Sweden as I found out a few years ago that some of my ancestors hailed from there.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on May 13, 2014, 04:46:54 PM
Off early tomorrow (need to be at the airport at 6AM!) to Boston and then to Fredericksburg Va for the weekend with my uncle and his Civil War Group.   This week and last week mark the 150th anniversaries of the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse, both close to Fredericksburg,  and we'll be touring those battlefields plus a couple of other things in the immediate area before returning for a day in Boston in relatives. Weather by Florida standards will be downright cold--50s and 60s almost all the time, except for tomorrow when Boston will be in the 70s.   Be back in Miami and hot weather on Tuesday.

But unlike last year, I have a tablet, so I will be able to post snide remarks unhindered, and listen to at least some music on the plane and the bus between Massachusetts and Virginia:   I've got loaded on the tablet courtesty of Amazon Cloud Player
Beethoven's Symphonies--Bernstein/VPO
Mahler 5--Gergiev/LSO
Lionel Rogg playing various Bach fugues and free form works for organ
Rachmaninov Piano Concertos 1 and 2--Andsnes/Pappano
Alexandre Tharaud playing various Scarlatti sonatas
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 14, 2014, 05:38:21 AM
Off early tomorrow (need to be at the airport at 6AM!) to Boston and then to Fredericksburg Va for the weekend with my uncle and his Civil War Group.   This week and last week mark the 150th anniversaries of the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse, both close to Fredericksburg,  and we'll be touring those battlefields plus a couple of other things in the immediate area before returning for a day in Boston in relatives. Weather by Florida standards will be downright cold--50s and 60s almost all the time, except for tomorrow when Boston will be in the 70s.   Be back in Miami and hot weather on Tuesday..............

Hi Jeffrey - I'm a BIG Civil War buff (easy living in Piedmont, NC) for decades and have visited nearly all of the BIG battlefields - need to get back to Gettysburg since the ugly tower was torn down and a new visitor's center has opened - may be in the fall or early next year.  We just returned from a trip to Northern Alabama, Shiloh Battlefield, & Nashville, TN - put a travelogue in another forum - need to transfer some posts here!

We visit VA a lot and have also been to the Wilderness area & Spotsylvania Courthouse; of course, Chancellorsville Battlefield is in the vicinity (where Stonewall lost his left arm and died w/i a week or so) - have a GREAT time and let us know your adventures.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 14, 2014, 05:43:03 AM
Northern Alabama, Shiloh Battlefield, & Nashville Tennessee! - last month we did a 5-day trip to the areas listed - I left a lot of posts in a travelogue in another forum - will try to bring a bunch here since there may be some who might find the trip of interest and a potential vacation option - below is the opening post w/ a map showing where we visited.  :)

Susan & I just returned from a 5-night trip to the west of North Carolina (our home state, USA) - flew into Nashville, TN (Tennessee), picked up a rental car, and drove to Florence, Alabama (AL) - spent 3 nights there @ a great Marriott Hotel - then back to Nashville (about 2+ hrs drive) for 2 more nights (our 4th visit to Nashville but first part of the trip were NEW experiences for us); I put about 500 miles on the car w/ this adventure.

To start this travelogue is an attached map of middle TN and northern AL; the first part was a drive from Nashville (red arrow) to Florence (blue arrow) - from the latter, we did a day trip to the Shiloh Battlefield (green arrow back into TN near Corinth, Mississippi), an early Civll War battle occurring April 6-7, 1862.

This is just the start, i.e. I'll add further posts describing in more detail the fascinating places and sites to visit in this area of the USA - now this will likely only be of interest to those who might be in the USA, but hopefully several members close by will be stimulated to visit some of these places. Dave
.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 14, 2014, 05:49:29 AM
Shiloh Battlefield - day trip from Florence, AL back into TN near the Mississippi state line - I'm an USA Civil War buff and have been to nearly all of the major battlefields of this war, which started on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in Charleston (South Carolina) harbor and lasted 4 years ending at Appomattox Court House in southern Virginia (about an hour and a half from our home) in the spring of 1865 where Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S. Grant.

In early 1862, Grant captured Forts Henry and Donelson on the Tennessee (TN) & Cumberland rivers, respectively; he moved down the TN river to Pittsburgh Landing (pic below looking quite peaceful but a major area of activity in early April 1862 w/ gun ironclads, hospital boats, and other vessels); the battle started abruptly on April 6 when Albert Sidney Johnston's Confederates drove Grant's army back to the river; much of the activity centered around a small church called Shiloh (pic below of a reconstruction of the original), hence the name of the battle. Grant's army was soon reinforced by Buell's Army of Ohio.

On the second day (April 7, 1862), Grant w/ now superior forces drove the southerns from the field and recovered all lost ground from the day before. This was a 'shocking' battle for the country; more than 110,000 men fought on both sides, over 3000 were killed on the battlefield (many more died later of their wounds) - the dead were so concentrated in places that Grant stated that he could cross a field just stepping on the fallen men w/o touching the ground! AS Johnston lost his life from a bullet to his right leg and the South lost one of its best generals. Now, all knew that the war would be long, bloody, and with a major loss of life - in the end over 600,000 men died in this war (nothing in US history of wars even came close).

The visitor's center has an excellent 'new' film w/ CGI graphics of Union gunboats coming up the TN river to Pittsburgh Landing - Dave
.
(http://www.ipadforums.net/attachments/travel-stories/55566d1398140956t-northern-alabama-shiloh-battlefield-nashville-tennessee-landing_inline.jpg)  (http://www.ipadforums.net/attachments/travel-stories/55567d1398141133t-northern-alabama-shiloh-battlefield-nashville-tennessee-10-15-2010-grand-harbor-resort-shiloh-battlefield-020.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 14, 2014, 05:54:04 AM
Shiloh Battlefield w/ some of my own photos - please see the early post on this important American Civil War (1861-1865) battle which happened in early April, 1862. The Visitor's Center is a small museum w/ historic exhibits of the main aspects of the battle and plenty of personal information on the experiences of the fighting men; an approximate half hour film is excellent.

A short walk through the Cemetery to Pittsburg Landing (also my pics) - so peaceful on the Tennessee River but this was the major arrival point of Grant's many ships which included supply & hospital boats (shown in a photo from the web); of course, he had many ironclads which could lob shells from their decks into the Confederates on land.

The battlefield is quite large (several miles in all directions), so an auto guide is the main means of seeing all of the sites - there are plenty of stops along the way, so one could spend hours (and even several days) on the historic property; a CD audio tour can also be purchased. Dave :)
.
(http://www.ipadforums.net/attachments/travel-stories/55668d1398360714t-northern-alabama-shiloh-battlefield-nashville-tennessee-shilohvctr4_14.jpg)  (http://www.ipadforums.net/attachments/travel-stories/55669d1398360730t-northern-alabama-shiloh-battlefield-nashville-tennessee-shilohcem4_14.jpg)  (http://www.ipadforums.net/attachments/travel-stories/55670d1398360742t-northern-alabama-shiloh-battlefield-nashville-tennessee-pittsland4_14.jpg)  (http://www.ipadforums.net/attachments/travel-stories/55671d1398360753t-northern-alabama-shiloh-battlefield-nashville-tennessee-pittsburg-landing-700px.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 14, 2014, 05:56:50 AM
Western Civil War Gunboats - a few posts back I mentioned Pittsburg Landing at the battle of Shiloh and posted a photo of some docked boats which were not gunboats that were used on the western campaign (i.e. Mississippi River and the major tributaries, such as the Ohio, Tennessee, & Cumberland Rivers). U.S. Grant in early 1862 captured Forts Henry & Donelson on the Tennessee & Cumberland Rivers (the latter runs through Nashville) - Nashville was evacuated by the Confederates; Grant then proceeded into southern Tennessee w/ his next major victory @ Shiloh (as already discussed) - he then concentrated on the last stronghold on the Mississippi, i.e. Vicksburg, MS - if captured, then the Federals would control the entire MAJOR river in the USA (this was called the Anaconda Plan conceived by Winfield Scott); New Orleans had already been captured - well Grant's goal was not achieved until July 4, 1863 (the day that Lee was retreating from the 3-day battle @ Gettysburg, PA).

NOW, I'm adding an extra post here for those who may be interested because the topic fascinates me - I briefly mentioned the use of 'ironclads' in a previous post, but the naval innovations that occurred in the American Civil War had profound influences on the history of the world on the oceans. The 'gunboats' created in this war had two major differences vs. wooden ships w/ sails: 1) Steam power was used, i.e. no sails; and 2) Iron plates were on their surfaces, impervious to a regular cannon balls. These western gunboats were designed by James Eads among others; of course, the most famous ironclad battle of the Civil War (i.e. Monitor & Merrimack in Hampton Roads, March 1862) occurred in Virginia - the MAIN point is that the use of these steam driven ironclad ships in early 1862 virtually ended the era of wooden ships w/ sails in war - it was a NEW way to fight on the sea! Below are just some pics from the web of the boats used in the western campaign - often called 'Turtles' due their low draft and lack of sails - Dave :)
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(http://www.ipadforums.net/attachments/travel-stories/55685d1398392425t-northern-alabama-shiloh-battlefield-nashville-tennessee-uss_mound_city_01.jpg)  (http://www.ipadforums.net/attachments/travel-stories/55683d1398392200t-northern-alabama-shiloh-battlefield-nashville-tennessee-uss_cairo_h61568.jpg)  (http://www.ipadforums.net/attachments/travel-stories/55684d1398392254t-northern-alabama-shiloh-battlefield-nashville-tennessee-usscarondelet.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on July 03, 2014, 10:17:55 AM
Flying out to Paris, Brussels, the Alsace, Basel, and the Loire Valley. See y'all on July 21.  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on August 03, 2014, 01:34:28 PM
From Aug 8 to 25
At the cottage, with, I will have you know, the first girl I ever kissed.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on August 04, 2014, 01:14:12 AM
From Aug 8 to 25
At the cottage, with, I will have you know, the first girl I ever kissed.

Make sure she never meets your current girl.  ;D :D >:D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on August 04, 2014, 05:46:28 AM
Make sure she never meets your current girl.  ;D :D >:D
:laugh:
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: The new erato on August 04, 2014, 07:56:51 AM
Make sure she never meets your current girl.  ;D :D >:D
In which case she also may be the last girl you ever will kiss......
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on August 04, 2014, 08:00:13 AM
In which case she also may be the last girl you ever will kiss......

She is going to be the first guy she ever kissed! So we might both have some splainin' to do!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on August 04, 2014, 10:41:39 PM
She is going to be the first guy she ever kissed! So we might both have some splainin' to do!

You lost me for good. The only way that phrase makes any sense would be, with some minor corrections:

"She" is going to be the first gay she ever kissed! ;D ;D ;D

Ummmm, nevermind.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: The new erato on August 04, 2014, 11:31:06 PM
Unclear sentence but KenB is the first guy she ever kissed.....I guess (hope) that was what he meant.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on August 05, 2014, 12:52:18 AM
Unclear sentence but KenB is the first guy she ever kissed.....

Actually, no. He said that he was going to go on vacation with the first girl he ever kissed. There is no way of inferring how many guys, if any, she kissed before he kissed her.  ;D



Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on August 05, 2014, 03:44:52 AM
Unclear sentence but KenB is the first guy she ever kissed.....I guess (hope) that was what he meant.
Yes, exactly.
Typing melt down, but my she is the first girl I ever kissed and I am the first guy she ever kissed.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on August 05, 2014, 03:57:19 AM
Yes, exactly.
Typing melt down, but my she is the first girl I ever kissed and I am the first guy she ever kissed.

And you lived happily ever after, I hope.  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on August 05, 2014, 03:58:59 AM
And you lived happily ever after, I hope.  :)
Well, I was married twice in between, with 2 narrow escapes, and she was married once ...
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on August 05, 2014, 04:00:40 AM
Well, I was married twice in between, with 2 narrow escapes, and she was married once ...

There's no true coming home except going around the world...  :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: The new erato on August 05, 2014, 04:02:09 AM
Well, I was married twice in between, with 2 narrow escapes, and she was married once ...
Marriages and kissing don't mix.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on August 05, 2014, 05:11:22 AM
I have the inverse vacation advisory.  My summer break is coming to a close.  I return back to work on Thursday. Very close to two months on the dot since the end of year meetings were wrapped up.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Bogey on August 05, 2014, 06:54:36 AM
I have the inverse vacation advisory.  My summer break is coming to a close.  I return back to work on Thursday. Very close to two months on the dot since the end of year meetings were wrapped up.

I'm feeling ya. :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 05, 2014, 08:05:43 AM
I have the inverse vacation advisory.  My summer break is coming to a close.  I return back to work on Thursday. Very close to two months on the dot since the end of year meetings were wrapped up.

Hi David - did you ever get down to the Carolina shore this summer?  Can be gruesomely hot this time of the year, though - Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on August 06, 2014, 04:22:18 AM
Hi David - did you ever get down to the Carolina shore this summer?  Can be gruesomely hot this time of the year, though - Dave :)

Nope for the reason you stated.  I went last in the spring when the weather was nice but it was off season so dogs were allowed.  It has been a hot summer and I've taken no day trips.  Last summer I was visiting state parks, but this summer nothing. 
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Bogey on August 06, 2014, 04:37:28 AM
Nope for the reason you stated.  I went last in the spring when the weather was nice but it was off season so dogs were allowed.  It has been a hot summer and I've taken no day trips.  Last summer I was visiting state parks, but this summer nothing.

Sometimes those are the best vacations. :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 06, 2014, 06:01:00 AM
Nope for the reason you stated.  I went last in the spring when the weather was nice but it was off season so dogs were allowed.  It has been a hot summer and I've taken no day trips.  Last summer I was visiting state parks, but this summer nothing.

Well, next summer you might want to explore the mountains - usually our choice in these summer months.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on August 06, 2014, 09:27:26 AM
Well, next summer you might want to explore the mountains - usually our choice in these summer months.  Dave :)

That's what my neighbor said.  Will do!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on August 06, 2014, 09:28:31 AM
Sometimes those are the best vacations. :)

Yes I did alot of reading.  Also did alot of work on de-cluttering my apartment as well as my storage room at work.  And I bought some new furniture.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Bogey on August 06, 2014, 09:41:53 AM
Yes I did alot of reading.  Also did alot of work on de-cluttering my apartment as well as my storage room at work.  And I bought some new furniture.

We are working on that as well this summer. We are getting rid of tons of stuff and it barely looks as if we scratched the surface.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: DavidW on August 06, 2014, 12:17:28 PM
We are working on that as well this summer. We are getting rid of tons of stuff and it barely looks as if we scratched the surface.

Glad I'm not the only one.  I wanted to do the whole apartment, did only one room.  But it was the worst by far!  Now I've reclaimed it and turned into a study.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 26, 2014, 05:19:36 PM
I'll be on the road for the next week and a half, beginning Weds, 8/27. A couple of days in New York City, followed by a week in rural New England. Let's hold down the excitement; I'll be back!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Mirror Image on August 26, 2014, 05:48:33 PM
Happy trails, Gurn! Be safe my friend. :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: EigenUser on August 27, 2014, 12:36:23 AM
I'll be on the road for the next week and a half, beginning Weds, 8/27. A couple of days in New York City, followed by a week in rural New England. Let's hold down the excitement; I'll be back!  :)

8)

Make sure to stop at the Juilliard Music Store if you get the chance! Lots of books, scores, and CDs.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 27, 2014, 06:36:23 AM
I'll be on the road for the next week and a half, beginning Weds, 8/27. A couple of days in New York City, followed by a week in rural New England. Let's hold down the excitement; I'll be back!  :)

Hi Gurn - have a great time!  Susan & I are off to Montauk, LI in a week or so on our yearly visit to see her mother & brother - will likely be eating lobsters, oysters, & clams for 4 days - :)  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 27, 2014, 06:53:43 AM
Safe travels, Gurn & Dave-&-Susan!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 27, 2014, 03:35:34 PM
Safe travels, Gurn & Dave-&-Susan!

Thanks Karl - we'll try to return to the North Fork for some more wine tasting - :)  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 29, 2014, 12:22:11 PM
Thanks all for your comments. I tried replying yesterday AM on the subway but we dove underground just as I hit the post button.  Nate, we made it to Juilliard, I only came away with a cap... they had facsimile autograph pages, but when I asked about Haydn, the said no, just Bach and Beethoven. WHEN I mumbled something about 'fuc@!#?' hacks, they kicked us out. Bruce was so embarrassed, he couldn't even use his "but I work here" excuse! 
:D 

8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brewski on August 29, 2014, 01:36:24 PM
Thanks all for your comments. I tried replying yesterday AM on the subway but we dove underground just as I hit the post button.  Nate, we made it to Juilliard, I only came away with a cap... they had facsimile autograph pages, but when I asked about Haydn, the said no, just Bach and Beethoven. WHEN I mumbled something about 'fuc@!#?' hacks, they kicked us out. Bruce was so embarrassed, he couldn't even use his "but I work here" excuse! 
:D 

8)

Yes, I am now banned from appearing anywhere in the Lincoln Center vicinity.

 :D  8)  :D  8)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: EigenUser on August 29, 2014, 04:39:57 PM
Thanks all for your comments. I tried replying yesterday AM on the subway but we dove underground just as I hit the post button.  Nate, we made it to Juilliard, I only came away with a cap... they had facsimile autograph pages, but when I asked about Haydn, the said no, just Bach and Beethoven. WHEN I mumbled something about 'fuc@!#?' hacks, they kicked us out. Bruce was so embarrassed, he couldn't even use his "but I work here" excuse! 
:D 

8)
:laugh:

Yes, I am now banned from appearing anywhere in the Lincoln Center vicinity.

 :D  8)  :D  8)

--Bruce
Woah, you work at Juilliard? I am going up there in October to see a performance of Messiaen's Oiseaux Exotiques!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brewski on September 01, 2014, 08:20:26 AM
:laugh:
Woah, you work at Juilliard? I am going up there in October to see a performance of Messiaen's Oiseaux Exotiques!

Actually (just to clarify) I do a monthly column on recordings for The Juilliard Journal, the school's paper. But I'm likely to be at that same concert, with AXIOM conducted by Jeffrey Milarsky. By all means, if you're there, we'll have to say hello!

--Bruce
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 08, 2014, 04:29:49 AM
Heading out of town for a few days.  If we have WiFi, I may look in now and again :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 10, 2014, 08:56:45 AM
At Olana, the home of artist Fredric Church, with two living and lively artists at work.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/10/11/u3ybyje3.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: North Star on October 10, 2014, 09:11:37 AM
At Olana, the home of artist Fredric Church, with two living and lively artists at work.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/10/11/u3ybyje3.jpg)
Lovely! I'm sure the scenery and history are inspiring. :) These dwellings of the HRS painters are certainly high on my list of places to visit were I ever to travel in the States.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 10, 2014, 09:25:04 AM
That was what tormented the artists at first: everywhere they turned there was a beautiful view.  Too many choices!  At last they were able to settle down, although it is a bit funny to use the phrase "settle down" when what happened was, they each started five canvases.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: North Star on October 10, 2014, 09:34:21 AM
That was what tormented the artists at first: everywhere they turned there was a beautiful view.  Too many choices!  At last they were able to settle down, although it is a bit funny to use the phrase "settle down" when what happened was, they each started five canvases.
Hah!  :laugh:
And of course the most obviously beautiful sceneries don't necessarily make for the best landscapes, just as the best portraits aren't in general of exceptionally beautiful people.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 10, 2014, 12:08:22 PM
At Olana, the home of artist Fredric Church, with two living and lively artists at work.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/10/11/u3ybyje3.jpg)

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7034/6487171229_9bdcb3b030_z.jpg)

Karl - Susan & I did a Hudson River trip around 2000 or so - flew into Albany and picked up a rental car, started south in Poughkeepsie and ended up in Saratoga Springs w/ visits to West Point, Hyde Park, and the attractions around Saratoga - of course also went to Olana - added a pic above.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 11, 2014, 11:40:02 AM
Cheers, Dave!

Today is our last in New York. We are dawdling in the fine weather; in fact, the artists are about a hundred yards away sketching a dramatic gorge (from which the nearby town Grand Gorge appears to get its name).

This is not a photo of the gorge, it is Maria working in one last painting from the porch of our suite. She began painting at 11 o'clock and we checked out at 12.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/10/12/upe6uge6.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on October 19, 2014, 05:01:19 PM
Burning off some vacation days at work (use them or lose them) so I decided to play tourist at least a couple of times this week.
First stop here
http://www.deeringestate.org/index.aspx

Charles Deering and his brother James got their money from International Harvester.  James built Vizcaya, a faux Renaissance palace not far from downtown Miami.  Charles opted for a simpler mansion.  Of course he already had two mansions, one of them a castle, in Catalunya/Catalonia, so he did not need to fake his Renaissance.

He chose Richmond Cottage, directly on Biscayne Bay, at that time the first hotel south of the city of Miami and north of Key West, a wood and stucco building he renovated.  To it he added what is called the Stone House, with his library, grand salon, bedrooms, etc.   North of the house is a large mangrove stand, preserved in part by his efforts, and which is as much an attraction as the buildings. 

Almost all of the combined house was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew, but it was all reconstructed and reopened for the public. (Only the western facade, which faces inland survived without much damage.). Only a few of the current furnishings are original,  since most were scattered among the Deering family in the decades that they owned the property,  and what is original is often the donation of the Deering heirs in recent years.

When I have a chance to upload my pictures to Flickr I will post the URL here or in the photography thread.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 20, 2014, 04:00:52 AM
Good on ya for using 'em up, Jeffrey!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on October 21, 2014, 04:50:36 PM
Staycation adventure 2
West Palm Beach
The Norton Museum, featuring a nice array of painting and some sculpture...mostly artists unknown to me, but some famous names too, usually represented by smaller or lesser known works. Strong on late 19th and early 20th century French and American, especially Impressionism and Expressionism.  But beyond this, the second floor was devoted to an extensive array of Chinese ceramics and bronzes, some dating back to the Shang, and a large display of four young photographers/graphic artists for some sort of competition called the Rudin prize occupied a major portion of the first floor. http://www.norton.org
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: PaulR on October 29, 2014, 05:40:41 PM
Going to Milwaukee for a conference next Wednesday until Sunday!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on February 26, 2015, 04:45:07 PM
Naples, Florida for a week, starting tomorrow.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Moonfish on February 26, 2015, 05:01:09 PM
Naples, Florida for a week, starting tomorrow.
Spend some more and go to Naples, Italy!!   8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 26, 2015, 06:09:42 PM
Naples, Florida for a week, starting tomorrow.

We were there a few years ago and enjoyed!  Typically in the early spring, we do a FL trip and alternate the coasts!

In a few weeks, a 5-night trip to Ft. Lauderdale - hope that the 'cold spell' passes and will enjoy! 

@ Peter - been to Naples, Italy - at our age, wife & I prefer a more relaxed and shorter vacation, so Naples, FL is a nice substitute - ;)  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on February 26, 2015, 06:55:15 PM
We were there a few years ago and enjoyed!  Typically in the early spring, we do a FL trip and alternate the coasts!

In a few weeks, a 5-night trip to Ft. Lauderdale - hope that the 'cold spell' passes and will enjoy! 

@ Peter - been to Naples, Italy - at our age, wife & I prefer a more relaxed and shorter vacation, so Naples, FL is a nice substitute - ;)  Dave

Been to both. I prefer Sorrento  :laugh:

My parents own a small condo in Naples Fl, so rent free ....
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Mirror Image on February 26, 2015, 07:02:47 PM
I'm going to try and make it down to Jacksonville, FL. this year as I really would just like to see the city (never been) and would love to visit the Delius House on the campus of the University of Jacksonville. It would be even greater if I could meet a fellow Delian down there. I'm sure there are many since this is where the Delius Society of Florida meets, holds meetings, sponsors events/concerts, etc.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on February 26, 2015, 07:39:32 PM
this is where the Delius Society of Florida meets, holds meetings, sponsors events/concerts, etc.

(http://www.getsaga.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Phone-Booth.jpg)

 >:D :P
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on February 26, 2015, 07:52:05 PM
We were there a few years ago and enjoyed!  Typically in the early spring, we do a FL trip and alternate the coasts!

In a few weeks, a 5-night trip to Ft. Lauderdale - hope that the 'cold spell' passes and will enjoy! 

@ Peter - been to Naples, Italy - at our age, wife & I prefer a more relaxed and shorter vacation, so Naples, FL is a nice substitute - ;)  Dave
It passed.  Temps in the 80s yesterday and today, with a front coming through to lower it into the 70s tomorrow.  A week ago I had the heat on.  Today I had the AC on.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Mirror Image on February 26, 2015, 08:46:55 PM
(http://www.getsaga.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Phone-Booth.jpg)

 >:D :P

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure reference? ;) ;D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on February 26, 2015, 09:26:38 PM
March 6 - March 15, 2015

San Francisco, Sonoma County, & Humboldt County

-including-
SF Chinatown
SF/Berkeley bookstore crawl
About a dozen winery visits, focusing on sirah, zinfandel, Russian River pinot noir, and Anderson Valley white wines
Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Montgomery Woods State Reserve
North Coast Brewery

-with special guest stars-
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Rachel Podger (violin & conductor)
in 9 Vivaldi concertos!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on February 27, 2015, 04:02:47 AM
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure reference? ;) ;D

Touche!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 27, 2015, 07:52:06 AM
I'm going to try and make it down to Jacksonville, FL. this year as I really would just like to see the city (never been) and would love to visit the Delius House on the campus of the University of Jacksonville. It would be even greater if I could meet a fellow Delian down there. I'm sure there are many since this is where the Delius Society of Florida meets, holds meetings, sponsors events/concerts, etc.

John - we've travelled to FL a lot over the decades and usually alternate the coasts - but just below Jacksonville is St. Augustine, founded in 1565 - a wonderful place to visit (if not already done).  Dave :)

(http://americandrivingvacations.com/atc2015/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/FL-St.-Augustine-2.jpg)  (http://augustine.com/sites/default/files/castillo_west_aerial_5x3.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on March 05, 2015, 07:08:34 PM
March 6 - March 15, 2015

San Francisco, Sonoma County, & Humboldt County

-including-
SF Chinatown
SF/Berkeley bookstore crawl
About a dozen winery visits, focusing on sirah, zinfandel, Russian River pinot noir, and Anderson Valley white wines
Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Montgomery Woods State Reserve
North Coast Brewery

-with special guest stars-
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Rachel Podger (violin & conductor)
in 9 Vivaldi concertos!

Setting off tomorrow evening. For the rent-a-car portion of my journey, bringing a bunch of jazz by Hampton Hawes, Mal Waldron, and Charles Mingus, plus this awesome set I could never do without:

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on May 18, 2015, 05:25:30 PM
Did my invasion of Virginia this past week. Focus on the days leading up to Lee's surrender.
Pictures now on Flickr.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/34574498@N06/collections/72157653053288711/
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on May 18, 2015, 05:31:08 PM
Did my invasion of Virginia this past week. Focus on the days leading up to Lee's surrender.
Pictures now on Flickr.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/34574498@N06/collections/72157653053288711/

I call your attention to my current avatar.

Looks cross-eyed and unimpressive in that picture, doesn't he?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on May 18, 2015, 05:34:47 PM
I call your attention to my current avatar.

Looks cross-eyed and unimpressive in that picture, doesn't he?

I bought a copy of Passing of the Armies while I was there.  He certainly knew how to write.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on May 18, 2015, 05:42:36 PM
Here is a magazine article with his description of the final days.
http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/primarysources/the-last-salute-of-the-army.html
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 18, 2015, 05:48:18 PM
I call your attention to my current avatar.

Looks cross-eyed and unimpressive in that picture, doesn't he?

Jeffrey & Ken - Susan & I are about to embark early in the morning on a 6-night trip into Virginia - first stop, Petersburg for just one night - then off to the Ritz in Tyson's Corner for 3 nights - on the way there, we'll stop at the Bull Run Battlefield and then make an excursion to Gettysburg (have not been there since the ugly tower was torn down and a new visitor's center opened); finally, to Richmond for a couple of nights - will stop off at Fredericksburg for a tour & lunch.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is one of my favorite Civil War characters - Little Round Top @ Gettysburg, then nearly killed @ Petersburg; eventually promoted to general status and was chosen to accept the surrender of Lee's army @ Appomattox - despite his injuries, still lived into his 80s, was 4-time governor of Maine, and president of Bowdoin College (where he apparently thought nearly all of the courses offered) - WHAT a guy! 

A more recognizable image below along w/ the Medal of Honor he received for Little Round top - Dave :)

P.S. forced my wife to re-watch the Ken Burns Civil War series (just excellent!) and I watched Gettysburg w/ Jeff Daniels as Chamberlain - enjoyed yet again for the umpteenth time - ;)

(http://www2.artflakes.com/artwork/products/1248059/poster/18-joshua-lawrence-chamberlain-medal-of-honor.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: kishnevi on May 18, 2015, 05:58:45 PM
Enjoy!

If you can, see Pamplin Park in Petersburg.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 18, 2015, 06:06:06 PM
Enjoy!

If you can, see Pamplin Park in Petersburg.

Thanks - that's our first stop - suspect about 2 1/2 hr drive for us, then on to Petersburg close by - Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: EigenUser on May 18, 2015, 10:59:34 PM
Ritz in Tyson's Corner for 3 nights
Five minutes away from my house (though, I'm away at college).

Enjoy!

If you can, see Pamplin Park in Petersburg.
I went to Pamplin Park on a field trip in 4th grade. My only memory is when we went to the gift shop to get our parents souvenirs. I got my parents two shot glasses. Not one, but two. One for each (they don't do shots). Years later, my mom told me that she was mortified at what the teachers/chaperons must have thought, especially since she was a frequent volunteer at my school.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Ken B on May 19, 2015, 12:33:29 PM
Jeffrey & Ken - Susan & I are about to embark early in the morning on a 6-night trip into Virginia - first stop, Petersburg for just one night - then off to the Ritz in Tyson's Corner for 3 nights - on the way there, we'll stop at the Bull Run Battlefield and then make an excursion to Gettysburg (have not been there since the ugly tower was torn down and a new visitor's center opened); finally, to Richmond for a couple of nights - will stop off at Fredericksburg for a tour & lunch.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is one of my favorite Civil War characters - Little Round Top @ Gettysburg, then nearly killed @ Petersburg; eventually promoted to general status and was chosen to accept the surrender of Lee's army @ Appomattox - despite his injuries, still lived into his 80s, was 4-time governor of Maine, and president of Bowdoin College (where he apparently thought nearly all of the courses offered) - WHAT a guy! 

A more recognizable image below along w/ the Medal of Honor he received for Little Round top - Dave :)

P.S. forced my wife to re-watch the Ken Burns Civil War series (just excellent!) and I watched Gettysburg w/ Jeff Daniels as Chamberlain - enjoyed yet again for the umpteenth time - ;)

(http://www2.artflakes.com/artwork/products/1248059/poster/18-joshua-lawrence-chamberlain-medal-of-honor.jpg)

His decision on Little Round Top is I think the most dramatic moment in American history. They call Lee audacious! But what strikes me about it is that once you get past what an outlandish thinking-outside-the-box decision it is, it's very logical. The only asset he had left was gravity, so he used it.
And the salute was a magnificent and important action too.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Brian on July 16, 2015, 06:34:47 PM
Tomorrow afternoon, off to spend a weekend in Washington, DC! It's only a weekend, but a vacation nonetheless. :)

Also, on the plane, a 10th year of service for my 2006 iPod Classic. The thing's battery is dying, and it doesn't respond to commands with perfect accuracy, but it's older than almost any other functioning Apple product owned by my friends/family.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 17, 2015, 07:06:56 AM
Tomorrow afternoon, off to spend a weekend in Washington, DC! It's only a weekend, but a vacation nonetheless. :)

Also, on the plane, a 10th year of service for my 2006 iPod Classic. The thing's battery is dying, and it doesn't respond to commands with perfect accuracy, but it's older than almost any other functioning Apple product owned by my friends/family.

Hi Brian - we've been to D.C. plenty of times and on our last visit a few months ago decided to see some of the newer museums that we had not been to more recently - of several our favorite was the Newseum (http://www.newseum.org) - recommended if you've seen the others and want a 'different' experience - have a great time!  Dave :)

(http://mscouponista.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/newseum-exterior-night-592mrg080510.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: EigenUser on July 18, 2015, 12:31:43 AM
Tomorrow afternoon, off to spend a weekend in Washington, DC! It's only a weekend, but a vacation nonetheless. :)

Also, on the plane, a 10th year of service for my 2006 iPod Classic. The thing's battery is dying, and it doesn't respond to commands with perfect accuracy, but it's older than almost any other functioning Apple product owned by my friends/family.
Aw man. Too bad I'm in DE currently. Otherwise we could meet up somewhere. Oh well...
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on July 18, 2015, 12:30:21 PM
Hi, folks!

I have just returned from a 3-night trip in central Romania. I have visited the following places:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bistri%C8%9Ba_Monastery_%28V%C3%A2lcea%29 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bistri%C8%9Ba_Monastery_%28V%C3%A2lcea%29)

2. http://www.agerpres.ro/engleza-destinatie-romania/2014/09/18/destination-romania-prislop-monastery-hunedoara-the-place-where-priest-arsenie-boca-is-lying-in-eternal-sleep-10-56-47 (http://www.agerpres.ro/engleza-destinatie-romania/2014/09/18/destination-romania-prislop-monastery-hunedoara-the-place-where-priest-arsenie-boca-is-lying-in-eternal-sleep-10-56-47)

3. http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/tourism/eden/themes-destinations/countries/romania/geoagiu-bai/index_en.htm (http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/tourism/eden/themes-destinations/countries/romania/geoagiu-bai/index_en.htm)

4. http://salinaturda.eu/photo-gallery/?lang=en (http://salinaturda.eu/photo-gallery/?lang=en)

5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sighi%C8%99oara (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sighi%C8%99oara)

6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibiu (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibiu)

7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transalpina_%28DN67C%29 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transalpina_%28DN67C%29)

8. http://surprising-romania.blogspot.ro/2009/01/polovragi-monastery.html (http://surprising-romania.blogspot.ro/2009/01/polovragi-monastery.html)

About 1,500 km by car.

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Moonfish on July 18, 2015, 12:40:10 PM
Hi, folks!

I have just returned from a 3-night trip in central Romania. I have visited the following places:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bistri%C8%9Ba_Monastery_%28V%C3%A2lcea%29 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bistri%C8%9Ba_Monastery_%28V%C3%A2lcea%29)

2. http://www.agerpres.ro/engleza-destinatie-romania/2014/09/18/destination-romania-prislop-monastery-hunedoara-the-place-where-priest-arsenie-boca-is-lying-in-eternal-sleep-10-56-47 (http://www.agerpres.ro/engleza-destinatie-romania/2014/09/18/destination-romania-prislop-monastery-hunedoara-the-place-where-priest-arsenie-boca-is-lying-in-eternal-sleep-10-56-47)

3. http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/tourism/eden/themes-destinations/countries/romania/geoagiu-bai/index_en.htm (http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/tourism/eden/themes-destinations/countries/romania/geoagiu-bai/index_en.htm)

4. http://salinaturda.eu/photo-gallery/?lang=en (http://salinaturda.eu/photo-gallery/?lang=en)

5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sighi%C8%99oara (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sighi%C8%99oara)

6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibiu (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibiu)

7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transalpina_%28DN67C%29 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transalpina_%28DN67C%29)

8. http://surprising-romania.blogspot.ro/2009/01/polovragi-monastery.html (http://surprising-romania.blogspot.ro/2009/01/polovragi-monastery.html)

About 1,500 km by car.

So you actually drove about 400 km/day during your trip? About 5 hours of driving per day?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on July 18, 2015, 12:50:20 PM
So you actually drove about 400 km/day during your trip? About 5 hours of driving per day?

FWIW, today I drove 400+ km starting at about 10 AM and finishing at about 10 PM. That is 12 hours, of which I effectively drove at least 10.  :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Moonfish on July 18, 2015, 01:16:39 PM
FWIW, today I drove 400+ km starting at about 10 AM and finishing at about 10 PM. That is 12 hours, of which I effectively drove at least 10.  :D

I presume that you are exhausted? Did you enjoy the spots you visited?  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on July 18, 2015, 01:26:44 PM
I presume that you are exhausted?

Honestly, I can drive hundreds upon hundreds of kms --- the exhaustion shows itself only in the last 20 or 30 km --- but then again when I finish driving I have a few beers and I feel like posting here again! :D

Quote
Did you enjoy the spots you visited?  :)

Yes, absolutely, every bit and inch of them!  :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 18, 2015, 02:54:40 PM
Hi, folks!

I have just returned from a 3-night trip in central Romania. I have visited the following places:
.................
About 1,500 km by car.

Hi Andrei - looks like some great sites that you visited - thanks for the links!  In May, wife & I did a 6-night trip from North Carolina to southern Pennsylvania mainly to visit a bunch of Civil War battle sites (Petersburg, VA; Bull Run, VA; Gettysburg, PA; Fredericksburg, VA) w/ an ending stay in Richmond, VA - put 900 miles on the car (about the same as you!) - Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 25, 2015, 05:22:52 AM
The missus's fancy this year runs to a day-trip-distance outing to Acadia National Park.  We've never been so deep Down East before (maybe this is the first we shall actually have been Down East . . . terminology, and all.)  The distance is agreeably short;  but we shall stay there some four nights.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Mirror Image on August 25, 2015, 05:32:54 AM
The missus's fancy this year runs to a day-trip-distance outing to Acadia National Park.  We've never been so deep Down East before (maybe this is the first we shall actually have been Down East . . . terminology, and all.)  The distance is agreeably short;  but we shall stay there some four nights.

Have a great time, Karl, and be safe. From the pictures, looks like a beautiful place to visit.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 25, 2015, 05:38:45 AM
Thanks!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 25, 2015, 08:35:24 AM
The missus's fancy this year runs to a day-trip-distance outing to Acadia National Park.  We've never been so deep Down East before (maybe this is the first we shall actually have been Down East . . . terminology, and all.)  The distance is agreeably short;  but we shall stay there some four nights.

Hi Karl - we've made 3 or 4 trips to Maine over the years (been a while and miss the lobsters up there!) - but on one trip we stayed in Bar Harbor and visited Acadia National Park - enjoy! 

For Susan & I, we just returned from a 4-night trip to the Charlottesville, VA area - mainly wanted to see the progress being done of Jefferson's Poplar Forest 'escape' home near Lynchburg (did on the way up) and on Madison's Montpelier - both dramatically further restorations; also, went west to Staunton, VA for a day trip to see Woodrow Wilson's birthplace home, visit the Frontier Culture Museum, and take a ride on the Skyline Drive.  In addition, we sampled vinous products at about a half wineries in the vicinity over our 3 days there.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 25, 2015, 08:38:16 AM
Cheers, Dave!  I've probably told you that I did my Master's at UVa, very fond of the old place!  I love that they keep a room in honor of Poe (who was kicked out).
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 25, 2015, 08:41:08 AM
Cheers, Dave!  I've probably told you that I did my Master's at UVa, very fond of the old place!  I love that they keep a room in honor of Poe (who was kicked out).

Yep, I remember that you attended the U of VA - great area to go to school!  Dave :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: XB-70 Valkyrie on August 25, 2015, 02:04:45 PM
I am interested in advice on travel to Ireland. We are looking at about a two week trip with five or six nights in Dublin, then renting a car and driving around the south and west of the island, and hopefully a trip to Skellig Michael and the Aran Islands. We are interested in the usual castles, megaliths, beaches, scenic vistas, and some good food (and Guinness!!). Possibly late summer of next year.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Spineur on September 24, 2016, 01:17:37 AM
We are planning a 3 weeks trip to Myanmar (Burma) over the christmas break 8).  I found a nice travel agency there which is helping us with the planning and  the reservations.  Any advices, recommendations would at this stage be most welcome. :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Spineur on December 16, 2017, 09:43:01 AM
This year we are off to the Canarias for 20 days.  Half on Tenerife and half on la Palma.  It is our 4th trip there (average temperature in December & January 18C).  The plan is to do some hiking, beach time and good restaurant.  I came across some nice recording of the Tenerife orchestra.  Maybe we can check it out too.

Mount Teide on Tenerife is the highest point of Spain.  It oversees the largest caldera in the world (over 26 km in diameter).  Pic:

Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Spineur on December 21, 2017, 07:22:42 AM
One of my Teide photo I just took.  Perfect weather, but cold and windy.  But what a breathtaking sight !

After the climb I am blasting Aida in my earphones !
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Moonfish on June 05, 2018, 10:57:55 AM
*bump*

Any musical vacations this year?

(http://www.talesbeyondbelief.com/images/nine-muses-mantegna.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Moonfish on June 10, 2018, 12:18:24 PM
Tomorrow I'm taking off for Europe for a few weeks so my postings will be more sporadic (or non-existent for that matter) depending on Wifi access.  Anyways, I DO plan to be back to kindle the CDCDCD syndrome.   0:) 0:)

I will miss listening to classical music.....    :'( :'(

*feverish and desperate look going through withdrawal*
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on September 09, 2019, 12:20:57 PM
Driving the West Coast

At the end of this week, Wifey & I are flying to Seattle, then commencing a drive to Los Angeles. The whole thing will take about 12 days, with an average of 3-4 hours driving time per day.

Apart from a visit to San Francisco 10 years ago, I've never been to the West Coast. I figure it's time to take a proper look.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 09, 2019, 12:34:25 PM
Driving the West Coast

At the end of this week, Wifey & I are flying to Seattle, then commencing a drive to Los Angeles. The whole thing will take about 12 days, with an average of 3-4 hours driving time per day.

Apart from a visit to San Francisco 10 years ago, I've never been to the West Coast. I figure it's time to take a proper look.

Excellent. A beautiful drive. I made a similar trip (Seattle to San Francisco) in 1970 when I returned to the States after 13 months in Korea.

Sarge
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 09, 2019, 12:43:35 PM
Driving the West Coast

At the end of this week, Wifey & I are flying to Seattle, then commencing a drive to Los Angeles. The whole thing will take about 12 days, with an average of 3-4 hours driving time per day.

Apart from a visit to San Francisco 10 years ago, I've never been to the West Coast. I figure it's time to take a proper look.

Excellent. Safe travels!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: listener on October 08, 2019, 03:15:19 PM
As an older person I now realize there is limited time for some activities for me.   I think I can get to Beijing (new airport) and return from London (get there through the Chunnel) using accumulated points.  I love train travel, could do Beijing-Almaty-Samarkand-ishevsk-Warsaw-Prague-Berlin (never been to any of them) London in short hops with frequent stopovers.  It's a year from now, so I'm appreciating info from anyone who has been in those areas.  I don't drive.

Here's a website that's useful for thinking schedules and prices: https://www.rome2rio.com/
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: André on October 08, 2019, 04:35:30 PM
As an older person I now realize there is limited time for some activities for me.   I think I can get to Beijing (new airport) and return from London (get there through the Chunnel) using accumulated points.  I love train travel, could do Beijing-Almaty-Samarkand-ishevsk-Warsaw-Prague-Berlin (never been to any of them) London in short hops with frequent stopovers.  It's a year from now, so I'm appreciating info from anyone who has been in those areas.  I don't drive.

That’s quite a project you’ve got there! A few years ago one of my aunts traveled roughly that itinerary by train - I believe it was the Trans-Siberian. She was close to 80 and traveled alone.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Artem on October 10, 2019, 01:44:08 PM
Train rides in the former Soviet Union countries may not be particularly comfortable. I used to travel from Kazakhstan's capital to Moscow by train and it took 2,5 days and was just awful. 
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2019, 01:02:49 PM
As an older person I now realize there is limited time for some activities for me.   I think I can get to Beijing (new airport) and return from London (get there through the Chunnel) using accumulated points.  I love train travel, could do Beijing-Almaty-Samarkand-ishevsk-Warsaw-Prague-Berlin (never been to any of them) London in short hops with frequent stopovers.  It's a year from now, so I'm appreciating info from anyone who has been in those areas.  I don't drive.

Here's a website that's useful for thinking schedules and prices: https://www.rome2rio.com/
I've been to Berlin (x2), Warsaw (when it was communist) and Prague and can recommend them all.

I'm going to Siena for a short break in about a week's time. I've never driven on the continent before. I'm not especially looking forward to driving the 68 miles from Pisa Airport to Siena on the 'wrong side of the road'.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Jo498 on October 11, 2019, 01:35:37 PM
Couldn't you just go by train or bus from Pisa to Siena?
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2019, 11:35:22 PM
Couldn't you just go by train or bus from Pisa to Siena?

Thanks. I did ask about that but the hotel we're staying at is outside Siena and I was told that a car is essential for exploring the local area and driving around to see the local villages etc.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Moonfish on October 11, 2019, 11:37:03 PM
I've been to Berlin (x2), Warsaw (when it was communist) and Prague and can recommend them all.

I'm going to Siena for a short break in about a week's time. I've never driven on the continent before. I'm not especially looking forward to driving the 68 miles from Pisa Airport to Siena on the 'wrong side of the road'.

I'm planning a trip going birding in the UK and have the same "fear". Ha ha! 

Siena in October sounds lovely.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 12, 2019, 01:47:08 AM
I'm planning a trip going birding in the UK and have the same "fear". Ha ha! 

Siena in October sounds lovely.

Yes, but it's not our fault that every other country decided to drive on the wrong side of the road.  8)
Trip sounds nice. Which part of the UK are you going to? I'm really looking forward to Siena. I've been to Florence and Pisa but never Siena. I'll be back just before we crash out of the EU - what a disaster.  :(
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: listener on October 12, 2019, 12:49:04 PM
I'm planning a trip going birding in the UK and have the same "fear". Ha ha! 

Siena in October sounds lovely.

It is, do the centre plaza late afternoon - wonderful colours and light.     As for my trip, I could get to Nizhny Novgorod and Zelazowa Wola if the timings are night
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 22, 2019, 10:01:44 AM
Greetings all from Siena.

So far the hire car has had a flat tyre and my wife and I would have spent the night in the car near the autostrada had a kind young Italian woman and her friend not helped us. Today having a relaxing glass of wine in a charming cafe/music shop in Siena (which is a very beautiful city) I spilt red wine all over my wife's' white trousers. This did not go down well. Then, whilst she was soaking the trousers in the sink in our hotel room I inadvertently knocked the electric hair dryer into the filled basin thus fusing all the electrics in the room (this happened twice). And we are only on day two of our relaxing mini-break!

Amazingly the music shop had a 'Vaughan Williams' section although only Hilary Hahn performing 'The Lark Ascending' etc.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: André on October 22, 2019, 01:17:25 PM
 ???  :o
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Irons on October 22, 2019, 01:29:10 PM
Greetings all from Siena.

So far the hire car has had a flat tyre and my wife and I would have spent the night in the car near the autostrada had a kind young Italian woman and her friend not helped us. Today having a relaxing glass of wine in a charming cafe/music shop in Siena (which is a very beautiful city) I spilt red wine all over my wife's' white trousers. This did not go down well. Then, whilst she was soaking the trousers in the sink in our hotel room I inadvertently knocked the electric hair dryer into the filled basin thus fusing all the electrics in the room (this happened twice). And we are only on day two of our relaxing mini-break!

Amazingly the music shop had a 'Vaughan Williams' section although only Hilary Hahn performing 'The Lark Ascending' etc.

Blimey Jeffrey! That is dangerous - I mean knocking hair dryer in basin not spilling wine over wife. Although in my case the latter would be pretty dangerous too!  :'(

Enjoy your trip. Lovely part of the world.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 22, 2019, 02:14:42 PM
Greetings all from Siena.

So far the hire car has had a flat tyre and my wife and I would have spent the night in the car near the autostrada had a kind young Italian woman and her friend not helped us. Today having a relaxing glass of wine in a charming cafe/music shop in Siena (which is a very beautiful city) I spilt red wine all over my wife's' white trousers. This did not go down well. Then, whilst she was soaking the trousers in the sink in our hotel room I inadvertently knocked the electric hair dryer into the filled basin thus fusing all the electrics in the room (this happened twice). And we are only on day two of our relaxing mini-break!

Oh my Jeffrey!  Are you trying to write a script for a re-make of a National Lampoon Vacation movie -  ;)  But you're in a beautiful part of Italy w/ plenty of 'vino choices' - stay safe and have fun!  Dave
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 23, 2019, 04:53:34 AM
Greetings all from Siena.

So far the hire car has had a flat tyre[...]Today having a relaxing glass of wine in a charming cafe/music shop in Siena (which is a very beautiful city) I spilt red wine all over my wife's' white trousers[...]Then, whilst she was soaking the trousers in the sink in our hotel room I inadvertently knocked the electric hair dryer into the filled basin thus fusing all the electrics in the room (this happened twice).

Good to get the little disasters out of the way early in the trip :o  It should be smooth sailing from this point on. Good luck!

Sarge
 
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 23, 2019, 12:30:25 PM
Thank you guys - much appreciated. Today was without incident (famous last words) and we took our little hire-care Fiat 500 into the hills and I greatly enjoyed seeing the Palace of Pope Pius II in Pienza and Montalcino. The beautiful Italian countryside looks straight out of the film 'Gladiator' - the CD of the soundtrack was for sale in the palace bookshop.
Don't worry, I won't be subjecting you to a nauseating daily 'Look-at-Me' bulletin but just thought that I would say hello.

When I emailed my daughter about our 'Monsieur Hulot's Holiday'- type adventures she replied that it sounded like 'a normal holiday' in this family.
 :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on October 24, 2019, 02:53:26 AM
Greetings all from Siena.

So far the hire car has had a flat tyre and my wife and I would have spent the night in the car near the autostrada had a kind young Italian woman and her friend not helped us. Today having a relaxing glass of wine in a charming cafe/music shop in Siena (which is a very beautiful city) I spilt red wine all over my wife's' white trousers. This did not go down well. Then, whilst she was soaking the trousers in the sink in our hotel room I inadvertently knocked the electric hair dryer into the filled basin thus fusing all the electrics in the room (this happened twice). And we are only on day two of our relaxing mini-break!

(https://media0.giphy.com/media/mFdnWF1RTI7fi/200w.webp?cid=790b761190e6c82e085cfe6a0ecbda7cb693a3900e67abb9&rid=200w.webp)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Iota on October 24, 2019, 04:23:56 AM
Greetings all from Siena.

So far the hire car has had a flat tyre and my wife and I would have spent the night in the car near the autostrada had a kind young Italian woman and her friend not helped us. Today having a relaxing glass of wine in a charming cafe/music shop in Siena (which is a very beautiful city) I spilt red wine all over my wife's' white trousers. This did not go down well. Then, whilst she was soaking the trousers in the sink in our hotel room I inadvertently knocked the electric hair dryer into the filled basin thus fusing all the electrics in the room (this happened twice). And we are only on day two of our relaxing mini-break!

Amazingly the music shop had a 'Vaughan Williams' section although only Hilary Hahn performing 'The Lark Ascending' etc.

Ha ha, thanks, Vandermolen, that gave me a real laugh ... first came Harold in Italy, then Vandermolen in Siena .. he he. A long way to go to audition for the part of Frank Spencer though surely? ... :laugh:  Happy peregrinations!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Iota on October 24, 2019, 04:39:29 AM
Driving the West Coast

At the end of this week, Wifey & I are flying to Seattle, then commencing a drive to Los Angeles. The whole thing will take about 12 days, with an average of 3-4 hours driving time per day.

Apart from a visit to San Francisco 10 years ago, I've never been to the West Coast. I figure it's time to take a proper look.

Hope that was good. This summer I was in California too, it was an absolutely sensational trip. My first time on the West Coast. We drove up from LA via Death Valley, Yosemite, finishing about two weeks later in San Francisco. One wonder after another, hard to take it all in, but I was completely smitten! I was wondering if Donald might let me retire there ..
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 24, 2019, 08:40:47 AM
Ha ha, thanks, Vandermolen, that gave me a real laugh ... first came Harold in Italy, then Vandermolen in Siena .. he he. A long way to go to audition for the part of Frank Spencer though surely? ... :laugh:  Happy peregrinations!

'Vandermolen in Siena' very funny!
 :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: André on October 24, 2019, 09:41:04 AM
Or « Jeffrey’s excellent italian adventure ». :D
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 24, 2019, 11:35:59 AM
Or « Jeffrey’s excellent italian adventure ». :D
:)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 27, 2019, 03:33:50 AM
Sarge was right and there were no more major disasters on my Italian adventure. Even though I found driving a left-hand drive car on the 'wrong' side of the road very nerve wracking, having it did allow us to explore a lot more of the beautiful countryside in Tuscany. It did also allow me to benefit from my wife's driving tips, mostly 'STAY ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD!'
 :)

(http://)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: André on October 27, 2019, 07:08:32 AM
Nice, Jeffrey!

Not too many Hyacinth back-seat driving moments, I hope?  :D


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0wZxcdM3KGo (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0wZxcdM3KGo)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 27, 2019, 09:08:29 AM
Nice, Jeffrey!

Not too many Hyacinth back-seat driving moments, I hope?  :D


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0wZxcdM3KGo (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0wZxcdM3KGo)

Yes, that was pretty much the dynamic!

Thank you my friend.
 :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Florestan on October 27, 2019, 10:49:57 AM
my wife's driving tips, mostly 'STAY ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD!'

Your wife is a wise woman, but my own tip would be slightly different:

STAY ON THE RIGHT, period.

 >:D :P
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 27, 2019, 11:12:24 AM
Sarge was right and there were no more major disasters on my Italian adventure.

Good to hear, Jeffrey. And having a wife as co-pilot is a great thing. I appreciate Mrs. Rock's pointing out the things I might have missed. Keeps us safe.

Sarge
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 27, 2019, 11:23:21 AM
Your wife is a wise woman, but my own tip would be slightly different:

STAY ON THE RIGHT, period.

 >:D :P
8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 27, 2019, 11:24:01 AM
Good to hear, Jeffrey. And having a wife as co-pilot is a great thing. I appreciate Mrs. Rock's pointing out the things I might have missed. Keeps us safe.

Sarge
Thank you Sarge.
 :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Mirror Image on October 27, 2019, 11:34:15 AM
Sarge was right and there were no more major disasters on my Italian adventure. Even though I found driving a left-hand drive car on the 'wrong' side of the road very nerve wracking, having it did allow us to explore a lot more of the beautiful countryside in Tuscany. It did also allow me to benefit from my wife's driving tips, mostly 'STAY ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD!'
 :)

(http://)

Wonderful, Jeffrey! I’m glad you and the missus made it back in working order. :) That second photo is beautiful. What a countryside!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 27, 2019, 11:49:42 AM
Wonderful, Jeffrey! I’m glad you and the missus made it back in working order. :) That second photo is beautiful. What a countryside!
Thank you John! Here's the 'missus' taking a photo from the site of an Etruscan tomb which we came across by chance:
(http://)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: JBS on October 27, 2019, 12:19:25 PM
Glad everything turned out fine. Great photos, too.
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on October 27, 2019, 01:00:53 PM
Glad everything turned out fine. Great photos, too.
Thanks Jeffrey
 :)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: Mirror Image on October 27, 2019, 05:59:06 PM
Thank you John! Here's the 'missus' taking a photo from the site of an Etruscan tomb which we came across by chance:
(http://)

Very nice indeed. 8)
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: owlice on October 30, 2019, 07:27:34 PM
:: adds Siena to the list of places to visit ::

Or « Jeffrey’s excellent italian adventure ». :D
This made me laugh! I liked Rock's comment about getting all the little disasters out of the way at the beginning of the trip, and indeed, it seems that's exactly what you did!

I got back last week from a trip to the Netherlands and Germany. We happened to hit Leiden just in time for their October 3 Festival (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_October_Festival), which was great fun! Lots of street food, rides, games, stalls for buying stuff, and entertainment, including a guitar/mountain dulcimer duo. The mountain dulcimer was held and played almost like a guitar. The foliage in Garching was lovely. I was in Garching last year, too, but was too early for Octoberfest; this year, I was there too late for it!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 31, 2019, 04:20:39 AM
:: adds Siena to the list of places to visit ::
This made me laugh! I liked Rock's comment about getting all the little disasters out of the way at the beginning of the trip, and indeed, it seems that's exactly what you did!

I got back last week from a trip to the Netherlands and Germany. We happened to hit Leiden just in time for their October 3 Festival (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_October_Festival), which was great fun! Lots of street food, rides, games, stalls for buying stuff, and entertainment, including a guitar/mountain dulcimer duo. The mountain dulcimer was held and played almost like a guitar. The foliage in Garching was lovely. I was in Garching last year, too, but was too early for Octoberfest; this year, I was there too late for it!


Nice!
Title: Re: Vacation Advisory!
Post by: vandermolen on November 03, 2019, 11:31:08 PM
:: adds Siena to the list of places to visit ::
This made me laugh! I liked Rock's comment about getting all the little disasters out of the way at the beginning of the trip, and indeed, it seems that's exactly what you did!

I got back last week from a trip to the Netherlands and Germany. We happened to hit Leiden just in time for their October 3 Festival (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_October_Festival), which was great fun! Lots of street food, rides, games, stalls for buying stuff, and entertainment, including a guitar/mountain dulcimer duo. The mountain dulcimer was held and played almost like a guitar. The foliage in Garching was lovely. I was in Garching last year, too, but was too early for Octoberfest; this year, I was there too late for it!

Very nice indeed. Leiden has happy GMG associations for me. My daughter was 'studying' in Leiden for a year as part of her degree course at Leeds University in England. Leiden is very beautiful indeed and it was a pleasure to visit. I went twice, once to take my daughter over on the ferry and once to visit her. It also gave us the opportunity to meet  and share a lovely evening with two famous Dutch Johans of this forum. Happy memories or 'The Siege of Leiden' as one of them put it. I'm sure that you'd like Siena.