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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-12-2006, 07:31 AM   #21
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

DW and I went to the Galapagos last year. It was great. You are essentially forced to take an organized tour. We went on the Integrity, a luxurious yacht, that carries up to 16 passengers. The islands are fascinating and the snorkling is first class.
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-14-2006, 06:42 PM   #22
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrinch
The dream vacation that sticks in my imagination is the Kilimanjaro/safari trip that was discussd here a few months ago. I'm looking into that for my family either next summer or the one after. I've seen a lot of the Americas and Asia, but haven't been to Africa yet.
An African safari is on my to-do list for next year. $10K is doable for a two week trip. I know some people who have gone and every single one has raved about it.
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-14-2006, 07:43 PM   #23
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

Quote:
An African safari is on my to-do list for next year. $10K is doable for a two week trip. I know some people who have gone and every single one has raved about it.
Add me to the ravers -- did the Kilimanjaro / Safari trip last year and would NOT have missed it for the world. While I'm a long way from 13 years old I think it would be invaluable for a youngster to see how people in developing nations live.

That said, I've also rafted the Colorado -- twice. It's a measure of the experience that I went two years in a row -- I generally prefer new and different every time. Can you knock off the houseboat to better afford the river trip or maybe even extend it? The more time you take the better -- it takes a few days to slow down to the river's pace. It's mind-altering, I tell you!

Recommendation -- try to find an outfitter that rows the boats if you don't have one already. Nothing like the sound of an engine to intrude on your wilderness experience!

Whatever you do, have a great time and thanks for starting this thread -- it's given me some fabulous ideas.
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-15-2006, 03:22 AM   #24
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

Milwaukee.

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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-15-2006, 10:59 AM   #25
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3 Yrs to Go
An African safari is on my to-do list for next year. $10K is doable for a two week trip.
Us, too. Can't wait! (Is that $10k for one or two people? We're spending almost that per person...eep)
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-15-2006, 11:55 AM   #26
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

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Originally Posted by astromeria
Us, too. Can't wait! (Is that $10k for one or two people? We're spending almost that per person...eep)
We have not fully priced out our trip so my $10K # could be off. But it looks like that is doable for two people. As with anything, you can certainly spend a lot more. We're looking at spending only three or four days doing the safari thing with most of the rest of the time spent tooling around Cape Town and other such places. Lodging at the safari can be pretty pricey but seems less expensive elsewhere.
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-15-2006, 12:53 PM   #27
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

We'll have 9 days on safari (3 days each at 3 camps) plus 3 days with my daughter in Zambia, and of course 2 days getting to Africa & back. We're paying a lot for a private safari with good food. If we want to return, it will have to be with a group tour, national parks, and mediocre sustenance rather than private drivers/guides/cooks for 4 people, at private camps with fab eats & African drinks, etc. This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime event for us!
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-15-2006, 12:57 PM   #28
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
We'll have 9 days on safari (3 days each at 3 camps) . . . We're paying a lot for a private safari with good food . . .
Yup, that will definitely ring the cash register.
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-16-2006, 07:40 AM   #29
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

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Originally Posted by Caroline
Recommendation -- try to find an outfitter that rows the boats if you don't have one already. Nothing like the sound of an engine to intrude on your wilderness experience!

Whatever you do, have a great time and thanks for starting this thread -- it's given me some fabulous ideas.
I want to do a 21 day dory trip, but my wife thinks that is about 14 days to long on the potta-potty . OTOH, many people think 1 day is too long, so I am happy she is willing to do 8.
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-16-2006, 08:42 AM   #30
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

I'm behind in the game of vacations period. A decent vacation to me is getting in my car and traveling to where ever the road takes me. Like MT, UT, CO etc.......
A blow-out vacation? Probably a trip to New Zealand. I've got some catching up to do here in the States first.

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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-16-2006, 02:09 PM   #31
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

Just in case you are still considering the houseboat on Lake Powell... We did this a few years ago (2 nights only). It was one of those experiences that we are glad we did, but probably wouldn't do again. I think a week is much too long and here's why:

It is hot on the boat! Of course there is no A/C and it gets really hot even when you're not cooking. So - leave the windows, etc open right... there are millions of mosquitoes that come out at dusk.

The water levels were low then and have not recovered much since then. It is v hard to get situated for the night (anchored and all) without running into the sides and damaging your propellers. We didn't get stuck, but we saw people who did and had to have people come pull them out.

It is expensive! Not just the boat rentals (which is unexpectedly high), but the gas too - it's even more now than when we're there in '04. Who knew it would take 100 gallons of gas to move so slowly. Plus Lake Powell is so long and skinny that you don't see much variety along the way to the arches, etc. so you get there then have to chug your way back - a little boring.

Well, I've made it sound like we had a miserable time. We didn't, it was actually kind of fun, but I wouldn't have wanted to do it for longer or with a teenager who might want a little more excitement.

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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-16-2006, 02:20 PM   #32
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

Wasn't their some problem with carbon monoxide poisoning on houseboats?
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-16-2006, 04:41 PM   #33
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

Ever think about Australia? We went with a teenager and had a ball. They love americans, or did five years ago. Diving on the Great Barrier Reef was a life highlight. I would suggest becoming Dive Certified if you have any interest in diving before you go. We drove up the east Coast and if you have a teenager I can't imagine he won't love Surfers Paradise and Byron Bay. Outstanding beautiful beaches.

If you go to Maui in the early spring the Whales are there having babies. It is really cool. Have been there twice and both times loved it. You can island hop as well. Lots of Diving here too.

What about a European City. There is lots of hiking to see the sights and I loved the two week self guided tour we took around Rome, Florence and Chianti region. We took public transport and stayed in Rick Steves types hotels. Had a blast and you can easily come in way under your money target. We did the same in England. I would suggest to anyone who wants to see European Cities to do so when they are younger. Lots of cobblestones, stairs and not a lot of elevators. The art and architecture is outstanding in the places we have been.

for this country, if you have not been to Bryce Canyon or Zion there are tons of hikes. You can book in the parks and really see a lot. There is also the Black hills, Badlands, Mount Rushmore area, also lots of hiking if you want to. Yellowstone and Grand Canyon have some outstanding hikes. DH did half dome with one of the kids. I made it part of the way up but it was pretty grueling.

We are headed to the NEtherlands next year and of course biking is really big there. You can take an actual bike tour or just some days on a bike.

If I could go anywhere it would be Galapagos if money was no object, but it would take up three years of our travel budget from what I have researched and there are too many European destinations on my list.

also, somewhere along the way take a hot air baloon ride. We did it in Sedona and it was not scarey at all. Very lovely.
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-16-2006, 11:00 PM   #34
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

Ditto on the Australian and Italy trips. Done both and they rank at the top.
Australian $ is weak now vs a Euro that is still a bit pricey. Quantas is promoting an "Aussie Pass" that includes two flights in county and RT from LA/SF for around 1100-1500 depnding on departure dates. Hard to beat the Aussies for a welcome and great beer and wine.
Speaking of wine and food--that will definitely put Italy on the list. Look at Rick Steves trips. We did his Rome week and then travel independently and saw Sienna/Florence and Vienna. No problems
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-17-2006, 12:47 PM   #35
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
Just in case you are still considering the houseboat on Lake Powell... We did this a few years ago (2 nights only). It was one of those experiences that we are glad we did, but probably wouldn't do again.
Thanks. Very interesting perspective. What mainly puts me off is the expense. Yikes! $3000/week for the boat only.
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-17-2006, 03:46 PM   #36
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

The houseboats we've rented for the yearly Booze Cruises on Lake Cumberland and Dale Hollow would sleep 8-10, had two bathrooms/showers, a full kitchen, and A/C. Not sure of the cost, since it was split amongst the aforementioned 8-10 people, and the cost per person included groceries...
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-19-2006, 04:07 PM   #37
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

What a fun topic

Something I've thought about recently is a sailboat charter. It's a bit pricy for a normal vacation, but for a blow-out, you could probably find something in the Keys, BVI, Bahamas, etc.

http://catamaransailing.com/Crewed/2-6_guests.htm

I've thought about doing these. They also have "Captain only", and Bareboat (do it yourself) boats as well. Sailing certainly is being in the outdoors, and you can explore a pretty neat place. The young kid certainly may have a good time, and would be a great experience.
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-20-2006, 04:56 PM   #38
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

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Something I've thought about recently is a sailboat charter. It's a bit pricy for a normal vacation, but for a blow-out, you could probably find something in the Keys, BVI, Bahamas, etc.
Took one of these in the Greek Isles once. Four couples rented the boat complete with skipper -- this was one of my top three trips of all time. Yes, it's pricey, but you get sun, swiming, sailing lessons, amazing fresh food, and incredible history (island of Delos, not to be skipped). They had an ANCIENT castle on one of the islands built out of the RUINS of one which had been there before! Byzantine churches and a road built and traveled by ancient Romans...

We saw six islands in total -- each was different and wonderful in its own way.

Something for everyone - not to be missed!
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation
Old 10-20-2006, 07:35 PM   #39
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Re: Blow-Out Vacation

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Originally Posted by bbuzzard
What mainly puts me off is the expense. Yikes! $3000/week for the boat only.
And they are not even luxury boats. Very basic. Chemical toilets, no A/C, almost like camping in an old-fashioned RV.
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