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Old 01-21-2014, 04:36 PM   #1281
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Just returned from 5 weeks in Southeast Asia -- Saigon, Chiangmai, Laos, Cambodia -and Hanoi. Great trip all around. Ain't ER grand!
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:08 PM   #1282
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Just returned from 5 weeks in Southeast Asia -- Saigon, Chiangmai, Laos, Cambodia -and Hanoi. Great trip all around. Ain't ER grand!

Wow, now that's a trip! Did you go on your own or a guided trip? What did you do there?
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:22 AM   #1283
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I love the paint job on that bus!! Maybe before we do the PanAmerican we will have to improve ours like it! Right now it is covered with signatures, place names, and well-wishes in every language we encountered on the trip. Lots of Russian writing, among others.
That paint job screams "Pull us over", sort of like Willie's bus...
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:56 AM   #1284
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That paint job screams "Pull us over", sort of like Willie's bus...
Well let's just say that the 20+ times we were pulled over in Kazakhstan, pretty much ANY paint job would have done it. And that was where the cops tried to plant cocaine on us for not giving them bribes.

I admit, I'm a fan of the big yellow school bus "look", just because it is so fondly evocative for those who have ridden them, or (in other countries) seen them on TV and movies.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:33 PM   #1285
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Seven day cruise tomorrow and again in Feb. Both times just to exercise, use the Thallasotherapy pool, steam room, dining room and relax with a book and a beer. Then a few months later we have air tickets to Scotland with a car rental for 2 weeks to see what we can see. We are looking forward to visiting some old castles and lochs. I have a few mobility issues that limits any strenuous walking but my wife is excited to hike the highlands.

Cheers!
We love that pool and the steam rooms and the heated chairs! Might have to do that cruise again soon.

We did a Globus tour several years ago (The Islands & The Highlands) and loved it.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:54 AM   #1286
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Just returned from 5 weeks in Southeast Asia -- Saigon, Chiangmai, Laos, Cambodia -and Hanoi. Great trip all around. Ain't ER grand!
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Wow, now that's a trip! Did you go on your own or a guided trip? What did you do there?
Sounds great!!! What areas did you enjoy the most? I saw in another thread that you were thinking about living in Siem Reap for a while. As with Helen, I am also interested about how you planned the trip, tour or self. Later this year I am planning a trip back to Cambodia, but am also thinking about some side trips and would love to hear more of your experiences.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:32 PM   #1287
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Love Costa Rica! It's right up there at the top of my list of favorite places, along with New Zealand, another gorgeous location. Have a wonderful time!
Just got back from Costa Rica. It is a beautiful, well kept place. The rain forests are scenes out of Avatar movie. Beaches, rivers, animals, ..., simply beautiful. I love the fact that the government is doing a lot to keep the place green.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:28 PM   #1288
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Just got back from Costa Rica. It is a beautiful, well kept place. The rain forests are scenes out of Avatar movie. Beaches, rivers, animals, ..., simply beautiful. I love the fact that the government is doing a lot to keep the place green.
Before booking my trip to New Zealand, I was looking at a guided trip through Costa Rica. Since I am traveling solo, New Zealand seemed safer, but I would love to go to Costa Rica.

Did you blog about your trip anywhere online? I would love to read about it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:41 PM   #1289
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Just booked an 11 day Panama canal cruise for the spring. Pretty good deal on the balcony room. My dad and mom will be in the room next door and since they are elite on the cruise line (we're only gold) we get to share in the little perks, hehe! But skipping the line on those mega liners takes away one of my least favorite parts of cruising on the big ships.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:50 PM   #1290
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Just booked an 11 day Panama canal cruise for the spring. Pretty good deal on the balcony room. My dad and mom will be in the room next door and since they are elite on the cruise line (we're only gold) we get to share in the little perks, hehe! But skipping the line on those mega liners takes away one of my least favorite parts of cruising on the big ships.

I did that cruise about ten years ago. You'll love it!
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:42 PM   #1291
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We love that pool and the steam rooms and the heated chairs! Might have to do that cruise again soon.

We did a Globus tour several years ago (The Islands & The Highlands) and loved it.
If you do the cruise Carnival Dream or Breeze be sure to check the deck plans. I would avoid the port side of deck 11. It can get very noisy with the gym overhead. Either Starboard on Deck 11 or Deck 12.

Cheers!
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:09 PM   #1292
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We would like to take a 1 week trip to Italy this summer, including our teenage sons. Since time is short due to my j*b, any suggestions on what to target? I would prefer only 1 or 2 spots as I don't want to move around too much.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:20 PM   #1293
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We would like to take a 1 week trip to Italy this summer, including our teenage sons. Since time is short due to my j*b, any suggestions on what to target? I would prefer only 1 or 2 spots as I don't want to move around too much.
Have you ever been before?

The big ones are obviously Rome, Florence and Venice.

You can spend a whole week in each one, with a bunch of day trips.

They all have varying degrees of archeology, with Rome having the Forum and the Coliseum. Then you have the Vatican and a lot of other Baroque buildings.

Florence is Renaissance, with some beautiful museums and palaces as well as nearby Tuscan countryside.

Venice is of course a unique site, built on water.

Really all 3 offer art, architecture, beautiful landscapes, great food. Can't go wrong with any of them.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:11 PM   #1294
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Have you ever been before?

The big ones are obviously Rome, Florence and Venice.

You can spend a whole week in each one, with a bunch of day trips.

They all have varying degrees of archeology, with Rome having the Forum and the Coliseum. Then you have the Vatican and a lot of other Baroque buildings.

Florence is Renaissance, with some beautiful museums and palaces as well as nearby Tuscan countryside.

Venice is of course a unique site, built on water.

Really all 3 offer art, architecture, beautiful landscapes, great food. Can't go wrong with any of them.
I would add the area around the Bay of Naples (Naples, Amalfi Coast, Capri, Pompeii and Herculaneum) which was a nice week long trip for us. Your can ride the ferry and/or the train to all these places.

Also, Sicily is a nice week. Rent a car and drive around the island -- Agrigento, Siracusa, Taormina, Palermo.

If you pick Florence or Rome, I would recommend that you stay there for the whole week. Even then it wouldn't be enough time to see and do everything.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:07 PM   #1295
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We took our daughters aged 19 and 21 to Italy two years ago. It was a fantastic trip full of memories.

Everyone has different attitudes about travel, but we knew we wouldn't be back anytime soon, so we tried to pack in a lot. As others have said, you could do a week in any of ten different locations, but we took the "hit and run" approach!

We did 3 nights in Florence and spend one long day on a "day trip" via train to Venice. (Overnight in Venice would be better for seeing the city and avoiding the afternoon crowds.) Florence was my favorite place in Italy due to the whole "center of the Renaissance" factor. Tons of tourists, but still felt historic. Then we did two nights in Cinque Terre, the oceanside resort area. This was my daughters favorite part - sun in the daytime and narrow streets full of cafes and restaurants in the evening. Made a nice break from seeing the sites. We also did a "train stop" in Pisa to see the tower... 4 hours tops.

Then we did three nights in Rome. If you like to sightsee, it is hard to beat Rome anywhere in the world. It was a lifelong dream of mine to see the ancient Rome and Vatican sites. Food in Rome was fantastic!

Just one family's approach, but the trains made it easy and we loved every day of it. I hope to go back with just my wife some day and see the Tuscan countryside, the Riviera, Pompeii, and the REST of Rome.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:20 PM   #1296
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Wow, now that's a trip! Did you go on your own or a guided trip? What did you do there?
Did it on my own with my spouse. Visited inlaws in Vietnam. Rode an elephant in Thailand. Stayed at a luxurious "Zen" retreat at the edge of the jungle Laos. Visited 10th century temple ruins in Cambodia. Ate amazing Franco-Vietnamese food in Hanoi. Highly recommend each of these countries; Thailand being the most accessible and easy.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:24 PM   #1297
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Sounds great!!! What areas did you enjoy the most? I saw in another thread that you were thinking about living in Siem Reap for a while. As with Helen, I am also interested about how you planned the trip, tour or self. Later this year I am planning a trip back to Cambodia, but am also thinking about some side trips and would love to hear more of your experiences.
Sorry for the delayed response.... I chose my itinerary based on a lot of research over the years. Have been to Thailand multiple times, but always wanted to go to Laos, Cambodia, and Hanoi. So, planned this trip to hit those places. I relied on TripAdvisor and Expedia to find suitable hotels in those places. There really is a lot of good information readily available. I was very taken by Cambodia and can see myself spending a longer time there in near future.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:25 PM   #1298
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The highlight of the trip was seeing the "Angkor Wat" temple compounds/ruins on the outskirts of Siem Reap. You've probably seen them already, but I was blown away.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:02 AM   #1299
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Taking a trip to Florence in April/may. This is the second time DH and I will be visiting Florence. We did the museums and churches the first time. This time we will be focusing on wine and dine and golf. Already got my hotels and golf tee times booked.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:46 AM   #1300
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Just put the finishing touches on a six week spring trip to the Southwest, primarily New Mexico, in our RV. Home after that for two weeks, then off again for 10 weeks to visit the northern plain states, again in our RV. Home again for two weeks, then we'll finish off the spring/summer with a two week trip to Peru.

Echoing TimSF above, "Ain't ER grand!"
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