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Old 07-07-2014, 05:37 PM   #1561
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We just returned from a two week vacation in Italy - Milan, Lake Como, Venice, Florence and Rome. I realize that Italy is a popular vacation destination, but for us it's a first. Great time and lots to see and do. The only disappointment was that the Trevi Fountain was shut down for repairs. This may have been planned long in advance and common knowledge among experienced travelers, but the first we found out about it was when when we saw the fountain behind a chain link fence. What a let down.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:07 PM   #1562
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The only disappointment was that the Trevi Fountain was shut down for repairs. This may have been planned long in advance and common knowledge among experienced travelers, but the first we found out about it was when when we saw the fountain behind a chain link fence. What a let down.
Kind of like the Griswold's at Walley World
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:37 PM   #1563
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Actually, this is how we roll, but close.
Wow, your pic made me think to get interested in kayaking in the future. That kayak looks super modern (and expensive).
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:42 PM   #1564
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We'll be traveling to Germany and Lithuania in a month to visit families and of course immersing back into local culture, sightseeing, eating , etc., etc. I suspect those 3 weeks will be so busy that I'll be soooo happy to have the labor weekend to rest a little before going back to work.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:07 PM   #1565
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I realize you may have many reasons for choosing the train. How does the price compare with airfare?
Airfare might be cheaper if you fly the budget airlines and accept a 2+ hr layover in Copenhagen. Our Eurail pass just required a supplement charge.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:57 PM   #1566
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Wow, your pic made me think to get interested in kayaking in the future. That kayak looks super modern (and expensive).
Yeah, it's pretty much the cream of the crop in terms of touring kayaks. It cost around $4500 when I bought it new - 16 years ago. My truck is 14 years old - both boat and truck are near mint condition. I really look after my toys.

Kayaking is a wonderful hobby. You will sculpt a terrific upper torso in no time - and the great thing is that you are so busy marvelling at the scenery you don't quite realize what a great workout you are getting. My problem is, as strong as my upper body is, my legs somewhat resemble toothpicks.

I am actually on holidays for a week, doing a lot of paddling in the islands between Vancouver and Victoria. I'm hoping to post some pictures of some orcas for the forum folks - saw some today but too far away for IPhone camera.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:08 AM   #1567
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Don't forget to get screeched!
[Groan!]
Not if I can help it, but thanks. I had to look it up and was kind of amazed. Sort of like the "crossing the Equator" ceremony, I imagine.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:37 AM   #1568
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A lady friend and myself are flying from Boston to Vegas on a Sunday in early September. We are staying at the Golden Nugget that night. The next morning we pick up a pair of rental Harley's and will be on the road for 5 days taking in the sights of the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Painted Desert, Zion and Bryce Canyon. We return the bikes on Friday, check into the Downtown Grand and fly home the next day. Can't wait but not anxious for summer to go by.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:08 AM   #1569
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That's a pain. Some (most?) mail forwarding services scan incoming mail, then put PDFs online. Not paperless, but no one needs to monitor your paper mail.
Thanks for the advice, and one day we may have to go that route, but meanwhile we rely on our son picking up the mail once a week, flushing the toilets and running the car.

I guess I'm just venting a bit at those healthcare providers that are still behind the times with electronic invoicing and communications. Our health insurance and primary care facilities are fully online but some of the specialists we needed this last year are fully offline.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:42 PM   #1570
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I would check out the Museum of Popular Art and the Museum of the Maya. Both very good. Several other museums as well but we didn't have time for those. A walk around the mercado is very interesting as it takes up about six city blocks and has just about everything offered for sale. The Paseo de Montejo is an interesting boulevard to walk down and see all of the colonial architecture.



La Tratto in the Santa Lucia Plaza is a nice Italian restaurant with happy hour from 6-9 pm. Great deal and good food.



Have a great trip!

We had a great time in Merida. We left yesterday and are now in Playa del Carmen. We ended up going to La Tratto, which was quite good and afterwards went to Corazon de Merida, a night market with music in the city center, followed by a walk up Paseo de Montejo back to our hotel. The day prior we visited Progreso and Dzibilchaltun. Dzibilchaltun was a great Mayan ruin to visit. The entire family liked it quite a bit, which was unexpected since it's not nearly as large as other Mayan ruins, but it was well put together. We're all glad we made the trip to Merida. It was a nice break from the touristy areas of Riviera Maya.

Thanks for the tip for La Tratto. My son had the Chicken Piccata, which they made using limes instead of lemon. It was quite good and something that we'll have to try out when we're back home.

Still have over a week of vacationing left and the weather is excellent. Life is good.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:04 PM   #1571
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Wellllll, DW and I were booked to leave for Israel on July 15 for 12 days. We just cancelled. Last year, we cancelled our planned Hawaii trip due to my surgery. So, as soon as I hit the "Post Quick Reply" button, I'm going to research a trip to Hawaii.
But I am sad about not going to Israel. We're not religious but do have a cultural identity, and I have an avid interest in Biblical history. But I suspect we'll never get there as I doubt my wife will ever overcome her fear of going there, now.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:14 PM   #1572
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DW turned 50 this year and we are planning a one-week trip to Europe. First thought is Barcelona as neither of us has been. Any thoughts/suggestions on where to stay (both hotel and neighborhood) and things that are must see's? Is one week too long for this city?
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:26 PM   #1573
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DW turned 50 this year and we are planning a one-week trip to Europe. First thought is Barcelona as neither of us has been. Any thoughts/suggestions on where to stay (both hotel and neighborhood) and things that are must see's? Is one week too long for this city?
One week is fine, you can fit in a day trip to Montserrat or other nearby towns along the coast.

Side Trips in Barcelona | Frommer's

It's a pretty big city though. Placa de Catalunya is near most of the tourist sites except for Sagrada Familia.

Gothic quarter is near and some of Gaudi's buildings are within a mile or two to the north in the Eixample district.

They pack a lot into this itinerary:

Suggested Itineraries in Barcelona | Frommer's

The tourist office in Placa Catalunya offers a walking tour for a reasonable price. IIRC you can get a card that covers transport and entry into museums and other big attractions.


Beware though, it's infamous for pickpockets, in the metro and other crowded places. Also don't wander off to the side streets off the Rambla at night. Search on the cautions to take.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:54 PM   #1574
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+1 on day trip to Montserrat.

There are a lot of places to eat as it's a big city. We also went down to a group of restaurants at the boat dock, but can't recall where it is now (it's been a few years). We only stayed 3 nights, so were constantly busy. We saw the Gaudy buildings, Park Güell, Picasso Museum, Boqueria Market on La Rambla, and La Sagrada Família only from the outside. The latter was not opened during our stay.

We took the metro and train. Never needed a car.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:02 AM   #1575
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Girona is nice for a day trip, (by rail):

Girona year-round | Tourism | Girona City Council
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:13 PM   #1576
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DW turned 50 this year and we are planning a one-week trip to Europe. First thought is Barcelona as neither of us has been. Any thoughts/suggestions on where to stay (both hotel and neighborhood) and things that are must see's? Is one week too long for this city?
It has been over ten years since I've been in Barcelona so I'm not sure my hotel experiences would be of use.

Barcelona is well worth visiting. As far as the amount of time it is like most cities. You can see the highlights in about three days or spend days and weeks immersing yourself in the city and surrounding area. Definitely see all things Gaudi especially the incomplete basilica "La Sagrada Familia". There are many other wonderful sites which any good guidebook will describe.

One of the best restaurants I've ever visited in the world is in Barcelona - Botafumeiro. I've eaten there several times and never been disappointed. However it has been 10 years since my last meal in Barcelona so times may have changed. Current reviews on Tripadvisor indicate most recent diners love it but a few believe the best days are in the past. Here is a link:

Botafumeiro Reviews

Lisbon, Portugal is also a great city and prices are much lower than Barcelona. We spent four days there, staying at the Four Seasons (special deal we worked with the hotel at less than $200 per night for a spectacular room). Two days we hired a car and driver to take us around. It only cost $90 per day. We definitely got our money's worth visiting sites in and around the city including Fatima. The other days we spent walking the city, exploring shops and seeing the attractions. There are some great restaurants in Lisbon as well.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:10 PM   #1577
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Both times I visited Barcelona, I stayed in apartments.

May want to browse friendlyrentals.com or stay.com.

Apartment will be more roomy but may be noisy.
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:37 PM   #1578
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Heading to Cincinnati at the end of September to attend three Reds games and the Brown County Fair. You can take the boy (DH) out of Ohio but you can't take Ohio out of the boy! Also, this is how I knew King James was headed back to play basketball in Cleveland. From what I have observed, very, very few Buckeyes (and I'm not a real one) ever leave the state for good!
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:07 PM   #1579
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Suriname, but it's a work trip. This is a wonderful country, the people are amazing. The ones I deal with are well educated and so friendly. They have a lot of ecotourism into the jungle. And there are sloths, and really big snakes...
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:59 PM   #1580
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Check out the Ayre Hotel in L'example. We stayed there about 3 months ago. Prices were reasonable, ask for a room with a view and they will do their best to accommodate you. The view being the Sagrada Familia. We usually stay at airbnb apartments, but this time a hotel worked out cheaper. The neighborhood is excellent, about half hour walk from Las Ramblas, which area can be quite noisy.


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