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Old 11-18-2010, 11:44 AM   #201
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My wife and I spent 10 days hiking down and around the canyon years ago during spring break. Some day we will go back as it was an awesome, humbling experience. Driving to the rim to look down from some viewing platform would, I agree, be a disappointment and a waste.

DD
Well, DW is not into hiking, let alone hiking in the Grand Canyon. But of course, being from Canada, if I am tired of snowbirding in Florida in the winter, tired of taking cruises to the Carribean, central America, tired of visting Europe, tired of visiting part of Asia, tired of visiting beautiful NZ and OZ ... and we still have $ left, I will spend it on the Grand Canyon

Having said that, perhaps if I visit California again in the future, I don't mind taking a side trip to the Grand Canyon.

At the moment, escaping the bloody cold winter in Canada is my top priority. You may not know how cold it is if you don't live in Canada or the Mid West ...
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:50 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by DblDoc View Post
My wife and I spent 10 days hiking down and around the canyon years ago during spring break. Some day we will go back as it was an awesome, humbling experience. Driving to the rim to look down from some viewing platform would, I agree, be a disappointment and a waste.

DD
I totally agree. Hiking down, taking mules down, and rafting on the colorado are awesome and unique experiences. Looking at it from the rim is a non-event.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:10 PM   #203
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I don't live in "snow country", but can't you just hire someone to do that for you? I wouldn't think that would break the bank. Besides, there is a lot more to comparing cost of living, than that. It might actually be more expensive to live in the north, but I would look at a more thorough comparison of costs before assuming that is the case.
You have no idea how lucky you are and how unfortunate we are living up North !

People already responded to you question but here are some that are missed ...

Cold winter causes a lot of problems ...
(1) Energy cost goes up
(2) If you live in the Prairies or northern Ontario, you will need to plug the block heater of your car into an electrical outlet whenever you park your car. Never heard of it, right ?
(3) If you don't do as in (2) you won't be able to start your car later on. Even with a block heater, the car sometimes does not start because of the cold weather.
(4) If you have a cottage, then you will have to winterize your cottage (bleed the water from the pump, winterize the toilet)
(5) If you have a boat, you will have to winterize your boat (take the boat out of the water, winterize the motor, cover the boat with a boat cover)
(6) The snow storm will cause schools to shut down.
(7) The snow storm will shut you out and won't be able to get out of your house until the next day or a few days later as side streets are covered with 3 feet of snow.
(8) The roads will crack year after year because of the bloody cold winter
(9) Less sunlight in the winter
(10) The sky is mostly grey, everything is grey like eyes of a dog seeing the world...
(11) No beaches even in the fall or spring (we can only go to the beach in July and Aug, other than that the water is cold)
(12) No bbq
(13) Minimal outdoor activities except to scrape the snow out of the windshield, shovel the snow ...
(14) Trip on the walkway if you are not careful as it's slippery
(15) Walk on 2 feet of snow first thing in the morning after you park your car at the work place
(16) Food is more expensive especially fruits and vege as they are shipped from Florida, CA or Mexico ...
(17) Want to know more ?

Now you know why Canadians like to snowbird in Florida ?
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:33 PM   #204
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The cruise itself (the cabin charge) was only $3k. The total cost of the trip came in at $7k.

Daily gratuities were not included (almost $500), the excursions we did in London, Paris and Amsterdam totaled almost $1k, had to pay for our return airfare from Germany, and airfare from Vegas (home) to Miami.....then there's my husband and his famous bar bill. He found a wine that he LOVED and had to have it at dinner every night to the tune of another $1k.

So while we could have done the cruise for a lot less, it was still boring
Don't you feel fortunate that you could shell out $7K/person for a cruise ?

I have no plan to spend $7K/person on a cruise ! In fact I will be very happy if I could do cruises in the Carribean and central America which are much cheaper than $7K/person.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:57 PM   #205
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The only places I don't like is NYC an Pittsburgh, otherwise I liked every places I visited.

The reasons are, after the NYC and Pittsburgh trips, I did research as I knew what I liked, then visited the place. No disappointment !
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:02 PM   #206
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Don't you feel fortunate that you could shell out $7K/person for a cruise ?

I have no plan to spend $7K/person on a cruise ! In fact I will be very happy if I could do cruises in the Carribean and central America which are much cheaper than $7K/person.
Reading through this thread, I believe Lisa's costs were $7k per COUPLE, not per person.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:58 PM   #207
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Definitely $7k for the two of us. I would have had cardiac arrest if it was $7k each!
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:27 PM   #208
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Thanks for the clarification. $7K/2 is much better
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:32 PM   #209
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Definitely $7k for the two of us. I would have had cardiac arrest if it was $7k each!
But now that you've ditched Ameriprise and its high fees, you won't have to think twice about your DH's next bar bill!
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:05 PM   #210
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Yeah it sucks, better not come down.
You referred not to come down to Florida.

Well, Florida is the warmest continental state (Hawaii is the warmest) with pleasant climate from Nov thru May, it is one of the entertainment capitals in the US and lots of cruises depart from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and some cruises depart from Port C and Tampa.

People from Canada and Mid West, New England pay a lot just to come down to Florida (and of course some other tropical destinations).

Snowbirds spend 3, 4, 5 or 6 months in Florida, there are tens of thousands of them coming down to Florida repeatedly year after year. They work hard all their lives, and when their kids are grown, they snowbird in Florida. Did they all make mistakes to come down to Florida ?

I am not saying Florida is the best, but the fact speaks for itself !
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:27 PM   #211
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............ Florida is the warmest continental state (Hawaii is the warmest) with pleasant climate from Nov thru May, ...........
I'm learning a lot on this forum.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:31 AM   #212
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According to the Canadian Snowbirds Association's statistics, Florida is still the top draw, attracting 75% of its members, then 15% Arizona, 5% Texas and 5% California.
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:23 AM   #213
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Hmmm, I wonder if the British Virgin Island offers better choice for tourists as I have never been to both US and British Virgin Islands.
We went to Road Town, Tortola on a recent cruise. It was pretty dirty in town. Our port call was rather short, and I didn't feel like spending $50 to take a taxi a few miles to the beautiful beaches on the other side of the island (it was raining/drizzling a little and we had 2 other beach visits on the itinerary). I'm sure parts of the island outside road town were beautiful, but the town itself reminded me of a typical third world town.
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:35 AM   #214
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Agree !

Grand Canyon: I saw it from the plane flying from San Diego CA to Toronto Canada, I was tempting to go and see it, but after reading your experience, perhaps it's not worth spending my hard earned $ on Grand Canyon.
If you just go to the rim and look at it; it is impressive. But to really experience it you need to hike into it. I've hiked to Phamtom Ranch twice. In parts of the south west you feel as if you are hiking back into time. However, the southwest hiking experience can get a little boring after awhile. I prefer mountains for the diversity.
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:49 AM   #215
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Just for the record, I have to toss my tuppence in here about the Grand Canyon.

I agree that from the rim, it's worth an hour or two, but nothing that really gets to you.

However, taking a week-long rafting trip on the river, through the entire canyon, on one of the guided, powered rafts, camping each night on a beach and taking daily excursions for short hikes up into side canyons, was the absolute best vacation of my life.

DW and I have done it twice, and absolutely loved it both times.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:29 AM   #216
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Wow, the Grand Canyon sounds fun to me ... and perhaps my kids but definitely not DW !

We did quite a bit of camping in Ontario Canada, kids loved it. I don't have any objection to hiking though but just wonder if there's any side trip from Cal to the Grand Canyon ?
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:35 AM   #217
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We did quite a bit of camping in Ontario Canada, kids loved it. I don't have any objection to hiking though but just wonder if there's any side trip from Cal to the Grand Canyon ?
It's quite a drive I expect. I recall it being 4-5 hours from Las Vegas roughly (one way) and we opted not to drive out there. And Las Vegas is another 4-5 hours from Los Angeles (if that is where you will be).

Edit: looks like ~8 hours one way from LA (not going through Las vegas)
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:57 AM   #218
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The problem I have is DW doesn't like hiking at all !

If I take my kids along for hiking, I think they will like it but what about DW ? She likes Vegas but wonder how to occupy her time while we are in the Grand Cayon hiking ...

Yes, if we do go to Vegas, it will be from LA
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:04 AM   #219
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We went to Road Town, Tortola on a recent cruise. It was pretty dirty in town. Our port call was rather short, and I didn't feel like spending $50 to take a taxi a few miles to the beautiful beaches on the other side of the island (it was raining/drizzling a little and we had 2 other beach visits on the itinerary). I'm sure parts of the island outside road town were beautiful, but the town itself reminded me of a typical third world town.
Quite a bit of disappointment as I was imagining beautiful beaches lined with coconut trees as advertised on TV or magazines ...

Perhaps I should check out The Turks and Caicos Islands as "lots" of Canadians go there (I think) ...

I hope Turks & Caicos doesn't look like a 3rd world country ... Anyone has been to the Turks & Caicos Islands ?
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:04 AM   #220
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The problem I have is DW doesn't like hiking at all !
...
Yes, if we do go to Vegas, it will be from LA
Why not schedule a side trip from LV and leave DW in Vegas with her bucket of quarters. Dinners and shows ought to please her...she could also ride a mule if hiking is not her choice.
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