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Old 01-22-2010, 04:57 PM   #41
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SOOO, anybody wanting to go... just remember... it costs a lot, lots of hassles... and what you see that is interesting has a total time of say 12 to 20 hours on your week there.. the rest of the time you are on a bus, a boat, a train, sitting in some shop you would rather not be... checking into a hotel, checking out... not to say that some of what you see is not interesting.. it IS... but putting something interesting in a cesspool takes away a bit on what you see...
Oh, but then there are the joys of flying from here to there in 2010. But this is how some people choose to spend their leisure time.

I still remember the beggars of Cairo from 1954, when I made the mistake of giving one a dime I had saved from my allowance. Big Mistake. My family barely managed our escape.

I think I got a lot more out of seeing the pyramids and Sphinx than others on this thread, though.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:09 PM   #42
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Interesting the different responses. I think everyone should see the Grand Canyon and Niagra Falls (from Canada) in person once, pictures can't do them justice. I also thought San Francisco was fascinating, but I wouldn't want to live there even if the cost of living was cut in half.

My big disappointment surprise was Boothbay Harbor, ME. Stayed in Bar Harbour loved it. Acadia loved it. Kennebunkport loved it. Boothbay, a beautiful site that has been completely spoiled, overrun with touristy nonsense. We planned to stay two days, checked out of the hotel and left two hours after we got there. Absolutely awful IMO. YMMV
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:35 PM   #43
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This whole thread reminds me of the 4 day canned tour - where you climb Mt Kilimanjaro - to see who upchucks first. Like 'doing' ski resorts best attempted in youth - although there are exceptions.

Oldest nephew/wife did - and he did - on the way down. That was fun when you are young.

heh heh heh - I think my LBYM brain has a tendency to grade on a bang(mental wow) for the buck basis. And each of us have our preferences as to what gives us joy when visiting.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:48 PM   #44
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heh heh heh (copyright UncleMick). I'm from rural Wisconsin, no sites disappoint me. Went to the streetcar museum the other day to see if they had any cool postcards. I could say it was annoying that the space was very small and way too commercial with items for sale interspersed with the artifacts but I was there to shop anyway. Was thrilled with the cards which even amused SO, the near-native. This is my fave:
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:50 PM   #45
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Oh, but then there are the joys of flying from here to there in 2010. But this is how some people choose to spend their leisure time.

I still remember the beggars of Cairo from 1954...
1954! Was that not the year the Pyramid was built?

Your parents must be the adventurous type. Do you remember the aircraft you flew in? I just looked up on line to see that the Boeing 707 was of that era.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:59 PM   #46
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Anything Disney...the most boring place on earth. Epcot was a total disappointment, too, for me. Never again.

Someone mentioned Egypt for women. I heard when I was traveling that Egypt is one country that the men will really harass a woman traveling alone and to only go in a group there. Rio was another place that you should go in a group I heard, also, and that was from one of the natives.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:48 PM   #47
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1954! Was that not the year the Pyramid was built?
Yes, I believe so! I had just turned 6 years old.

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Your parents must be the adventurous type. Do you remember the aircraft you flew in? I just looked up on line to see that the Boeing 707 was of that era.
At age 6 the only planes I could recognize were the DC-3 and DC-4. This wasn't either of those. I don't think it was a Boeing 707, but I couldn't tell you what it was instead. I do remember that the plane on this trip had 4 engines because 2 stopped over the Atlantic and we had to turn around and go back to New York. My mother was freaked but I thought it was fascinating that it still stayed in the air (being a kid). We caught a second plane and completed the trip over.

I think my most disappointing destination was Miami, where I went for work in 2006 after not having seen it for 40 years except for a couple of hours in 2002. It wasn't like Miami Vice, that's for sure. And parking in Miami Beach was ridiculous.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:34 PM   #48
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No one mentioned Wall Drug in SD
Hey Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota is great. Maybe not as cool as Disneyland but much better than New York
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:34 PM   #49
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Also, about the harrassment... it is MUCH WORSE if you are a woman...
Spouse has been to Bangkok eight times on military business, and I wrangled her luggage a few times. Every trip we'd usually go to Pan Thip Plaza for computer/electronics/software/DVD shopping and lunch. There's always a crowd of young Thai men hanging around out front, but they never bothered us and I figured they were just touts looking for tour groups.

Then one trip I happened to go to Pan Thip Plaza by myself-- a middle-aged blond pony-tailed beach-bum American who hadn't shaved in a few days. I was probably broadcasting an image of flexible integrity and dubious morals, because the crowd of young men absolutely swarmed me with offers of "Sexy DVDs, sir!" I could hardly get up the steps and inside, where the second wave renewed the assault. The pornography was not only creative, it was also inventive-- and a few I'm pretty sure are physically impossible.

No one believed that I could have gone all the way there just to look at computers...
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:38 PM   #50
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Spouse has been to Bangkok eight times on military business, and I wrangled her luggage a few times. Every trip we'd usually go to Pan Thip Plaza for computer/electronics/software/DVD shopping and lunch. There's always a crowd of young Thai men hanging around out front, but they never bothered us and I figured they were just touts looking for tour groups.

Then one trip I happened to go to Pan Thip Plaza by myself-- a middle-aged blond pony-tailed beach-bum American who hadn't shaved in a few days. I was probably broadcasting an image of flexible integrity and dubious morals, because the crowd of young men absolutely swarmed me with offers of "Sexy DVDs, sir!" I could hardly get up the steps and inside, where the second wave renewed the assault. The pornography was not only creative, it was also inventive-- and a few I'm pretty sure are physically impossible.

No one believed that I could have gone all the way there just to look at computers...

Ahh, Pan Thip Plaza, some innocuous places on the ground floor then up that escalator to the real places, with the little plastic order cards hanging on pegboard hooks. Paradise.

Locals would have mistook a blonde haired male from the US with a pony tail as being a US ladyboy. Very common connection there.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:19 AM   #51
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My wife and I stroll thru Pat Pong people watching, those guys waving the placards of what is available inside don't care if I'm holding wife's hand they're still pressing.

If what those cards say is true I'm in awe that certain body parts can actually do tricks like blow up a balloon, change a paper bill into coins, or write my name with a marker.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:19 AM   #52
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Venice. Its beautiful and all, but in such an artificial way. Its like an old-world version of Disney.
Wow - my reaction was completely the opposite! Made anything Disney created look one dimensional. The most fascinating European city I have ever seen - such an exotic mix of east and west and renaissance and what a history.

Venice is not artificial, it's real - it is frozen in time and how fabulous that the snapshot has been preserved over the centuries. I had no idea, but you can see how abruptly things changed in the Mediterranean once the Turks overthrew Constantinople in 1453, completely shutting down trade with the East.

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Old 01-23-2010, 11:19 AM   #53
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Our biggest disappointment was San Diego. Ya, its warm and sunny, but the city was lame. Just another metropolis with very little to make it stand out. If we want SoCal culture, we go to LA/Orange County.

We love Vegas too. It is what it it, but lots to do and see, people watching is great (only rivaled by San Francisco in our opinion), more great restaurants than you can shake a stick at, great shows and headline attractions.

Disneyland is always ranked way ahead of Walt Disney World. It is crowded and expensive, but there is tons of info on the net on how to avoid the crowds and save bucks. Again, it is what it is, but if you expect the downside (crowds, expensive, etc) and let yourself be a kid its a lot of fun. Then again we are Disney geeks.

As for the pyramids, Grand Canyon, Taj, etc., my dad and I are the same way. You drive up, look it over and leave. How long can you look at a hole in the ground or a triangular shaped pile of stones? Something I want to see, but not spend days looking at. Even my wife is becoming that way. Neat to see, but more action to be had elsewhere. Its not about seeing stuff for us, but experiencing stuff. Rafting the Grand Canyon, fun. Staring at from the rim, not.
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:34 AM   #54
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I hope nobody is bothered by this, but I was mildly disappointed with the Liberty Bell. Maybe it was the location that made the experience anticlimactic. Otherwise, I found Philadelphia to be a very nice city.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:04 PM   #55
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Whew..haven't seen any complaints about Yellowstone. Been there when I was younger a couple of times. Planning on taking my UK wife and her parents there when I retire in 2 years. Days drive from Spokane....they like the animal thing.....I like the physical science part (damn....too much teaching science).....Sept when the kids go back to school is the plan.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:11 PM   #56
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Whew..haven't seen any complaints about Yellowstone.
IMO, Yellowstone is spectacular. It just blew me away, and I've been to a number of national parks. It felt almost surreal, like it was part of some different world.

And, while I was there, I was really lucky to see a moose with a calf.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:42 PM   #57
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Thanks for this thread, this is informative. This relives me of guilty feeling of not saving enough to see the world.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:04 PM   #58
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The Irish Pubs in Ireland. Go in one, you basically went into all of them. Very corporate, same stuff on tap, same set-up behind bar etc.. They do have some brew pubs that were fantastic. And yes several of the older pubs were interesting places to go, but overall beg disappointment.
Oh man, I totally disagree. Maybe there isn't a lot of differentiation between pubs, but the Irish at the watering holes are what make the place. I can't tell you the number of times I've struck up conversations with random people in between sets of live music. What an experience!

The pubs are Temple Bar were obviously very touristy, where all you have are tourists sitting around drinking Guinness. But outside of that area in Dublin or in any small town, so much fun.
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:56 PM   #59
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Oh man, I totally disagree. Maybe there isn't a lot of differentiation between pubs, but the Irish at the watering holes are what make the place. I can't tell you the number of times I've struck up conversations with random people in between sets of live music. What an experience!

The pubs are Temple Bar were obviously very touristy, where all you have are tourists sitting around drinking Guinness. But outside of that area in Dublin or in any small town, so much fun.
I was thinking the pubs designed for tourists would be just that, touristy. I have always wanted to go to the UK/Scotland/Ireland and drink in a pub, but a real pub with real people, not tourists from America. Just like here, if you go to the downtown, touristy area you're going to drink with tourists. If you go down the street from your house, your going to drink with the regular folk. I want to go down the street from their house.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:15 PM   #60
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I've been racking my brain to think of somewhere that really disappointed me. It's been a challenge, because I usually research where I'm going and know what to expect. Finally I came up with one: Hollywood, California, which I found tacky and sleazy. No desire to return.

On the other hand, I can think of many places I've been that provided unexpected pleasures. One that sticks in my mind is looking down on the evening mist from my hotel in a little French town called Domme, which sits on top of a hill. It was one of the most romantic places I've ever been to. This is the hotel: Hôtel Domme.*Hôtel L'Esplanade Domme.*Hôtel restaurant Domme
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