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Old 01-26-2010, 03:09 PM   #81
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Audrey,
I guess you are our main camping queen, so.
Any tips/advice on time of year to make such a trip pulling a 5th wheeler?
I have zero experience in high mountain roadways (other than the smokies), ice conditions and I don't think I want any. Especially the Ice part.
I've always thought a trip to this area would be fantastic. Now that I'm officially retired I might actually get to plan something.
We have also considered the week long train rides. Anybody have experience with those?
Steve
I have no where near the camping experience of Audrey but thought this past summers experience might be of some use.

We pulled a TT 8300 miles over 43 days this summer from TN across most of the West including Yellowstone, Tetons, and Glacier and about 20 other NP and way to many National monumets to mention. All were well worth seeing.

We left in late May and returned mid July. Crowds where not an issue as we were in Glacier and ready to start on the return trip by July which is when the crowds peak at some parks. We returned through WY, SD, and NE all of which do not have enough population to have much of a crowd which was very nice.

For Yellowstone we stayed in West Yellowstone, ID and I think the campground was the Bear lodge, 1 mile from the park entrance. Depending upon when you go reservations might be needed but otherwise we never needed them. Cody is nice also as is Deadwood on the return trip for a quick stop. Of course you should stop at Wall Drug if it is on the way.

There was only one pass we thought was any different than the Smokies and it was not that bad. We were very careful to drive some of scenic roads in CO without the TT however as they would be way to scary. They trip to Silverton and Durango where examples of this.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:35 PM   #82
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Meadbh...Thanks for the Hotel Domme recommedation. We are heading to that part of France this year and it appears to be just what we are looking for.
You're welcome. It's been about 18 years since I stayed there, but it was lovely. We had a wonderful meal at the hotel restaurant, and I had truffles (definitely not LBYM). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truffle_(fungi)

Do not miss the beautiful medieval and 18th century town of Sarlat. Office de Tourisme de Sarlat. And Monpazier, Monpazier France Travel Information, Places to Visit, Gites and Monpazier Hotels, one of the one hundred "most beautiful villages of France", where we stayed at a luxury boutique hotel that had once been an 18th century chateau Booking.com: hotel Chateau De Monrecour, Saint-Vincent De Cosse, France - 96 Guest reviews. Book your hotel now!.

Make sure you visit the amazing prehistoric art in the caves at Lascaux Lascaux, and....and.....

You've brought back some great memories!
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:10 PM   #83
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I think I misspoke - it might be mid-September when the campgrounds start shutting down due to winter approaching. Better check with any campgrounds of interest.

Audrey
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:20 PM   #84
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Praha kinda sucked...
Man, you can never please everybody. Somewhere else, someone said Venice sucked. I guess there was no place that would be universally liked; tourists would be piling up five-deep if that were the case.

We always enjoy places that we have been. We either like it a lot or we like it a little, but we always get something out of it. That said, we have avoided third world countries because we find it difficult to enjoy the leisure our money can buy when seeing poverty around us.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:16 PM   #85
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Plymouth Rock. Saw it in November with my wife many, many years ago. The rock is located on a rather unattractive, small beach. The rock was roped off and protected by chicken wire (or some kind of wire). Plymouth Rock itself was rather small and totally unimpressive. Anyhow, I guess it did its job for the Pilgrims. I hope they didn't land there in November--it's really cold and gray in November. But, I kept thinking as I was looking at the rock, how did the Pilgrims step onto it when it was both roped off and was protected by chicken wire?
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:42 AM   #86
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....................... But, I kept thinking as I was looking at the rock, how did the Pilgrims step onto it when it was both roped off and was protected by chicken wire?
This reminds me of a child's observation that the US Civil War was fought in a series of parks.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:28 PM   #87
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Not to rain on the negative thread.

However, I kept thinking and thinking. What place did I visit and thought hey this is no good.

Frankly, being the overall negative person I am. I could not think of one and I am a pretty good traveler. I find every place I visit unique and just alot of fun.

Ok ok ok I got one!

Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Oh my if you dont go with little kids.. IT SUCKS...

Im happy i added to the thread!
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:52 PM   #88
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Venice reminder us of an old world theme park. Hardly anyone actually lives there (35,000 inhababitants) way more tourists than that there during peak season.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:46 AM   #89
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Grand Hotel on Mackinac - $10 to see the lobby of an expensive hotel - guess I get what I deserve (also got sea sick on the boat ride to/from - didn't york, but felt like it.) Now, the BRIDGE - there's a TRIP!

Wisconsin Dells - what a tourist trap! The actual Dells were worth the hour boat tour. Other than that - a waste of time. New Glarus Wis. or even the House on the Rock are better Wisconsin destinations IMO. YMMV
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:30 AM   #90
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Wisconsin Dells - what a tourist trap! The actual Dells were worth the hour boat tour. Other than that - a waste of time. New Glarus Wis. or even the House on the Rock are better Wisconsin destinations IMO. YMMV
So true, it was even worse before the Dells area got a highway by-pass and all traffic funneled down its main street.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:10 PM   #91
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The physical Alamo in San Antonio may look like nothing, but the story of the sacrifice for Texas freedom is totally and completely awe-inspiring (well, at least, to me it is). I leave there with nothing but respect for those brave when I've visited, but I can tell you I have heard oodles of times from visitors to Texas that they saw the Alamo and "pooh..it was nothing." I'm not sure they really got the history of the Alamo when they say that.
And that probably is true of so many historical places I've visited and not been impressed with. I just didn't understand the full significance of its history. I'm just a guilty as everyone else of doing this and sometimes even more so....(gulp!)
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:26 PM   #92
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The physical Alamo in San Antonio may look like nothing, but the story of the sacrifice for Texas freedom is totally and completely awe-inspiring (well, at least, to me it is). I leave there with nothing but respect for those brave when I've visited, but I can tell you I have heard oodles of times from visitors to Texas that they saw the Alamo and "pooh..it was nothing." I'm not sure they really got the history of the Alamo when they say that.
And that probably is true of so many historical places I've visited and not been impressed with. I just didn't understand the full significance of its history. I'm just a guilty as everyone else of doing this and sometimes even more so....(gulp!)
Orchid, the classic lament of many visitors to the Alamo upon seeing how small and unimpressive it is: "Why on earth did they build it downtown?"
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:46 PM   #93
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I'm tickled that the Missouri Ozarks has escaped the list of disappointments.
Come on down..We need the money.
Also pleased that our next destination (Niagara) has done OK.

I join with many others who have been underwhelmed with Disney World.
It's a fasinating money machine, and I did enjoy much of the newer Disney Movie Studio, but not having to return is perhaps the only blessing of being without Grandchildren.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:27 PM   #94
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The physical Alamo in San Antonio may look like nothing, but the story of the sacrifice for Texas freedom is totally and completely awe-inspiring (well, at least, to me it is). ...
Well, San Antonio is in my top ten best places to visit. I didn't even think about the size of the Alamo the three times I have been there -- in retrospect, it seemed large enough for what took place there.

But SA is so much more than the Alamo. There is, for instance, that huge saloon with all the stuffed animals right down the street -- it has a representative of every land, sea, and air creature... unbelievable. How could the Riverwalk not impress one? A visit to any of the Spanish Missions will, like the Alamo, quickly put life into perspective -- how lucky we are to be living today.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:36 AM   #95
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I agree that the Alamo is more about the history instead of the building...

Kind of like visiting some of the civil war battlefields... heck they are FIELDS... they look like the field over the next hill... and the next... and the next... but it is the history that makes it interesting...
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:10 AM   #96
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I agree that the Alamo is more about the history instead of the building...

Kind of like visiting some of the civil war battlefields... heck they are FIELDS... they look like the field over the next hill... and the next... and the next... but it is the history that makes it interesting...
A contemporary example is the newest National Memorial - Flight 93. When we were there a couple years ago, it was simply a US flag visible way off in the distance (and I mean waaay off) from a temporary "viewing" area.

This modest presentation did not in any way lessen the emotional effect of actually being there and seeing the crash site in person.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:33 AM   #97
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Ahh - a travel review site here!

Let's see - what disappointed - well, not too much, and I've been to quite a few places. To me the key is to do research ahead of time in many different travel books and find that which interests you. For example: Florence can be amazing (David is breathtaking) as it is considered the heart of the Renaissance so admiring the architecture and art should be top on one's list. However, if that doesn't interest you, then you will be disappointed. For me, many times the food I eat or people watching becomes a big part of the experience. I love to go into grocery stores around the world - first to see what they do buy, how they buy it, how much they have, etc. You can get some great offbeat souvenirs and gifts from local grocery stores and usually at better prices than the tourist trap shop.

What I didn't like - Venice - was flooded when I went - the best part was one morning when I woke up and walked around the whole island alone just getting sort of lost. Naples - dirty city - best part was the museum which had all of the artifacts from nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum. Glasgow - we preferred hiking around Edinburgh. Dublin - I'm not a pub type of girl - and when wanting to see the Book of Kells (sp?) realized they only showed a few pages of the illuminated manuscript - could have just bought the book and seen it and not paid for the poor museum. Best part of Ireland is we found a booklet on 'local' restaurants and B&Bs - had some of the best seafood I've had in a small pub in Kerry, Ireland. Disappointed in the ruins of the Cistercian monastery in Ireland - realized I had seen a full working one with all of the gardens, etc, in Germany - better experience in Germany without realizing it. Big one next - Paris - this may be a case of 'been there, done that, many times.' Most of the big cities are fairly similar around the world - yes, the Louvre and Musee D'Orsay are cool, as well as the Eiffel (and really neat to me the L'Infermidad (?) - military museum), but after awhile, it gets old - you've seen it. Most of the restaurants are over-priced and the best ones are small ones in the outlying areas that the locals know about - oh, my only other two places I do love in Paris is the Musee Du Moyen Age/Du Cluny - has the Unicorn tapestries in it as well as ruins of a Roman Bath and Chapelle Cathedral (located near Palais du Justice and Notre Dame (did you know underneath the Notre Dame are more Roman ruins?)).

Cool places in France - Rheims, Epernay (can anyone say awesome Champagne?), Strasbourg, Alsace in general, Provence (Nice and surrounding area).

Other places over-rated - Napa, CA; San Francisco, CA (except for a few restaurants); Hollywood, CA

I did like Prague, but I wandered around the town and had a guide who had lived there. I didn't much like Warsaw, but loved Krakow. London was OK, preferred Leeds Castle and Bath. Loved Croatia - all of it. Loved Siena, Orvieto, Trieste, hiking/skiing the Dolomites in Italy, hiking the Cinque Terra in Italy, Santorini in Greece, Turkey for the sheer difference in experience and history, but didn't like the haggling and hassle; Morocco for the experience, again, but not the persistent requests for baksheesh (sp?); Phillipines was interesting - beautiful countryside, Manila a pit; Okinawa, beautiful, clean, gorgeous beaches, awesome seafood, really neat aquarium; Chile, Santiago, Valparaiso and Colchuaga wine region - also, snow-skiing in Andes; great place in general - prices awesome, food awesome, scenery and things to do all over the map - thinking of living there part-time when fully retired; Ecuador - Quito, sad place being raped by the government - Banos, nice resort, third world-ish; Otovalo, interesting Andean town.

OK - have rambled enough - bottom line - if one has too high of expectations, usually they are dashed; education before-hand can align the expectations. Also, knowing what you like and searching for that can make for a better experience. Ex: when we went to Santorini on the cruise, I found a 10K hike along the atoll from Fira to Oia - easily one of the best parts of our cruise - however, we like to hike preferring that to shopping. Others might think that is crazy. Different strokes.....

Oh, lastly - cannot stand plastic America stuff like Disney, etc - even can't stand Vail as they try to be an Alpine village - after you've seen a real one, you wonder why they want to 'copy' it - don't they have something unique they can foster? Maybe it's because the America we know is so young in comparison - don't know, but I think trying to copy something when you can have your own style (perhaps an evolution or derivative) is silly. Example, when skiing at Winter Park, I remember a beautiful restaurant at mid-mountain called the Sunspot or something like that - upon entering a great log-cabin like building there was an enormous stone fireplace and then they used copper on the outside of the building as well along with antler themed lighting fixtures, etc. Also, they had some copper 'sculptures' on the wall. That is definitely western American - the huge expanse (BIG - the adjective used by Europeans for American - and all of the meanings as well;-)) and the rustic-ness - great place. Another aside - I went into a spaghetti restaurant in Trieste and they decorated the place with all things US western - pictures of cowboys and Indians and the western US, red-and white checkered table cloths, picnic tables - it was surreal to be there in Italy surrounded by those things I grew up with (oh and the pasta was great - have never had a bad meal in Italy)! And many of the Europeans LOVE the western-ness of America like that - it's so different from what they have.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:23 AM   #98
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Rome was a major dissapointment.
I am in Florida right now in Feb. Three weeks and leaving to go back home in NJ.
I cannot see the fascination that some people have to come down here. I went to 4 different areas of the state where 4 couples (freind/aquaintances) are staying till April. They are not doing anything different down here than they do up North. I saw the Villages also . Not Impressed!
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:24 AM   #99
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Wow...if Rome was a major disappointment then we must have had different experiences there. So much to do, so much to see, different tastes/language/culture. I had a blast there, Venice and Florence! Sorry you must not have...darn.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:37 PM   #100
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Rome was a major dissapointment.
I am in Florida right now in Feb. Three weeks and leaving to go back home in NJ.
I cannot see the fascination that some people have to come down here. I went to 4 different areas of the state where 4 couples (freind/aquaintances) are staying till April. They are not doing anything different down here than they do up North. I saw the Villages also . Not Impressed!
Except for not shoveling snow!
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