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Old 05-13-2012, 11:10 AM   #41
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One that totally dominates those that you name is region. Those prices would be hard (or impossible) to find where I am, except in a student type ethnic place.
We can eat at some place like the Fishmarket restaurant in San Diego (on water front) for maybe $25/person. Places in our mid-size California town are maybe $20/person with tip but mostly we go to informal restaurants and often ethnic. A chain like Chevy's (Mexican, not fine dining but tasty) could be maybe $30 for two. Again, without those extras mentioned above.

What are others paying? Am I way off base here?
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:10 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Lsbcal
What spending level does the guilt start at?

Expensive for us might be in the $75 including tip for two range. Generally the bill at a nice out of town restaurant might run around $50 - $60 for us. I rarely drink wine at restaurants because generally I'm the designated driver. We are generally too full after the meal to eat desert. Plus I'm a fairly light eater and not a big person. So there are 3 simple variables that I can think of -- drinks, desert, big/small eaters.
Expensive for us would be over $30 including tip and for two. We eat outrageously well for this sum, though, and our average is less than $10. We never eat dessert or drink alcoholic beverages, and often we split a meal because portion sizes are too big for us. Lately I have been drinking just water because caffeine bothers me.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:50 PM   #43
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Al,

We are traveling at present (driving) and just finished a week long stay in a small, cozy cabin not far from Portland, in Rhododendron. You can rent it by the day, or for $450/week which is what we did. It is very secluded, a short walk from cafes, or you can do your own thing for eating. There are many well marked trails in the area, details of which you can get from the Ranger Station at Zigzag, just down the road.

Not far for you to drive to either, and there are many such places. We had a great week in a small cabin in Duck Creek Village, Utah before moving on up to Oregon, then onto Washington.

I've stayed in many fancy hotels on business, but am quite happy with hotels like Holiday Inn Express or Best Western. BW prices have been ~$99/night on average this trip, but always ask for AAA discount and get 10% off. These are "walk-in" prices and they NEVER ask to actually see a AAA membership card.

PS

Here is the vrbo cabin listing.
http://www.vrbo.com/310632
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:48 PM   #44
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In the past our travel paradigms have either been.
  1. Get on a plane and fly someplace warm (e.g. Hawaii)
  2. Travel a long distance, camping along the way (e.g. California to Missouri)
However, the problem with (1) is that I find flying to be too much of a hassle, and I don't like sitting in a crowded plane for many hours at a time.

We've also given up on (2) (reason).

So, a new paradigm that we are going to try is this:
[INDENT]Travel not so far and stay at a fancy hotel and eat at expensive restaurants.
we are going in the opposite direction. We're trying to get "used" to flying again as we wish to travel much farther afield.

We have an advantage in that since we fly out of a very small airport, checking in process is easy - no lines, the security checks are never rushed, short taxis from the gate, and only one plane on the leaving arriving at any 30 min period so no waiting on the tarmac. Yesterday, the TSA folks were extraordinarily polite and helpful. I hope I didn't just jinx this!!! US border patrol does the ID check before TSA inspection part of security - I suspect this is because of being a border city.

The biggest adjustment I'm having to make after doing so much RV travel, is not being able to travel with all my "stuff". This was a great benefit of RVing. But I know that as I can get used to traveling light, it'll be easier. Our world-traveling neighbors have it down such that they go on exotic (international) location walking adventures or whatever, yet each gets by with just a carry-on. Amazing! Something to aspire to, as I bet it really cuts down on the hassle factor of traveling overseas.

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Old 05-13-2012, 09:46 PM   #45
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Al,

We are traveling at present (driving) and just finished a week long stay in a small, cozy cabin not far from Portland, in Rhododendron. You can rent it by the day, or for $450/week which is what we did. It is very secluded, a short walk from cafes, or you can do your own thing for eating. There are many well marked trails in the area, details of which you can get from the Ranger Station at Zigzag, just down the road.

Not far for you to drive to either, and there are many such places. We had a great week in a small cabin in Duck Creek Village, Utah before moving on up to Oregon, then onto Washington.

I've stayed in many fancy hotels on business, but am quite happy with hotels like Holiday Inn Express or Best Western. BW prices have been ~$99/night on average this trip, but always ask for AAA discount and get 10% off. These are "walk-in" prices and they NEVER ask to actually see a AAA membership card.

PS

Here is the vrbo cabin listing.
[SIZE=2]]Rhododendron Vacation Rental - VRBO 310632 - 1 BR Mt. Hood, The Gorge Cabin in OR, Cedarbrook Cabin- Restored 1925 Cabin on Henry Creek!
Surely your rental contract required you to swear that it rained daily and you didn't see the sun at all.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:59 PM   #46
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Well, as it happens I'm heading out next Thursday for a 4 day camping trip. We've been doing this trip for over 25 years. We (2 -7 guys, depending on who shows) camp in a National Forest, but it is car camping. We have big tents, a tarp to eat under in the rain, a big campfire, lots of beer, and a little music. We always play Dark Side of the Moon at 11 on Friday night, traditional mellow out time. Sometimes some college kids come out and party on the top of the mountain (100 yds away), but they usually head out by midight. Sometimes we go hang out with them. I love camping.

Then, the following week is one of the music festivals like Sarah was talking about. Delfest in Cumberland MD. I do stay in a hotel for these things, but we keep them low cost. It's just a place to sleep after 12-15 hours listening to music and hanging out with hippies.

I don't fly unless I absolutely have to. F the TSA.

I would like to do a nice hotel on a short trip like Al is talking about. It might help make up for the 2 long weekends away from home and DW. I'll need the brownie points.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:02 PM   #47
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Surely your rental contract required you to swear that it rained daily and you didn't see the sun at all.
That is exactly what we expected and we brought all our wet walking gear, but it was glorious weather all week. Cool overnight (30's) but the cabin was cozy and warm. Even when we went up above the snow line it was nice enough for t-shirts.
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File Type: jpg Oregon - Road around Mt Hood.jpg (505.8 KB, 15 views)
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:46 PM   #48
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Full tank of gas, a stiff belt of 6 hour energy and the satellite radio on 50's & 60's rock and roll alternated with Willie Nelsons channel. Roll 10 -15 hours - one pee per gas tank, maybe a Kashi or other energy bar for some calories. Sleepy? - rest stop and sleep in the back seat for an hour's cat nap and roll on. Overnight in Motel 6 or 8 or similar econo.

I grew up in the cars are beautiful, Drive in cruising, See The USA in Your Chevrolet age.



heh heh heh - destination is usually friends or relatives - New Orleans, San Diego, Port Angeles, Maine, etc. This year Bandon Oregon. One of these days I'm gonna get old.
That is close to the way I like to travel. However, DW insists I stop more frequently than 1 pee stop per tank.

Next year about mid May we are going to load our 40 year old camper ($500 special) on the truck and drive the ALCAN for 4/5 weeks. I do not expect to be bothered by to many "California style" campers during this trip.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:22 AM   #49
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Harley, I'll be camping with the hippies this weekend for 4 days, for Hoop Convergence. Love getting to spend downtime with folks who live in the moment.

Although there will likely be thumping electronica playing into the night, it will be accompanied by lots of LED hoops and wands and fire-hooping. It's just outside Carrboro NC.

We do expect it to be noisy when we camp for music festivals, but I hate the dang generators, too. Getting more common all the time.
And hey, there's still time to get a ticket for Floydfest you know- Jackson Browne AND Bruce Hornsby!
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:24 AM   #50
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This thread is a great illustration of the path by which older folks end up confined to their front porches.

Expensive hotels get you a nicer room, usually a nicer location, and lots of intrusive and obsequious service. They are a dramatically worse deal than mid level hotels because they nickel and dime you on lots of things that are free at the mid level hotels (wireless internet, coffee, breakfast, newspaper, etc.).

When I travel for business I have a strong preference for Marriott Residence Inns. These are typically set up as an entire studio apartment for each room, so I get a full kitchen. I get really sick of restaurant food on the road so I am a lot happier to be able to make whatever I feel like. When I travel for personal amusement, we mostly lug the travel trailer. We don't own a generator and we go to lengths to avoid the weekend party type places.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:34 PM   #51
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Al, Have you considered cruising?You could probably drive to the port .You & Lena like the outdoors so an Alaskan cruise would be a perfect fit .
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:59 PM   #52
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Al, Have you considered cruising?You could probably drive to the port .You & Lena like the outdoors so an Alaskan cruise would be a perfect fit .
I've been told cruises are for 2 types of people - newly weds and the nearly dead. However, I am going to make an execption for an Alaskan cruise of the inland passage. This one is on our bucket list.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:12 PM   #53
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I've been told cruises are for 2 types of people - newly weds and the nearly dead. However, I am going to make an exception for an Alaskan cruise of the inland passage. This one is on our bucket list.
I would have thought the same but turns out I like them. The inside passage was particularly enjoyable. Our next door neighbors are outgoing active types (they own and race a 38 foot sail boat). They go on cruises all the time including several transatlantic cruises where most of the time is at sea. DW and I are keeping our eyes out for convenient and well discounted cruises out of Baltimore and NY. Just drive up and load all our junk aboard.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:32 PM   #54
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I've been told cruises are for 2 types of people - newly weds and the nearly dead. However, I am going to make an execption for an Alaskan cruise of the inland passage. This one is on our bucket list.
Actually one can do a cruise of the inside Passage on the Alaska State Ferries from Bellingham, WA up to the Panhandle. Not as fancy as a cruise ship, but if you don't take a car you can stop as you please in the towns along the way, and take a smaller boat tour of Glacier Bay. (You would fly to Gustavus from Juneau and then take the boat tour.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:08 PM   #55
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Actually one can do a cruise of the inside Passage on the Alaska State Ferries from Bellingham, WA up to the Panhandle. Not as fancy as a cruise ship, but if you don't take a car you can stop as you please in the towns along the way, and take a smaller boat tour of Glacier Bay. (You would fly to Gustavus from Juneau and then take the boat tour.
This sounds really nice. Some questions:
So if you do not have a car would you walk or taxi into the towns? Are the towns you are thinking of really small and walkable?

If you have a car is there any issue with that other then that you'd have to leave the car in Juneau I guess and maybe that is higher cost and maybe stopping in various towns would be a pain with the car on/off ferry? Just guessing at the logistics here.

What's the best time of year to do this?
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:37 PM   #56
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It seems most of the towns have some form of car rental place. I checked Skagway and Juneau both have such places. However with a max of 50 miles of road one would have to decide between a taxi and a rental car. (Plently of places to stay in each town as well) The point is without a car you just show up on the ferry no reservation needed.

Note that Juneau is not accessible by road from the outside, only Skagway, Haines and Prince Rupert BC are accessible.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:10 PM   #57
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Actually one can do a cruise of the inside Passage on the Alaska State Ferries from Bellingham, WA up to the Panhandle. Not as fancy as a cruise ship, but if you don't take a car you can stop as you please in the towns along the way, and take a smaller boat tour of Glacier Bay. (You would fly to Gustavus from Juneau and then take the boat tour.
This is exactly what we will be doing starting June 1st. We will start in Portland, Amtrak to Bellingham to catch the ferry, inland passage ~2 weeks, explore Alaska one more week, then ( unavoidable flight) to SJC to see grandchildren, Coast Starlight back to Portland. We considered a "cruse ship", too fancy pants.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:22 PM   #58
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Actually one can do a cruise of the inside Passage on the Alaska State Ferries from Bellingham, WA up to the Panhandle. Not as fancy as a cruise ship, but if you don't take a car you can stop as you please in the towns along the way, and take a smaller boat tour of Glacier Bay. (You would fly to Gustavus from Juneau and then take the boat tour.
What about taking bicycles with you. Is that a doable option?
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:33 PM   #59
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The Alaska Ferry system transports vehicles, including motorcycles. A bicycle should not be an issue, however, you may need to make a reservation.

The sightseeing boats won't take your bike on board but you should be able to secure them during the tour. You would want to check with Alaska Rail for the leg from Whittier to Anchorage, generally speaking bikes go as checked luggage. If my memory serves me correctly the tunnel does not have much grade so if you take the ferry to Whittier you may be able to bike to Anchorage (the tunnel accommodates vehicles/train by time separation).

The Amtrak Cascades train, which has a baggage car, goes to Bellingham but not in time to catch the ferry, you would need to overnight in Bellingham. Our routing includes a bus from Seattle which does not accommodate a bicycle.

When the kids were young there was a ferry that ran from Seattle to Victoria that could accommodate bikes, I don't see that today.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:03 AM   #60
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Looking at the Alaska Ferry website, and it looks like a lot of fun to travel that way. Fairly spartan but all the comforts.

It looks like a bicycle costs $57 to bring onboard. Lots of flexibility.
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