Author Topic: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread  (Read 81059 times)

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Offline skippy1999

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Okay, I guess I don't need to buy those hiking boots just yet since the volcano my friends and I were going to climb IS FREAKING ERUPTING RIGHT NOW.

(Image removed from quote.)
:shock:
omgosh Houston that's crazy! Although good thing it's doing it now and not when you're halfway up it :lol:

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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The gods are angry...must offer them a sacrifice

Offline blue911

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Okay, I guess I don't need to buy those hiking boots just yet since the volcano my friends and I were going to climb IS FREAKING ERUPTING RIGHT NOW.

(Image removed from quote.)

Somebody must have put beans in their chili

Offline varoadking

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Okay, I guess I don't need to buy those hiking boots just yet since the volcano my friends and I were going to climb IS FREAKING ERUPTING RIGHT NOW.

(Image removed from quote.)


Offline RobDibblesGhost

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Headed to Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and southern Utah in a couple of weeks.  Anyone been to any of the Utah National Parks, such as Zion and Bryce Canyon?  Looking for any tips or advice on must-see attractions, etc.

Offline mitlen

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  • We had 'em all the way.
Headed to Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and southern Utah in a couple of weeks.  Anyone been to any of the Utah National Parks, such as Zion and Bryce Canyon?  Looking for any tips or advice on must-see attractions, etc.

I've been through that part of the country several times.    Four corners is always cool for the novelty of it.    I really like Monument Valley in AZ.   Monument Valley will remind you of a lot of cowboy movies starring John Wayne to Johnny Depp.     Bryce Canyon reminds me of soda/beer bottles.    If you can, hit the Hoover dam just for its magnificence.     Stop by Mexican Hat, UT.   One of my haunts was the "Buckskin Tavern" in Fredonia, AZ   ....   used to claim it had the longest bar in Arizona.    :)

Offline varoadking

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I've been through that part of the country several times.    Four corners is always cool for the novelty of it.    I really like Monument Valley in AZ.   Monument Valley will remind you of a lot of cowboy movies starring John Wayne to Johnny Depp.     Bryce Canyon reminds me of soda/beer bottles.    If you can, hit the Hoover dam just for its magnificence.     Stop by Mexican Hat, UT.   One of my haunts was the "Buckskin Tavern" in Fredonia, AZ   ....   used to claim it had the longest bar in Arizona.    :)

They were still building the highway bypass at the Hoover Dam last time I was there.  Looked scary as hell way up there...

Offline mitlen

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  • We had 'em all the way.
They were still building the highway bypass at the Hoover Dam last time I was there.  Looked scary as hell way up there...

I haven't been there in awhile.    We drove right across the rim of the dam.    Best trip of them all was when some buddies and I rented a mobile home in Salt Lake City.   Drove to Albuquerque (Final Four).    Headed to Las Vegas after the final (NC State/Houston).    Stopped in Winslow, AZ on the way to Vegas  ...   playing the Eagles on the box.    After Vegas, back to SLC and skied Alta and Snowbird.    Really a rough trip  ...   :P

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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After I took the bar, I flew out to Phoenix, drove up through Sedona to stay at the Grand Canyon south rim side, drove out through norht of the painted desert towards monument valley (late lunch), 4 corners, and up to Durango.  Went though colorado and new mexico the next few days, then back through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert nat park, the Crater (a waste), Winslow (where I stoof on a corner about a block or two from The Corner) and on to Flagstaff.

There are some nice cliff dwellings in various spots out there south of Flagstaff and I think in Canyon Deschey in coloradlo / New Mexico.  The mesa villages are pretty cool.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Headed to Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and southern Utah in a couple of weeks.  Anyone been to any of the Utah National Parks, such as Zion and Bryce Canyon?  Looking for any tips or advice on must-see attractions, etc.

This is great; our plans are to do that Grand Canyon, Utah, Vegas, etc. drive in 2015.  Either spring or fall.  No flying; will leave from dc area in car.  So no advice to give but will take advantage of all you receive here.

Have been to yellowstone, grand teton and rocky mountain national parks but never on the south side of the western USA so really looking forward to it.

Have fun.

Offline HalfSmokes

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I can't wait until the kids are old enough to go to the Western National parks (I don't want to go until they can hike)

Offline Dave B

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I can't wait until the kids are old enough to go to the Western National parks (I don't want to go until they can hike)

That is why they invented skiing and ski lifts.

Offline houston-nat

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Guatemala starts tomorrow. See y'all next week!

Offline skippy1999

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Guatemala starts tomorrow. See y'all next week!

Have a great time, remember to stay off the volcano :lol:
post some pics when you get back!

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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You know what they say about volcanoes (toss in a virgin)

Offline houston-nat

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sorry for the delay, but as skippy requested:

Guatemala was freaking amazing.

I just - maybe my expectations were too low. Maybe it's that this was my first vacation in exactly two years. But no, maybe it's just that Guatemala is a stupendous place, and any of you with "un poquito" of Spanish should go at the first opportunity. It's nearby! It's cheap! (Like, $25 for a night's sleep!)

We were there for three full days (plus a late night flying in and early morning flying out). In those three days, we (chronologically):
- wandered through the ruins of the 1700s capital of Antigua;
- wandered through the streets of the non-ruined parts of Antigua;
- had the best ice cream of my life (think chocolate gelato, but with a little too much Kahlua);
- took a Guatemalan cooking class in Spanish and made enough food (pepian, chilaquiles but frying veggies rather than tortillas, tortillas from scratch, rice, and a badass dessert) to donate the leftovers to a couple random strangers;
- hung out with random strangers and ex-pats at a wine bar with one communal table;
- got tons of travel tips from the wine server, who was pouring for himself too;
- saw a museum of people writing thank-you cards to saints for the miracles they received (e.g. "thanks for the miracle of I had surgery and didn't die");
- had a traditional lunch in the secret backroom of a convenience store where old ladies served us stew from pots;
- dropped by a chocolate museum to taste chocolate liqueur, chocolate tea, and a billion other kinds of chocolate;
- climbed a darn active volcano and toasted marshmallows over the freaking lava;
- openly made fun of this sissy girl from LA who was too out-of-shape to climb the volcano and hired a "taxi" (traditional native word meaning "horse");
- met a dude who runs the gift shop on the lava field, who was there for the eruption two weeks before we got there and for the earthquake two hours before we got there;
- tried three local beers: Moza (pretty good bock), Gallo Negro (okay black lager), Gallo Red (a surprisingly delicious red lager);
- boated across a massive lake that was surrounded by extinct volcanoes;
- had the worst mojitos of our life after the waitress "found somebody who knows what mojitos are" and then delivered the liquor/mint without any mixer - seriously, mojito shots;
- heard locals speaking tribal languages instead of Spanish and stumbled out of the tourist zone and into the real markets;
- had lunch in a cafe where the other table was all cops and the floor was for stray dogs to roll around on;
- had easily the best tamale of my life, wrapped in a banana leaf;
- got a surprise fireworks show on the last night as we stood on the hostel roof; and
- finished the trip off with literally one of the five best meals of my life, at a French bistro that seated 30 with the kitchen in the dining room.

Okay, another thing that impressed me? The strangers. We made so many great friends. The guy at our hostel was a boon and always wanted us happy; the tour guide who led us up the volcano (Pacaya) was hilarious; all the Americans we met were the best kinds of Americans; the cooking school guy arranged, without even asking us, for the class to be just us and the teacher, and then customized the menu around our favorite foods. Oh, and Pablo, the wine bar server who also works as a tour guide at the chocolate museum, recommended places to us that ultimately made our vacation. So much so that my first recommendation of "what to do in Antigua" is "meet Pablo." Everyone had great stories. Every bar played hilarious salsa covers of classic rock. (You don't know what you're missing. We're talking Red Hot Chili Peppers, but salsa.)

I could go back for a month. I could go back twice. I could also keep talking and talking. I'll end with an anecdote. Our shuttle bus to the airport stopped at another hostel. A girl got in the van, saying goodbye to two friends. They had just met staying there, they were from three different countries (France, Belgium, Germany), and they were new best friends. As the van pulled away she said to them, "See you in July!" All three of them were sobbing. Just, loudly, openly in tears. My room is getting dusty thinking about it.

Point being: that country is freaking magic.

Offline skippy1999

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What, no volcano pic Houston?  :shrug: haha j/k nice recap, truly does make me want to put Guatemala on my vaca list!  The only traveling I'll be doing this year is to Waco TX to meet my new grandson in a couple of months so I've got to live vicariously through everyone else lol thanks for sharing your trip with us!

Offline Natsinpwc

  • Posts: 16680
sorry for the delay, but as skippy requested:

Guatemala was freaking amazing.

I just - maybe my expectations were too low. Maybe it's that this was my first vacation in exactly two years. But no, maybe it's just that Guatemala is a stupendous place, and any of you with "un poquito" of Spanish should go at the first opportunity. It's nearby! It's cheap! (Like, $25 for a night's sleep!)

We were there for three full days (plus a late night flying in and early morning flying out). In those three days, we (chronologically):
- wandered through the ruins of the 1700s capital of Antigua;
- wandered through the streets of the non-ruined parts of Antigua;
- had the best ice cream of my life (think chocolate gelato, but with a little too much Kahlua);
- took a Guatemalan cooking class in Spanish and made enough food (pepian, chilaquiles but frying veggies rather than tortillas, tortillas from scratch, rice, and a badass dessert) to donate the leftovers to a couple random strangers;
- hung out with random strangers and ex-pats at a wine bar with one communal table;
- got tons of travel tips from the wine server, who was pouring for himself too;
- saw a museum of people writing thank-you cards to saints for the miracles they received (e.g. "thanks for the miracle of I had surgery and didn't die");
- had a traditional lunch in the secret backroom of a convenience store where old ladies served us stew from pots;
- dropped by a chocolate museum to taste chocolate liqueur, chocolate tea, and a billion other kinds of chocolate;
- climbed a darn active volcano and toasted marshmallows over the freaking lava;
- openly made fun of this sissy girl from LA who was too out-of-shape to climb the volcano and hired a "taxi" (traditional native word meaning "horse");
- met a dude who runs the gift shop on the lava field, who was there for the eruption two weeks before we got there and for the earthquake two hours before we got there;
- tried three local beers: Moza (pretty good bock), Gallo Negro (okay black lager), Gallo Red (a surprisingly delicious red lager);
- boated across a massive lake that was surrounded by extinct volcanoes;
- had the worst mojitos of our life after the waitress "found somebody who knows what mojitos are" and then delivered the liquor/mint without any mixer - seriously, mojito shots;
- heard locals speaking tribal languages instead of Spanish and stumbled out of the tourist zone and into the real markets;
- had lunch in a cafe where the other table was all cops and the floor was for stray dogs to roll around on;
- had easily the best tamale of my life, wrapped in a banana leaf;
- got a surprise fireworks show on the last night as we stood on the hostel roof; and
- finished the trip off with literally one of the five best meals of my life, at a French bistro that seated 30 with the kitchen in the dining room.

Okay, another thing that impressed me? The strangers. We made so many great friends. The guy at our hostel was a boon and always wanted us happy; the tour guide who led us up the volcano (Pacaya) was hilarious; all the Americans we met were the best kinds of Americans; the cooking school guy arranged, without even asking us, for the class to be just us and the teacher, and then customized the menu around our favorite foods. Oh, and Pablo, the wine bar server who also works as a tour guide at the chocolate museum, recommended places to us that ultimately made our vacation. So much so that my first recommendation of "what to do in Antigua" is "meet Pablo." Everyone had great stories. Every bar played hilarious salsa covers of classic rock. (You don't know what you're missing. We're talking Red Hot Chili Peppers, but salsa.)

I could go back for a month. I could go back twice. I could also keep talking and talking. I'll end with an anecdote. Our shuttle bus to the airport stopped at another hostel. A girl got in the van, saying goodbye to two friends. They had just met staying there, they were from three different countries (France, Belgium, Germany), and they were new best friends. As the van pulled away she said to them, "See you in July!" All three of them were sobbing. Just, loudly, openly in tears. My room is getting dusty thinking about it.

Point being: that country is freaking magic.

Sounds like a great trip; will add to my bucket list!


Offline 1995hoo

  • Posts: 958
These comments make our planned trips this year look even more mundane than they are. We're going to be going to Florida twice, for two weeks in the summer and for a week at Christmas; both trips will be to visit relatives and we will drive down and then take the Auto Train back (train tickets for both trips home already purchased). There are other places we want to go as well, but we also want to see our relatives' kids while they're still kids since we don't get to see them very often.

Offline houston-nat

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What, no volcano pic Houston?  :shrug: haha j/k nice recap, truly does make me want to put Guatemala on my vaca list!  The only traveling I'll be doing this year is to Waco TX to meet my new grandson in a couple of months so I've got to live vicariously through everyone else lol thanks for sharing your trip with us!

They removed the attachment feature, but I'll try to rustle up a couple pictures. I took about 350...

Offline skippy1999

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They removed the attachment feature, but I'll try to rustle up a couple pictures. I took about 350...

Oh you've got to do that Imgur thing to post pics, it was really surprisingly easy! and you sound like me, I went to LA last  year to visit my niece and omgosh was she tired of hearing "wait I need to get a pic" haha but I didn't care, got every picture I wanted and then some  :lol:

Offline RobDibblesGhost

  • Posts: 30352
I've been through that part of the country several times.    Four corners is always cool for the novelty of it.    I really like Monument Valley in AZ.   Monument Valley will remind you of a lot of cowboy movies starring John Wayne to Johnny Depp.     Bryce Canyon reminds me of soda/beer bottles.    If you can, hit the Hoover dam just for its magnificence.     Stop by Mexican Hat, UT.   One of my haunts was the "Buckskin Tavern" in Fredonia, AZ   ....   used to claim it had the longest bar in Arizona.    :)

Thanks for the advice - Monument Valley was really cool. And we did the Hoover Dam tour too - got there early to make sure we got tickets for the full tour since those are limited. Well worth it - what an amazing engineering feat.

Offline mitlen

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  • We had 'em all the way.
Thanks for the advice - Monument Valley was really cool. And we did the Hoover Dam tour too - got there early to make sure we got tickets for the full tour since those are limited. Well worth it - what an amazing engineering feat.

 :thumbs:

Offline houston-nat

  • Posts: 19050
May 8-10: Copenhagen
May 11-12: Gotland (island in Sweden)
May 13-15: Stockholm
May 16: Frankfurt
May 17-18: Austin, TX

See y'all in a couple weeks! Keep being awesome, o nattering nabobs of Natitude!

Offline imref

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  • Redemption
May 8-10: Copenhagen
May 11-12: Gotland (island in Sweden)
May 13-15: Stockholm
May 16: Frankfurt
May 17-18: Austin, TX

See y'all in a couple weeks! Keep being awesome, o nattering nabobs of Natitude!

safe travels!! (hopefully you have mlb at bat!