Author Topic: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread  (Read 84341 times)

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Offline 1995hoo

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I am now unexpectedly headed to Chicago in 3 weeks because my grandmother is not doing well. Gonna drive because it still seems safer. Ohio is in the middle of that route: gonna check out Canton on the way there and Zanesville on the way back.

First, I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother.

Second, I'm late in looking at this thread, so apologies if you've already gone. If you like wine, there's a pretty good vineyard in Canton, Gervasi Vineyard. We stayed there for two nights at the tail end of a trip to St. Louis in fall 2017 (we drove out via I-64 and on the way back we stopped to visit friends in Indianapolis and Dayton—my wife grew up in Dayton—and then spent two nights in Canton and drove up to Cleveland one day). Some of the red wines were very good, especially the "Abbraccio" and the "Truscano," and the on-site restaurants were good as well (huge portions in the main restaurant. Gervasi is not too far from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which I didn't get a chance to visit and which will likely pull me back that way at some point. The lodging in the "villas" at Gervasi was exceptional, but it might be overkill for a single night.

If you're like me and you hate passing through Breezewood and the annoying 55-mph part of I-70 south of there, take note there is a good new option to avoid it. There's a new 65-mph segment of US-219 southeast of Somerset. Check a map. If you exit at Somerset, it's about half an hour south to I-68. I haven't used that road yet, but I'm told it's an excellent route. I plan to use it on our way home from a trip to Dayton this fall for my sister-in-law's burial (delayed to to the pandemic). My preferred route to and from Ohio is to go out I-66 to I-81, then use US-48 across West Virginia to I-79 and then either north to US-50 or south to US-35. Except for a segment between Thomas and Kerens, US-48 is all four-lane divided highway with a 65-mph speed limit and almost nobody on the road (the part between Wardensville and Thomas is pretty scenic), and US-50 from Clarksburg to Parkersburg is all four-lane divided posted at 65 with even less traffic than US-48 and only one or two traffic lights in the whole 80 miles. Great relaxing alternative to the rat-race Interstates in Maryland and Pennsylvania, but for a trip to Chicago this might put you further south than you'd prefer. You'd connect up to Columbus via US-33 or Dayton via US-35, go west to Indianapolis via I-70, and then head northwest to Chicago via I-65. (US-35 from Gallipolis to Xenia is largely Interstate-grade posted at 70 mph. Not sure about US-33. It was mostly 65 last time I was on there, but that was in 2012 the day of the Nats' first-ever postseason game. US-35 has a 13-mile two-lane segment north of I-64 and south of the river.)


(Edited to fix a typo)

Offline OldChelsea

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British Airways, last major operator of the 747, to retire all of its 747's immediately: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8531777/End-BA-jumbo-jets-British-Airways-scraps-ENTIRE-FLEET-iconic-747-planes.html

They were going to retire them in 2024, but plunging passenger numbers have made operating the aircraft much less economical.

Offline 1995hoo

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British Airways, last major operator of the 747, to retire all of its 747's immediately: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8531777/End-BA-jumbo-jets-British-Airways-scraps-ENTIRE-FLEET-iconic-747-planes.html

They were going to retire them in 2024, but plunging passenger numbers have made operating the aircraft much less economical.

Too bad, as the upper deck Club World layout was very nice, a quiet place to travel and very good service because there were so few seats up there. I'm interested in trying Club World on their A350s, though.

Are they still flying their A380s to Dulles? Last time I looked at schedules there were none listed—it showed a daily 747 and a daily A350. (Of course, you know I wish they were still operating what's shown in my avatar!)

Offline bluestreak

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British Airways, last major operator of the 747, to retire all of its 747's immediately: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8531777/End-BA-jumbo-jets-British-Airways-scraps-ENTIRE-FLEET-iconic-747-planes.html

They were going to retire them in 2024, but plunging passenger numbers have made operating the aircraft much less economical.

Sucks. I was going to try to fly on one before they retired them.

Online imref

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Sucks. I was going to try to fly on one before they retired them.

we flew on a Lufthansa one in 2018. Nice plane.

Offline OldChelsea

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[...]Are they still flying their A380s to Dulles? Last time I looked at schedules there were none listed—it showed a daily 747 and a daily A380. (Of course, you know I wish they were still operating what's shown in my avatar!)

They were still using them on that run as recently as this past November. BA normally run two flights a day out of Dulles; in recent years they've used either an A380 or a 747 on the earlier of the two flights (usually leaves round 18.30) depending on level of demand. The later flight usually uses a 777 or 787, although sometimes they'll use the A350 which they've just started deploying (I've flown in that aircraft with Qatar Airways and it is quite nice, even in tourist class).

My three current BA bookings (October/November - one hopes) all use the 747 on the outbound flight to London (as of an online booking check I did this morning, but that will no doubt change).

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Sitting at my new house in Kingston right now. Praise Allah. Glad I have my EU passport, time to check out my place in Athens next.
remember, smoke can damage the lungs, so don't inhale.

Online Count Walewski

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Hello from Appleton, Wisconsin. We drove from Arlington to Chicago over the course of two days, dropped the toddler off in Chicago with my parents, and now we are exploring Wisconsin, or as much as we can without going inside of buildings. This has meant a lot of lighthouses, and a lot of public parks, and eating at drive-throughs or getting food delivered. The highway rest stops at I-80 are not designed for people who don't want to go inside the rest stop, let me tell you that.

Canton has cool stuff to see but the area is really run down. Maumee, OH - a suburb of Toledo - has a really nice park built around the ruins of a canal that used to go there - the locks have been turned into waterfalls of sorts. Kenosha, WI really impressed me, it has a great harbor area. Racine was a dump (I got escorted off the corporate HQ of SC Johnson, a supposed "family company", but I got the pictures I wanted before that happened) but had the best lighthouse of the trip so far, Fond du Lac had one of the best downtown parks I've ever seen in my travels, Oshkosh was surprisingly run down, and I'll see Appleton tomorrow I guess, haven't had the energy to do anything but hang out in the Airbnb.

Coronavirus has left this part of Wisconsin relatively unscathed; between Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Appleton there are fewer than 50 deaths from the virus. Nobody wears a mask, nobody social distances.

Online varoadking

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Kohler has what is, or was, the largest American flag and pole in the US.  You can see it from the road to Green Bay and drive on the Kohler of Kohler grounds to get up close and personal.

Online imref

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Hello from Appleton, Wisconsin. We drove from Arlington to Chicago over the course of two days, dropped the toddler off in Chicago with my parents, and now we are exploring Wisconsin, or as much as we can without going inside of buildings. This has meant a lot of lighthouses, and a lot of public parks, and eating at drive-throughs or getting food delivered. The highway rest stops at I-80 are not designed for people who don't want to go inside the rest stop, let me tell you that.

Canton has cool stuff to see but the area is really run down. Maumee, OH - a suburb of Toledo - has a really nice park built around the ruins of a canal that used to go there - the locks have been turned into waterfalls of sorts. Kenosha, WI really impressed me, it has a great harbor area. Racine was a dump (I got escorted off the corporate HQ of SC Johnson, a supposed "family company", but I got the pictures I wanted before that happened) but had the best lighthouse of the trip so far, Fond du Lac had one of the best downtown parks I've ever seen in my travels, Oshkosh was surprisingly run down, and I'll see Appleton tomorrow I guess, haven't had the energy to do anything but hang out in the Airbnb.

Coronavirus has left this part of Wisconsin relatively unscathed; between Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Appleton there are fewer than 50 deaths from the virus. Nobody wears a mask, nobody social distances.

safe travels!  I' ve been to Madison and Lake Geneva and both were beautiful.  Milwaukee....not so much :)

Offline bluestreak

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Kohler has what is, or was, the largest American flag and pole in the US.  You can see it from the road to Green Bay and drive on the Kohler of Kohler grounds to get up close and personal.

The American Club in Kohler is amazing.

Online varoadking

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The American Club in Kohler is amazing.

It looks like it.  I have wanted to stay there, but I never seem to allow enough days for our Green Bay trips to do that...

Offline skippy1999

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Hello from Appleton, Wisconsin. We drove from Arlington to Chicago over the course of two days, dropped the toddler off in Chicago with my parents, and now we are exploring Wisconsin, or as much as we can without going inside of buildings. This has meant a lot of lighthouses, and a lot of public parks, and eating at drive-throughs or getting food delivered. The highway rest stops at I-80 are not designed for people who don't want to go inside the rest stop, let me tell you that.

Canton has cool stuff to see but the area is really run down. Maumee, OH - a suburb of Toledo - has a really nice park built around the ruins of a canal that used to go there - the locks have been turned into waterfalls of sorts. Kenosha, WI really impressed me, it has a great harbor area. Racine was a dump (I got escorted off the corporate HQ of SC Johnson, a supposed "family company", but I got the pictures I wanted before that happened) but had the best lighthouse of the trip so far, Fond du Lac had one of the best downtown parks I've ever seen in my travels, Oshkosh was surprisingly run down, and I'll see Appleton tomorrow I guess, haven't had the energy to do anything but hang out in the Airbnb.

Coronavirus has left this part of Wisconsin relatively unscathed; between Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Appleton there are fewer than 50 deaths from the virus. Nobody wears a mask, nobody social distances.

Did you not like the a Racine zoo? It’s been a couple decades but it was lovely when I was there!

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Hello from Appleton, Wisconsin. We drove from Arlington to Chicago over the course of two days, dropped the toddler off in Chicago with my parents, and now we are exploring Wisconsin, or as much as we can without going inside of buildings. This has meant a lot of lighthouses, and a lot of public parks, and eating at drive-throughs or getting food delivered. The highway rest stops at I-80 are not designed for people who don't want to go inside the rest stop, let me tell you that.

Canton has cool stuff to see but the area is really run down. Maumee, OH - a suburb of Toledo - has a really nice park built around the ruins of a canal that used to go there - the locks have been turned into waterfalls of sorts. Kenosha, WI really impressed me, it has a great harbor area. Racine was a dump (I got escorted off the corporate HQ of SC Johnson, a supposed "family company", but I got the pictures I wanted before that happened) but had the best lighthouse of the trip so far, Fond du Lac had one of the best downtown parks I've ever seen in my travels, Oshkosh was surprisingly run down, and I'll see Appleton tomorrow I guess, haven't had the energy to do anything but hang out in the Airbnb.

Coronavirus has left this part of Wisconsin relatively unscathed; between Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Appleton there are fewer than 50 deaths from the virus. Nobody wears a mask, nobody social distances.
racine is where Foxconn was supposed to set up a factory.

Online Count Walewski

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You know what is all over this part of Wisconsin? Pelicans. Giant white pelicans with black wings. I have seen at least a dozen today in Appleton, I saw one yesterday in Neenah. They migrate here from the Gulf of Mexico in the summer. Apparently, this only started happening in the last 20 years and really only picked up in the last 5.

I never would have guessed that the first wild pelican I saw in my entire life would be in Wisconsin.

Online Count Walewski

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I'm now in a cabin in rural Michigan. I got here by taking the S.S. Badger, the last coal powered steamboat still operating in North America. It takes people (and their cars) across Lake Michigan from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Ludington, Michigan, all while "rolling coal" and spewing forth great black clouds. The crossing takes four hours, and we had beautiful weather for it, mid-70's and sunny.

Manitowoc is of course famous for season 1 of Making a Murderer. The town has the least COVID-19 of anywhere I've been, with fewer than 100 cases and only 1 death. To their credit, the people of Manitowoc seemed to universally be wearing masks and social distancing, a first for small city Wisconsin that I've seen.

The people of Ludington lined the harbor this evening to wave to us as the ship steamed into port. Not a single one of them was wearing a mask, despite Michigan technically being under an order to do so even outdoors.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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I first heard of Manitowoc when I worked at Arby's or another place with an ice making machine and saw it was called a Manitowoc.

Offline wj73

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I first heard of Manitowoc when I worked at Arby's or another place with an ice making machine and saw it was called a Manitowoc.


Sadly, neither the Manitowoc ice makers nor the Manitowoc cranes are made in Manitowoc any more. All outsourced to other states and other countries. The loss of manufacturing has staggered the town’s economy.

Online Count Walewski

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I'm currently in Rochester, Indiana: a 6,000 person town that is the county seat of a 20,000 person county. It's located about an hour south of South Bend: on my way here yesterday I toured the Notre Dame campus.

This is egg country: this part of Indiana produces billions of eggs each year and the nearby town of Mentone considers itself the egg capital of the world and is home to the world's largest egg. My airbnb has at least a dozen free-range hens on site. Perhaps relatedly, chicken prices are extremely low here. I just got fried chicken legs for 99 cents each. I tried not to make eye contact with the free-range chickens as I brought a box of fried chicken out of my car.

Online dracnal

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I'm currently in Rochester, Indiana: a 6,000 person town that is the county seat of a 20,000 person county. It's located about an hour south of South Bend: on my way here yesterday I toured the Notre Dame campus.

This is egg country: this part of Indiana produces billions of eggs each year and the nearby town of Mentone considers itself the egg capital of the world and is home to the world's largest egg. My airbnb has at least a dozen free-range hens on site. Perhaps relatedly, chicken prices are extremely low here. I just got fried chicken legs for 99 cents each. I tried not to make eye contact with the free-range chickens as I brought a box of fried chicken out of my car.

Pretty sure I remember being told (or reading an article) that chickens are perfectly happy to eat fried chicken.

Online imref

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Online Ali the Baseball Cat

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Fortunately those 747-8s (assuming that is what it was, I guess they still had a few 400s in the fleet) will probably be around for a while.  It's a shame Boeing didn't get more orders, those are sweet.

we flew on a Lufthansa one in 2018. Nice plane.

Offline OldChelsea

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Fortunately those 747-8s (assuming that is what it was, I guess they still had a few 400s in the fleet) will probably be around for a while.  It's a shame Boeing didn't get more orders, those are sweet.


The ones that were grounded this month were all 400's. They retired their last non-400's in 2002 (those were 200's).

Interestingly the three bookings I have with BA for October/November/December all still list 747's for my outbound longhaul flight...they haven't gotten round to redeploying aircraft for these dates I guess.

Online Count Walewski

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Last day of my trip. This morning I am waking up on an apple orchard in Somerset County, PA where we rented a farmhouse. We're gonna see the Flight 93 memorial which is 5-10 minutes away, and then drive the final ~2.5 hours to Arlington.

Drove through Zanesville and Wheeling, two places I've long wondered about and wanted to see, but my daughter was napping in the back of the car and I didn't get to stop in either. Gosh, West Virginia is such a gorgeous state, even the weird little finger that sticks out between Ohio and PA was gorgeous to drive through.

Offline GburgNatsFan

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The Flight 93 memorial is impressive in its own low key way.

Last day of my trip. This morning I am waking up on an apple orchard in Somerset County, PA where we rented a farmhouse. We're gonna see the Flight 93 memorial which is 5-10 minutes away, and then drive the final ~2.5 hours to Arlington.

Drove through Zanesville and Wheeling, two places I've long wondered about and wanted to see, but my daughter was napping in the back of the car and I didn't get to stop in either. Gosh, West Virginia is such a gorgeous state, even the weird little finger that sticks out between Ohio and PA was gorgeous to drive through.