Author Topic: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread  (Read 113095 times)

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Offline varoadking

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Offline tomterp

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #401: September 01, 2015, 04:34:18 PM »
It's with Marriott...never had issues with them before, but then again, I've never had a room rate go up $500.00/night before either...

Probably right.

My brother booked a room in a boutique hotel near Normandy several years before the 70th D-Day anniversary last year, and the hotel just flat out canceled his reservation and refunded his deposit when the rates shot up within 8-10 months of the event. 

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #402: September 01, 2015, 04:50:57 PM »
London hotels are pretty expensive to begin with. Hmmm, May...could be the FA Cup Final at Wembley.  Too early for Wimbledon.

Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #403: September 01, 2015, 04:54:44 PM »
Probably right.

My brother booked a room in a boutique hotel near Normandy several years before the 70th D-Day anniversary last year, and the hotel just flat out canceled his reservation and refunded his deposit when the rates shot up within 8-10 months of the event. 

 I think that's more of a boutique hotel problem than a european hotel problem

Offline varoadking

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #404: September 01, 2015, 06:57:03 PM »
London hotels are pretty expensive to begin with. Hmmm, May...could be the FA Cup Final at Wembley.  Too early for Wimbledon.

You got it...the FA final is the same weekend we are there, and the Chelsea Flower Show during the week.  Place should be pretty packed...

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #405: September 03, 2015, 08:39:04 AM »
London hotels are pretty expensive to begin with.[...]

Basically quite true, but right now, for the period of my upcoming annual London three-weeker (25th November - 15th December) British Airways is offering considerable reductions on hotels: at the Royal National (opposite Russell Square and normally the cheapest hotel they offer) they want just $1881 (about $94/night - usually they want something in the mid-$100's range) for the aforementioned 20 nights, and the hotel I normally stay at (the President, in the same neighbourhood) is just a tiny bit higher.

Ordinarily it is indeed pricey, but one must keep one's ear to the ground....

Offline houston-nat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #406: September 03, 2015, 10:40:00 AM »
February 10, flying up to NYC for one night only to have a fancy dinner and see "Hamilton" on Broadway.

Offline GburgNatsFan

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #407: September 03, 2015, 08:43:18 PM »
Do you call matches games when you are there?
Basically quite true, but right now, for the period of my upcoming annual London three-weeker (25th November - 15th December) British Airways is offering considerable reductions on hotels: at the Royal National (opposite Russell Square and normally the cheapest hotel they offer) they want just $1881 (about $94/night - usually they want something in the mid-$100's range) for the aforementioned 20 nights, and the hotel I normally stay at (the President, in the same neighbourhood) is just a tiny bit higher.

Ordinarily it is indeed pricey, but one must keep one's ear to the ground....

Offline mitlen

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #408: September 03, 2015, 08:48:27 PM »
February 10, flying up to NYC for one night only to have a fancy dinner and see "Hamilton" on Broadway.

Outstanding.    I'm trying to convince the missus to do a one day via Amtrak from DC.    Did that with my son a few times for the adventure.    NYC is always an adventure.

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #409: September 04, 2015, 08:07:15 AM »
Do you call matches games when you are there?

Nope - I remain consistent.

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #410: October 01, 2015, 11:11:41 AM »
While people continue to make vacation plans (I have a visit to Lisbon plus my annual London trip coming up over the next couple of months) - thanks to Skytrax, the #1 air travel forum site (www.airlinequality.com), a bit of wisdom from one of the forum posters...you know how everything would be absolute perfection on your trip if it were run only to YOUR specifications:

'We had a dreadful experience with Qatar Airways travelling QR2 on 13th Sept 2015. We were delayed 2 hours because a passenger onboard wasn't feeling well as the plane was taxiing out. Instead of offloading this passenger, the captain decided to wait for a doctor to treat them. The passenger was found to be fit to travel and we departed 2 hours late. This meant we missed our connecting flight at Doha for the onward leg to the Maldives. What made us angry was that our connecting flight was still on the ground at Doha when we landed, but couldn't be held for a short time to allow connecting passengers to board. On arrival we were presented with transfer and hotel vouchers as we disembarked at Doha at 7.30am. We were not allowed to retrieve luggage and were taken by minibus to a hotel on the outskirts of Doha (the Golden Ocean), which seemed like a 2 star hotel. We tried to sleep but this proved impossible as the hotel is situated next to a building site - there was constant drilling and hammering all day long. Not having access to any of our luggage compounded the misery, as we couldn't change into clean clothes. We were collected at 10pm for the flight to the Maldives which departed at 1am. No member of staff apologised at any time - we felt abandoned. We missed 2 nights sleep in a row and arrived at our holiday destination shattered. We spent the holiday fretting about the return journey, as the connection time was a mere 55 minutes, and we dreaded missing it. The final insult was being told our flight from Doha back to London was departing late because it was waiting for some passengers coming in on a delayed flight.'

[emphasis added]

Offline MarquisDeSade

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #411: October 01, 2015, 11:57:04 AM »
Alaska?  For crushing groomed trails on fat bikes?  In January?  Sign me up my Dane overlords, sign me up.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #412: October 01, 2015, 12:11:24 PM »
First prize is a free night in Doha...second price is two free nights
While people continue to make vacation plans (I have a visit to Lisbon plus my annual London trip coming up over the next couple of months) - thanks to Skytrax, the #1 air travel forum site (www.airlinequality.com), a bit of wisdom from one of the forum posters...you know how everything would be absolute perfection on your trip if it were run only to YOUR specifications:

'We had a dreadful experience with Qatar Airways travelling QR2 on 13th Sept 2015. We were delayed 2 hours because a passenger onboard wasn't feeling well as the plane was taxiing out. Instead of offloading this passenger, the captain decided to wait for a doctor to treat them. The passenger was found to be fit to travel and we departed 2 hours late. This meant we missed our connecting flight at Doha for the onward leg to the Maldives. What made us angry was that our connecting flight was still on the ground at Doha when we landed, but couldn't be held for a short time to allow connecting passengers to board. On arrival we were presented with transfer and hotel vouchers as we disembarked at Doha at 7.30am. We were not allowed to retrieve luggage and were taken by minibus to a hotel on the outskirts of Doha (the Golden Ocean), which seemed like a 2 star hotel. We tried to sleep but this proved impossible as the hotel is situated next to a building site - there was constant drilling and hammering all day long. Not having access to any of our luggage compounded the misery, as we couldn't change into clean clothes. We were collected at 10pm for the flight to the Maldives which departed at 1am. No member of staff apologised at any time - we felt abandoned. We missed 2 nights sleep in a row and arrived at our holiday destination shattered. We spent the holiday fretting about the return journey, as the connection time was a mere 55 minutes, and we dreaded missing it. The final insult was being told our flight from Doha back to London was departing late because it was waiting for some passengers coming in on a delayed flight.'

[emphasis added]

Offline mitlen

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #413: October 01, 2015, 12:12:15 PM »
First prize is a free night in Doha...second price is two free nights

Is Doha the Philadelphia of the Middle East?

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #414: October 01, 2015, 12:13:04 PM »
Pretty much - but without the beer.
Is Doha the Philadelphia of the Middle East?

Online Natsinpwc

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #415: October 01, 2015, 12:14:01 PM »
Pretty much - but without the beer.
No cheesesteaks either.

Offline 1995hoo

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #416: October 09, 2015, 04:38:45 PM »
In late September, we'll be in Albuqueque for four days, then driving up to the Valley of the Gods in Utah (overnight at a bed-and-breakfast there near the Moki Dugway), then driving through Monument Valley en route to the Grand Canyon (overnight there), then down to Phoenix for four days visiting relatives. Any suggestions on things to be sure to see in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area? My wife is going to a convention, so I'll have most of the time on my own. They already have an event planned at the Sandia Peak Tramway (I believe it involves riding the tramway, seeing the view, and having dinner at a nearby restaurant), and someone told me to check out Petroglyph National Monument. But otherwise, I don't know much about that area, never been out there and don't know what's there. I have a AAA book but haven't really looked at it much yet.

Any suggestions? I need to limit myself to places easily done out-and-back in a day so as to be back for dinner in the evenings (so Carlsbad Caverns is, unfortunately, not happening).

We got back from this trip last Saturday night. I had today off and used some time to cull through a bunch of pictures since we took over 2000 of them. Great trip all around. New Mexico was nice, southeast Utah's scenery was spectacular, and words and photos don't do the Grand Canyon justice.

We started out with the four days in Albuquerque. Ms1995hoo was attending a convention on Friday and Saturday. Thursday we walked around town, then met her group to go out to the Sandia Peak Tramway (takes you up to 10,378 feet above sea level). I haven't yet uploaded those pictures. Friday I drove up to Santa Fe for the day and Saturday I toured a few other sights in Albuquerque. Sunday we drove up US-550 and US-64 to Four Corners Monument, then continued on to southeastern Utah and we spent the night at the Valley of the Gods Bed & Breakfast, some 14 miles northeast of Mexican Hat in the middle of nowhere. Great place, an old ranch house that runs on solar and wind power. The owners said prior to it becoming a B&B it often housed actors and film crews making movies in the area and they claim John Wayne slept in the room we had. I have no idea whether that's true. Fabulous dark sky there to view the lunar eclipse and the Milky Way (see photos below). The next day we drove up to the top of the Moki Dugway behind the B&B (see video below), took pictures, then drove back down and on through Monument Valley (see picture below) to the Grand Canyon. Didn't get to walk down into the canyon due to physical limitations we both have. Then the next day we drove to Phoenix and spent three days there visiting relatives.

I've only uploaded a few pictures and videos so far.

View of the cliffs behind the B&B. The Moki Dugway runs up those cliffs.




View from the top of the cliffs. The B&B is the only building around for miles and miles; you can see it in this picture a little left of center. (The pickup is on the Moki Dugway, which is part of Utah State Route 261. The paved road at the bottom right is part of Route 261 as well.) This view is to the south.




Lunar eclipse and night sky photos from the B&B using a tripod and a remote-activated cable release (the final picture was a 25-minute exposure):




















What, you ask, is the Moki Dugway? It's an unpaved roads with 10% grades and switchbacks. Plus no guardrails.




Offline skippy1999

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #417: October 09, 2015, 04:42:03 PM »
Those moon pics are excellent!! Looks like a wonderful trip!!

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #418: October 09, 2015, 04:51:36 PM »
Wow  :shock:

Really nice photos.

Offline mitlen

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #419: October 09, 2015, 04:55:24 PM »
Nice shots Shoo.   Spent a lot time in and around those spots.   Beautiful country  ...

Offline 1995hoo

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #420: October 09, 2015, 04:57:21 PM »
Thanks to all of you. I wish the two of the Milky Way were somewhat crisper, but you know what, given that it was my first real effort at night-sky photography (given all the light pollution in Northern Virginia!), I can't complain too much. For the final night-sky photo, I would have gotten a better result had I placed the camera somewhere else. The first bunch of photos all had the tripod set up in the middle of the B&B's driveway. But for a 25-minute exposure I didn't want to leave the tripod set up where someone else might trip over it, so I put it on the patio outside our room, went inside, closed the door, and tripped the shutter via the remote control. There was no artificial light out there, but I guess a long exposure is going to result in the building being too visible. Oh well. All the more incentive to make sure we take another trip to a "dark sky" region at some time soon, right?!

Offline 1995hoo

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #421: October 09, 2015, 05:01:21 PM »
I forgot to include the picture of Monument Valley. Here it is. I'm standing on the spot where Forrest Gump ended his cross-country run. The camera angle is wrong because Ms1995hoo didn't want to stand in the highway to take the picture (she seemed to feel it was unsafe due to the 65-mph speed limit and a hill behind us, but look at the group taking pictures in the other lane).




Offline wj73

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #422: October 09, 2015, 05:01:26 PM »
Beautiful pictures!  That area of the country is definitely on the bucket list.

Offline skippy1999

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #423: October 09, 2015, 05:02:34 PM »
omgosh I love the "Gump" photo comparison, awesome!

Offline mitlen

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #424: October 09, 2015, 05:03:45 PM »
I forgot to include the picture of Monument Valley. Here it is. I'm standing on the spot where Forrest Gump ended his cross-country run. The camera angle is wrong because Ms1995hoo didn't want to stand in the highway to take the picture (she seemed to feel it was unsafe due to the 65-mph speed limit and a hill behind us, but look at the group taking pictures in the other lane).

(Image removed from quote.)

(Image removed from quote.)

Do they still have the 1 inch pipes located along the side of the highway so you can look at individual formations?