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Thread: Travel Recommendations

  1. #1

    Default Travel Recommendations

    A thread for asking and giving advice about upcoming trips. I'll go first. My wife is going to LA to run a half-marathon the first weekend of April and is looking for somewhere to stay with her friends. The race is in Hollywood, but I've heard that places there either cost $800/night or rent by the hour. We're looking for something around the lower quartile of that range. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    No, I'll not be there to cheer her on. She is going with a bunch of women, which means I want nothing to do with their trip/sightseeing tour. I'd much rather go to the final four in Atlanta than the Price is Right in LA, which is exactly what I'm doing. <humblebrag>

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Will they have a car? If not, then I'd check for hotels along the meager mass transit routes that stop near the race start. If they'll have a car, then I'd use Hotwire and find a good buy within 5-10 miles of the start. I've had great luck with Hotwire, and they'll be able to land a 4-star for less than $150. Three-stars are okay, too.

  3. #3

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    I have a meeting in Frankfurt next week, a free weekend, then a meeting in Luxembourg.
    I'll have a car.
    I might go down to Neuschwanstein Castle.
    Tempted by WWI sights, and WWII sights.
    Any do / no-do suggestions for eastern france / western germany?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I have a meeting in Frankfurt next week, a free weekend, then a meeting in Luxembourg.
    I'll have a car.
    I might go down to Neuschwanstein Castle.
    Tempted by WWI sights, and WWII sights.
    Any do / no-do suggestions for eastern france / western germany?
    If you have time to see Neuschwanstein Castle, you won't be disappointed. Get a tour guide from Munich, if that is where you might stay because many of the local guides are awful. Once you enter and if you must follow with a local guide, you may get somebody interesting and you may not. Ours, last summer, was not so good.

    You should also visit Dachau for a sober reminder. The Elsace-Loraine has plenty of must-sees.
    "Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr Epstein."

    Upon rejecting the Beatles, Dick Rowe told Brian Epstein of the January 1, 1962 audition for Decca, which signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    If you have time to see Neuschwanstein Castle, you won't be disappointed. Get a tour guide from Munich, if that is where you might stay because many of the local guides are awful. Once you enter and if you must follow with a local guide, you may get somebody interesting and you may not. Ours, last summer, was not so good.

    You should also visit Dachau for a sober reminder. The Elsace-Loraine has plenty of must-sees.
    Yes, I thought about hitting Dachau on the way to Neuschwanstein. It wasn't clear from the pictures if there was anything interesting to see. But it's on the way, and with your blessing, I'll swing by.
    Thanks for the info on the castle. After a while a castle is a castle is a castle, but this one looks unique.
    What do you mean 'get a tour guide' ? I was just going to show up and maybe get the audio guide to walk through it.
    Is there more to it than that?

    peace.
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    So far, so good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    Yes, I thought about hitting Dachau on the way to Neuschwanstein. It wasn't clear from the pictures if there was anything interesting to see. But it's on the way, and with your blessing, I'll swing by.
    Thanks for the info on the castle. After a while a castle is a castle is a castle, but this one looks unique.
    What do you mean 'get a tour guide' ? I was just going to show up and maybe get the audio guide to walk through it.
    Is there more to it than that?

    peace.
    If you don't reserve in advance, you won't get in. You must reserve before you go. I wouldn't drive myself, but rather, I'd reserve a tour from Munich. I'll see if we still have the guide we used. He was great and knew so much about the area. The mandated tour guide inside the castle was awful.

    The guide from Munich to Dachau was fantastic, and really did a great job of showing us the grounds. He was an American married to a German.
    "Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr Epstein."

    Upon rejecting the Beatles, Dick Rowe told Brian Epstein of the January 1, 1962 audition for Decca, which signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead.

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    Board Bookworm happyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I have a meeting in Frankfurt next week, a free weekend, then a meeting in Luxembourg.
    I'll have a car.
    I might go down to Neuschwanstein Castle.
    Tempted by WWI sights, and WWII sights.
    Any do / no-do suggestions for eastern france / western germany?
    I realize my experience are way, way out of date - but

    back in the early '70s I went to Dachau twice - the first time I was not impressed (shallow teenager?), the second however was very moving. I don't know how much as been restored in the 45 yrs since I was there - at the time the admin buildings, crematorium and gas chamber, Arbiet Mach Frei (Work makes you Free) sign over the front gate and the outer walls were all preserved. The prisoner area had one rebuilt barracks standing, the rest of the prisoner area was grey gravel and they asked you not to walk on the gravel.

    One legend was that told when I went was that the area where the firing squads were held, the grass grew exceptionally green and ground unusually soft because of all the blood the was spilt - I don't know if they are still telling that story or even if it was true. The grass was very green, but to the 16 yr old me, it didn't look any greener than the surrounding area and it was Spring in Germany and there was a lot of rain

    As far as Nueschwanstien, by all means go. If you can't make it, one of Ludwig's other castles/palaces is fairly near Munich - Herrenhiemsee
    It's on an island in the middle of the Chiem See and is his attempt to replicate Versailles complete with a Hall of Mirrors
    It is unfinished as is Neuschwanstien, but if you have the time well worth the trip.
    Last edited by happyone; 06-26-2018 at 07:23 PM.

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  8. #8
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I have a meeting in Frankfurt next week, a free weekend, then a meeting in Luxembourg.
    I'll have a car.
    I might go down to Neuschwanstein Castle.
    Tempted by WWI sights, and WWII sights.
    Any do / no-do suggestions for eastern france / western germany?
    You have to catch Neuschwanstein. Such an amazing setting for a castle.

    You should swing by Oberammergau. Kind of "touristy", but a beautiful little alpine town that specializes in wood carvings.
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    Board Bookworm happyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    You have to catch Neuschwanstein. Such an amazing setting for a castle.

    You should swing by Oberammergau. Kind of "touristy", but a beautiful little alpine town that specializes in wood carvings.
    I agree with the Oberammergau suggestion. If you can wait a couple of yrs they will putting on the passion play (it been performed once every 10 yrs in yrs ending in 0 since the 30 yrs War in the early 1600s)

    If you go to Neuschawnstein make sure to hike up behind the castle - the view is spectacular!

    Rothenburg ob der Tauber is also a good stop - It's by Nuremberg and is an almost perfectly preserved medieval city. It is one of the few towns that still has a complete Curtain Wall and it was basically untouched by WW II.

    We lived fairly near there and went 5 or 6 times while living in Germany.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rothenburg_ob_der_Tauber

    Below is one of the most photographed/painted buildings in Rothenburg and by extension Germany.
    When we were there. the lady who lived in it was a member of the Church and Dad got a picture of all of my siblings (I don't remember why, but I didn't go on that trip) in the upper windows.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rothen...nburg_BW_4.JPG
    Last edited by happyone; 06-26-2018 at 07:25 PM.

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

    A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to, "The United States of America ", for an amount of "up to and including my life - it's an honor."

  10. #10

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    thanks. good info
    I intend to live forever.
    So far, so good.
    --Steven Wright

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    thanks. good info
    We drove from Vegas to New York this past week with two Gold Retrievers, and experienced it from a different perspective.

    First, Goldens do not relish the summer heat of Las Vegas. Nope, but they are troopers and tag a long nonetheless. My fearless wife had drive from New York to pick me up with them in tow.

    Second, Goldens prefer cool climates such as Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota.

    Third, you stumble upon gems along the way because not every locale is pet friendly. A couple of them are worthy of mention. Wyoming is great for pets, but National Parks generally bar them except in parking lots. National Forests on the other hand are receptive to pets. We also found ski resorts to be great places to hike with dogs. We went to Jackson and hiked up Snow King Mountain, which is connected to Jackson.

    We found a little reservoir in Idaho, named Devil's Creek Reservoir on the way to Jackson. A beautiful little reservoir with some friendly locals.

    Chamberlain, South Dakota is a spot where the Lewis & Clark Expedition in 1804-06 crossed and there is a wonderful rest spot with a gigantic statue erected in 2016. It is a crossing for the Missouri River in the middle of the state.

    We visited Lakota Lake in the Black Hills of South Dakota to let the dogs swim.

    The Grand Tetons amazing but not friendly to dogs, mainly due to bears. We were at Jenny Lake, when an Austrian family warned us of some grizzlies around the corner. We did allow them to swim in Yellowstone Lake.

    Cody, Wyoming embraces its western heritage. Sheridan, Wyoming is beautiful and has a great dog park. My wife tells me Iowa has some of the best dog parks around.

    Minnesota along Highway 90 is boring unless you stop by Rochester on Thursdays, which is an amazing town supported by the Mayo Clinic. They have a street festival on Thursdays between 1st and 3rd, with music, food and artisans. Great atmosphere.

    Madison is situate on Lake Mendato and enjoys its Badgers. Walk out to Picnic Point if you want to enjoy the freedom of nature.

    One of the best surprises for dog lovers is Montrose Beach on Northshore of Chicago. Dogs are welcome and plentiful. You're along Lake Michigan with lots of dog lovers throwing balls and stuff with the pups running wild.

    Also, use BringFido.com. We got hugely discounted rates at the Sheraton Grand through that site and enjoyed walking the river at nite. We also saw the aftermath of a local entrepreneur crashing his Lamborghini in the area of Wacker and Michigan Avenue.

    Glass City, Ohio, outside Toledo, received a big thumbs down, as it had the sole "Members Only" dog park that excluded outsiders. Nobody would budge.

    We also discovered a beautiful park on Lake Erie, called Presque Isle, right outside Erie, Pennsylvania. Thirteen miles of beaches and places to fish or boat. What a great find for us.

    Traveling with pets shows you a lot, as you must stop more often than if you are with humans only. You find lots of exclusions, restaurants, museums and parks but lots of conversations start with, "May I pet your dog"? If I were a single guy, traveling with dogs would be a great pick up opportunity as so many beautiful women are attracted to a dog. We also encounter the poignant, "I just lost my dog" too many times but are glad to share the joy of our puppies with others.

    Highways in Wyoming and South Dakota are far better than those in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. And much of that is the toll road. Ugh.

    One of the best advertising gimmicks is "Wall Drug." It is a drugstore in Wall, South Dakota, but everywhere you drive along Hwy 90, you see signs, "Aren't going to WallDrug," "Wall Drug is here." It was so prolific that my wife demanded we stop to see what it is.

    We also stopped in the middle of South Dakota to see these sculptures made out of scrap metal made by a guy named Wayne. Lots of fun.

    We also saw Mount Rushmore on July 4th. We went early to avoid the crowds and enjoyed it immensely.

    If you have never done a cross country road trip, do it. You''ll appreciate this country a lot more after you do.
    "Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr Epstein."

    Upon rejecting the Beatles, Dick Rowe told Brian Epstein of the January 1, 1962 audition for Decca, which signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead.

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