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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    Just started mining credit card points for this very purpose. Just hit the minimum spend on my Chase Sapphire, now I'm on to the Hilton Honors Amex!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bo Diddley View Post
    Les Mis, Wicked, and Lion King were all good. Phantom not so much.
    We just saw Hamilton as a family last week, so I am thinking Les Mis (my daughter wants to see that) and maybe Matilda (RSC is doing this right now).

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    My wife wants to go to London. When are the best times of year to go? Any tips for getting the best airfare rates?
    September. Good weather -- sunny and dry, but not too hot -- and kids are in school, so crowds aren't as bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    Which shows? We are going for the end of christmas break and starting to look at shows.
    Mary Poppins, Wicked, and Hamilton. Hamilton tix are surprisingly cheap--they don't let you re-sell them, so you're paying face value. I just got pretty decent tickets for 100 pounds per.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    Which shows? We are going for the end of christmas break and starting to look at shows.
    Phantom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Monstah View Post
    Mary Poppins, Wicked, and Hamilton. Hamilton tix are surprisingly cheap--they don't let you re-sell them, so you're paying face value. I just got pretty decent tickets for 100 pounds per.
    Mouse trap. Fun show.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bo Diddley View Post
    Points are the best deal out there. Go get some credit cards, hit the minimum spend, collect the promotion and away you go. Same with hotels. I've got enough points in the bank right now for another Europe trip.

    I like going in May.
    In May, you can also score some good deals on airfare. Once you hit summer, the plane tix get a lot more expensive. I subscribed to Scott's cheap flights. Probably not a ton out of Boise, but if you're willing to drive to SLC, you can probably snag some good prices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Monstah View Post
    In May, you can also score some good deals on airfare. Once you hit summer, the plane tix get a lot more expensive. I subscribed to Scott's cheap flights. Probably not a ton out of Boise, but if you're willing to drive to SLC, you can probably snag some good prices.
    Thanks. Just signed up with Scott.
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  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Monstah View Post
    In May, you can also score some good deals on airfare. Once you hit summer, the plane tix get a lot more expensive. I subscribed to Scott's cheap flights. Probably not a ton out of Boise, but if you're willing to drive to SLC, you can probably snag some good prices.
    A couple of people where I work use Flights From Home website. The airports you can select from are SLC, LAS, and PHX.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Monstah View Post
    In May, you can also score some good deals on airfare. Once you hit summer, the plane tix get a lot more expensive. I subscribed to Scott's cheap flights. Probably not a ton out of Boise, but if you're willing to drive to SLC, you can probably snag some good prices.
    What would you guys consider a good airfare price from Boise/SLC to London and back?
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    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    What would you guys consider a good airfare price from Boise/SLC to London and back?
    I usually see sales between $400-$500 for cheap, no frills fares (no seat selection and no checked bags). Usually around $600 for a good price with seat selection and one checked bag. They can get lower, but that is unusual.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    I usually see sales between $400-$500 for cheap, no frills fares (no seat selection and no checked bags). Usually around $600 for a good price with seat selection and one checked bag. They can get lower, but that is unusual.
    Thanks.
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    BYU Delenda Est Mormon Red Death's Avatar
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    I got tickets from New Jersey for $349 in May

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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    We got back last week. Took all the kids. Trip was a big success. We gave the trip to the kids for Christmas, and then left 5 days later, so it was a huge surprise for them.

    We spent 3 days in the the countryside: Stonehenge, Cotswolds, Warwick Castle and Oxford. Driving was a bit crazy but we got through unscathed.

    I am a cheap bastard, but my wife takes penny pinching to the next level. To save money, buy tickets for places you are going to visit in advance. Even the stupid London Eye is like 7 pounds cheaper if you buy it before you go. Some family pass. A 9 day English Heritage Pass got us into Stonehenge and Apsley House, the Duke of Wellington's House in Hyde Park.

    Travel around london is super easy with an Oyster card. It is a £5.00 deposit for each card (refundable if you turn it back in before you leave), but kids use the underground at a discounted rate and everyone has a max than they can use per day. For adults after you have used about £7 worth of trips a day you have spent your limit, so ride to your hearts content. Or a contactless card or apple pay would work as well. London transport has it figured out. Citymapper is the best app for getting around London. https://citymapper.com/sf-bay-area?lang=en Works awesome.

    I can confirm that the Magna Carta is still at the British Library along with a Gutenberg Bible. My kids thought both were cool.

    British Museum is still awesome, I did the Top 10 from their website with my 6 year old and even she could handle that. She liked the mummies.

    The Tower was great and there were no lines at all to see the jewels. Imperial War Museum is awesome, but we didn't give ourselves enough time to go through the new Holocaust section, so that poor planning on my part. but in my defense I didn't know it existed and they suggest around 3 hours. Next time... My Daughters loved the Churchill Cabinet rooms. They were there for 2.5 hours and would have gone longer if I would have let them, but we had to get to the theater.

    London Eye is dumb, but I have now done it and never will again. I did like the Sky Garden, you just need to reserve tickets in advance, though they are free (https://skygarden.london/)

    Theater: We saw Matilda, The Lion King, Les Miserables, and Wicked. Matilda was most of my family's and my favorite. My son like the Lion King the best.

    Harry Potter Studios was very cool for a fan of the movies. My daughter was geeking out.

    We did have some great fish and chips from the place right next to our AirBnb.

    We had 5 full days in London and it wasn't enough time. But we got to see most of what we wanted. And it rained on us for about 30 minutes of the whole trip, so that was awesome.

  15. #75
    Adventurer Walter Sobchak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    I am a cheap bastard, but my wife takes penny pinching to the next level.

    [...]

    Theater: We saw Matilda, The Lion King, Les Miserables, and Wicked.
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  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    We got back last week. Took all the kids. Trip was a big success. We gave the trip to the kids for Christmas, and then left 5 days later, so it was a huge surprise for them.

    We spent 3 days in the the countryside: Stonehenge, Cotswolds, Warwick Castle and Oxford. Driving was a bit crazy but we got through unscathed.

    I am a cheap bastard, but my wife takes penny pinching to the next level. To save money, buy tickets for places you are going to visit in advance. Even the stupid London Eye is like 7 pounds cheaper if you buy it before you go. Some family pass. A 9 day English Heritage Pass got us into Stonehenge and Apsley House, the Duke of Wellington's House in Hyde Park.

    Travel around london is super easy with an Oyster card. It is a £5.00 deposit for each card (refundable if you turn it back in before you leave), but kids use the underground at a discounted rate and everyone has a max than they can use per day. For adults after you have used about £7 worth of trips a day you have spent your limit, so ride to your hearts content. Or a contactless card or apple pay would work as well. London transport has it figured out. Citymapper is the best app for getting around London. https://citymapper.com/sf-bay-area?lang=en Works awesome.

    I can confirm that the Magna Carta is still at the British Library along with a Gutenberg Bible. My kids thought both were cool.

    British Museum is still awesome, I did the Top 10 from their website with my 6 year old and even she could handle that. She liked the mummies.

    The Tower was great and there were no lines at all to see the jewels. Imperial War Museum is awesome, but we didn't give ourselves enough time to go through the new Holocaust section, so that poor planning on my part. but in my defense I didn't know it existed and they suggest around 3 hours. Next time... My Daughters loved the Churchill Cabinet rooms. They were there for 2.5 hours and would have gone longer if I would have let them, but we had to get to the theater.

    London Eye is dumb, but I have now done it and never will again. I did like the Sky Garden, you just need to reserve tickets in advance, though they are free (https://skygarden.london/)

    Theater: We saw Matilda, The Lion King, Les Miserables, and Wicked. Matilda was most of my family's and my favorite. My son like the Lion King the best.

    Harry Potter Studios was very cool for a fan of the movies. My daughter was geeking out.

    We did have some great fish and chips from the place right next to our AirBnb.

    We had 5 full days in London and it wasn't enough time. But we got to see most of what we wanted. And it rained on us for about 30 minutes of the whole trip, so that was awesome.
    Thanks. That's really helpful.
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  17. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    We got back last week. Took all the kids. Trip was a big success. We gave the trip to the kids for Christmas, and then left 5 days later, so it was a huge surprise for them.

    We spent 3 days in the the countryside: Stonehenge, Cotswolds, Warwick Castle and Oxford. Driving was a bit crazy but we got through unscathed.

    I am a cheap bastard, but my wife takes penny pinching to the next level. To save money, buy tickets for places you are going to visit in advance. Even the stupid London Eye is like 7 pounds cheaper if you buy it before you go. Some family pass. A 9 day English Heritage Pass got us into Stonehenge and Apsley House, the Duke of Wellington's House in Hyde Park.

    Travel around london is super easy with an Oyster card. It is a £5.00 deposit for each card (refundable if you turn it back in before you leave), but kids use the underground at a discounted rate and everyone has a max than they can use per day. For adults after you have used about £7 worth of trips a day you have spent your limit, so ride to your hearts content. Or a contactless card or apple pay would work as well. London transport has it figured out. Citymapper is the best app for getting around London. https://citymapper.com/sf-bay-area?lang=en Works awesome.

    I can confirm that the Magna Carta is still at the British Library along with a Gutenberg Bible. My kids thought both were cool.

    British Museum is still awesome, I did the Top 10 from their website with my 6 year old and even she could handle that. She liked the mummies.

    The Tower was great and there were no lines at all to see the jewels. Imperial War Museum is awesome, but we didn't give ourselves enough time to go through the new Holocaust section, so that poor planning on my part. but in my defense I didn't know it existed and they suggest around 3 hours. Next time... My Daughters loved the Churchill Cabinet rooms. They were there for 2.5 hours and would have gone longer if I would have let them, but we had to get to the theater.

    London Eye is dumb, but I have now done it and never will again. I did like the Sky Garden, you just need to reserve tickets in advance, though they are free (https://skygarden.london/)

    Theater: We saw Matilda, The Lion King, Les Miserables, and Wicked. Matilda was most of my family's and my favorite. My son like the Lion King the best.

    Harry Potter Studios was very cool for a fan of the movies. My daughter was geeking out.

    We did have some great fish and chips from the place right next to our AirBnb.

    We had 5 full days in London and it wasn't enough time. But we got to see most of what we wanted. And it rained on us for about 30 minutes of the whole trip, so that was awesome.
    Nice trip! Also, interesting to hear about Matilda. On your list of plays, that's the only one we haven't seen yet. Might have to give it a go one of these times. The missus & I are headed back to London at the end of next week.

    How cold was it when you left?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Sobchak View Post

  19. #79
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bo Diddley View Post
    Nice trip! Also, interesting to hear about Matilda. On your list of plays, that's the only one we haven't seen yet. Might have to give it a go one of these times. The missus & I are headed back to London at the end of next week.

    How cold was it when you left?
    It was about 52 every day and cloudy.

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    We went the week of Thanksgiving and didn't have nearly as good of a time as BP. Kids ages are 17, 15, 11, 4, and 10 mos.

    We arrived on Tuesday around noon after taking the redeye from Houston. We got to our AirBnB in Paddington a couple of hours later, got settled, and went to a Persian restaurant our driver recommended. All 7 of us rolled in, and they were shocked to see us. The staff, the chef, the other customers all had a "WTF are these people doing here?" look on their faces. After dinner, I sent my wife and four older kids to the theat(re) to watch Mary Poppins. When they arrived they realized that the tickets were for the following night. Unfortunately, I also had plans for Wednesday night, so we ended up wasting 500 pounds on Mary Poppins tickets.

    The next day, the family really struggled to wake up. Around 1pm we finally got out the door and walked from our flat to the Natural History Museum. It was really well done. At 3pm we had afternoon tea at St. Erwin's Hotel, which was nice, but again, we were quite a sight for the all-Russian staff. After tea, I had planned to look at Buckingham Palace and tour Westminster Abbey, but I falsely assumed that we could just walk right in to Westminster. It was closed when we arrived, so I thought I'd see if we could get into Parliament. The ticket office was a small hike away, but when you've got five kids, things go slowly. We got there and were told that there were no tickets for a week. So, back to Westminster, which re-opened around 4:30pm, only to be met with a long line that wasn't moving. After waiting for a half hour, the kids were complaining, so we decided to go to the London Eye. Off we went, rode the Eye, rode a carousel nearby (which was the highlight of the trip for my 4-year old). That night we went to a place called Medieval Dinner or something like that. Think medieval times without the horses and more musical performances. It was actually pretty fun.

    On Thursday, my oldest and I decided we were going to get out early, and the rest of the crew could sleep if they wanted to. So we got to the British Museum around the time it opened. Unreal. Such an amazing collection. I kept oscillating between being grateful the British preserved so much history and feeling like the artifacts didn't belong there. Either way, it was incredible and I didn't get through half the museum before the appointed rendez vous time with the family at Borough Market. We met up at around 2pm (the first time most of my family got out of the apartment), and my 15 and 11 year olds were pissed that Borough market is just a place for food and not for knock-off designer gear. We didn't get to stay long, however, because I was taking the older kids to Hamilton that night. So, I put my family in an Uber, and I took the tube back to the apartment. We got ready, I bought some dinner, and took the tube to the theater. It was a good time.

    The next day we spent at Harry Potter Studio tour. It was actually pretty fun. A few of my kids are big HP fans. That night, I sent my wife and three oldest to see Wicked. I tried to take the 4 and 1 year old to see Frozen II. It was a nightmare, but for you novices: Even Brits will frown on you when you take your infant and small children to a theater that is a bar/movie theater. And even if you see Frozen II, child noises are deemed unacceptable. I was glad we were in the suburbs, because the Tower Bridge stabbings occurred while we were at the studios. If we had been nearby, I think my wife would have insisted we stay in the rest of the trip.

    On Saturday, three of my kids puked all day. So, we stayed in. At night, I took my oldest and 4 year old to a nearby Greek restuarant, which was really pleasant. Our 4-year old cracked us up all night with her quips.

    Sunday, I rented a minivan, and we drove to Stonehenge. I've heard mixed reviews, but I have to be honest. I loved it. The visitor's center was really well done and set the stage for the monuments themselves. It was sunny, but cold and windy, but I was really enthralled by the history.

    On our way home, we swung by a small village called Odiham in Hampshire County. My ancestors lived in this little village from the early 1500s to the mid 1700s. There's a ruined castle called Odiham Castle nearby (King John purportedly slept there the night before he signed the Magna Carta), which was actually really cool. We at at a pub that was built in the mid-1400s, and it was pretty awesome to think that my ancestors likely spent time there as well. We walked to the Church nearby where my ancestors were Christened just as the lights were shut out. Bummer, because it's a 16th century structure and looked incredible from the outside. My wife insisted that we visit the London Temple visitor's center, so on the way home, we made our way to the temple, only to learn that there is no longer a visitor's center. There's a Christus statue, and the security guard will let you play the DVD of your choice in the theater, but otherwise, nothing.

    The next morning we woke up and headed home. What I saw, I loved, but with young kids, sickness, SNAFUS, and jet lag, we didnt' get the most bang for our buck.
    Last edited by Green Monstah; 01-14-2020 at 08:31 AM.
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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    One of the things my wife is interested in seeing on our trip is old castles. Is there much remaining of the Odiham castle?

    Any other castles I should consider?
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    Corporate lackey for Jesus Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    GM I felt the same way about the British museum.

    Would be interesting to watch Hamilton in London. Esp during the king song.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    One of the things my wife is interested in seeing on our trip is old castles. Is there much remaining of the Odiham castle?

    Any other castles I should consider?
    Where are you going and how much ground are you willing to cover? My wife and I love castles and fortresses. I've lost count of how many, but we've checked out dozens. Wales and Ireland have the most in the British Isles, but there are plenty of cool ones throughout England and Scotland as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    Where are you going and how much ground are you willing to cover? My wife and I love castles and fortresses. I've lost count of how many, but we've checked out dozens. Wales and Ireland have the most in the British Isles, but there are plenty of cool ones throughout England and Scotland as well.
    My BIL who lived there for a few years as a graduate student says Wales is the best.

    Mrs Pelado wants old castles. Depends on how old she wants. Warwick that I visited is the second oldest that is still standing in England, dating to 1068 or so. (http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglopheni...still-standing)

    Windsor Castle is about an 1 1/4 hour train ride from London and also dates back to 1070. Hampton Court is relatively new and was built around 1515 but was where Henry VIII chilled and killed, so that was worth seeing as well. I really liked it. That is about an hour away by train and bus.

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    Where are you going and how much ground are you willing to cover? My wife and I love castles and fortresses. I've lost count of how many, but we've checked out dozens. Wales and Ireland have the most in the British Isles, but there are plenty of cool ones throughout England and Scotland as well.
    Not sure. Probably best if somewhat near London so that we don't have to travel far just in case she's not feeling that great on whatever day we go there. On the other hand, she's also expressed interest in seeing Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Not sure how much ground we'll cover this time.

    Hampton Court - I think I saw tours there included in a membership for visiting other places - Tower of London, Kensington, etc.
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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Not sure. Probably best if somewhat near London so that we don't have to travel far just in case she's not feeling that great on whatever day we go there. On the other hand, she's also expressed interest in seeing Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Not sure how much ground we'll cover this time.

    Hampton Court - I think I saw tours there included in a membership for visiting other places - Tower of London, Kensington, etc.
    We did that. Once you have the membership you get to skip the line for tickets, which can be nice if you are going during a busy time. Tower is a must see, Hampton is very cool imo, Kensington was ok, it was really focused on Queen Victoria. Probably not worth it if you didn't have the pass, but it is super convenient location, we went right after church, so I am glad we went.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    GM I felt the same way about the British museum.

    Would be interesting to watch Hamilton in London. Esp during the king song.
    King George stole the show. I don't know the split between Americans and Brits, but everyone seemed amused. There was only one American actor (George Washington). They did a good job with their American accents for the most part. Aaron Burr struggled in the opening scene a bit with channelling his American Urban accent, but otherwise, it was great.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    One of the things my wife is interested in seeing on our trip is old castles. Is there much remaining of the Odiham castle?

    Any other castles I should consider?
    No. If you google Odiham Castle, you can see what's left. But, if you are driving from Stonehenge back to London, it's not too far of a diversion, and there's a pleasant 1/2 mile walk from the road to the castle along a canal (swans, ducks, etc.)
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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Monstah View Post
    King George stole the show. I don't know the split between Americans and Brits, but everyone seemed amused. There was only one American actor (George Washington). They did a good job with their American accents for the most part. Aaron Burr struggled in the opening scene a bit with channelling his American Urban accent, but otherwise, it was great.
    He was great in the San Francisco version. But the best person in the entire show when we saw it was Lafayette/Jefferson (Simon Longnight), dude was amazing.

  30. #90
    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    We were in London for six days in July. We had one day where we got together with friends, and then each family member got to plan their day. My oldest chose the Tate and eating at a restaurant where its pitch dark and all the servers are blind and you don't know what you're eating. My son chose to go to some air museum out in the country where Vickers was started and they had a real Concorde. My baby chose the London Eye, the Shrek Experience, Madame Toussad's and some Turkish restaurant that had "the best pancakes in London." My wife chose to take our oldest to see a Keith Haring exhibit in Liverpool (on the train) while we spent the day going to Abbey Road and some other places. I left my family and got together with two birders and went to the Kent Marshes by the Swale and birded from pre-dawn to past dusk.

    We never made it to the British Museum (I went there in 1992 and 1995). Next trip = 10 days in London.
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

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