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indiechick
mornington, why don't you xpost here as well?
nickclick
yay NYC! have you been before? how long will you have?

stay midtown and uptown during the day for tourist stuff - times square, central park, MOMA and the Met and Guggenheim and plenty of other museums on museum mile (near central pk). well, go down to wall st. to visit the WTC site.

at nite, stick downtown - Union Square at 14th st. and below - for endless eateries, chinatown, the village (both east and west), soho.

i can be more specific when you're ready!
dusty
Yes, MOMA!

I like staying here: its cheap, friendly and a grrreat location. But they don't take credit cards.
mornington
thanks dusty, indie and nickclick!

I'm definitely going to MOMA, and try and do a little of the cheesy tourist stuff. Luckily I have a place to stay all sorted

*toddles over to nyc thread*
sybarite
Mornington, for reasonable/flexible flights you could try Continental (into Newark) or aer lingus (into JFK). You'd have to go via Belfast or Dublin but at least Mr Brown's tax would be slightly less.

*continues to live vicariously through the travels of others...*
freckleface2727
= popping in here==

have any of you ever tried an etap hotel?

they are very affordable and super clean tho no-frills. rooms w/ loft-type beds and a breakfast buffet and automated check ins if you arrive late at night too.

I stayed at one in chemnitz germany and was really impressed. they are mostly all over europe but there might be some in the u s as well.

their page is www.etaphotel.com

I wish I had some place more exciting to go than the grocery store today sad.gif
jkat
hey girls,

my mom and i are planning a road trip in july, and we're planning on hitting seattle, portland, and possibly sacramento on our way to vegas. now i know we can figure vegas out on our own, but does anyone here have any suggestions on things not to miss in the other cities? especially seattle and portland.

my mom's 46 and i'm 26, we're both into music, wine, fun shopping, coffee, cultural stuff, whatever..any ideas on good mother-daughter type things would be greatly appreciated. thanks!!!
greenbean
Gotta get Stumptown coffee in Portland!
misslocs
I will be in nyc 4/18-4/24. Any suggestions as to what to do/see?

This isn't my first trip. I've got family and friends there, and have been visiting regularly since I was a little girl. Think I'll be spenindg most of my time in Brooklyn this time around...any suggestions?
I've already done the Sex & the City/Central Park tours etc ...looking for something low key/chill. Think Little 5 Points/MJQ/East Atlanta in Atlanta or Queen Street West/Bloor West Village in Toronto.
Thanks!
llamas
I'm going to be in Birmingham this weekend...any suggestions for restaurants or bars in the downtown/campus area? cool.gif
kiss_the_fiddler
My orbit is taking me to TX next week. Any suggestions of fun and cheap parks, sites, activities or restaurants in east TX, Dallas to Palestine to Austin?
Serenity
I went to Vegas recently and had a great time. Mandalay Bay was an amazing hotel. it was like a tropical resort in the middle of the desert . Anyways if you haven't planned any summer getaways check out Mandalay Bay
culturehandy
bumpity bumpity
MaybeSparrow
Whats fun to do in Washington DC? Whats good to avoid? I'm going with my mom in a few months and want to start planning since I know some tickets need to be ordered a while in advance. Just wondering if anyone has gone, and what they thought.
rositachiquita58
Hey ladies,
I am wondering if any of you live in Caracas, Venezuela or have been there? I am moving there in a few months. It would be fun to meet some of you and nice to get some suggestions on where to go/what to do there. More importantly, I know it's not the safest place in the world (it's one of the un-safest, I think) so I'd appreciate any safety insights about the area.

Also, I might have a chance to go to other cities and countries in South America---what do you recommend

Thanks!
nickclick
QUOTE(MaybeSparrow @ Jun 6 2007, 11:02 PM) *
Whats fun to do in Washington DC? Whats good to avoid? I'm going with my mom in a few months and want to start planning since I know some tickets need to be ordered a while in advance. Just wondering if anyone has gone, and what they thought.


I'm dying to go to the National Museum of Women in the Arts! I was in DC a few years ago but didn't get there. Most of the main sites are along the Mall. I'd also take a trip to Baltimore Harbor.

Calling all Seattle, Portland and Vancouver people.... I'll be there for a week in July. What's to see and do?
Lesbajew
I'm going to New York city in late July. I'll be spending most of my at workshops for theater and watching Broadway shows(I get to see Spam-a-lot)! But if I do get a few hours to myself, where should I go? I'm fourteen, so it can't be a club or something, but I'm there are plenty of museums and places to shop. Since I'll already be getting a tour of the city to touch on the main stuff, so something a little bit less heard of would be great! Places that would have broad appeal would also be nice, as I will want to stick close to my friends.
crazyoldcatlady
Chinatown has great food and (ahem) awesome backroom handbag knock-offs smile.gif

If you're into horses or riding, i did an hour horseback ride through central park for relatively cheap (~$50). it was just me and my horse (no guide), and they let you walk/trot/canter. it was kinda cool because you have to go a block or so on a city street to get to the park, and it was surreal walking through the streets and being eye-level with school buses.

Dylan's candy shop for sweets (the one near 62nd-ish) has a great selection for your sweet tooth.

The off-broadway shows are hot too, but i don't know what's playing around there these days.
octobersky
Nickclick - mmm Seattle. I love it there. Depends what you are interested in there's the Experience Music Project (EMPlive) which I thought was pretty cool. It's right by the Space Needle so you can do both at the same time. Really the view from the Space Needle is amazing on a clear day. Close by there is this great Chinese (vegan) resturant - Bamboo Garden (Bamboo Garden), seriously the best sweet and sour pork I've ever had.
The International district is cool too all sorts of interesting stuff and any kind of Asian food you could want. Uwajimaya is this huge store with all sorts of food and other stuff - last time I was there they had Hello Kitty toasters, rice cookers and waffle irons. It's adjacent to Capital Hill, you can go to the original Babeland store. There are some really good thrift stores in the University District along the main drag. If you want to be super touristy you can go to Pike Market, which is actually pretty cool lots and lots of (local) fresh food and some crafty stuff too. There's an amazing doughnut shop in the market and I can't remember the name! mmmm doughnuts......
Then if you want you're only about 2 hours or so from Olympic and Rainier National Parks. Both are lovely, I've done solo trips in both, if you want any recs on those you can pm me.
nickclick
thanks octobersky! mr.nick went to seattle a couple of years ago and didn't see the Hendrix thing, so i'm sure we'll go there. sounds cool. hello kitty and babeland? i'm there too.
LustfullyPink
Anyone around here been to Hawaii? Any good reccomendations for good shops or eateries and the like?
josje
Anyone know anything to do/see in the Netherlands or in Kauai?
anna k
I was telling my mom about wanting to go to Lisbon someday, and saying how when I hear Portuguese being spoken, it just flows past me and I can't understand a word. She laughed and went, "That's because you've never studied it! Of course you don't know it!" smile.gif
steppe_child
I just wanted to tell everyone about kayak.com. It compares the rates for flights and hotels so you can get the best price. Also remember farecast.com--it "predicts" when you should buy your airline tickets so you get the lowest fare.

If anyone is traveling to Ethiopia holler at me--I'm living in Addis!
nickclick
QUOTE(octobersky @ Jun 15 2007, 09:51 AM) *
Nickclick - mmm Seattle. I love it there. Depends what you are interested in there's the Experience Music Project (EMPlive) which I thought was pretty cool. It's right by the Space Needle so you can do both at the same time. Really the view from the Space Needle is amazing on a clear day. Close by there is this great Chinese (vegan) resturant - Bamboo Garden (Bamboo Garden), seriously the best sweet and sour pork I've ever had.
The International district is cool too all sorts of interesting stuff and any kind of Asian food you could want. Uwajimaya is this huge store with all sorts of food and other stuff - last time I was there they had Hello Kitty toasters, rice cookers and waffle irons. It's adjacent to Capital Hill, you can go to the original Babeland store. There are some really good thrift stores in the University District along the main drag. If you want to be super touristy you can go to Pike Market, which is actually pretty cool lots and lots of (local) fresh food and some crafty stuff too. There's an amazing doughnut shop in the market and I can't remember the name! mmmm doughnuts......
Then if you want you're only about 2 hours or so from Olympic and Rainier National Parks. Both are lovely, I've done solo trips in both, if you want any recs on those you can pm me.

Thanks again October, we returned yesterday and our trip was great. I loved EMP, especially the Northwest music exhibit with stuff about Riot Grrrl. Uwajimaya was awesome - what a great bookstore there too. We ate great Chinese food in the ID too. Also ate great Thai and Pho last week. Pike Market ruled - eating and shopping for useless junk are my favorite pastimes. The donuts ruled, and so did the piroshky. Another culinary highlight was Dick's at 1AM. We also caught a show at Crocodile Cafe and played pinball at Shorty's, I forget the neighborhood. We stayed with friends in Ballard and that was a cool 'hood too, especially the Locks.
culturehandy
Hi Shauna, welcome to the lounge, there is a self promotion thread which you can go nuts on posting about your survey. It can be found here.

Just to give you a heads up, your constant posting is becoming a little troll like. So, if you post in the promotion thread people won't get irritated with the BTW stuff.

With that said, onward with the travel thread.
pollystyrene
Does anyone know of a cruise line that is more environmentally-friendly than others? I think it would be fun to take a cruise, but I'd feel guilty about how much crap they spew. Maybe if it was a little more environmentally-friendly, I wouldn't feel so bad.
timarugirl
Does anyone know of a good site that organises home exchanges? I live in London and would love to exchange for a week with someone who lived in New York. But most of the websites I've looked at only offer exchanges of luxury 4 bedroom apartments - which is not a suitable swap for my one bedroom flat in a non glamourous neighbourhood! Any suggestions welcome.
crazyoldcatlady
http://www.homeexchange.com/

tima, i haven't used this one, but i've looked around a lot on it. i would so be into this. but i rent, and i think the landlord would not be happy.
i need to move sad.gif
zoya
timarugirl - why don't you try craigslist? I think that more people in London use gumtree, but it's basically the same thing. People who are just normal people with normal flats post for swaps all the time there. I found my last two apartments on Craigslist, and they were great. I would think that the people looking for housing swaps would be pretty good too.

http://www.craigslist.org


while you're there, read the 'best of craigslist' (look at the links on the left side of the page) it's just some of the best posts from the site.. great reading. (I'm completely addicted)
timarugirl
Zoya - thanks so much for your fantastic suggestion - I've just had a quick look and there's loads there that are really suitable!

[quote name='zoya' date='Sep 30 2007, 07:44 PM' post='171442']
timarugirl - why don't you try craigslist?
mermaidgirl13
Has anyone ever been to Greece? I'd love to hear thoughts on quiet towns to visit.
bunnyb
mermaidgirl, I've been to Rhodes (one of the islands) and loved it. It was hot and I was attacked wholeheartedly by mosquitoes but I was young and silly (15 y/o). Great places of historical interest, the sea and fabulous food. I want to return now that I am more into Greek cuisine (mmm, baklava...) I also want to visit Kefalonia where Captain Corelli's Mandolin was set. The boy's uncle and aunt used to visit a town in one of the Z islands (sorry I can't be specific in the slightest!) a few times a year where his uncle fished every morning, where they ate meals with the taverna owners and where huge turtles used to approach them on the beach every day; they stopped going because it was becoming touristy.
mermaidgirl13
Zante? Zathynos? (Same island).

What were the beaches like in Rhodes? How did you get there? Did you fly into Athens and then take a boat or another plane?

Thank you for the response, bunny!
bunnyb
I think Zante and I could find out for sure -and the name of the town- this weekend. We have direct flights to Rhodes here although island hopping is quite common and it would give you the chance to do mainland Greece, especially Athens. I have a Greek friend who says that the best time to visit Athens is off-peak and that the summer there is unbearable; Greece is HOT.
zoya
I have only been to Athens in Greece, but I can second the 'visit on off-peak season.' I was there this summer and nearly passed out at the acropolis from the heat, and I was even drinking a huge bottle of water at the time. The heat / beating down sun is brutal.
mermaidgirl13
Awesome - thank you both! We are planning to go for an anniversary which is the first week of June... from what I've read that's just before the season really starts. Maybe we should move it up and go in late May instead? I'll have to see what price differences there are to figure it out.

Now I'm thinking we'll have two days in Athens and then go to one of the Cyclades islands like Folengrandos.
jcravens
Hello everyone. New user here -- Jayne, an American living in Germany. I'm big into travel, and try to share all that I can to help others, especially women, when traveling (as others have helped me). I even met my husband while traveling -- we were both in Ireland, visiting an neolithic site in Slane... we like old rocks for some reason. Anyway, I have a web site with info about all the places I've been (various places in the USA, as well as Ireland, England, Scotland, Norway, Egypt, Afghanistan, the Czech Republic, and on and on...). Links to photos, ofcourse.
http://www.coyotecommunications.com/travel/

Really hope it helps others -- and I'm always interested in blawgs by international women travelers, so send 'em on.


sybarite
Hi jayne and welcome. I'm always happy when this thread gets bumped! I love to travel and factor in a longhaul trip most years, as well as shorter ones. Favourite places so far: Iceland and Tibet. Both were just otherworldly.

I'm hoping to take a shortish break to Madeira. Anyone been? I know nothing about it, except where it is and that they speak portuguese...
tesao
syb, madeira is wonderful! mr hotbuns and i have been twice; have even talked some about retiring there.

there are these wonderful hiking trails called "levadas" that were created to access the islandwide system of aquaducts for their upkeep. these are literally scattered all over the island and they are gorgeous.

the people are very friendly; nice subtropical climate year round. you have to be able to deal with height - it's a volcanic island and EVERYTHING is up and down! i have a post and photos on my live journal blog...let me know if you'd like to know more.

i have a fave place to stay, as well...but it isn't in Funchal (the capital - which means fennel!)
sybarite
Tes, I remembered you talking about your trip and was sneakily hoping you'd see this! I have to make sure I have both the time and money to do this, and I could only go for a few days, but I'd love to know more once I can finalise plans. It sounds gorgeous.

One thing: I'm not a hiker per se (as in, don't have the boots and can dehydrate easily) but am a great walker and am reasonably fit. Are there trails for beginners like me? Also, is acommodation expensive?

/so excited now...
tesao
syb, there are trails for all levels of hiker! believe me, i'm not in my best shape, either. the great thing is that a lot of them are paved or in really good repair, because they are used as access to the levadas to keep THEM in good repair!

accomodation runs the gamut of price. you can even get self-catering places, which may be the way that you want to go. the last time we went we stayed in a really beautiful and reasonably priced inn, which might not work for you because you really need a car.

but it's GREAT! i wholeheartedly recommend it!

beautiful botanical gardens, warm people, inexpensive (esp for europe!) don't see how you can go wrong.
sybarite
Thanks tes!! I was hoping to go this spring but now it looks like I'll have to wait until autumn... but that might work out better as I can possibly go for longer. I may pick your brains about that inn closer to the time. Cheers!

Glad to hear your mamae is feeling better btw, and I hope things have settled down somewhat where you are.
erinjane
Hello!

In april I'm taking off to the UK with my parents and brothers for a 3 week trip, but an old friend approached me and asked if I'd like to be her travel buddy and stay out longer after my family goes home, so I think I'm gonna do it. I'll probably be in this thread a lot in between now and then. I've never traveled really, mostly just trips with the family or week long vacations in Toronto or Vancouver. I'm super excited.
hellotampon
With the exception of a school trip to Mexico when i was in 12th grade, I have never been out of the country. This summer my boyfriend is going to Ireland, England and Scotland for some art student program, and a week after he gets back there's a non-school-related trip to Italy for a week that we wanted to go on. It's about $3,000 a person. I've saved up $5,000, so i can afford it.

My boyfriend said he wants to stay in Europe and meet me in Italy instead of coming home for a week, which makes sense. And he just suggested that maybe I could just get a plane ticket and we could travel around Europe ourselves instead of going on the Italy trip.

I think that would be cool because then I'd get to see more than just Italy, but neither of us is travel-literate, so it also seems really scary. I live in a rural area of CT and can't even figure out public transportation. And I have no idea how expensive something like that would be.

Someone help me!
cecilia
I did a study abroad a couple of years ago in Italy and traveled to France and Germany while I was there. Check out ryanair.com - they have a lot of cheap flights. My flight from Rome to Paris was about 35 Euro, which at the time was 45-50 USD. They have strict baggage limits though, and it can get expensive if you go over. Other than that, I'd suggest checking out travel guides to figure out what your priorities are, but also allow for flexibility while you're traveling. And eat everything!

If you're looking for anything specific, I spent time in Rome, Florence, Munich, and Paris. If you're planning on going to any of those, let me know if you're looking for suggestions.
sybarite
HT, the basics: doing online research pays off. Between you, narrow down where you want to visit in the time you have. How much time you will have may determine how you travel: if you have 3+ weeks I'd say try the trains, but under that I'd take cheap flights from one european city to another. Ryanair.com are okay; also try germanwings.com and other cheapie european carriers. Most if not all of these will not give refunds or change your flight times; or will make it very difficult for you to do so, so once you've bought the flight online that's pretty much it.

Once you've settled on your destinations, try TripAdvisor for accommodation info and ratings; they're generally reliable although not infallible. I haven't stayed in hostels for years but B&Bs or pensiones can be cheap and still offer some privacy. The cheapest flights and best accommodation will go fast, so I strongly recommend planning as far advance as possible.

When checking prices in euros go to an online currency converter which will give you the equivalent in $$$. The dollar sucks ass right now so travel in europe will be expensive compared to the US anyway.

There will be incidental costs which can trip you up: transport from the airport, to train stations etc. I'm a taxi girl these days, but packing light makes it easier to take buses, trams etc.

Finally, be prepared to pack light. This makes travelling so much easier, especially if you're doing a multi-destination trip. Ryanair et al will give you shit for any luggage over the minimum weight. If you're not staying in hostels you won't need a towel: they take up room. Ditto shoes and books. I've brought books with me and left them at hotels for other people to enjoy when I've read them, which lightens my load.

Amsterdam is pretty and great fun altho accommodation is expensive. London is also fun but big, so can be tiring, and is crazy expensive because of the currency difference. Paris is stunning but also quite expensive, although oddly you can get decent, reasonably priced accommodation there. Barcelona is epic: a lot of fun, great art and architecture, relatively reasonably priced, easy to navigate with great people and food.

Hope this helps...
pixiedust
The Pixie's are planning on Going to Myrtle beach this summer. I was wondering if anyone knows of any Must do's while we are there. We are planning going to Mideval Times...also I was wondering if anyone know how long of a drive Chrelston is from there.
edie52
Hellotampon, Sybarite covered a lot of ground in her post, but I thought I'd give you my $0.02...

I've been living in Europe since last year and my boyfriend visited for two months. We've done quite a bit of traveling together in that time (actually, I'm in Berlin right now!). And we've done it really cheap.

If I were you I'd skip the planned trip to Italy and do your own thing! Check out flyzoom.com for the cheapest cross-Atlantic flights (cod, I sound like an ad!). There are only a few cities, but it's probably worth it anyway. I think you can do NY to London or Paris for about $600 return.

For accomodation- check out the couchsurfing.com community. We've been doing this almost everywhere we've gone- you get to meet people everywhere and stay for free (or in exchange for a bottle of wine, a meal, whatever you decide). I've had only good or incredibly good experiences. If you ever want guaranteed privacy and comfort you can splurge on a room. In some countries people use craigslist; that's how I found the room I'm in this very moment. It was 30 euro for one night. It's part of someone's apartment but it's clean, comfy, and private. The price is great for a couple because it's the same as what we'd both pay together for a hostel. I don't like hostels much because you're often with a bunch of douchebags, you just meet other tourists, and you only get the bare minimum (bunk beds, and you have to pay extra to rent linens). But they're fine if you're stuck. Some advertise as "party hostels," and IMO you want to avoid those.

Trains are a great way to see the landscape. You can get a eurail pass that gives you 5 days of travel within 20 days. You can choose 3, 4, or 5 bordering countries. Train stations are often located very centrally in cities, as opposed to airports. From a train station I've always been able to walk or take public transport to where I'm going. The train is so smooth, and we usually managed to get a table, so we'd install ourselves, play games, eat snacks, and look out the window. You can also take night trains, which can save time (sleeping and moving at the same time). These cost extra even if you have a pass, though, and you might still be exhausted in the morning.

Cheap flights are great, do know that it's best to book those at least a few weeks in advance, also, there are lots of hidden taxes and baggage fees like Sybarite said, and you might end up far outside the city.

I also know lots of people who hitchhike around, but I haven't done it yet because it's been winter. I might hitch to Spain with a friend in April.

My favorite city: Berlin. It's a special place (the east-west thing, beautiful classical stuff in the west and awful soviet architecture in the east, but cool people and affordable eats in both parts). I also liked Marseille, it's so relaxed and Mediterranean and has a France meets north Africa feeling. Vienna is pretty too, a bit more bourgeois but very well-preserved old Europe feel. I haven't been to Spain or Portugal yet, but I've heard only good things (except watch out for theives in Spain).

Good luck, and please let me know if you have any questions (pm me if you like).
beck
oooh holidays - i want one! just dropping in to look for ideas for a week away somewhere and this has given me food for thought.

hellotampon, i'd have to second sybarite and say go to barcelona! the climate is good, the food is great, and there are reasonably-priced restaurants and accommodation. The public transport system there is user friendly too and Parc Guell is unmissable. Also, I'm a Londoner so I'm obviously biased a bit, but there are lots of good things to do and eat here that aren't really pricey - just just need to know where to look, i could give you some tips. hotels are very expensive but you could try this http://www.easyhotel.com/

I also agree with sybarite and edie about taking trains - you can get pretty much anywhere and it's a lot more fun than flying. i had a great journey one time from Venice to Lake Garda - a cute old-fashioned train with cabins, then a three hour boat trip in the most beautiful scenery...and the Eurostar is great - London-Paris in a couple of hours.

For a cheaper option, Eastern Europe could be good - I've heard Krakow is beautiful (i've not yet been though) and Slovenia might also be worth looking into.

Erinjane, if you're going to be in London and want any tips let me know

Oh and HT, about being travel-literate - Europe is pretty user-friendly i think - I only speak french but with a few phrases and a bit of goodwill i've managed to get around italy, spain, germany and denmark. Public transport is generally OK, and most people speak English (often putting us actual English to shame) and are generally won over by any effort to try their language (I'd have to say that Parisians can be an exception to that rule as i lived there for a year smile.gif )

Good luck!
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