Re: Operation: Relaxation

1

How much money you got?

I ask because I know some really nice places with really nice activities (no, not that! Well, maybe, but I don't know for sure) but I need a ballpark budget before I can point.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:12 PM
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If you lived in Europe I'd say Barcelona. It's got a beach, it's got culture, it's got nightlife.

What about Cuba? I hear it's nice, and if the beach wears thin going around town should help top-up your middle class guilt.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:14 PM
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1: I suppose I envision the whole thing costing around $1000/person. Is that reasonable? More? Less?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:16 PM
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Where are you traveling from?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:16 PM
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4: Central Virginia.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:18 PM
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5: Virginia Beach!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:19 PM
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San Marcos is lovely that time of year! River is cold and blue, cypress trees are drapy and green. Things to do include Sir Kraab, M/tch, Soupy, Pantene, and PDF, and all the Austin live music you can stomach.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:20 PM
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The Carolinas seem like an obvious possibility, unless you want to get further away than that.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:20 PM
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7: Yeah!! Much better idea.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:21 PM
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where are you starting from, roughly?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:24 PM
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If you lived in Europe I'd say Barcelona.

If you lived in space, I'd say Venus.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:26 PM
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Come stay here!

That's probably not sufficiently "vacationy," though, the staying with people thing. But still.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:26 PM
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Vegas! We're going over the Labor Day weekend, but mid-week prices in August are cheap. You can spend an entire week in Vegas with every moment filled with non-gambling activity if that's what you desire (shows, pools, Liberace Museum, Pinball Hall of Fame [less hall of fame, more machines you can actually play for $.25/game pre-1990, or $.50/game post-1990]). MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay have the most extensive pool complexes (we're big fans of the lazy river at MGM Grand after last year's trip -- you rent an inner tube, get frozen alcoholic drinks, and float around the river), and there are less extensive but still nice pools at plenty of other hotels (we're staying at the Mirage this year to be closer to the center of the Strip).

There are also the more traditional Vegas pursuits, and mid-week table minimums should be low on the Strip. Summer weekends have higher minimum bets, of course.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:27 PM
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If you lived under the ocean, I'd say the Mariana Trench.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:27 PM
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Prince Edward Island
Rent a house in Broadkill Beach, Delaware
Some cruise, somewhere
The World's Fair in Zaragoza, Spain


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:29 PM
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If you lived in space, I'd say Venus.

Nah, Venus is too hot and humid. If you lived in space I'd say Earth.

But wait, weather *is* important, especially in August. Do you care about the weather? What weather do you like?


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:29 PM
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If you lived in a teeny, tiny shrunken submarine, I'd say you should take a fantastic voyage inside someone's body. I wouldn't recommend Labs, though; we've seen his colon already.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:30 PM
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15: World's Fairs still exist? I had no idea.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:30 PM
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If you lived here, you'd be home now.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:30 PM
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If you lived in Europe I'd say Barcelona. It's got a beach, it's got culture, it's got nightlife.

But bob says it's got no food!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:31 PM
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Sir Kraab, when you've finished being a tool do recall that Stanley didn't state where he lives. I assumed the US, but mentioned Barcelona as 1) he might live in Europe, 2) he may have visited Barcelona and state whether it met his desiderate and 3) to prod him to reveal (or declare he didn't wish to) his location.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:31 PM
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If you lived in 1000 b.c., I'd say Babylon.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:31 PM
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I wouldn't recommend Labs, though; we've seen his colon already.

mmm, nice and shiny



Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:33 PM
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Do you care about the weather? What weather do you like?

Not too hot. Not too cold. And sunny for the most part.

unless you want to get further away than that.

There's something of an itch to get out of the country. Or at least to a territory. But I can be persuaded otherwise.

Prince Edward Island

Heh. eekbeat has family from there, and it was on the original short list.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:33 PM
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17 is awesome. Ignore W. Breeze.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:35 PM
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21: Stanley and will have had like 47 conversations about living in Virginia and importing beer into Virginia and having a summer meetup in Virginia. I can't help it if you're too self-centered to pay attention to other people's lives, Breezey McBreezester.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:36 PM
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Shorter 26: RTFA.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:37 PM
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But you don't want to visit family.

Hawaii? Not "out of the country," but still. Check out Travelocity for those "deal" type things they have, airfare plus hotel $800, etc.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:37 PM
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Longer (and kinder) 27: no one is exempt from reading the archives in their entirety.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:38 PM
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If you lived in Iceland, I'd say you should take a journey to the center of the earth.

(The expedition started from an Icelandic volcano, as you'll no doubt recall.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:39 PM
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Unfogged's archive is both the existence proof of the infinite monkey theorem and the very library of Babel.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:41 PM
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If you lived in the intertubz, I'd recommend . . .

Damn, I don't have a good one for this.

Regretfully, I must suspend my toolishness until such time as I resume it.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:42 PM
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32: you can only go on hiatus if you're a front-page poster.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:43 PM
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I find the stress of planning trips and traveling even moderate distances can overwhelm the relaxation value of a week off. (Some of this is traveling with kids, which I don't think you and eekB have to deal with.)

Perhaps you should just find the nearest really nice state or national park and do some car camping and hiking.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:43 PM
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Hi internet! Any neat destinations in the Caribbean or in Central America or Mexico?


Posted by: eekbeat | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:45 PM
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Sir Kraab, when you've finished being a tool do recall that Stanley

Actually, Sir K was only responding in kind, because as we know, Stanley is a famous tool.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:45 PM
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Dude, Rob. Save the car camping and hiking shit for when they *do* have kids and that's all they can afford.

In the meantime, either luxury hotel or else foreign adventure. Do it while you can.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:45 PM
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Chicago has very lovely beaches, unless you like big waves. I'm just sayin'.

Otherwise... umm... Beach house somewhere near you? Carolinas, as Sir Kraab said, or even somewhere on the Virginia coast? Going to the west coast might be a bit overkill.

Just looked up a couple places in central America, but sadly airfares look like $700-800, minimum.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:45 PM
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18: World's Fairs still happen every couple years, but they don't happen in the US anymore because a certain dipshit president decided to stop paying the dues to be a member of the "Bureau of International Expositions", which is the organization that oversees them. The cost for a country to be a member is $100,000 a year...


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:46 PM
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I have a real love of the Great Lakes area, especially the Upper Peninsula. That might be a little tough to get to cheaply from Virginia. Unfortunately, August is close to peak season for them -- you're going to one of many.

Quebec?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:47 PM
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What you should do is go on eBay and find someone who is trying to get rid of their Time Share for the week you want to go. Nice digs in a resort area at a low price...


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:48 PM
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In keeping with fedward's lowbrow suggestion of Vegas (which sounds like fun; I've never been), I have to say that a Caribbean cruise is a pretty sweet way to spend a relaxing, non-demanding vacation, though I haven't priced one in many years.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:49 PM
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Yeah, I didn't think anyone else would like my suggestion. I was really just saying what I would like to do. The fact is what most people consider "fun" either brings me down or freaks me out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:50 PM
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I already offered this advice to M/tch and Sir K, but I will offer it to you guys, too.

Don't take acid and go to the EPCOT center with a girlfriend that you have been fighting with for several days straight. Especially if she associates EPCOT with "fun" and you associate it with "Orwellian nightmare."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:53 PM
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I'm with you, Rob. That's the only type of vacation I actually find relaxing. Meeting up with friends and family, or travelling to new places is delightful, but I don't find it rejuvenating.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:53 PM
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Ha, my high school boyfriend got suspended for tripping on acid during a field trip to Epcot. But they did have a great time while they were there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:55 PM
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I haven't been to the U.S. Virgin Islands in a long, long time, but St. John's has great snorkeling.

I don't particularly recommend the Bahamas, but that's mostly because I'm spoiled and have spent my time there sailing in the out islands, so the idea of being stuck in Nassau for a week doesn't appeal to me.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:55 PM
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Hawaii is my most favorite place on earth. Maui actually. Let me see if I can find the spot . . .

I'm thinking that is too far and too much money though. It is for me. Sigh.

I like snorkeling and scuba so Cozumel has always sounded awesome but that is another place I have never been.

Shoot. Now I'm starting to get depressed!


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:55 PM
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42: Vegas' brow can be placed wherever your money wants it. Much of it is middlebrow these days, but the Wynn exudes class, except for the fact that it constantly reminds you how much class it exudes. There's also a Four Seasons atop Mandalay Bay (it has its own check-in, elevators, concierge, service, etc), and you could drop $600 per person on dinner at Joël Robuchon. Which isn't to say that you couldn't also slum it at the Four Queens or the Imperial Palace, but Vegas is definitely shooting for some version of "class" (maybe just the one in quotation marks) these days.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:55 PM
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Pipestem Resort in West Virginia is nice, and the area could use the commerce.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:55 PM
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44: Advice which came just in the nick of time, I might add.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:56 PM
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Vegas is nice if you'd like to vacation inside of an epilectic seizure.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:58 PM
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Barcelona doesn't have food?

That's completely insane.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:59 PM
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Speaking of boats less massive, a week on a schooner in Maine was among my best vacations.


Posted by: babble | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 2:59 PM
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52: What? Vegas is teh awesome. You sit around by a fancy pool, people bring you drinks. What more could you possibly want?

I like having vacations where I get to play rich girl.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:01 PM
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49: I don't recommend Vegas, but I do recommend the Four Queens. Teh awesome.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:03 PM
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Star Island, NH. That's where I'm going this summer...


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:04 PM
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Spain has one of the highest obesity rates for children in Europe. I applaud the direct approach the government of Barcelona is taking to this problem.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:05 PM
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I like having vacations where I get to play rich girl.

For some reason I find these kinds of places stressful and not-fun. I was a total pill at the all-inclusive at Cabo, where friends got married last month.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:08 PM
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Being waited on or pampered makes me nervous, because I don't know how I'm supposed to respond or interact with the people doing it. So, overall, I'd rather not. I don't know if this is the same kind of reaction h-g was having or not.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:10 PM
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59: I don't find them stressful so much as really, really boring. And somehow plastic-y, like the superficiality of the whole venture rubs off and people and sticks there, I dunno why.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:10 PM
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52: It's now possible to stay in Vegas without being surrounded by slot machines. There are a number of condo/hotel projects (like Trump or Signature at MGM Grand) where there's no gaming on the premises (although at the Signature you can walk and take moving walkways in air-conditioned comfort all the way to the MGM Grand casino floor). The only problem is if you decide to visit the rest of the Strip, in which case you'll find yourself walking through every casino floor on your way to and from the monorail, the restaurants, the bars, etc.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:11 PM
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60, 61: Plasticky but fun. I guess I lack the liberal guilt gene, 'cause I'm more than happy to be served. It's not like they're not making money off me.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:12 PM
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I don't know how I'm supposed to respond or interact with the people doing it.

Say "thank you" and "please." Give big tips.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:13 PM
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62: But that's fun, too. I love walking around the casinos and gawping.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:14 PM
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64: Give big tips.

Especially if they're Filipino.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:15 PM
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I think I get grumpy at the celebration of wealth and money. I've got oodles of white guilt, in case anyone is running low.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:16 PM
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59: I'm with you. Resorts tend to freak me out a bit. Vegas would flat-out terrify me because I don't think I could take that many average Americans on vacation together.

For Stanley: a cruise might be one of your best bets if you want to leave US soil, though it would keep you away from entire days in the water. Airfare's just too expensive now that oil is $140 a barrel, even the cheapest places in Central and South America will take most of the budget just to get there. Otherwise, yeah, look for coasts somewhere in country and take over a nearby house or apartment for a week.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:16 PM
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66: If they're Filipino, they'll think you're a wasteful spendthrift for giving big tips. But that shouldn't stop you because, hey: it's a vacation.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:17 PM
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65: I love the whole damn thing, noisy casino floors and quiet conservatories with topiaries at the Wynn or Bellagio. I think my favorite part is the grown-up squishy drinks by the pool, though. Both of them please my inner twelve-year-old.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:17 PM
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70: Absolutely. I haven't been in the Bellagio yet, though. My Vegas days are about ten years gone now. But I always loved the Mirage.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:19 PM
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To violate the ban on off-blog communication, I'll share that I'm being told we expecting to spend more than $1000/person (we're hitting our savings, not on credit cards). That seems like a lot, but I guess if you're going to take a vacation only every four years...


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:21 PM
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How many days are you guys looking to take off for?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:23 PM
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73: 'bout a week.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:23 PM
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I want to see the Anasazi ruins at Mesa Verde, but maybe that's not the sort of vacation you're after.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:23 PM
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Ooo... I'll take some of 60, 61, and 67. They're all good.

I have far too much of a class warrior conscience to enjoy garish displays of wealth or elaborate service (except at only a couple restaurants where it has been done well). This, I admit, makes me a big fat hypocrite.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:24 PM
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71: We're staying at the Mirage this time, but we added a night to the beginning of our trip and now we don't know where we're staying for just that first night (the Mirage is too expensive that night). I was particularly amused last year that half the signs inside the Mirage use the font from the Village in "The Prisoner," but I don't know if that detail is surviving the current renovations.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:25 PM
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No Rover ever tried to stop us from leaving the casino floor, though.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:26 PM
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Maine coast is nice that time of year (ocean but no beach per se), but it is the main season. I am familiar with and have enjoyed Bar Harbor, Deer Island/Stonington (a bit more off the beaten track), Castine and Camden.

Avalon/Stone Harbor/Ocean City New Jersey are thoughts as well. Pop up to Atlantic City to get gambling with a "fuck you" attitude and down to Wildwood for great boardwalk and Doo-Wop architecture, or Cape May for a more historic look.

If not going for the beach, I second the West Virginia suggestion, several resorts there, some great outdoor territory, slow pace.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:27 PM
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If I had $1000 dollars and a week and lived in Central Virginia, I would probably hike the Appalachians. I understand there are amazing trails, and the altitude and tree cover might make up for the August heat.

Could be crowded in August, but probably a better class of folk than you meet on a beach or tourist trap.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:29 PM
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If you want a very reasonable vacation (although less so with the stupid weak dollar*), consider Niagara on the Lake combined with Toronto. NOTL is pretty and low key - an excellent place for spending ~3 days, seeing some GBShaw plays performed by serious professionals, strolling and relaxing and visiting wineries. Then, when you're done with that, a few days in cosmopolitan TO. Aside from being pleasant and very non-stressful (no sense of "OMG, we have to do 3 different things on our last day!"), the fundamentals are cheap enough that you can afford to splurge on meals, lodging, and some entertainment.

I would add that I'm basically describing my honeymoon here, but that's not the only reason I had fun. It seems to me that Stanley needs low-key more than anything else. Obvs., if you've been to these places, they may not merit a precious week off.

* Actually, I think the weak dollar is just what this country needs. But it's teh suck for travel


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:30 PM
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Oh, and at 52:

Heebie is right.

AB is curious about the spectacle, but to me Vegas sounds like the worst place on earth.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:31 PM
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If you're not a Vegas-type person Vegas will not be that relaxing. It bears certain resemblances to taking a cruise, very lounging-around focused, except the variety of people-watching is better.

It's winter in South America, which means nice weather. Warm enough on the beach, dry and pleasant inland for exploring. But it will be hard to get down there in August for $500 or less. (I have a line on a nice place to stay in a small town on the Atlantic Coast of Brazil south of Rio, if you're interested).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:33 PM
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Costa Rica! Becks and I went there this spring and had a blast. I was going to say that the airfare would likely be ridiculous, but I just checked and Delta has flights for $378 round trip in mid-August. Depending on the fanciness level of the accommodations (read: proximity to volcanoes), you could certainly do the trip for 1000-ish, or maybe a little bit more. And they have everything there! Beaches, mountains, the aforementioned volcanoes, monkeys, 2 different oceans, etc. Highly recommended.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:33 PM
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75: I want to see the Anasazi ruins at Mesa Verde,

There and the surrounding ones are all great, but as you say probably not for this trip. Note that Anasazi was mostly deprecated the last several times I was out there, in large part because of its origin:

"The name "Anasazi" has come to mean "ancient people," although the word itself is Navajo, meaning "enemy ancestors."

However, there does not seem to be a very good alternative. Teo surely has further information.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:33 PM
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To violate the ban on sanctity of off-blog communication

Man, see how stressed I am? Can't even cite the canon properly.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:33 PM
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Mesa Verde looks really nice. I'd do that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:34 PM
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85: The National Park Service, at least, seems to take "Ancestral Puebloans" as its favored replacement term.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:35 PM
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That seems like a lot

It really doesn't, not for ~8 days. If you fly anywhere, you've blown 1/4-1/2 the budget before you've spent a single night or eaten a single meal. $200/day for both of you can get eaten up in a hurry, esp. in the vacation mindset of eating and drinking without worrying about it (which is the right mindset to have, mind you).

Hey, if you follow my idea in 81, you should look into renting a hybrid - save the wear and tear on your car, plus save a lot on gas (I'm guessing). NOTL is a long-ish drive from where you are, but manageable in a day.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:37 PM
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consider Niagara on the Lake combined with Toronto

NOOOOOOOOOOO.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:37 PM
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OK, screw Canada, 84 would be awesome if really affordable.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:38 PM
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90 is correct. In spades.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:38 PM
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90: I knew you'd say something.

Note: 81 is not advising you to move to some little shit town in the countryside near NOTL and/or TO, then live there year-round. Some people might be able to conceive that visiting a place is different from living there, but others may not.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:39 PM
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Costa Rica sounds great. Do that. Everything you need, plus monkeys.

the vacation mindset of eating and drinking without worrying about it (which is the right mindset to have, mind you)

Yes, but it really depends on the type of vacation. Vegas? You can spend a thousand a day without too much difficulty. But if you're going someplace relatively low-key and renting, say, an apartment or a room with a kitchenette, and/or if you eat where the locals do,* it's much easier to stay within a reasonable budget.

*Even in Vegas, where Mr. B. and I once had a great time getting drunk on tequila out of styrofoam cups at a grotty taqueria. This was when he was working there and we just went driving around the neighborhoods looking for a place to eat.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:41 PM
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Does Vegas have beaches now? I thought Stanley required a beach.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:42 PM
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Oh, I was a little confused -- Niagara on the Lake is quite different than Niagara Falls, which is a complete pit.

Really, though, if Stanley lives in Southern VA he's already in the middle of some of the nicest countryside on the east coast. He should get exotic and visit someplace that doesn't bear so much of a resemblance to nice countryside on the east coast.

Oh, and you can rule out Europe entirely in August -- worst month by far to visit there. That at least helps by eliminating options.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:42 PM
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81: NOTL sounds nice, but Canada, much like the Midwest, has a built-in problem. If we go there, we're coming awfullly close to the expectation that we visit family—family we totally adore!—but we're not trying for that kind of trip.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:42 PM
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95: Mandalay Bay has a sand beach and a wave pool.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:43 PM
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Stanley's not going to go to Vegas (which has pools and actually, yes, there is indeed a beach at Lake Mead). We're just having a genial argument about whether liking Vegas makes you a tool or not.

He should get exotic and visit someplace that doesn't bear so much of a resemblance to nice countryside on the east coast.

If *that* were the only requirement southern Ontario would be perfect.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:45 PM
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93: I disagree. I think Stanley and Eekbeat should move to Canada.

I hear Guelph is nice.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:45 PM
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On our last vacation (our first in seven years!), we went ventured a little too close to family, and they made the three hour drive to "join" us at our vacation site. ANNOYING.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:45 PM
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I don't think we've had a real vacation in fifteen years. We always end up visiting people.

Unless you count camping our way from Seattle to southern Ontario when we moved. Which was kinda fun, but I don't think a move counts as a vacation.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:47 PM
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97: The country is bigger than the US. How can it have that problem in entirety?

For that matter the east coast is beautiful, good weather in August, nice beaches. N.S., P.E.I., N.B. -- might be worth looking at.


B is not to be trusted about Ontario, except in a very, very narrow sense.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:49 PM
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97, 101: Whoa, this is an alien experience to me.

Costa Rica is ten types of awesome, and that's one of the places I was looking at. Where'd you find those airfares, Matt F? I was looking at Richmond - San Jose in mid-August and getting airfares around $800!

Otherwise, go to Belieze, if that has cheap airfare, spend a couple nights at Tikal (across the border in Guatemala) and the rest at a cheap beach place away from the Mosquito Coast.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:49 PM
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94: Boy it used to be (very old data) that the casinos were relatively cheap places to eat (assumed they viewed food as a loss leader; it tasted like it as well).

If fares are that cheap to Costa Rica go for it. (It is the rainy season for most of the country, however.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:50 PM
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Matt beat me to the Costa Rica recommendation. We were in a similar situation and found CR to be way cheaper than other, similar places, letting us do 8 days there for the price of 4 days in the Carribean. I used the site latindestinations.com, which did a great job of arranging all of our transit, since we hit up multiple cities. You DO NOT want to rent a car. Alternatively, our friend Amanda went a few weeks after us and just stayed in an all-inclusive and loved it. Biggest tip: fly into Liberia, NOT San Jose if you're spending your time up north. It will save you a million travel headaches.

(Matt and I can give you many tips if you choose CR. Email me.)


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:50 PM
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Niagara Falls, which is a complete pit.

Comity!

Actually, NF makes me feel like a true tourist, gawking at the things that tourists apparently do. Ripley's? Really?

Also, I just want to say that

the expectation that we visit family

is such bullshit that I can't stand it. One of the things I love about my family is that there's very little of it, and no obligation to visit any parts of it except for the immediate fam that I love. Shit, yesterday I was in the town where my uncle lives; I see him maybe twice a year, but did I call him, even to meet us for lunch? Fuck no.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:50 PM
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Matt beat me to the Costa Rica recommendation. We were in a similar situation and found CR to be way cheaper than other, similar places, letting us do 8 days there for the price of 4 days in the Carribean. I used the site latindestinations.com, which did a great job of arranging all of our transit, since we hit up multiple cities. You DO NOT want to rent a car. Alternatively, our friend Amanda went a few weeks after us and just stayed in an all-inclusive and loved it. Biggest tip: fly into Liberia, NOT San Jose if you're spending your time up north. It will save you a million travel headaches.

(Matt and I can give you many tips if you choose CR. Email me.)


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:50 PM
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whether liking Vegas makes you a tool or not.

Well that's obvious. The argument is whether or not that's ok.


Unless you count camping our way from Seattle to southern Ontario when we moved

did you do this mostly south or north of the border? I've done roughly that a couple times (including by bike, most of it). There are some really nice bits, some less so.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:52 PM
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If you go to Shediac, NB, you can get all-you-can-eat lobster for like 25 bucks. Just saying.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:52 PM
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Sort of along the CR suggestion, you might get really cheap flights to PR. Some of the little islands etc. are stunning, and it's pretty cheap.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:53 PM
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I don't think we've had a real vacation in fifteen years. We always end up visiting people.

Actually, by this definition, our honeymoon (7 yrs ago) was our last real vacation. But usually we're visiting people in either Europe or CO, so that's plenty vacation-ey.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:54 PM
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I surely do keep reading the title of this post as "Operation: Reinformation."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:55 PM
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109: I don't care if you call bphd a tool, but call me one and them's fightin' words.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:56 PM
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All this family discussion is making me think kids aren't worth it. Apparently everyone else is just as much of an ungrateful child as I am, I was hoping I was the exception.

camping our way from Seattle to southern Ontario when we moved

Moving away from the west coast is so depressing. There's that moment when you watch the Rockies fade away in your rearview mirror and realize...hey, I've left the most beautiful part of the country behind.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:56 PM
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104: Oops, I fucked up and forgot that the Mosquito Coast is in Nicaragua, not Belize (also named for the local tribe, not the annoying bugs). Either way, if you do go to Belize, we did encounter super-massive mosquito swarms in some rainforested sections of the coast. Watch out for that when looking into where to stay.

But yeah, Costa Rica would be a great trip, I really liked it there several years back and a group of friends just had a great time there earlier this year. Do watch out for which areas may be unaccessible during the rainy season, though.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:57 PM
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109: South. It was pretty cool, really.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:58 PM
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fedward, into each life a little toolishness must fall.

it'll be ok.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:58 PM
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I love the Maine coast, but it would be a real pain to get there from Virginia & it seems odd to seek out a place where the water is too cold to swim. Outer Banks of N.C. seems like a decent bet for a low key & relatively inexpensive week on the beach--Costa Rica or elsewhere in Latin America for something more adventurous. But I haven't been to either place, so what do I know. (I have been the Wilmington/Carolina Beach for a wedding, where the water was warm & the shrimp delicious, but Carolina Beach is southern-beach-town-y: mini golf courses everywhere, tons of condos right on the beach, no sidewalks. Fun for a weekend or with a group of friends, but not my preference for a longer vacation....I have a vague impression that the Outer Banks are prettier & have more natural areas preserved but I don't actually know for sure.)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:58 PM
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Although there is this segment of my family that likes to sit around, drink, and nap, and never gets in your business. Except to totally agree whenever you get drunk and bitch about anything. They're a lot of fun to visit.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:58 PM
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Actually, NF makes me feel like a true tourist, gawking at the things that tourists apparently do.

This, of course, is exactly why Niagra Falls is so great. Though fedward objected to my characterization of Vegas as "lowbrow," I merely meant to convey that it would be seen as a suspect destination in this pretentious crowd. Tourist traps are fun, you snooty Unfoggetarians !


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:59 PM
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Moving away from the west coast is so depressing.

Yes.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 3:59 PM
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Costa Rica = Botfly?

And somebody will slip a kilo of heroin into your luggage for the flight back. Sure, you think it always happens to the other tourist...

I crossed Mackinac Bridge once. It was horrible over there in alienville. Everything was different.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:00 PM
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Tourist traps are fun, you snooty Unfoggetarians!

of course, but everything in moderation. And if Vegas is anything, one of them is low-brow. There's nothing wrong with that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:02 PM
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In addition to Costa Rica, I've heard good things about Belize. Plus, English is the official language, in case you're worried about that sort of thing.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:02 PM
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Also, I think Tia did CR last year during the rainy season so she may be able to give you tips on that.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:03 PM
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97: The country is bigger than the US. How can it have that problem in entirety?

I think she's got family in or near most of the places we'd be likely to visit in Canada, with the possible exception of Vancouver, which we've also considered.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:04 PM
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If I wanted to fight I'd argue that liking Vegas is less toolish than pretending that we're not part of the global ruling class and that there's a refreshing sort of shameless lack of pretense about Vegas, if you think about it. Also that the people vacationing there are by and large being ripped off as much or more than the people working there (who are at least *making* money), and that the real puppetmasters are the casino owners (isn't the Mirage guy like one of the richest men on the planet?).

But really, it's just fun to be someplace hot that has a strong service culture, so that you can be lazy and not feel guilty about it. Camping, you have to *do* stuff (cook, clean up) and you become physically uncomfortable if you sleep in and the sun starts baking the tent. Visiting places, you feel guilty if you don't go "see sights" or "do things." Vegas, if you want to sleep all day? Or lounge by the pool? FINE. You're not missing *anything* and no one gives a crap about anything as long as they're getting paid.

Obviously if Vegas makes you feel guilty, though, it's wasted on you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:04 PM
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123: I crossed Mackinac Bridge once. It was horrible over there in alienville. Everything was different.

Yes, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is very different, and that money they use!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:04 PM
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Where'd you find those airfares, Matt F? I was looking at Richmond - San Jose in mid-August and getting airfares around $800!

Kayak.com, Friday, Aug. 15-Sun. Aug 24. Though I looked at flights from DC (to Liberia, not San Jose), since I forgot that Richmond had an airport. Regional airports do tend to be more expensive.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:05 PM
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Vancouver's gorgeous, Stanley. But I don't think it's inexpensive.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:06 PM
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Tourist traps are fun, you snooty Unfoggetarians!

of course, but everything in moderation. And if Vegas is anything none of them is moderation.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:06 PM
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bah! formatting got broke!


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:06 PM
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Moving away from the west coast is so depressing.

Yes

No. I prefer deciduous forests. Didn't get above SF, but what I saw was too dry and coniferous. Also:Lakes & rivers.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:07 PM
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The parts of my family that claim not to care about being visited and shit like that, what they really mean is that they won't go out of their way. So that if you're ever going to see them at all, you need to be the one making the effort.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:07 PM
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it's just fun to be someplace hot

See, this is just stupid.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:07 PM
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Didn't get above SF, but what I saw was too dry

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:07 PM
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I also like Disney World. Sue me !


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:08 PM
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I believe that Vegas is the most unionized city in America.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:08 PM
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128:I was like, 8. You mean I wasn't in Canada?

Maybe I crossed at Niagara Falls. Don't remember.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:08 PM
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Ah, just looked at flights to CR from Richmond. Yeah, you wouldn't want to do that. They're all $800 and 14 hours long, with at least 2 and sometimes 3 stopovers in each direction. Worth it to drive up to DC.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:09 PM
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I convinced Vancouver is the most beautiful city on the continent. It's not cheap, but not too bad to visit (expensive to live there). If you're interested in that coast, the weather will be great that time of year, and there are little islands (gulf isl/san juans) you can spend time on or go over to vanc. island. All very beautiful and not horrifically expensive if you plan a bit. Little islands especially good if you like hiking/kayaking sorts of things, but lots of more relaxed pace too. No much for swimming, though, as it's pacific.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:09 PM
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All this family discussion is making me think kids aren't worth it. Apparently everyone else is just as much of an ungrateful child as I am, I was hoping I was the exception.

Based on the fact that eekB's family apparently covers the entirety of Canada except for the lower left corner, I don't think we're talking ungrateful children, but rather domineering aunts, uncles, cousins, and the like.

Ick.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:10 PM
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139: I think that's true, actually.

God knows there's a lot of poverty there, too. But by and large the strip workers make middle-class wages, I believe.

138: I haven't been, but probably the greatest vacation I ever had was when we bopped down to the Fl panhandle for a few days. Mr. B. had to go do work crap, I think, and I sat on the beach under a rented umbrella and ordered drinks all day long. It was fabulous. Also, Disneyland is fun (I think we're going this weekend, actually).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:11 PM
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137:I'm wrong? All I know is what I saw, and see in pictures, and California looks brown to me.

Michigan and Wisconsin = greens and blues.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:11 PM
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No much for swimming, though, as it's pacific.

Huh? What's unswimmable about the Pacific Ocean?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:11 PM
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Vancouver is the most beautiful city on the continent

I'll agree with this.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:11 PM
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Maybe I crossed at Niagara Falls. Don't remember.

If you were by the big horseshoe falls, you were on the Candian side. The half assed ones are on the US side. Jog your memory?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:11 PM
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If you have access to a time machine, I'd say Sayulita, Mexico five or six years ago would be perfect. If not, I'd find a beach town in Mexico that is also within an hour of a major international airport, is developed enough that there are at least a few bars and restaurants that cater to gringos, but is not so overrun with Americans that it is also crawling with touts.


Posted by: JDS | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:12 PM
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146: That far north? It's freaking cold.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:12 PM
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the air-tickets to my country are 2000 per person, 1800 with discount, forbidding
and not for everybody's liking, so i won't suggest
i always wanted to go to Greece or Brazil or Norway, have no idea how much and whether or when i'd go
the important thing is to choose where to go first then the details will work out somehow, though you don't need any advices and tips imo, anything spontaneous and unexpected'd be good for the memories making
this previous research thing is killing all the surprise and adventure part i think, i read also somewhere that the internet file sharing, free or paid, is like killing all authentic culture etc coz everything is available now like instantly and not new for anyone anymore


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:13 PM
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140: 128:I was like, 8. You mean I wasn't in Canada?

Not immediately. If you proceeded from there up to Sault Ste. Marie and crossed at the Soo locks, then you were in Canada.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:13 PM
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All I know is what I saw, and see in pictures, and California looks brown to me.

Oh, bob. Now you're going to get all the "But it's flowery for ten whole minutes every year, and the sky is so uniquely beautiful" crap from the CA contingent.

I'd rather stras tell me how Bill Clinton is the reincarnation of Hitler.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:14 PM
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That far north? It's freaking cold.

Well yeah, but he said "pacific" for some reason.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:14 PM
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146: It's freaking cold water in August. At least down till LA or so, and it's still pretty cold there compared to E. coast.

The only thing that saves you from this is shallow beaches and tide action, but it's really not the same as the Atlantic side, anywhere.

Not that I wouldn't swim it on/near the beaches, but it's still easy to get hypothermia if you get out a bit, even in the middle of august.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:15 PM
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Plus massive forest fires produce stunning sunsets! (Through the haze of smoke).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:15 PM
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Iceland?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:15 PM
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156 to 153


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:15 PM
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Ok, a bit north of LA. But you get the point.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:16 PM
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I'm wrong? All I know is what I saw, and see in pictures, and California looks brown to me.


Yeah, you're wrong. It's seasonal. Cali has a green grass season and a brown grass season, basically.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:17 PM
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155: We had crazy ass mid-70s water last weekend. I was shocked. And a little worried.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:18 PM
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Not California ...actually it's Texas, and Texas forests are heat & drought-resistant

Also Not California


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:18 PM
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Anyway, I spect when people here talk "California" they usually mean that itty bitty teeny weeny strip on the west side of the mountains, the area with ten billion people and 100 billion cars.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:21 PM
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internet file sharing, free or paid, is like killing all authentic culture etc coz everything is available now like instantly and not new for anyone anymore

Read, sounds like your August vacation can't come soon enough. If I had a dime for every article that said that I'd be rich. Seriously, do you not value seeing your niece in person any more because you have Skype and can video-chat with her? Of course not. Same goes for vacation-spot photos.

Or movies. The English Patient made me want to go to Tunisia. Forgetting Sarah Marshall almost (almost) made me want to go to Hawaii.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:22 PM
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bob, hey I like Texas forest (even if everything is kinda small) just fine, but they're really not so much to write home about for fall colors


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:23 PM
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161: wow. you're pretty far south for that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:24 PM
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I spect when people here talk "California" they usually mean that itty bitty teeny weeny strip on the west side of the mountains

Spect again.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:26 PM
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165:Not as good fall colors, no early freeze. But a lot of where I hike is shady 10 months a year.

167:Yeah, California is pretty big, like Texas. Don't have the good forests in Amarillo or El Paso like in Dallas or Austin or East.

I lived a week in a redwood forest. Just wasn't the same as oak and elm and maple. California is like living in Versailles:awesome, not comfortable.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:49 PM
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Um, California actually has oaks too.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:53 PM
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I kind of agree with Bob. The west coast is undeniably more spectacular--bigger mountains, bigger trees, it's all bigger & wilder--but part of me prefers the more human scale of the east.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 4:56 PM
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168: I find the hardwood forests here smaller (the trees, I mean, but also the exent) than the ones I've been in, in Canada too. Humidity keeps everything pretty lush, though. The hill country is nice.

Redwood forests and western cedar rainforests ... they're just a different world. Walking around inthousands of hectares of that has the right perspective, somehow.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 5:04 PM
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Maya Tulum in the Yucatan. It's a yoga resort, and you sleep in really nice huts on the beach (they're not huts huts--they have solid walls, and I think some even have a/c). Very quiet, very peaceful, no motorized anything, and the yoga is optional, not mandatory. I remember reading a review and a person put in a complaint that said "the ocean was too noisy." Personally, I find the lapping of waves on a beach to be soothing at night. It's that kind of place.

You can even borrow bikes or get a car to a big town, to a spectacular Mayan ruin (Tulum), or walk to a nearby beachy town in about 10 minutes. You can arrange for scuba.

It's also near a biopreserve which is utterly spectacular--they have ancient water trade routes that you can get a tour on, and it's so cool to be going through the reeds in little boats right on the water.

You can do nothing, or you can do some very decent puttering/little trips. It's just awesomely relaxing.


Posted by: theorajones | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 5:36 PM
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126: I think Tia did CR last year

What a locution, eh.

128: If I wanted to fight

If I wanted to fight, I'd argue with every sentiment in 128. But I don't!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 5:55 PM
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Oh, and Maya Tulum that theorajones describes in 172 sounds wonderful.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 5:56 PM
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On the sidebar the post titles for "Operation: Relaxation" and "Optical Intercourse" keep getting intermigled, and I keep reading it as "Operation: Intercourse". Which sounds like a fun post.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 6:05 PM
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What's everyone got against Jamaica?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 6:42 PM
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Manteca, California, B's home town, is well worth a visit. They don't have a B Museum yet (though they will), but the spirit of B is ever-present.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 6:53 PM
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Read's home country is super spectacular. Travel in the outlying areas is rugged, because large areas are roadless. From what I've been told the people are very friendly and helpful, and in the urban area (Ulan Bator) the educational and cultural level in Western terms is high (though it's Russian-based).

Mongolia is sandwiched between China and Russia and their fears and historical resentments are against those two countries. To my knowledge they have never had a reason to be anti-American, except insofar as they supported the Russians, which many Mongols still do somewhat.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 6:59 PM
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Costa Rica!!!

BR and I just got back. Bonus, you get to use spanish. Bonus, I've just been so I can recommend places to stay.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 7:29 PM
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179: We're leaning strongly towards Costa Rica, with an eye on Puerto Rico, and I'm going to look into the Maya Tulum that theorajones posted (thanks!), which looks exceedingly relaxing. If we choose CR, I'll e-mail you for advice, will.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 7:31 PM
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BR's sister has a couple houses in Puerto, and our good friends have lived in CR for 5 years.

We are always happy to help eekbeat.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 7:37 PM
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Eekbeat, and Stanley can be thrown in.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 7:41 PM
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157 so pwned by 30.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 7:41 PM
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Also, check out Spirit Air. It was cheap and the service was good. The question mark is whether they last.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 7:58 PM
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Lovingston is nice in August.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:00 PM
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Calaveras County, California is nice right about that time. How are you with a grape knife? Oh. And, um, do rattlesnakes bother you much?


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:02 PM
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How are you with a grape knife?

I can send my wine-making cob-logger. He's freshly back from the NZ harvest. But I personally am looking to minimize cutting things and getting bitten by snakes.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:05 PM
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Tofino.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:16 PM
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I didn't read the whole thread carefully. Sorry. But it exists in part because of me. So I have special usufruct rights, I think. Anyway, here are a few thoughts:

1) Vancouver might be doable on your budget, but probably not. Also, if it's a rainy summer, you'll be really bummed. And cold. It's pretty risky to go to BC, even in August, if this is THE vacation you're taking. Unless you're a duck, that is. Then you'd be fine. I should note that I say this as a former resident of Vancouver, Whistler, and Victoria, and a great British Columbia booster and Canadian fifth columnist.

2) California really might be an ideal choice. The central coast, including Pacific Grove/Carmel /Big Sur will likely have nice weather: neither hot nor cold. (Though there could be lots of fog). The hiking is excellent, the beaches are fantastic (though the water is very chilly), and the marine mammals are both charismatic in their mega-faunality and quite numerous. Your price range could work, depending on whether you're willing to shop around a bit. And if you get serious about this option, let me know. We know a few people who have houses for rent in the area as well as lots of reasonably nice and reasonably priced hotels.

3) If you really want to leave the country, you could consider San Jose del Cabo, the increasingly touristy but still very nice town at the southern tip of Baja. This is not to be confused with Cabo san Lucas, which should be evacuated, firebombed, and then have its soil salted. SJC has truly fantastic beaches, great snorkeling, lots of excellent whale watching, and good food. It's not as cheap as it should be, but it's not expensive. And if you can fly out of DC, you can get there direct.

4) Costa Rica, as others have said, is an excellent idea.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:31 PM
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And Napi's right: if you're serious about BC, go to Tofino. Or the (sort of) aptly named Sunshine Coast.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:34 PM
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190 was me. Damn new computer is giving me an identity crisis.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:36 PM
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As a young person, we did Kauai, with accommodations at a condominium rather than hotel. The condo generally ran $75 a night. A relaxing destination back then, though I'm told development may have since ruined that. As far as sightseeing, you go check out Waimea Canyon (maybe hike it?), the Na Pali cliffs (very nice hiking or just do a boat or raft tour), and Kilauea Lighthouse.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:55 PM
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189: Thanks, ari. Consider our interest piqued by the San José del Cabo option. Looks maybe a bit touristy, but I think we have to resign ourselves to the fact that we are, in fact, tourists. And, shit, I speak the language. Maybe there's an adventure or twelve to be had.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:56 PM
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177: Manteca means "lard." You should make sure people know this, John.

189.3: Hm, noted.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:56 PM
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I'm having a hard time believing it's ever going to be cool anywhere ever again just right now. (No, I didn't get the ac fixed yet, and with a visiting family of four sleeping in the basement, we can't even really move around to solve the problem.)


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 8:59 PM
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It was damn cool at the beach an hour ago, I tell you what.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:00 PM
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All due respect doc, talking with you about the weather is like talking with Addinton about the Constitution. Points of reference so diverse as to make conversation very nearly pointless.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:02 PM
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All due respect doc, talking with you about the weather is like talking with Addington about the Constitution. Points of reference so diverse as to make conversation very nearly pointless.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:03 PM
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Case in point! I have no idea who Addington is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:05 PM
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eekbeat and I have decided we're going to Kobe. Thanks to all for the advice.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:05 PM
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200: just so you know, I hear it's fun at first but kind of has a dark side, and just frankly can't carry a whole vacation.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:10 PM
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More adventure and fewer tourists (but also WAY fewer amenities) in Todos Santos, which is a pretty great place. You could be one of the last gringos to go there while it's still "cool." In fact, your visit could be the one that tips the balance to "uncool." And speaking of cool, be aware that it will be quite hot during the day in Baja in August. But the water will be great, it will be the lowest season for tourists, and it will cool off at night. Plus, most places that you'd stay will be air conditioned. Do you surf? If not, you can learn. Adventure!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:11 PM
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Manteca has a lard festival, and in her youth B was the Lard Queen. The highlight was when she jumped into the 500 gallon lard pool and emerged with a wholesome smile on her face. People who witnessed it will never forget it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:14 PM
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it will be quite hot during the day in Baja in August

Ya think?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:15 PM
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204: Not in the ocean, meanie pants. And not so much before 11 am and after 6 pm. But yeah, pretty damn hot in between.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:16 PM
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And anyway, aren't you the original desert-dwelling, Armani-clad Burning Man? So shut the fuck up.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:18 PM
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The Blue Ridge Parkway is pretty awesome for fall colors, since the mountains are so old that they're all covered with trees as far as you can see in any direction.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:18 PM
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ari: interesting. Can you email me? stanleysparks at the google mail service we all know and love.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:19 PM
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Unfortunately , you planned your vacation too late to come catch Hog Day. Tropical beaches are going to seem like weak replacements.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:20 PM
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This is actually great, b/c PK wants to go to Mexico and I haven't the faintest idea where to take him.

And no, neither of us surf. I keep thinking maybe I'll take lessons at some point, though. Because how fucking cool would that be?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:21 PM
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A Duke alum.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:22 PM
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"This" being Ari's recommendations re. Baja.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 9:24 PM
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I have a dear dear friend who lives in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, and her comment about Costa Rica is that it's "for white people". Getting to Nicaragua is the more expensive proposition - but! once there! Splendid beaches, gorgeous mountains, whatever tickles your fancy. A great exchange rate and wonderful people. Seriously, I know I sound like a travel brochure but I had a great time down there a few years back. Also bonus: best rum in the world. If you want more info get in touch w/me via my website - I'd be happy to offer more concrete info if you are interested. And - cheaper than Costa Rica.

And congrats on the vacation - I'm working as a contractor right now so no paid vacation; I'm almost at the burnout point there.


Posted by: KJ | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 10:11 PM
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Playa del Carmen. Fly into Cancun, escape. 30 min. drive. Aqualuna. Cheap. nice. Maybe a bit sunny in August. Optimal in Feb. I am in a college town in the midwest right now. Not completely sober.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-26-08 11:40 PM
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From there, you can make it down to Tulum without much trouble and rent huts with hammocks on the beach. If you rent a car you can drive into the colonial city in the jungle.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-27-08 12:21 AM
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Pwned thoroughly by theorajones. I stayed in Maya Tulum on my first honeymoon, and it's really nice. There are these little blue crabs that walk around everywhere.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-27-08 12:32 AM
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but if you go to Vegas: http://fastlaplv.com/

awesome.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-27-08 12:33 AM
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Mid-August, eh? Go to Beijing and demonstrate in support of Tibet during the Olympics. After that, you'll have plenty of time to relax. More than you might have hoped for, in fact.

But seriously, if you want a chill place to relax, I vote for Koh Samui in Thailand. You can just laze around the island for days and lose track of time. It's not all resort-y, either. Once when I was there, the Internet was down. For the entire island. So you pretty much had no choice but to decompress.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 06-27-08 3:41 AM
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200:

eekbeat and I have decided we're going to Kobe. Thanks to all for the advice.

Yeah, I'm clueless, but Kobe - what? I know you don't mean Kobe Bryant and I'm pretty sure you don't mean Kobe Japan . . .


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-27-08 1:31 PM
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