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Old 06-24-2012, 04:14 PM   #466
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Originally Posted by MinnieDiva View Post
So true....
The backpack arrived in yesterday's mail. I can't wait for Steve to get back home from his business trip and test it out. I peeked at it and it looks great. I know he'll like it as there are lots of great compartments and fantastic padding. And yes, he'll have to find some space for sundry items to carry that aren't photo related (aka snacks and rain ponchos). Thanks Kim for posting your great find!
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:00 PM   #467
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Hi! I spent the day reading your entire thread...phew! We are thinking about doing the July Med cruise to Greece next year. DS(will be 6) has been asking about going on a boat and he's seen the Disney boats on the planning DVD we've been watching to try and prep him for some of the thrill rides for our fall trip to WDW. So it makes sense to combine the 2 for a Disney cruise. The Caribbean itineraries have zero appeal to me. Have been to Alaska twice...not on cruises though. Have no interest in going to Mexico right now...even though I am perfectly willing to go to Colombia...I just don't feel its that safe right now. So Europe it is...and DH is even excited about the idea! Although he says he can only plan one Disney trip at a time. Of course he isn't doing any of the planning for either of them... I need to look into the deposits to lock in a rate and that should buy us some time to decide. We've only done one very short cruise before so this is all new to me.

I was reading along wondering if you had purchased a camera bag...I was going to recommend the Crumpler bags. DH and I both have them and love them. I carry a fair amount of gear with me and this holds camera plus lens, 3-4 other lenses and a flash. One of my lenses is a 70-200 f2.8 IS so its pretty roomy. Ipad fits in the front. There isn't really any logo on it that would indicate its a camera bag which I like when I travel places that aren't really the safest. I am also getting a Kelly Moore bag (a really big one) to take to Paris this winter as I wanted a cool bag that really didn't look at all like a camera bag.

Something else I would recommend is a Black Rapid strap. They will hold your camera close to your body. My plan is to keep the strap on me and just attach it to the camera when I want to have it out for a while. It screws into the bottom where you attach the tripod mount.

Also I highly recommend Lucca. Its a wonderful city. I stumbled on it years ago on a trip to Italy. We rented a car in Milan and drove to Rome, bypassing Florence as we were coming back there later. We did the Pisa thing and then kept on going, ending up in Lucca for the night. Just a lovely day touring the next day.

I'll be following along...just in case we decide to go.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:45 PM   #468
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Kim - my unofficial TA. - should I be booked my hotel for precruise, assuming I just need the one night?
You know I'm gonna say yes. But if you put if off for a few more days, you'll be able to pre and post in one fell swoop.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:52 PM   #469
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Wow... What a very nice bag. I always have good intentions of switching lens on tours but I never do because I'm trying to take all the sights in. Even though I'm not on dcl anymore I'm still looking for good tips. I saw this blog and found good info on Malta. http://www.thepreismans.com/. The info is under the lastest cruise from May 2012. They used a private tour guide. http://www.touringmalta.com/. I'm researching for our cruise as I want to make we see the best things in each port. Happy planning.
Thanks for those links! I'll check them out. I really, really liked Malta. It's currently the screensaver on my iPad.

The bag is all-encompassing. But I saw one of the other click elite bags this weekend....we were at a swim meet all weekend and met a parent who is a pro photog and he gave us a tour of his bag. I think it's this one:

http://www.clikelite.com/products/probody-sport/

Sigh. The search for the perfect bag continues, I guess. I really like the side access on this one. The only down fall is that I'd have to look for a lens bag or something along those lines as one lens would end up floating. Again, Sean still hasn't rendered his official opinion. I rarely use a flash, and if I have the 16-35 I really don't need the 18-55. I'd want the telephoto......and maybe, just maybe, the tripod. Grrrrrrr.....
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:53 PM   #470
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The backpack arrived in yesterday's mail. I can't wait for Steve to get back home from his business trip and test it out. I peeked at it and it looks great. I know he'll like it as there are lots of great compartments and fantastic padding. And yes, he'll have to find some space for sundry items to carry that aren't photo related (aka snacks and rain ponchos). Thanks Kim for posting your great find!
Sigh. See above post.......
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:59 PM   #471
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Originally Posted by drlaurafsu View Post
Hi! I spent the day reading your entire thread...phew! We are thinking about doing the July Med cruise to Greece next year. DS(will be 6) has been asking about going on a boat and he's seen the Disney boats on the planning DVD we've been watching to try and prep him for some of the thrill rides for our fall trip to WDW. So it makes sense to combine the 2 for a Disney cruise. So Europe it is...and DH is even excited about the idea! Although he says he can only plan one Disney trip at a time. Of course he isn't doing any of the planning for either of them... I need to look into the deposits to lock in a rate and that should buy us some time to decide. We've only done one very short cruise before so this is all new to me.

One at a time? Has he met Mindy?

I was reading along wondering if you had purchased a camera bag...I was going to recommend the Crumpler bags. DH and I both have them and love them. I carry a fair amount of gear with me and this holds camera plus lens, 3-4 other lenses and a flash. One of my lenses is a 70-200 f2.8 IS so its pretty roomy. Ipad fits in the front. There isn't really any logo on it that would indicate its a camera bag which I like when I travel places that aren't really the safest. I am also getting a Kelly Moore bag (a really big one) to take to Paris this winter as I wanted a cool bag that really didn't look at all like a camera bag.

I've looked at them, and their downfall is the strap. Neither of us care for the messenger style....but I will research the blac rapid concept....
Something else I would recommend is a Black Rapid strap. They will hold your camera close to your body. My plan is to keep the strap on me and just attach it to the camera when I want to have it out for a while. It screws into the bottom where you attach the tripod mount.

Also I highly recommend Lucca. Its a wonderful city. I stumbled on it years ago on a trip to Italy. We rented a car in Milan and drove to Rome, bypassing Florence as we were coming back there later. We did the Pisa thing and then kept on going, ending up in Lucca for the night. Just a lovely day touring the next day.

How fun....someday....when Ashleigh is older.....

I'll be following along...just in case we decide to go.
Glad to have you here!
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"Dreamy" 15th Anniversary TR!:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3004870
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:42 AM   #472
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Glad to have you here!
Hey my dear...I think I'm more the norm than you are....OMG...someone that doesn't want to book the stuff for their cruise 1 and half years out...how unusual

Considering I had 3 other events, including a new job that came first...I think I actually did the right thing. Now the rooms and flights are opening up , I will focus on those. In a year and half things I want to do will certainly change, no sense just booking IMO. Wow...Dissed on the DIS boards..
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:23 AM   #473
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Hey my dear...I think I'm more the norm than you are....OMG...someone that doesn't want to book the stuff for their cruise 1 and half years out...how unusual!
I prefaced this whole pre TR With the fact I'm a bit OCD!
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:37 AM   #474
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I prefaced this whole pre TR With the fact I'm a bit OCD!
Ya think
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:46 PM   #475
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To be fair to him...it would be vacation #3 that we would be planning. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary on NYE so back to Paris where we went on our honeymoon. Leaving Christmas Day returning New Years Day. My BFF and her DH are coming with us so it involves some coordination/logistics there too. And there are 4-5 other families coming with us to Disney in the fall...total of as many as 18 people! Lots of coordination and logistics there...plus special birthday surprises for DS.

The thing I like about the messenger style is I can face the opening toward my body and then just open the top and reach in. I just feel safer, especially when I am changing lenses a lot. Also the bright neon interior makes it really easy to find stuff in the black bag. So all those little cables, cords and cards are easy to see.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:14 PM   #476
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Originally Posted by drlaurafsu View Post
To be fair to him...it would be vacation #3 that we would be planning. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary on NYE so back to Paris where we went on our honeymoon. Leaving Christmas Day returning New Years Day. My BFF and her DH are coming with us so it involves some coordination/logistics there too. And there are 4-5 other families coming with us to Disney in the fall...total of as many as 18 people! Lots of coordination and logistics there...plus special birthday surprises for DS.

The thing I like about the messenger style is I can face the opening toward my body and then just open the top and reach in. I just feel safer, especially when I am changing lenses a lot. Also the bright neon interior makes it really easy to find stuff in the black bag. So all those little cables, cords and cards are easy to see.
Happy Anniversary!! Sean and my 15th is in September and it's an all Disney affair!! Woot!!!!

And I can see why you'd like that bag...but...I'm not the one carrying it ! I sent bag #1 back yesterday afternoon to exchange for the side entry not a sling backpack. Stay tuned....
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:15 PM   #477
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Until 5pm PST today....(6/26/12)

Rick Steves is having his months Facebook blowout sale. $2 DVD of last season's new shows. Spain is prominent on there, but only a little of the area we'll be at. it can be found here:

http://travelstore.ricksteves.com/ca...tId=152&id=524
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:43 PM   #478
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It's Official....!!!!

I have pre AND post hotel/apartment reservations booked! Woot! Over the course of the last week, I've been emailing back and forth to the 2 different sites I'd decided on. After a little confusion about the pre-cruise apartment I'd booked a while ago (in spite of the clear 2013 date I got a phone call AND an email the morning 1 year prior to our stay date), I ended up on Aspacio's site looking at the apartments and noticed some now ones that hadn't been there last time. And....they can be booked for 2 nights! Not the 3 nights I had to do for the previous place! After previous confusion, I could see further confusion ahead...

So I'll try posing the map link here and see if it works or not. This is the Google map I'd been working on.

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...a5e8b59c&msa=0

We switched to the Rambla Catalyuna 42 that is listed on the left of the map. It's not quite as well-located as the Palau de Musica 3, but it's a bit nicer in terms of neighborhood. I did a street view of both....My dad had the final say...he preferred the new apartment as opposed to the original one. The real bonus here is that we now have a 2nd bathroom!

Our post stay is at the Hispanios Siete Suiza. I ended up emailing them when I tried random 2013 dates and nothing at all would give me a quote. Turns out they haven't yet laid out their 2013 schedule, but I was able to do an early booking anyway via email communication. So, the moral of that story is email and see what can be accomplished? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that I was able to get that all done! Mindy is also booked, and I can see that I'm gonna have to either spring for the international plan or we're going to have to coordinate times to meet ahead of time and/or converse via wi-fi (which are available at both places, btw), as she's not going to be at the same places I am. But she'll chime in and tell her side....
Less than a year people!! In fact, this time next year we'll be home and done with the cruise...ok. Not gonna dwell on that....
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"Dreamy" 15th Anniversary TR!:
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:56 AM   #479
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Originally Posted by MinnieDiva View Post
I have pre AND post hotel/apartment reservations booked! Woot! Over the course of the last week, I've been emailing back and forth to the 2 different sites I'd decided on. After a little confusion about the pre-cruise apartment I'd booked a while ago (in spite of the clear 2013 date I got a phone call AND an email the morning 1 year prior to our stay date), I ended up on Aspacio's site looking at the apartments and noticed some now ones that hadn't been there last time. And....they can be booked for 2 nights! Not the 3 nights I had to do for the previous place! After previous confusion, I could see further confusion ahead...

So I'll try posing the map link here and see if it works or not. This is the Google map I'd been working on.

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...a5e8b59c&msa=0

We switched to the Rambla Catalyuna 42 that is listed on the left of the map. It's not quite as well-located as the Palau de Musica 3, but it's a bit nicer in terms of neighborhood. I did a street view of both....My dad had the final say...he preferred the new apartment as opposed to the original one. The real bonus here is that we now have a 2nd bathroom!

Our post stay is at the Hispanios Siete Suiza. I ended up emailing them when I tried random 2013 dates and nothing at all would give me a quote. Turns out they haven't yet laid out their 2013 schedule, but I was able to do an early booking anyway via email communication. So, the moral of that story is email and see what can be accomplished? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that I was able to get that all done! Mindy is also booked, and I can see that I'm gonna have to either spring for the international plan or we're going to have to coordinate times to meet ahead of time and/or converse via wi-fi (which are available at both places, btw), as she's not going to be at the same places I am. But she'll chime in and tell her side....
Less than a year people!! In fact, this time next year we'll be home and done with the cruise...ok. Not gonna dwell on that....
Yes I actually booked my hotels as well and yes we won't be close, but the first one was sanctioned by Kim. We are staying pre cruise at Hispanios Siete Suiza. We will only be in town for one night prior, since I am trying not to pull the kids out of school for more than the 5 days they will already be out. Staying at the apts that Kim is at would be 445E because we'd have to pay for 2 nights. Our hotel seems to have plenty of room (2 bedrooms, 2 baths) and it was only 280E. However, we are not confirmed yet because I couldn't read the numbers on my DH's credit card (too worn) and one of the numbers were wrong...so I'm awaiting confirmation.

Post stay was on us. My DH booked us at the Hilton Diagonal Mar, which is way the heck out of the thick of things, however, he got the best price ever....free. We are booking two rooms on Hilton points. I don't think I can beat that one. It's 5.1 KM away from Kim. The good part is we're all doing a post tour right from the port and then by the time we get dropped off at our hotels it will be evening or close to it. Our hotel has a pool so maybe all the kids can decompress there and I think we're by a metro station. I probably will get the one month of international service added to my phone, like I did in Canada. Makes communicating so much easier and may need to do it for work purposes as well.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:00 PM   #480
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Post stay was on us. My DH booked us at the Hilton Diagonal Mar, which is way the heck out of the thick of things, however, he got the best price ever....free. We are booking two rooms on Hilton points. I don't think I can beat that one.
Hmmm...we may have to look into that hotel. Dh travels a lot too and has tons of Hilton points. We booked 2 rooms in Paris for 6 nights on points for Dec 26 - Jan 1. And literally right before he booked them the price went down 150,000 points...so we could use those (and all the points he's accumulated since) for that!

I wish I could get DH off the fence about at least putting down a deposit. We did talk a little more about the trip yesterday. It would probably be our only vacation next year if we did go...but man what an amazing one it would be.
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