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Old 09-27-2012, 05:28 AM   #121
Mum from oz
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Originally Posted by Ms. Shuttergirl View Post

MUM FROM OZ - It's so funny you mention being in a strange city and not knowing where to eat so spending time on google finding somewhere. This drives me insane and also my husband. I hate wandering around aimlessly looking for somewhere to eat. And I also hate spending good money on crappy food. If I have to pay to eat, it may as well be something that I know will be nice, with good service and a great atmosphere.

A little bit of research beforehand makes me feel more relaxed about meals when we go away.
Hallelujah to that! It drives us crazy too, I always end up somewhere crappy and disappointing, not to mention I freak our that I hadn't organised anything!
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:58 AM   #122
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Life is so much better now I do that research and map it first too. No more wandering til we are all past being hungry and getting cranky so sit anywhere and have a mediocre over priced meal (especially pre internet-on-the-go days) or as my daughter fondly (not) remembers-feeding her those tinned crunchy crostini sticks to keep her going.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:39 AM   #123
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I would love to know more about everyone's planning system for the restaurant mapping...

For example in NYC do you map restaurants in each area? And do you base your selection on online reviews (and if so from where?). I agree it is very annoying when you are all over hungry and end up paying top dollar for mediocre food (and also miss out on a chance for a memorable meal).

I need to get google mapping!
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:20 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by Aussie Wendy View Post
Life is so much better now I do that research and map it first too. No more wandering til we are all past being hungry and getting cranky so sit anywhere and have a mediocre over priced meal (especially pre internet-on-the-go days) or as my daughter fondly (not) remembers-feeding her those tinned crunchy crostini sticks to keep her going.
That's exactly it Wendy, the wandering until everyone is cranky and crazy hungry,that's when you just choose anywhere and the food is average and it doesn't leave you feeling good about the meal or the expense.

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I would love to know more about everyone's planning system for the restaurant mapping...

For example in NYC do you map restaurants in each area? And do you base your selection on online reviews (and if so from where?). I agree it is very annoying when you are all over hungry and end up paying top dollar for mediocre food (and also miss out on a chance for a memorable meal).

I need to get google mapping!
Dabecs - I look for places around Times Square that get good reviews and where the pricing is reasonable with menu items for everyone. I also then choose some places near our hotel which is a few blocks off Times Square. These restaurants tend to be nicer than the TS ones but the pricing is usually similar because it's cheaper a few blocks off TS.

I also look for cheap breakfast options near the hotel.

I don't generally look for much in the way of lunch options, just a few things to have up my sleeve since grabbing a sandwich or something similar is easier than finding a great dinner option.

Sometimes I look up places I know we like for eg. Bubba Gumps, Hard Rock Cafe etc and note them on the map as fall backs but then I do research other establishments that get good reviews. To find dining options I generally use www.yelp.com. I have found this site to be excellent for finding great dining options for our previous trips. You are able to search by different categories including cuisines but my favourite "cheap eats".

For NYC I have also noted where our hotel is on the map along with a nearby supermarket. If I have heard particular menu items raved about then I might make a note of that.

Not sure if my NYC map would be useful to anyone else but here it is. Don't judge my dining choices . I'm catering to some diverse eating styles so we often choose simple American fare, rather than Michelin star dining when on holidays:-

https://maps.google.com.au/maps/ms?m...ed35ad5c&msa=0

If anyone needs a Quebec City, Washington or Boston one let me know.

Hope this helps others make their own maps. I think the time spent is well worth it.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:15 PM   #125
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Thanks so much that's exactly the info I needed to get going. I will go through your recommendations tonight when I am starting my map. I had a quick click through a few and you have done such a great job with it!
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:09 AM   #126
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I have been happily google mapping all evening! I have started pinning the attractions we are visiting and looking for food options nearby plus I have heaps of food places near our accom Still some work to be done but I know this will be a big help when we are there
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:12 PM   #127
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I have been happily google mapping all evening! I have started pinning the attractions we are visiting and looking for food options nearby plus I have heaps of food places near our accom Still some work to be done but I know this will be a big help when we are there
That is great to hear. It's addictive once you get started
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #128
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To Do List - as of today

• Decide what to do about mobile phones and internet dongle

• Contact Cake Boss about whether open on 27 Dec

• Book Yankee Stadium tour w/ Hard Rock Lunch – can’t book until after end of Oct

• Book somewhere for NYE dinner in Quebec – have sent an email 19/9

• Book the Behind the Falls Tour – don’t need to book, just roll up???

• Buy Trolley tour tickets for Boston

• Book Harvard guided tour – not available yet

• Book restaurant for DH’s birthday dinner – not able to book yet 19/9

• Book Walk of the Town tour for Washington – not able to book yet 19/9

• Book Capitol Tour – not sure what day yet

• Make a decision about perhaps doing the hop on hop off bus in Washington

• Look into the international sim that Belinda mentioned for Canada

• Do Garden Grocer order at least 1 week prior to leaving

• Finalise packing list

• Get everyone to try on their thermals


I'm sure there is more to add to this list but this is what I've got at the moment. Seems like a lot considering we are only 9 weeks out.

I actually just gave myself a chuckle. Our last trip to the US, we decided to go about 9 weeks out and I organised the whole thing in that time. This trip we started organising 12 months out and I'm feeling disorganised . Too funny.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:10 AM   #129
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Ms Shuttergirl - it might be only 9 weeks on the countdown but that list is so exciting!

Each trip I start the planning earlier and plan more crazily...how did I survive in the old days when we used to wing it??? I remember - whilst we had lots of fun I'd get back and find out I'd missed X and Y or missed out on some great meals and experiences...yaay to obsession!
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:04 AM   #130
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How did anyone travel before we had Internet?
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:33 PM   #131
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Yay for lists, I love a good list
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:24 PM   #132
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How did anyone travel before we had Internet?
Guide books, that invariably had some out of date info.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:36 AM   #133
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That's a great list Shuttergirl! It's so nice to know I'm not the only OC planner on the boards

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:36 PM   #134
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• Decide what to do about mobile phones and internet dongle

• Contact Cake Boss about whether open on 27 Dec - Yes they are. 7am to 7pm

• Book Yankee Stadium tour w/ Hard Rock Lunch – can’t book until after end of Oct - still no dates available for December

• Book somewhere for NYE dinner in Quebec – have sent an email 19/9, emailed the place again 17/10. Clearly they don't want us

• Book the Behind the Falls Tour – don’t need to book, just roll up???

• Buy Trolley tour tickets for Boston

• Book Harvard guided tour – not available yet, still not available

• Book restaurant for DH’s birthday dinner – not able to book yet 19/9 - DONE

• Book Walk of the Town tour for Washington – not able to book yet 19/9 - ended up booking a different company because the company I wanted isn't running tours until the end of our visit and I want to do the tour at the start to get a feel for the city etc. I'm happy with the company we chose now though and we will do the tour early evening so seeing the monuments all lit up will be wonderful. It will be damn cold though

• Book Capitol Tour – not sure what day yet - DONE

• Make a decision about perhaps doing the hop on hop off bus in Washington - have decided to definitely do this in conjunction with the walking tour

• Look into the international sim that Belinda mentioned for Canada - love my little Shushh, decided on the Travelsim

• Do Garden Grocer order at least 1 week prior to leaving

• Finalise packing list

• Get everyone to try on their thermals - DONE, unfortunately DD has grown much more "womanly" since I bought these at the beginning of the year so need to get her some more

Now have crossed some things off but have added somethings on:-

- Get DH to organise unlocking the phones

- Type up itinerary or use Tripit (still deciding)

- Book hop on hop off tickets for Washington

- Fine tune Washington itinerary

- rejig the dining recommendation maps. I've realised that it's great to pin everything but because I will be using a printed version mostly, rather than google on my phone, since I kept all of the pins the same colour I don't know which pin is for which restaurant. Derrrrrr . I can be silly sometimes. Need to go back in and customise them. Will take so long but will be worth it.

- Buy backpacks for DH and DD

- Get husband to put movies on an external harddrive for trip, esp Christmas movies

- Buy some small foldable backpacks so that when we enter a store the kids can take their big down jackets off and roll them up into the backpacks and put them on their backs (so the mummy doesn't have to carry them)

- Make Santa advent calendar

- Write a list of things to buy once in US but before Christmas


Okay that will do for an updated list for today. There will be lots more to come I'm sure.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:40 PM   #135
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Ms Shuttergirl! That's progress!!

One thing you can do for google maps (or anything really) is to take a screen shot with your phone once you have the magnification that you want. That way you can view it offline.
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