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sayhello

Have Camera, Will Travel
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
I just pulled the plug on Europe next summer. We were booked for the TB Alpine Adventure, but I am just not getting the vibe that Switzerland will be the experience we want. So we are doing the TB Alaska next year instead. This will be the second year in a row that I cancelled this trip, but Yellowstone this summer was so amazing. I felt I had to make the decision now, because 3/4 of the June Alaska trips were already sold out.

While I was on the call, I also put down a deposit for the Siene river cruise for 2023. It's not priced yet, but we need a suite since we are a family of 5, and those always sell out before they price it. It should price in late February or early March and I will have 14 days to get my deposit refunded when that happens. At least that is a single country trip, where I can get direct flights from my home airport with several carriers.
You will LOVE Alaska!! It's an amazing place, and I was seriously considering going there again this summer, but all the trips were sold out.

I had a Seine River cruise scheduled with ABD for May 2020. Still sad it was cancelled. It looks like an amazing place, and I'm sure I'll reschedule it some day.

Sayhello
 

Rapunzellover

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
I am still reserved for Portugal with ABD in May 2022. But I'm unsure things will be well enough. Or if it will be the experience I want.

I've got NOLA with Tauck scheduled for Easter, which actually makes me happier than the October ressie I originally had. It's a small group, so I'll feel better re: Covid, hopefully.

But Summer next year....IDK if international travel is in the cards. Anybody got any recommendations for domestic stuff?

I don't want outdoorsy national park stuff. I'm thinking DC, maybe? Any other thoughts?
 

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sayhello

Have Camera, Will Travel
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
I am still reserved for Portugal with ABD in May 2022. But I'm unsure things will be well enough. Or if it will be the experience I want.

I've got NOLA with Tauck scheduled for Easter, which actually makes me happier than the October ressie I originally had. It's a small group, so I'll feel better re: Covid, hopefully.

But Summer next year....IDK if international travel is in the cards. Anybody got any recommendations for domestic stuff?

I don't want outdoorsy national park stuff. I'm thinking DC, maybe? Any other thoughts?
Personally, I *LOVE* Chicago. Loads of great museums there. Very cool cityscape (they have wonderful architectural tour river cruises). Very walkable. And Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken! Plus a really great theatre scene!

Sayhello
 

Marthasor

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2005
I am still reserved for Portugal with ABD in May 2022. But I'm unsure things will be well enough. Or if it will be the experience I want.

I've got NOLA with Tauck scheduled for Easter, which actually makes me happier than the October ressie I originally had. It's a small group, so I'll feel better re: Covid, hopefully.

But Summer next year....IDK if international travel is in the cards. Anybody got any recommendations for domestic stuff?

I don't want outdoorsy national park stuff. I'm thinking DC, maybe? Any other thoughts?
DC is awesome. You could pair that with a trip into VA to see Mount Vernon and Monticello if interested. Or head up to Philly as well. We spent a month in Cape Ann, MA this summer - Gloucester, Salem, Rockport area - if you like beaches and seafood, it’s really nice. Boston was fun too and easy to reach from that area.
 

Grifdog22

Barking Mad!
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
DC is awesome. You could pair that with a trip into VA to see Mount Vernon and Monticello if interested. Or head up to Philly as well. We spent a month in Cape Ann, MA this summer - Gloucester, Salem, Rockport area - if you like beaches and seafood, it’s really nice. Boston was fun too and easy to reach from that area.
The Smithsonian museums alone in the DC area could take a week, especially if you add the Udvar Huzey museum they have at Dulles airport. If you go, don't miss the "rooftop exhibits" known as the observation tower as the planes take off and land just over your head. The Smithsonian National Zoo is also impressive. We have their field breeding and work farms out in Rappahannock County Virginia - but it's outdoorsy national park stuff. DC also has the Spy museum and holocaust museum worth seeing. The Capitol, if not under attack, is impressive. I believe Biden has restarted the white house tours as well. Make sure to walk two blocks from the Capitol to see the amazing Amtrak station, fully restored and most impressive. You can also arrange tours of the Treasury and Library of Congress. (COVID changes are constant so nothing is for sure...except the Amtrak station which is always open). City of Alexandria is nearby which is fun as well. The DC Metro is easy to get around DC.
 

Rapunzellover

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Santa Fe/Taos/Los Alamos in New Mexico is nice. Not super outdoorsy, but laid back with some interesting local culture.
This is another possibility. When I rescheduled Tauck, I was gonna see if I could do the tour @sayhello is doing with Classic Journeys. For this year sometime. But my school bosses have said that even though I'm teaching online, I have to be available within 4 hours to come down during school days...if asked. They were allowing vacations for online instructors last fall and spring but now it's not allowed anymore, since my campus is technically open again.

I didn't hear about the change until I told a colleague of my canceled plans for NOLA in October. So it's a good thing I rescheduled or I would have been in trouble....my boss would've seen me post on FB cause I didn't think it was against the rules.

I want to find a great tour package to do domestically and it is hard to coordinate timings with my school schedule.
 
  • Rapunzellover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2014
    Personally, I *LOVE* Chicago. Loads of great museums there. Very cool cityscape (they have wonderful architectural tour river cruises). Very walkable. And Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken! Plus a really great theatre scene!

    Sayhello
    It's a bucket list item to see Chicago in Chicago. I love theater! Chicago is definitely on my list. But I hate their airport!
     

    Grifdog22

    Barking Mad!
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2008
    It's a bucket list item to see Chicago in Chicago. I love theater! Chicago is definitely on my list. But I hate their airport!
    We love Chicago. We'll take the Amtrak sleeper, either the Capitol Limited or the Cardinal with no fuss, muss and arrive in the central city. Their transit goes where we want to go, or an uber will do. We are going next weekend - Capitol limited overnight in a bedroom, to enjoy the foliage starting to turn, arrive and drop our bags in the Amtrak lounge for safekeeping while we use our city pass and tour the top of Willis tower and "The ledge" a glass enclosure at the top that hangs off the tower. We'll then walk two blocks for deep dish pizza at Giordanos, and across the street is one of the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings we will tour. Swing back to the station for the bags, and pop over to the Blackstone Hotel (yes, the smoke filled rooms where empires were built) (It's a Marriott Autograph hotel, a block off the lake). That afternoon we will be at the Art Institute museum (amazing Tiffany glass, Monet, etc. they say). Late afternoon is the She'd aquarium, only about 4 blocks from the hotel, from there we will wander to find dinner. We love the Blackstone for a hotel, so we'll hang there for the late evening. Breakfast is at the Yolk, and then the Metra to the Museum Science and Industry. Can't wait to go in the sub! That afternoon is the field museum to play with dinos. Swing by the Blackstone to retrieve bags and Back to Union station. On the Cardinal it is a longer trip, but we will hit the highlands with early fall foliage and travel along the new river gorge with high water and spectacular views. We'll cross the Alleghenies, travel by (and s short stop) at the Greenbrier, then on to Charlottesville, Culpeper (that's pronounced Cull pep ah) and Manassas. Then back to the Rappahannock County farm! I'd still rather by sailing with Say Hello down the Rhone in France, but this will do as an overdue substitute.
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    It's a bucket list item to see Chicago in Chicago. I love theater! Chicago is definitely on my list. But I hate their airport!
    Which airport? I tend to fly to Midway if I can and just do the train into town. O'Hare *can* be a mess. But I'll fly into either to get some time in Chicago!
    @Grifdog22- I don't think Amtrak would be so easy from California. I might try Amtrak to SF from the Central Valley, where I live.
    With the caveat that *who knows* in a COVID-19 world, it seems it *is* possible to get to Chicago from, say, Fresno, but it would require traveling to Sacramento, then from there catching the California Zephyr to Chicago. It would probably take you a couple of days at least, but would definitely be a cool way to get to Chicago if you get a bedroom. It's supposed to be a beautiful route. (The California Zephyr would be what you would take to get from Sacramento to San Francisco/Emeryville if you went that direction.) I've always meant to travel more by train. I'm hoping to do that soon. It would be MUCH easier if Amtrak came through Columbus...
    We love Chicago. We'll take the Amtrak sleeper, either the Capitol Limited or the Cardinal with no fuss, muss and arrive in the central city. Their transit goes where we want to go, or an uber will do. We are going next weekend - Capitol limited overnight in a bedroom, to enjoy the foliage starting to turn, arrive and drop our bags in the Amtrak lounge for safekeeping while we use our city pass and tour the top of Willis tower and "The ledge" a glass enclosure at the top that hangs off the tower. We'll then walk two blocks for deep dish pizza at Giordanos, and across the street is one of the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings we will tour. Swing back to the station for the bags, and pop over to the Blackstone Hotel (yes, the smoke filled rooms where empires were built) (It's a Marriott Autograph hotel, a block off the lake). That afternoon we will be at the Art Institute museum (amazing Tiffany glass, Monet, etc. they say). Late afternoon is the She'd aquarium, only about 4 blocks from the hotel, from there we will wander to find dinner. We love the Blackstone for a hotel, so we'll hang there for the late evening. Breakfast is at the Yolk, and then the Metra to the Museum Science and Industry. Can't wait to go in the sub! That afternoon is the field museum to play with dinos. Swing by the Blackstone to retrieve bags and Back to Union station. On the Cardinal it is a longer trip, but we will hit the highlands with early fall foliage and travel along the new river gorge with high water and spectacular views. We'll cross the Alleghenies, travel by (and s short stop) at the Greenbrier, then on to Charlottesville, Culpeper (that's pronounced Cull pep ah) and Manassas. Then back to the Rappahannock County farm! I'd still rather by sailing with Say Hello down the Rhone in France, but this will do as an overdue substitute.
    This sounds wonderful! I agree, I'd rather you were sailing down the Rhone with me, too, but that's just going to have to be postponed for a while, it seems. I've still not given up on that trip for some day!

    Sayhello
     
  • Rapunzellover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2014
    Which airport? I tend to fly to Midway if I can and just do the train into town. O'Hare *can* be a mess. But I'll fly into either to get some time in Chicago!
    With the caveat that *who knows* in a COVID-19 world, it seems it *is* possible to get to Chicago from, say, Fresno, but it would require traveling to Sacramento, then from there catching the California Zephyr to Chicago. It would probably take you a couple of days at least, but would definitely be a cool way to get to Chicago if you get a bedroom. It's supposed to be a beautiful route. (The California Zephyr would be what you would take to get from Sacramento to San Francisco/Emeryville if you went that direction.) I've always meant to travel more by train. I'm hoping to do that soon. It would be MUCH easier if Amtrak came through Columbus...

    Sayhello
    I was talking O'Hare. I've never had a good experience there. But Midway could work maybe.

    I'm 1 .5 hours north of Fresno and 2 hours South of Sacramento. It's a terrible area for Amtrak.
     

    Grifdog22

    Barking Mad!
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2008
    I'm 1.45 hours North of Cincinnati and 2.25 hours South of Cleveland. So I am in an equally bad area for Amtrak. :(

    Sayhello
    We are two hours from Dulles airport, an hour from two Amtrak stops and 45 minutes from a third over in West Virginia. Regrettably we are ten minutes from the confluence of two major interstates. Our farm however is far from all of this, except one Amtrak stop at Culpeper. The farm is surrounded by Shenandoah National Park with the clear dark skies of Rappahannock County. The sounds are those of thunderheads, peepers in the spring, Buck deer snorting in the fall, the constant soft splashing of SprucePine headwaters creek,the wind, and my wife's voice telling me to get back to the chore list.
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    We are two hours from Dulles airport, an hour from two Amtrak stops and 45 minutes from a third over in West Virginia. Regrettably we are ten minutes from the confluence of two major interstates. Our farm however is far from all of this, except one Amtrak stop at Culpeper. The farm is surrounded by Shenandoah National Park with the clear dark skies of Rappahannock County. The sounds are those of thunderheads, peepers in the spring, Buck deer snorting in the fall, the constant soft splashing of SprucePine headwaters creek,the wind, and my wife's voice telling me to get back to the chore list.
    Sounds enchanting! :lovestruc

    Truth is, now that I'm retired and don't have to worry about how many days it takes me to get to/from places (because I'd have to get back to work) I'm far more likely to drive up to Cleveland, catch the train, and then, on the way home, plan to spend the night in Cleveland before heading back home. I do not like the idea of long days traveling, and then having to drive home right afterwards (I'm not a fan of driving, period). It can all be a part of the experience now, like it is in Europe. :)

    Sayhello
     

    kaseyC

    Mom to 3 lovely Princesses
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2002
    I love the train. As kids in the 70's that how we would travel from Montana to visit relatives in the midwest and south. A few years ago, I took my 2 youngest girls on Amtrak from Milwaukee to Seattle on the Empire Builder. It was a fantastic trip that with gorgeous scenery. We booked a Family bedroom which gave the 3 of us plenty of room to spread out. It was pretty cool to see my teens unplug and enjoy sitting by the window watching the beautiful scenery. The Sleeper rooms are great because all meals are included as well as nice turn down service. We spent 4 days in Seattle and then we flew to Anaheim and spent a couple of days at the Grand Californian, went to Disneyland and explored LA. We then took Amtraks Pacific Surfliner to San Diego for a few days before flying back to Chicago. Still one of our favorite trips.
     

    Mathmagicland

    Disneyland - the original since 1955
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    Sharing as I’ve not seen this company mentioned recently. I have no experience with them so can’t speak to if they are good or bad, maybe some others on here can weigh in if people are interested.

    I got a catalog from Smithsonian Journeys, and a few things caught my eye to share them here - they have a new partnership with Ponant, which is the same company AbD has joined with for expedition cruises to Galapagos and Antarctica; they seem to have mostly small group sizes of 12-24 people; and they offer private custom tours called Tailor-Made Journeys which seem at first look to offer more options and customization than the AbD private adventures. The catalog says they offer 150 different tours, and some include airfare.

     

    xiphoid76

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2011
    Kensington has been awesome so far on our Egypt trip! Would highly recommend. This is a great time to travel internationally if you are able to jump thru the Covid restrictions. Low crowds and the tourism sector could really use a financial boost in many countries. I am tired of domestic USA travel. Love the country but we have done it a lot over the past year. We are going to Ukraine and the UAE in the next few months.
     

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