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ktmoomau

Vacation Spot For Hubby's Family??? (Orderly, nice, but not too exotic, chaotic)

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Ok, so normally when I ask for vacation ideas- it is for more off the beaten path recs.  BUT I also want to plan a family trip for Hubby's family because he is turning 40 and his Dad is turning 70.  So I love my Hubby's family, but they are very different than traveling with just Hubby or my Mom.  I don't think they would do well in a country that doesn't have line culture, they like things more planned out and aren't like oh it'll be fine we will find a place type of people.  I don't think they would do well with a flight of over 12 ish hours (we can break it up though if need be, but I would prefer not).  I was thinking more Europe, Hawaii, etc, but am open to suggestion.  They like to do activities, but they aren't go, go, go people like me.  It would be me, Hubby, MIL, FIL, SIL, BIL and SIL, although I may invite family friends to tag along if they wanted.  They like good food, but aren't REALLY adventurous eaters. They aren't super adventurous on activities- kayaking, wine tasting are their speed, touring museums, houses are things they like to do. 

My ideal vacation for them I think would be breaking it up to no more than two/three locations that are somewhat central and you can do a lot of stuff from either by driving, train or public transport.  So people could do day trips activities together or separate.  We likely would stay about 10 days.  Renting a house might be preferred, but hotels would be fine too.  They have been to Paris, Brussles, Amsterdam, UK.  I was potentially thinking Germany, with a stop at the Porsche museum (Hubby and FIL love porsche).  They have mentioned Germany, Hawaii, (they loved the pics from Croatia and would go, but I think Hubby wants some somewhere different) Italy (although I don't know they would really love Italy).  Any ideas?  

I want to hash out some options for them.

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Lyon.  Can fly in/out of Geneva & be only 2hrs away, can drive to/from Marseille/Aix or other Provence places in around 3 hours, can do day trips in all directions and, best of all, Lyon is great.  Can stay around Place Bellecour (Hotel Le Royal Lyon is my recommendation - has the Bocuse Institute Restaurant on site), there are river boats,  an old city with a lift up to a great view and Cathedral & its a very walkable place.  Did I mention that there's a lot of good food?

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I just got back from Belgium and The Netherlands - both countries speak fluent English, the sites are gorgeous, and there's culture out the wazoo, both culinary and touristic. 

It was so cool: I watched the film "In Bruges," in Bruges. Amsterdam is *amazing*, Antwerp is beautiful, Bruges is mega-cool, Nijmegen is arguably the oldest city in The Netherlands, The Girl with a Pearl Earring is in The Hague, and The Altar of Ghent is one of the most important pieces of art in world history.

Oh sorry, I see they've been to The Netherlands - we didn't even bother with Brussels (other than to fly in-and-out of) - there are *so many* better places in Belgium.

I think Salzburg is one of the nicest small towns I've ever been to.

I know France like the back of my hand, so if you decide on somewhere there, let me know.

Ain't nothing wrong with Maui.

The maritime provinces of Canada are wonderful in the summer - plus, you can fly into Boston and drive all the way up to PEI - you can even buy a copy of Anne of Green Gables at the actual Green Gables house. :) On the way you can catch the earliest sunrise in America, go to Bar Harbor, catch the tidal bore near the Bay of Fundy, see gorgeous fields of lupines, and visit Halifax (Newfoundland is a place I found somewhat dull, but you have to drive through it to get there).

Don't forget about Prague.

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Provence and Cote D'Azur? Basque/Catalan parts of Spain? Portugal?  Nice weather, nice beaches, walkable cities, great food, drivable if you want to, and relatively easy to get around.

Speaking for myself, I would push for Rome in a less busy month like January or February.  Celebrating two momentous birthdays in the Eternal City just seems fitting to me.  Plus I utterly loved Rome when we went in February 2016.  The weather was pleasant and crowds mostly tolerable.  I would probably have hated the experience if we went during a hotter busier month.

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8 hours ago, ktmoomau said:

Ok, so normally when I ask for vacation ideas- it is for more off the beaten path recs.  BUT I also want to plan a family trip for Hubby's family because he is turning 40 and his Dad is turning 70.  So I love my Hubby's family, but they are very different than traveling with just Hubby or my Mom.  I don't think they would do well in a country that doesn't have line culture, they like things more planned out and aren't like oh it'll be fine we will find a place type of people.  I don't think they would do well with a flight of over 12 ish hours (we can break it up though if need be, but I would prefer not).  I was thinking more Europe, Hawaii, etc, but am open to suggestion.  They like to do activities, but they aren't go, go, go people like me.  It would be me, Hubby, MIL, FIL, SIL, BIL and SIL, although I may invite family friends to tag along if they wanted.  They like good food, but aren't REALLY adventurous eaters. They aren't super adventurous on activities- kayaking, wine tasting are their speed, touring museums, houses are things they like to do. 

My ideal vacation for them I think would be breaking it up to no more than two/three locations that are somewhat central and you can do a lot of stuff from either by driving, train or public transport.  So people could do day trips activities together or separate.  We likely would stay about 10 days.  Renting a house might be preferred, but hotels would be fine too.  They have been to Paris, Brussles, Amsterdam, UK.  I was potentially thinking Germany, with a stop at the Porsche museum (Hubby and FIL love porsche).  They have mentioned Germany, Hawaii, (they loved the pics from Croatia and would go, but I think Hubby wants some somewhere different) Italy (although I don't know they would really love Italy).  Any ideas?  

I want to hash out some options for them.

Italy might be perfect for this.  Orvieto is within a short drive to most of Tuscany (wine, history, cycling) and is a very pretty walled city.  If you want to go more urban you could go full on tourist and do Florence but my off the wall suggestion is Bologna.  it's the center of the spoke for Italy's train system, has the best food in all of Italy, and has some phenomenal day trips within 1.5-2 hours either by train or car.  It's actually cheaper to fly into than Milan, Venice, or Florence for some odd reason from the States as well.  On the car theme, Ferrari and Lamborghini are headquartered nearby.

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23 minutes ago, astrid said:

 Basque/Catalan parts of Spain? 

One of the best vacations we ever took I think would fit the bill for you.  We did a big loop from Barcelona with a rental car, up into France, across the Pyrenees into the Basque area, and back through Spain to Barcelona, over ten days.  There are so many places to see and explore but you can set your own pace.  We explored Barcelona for a few days (great food and museums) before renting the car and heading up the coast, saw Dali's house in Cadaques (I still think the view of Cadaques from the top of the mountain you have to drive over to get down to it rivals the Taj Mahal as one of the most beautiful things I've seen in my life), did some wine tasting around Chateauneuf du Pape before heading west, saw Lourdes, then spent a few days eating very, very well in San Sebastian (and seeing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao) before driving back to Barcelona. All the driving was easy, and there are plenty of fun, memorable, but not too adventurous activities to do along the route.

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20 hours ago, Rhone1998 said:

One of the best vacations we ever took I think would fit the bill for you.  We did a big loop from Barcelona with a rental car, up into France, across the Pyrenees into the Basque area, and back through Spain to Barcelona, over ten days.  There are so many places to see and explore but you can set your own pace.  We explored Barcelona for a few days (great food and museums) before renting the car and heading up the coast, saw Dali's house in Cadaques (I still think the view of Cadaques from the top of the mountain you have to drive over to get down to it rivals the Taj Mahal as one of the most beautiful things I've seen in my life), did some wine tasting around Chateauneuf du Pape before heading west, saw Lourdes, then spent a few days eating very, very well in San Sebastian (and seeing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao) before driving back to Barcelona. All the driving was easy, and there are plenty of fun, memorable, but not too adventurous activities to do along the route.

I've done this exact trip, but in reverse. If you do this, don't forget to spend a night in Carcassonne (inside the ramparts). Also, visit the Dalḯ Museum in Figueres

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8 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I've done this exact trip, but in reverse. If you do this, don't forget to spend a night in Carcassonne (inside the ramparts). Also, visit the Dalí Museum in Figueres

The north side of the Pyrenees sure is a lot prettier than the south side, isn’t it?

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1 hour ago, Rhone1998 said:

The north side of the Pyrenees sure is a lot prettier than the south side, isn’t it?

I didn't hug the mountain range; I drove Barcelona -> San Sebastian -> Arcachon -> Carcassonne -> Barcelona, using the most expedient driving routes possible in a fairly limited time frame (I was there for a wedding in Arcachon), so I really didn't get to see "true" Basque country. The first time I ever visited Figueres (Dalí Museum) and Girona (El Celler de Can Roca, which was closed) was just a couple of months ago. I cannot urge people enough taking this loop (or merely taking a day trip from Barcelona) to visit the Dalí Museum - if you want a nice - but not extravagant - hotel, don't mind climbing a couple flights of stairs (no elevator), and want to walk to the museum and a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant (Antaviana) in 5 minutes, Hotel Rambla is a great choice.

In my Del Mar review, I mentioned the pan con tomate at Antaviana (5 Euros, I think), which was worth ordering, but more of a condiment; not a Michelin-star "wow" accompaniment.

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