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Ericandblueboy

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Carnival in Venice starts on 2/16/19 and ends 3/5/19.  Business class fares is expensive (paying cash) but you can fly business class on United (operates by Lufthansa) for 140,000 miles.  4 star hotels in Venice are less than $200/nt near Rialto Bridge or Piazza San Marco.  I was thinking about traveling over Presidents Day weekend (flying out on 2/13 returning 2/19).

I know people spend hours researching vacations and I would love to see what you're planning and what deals you've found.

Anyone have ideas for MLK Jr. weekend?

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As an Italo-phile, I'd urge a bit of caution around being in Venice for Carnival - especially with children.  Took the kids several years ago and the utter crowds and chaos are somewhat overwhelming - to the point that we paid a gondola 100 Euro just to take us away from Piazza San Marco and as close to the train station as we could get.  It took nearly three hours for the walk from the station to the Piazza (it's normally about a quarter of that) and the kids were not having fun - at all - due to the sheer volume of people involved.

It wasn't always like this.  I went 20+ years ago and have fond memories of sitting in smaller piazzas eating bread, cheese, and salumi with a beverage or two and watching the spectacle.  It's definitely not that anymore.  Not Mardi Gras bad, but not what it used to be.

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We are going to SF for MLK weekend.  Not sure what we will be doing.  SF was our stomping grounds in the first decade of the 21st century, but we haven't been back in almost 10 years.  We loved the area when we were there and we were pretty sure that we would move back after a few years, but now we have neither the means or inclination to move back.  

Portugal or Azores would be nice for January, if you want to go a little further than the Caribbean but not too far.  Charleston and Savannah or NOLA are easy getaways.  Or for something different, maybe stay at a ice hotel in Canada or Scandinavia?  January or February would be a nice time to visit a popular European cities if you don't mind the cold and want to avoid crowds. Also, Mexico City or Quito or Lima?  Also, Quito combined with a Galapagos cruise?

 

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18 hours ago, astrid said:

I know this is big ship cruising without landing, but this is the lowest price I've seen for Antarctica.

There's less of it to see!

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I did book a trip to Venice for February but still no plans for MLK Jr. weekend.  I could go back to Panama City or Reykjavik.  I could go back for the umpteenth time to New Orleans or NYC.  I could go back to Montreal, Toronto, Halifax.  I could go back to Bermuda.

I'm looking to go somewhere that I wouldn't need to drive, has good food, walking tours, great museums, and some night-life.

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6 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I did book a trip to Venice for February but still no plans for MLK Jr. weekend.  I could go back to Panama City or Reykjavik.  I could go back for the umpteenth time to New Orleans or NYC.  I could go back to Montreal, Toronto, Halifax.  I could go back to Bermuda.

I'm looking to go somewhere that I wouldn't need to drive, has good food, walking tours, great museums, and some night-life.

London

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I just got back from London.  Granada is definitely on my list but I need more time to do Seville, Cordoba and Granada together.  

I plan on leaving Wed night or Thurs and returning on Monday.

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8 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I just got back from London.  Granada is definitely on my list but I need more time to do Seville, Cordoba and Granada together.  

I plan on leaving Wed night or Thurs and returning on Monday.

Limiting it to direct flights, what about Rome, Athens or Mexico City?

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I went to Lisbon over MLK weekend 10 (!) years ago and it was lovely. Not too crowded or hot. We also took a short train ride to Sintra. Not sure about direct flights, though (we connected at CDG).

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3 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I just got back from London.  Granada is definitely on my list but I need more time to do Seville, Cordoba and Granada together.  

I plan on leaving Wed night or Thurs and returning on Monday.

For a short trip in winter why go far or cold? Miami, Nashville, or Charleston should do the trick, staying in the same time zone, and all work with or without kids.  A little further afield Mexico City is interesting and delicious. San Diego is lovely but blander than the rest of these ideas.

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1 hour ago, dracisk said:

I went to Lisbon over MLK weekend 10 (!) years ago and it was lovely. Not too crowded or hot. We also took a short train ride to Sintra. Not sure about direct flights, though (we connected at CDG).

Later in the year.

 

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Still can't decide.  I've never been to Mexico City and that's definitely on the list.  New Orleans is off the list because of football play-offs.  If I don't make any decision, the default is to go to NYC cause last minute train travel is still pretty cheap and hotels in the winter ain't bad.  

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On 1/3/2019 at 9:40 AM, Ericandblueboy said:

I just got back from London.  Granada is definitely on my list but I need more time to do Seville, Cordoba and Granada together.  

I plan on leaving Wed night or Thurs and returning on Monday.

1 hour ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Still can't decide.  I've never been to Mexico City and that's definitely on the list.  New Orleans is off the list because of football play-offs.  If I don't make any decision, the default is to go to NYC cause last minute train travel is still pretty cheap and hotels in the winter ain't bad.  

If you just got back from London, and are considering a 4-5 day trip to Mexico City, then you're younger than I am.

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In Portugal right now and Lisbon/Porto/Douro Valley is probably one of my favorite trips I’ve ever taken, and I’ve been almost everywhere (although I want to deepen my knowledge of Asia beyond SE Asia and Japan/Phillipines). 

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Good to hear another resounding endorsement for Portugal, as we are very seriously considering it for a late February trip.  We know 3 other couples who travelled there and everyone loved it.

How much time do you recommend for the area?  We are thinking of one week in Portugal and one week in southern Spain, but if there's lots to do in Portugal, we might stick to Portugal for most of the allotted 2 weeks plus a road trip to northern Spain.

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If you have Amazon Prime, episode 6 of The Romanoffs is basically a beautifully shot travelogue of Mexico City.  We met a California couple in Prague (on a foodie tour) who went to Mexico City last summer and loved everything, including food, there.

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We did 10 days in Portugal and could have done at least 5 more. We didn’t even scratch the surface with 5 in Lisbon and 4 in Porto/Douro. We didn’t go to Coimbra, Sintra, or the Algarve, for example. 

I highly recommend the Culinary Backstreets all day tours in both cities (choose one, we did Lisbon with Martim) and Adega Vila Mea, Casa Guedes, and others. I’ll do a full trip report at sI’m e point. Also, there are a number of great Airbnbs

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Thank you for the information!  This pretty much clinches our trip towards 2 weeks in Portugal.  We really love how easy it is to travel in Europe and just how mind-blowingly beautiful and historic every little town can be.

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Heading back to Panama City, because there are direct flights, it's warm, has sports books/casinos, and I never made it to the canal/lock last time.

ETA - direct flight on Copa and staying at Bristol Hotel (5 stars) downtown is $1,260 total for 3 nights (via Expedia).  I upgraded for more legroom for another $90.  

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On 1/5/2019 at 2:32 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

Heading back to Panama City, because there are direct flights, it's warm, has sports books/casinos, and I never made it to the canal/lock last time.

Panama is on my list - my great-grandfather is buried there, as it my great-uncle. They and my grandfather worked on the canal. (As did another great-uncle who is buried in PA. Also, my great-grandmother lived there. Seems they all went and some came back.) I want to see the canal, and the cemetery. You've been before? And enjoyed it enough to go again?

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10 hours ago, saf said:

Panama is on my list - my great-grandfather is buried there, as it my great-uncle. They and my grandfather worked on the canal. (As did another great-uncle who is buried in PA. Also, my great-grandmother lived there. Seems they all went and some came back.) I want to see the canal, and the cemetery. You've been before? And enjoyed it enough to go again?

My last trip was the same length as this trip, i.e., 4 days but 2 days are really spent travelling.  There are some sights in the city, and then there's lots of stuff just outside the city.  I want to do a partial transit tour this time.  If I had more time, I'd to a lake/jungle tour to see monkeys.  I think you can easily spend a week doing stuff in and around Panama City.  Also, they have casinos and sports books everywhere.

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You can take a sailboat out to the San blas islands for a few days (sleep on the boat) which is a great experience, in Panama too.  

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