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Old 03-25-2012, 05:09 PM   #1
glassslipper2004
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Where are you going this year?

I'd love to hear where everyone is going this year, via Disney or otherwise. We are doing a trip to Washington DC soon, and I'd appreciate any tips people might have. One thing I discovered is that while many museums are free, some attractions required timed tickets, which seems to be sold out weeks/months in advance in some cases.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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We're going to Washington the first week of April. A friend who grew up there recommended the tour at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, so we're doing that and the White House tour, along with museums, monuments, etc. If you go to your representatives website you can request VIP tickets for those two tours and also the Library of Congress and the Capitol.

Besides the DC trip, we are taking a Danube River Cruise with Tauck Bridges this summer and fall break in Oahu (at Aulani) and Kauai. If the dates work out, I was tentatively planning the ABD Peru trip for spring break 2013, but with the new Southeast Asia trip I may have to rethink that. This is a big travel year for us and so was 2011. We may be eating nothing but Ramen Noodles soon. But I want to spend some quality time and enjoy and educate my kid while he can still stand to be around me.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:40 PM   #3
jlou
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I took my daughter for a 3 day trip to DC. It was great.

The first day (after a 6 hour drive), we went to the zoo. I was kind of disappointed in the zoo. My childhood memories had it much nicer than it was when we were there. However, it was a few years ago, and it was a bit under construction, so it might be much nicer now.

The second day, we took the DC trolley tour, which is a hop on hop off tour.

http://www.trolleytours.com/washington-dc/

The driver was very informative, and it was a lot better than just seeing things on our own. Plus, it got us up and down the mall very quickly.

We also took advantage of their monuments at night tour, which I would also recommend.

Of course, there are all the museums. We had a wonderful time in the national gallery, and the sculpture garden. Also, the Air and Space museum. All the Smithsoneans are wonderful, so you just have to see what you're interested in. I would not recommend having lunch at the Air and Space museum, not much to choose from, but there is a very nice cafeteria at the Natural History museum I believe. Also near the Natural History museum is the Old Post Office, which has the clock tower (free to go up) with wonderful views of the city. Ben & Jerry's at the Post Office is a nice treat.

Union station was a good place to go with a group for a quick meal, as there are lots of different food vendors to please even the pickiest traveler.

I would highly recommend the trolley tours as it's a very inexpensive way to get around, and also get a bit of a tour, with someone telling you things about the sights that you would otherwise not know.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:09 PM   #4
glassslipper2004
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Bobo12 - you got the White House tour - lucky you! We did request this through our representative, but were told there is a lottery, and we don't know yet if we'll get in. I'm hoping we do - I visited with a friend years ago, but I would love my kids to see it. And good for you for trying out Tauck, I'm curious to hear how you like it. I totally understand about wanting to do things with your kid while you still can. I'm in the same position.

Jlou - thanks for the tips, especially the trolley tour. We did one in Philadelphia last spring and really enjoyed it. Plus it does seem like a good way to get around. What was the monuments at night tour like - do they just drive you around, or is it also an on/off kind of thing?

Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:30 PM   #5
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I'm going to Maui for 2 weeks. Renting a timeshare from a friend, condo on the beach. I'm still planning; doing some snorkeling, a luau or 2, Road to Hana and Haleakala for sunrise. Trying to relax!

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Old 03-25-2012, 08:38 PM   #6
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The monuments at night tour was meant to be a tour that you stayed on for the whole thing. (In other words, not a hop on hop off). But, you did stop at various monuments and get to walk around for a bit and see and learn about the various monuments.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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To tell you the truth, I had just about given up on the White House tour. I requested the tour back in February and hadn't heard a word. But last week I got an email saying we are in. It was a very pleasant surprise. I also bought tickets to see the musical 1776 at the Ford's theater one evening. Thought it would be cool to see a show there. And we're in DC on Easter Sunday, so I got passes to the Easter Service at the National Cathedral.

Jlou, I was also planning on taking the monuments at night tour, so I'm very glad to see you recommend it.

This is our second Tauck Bridges tour. Since this one is a river cruise I expect it to be quite different. I'm not a big cruise liner person, but we so much enjoyed being on the smaller ship in the Galapagos last year that I thought this might be fun. The number of guests is small enough so you can actually get to know your fellow travelers. Not having to pack and unpack every time you change locations is nice. And DS likes the never-ending supply of snacks.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo912 View Post
And DS likes the never-ending supply of snacks.


nothin' wrong with snacks!
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:14 AM   #9
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Bobo912, my dh was just saying today he would like to do a river cruise! I'd like to hear about yours when you get back. We don't like big cruise ships much either, but will be on one next year to attend a relative's wedding onboard.

This year we are going to Iceland!!!
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:02 AM   #10
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It's still a few months away, but I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Iceland! That's fantastic. I went to graduate school with a guy from Iceland, and I believe he is the only person I've ever met whose been there.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo912 View Post
Iceland! That's fantastic. I went to graduate school with a guy from Iceland, and I believe he is the only person I've ever met whose been there.
I have a friend from Holland who vacationed there with her son, and she really loved it. If I remember correctly, the place has a ton of waterfalls. Much prettier than the name "Iceland" would make you think! (I think it's kind of the same mis-conception people have about Alaska; that it's all ice and snow).

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Old 03-26-2012, 02:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
I have a friend from Holland who vacationed there with her son, and she really loved it. If I remember correctly, the place has a ton of waterfalls. Much prettier than the name "Iceland" would make you think! (I think it's kind of the same mis-conception people have about Alaska; that it's all ice and snow).

Sayhello
I've read that Iceland should have been called Greenland and vice versa. LOL
There are lots of waterfalls and thermal areas. My dh and ds are volcanoe nuts, so everyone is really excited about going.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:54 PM   #13
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My husband and I are heading to Eastern Costa Rica day after tomorrow (not a guided tour) and we are going to Hawaii in September. It will be our 6th Hawaiian vacation so I'm not that excited.

What's this about Southeast Asia in 2013? I have started researching Vietnam for 2013. We are planning to do on our own but the airfare is scaring me.

Bobo, we love river cruising on the small ships. I'm sure you and your son will have a fantastic time.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:09 PM   #14
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We are going to Tampa and Busch Gardens in April. This summer we also are going on a Tauck Bridges river cruise on the Danube. Great minds think alike huh Bobo? This will be our first river cruise and my sister in law returned last year and said it was great. Next year we are doing our third Med. cruise on the Magic. Overnight in Venice was enough for us to "re-up" with the lovable Magic. We would love to do the Southwest Splendour next summer but need to WAIT for ABD to release the dates (again)
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #15
glassslipper2004
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So many comments about great places to visit - I don't know where to start! Clearly I need to check out the river cruise option for some time in the future. We will almost definitely be going to Hawaii, but not for a few years - my in-laws love it there and want to have us all travel together to Hawaii for their 50th wedding anniversary.

Bobo, we looked at the 1776 show too, but decided to see the Capitol Steps while in DC instead. We might add 1776 too, assuming they still have tickets left, but haven't decided yet. I like the idea of the monuments at night tour, especially since I am not sure what we'll be doing in the evenings. We are staying at a "no frills" hotel and most of the museums seem to close around 6 or so. Maybe just find a movie theater or relax with a book. Any suggestions for other evening activities?
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Upcoming: August 2013 Med cruise
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