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QUOTE(auralpoison @ Jul 27 2008, 09:38 PM) *
Is Bunnyb back or did Mickey the pusher-mouse get her hooked on the sweet tourist-y crack that is Florida? I hope she had some funnel cake under a mountainous layer of powdered sugar. And a corndog. A big corndog.

Hee. No, Mickey didn't kidnap me but I wish he had (stockholm syndrome?) I arrived back yesterday and have been mainly sleeping. I had an amazing time.
hi edie25: how is living in Montreal?

i perhaps have designs on moving to Canada, mehbe. wink.gif

in a really bad transition, has anybody been traveling throughout south or central america (and i don't mean kansas city central america)?

i would love to do a farming exchange, or a language exchange for a few months.

to the wanderlusting and traveling busties,
Beck, I'm glad you liked Montreal, and I think all the eating and drinking was a good call- it's a pretty big part of the local culture. I love the marché jean talon too- sampling the fruit, smelling herbs, cheap olives at the arab butchershop... I love that whole neighborhood- the community garden, bakeries with good almond cookies and kitchen supply stores. I'm actually apartment hunting around there.

Persimmon, where are you from? What you would think of living here depends on your perspective and where you're coming from. I was raised in this province (in a small town) so the transition for me was just about moving to a big city. I didn't have to switch my health care or citizenship or anything like that and I knew enough French to get work (you don't really have to know much, though, to work in a café or something). I think it's hard to get a good job here, hard to make real money, but the cost of living is low for a big city (though rising). Lots of people work part time or do odd jobs or work on art stuff or just end up hanging out for, like, years. It's fun but if you want to get work done you have to be really self-motivated. There are lots of cool people and stuff going on but I find some of the people increasingly pretentious and snotty.

When I moved back from Scandinavia I found it dirty and chaotic here, but if you're coming from, say, NYC you'd probably find it relatively laid back, clean, and safe.

Oh yeah, the winters are awful. Which makes the summers generally more amazing.
QUOTE(beck @ Jul 28 2008, 07:13 AM) *
thanks edie! hmm, don't think i will be seeking those out anytime soon...

Honey, you have no idea what you're missing! laugh.gif

blink.gif yikes!

i like the look of those fries though... tongue.gif
anna k
Edie, I just might come to Montreal. I went there four years ago and loved the city. I may come in October, so it might be cold/cool, but I really liked it there. I liked walking around on St. Catherine, St. Laurent, the Jean Talon market, and feeling very comfortable and natural there.

I may do a flight, as I've rode on long train rides (14 hours to South Carolina once), and would just want to spend a long weekend in the city.
But there's no mustard! You can't have a corndog with ketchup! Heresy!

When I was a kid we'd always go to the state fair where they had these giant corn dogs called "pronto pups". Oh, they were a corn-dipped, oil-fried, golden glory. On a stick. A pronto pup in one hand & an ear of kettle corn in the other. Then on to the funnelcake & snocones!

Glad you survived America's Wang, Bunnyb! You rest up & then tell us allllll about it!
Anna k - if you're flexible enough to do the last minute thing, you should sign up to get the Continental specials emailed to you. They send an email early every week for last minute deals, and they often have round trip flights from Newark to Montreal for about $119. You have to get them for that weekend, book by Friday, leave Saturday and return on Monday or Tuesday. I am hoping to go myself one of these days.
edie-didn't know you were in montreal! stargazer and i are headed up that way here soon. i haven't even looked into sights/sounds etc, when work gives me a chance to breathe, i'll figure it out... any topical suggestions?
edie, check out the different neighbourhoods while you're in Vancouver. Main street (between 7th and 32nd) has lots of vintage and local shops. Commercial drive (Broadway to venables) has a tons of good restaurants and cafes, and a hippie-ish vibe. 4th Ave in Kits is a bit fancier, but really nice and right by the beach. Downtown is also good for everything including the art gallery, and is in between the west end, yaletown and gastown. Be prepared to walk a lot, which is really nice if it's sunny out. If you're after anything more specific let me know.
Thanks, starpiste! I think that's a good start. I can't think of anything more specific right now. I'm excited though- I only bought my ticket a few days ago, but I'm leaving in a week! I love last minute travel plans... and it will be my first time anywhere west of Niagara Falls.

Crazyoldcatlady, that's really exciting. When are you guys coming? I can give mad tips, so if either of you are interested in anything specific, from bluegrass to trapeze to classic cars, just let me know. Or if you're seeking out specific food (vegetarian, french, uber-budget... but I'll hold back on the restaurant recs for now). Do you know where you're staying? (You could even tell me the area if you're not comfortable posting that). Just PM me if you want.

As for topical suggestions: the Jean Talon Market, which we've mentioned, is a nice open air market that's mostly produce in the outdoor part and is surrounded by little food shops. It's in Little Italy, which is a nice area to walk around. Cafe Italia is nearby on Blvd. St. Laurent if you're into espresso. Also walk around the Mile End area (just south of Little Italy), there are other great coffeshops, cute boutiques, and a mix of hipsters and Hasidic Jews. If you walk up and down the residential streets there you can spy really rad architectural details and cute gardens. And don't be afraid to walk down the alleys (during the day), you can check out the backs of the houses and balconies and clotheslines (if that interests you). I would just wander around, and if you could rent or borrow bikes, that's a great way or getting from one 'hood to another.

Anna, October weather is unpredictable. It will be cool/cold, may rain a lot, or even snow if it's near the end of the month. But if you aim for early October you're more likely to get a nice fall cool crispness, with some mildness during the day. I didn't even know you came here before- where did you stay?
oh edie, you give crazyoldcatlady and i too much credit for planning this montreal trip. or lack of planning. heh. um, we just know that we are going aug. 8-10. that's it. so, any info you have, restaurants, sites, lodging, strip clubs....let us know.
Oh, I'll just miss you guys, I'm leaving for Vancouver on the 7th!

I don't plan much when I travel, either, I think it's better that way, but for some reason I assume others plan more than me. For lodging, it really depends on your budget. Would you be looking to stay in a hotel or b&b, or a hostel? Or if you're on more of a budget (or just want to meet people), you could always try couchsurfing, or maybe stay in my bedroom.

For strip clubs, it depends what you want. There are lots of sleazy little joints that are kind of depressing- but maybe that interests you. Then there are the big, popular, bachelor-party downtown ones that are really famous- Super-Sexe, Chez Parée, and Wanda's (Metallica goes there!). Probably okay bets, they certainly have reputations to uphold. I've also heard good things about Kama Sutra, near Prince Arthur and St-Laurent. It has a kind of Eastern theme and advertises itself as "chic"- so not the raunchiest, but I'm sure still a little sleazy.

I have recommendations up the wazoo but I don't want to thread-hog, or dictate your trip too much. I say get a copy of the Mirror (free paper) when you get to town- they have gallery and concert listings, and will tell you about any special goings on. If you have other specific questions, just PM me.
anna k
Edie, we stayed at the Chateau Royal on Crescent St., right in the middle of downtown. I liked getting gelatos at the Paris Cafe, and we had a nice little balcony.
edie, i was joking on the strip clubs dude. but, at least it is good to know that you've been around in Montreal.

i checked out hostels and found one cool one. of course, i should mention this to cocl. right now, lodging and sightseeing things would be cool
Oh, I guess the "joking about going to a strip club" tone doesn't always come through on the interweb! tongue.gif

What is the location of the hostel you found?
Leaving for Amherst on Friday morning, and will be back on Sunday afternoon. I'm so looking forward to "getting away".

*Oh Lawd, I had a typo!*
yeah, what's the location of the hostel? tongue.gif

hee hee, i'm all about flying by the seat of our pants. and besides, with being slammed at work and no interwebs connection at home, i'm pressed for time on research. but montreal seems like such a great city, you could throw a stick and have it hit something cool to do/see.
Yeah, you're right, COCL, too much planning can kill the fun and surprise element.

But nonetheless here are a few last recs that I thought of: if you want to go out for a nice dinner that is not dirt-cheap (but not uber-splurge), go to Sala Rossa on St-Laurent near St-Joseph for wonderful Spanish tapas and wine, very authentic, great atmosphere. There is a concert venue upstairs from it, and another venue/bar/cafe across the street that is run by the same people. If you want to go out dancing or something, try a club in the gay village rather than the meat market bars of downtown/Crescent Street (just don't go to a men-only leather-daddy bar!). And check out Jeanne Mance Park, at the base of the mountain. Good for people watching, especially on weekends. Some of the smaller neighborhood parks and squares are nice too, and you can buy beer at a corner store and drink it in the park (though it's technically illegal).
Has anyone been to the beaches in North or South Carolina? I hear the landscape can be beautiful and I'm considering a trip there (also considering taking in Savannah while I'm in the vicinity, which sounds beautiful). Would the weather be warm enough for beach visits in April or so?
anna k
I went to Charleston two years ago, and liked it there. It's a nice little city, especially the aquarium and small cobble-stoned paths. My parents live near Raleigh, and have gone to the beach areas, doing a lot of exploring.
i'm headed to richmond, va, for a while. any hot insider tips to the city/state? any busties around there?
QUOTE(sybarite @ Aug 16 2008, 11:51 AM) *
Has anyone been to the beaches in North or South Carolina? I hear the landscape can be beautiful and I'm considering a trip there (also considering taking in Savannah while I'm in the vicinity, which sounds beautiful). Would the weather be warm enough for beach visits in April or so?

it might be sort of windy in April, but most likely to be warm enough (tho of course, the waters will still be coold!)

we're about an hour south of Raleigh and tho Myrtle Beach is a little closer to us, our personal family preferance is to make the drive to Wilmington (NC) to the beaches.
Myrtle is good if you want commericial stuff.. ,lots of touristy things to see and some Great entertainment, but if you want quiet, chill-out-on-the-beach? go to Wilm.
it's a great little coastal town w/ several beaches to choose from, a State Park (we camped there once), interesting shops to explore (w/ phenomial ice cream on the river front) and is just one of our favorite places Ever. (we'd so move there if we could)

..come to think of it.. we might actually be up around the Duck/Kitty Hawk area next April ourselves (tho not that close to Wilm) bc some friends are renting a beach house there & have invited us for a week. how cool to connect then? smile.gif

look up something like 'crystal coast nc' or maybe put THE in front of it.. I can never remember what the nc tourism website is, but yah, def plan a trip .
Freckle, that is awesome. Thanks for the info--it's exactly that kind of informed knowledge of the area I was looking for. Whether I go depends on a few things, one of which is persuading the mister to come. I'm from the US (living in Europe now)but have never been to that part of the country. Wilm sounds ideal.

If I do end up going we should definitely try to connect!
syb, i'm with freckle. wilmington is a good starting off place. (it's where dawson's creek was filmed, if that helps) lots of nice b&bs, nice restaurants, lots of interesting things to do nearby. there is a big warehouse that has been turned into a sort of shopping area, which is fun and interesting. you can get oyster shots and watch the sun go down.

depending on how long you have, my FAVORITE place in that area is Okracoke (an island on the outer banks). you have to take a ferry to get to it. it's small, but very quaint, and lots of nice little stores. some nice inns. it is very fairy tale. some of my best times with mr hb have been to go to either of those places, because they were quick and easy to get to.

i don't particularly like myrtle beach, it is way too overpopulated and commercial. if that makes any sense. i prefer my beaches a little less traveled. okracoke is sort of halfway between too commercial and totally isolated.

QUOTE(billybonka @ Jun 30 2008, 04:38 PM) *
In late August, I’m going to Germany (and probably Netherlands) for two weeks. The current plan is to take what I can fit into a backpack and travel as simply as possible, meaning I may stay in hostels. I’ll probably get around by car and train. I know I’ll be in the Stuttgart area some, as well as Berlin and possibly Amsterdam. I’m not even sure what I’m asking right now…. but if anyone has suggestions regarding hostels stays, things I must see or do and other ways to travel, please let me know.

Definitely bring Lonely Planet for Germany -- great advice regarding hostels and budget stays. I live here and I swear by it. Berlin is terrific -- there's oh-so-much to do. But know that Berlin is quite far from Stuttgart -- Paris is closer. Berlin has amazing museums (the Egyptian museum is fab), and is very easy to get around. Pickpockets aren't as bad as in some other European countries, but they are around -- be extra cautious. My travel blog is here with more advice.
QUOTE(sybarite @ Aug 16 2008, 11:51 AM) *
Has anyone been to the beaches in North or South Carolina? I hear the landscape can be beautiful and I'm considering a trip there (also considering taking in Savannah while I'm in the vicinity, which sounds beautiful). Would the weather be warm enough for beach visits in April or so?

I just came in from Savannah this past couple days...very humid. I think you may like Charleston better in the hotter months, though if you're waiting till April, Savannah would be good then too. Both are beautiful cities. When we head to NC (my parents live near Wilmington) we always head to Topsail Beach, and have enjoyed it. April may be a bit early for NC, unless it's the end of the month.

BTW Tes & syb; my trip to S Africa has been postponed. a co-worker went into early (2 months!) labor & I can't leave now as she will obviously be unable to work till after the new year. But thanx for the tips & I hope to use them next year!
anna k
I'm going to Montreal next month! I am so happy that I got time off from work and can afford a nice weekend in the city. I'm going to take an Amtrak train, and am looking for decent hotels in the central area, somewhere I can afford that isn't a Days Inn generic place. I thought of a hostel, but I'd really just rather relax in my privacy rather than share a room with strangers.

My brother went to a strip club in Montreal a year or two ago. He said it was fine, I didn't ask much about it.
Anna, you should consider a B&B. Here are a bunch!

I don't know what your budget is, but "Alacoque B&B Revolution" starts at $50, and is pretty much smack in between downtown and the plateau, also walking distance to Old Montreal and close to the metro. I know there are cheap ones on St-Hubert near the bus station, but I don't know how nice they are... probably hit or miss there. If you want to spend a little more, "Casa Bianca" is on the park, and I've walked by and looked in the windows, it is gorgeous. I've never stayed in any of these places though, and there are tons of others that look interesting, in old Heritage buildings in the gay village and the plateau. Good luck, and feel free to pm me with any questions.
anna k
Thanks, edie! That looks like a great place, as are the other choices.
I am amazed. No, gobsmacked, really. I was idly looking at airfares tonight to points abroad, like if I wanted to visit Zoya. The flights themselves are cheap. Costs me more to fly to Denver than to fly abroad. BUT. The taxes & fees are outrageous!!!!! Between $590-630! That's between 2-3 times the price of the actual flight!
yah. and then add to that the fact that a lot of US carriers are now charging for "extras" - like checked baggage and meals. no, there's nothing wrong with the economy. no recession here, nope. nada, niente, nil, zilch!
A lot of the cheapie european carriers charge for seat booking online or for online check-in, as well as £10 and up per bag, and sometimes for using a credit card. (Um, how do you book online otherwise....?) It all pisses me off. I hate checking bags anyway, as I've lost them in transit before, and I also really like arriving and heading straight out instead of languishing at the baggage carousel. But now I don't check bags on the additional principle that I don't think I should be charged to do so.

Flying used to be so much fun. Now airports are just filled with tense people and as well as lots of overpriced crap.

QUOTE(sybarite @ Sep 27 2008, 10:35 PM) *
A lot of the cheapie european carriers charge for

Shenomad and I bought two RT tickets from Eindhoven to Dublin. Cost: 1 euro CENT each. That's right: 0.01 Euros.
Then came the fees: booking, baggage, fuel, airport, credit card, online, etc. Final price: 40 Euros each. Ok, still a great price for the flight, and we avoided monolithic airport stopovers, but it was still a shock.

Here in Asia, we have tiny baggage allotments, but the airlines & airports still believe in service (I could live at Changgi or Narita, and Incheon and Bangkok are both better than any western airport except maybe Schiphol). Travelling is still quite a lot of fun, therefore, and the food on the planes out here is better than most restaurants we can afford!
Anyone got any tips for Flagstaff fun? Looking for hip coffeebars, restaurants, bars, clothing stores, historical landmarks, bookshops, activities, etc.

A friend of mine just moved there and is having lots of trouble finding things to do. I use yelp, so you can direct me to pages there, if you want!
Planning a trip to Bangkok with the family. How do I dress and act so that I can be comfortable being me, but not worry about being mistaken for a slut? Are tank tops or halter tops okay? How do young women make eye contact? I'm so used to Western assertivenss.
Lily Anne, Bangkok is considerably westernised, so I wouldn't worry about, say, going around with your eyes downcast. Tank tops should be fine (it'll be hot) but personally I would give halter tops a miss.

However, my experience of Bangkok was that western women were not the main attraction. You will see a lot of western men (older but also in their late 20s or 30s) with Thai women, which I found disconcerting/disturbing, even though I expected it.

I also saw groups of Thai girls and women just hanging out and having fun. They may bow as a greeting but I wouldn't call the culture especially submissive, at least not in the city.

Bangkok is a bustling Asian city, quite safe but busy and hectic. I recommend taking the SkyTrain (like the Chicago El) if you're near it, or hiring taxis or tuk tuks, as they're quite reasonable. Have fun!
Does anyone know anything about flying standby? Or, someone told me there was a website where you could get plane tickets the day before or even day of a flight, where if it wasn't booked, you could get really cheap tickets at the last minute.

I'm interested in going from Chicago to Tucson, AZ, and tickets are like in the high $200's-mid $300's, which just seems ridiculous. I'm not really picky about when I go, just sometime in the next year or so, and it just needs to be for a couple of days (it's to try on wedding dresses, which sounds stupid, I know, but you can only order them through the mail or go to the designer's shop.)
Hi Polly,

Take a look at Southwest. They have great fares, and they're available in Chicago and Tucson. A caution about standby is that a seat is not guaranteed, even though you pay for a so-called standby ticket.
QUOTE(sybarite @ Nov 20 2008, 08:59 AM) *
However, my experience of Bangkok was that western women were not the main attraction. You will see a lot of western men (older but also in their late 20s or 30s) with Thai women, which I found disconcerting/disturbing, even though I expected it.

Yeah, I expect to see that too. I'm Thai-American, and I assume I'll feel equally out-of-place among locals and tourists alike.

I almost want a sleazy white tourist to hit on me in bad Thai, so I can tell him to fuck off in perfect English.
Even Southwest was somewhat expensive, like low-mid $200's. I guess the days of $150 domestic flights are gone sad.gif

Maybe some generous family member will give me some miles.
QUOTE(Lily_Anne @ Nov 25 2008, 04:04 AM) *
I almost want a sleazy white tourist to hit on me in bad Thai, so I can tell him to fuck off in perfect English.

Teh awesome.

I just bought a ticket to Australia and NZ for September! Not my first time in Oz, but this is my first trip to NZ and I'm ridiculously excited!

I'll figure out where to go in Oz sort of on the fly, depending on friends and interest and what have you -- but what about NZ? Who's been there or lives there? I'm flying into/out of Auckland and will likely stick to the North Island because I've only got a week there and don't want to spend more time in transit than seeing the country. My Kiwi ex-whatever recommended Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula, someplace else and Rotorua (of which Rotorua was definitely already on my list). Any other suggestions? Stuff to do, cool museums, fun bars? Recommendations for where to stay? I've got the most recent Lonely Planet and am making my way through it, but personal recommendations would be fantastic.
well, I've been to NZ, but I concentrated on the south Island. Spent 4 days at Abel Tasman National Park (which is the furthest North point of the South Island) doing a sea kayaking / hiking trip, and it was absolutely amazing. Then I drove down the coast to Kaikoura, spent 2 days there and did whale watching and open water swimming with dolphins. Also in Kaikoura had an amazing dinner of lobsters caught out of the water right across the street from the restaurant!! Then I drove down to Christchurch, which I wasn't very fond of.

I don't think that helps much, but what did help me decide to do that trip the way I did was that it was suggested to me to pick one part of one island, and see it really well, rather than try to see the whole of NZ or even the whole of one island. I definitely think that was good advice. The country is so stunning that I think it's better to research and pick an area to stick to and really experience it than try to do too much. (that probably didn't help either, but there you go...)
Thanks, Zoya! I totally agree about picking a small area and seeing it thoroughly. I'll likely stick to Auckland, Rotorua and the Coromandel Peninsula -- or else Auckland, Napier (I love Art Deco) and Rotorua -- and basically limit myself to the north of the North Island. Not sure whether I'll be feeling the cities or beach-y by the time I get there, but it's covered either way.
Does anyone have any info about any companies that do those "travel the world in a year" packages, where you go all over for about a year? I'm semi interested in looking into it but I'm having trouble finding any info.
I don't know if they do year-long packages, but Intrepid Travel do tours that are a few months long of Europe, Asia etc. They organise their holidays in small groups, usually about 12 people - I haven't been myself, but two of my friends who are keen travellers have recommended them highly.

Ooh, how exciting!
I've been in the UK for the last 3 weeks, and I have to go home to Canada tomorrow... where I've been told that its snowing sad.gif
It only snowed for a few minutes, splendor. Today is beautiful and sunny (although not as warm as last week). smile.gif

Thanks for the tip, pers.
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