Author Topic: I'm coming to America in 2012.  (Read 4702 times)

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katycoo

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I'm coming to America in 2012.
« on: September 18, 2011, 10:58:28 PM »
Help me finish my itinerary and decide what to do!  I have 4 weeks.

Rough plans:

1. Fly to San Fran.  Maybe 2 nights here - have some family friends to catch up with in Fremont, smidge of sightseeing for DH who hasn't been there before.  I have been a few times but none as an adult.

I have done Alcatraz and would happily go again if DH wants to.  What else is a must see?


2. Drive to Vegas.  How long is this drive?

I want to stay somewhere in town, and nice, but not uber expensive or flashy.  No more than $200 p/n if possible.  Recs?  prob 2 nights here too.

I want a wedding vow renewal at some tacky venue.  Possibly by Elvis.  Do I need to book?  Are there formalities reqeuired for a renewal?

Also - what is a must see in Vegas?

3. Fly to Boston, then train to Salem.

Halloween in Salem - probably just the one night.  I realise accomodation will need to be booked EARLY.  No plans to stay in Boston, its just a changeover point.  Am I wrong?  Should I stop in for anything?

4. Train to New York City

Looking at 4 nights here.  I haven't been since I was really little so what to do?

Def going to see SOMETHING on Broadway.  I'm not fussed on what.  I also plan to go to MMA but don't want to get too bogged down in seeing every gallery - DH will get bored.

Plus a trip to Liberty Island.  What else?

Accomodation recs - again, $200-250 per night or less ideal, and want to be pretty central to walk most places.

5. Train to Washington DC

Another 3-4 nights here.  I want to go to the White House (is it at all possible to get a tour?), and the Smithsonian (but not sure what bits) and i know there's stacks more to do here.  Tell me what!

6.  I was originally going to fly to Chicago, hire a car and drive the old R66 highway (as best as poss) to LA, but decided that it might be a bit of a time waster.  I'm around 2 weeks in.  I'd like to go to Florida, to go to DisneyWorld etc.  Other than theme parks, what should I do while there?

I'm left with 5-6 days spare between Washington and Hawaii.  Florida can be on either side of mystery locations.  Bearing in mind that I don't want to veer too heavily out of the road, where should I fill my time?

I have friends in Minneapolis who I'd love to see but my itinerary doesn't really take me in that direction.  NB Salem is the only fixed date for 31 Oct 12, and we'll be flying on on approx 21/22 Oct.  Maybe we could go between Vegas and Boston?  Is that a stupid idea?

7.  I'd like to come home via Hawaii (I can get a cheap flight from Honolulu to Sydney to reduce costs - may aswell do 3/4 nights while there).
I've been before, but again, not as an adult. Recs?  We'd like a resort, but again, not to exxy.

buvezdevin

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2011, 11:08:25 PM »
I have some suggestions re SF in particular but will send within a couple of days by PM to save space here, reason being that I lived there for 13 years but between myself and a good friend who still lives there we tried to come up with a wide range when my brother was going to be there for a couple of days on his honeymoon two years ago.  Let me double-check with friend still living in SF, and will send updated lis (long but we aiming for rcos to choose and mix and match).
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Red1979

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2011, 11:08:31 PM »
What time of year are you coming?  That will greatly change what advice I offer you for NYC.  It will also greatly change what type of clothing you need to pack. ;-)
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Alida

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2011, 11:11:33 PM »
Ambitious trip! Sounds like a fun one!

I'm not sure you can get something in NYC for 200 - 250 a night that will be central for walking. Would you be comfortable taking the subway to get from place to place?

MMA is good, but it depends on what is in the gallery. I've spent hours there, and I've also left quickly (yeah, little kids sounding out foul swear words from their strollers? That was the year I stumbled into the tiny room full of Mapplethorpe pictures).

wyozozo

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2011, 11:20:45 PM »
For NYC, I highly recommend this hotel and it is under $200 per night.

http://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-new_york-new_york-NY325

For Vegas, I really like the Rio. They have free shuttles to the strip every 30 minutes.




katycoo

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2011, 11:27:44 PM »
What time of year are you coming?  That will greatly change what advice I offer you for NYC.  It will also greatly change what type of clothing you need to pack. ;-)

I'll be in NY in November.

katycoo

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2011, 11:29:21 PM »
Ambitious trip! Sounds like a fun one!

I'm not sure you can get something in NYC for 200 - 250 a night that will be central for walking. Would you be comfortable taking the subway to get from place to place?


MMA is good, but it depends on what is in the gallery. I've spent hours there, and I've also left quickly (yeah, little kids sounding out foul swear words from their strollers? That was the year I stumbled into the tiny room full of Mapplethorpe pictures).

Sure, assuming the subway is easy to navigate. 
I'm very comfortable with public transport/trains in Sydney so don't see why it would be vastly more terrifying in NY (unless you all know something I don't??)

violinp

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2011, 11:39:10 PM »
New York
See Wicked, if you can. I've heard it's amazing. RENT, too, may be playing again. As well as the MoMA, you might want to check the Met. I liked that better than the MoMA, but I don't like modern art too much.

Re the subway: It's very accessible and safe. I traveled all over the city by myself as a 18 year old woman, and I'm still here to type this post.  ;)

D.C.
They're not doing White House tours anymore because of security risks. Sorry.  :( Go see the National Cathedral and the National Basilica. They're gorgeous. Arlington is wonderful to see. Make sure you go when they do the changing of the guards. Seeing The Lincoln Museum is kinda neat. The Holocaust Museum might be something you want to do, but it's very...heavy on the soul, I would say. Go see the war memorials, if that's your thing. I liked seeing them.

For food, if you want to really splurge one night, I recommend you go to Indique. It's in Georgetown (the posh part of D.C.), and has amazing Indian food.

The D.C. subway is scarier to me, but I was fine in a group of people.

General
Dress warmly. It'll be in the 20's and 30's in New York.
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wyozozo

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2011, 11:42:48 PM »
I second seeing Wicked!

Will you be in NYC before or after Thanksgiving? The stores will be decorated and the tree will be up if it is after. Also if after, I highly recommend the Radio City Christmas Show.

Dress in layers for NYC. It can be surprising warm at times but if the wind comes up, it cools right off. Vegas should be comfortable at that time. I'm going to say 60-70 degrees F.



katycoo

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2011, 11:57:12 PM »
I second seeing Wicked!

Will you be in NYC before or after Thanksgiving? The stores will be decorated and the tree will be up if it is after. Also if after, I highly recommend the Radio City Christmas Show.

Dress in layers for NYC. It can be surprising warm at times but if the wind comes up, it cools right off. Vegas should be comfortable at that time. I'm going to say 60-70 degrees F.

Thanksgiving is 22nd, yes?  If so, before.  We'll be heading to NY on the 1st or 2nd.   I thinkw we'll actually be home before Thanksgiving :(  But more looking gg foward to seeing Halloween in full flight as we don't really celebrate it here.  At least I can get Xmas at home.

I have seen Wicked and actually didn't love it.  I will be SUPER EXCITED if Rent is playing though.  LOVED that.

Will it still be warm enough to swim in Hawaii in November?

cicero

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 02:49:41 AM »
for NY hotels: i just stayed at the ramada eastside which is a ramada but also part of a small chain called apple core hotels (they have 5 or so hotels in manhatten). all are nice, clean, reasonably priced hotels. I got a great deal - last minute - and paid 134 per night end of august. my work colleague is there now and paying 330 per night so you never know. with US hotels, you can usually make the reservatoin and then cancel later on (read their rules carefully to make sure you can do this and till when) so if you find a good deal now, it's worth booking.

before you make any reservations, check your hotel on bedbugregistry and also on trip advisor. that should give you an idea of any pitfalls you may find. remember - what bothers one person may not bother you so don't be quick to write off any options. For example, some people complained that the ramada eastside was old and outdated - yeah, but who cares? i was barely *in* my room...


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katycoo

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2011, 07:29:12 AM »
bump...

camlan

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2011, 07:44:39 AM »
About Boston--as a Boston native, my feeling is that the big draw to the city is the wealth of historical sites and museums. If US history is not your thing, feel free to skip it. There is the Institute of Contemporary Art, which I haven't been to since they relocated to their new building on the waterfront.

If you have to kill a few hours in Boston, I'd take one of the Duck tours, where you tour Boston in an amphibious vehicle, and splash into either the Charles River or Boston Harbor to see Boston from the water. Depending on your interests, there's also a good aquarium, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Science Museum and the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, which is really a private home filled with European art and furniture and pieces of buildings (like fireplaces and tile floors and walls) that Mrs. Gardner aquired on her many trips to Europe and incorporated into her house, which she designed like an Italian villa. It's quirky (as apparently Mrs. Gardner was), but there are some interesting things in the collection.

Salem is just a lovely town. I think the commuter rail train stops close enough to the center of town that you could walk to nearby hotels. And the main museums and things are mostly within walking distance of the town common. There's also a slightly cheesy but very informative pirate museum--at least it was informative to me as I had never given much thought to pirates in New England waters.

The house that provided the inspiration for Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables is in Salem, although since you weren't in high school in the US, you most likely didn't have to read it. And Salem was a thriving port city once upon a time, and there are some exhibits/museums about that. It's well worth just walking around the city--it's a pretty good example of a New England coastal town, and there are quaint little streets with old houses.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Samantha

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2011, 08:54:12 AM »
Actually, for Whitehouse tours, it looks like they are still doing them. At least they don't say on the website that they have stopped. They also have information on how to request a tour if you are not a US citizen. (I was looking into this recently, as Wally and I were talking about going to DC next year.)

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events

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violinp

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Re: I'm coming to America in 2012.
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2011, 09:09:26 AM »
Actually, for Whitehouse tours, it looks like they are still doing them. At least they don't say on the website that they have stopped. They also have information on how to request a tour if you are not a US citizen. (I was looking into this recently, as Wally and I were talking about going to DC next year.)

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events

Ah, okay. Sorry about that, OP.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter