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Tell Us About Your Vacation


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#1 Martha C

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 07:35 PM

Sandra,

Welcome back! I would love to hear about your trip to Cuba! And Mexico, too. You must have some interesting stories for us. biggrin.gif

Since I didn't get a vacation this year sad.gif would love to hear about everyone's travels.


#2 KK

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 10:48 PM


Hi Martha C,

We just got back from touring the National Parks out West.
We visited Yellowstone NP, Grand Tetons NP and Arches NP. The beauty of our NP are breathtaking. Lots of wildlife to make the trip interesting.

Sandra, would love to hear about your trip to Cuba. I don't think Americans can visit Cuba. Anyway, I don't see it advertised.

Good to be home,
KK


#3 Sandra

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 04:40 AM

Hi All. Thanks for the invitation to write this post, Martha. I didn't want to write much about it as I didn't want to appear disrespectful to those experiencing the aftermath of the hurricanes and now the pending one, but I did have quite a fantastic time and despite the hurricane season over there, I got to have 21 days of perfect weather - not one drop of rain (sorry to all those who got very wet and wild weather). wink.gif

Well, I would have to highly recommend Mexico to anyone - the people there are friendly and helpful to tourists. I flew 13 hours to LA then sat in transit for 6 hours waiting for a connection to Mexico City (3 hours). But it was worth it! Except for LA airport that needs a MAJOR OVERHAUL!! (I've been in better airports in 3rd world countries - they really need to get their act together being a major hub for world travellers, and I'm a budget traveller!) mad.gif sad.gif

Anyway, it was hot but not overly humid for the world's most populated city. I found it easy to get around and quite different to what I expected (having only been to Tijuana 10 years ago). The city had a lot to offer in terms of colour and culture. I happened to be staying in a great part of town (Zona Rosa). I climbed the old pyramids to the north of the city and hung around the markets in the middle of the city mostly. Quite a odd mixture of the 'old and new' - old buildings with colourful umbrellas of the markets and all the goods . . .

Then I travelled to Acapulco to see the Cliff Divers. Quite a difference in humidity and general heat as Mexico City is quite high and Acapulco is on the coast. Well, Acapulco was ULTRA touristy and the prices exemplified that!! Everything was much cheaper in Mexico City. However, the divers were a great attraction and a lovely change to the thumping sounds of the all night 'beach parties' and clubs on 'the strip'. It was almost unbearably hot (even for this Aussie) in Acapulco. The beach however was just OK - nothing to write home about.

Then off to Cuba. Well what a culture shock. I went there for the music mainly, but all I found was sad people in a country who are strict in their trading partners and have few allies in the world, since America have ceased communications with them in all ways. They are on rations and do not have access to many things. They look upon tourists as ultra rich and if I only knew what they didn't have, I would have brought a whole heap of things to leave them. We're talking simple things like soap, shampoo, towels . . . food.

On top of this they are kept poor as the govt. takes 95% of their wages. Most only make $10.00 a month!! So it was no surprise that whatever tourists they get, they try to take from. They charge in USD for tourists as their money is next to useless. So, it was an expensive trip in some ways, but really I don't begrudge giving them more money than necessary as they need it.

I stayed in a 'resort' . . . but imagine a 2-star place really. The electricity kept cutting out as did the phones . . . . the food was the absolute pits - I mean really inedible some of it - I went hungry for a few days. Water was undrinkable . .. . the place ran out of certain things for a few days . . . . but still, an experience and adventure. Curiously, only beer and cigars were in abundance.

Then (thank the Lord) only a 1 hour plane ride away was Cancun. Suddenly I was in 5 star luxury!! Plenty of Americans and English there. So I spent the week fattening up again and doing the water activities available. I was the only Aussie.

The beaches were incredible!! Lovely fine white sand and turquoise water. Weather was FABULOUS!! (this I know, we have in Australia, but it's always nice to head north during our winter). I watched the hurricane move in over where I had just left . . .

Last stop for me was LA . . .. I have been there a few times and usually loathe it. This time however was fun. They have cleaned it up remarkably since last I was there. I stayed in Hollywood and soaked up the atmosphere. It was hot and humid but I soldiered on anyway.

Another long flight home but the plane was empty, so each person had a whole row to themselves all the way home, and a personal flight attendant! Flew into Sydney on a magic night - the Harbour was dazzling . . ah - good to be home! laugh.gif

#4 VEGAS LADY

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 05:16 AM

Hi Sandra.....Welcome back..... smile.gif smile.gif

Thanks for telling us about your holiday, I found it very interesting.....I bet you need a holiday to get over it, that was some adventure laugh.gif laugh.gif
Mexico is on my list of must see places, but I do have a long list biggrin.gif biggrin.gif If any of my friends visit Cuba I will tell them to take extra things to give away.

Regards......Margaret.......

#5 Petals

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 05:39 AM

Sandra that made really enjoyable reading! Thanks, and so interesting.

Think you should become a travel writer now. And Martha, great topic!

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#6 mimi

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 12:36 PM




Thanks Sandra!! I really enjoyed reading your post. smile.gif

Martha....I agree.... what a great topic.

Mimi


#7 Sandra

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 08:58 PM

thanks for your comments, ladies. I'm sure other people have had travels abroad recently, so I look forward to reading some more travel stories . . . . come on you Aussies, I know we travel to 'unusual' destinations, so share! biggrin.gif

#8 Martha C

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 05:32 PM

Sandra, what a good read! Your trip to Mexico sounds like the one I took about 30 years ago. What I remember most are the colors of Mexico. Arriving at the airport, the houses were all painted different colors of the rainbow. We stayed at the Casino Royale, and the Disco in the hotel was purple ... purple carpet, purple chairs, purple strobe lights. Then shopping in the Pink Zone (where I was pinched - the highlight of my trip tongue.gif ) where I still have a hand-painted wooden puppet I fell in love with. The mosaic artwork at the university was breathtaking. To this day, I remember seeing Delores Del Rio's home/hacienda in the wealthy district of Mexico City. Lush green foliage and white flowers. I would certainly go back to Mexico.

#9 Petals

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 04:17 AM

Your description makes me want to get on a plane. Between the two of you, Sandra and Martha, I have itchy feet! Makes me embarrassed that I am not able to write descriptive travel pieces.

Getting back to Michele and Paris, that would be wonderful. Sandra, Mimi, KK, and all who would love to join, fantastic idea. Perhaps Chatbleu will find us a place to stay, reasonable cost. Am sure Nancy and Joan would join too. Yes Maggie and Margaret, I know you can also get to Waterloo! smile.gif

For those of you who have not visited Sephoras, it is a VERY LARGE perfume shop, along the Champs Elysees. Correct me if I have the wrong location, Chatbleu! They have shelves and shelves of perfumes but do not carry the EL Solids. Their prices are lower than London, (whose aren't) and you do not have to ask for samples once you have purchased. They just give them to you! Unfortunately I was visiting these places before I became addicted to EL. Does this mean I have to return??????? Yes!

I think I am getting winter (bleu)s!


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#10 Nancy

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 03:39 PM


Jacky, I would have to fly as I don't fancy travelling under the water! Air France serve the nicest airline food I have had. They even serve champange although on my return flight I couldn't drink as I had two slipped discs and two trapped nerves and was doped up on morphine. The french doctor was lovely though! That was my silver wedding trip and my hubby took me back the following year to make up for it. Of course he may well have taken me back to see what other damage I could do!!!! laugh.gif laugh.gif
Wonderful shops. We had a fantastic pattiserie right next to our hotel too which was way too tempting. I gave the staff a really good laugh trying to pronounce the names of the cakes instead of just pointing. smile.gif Oh well, at least I tried.



#11 Petals

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 04:21 PM

Hello Nancy, Nice to see you, nice!

Now if you are giving me a choice of 15 minutes under the Channel or the hassle of Airports and flying, I will take the Channel. Honestly Nancy, you don't even notice it whilst on the train.

Speaking of two slipped discs and trapped nerves, be thankful it happened in France and not in Jakarta, Indonesia. I was diagnosed there as having a cold in my back and from then on it was all downhill!!!!!!!

Sandra and Martha would like some holiday stories so these are just snippets!

Don't tempt me with the pastries......and the mussels (the kind you eat) and ......mmmmmmmmm

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#12 Sandra

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 06:56 PM

tongue.gif You're right, Jacky - loved France and would love to go again with some money in my hand (as I was a poor backpacker the first time). Loved Indonesia too for a relaxing holiday, but cannot go there again in this politcal climate. sad.gif

Would also opt for the train under the channel from England - France instead of an airport. Faster and cheaper, and yes, you don't notice anything different. Just do it, Nancy!! biggrin.gif

#13 Michele

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 11:25 PM

A train...underwater...I'd have to think about that a long, long time. Guess one doesn't open a window for air... ohmy.gif

#14 Petals

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Posted 18 September 2004 - 04:02 AM

Now you are making me late for an Antiques Fair! biggrin.gif

Open a window under the Channel? I should Coco(a) and NOT Chanel! Didn't intend to make a pun, but these things happen!

We WILL get Nancy on that train even if I have to send some water wings to Scotland!

I have only been to two Antiques Markets there (Paris) and did not find one solid perfume. Obviously the easiest place is in the States, but with perseverance we can find them here (U.K). Takes a long time!

So I am off, tally ho, hunting, before it is banned completely. I am not one of those rioting at the Houses of Parliament. What a funny country. Now I could go on, and on, and on.............

a bientot!

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#15 Nancy

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Posted 18 September 2004 - 11:24 AM


Jacky I would have to be very heavily sedated to get me through the chunnel believe me. I do suffer from claustrophobia! Mind you when I think what happened at Charles de Gaulle airport not that long ago maybe you will!! sad.gif
I loved the flea market there but make a big mistake with my sums. I got my decimal point mixed up and the piece of glass I was about to buy was actually 1700 not 170! I think I confused the seller even further by telling her we have a saying in my country, "champagne taste and beer income". Not sure if she knew what I meant but she laughed anyway. Maybe we should bring Liliane as she is good with figures. laugh.gif
Oh well c'est la vie! cool.gif





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