MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Monday, September 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 44.0° F  Fair
Collapse Photo Bar

If you could go, where would you go?

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

If you could go, where would you go?

Postby acereraser » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:05 pm

I have the delightful task of planning me & my wife's honeymoon. We were married a couple years ago, and between kids and other family events, we never had time for a honeymoon. Well, UW Spring Break 2008 (our regular babysitter has agreed to stay with our kids over her break) is the time. So, where to go?

A little more on parameters; my father-in-law is footing the bill, and we got married on the cheap, so budget considerations are of lower importance, at least initially. Also, we have been to St. John in the USVI several times; we love it, and will return many more times, but we want to go somewhere else on this trip. On that note, try to make suggestions outside of the Caribbean.

We have talked about a Far East trip for years, and maybe this is the time for that, maybe not. I have also been thinking a lot about the Mediterranean and Italian coastlines lately. We are a healthy, mid-30's couple, we like hiking as much as laying on the beach, fine dining as much onion rings at the dive bar. I kind of want to go a little more ritzy than usual, since we aren't paying (and truthfully, I think that is what my father-in-law would suggest), but nothing is decided yet. The initial plan is for two weeks, including travel.

Thanks for your help, enjoy yourselves.
acereraser
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 8:42 pm

Postby Ducatista » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:16 pm

If somebody else were footing the bill, I'd go to Japan (been twice) or New Zealand (never been).
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4337
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Postby acereraser » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:20 pm

Ducatista wrote:If somebody else were footing the bill, I'd go to Japan (been twice) or New Zealand (never been).


What would you suggest we see and do in Japan?
acereraser
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 8:42 pm

Postby Ducatista » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:50 pm

I'd definitely spend time being overwhelmed by Tokyo, the hugest city you'll ever feel completely safe in. I'd buy beer & Pocari Sweat & porn & underwear from vending machines, and take snapshots of as much Engrish as I possibly could. I'd duck into tiny noodle bars and eat whatever they recommend. I'd try to check out some street racing, Tokyo Drift-style (a guy I ride with used to race tuners when he was stationed there), and I'd definitely try to tour G-Cans, Tokyo's incredible underground tunnels. That link's in Japaneseâ??but the photos speak for themselves. I'd visit teahouses and temples and gardens and pachinko parlors (secondhand smoke capitals of the world). I'd stop in at a 7-Ereven just to see the 2-ft-long flattened, dried squid hanging next to the Snickers bars.

I'd travel to Kyoto and wander the temples. Maybe Kobe, too, which is supposed to be beautiful. With someone else picking up the tab I'd definitely sample some Wagyu beef.

I might try to catch a race at Suzuka or Motegi.

And I'd read up to find festivals during my stay.

I'd have a Japanese-style breakfast most mornings, but I'd try the western-style breakfast at at least one hotel. Last time I did that I got scrambled eggs, a green salad with a light vinaigrette, and french fries.

But that's just off the top of my head. If I were really going, I'm sure I'd come up with a different itinerary. Like heading north instead of south from Tokyo, maybe as far as Hokkaido.

With a year to plan, you could work up a great route. And you could learn enough rudimentary Japanese to delight everyone you'd encounter there. Not that you'd need itâ??if you stick mainly to urban areas, English will get you byâ??but people are really appreciative if you make the attempt.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4337
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Postby christopher_robin » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:27 pm

Excellent post, duca...I was just in China and the bit about breakfast cracked me up.
christopher_robin
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2901
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 10:46 am

Postby Paco » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:32 pm

there's lots of things.
1) Fly into Paris for a week, then fly a cheapo airline off to Cinque Terre Italy for a week long hike down the west coast. Or substitute 3 days in Venice and 4 in Rome.
2) Go to Milan, check out the Last Supper, then to Lake Maggiore & Lake Como, mayeb to Torino for a French feel and across to Switzerland, and then down to Cinque Terre, Pisa, etc...
3) Go to Moscow for a week then to St Petersburg for a week--then take the train to Helsinki and fly out of there. Visas necessary.
4) Go to Stockholm, then down to Copenhagen then over to Berlin--5 days each.
5) go to Croatia, along the seaside-Dubronvik, SPlit, etc...
6) Go to Norway and check out the scenery along the fjords. Picture perfect.
7) Go to the beaches of Thailand.
8) Do a week in Hungary and a week in Prague.

all these are doable by train excpet #1.
I'd go to Croatia, not to expensive and the dropping dollar will kick your ass.
Paco
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7533
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:41 am
Location: Whoville

Postby square » Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:38 pm

i wouldnt spend so much time in moscow, that won't be cheap. otherwise the itinerary paco set up is pretty kick ass. though i might suggest you check out the options in northern africa. morocco to libya (you can go there now!) would be a pretty exhilarating and different trip.
square
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:45 pm

This is a great opportunity!!!

Postby boston_jeff » Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:51 pm

I am very jealous, my wife and I love to travel, we try to go on a major trip (at least a week) twice a year at our own expense though! Since we've been together we've been to Mexico, London/Paris, Rome, Venice/Florence/Pisa/Santa Margherita, Budapest/ Vienna/Prague, and Ireland. Loved my trips to all of these place, especially the European destinations. In June we have lined up Amsterdam/Bruges/Brussels, with Spain and Hawaii our next two planned. Would love to go to Russia, Asia, NZ/Australia, and S. America as well. Basically, we are travel nerds...

I guess your first choice is to decide if you want cities and culture, a relaxing beach/poolside thing, adventure excursions, or all of the above. If you decide to do Europe, I agree with many of the above recommendations. If you are trying to get bang for your buck, checking out the less traveled places in Europe can either save you money or extend your trip by several days if you are on a fixed budget. The UK, France and Italy are more expensive in general. Amsterdam and Belgium seem to be somewhere in the middle for price. I loved Ireland and Eastern Europe too, and the hotels, tours, and all shopping including food were much cheaper as a rule. Airfare to the closer places is usually a bit cheaper too. Also the Euro is kicking our ass right now, so even if your father-in-law is paying for the hotels and airfare, you need to keep it in mind for everything else.

If you've never been anywhere in Europe, and money is not an issue, you can't beat Italy this time of year. Its absolutely beautiful, and the art/culture/history, food and wine can't be beat. Thats where I went on my honeymoon, and it was magical. We booked the entire trip on our own, using online sources and guidebooks. Flew into Venice, took a private watertaxi (basically a boat limo) into the harbor directly to the dock at our hotel on the seaside (vs. in the canal). Did 3 days there, enjoying St. Mark's Square, gondolas, the museums, the food, and our hotel right on the sea. Train to Florence for three days, little less romantic, but a beautiful and amazing city nonetheless. Stayed right near the Duomo, saw David, the Uffizi, continued to pig out and drink very cheap, very good wine. From there we went to Pisa for one day to see the Leaning Tower, and then Santa Margherita (near Cinque Terra) for a relaxing 3 days in this harbortown with spectacular views. It was a nice respite after a week of touring. But you could just as easily go from Florence to Rome and then to the Amalfi coast, I've heard thats great too. Rome is the eternal city, and its worth checking out. A little bigger, a little more expensive. If you are into religious history and art Italy is a goldmine, but Rome is the motherlode obviously. We traveled there with another couple so it wasn't as romantic as our honeymoon trip, but we enjoyed it.

If you decide to go to Italy, definitely want to play up the honeymoon aspect when booking. We got lots of perks (free Prosecco, several rooms with balconies, etc). Did it all over email. Use Fodor's, Rick Steve's, and Lonely Planet as experts, and Trip Advisor for advice from fellow real travelers. A lot of people frown on tours, but you can get some incredible deals if you are willing to deal with that one annoying guy who always asks 20 stupid questions (unless you're that guy). Traveling by train in Europe is very easy, and everywhere I have ever been there, 90% of the people spoke English. Guidebooks usually have the phrases you need otherwise. I recommend Fodor's citypacks, they come with top 25 site descriptions, hotels and restaurants, and a full city street map. Most other commercial guidebooks are great too, but the citypack fits into your back pocket and supplements the mini-city map you will get at your hotel. And believe me, you may need it. For Italian food I recommend an Italian menu translation guidebook as well. We are pretty adventurous eaters, but i like to know when I am eating squid or rabbit terrine and not all menus are in English.

Good luck and enjoy your adventures!
boston_jeff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2603
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: Near East

Postby Paco » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:52 pm

A good friend of mine in Milan is going to Morocco in 3 weeks;this is her itinerary she sent me today(some spellings may be in Italian)
CASABLANCA, RABAT, TANGERI, TETOUAN, VOLUBILIS, MEKNES, FES, ERFOUD-MERGOUZA, ZAGORA-OUARZAZATE, TODRA..., TAROUDANT, ESSAOUIRA, MARRAKECH
Combined with Spain this would be cool.

Scandinavia is the most expensive now, followed by UK. Italy isn't bad--just loaded with tourists. Everywhere else in Europe goes down from there. A beer at a pub in Stockholm ran me $7, Norway is worse I hear.

South America is real cheap, I've got a nice hotel with free breakfast for $20/night in Buenos Aires in 2 weeks. I'm going to go to SA & Central Am more now...I like these prices. :)
Paco
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7533
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:41 am
Location: Whoville

Postby tibor » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:20 am

Greece, and possibly Turkey. You can hike Meteora and spend some time in Athens. Then tour the islands - party islands like Mykonos or more relaxed places, whatever you're into.

Short ferry from the islands to Kusadasi, and you can bus into Istanbul from there. The Blue Mosque/Hagia Sophia are amazing tours.
tibor
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 840
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 9:55 am

Postby boston_jeff » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:40 am

I've heard great things about Buenos Aires, you'll have to let me know what you think. Two of our pickiest friends who travel absolutely loved it. This is a person who didn't find much to enjoy about Spain, Australia, or Venice, so it must have been great. They hired a driver/guide while there and said it was worth every penny. Saw every site on the list, plus many they would never have thought of, and their guide always got them in and out faster than the other tourists. The Malbec is dirt cheap there and very good I've heard.

Italy is very crowded now, but at Spring Break maybe less so. We found it to be on a par with France and the UK as far as expense, but that may be because of the places we stayed and the restaurants we frequented. We did live it up a bit, seeing as it was our honeymoon.

Even though the prices have supposedly gone up, beer is the cheapest in Prague! About a buck for a pint of Pilsner Urquell or Budvar.
boston_jeff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2603
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: Near East

Postby Madcity Expat » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:57 am

Ducatista wrote:If somebody else were footing the bill, I'd go to Japan (been twice) or New Zealand (never been).


I was going to say New Zealand. My wife and I kicked around the idea of our Honeymoon there, but it was just fantasy (alas, our wedding was not 'on the cheap' - B&B in lakeside Michigan was nice'n all, but weren't no New Zealand). Next time we have a favorable time/money window for an overseas holiday, New Zealand is high on our list.
Madcity Expat
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: mill-e-wah-que..."the good land"

Postby acereraser » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:23 am

Thanks for all the great input so far, folks. I will share it with my wife tonight (ran out of energy last night), and hopefully return with her thoughts.

More of my thoughts:

If we do go to Europe, we will go to the southern parts (Italy, Greece). My wife and I both have relatives in the northern parts, and plan to take a family trip to visit them in a few years. Also, we went to Ireland a few years ago. I have been to Rome & Venice in college, so I'd like to see the lakes and coastline instead. I also loved Prague & Hungary in college, but Budapest just doesn't say honeymoon to me.

If anyone has been to the Thai beaches recently, please offer your experiences, as I have none, and would like to diminish my ignorance.

Your post was great Ducatista, and I can't believe it took me so long to figure out the Ducati part of your handle. Racing isn't one of my greater interests, but I think watching drifting in person would be exciting, at least once.

Hmm. Pocari Sweat vs. Prosecco?
acereraser
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 8:42 pm

Postby Paco » Tue May 01, 2007 7:19 pm

This guy has this blog with some interesting stories that I've been catching every now and then (I hate blogs on principle, but this is fun). It's about his trip thru Italy.

http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/blogs/80days

I forgot to mention, if you ever see a photo of Positano, you'd want to put that on your list...the photos make it look like the most beautiful city imaginable.
Paco
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7533
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:41 am
Location: Whoville

Postby Ned Flanders » Wed May 02, 2007 9:02 am

Mrs. Ned and I honeymooned in Ireland and had a great time. Mrs. Ned is also partial to Prague.

This place, south of Cancun, is off the charts:

http://www.ceibadelmar.com/
Ned Flanders
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 13275
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 2:48 pm


Return to Catch All

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar