Sunshine

Best vacation ever!

  
By:  Sunshine  •  Travel  •  7 months ago  •  60 comments

Best vacation ever!
“Have you noticed that the world shrinks when you travel?” ― Richie Norton

So in about three years I am retiring.  jrSmiley_81_smiley_image.gif

And the first major thing I would like to do is take my family on the vacation of a lifetime.  I have already been planning and putting feelers out there to the family about what would be their once in a lifetime vacation.  I haven't let on to them what I want to do quite yet until I can make a final decision on the destination.

I love to travel and so does my family so I think we can all agree on someplace special.  

I know we have a lot of travelers here and many who lived in different countries via the military, work, or just for fun.  I am not sure my daughters want to take their children out of the USA though.  When we talk about it they seem hesitant to do so. 

We could do just a beach vaca or the mountains (which I love) but I want it to be more than that.  I want it to be different and extra special.  Something that we all can treasure the rest of our lives.

My trip of my lifetime so far was for my high school graduation my parents gave me a one month trip through Europe with my best friend.  We where 17 and traveling free on our own.  We not only had a hell of lot of fun but learned a lot about the world.  I have been on many great trips but that trip is the one I hold dear to my heart.  

Looking for some good ideas, if you would like to share your special trips.

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pat wilson
Professor Guide
1  pat wilson    7 months ago

If you want to stay in the US I'd suggest our national parks. There are many and they are awesome !

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
1.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  pat wilson @1    7 months ago

I have been to a few, they are beautiful.  Yellowstone would be nice, I haven' been there.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
1.1.1  pat wilson  replied to  Sunshine @1.1    7 months ago

Yellowstone is truly awesome. From there you could visit Glacier National Park and/or Grand Tetons National Park. Depending on how much time and money you have you could travel west from there to Northern California and visit Yosemite and the Sierras.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2  TᵢG    7 months ago

I recommend a 14 day Mediterranean cruise.   The absolute best vacation I ever had.   It is all about what you do when docked.   I recommend places where you do a significant amount of walking vs. being driven around on a typical tour.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.1  Ozzwald  replied to  TᵢG @2    7 months ago
I recommend a 14 day Mediterranean cruise.

I will 2nd the cruise recommendation.  But even if you don't want to do the Mediterranean, Caribbean or Alaska cruises are also great, and currently cruises are cheap because they're trying to recover from COVID.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1    7 months ago

Agreed.   I have been on an Alaskan and Caribbean cruise.   Alaska was spectacular for those interested in the wonders of nature.   Caribbean cruises are obviously fantastic for sun and surf entertainment.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
2.1.2  author  Sunshine  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1    7 months ago
Alaska cruises are also great,

Kids would love to see whales and us adults would too.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.1.3  Ozzwald  replied to  Sunshine @2.1.2    7 months ago
Kids would love to see whales and us adults would too.

Not to mention the fresh seafood.  Wife and I have our first Alaskan cruise coming up next year.  Looking forward to it, and saved almost half price by booking this early.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
2.2  author  Sunshine  replied to  TᵢG @2    7 months ago

I could definitely get on board with a Mediterranean cruise.  I did a three day cruise from Long Beach, CA down to Baja.  I can't remember the city in Baja though.  It was very nice and relaxing.  Good food and entertainment.  

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
2.2.1  Dulay  replied to  Sunshine @2.2    7 months ago

We drove to Baja down Hwy. 1 from the Bay area in the mid 80's. Best food, beer and beaches ever. The tamales are out of this world. 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
PhD Guide
3  Thrawn 31    7 months ago

Personally I enjoyed Europe quite a bit, but I am also a bit of a history nerd so a place like Europe is right up my alley.

Honestly it really depends on what you enjoy doing.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
3.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3    7 months ago

I was thinking of Washington DC for it's history.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Sunshine @3.1    7 months ago

The Smithsonian museums are awesome IMO.   But this is not something that I would call a dream vacation;  just an ordinary vacation.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
PhD Expert
4  Greg Jones    7 months ago

Lots to do and see here in Colorado, whatever your area of interest.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
4.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  Greg Jones @4    7 months ago

Aww, Colorado has my heart too.  I worked at Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park for one year.  Absolutely breathtaking.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
5  JBB    7 months ago

Cairns Australia has everything, the Great Barrier Reef, sandy beaches, mountains with rain forests, waterfalls, casinos, crocodiles and koala bears...

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  JBB @5    7 months ago

Australia would be a trip for a lifetime!

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Sunshine @5.1    7 months ago

That is our next intended destination.   Trouble is, the cruises are heavily New Zealand with a lot of at sea days.   So we are still looking for something that is more centric to Australia.   We might just combine a bunch of Australian land tours with a cruise.

Since the flight is so long, best to stay there for a bit if possible.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1.2  Kavika   replied to  Sunshine @5.1    7 months ago

Australia is very interesting. It's the size of the continental US and goes from subtropical areas to the desert. The state of Tasmania is well worth visiting and one of my favorite parts is the Northern Territory and West Australia. 

I lived there for a number of years and most of my family still lives there. 

Across the Tasman sea is New Zealand a spectacular country and well worth visiting. 

The Quokka the world's friendliest animal and the smallest kangaroo in the world.

512

The South Pacific is also well worth visiting along with SE Asia. All great adventures.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.3  author  Sunshine  replied to  TᵢG @5.1.1    7 months ago

How long do you plan on staying?  Are you working with an agency or doing it on your own?

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.4  author  Sunshine  replied to  Kavika @5.1.2    7 months ago

Sounds nice.  I have always heard nice things about Australia.  He looks like a happy critter.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.1.5  TᵢG  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.3    7 months ago

At least two weeks.   We have not started planning this yet.  We have, however, been investigating Australian cruises for years looking for one that really intrigues us.   We have not found one yet.

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
5.1.6  shona1  replied to  Kavika @5.1.2    7 months ago

Evening..Got to love a Quokka...

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
5.1.7  shona1  replied to  Sunshine @5.1    7 months ago

Evening Sunshine..Yes highly recommend the "Great Southern Land"...I live here so I am a tad biased..Yes we have heaps of things that, bite, snap, sting, chomp..but that's half the fun..One thing we don't have at the moment is Co Vid...

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
5.1.8  shona1  replied to  TᵢG @5.1.5    7 months ago

Evening Tig..Yikes two weeks you are going to be pushing it..Two months would be better..There is one cruise that goes around the top half of Australia that runs out of Cairns..True North I think they are called..Depends where you want to go and what you want to see etc..Flights aren't to bad 12 hours from the US...that is regarded as quite short here..We go to England and you are looking at 24 hours...that is long..

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1.9  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @5.1.8    7 months ago

There is one that departs Perth and covers the northern have of Oz and another cruise that covers the southern part and if you have the time there is one that circles the entire continent. That one would be really something.

All of the cruising is great but to me OZ has one of the great sites and sights in the world in the Red Center, Uluru is a sight like few other things in the world. Awe inspiring, spiritual and a link to 500 billion years ago. If you happen to be there when it rains, which is not often the waterfalls created are a wonder of the world. One of the best parts for me was to listen to the Anangu people's Dreaming story. 

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Quiet
5.1.10  Snuffy  replied to  shona1 @5.1.8    7 months ago

I gotta agree with Shona here.  If you are just going to a single destination city then two weeks will be ok. But if you are going to see multiple sites in countries (or continents) then two weeks is way too short. You would end up rushing from one spot to another just to see those spots without being able to really see the areas and the beauty there.  

However, I don't believe a word about the Quokka.  For my money that smile is all internal as they are really reviewing how to rip your heart out and enjoy it with a plate of fava beans.   Isn't that the rule, that 99% of all things in Australia are trying to kill you?  jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.11  author  Sunshine  replied to  Snuffy @5.1.10    7 months ago

If we went in the summer, we could maybe do 3 weeks.  Is it very hot in the summer months?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
5.1.12  JBB  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.11    7 months ago

You could treat your family to a week at a nice lodge on a lake and treat yourself to an extended adventure at an exotic destination.

It is hard to have transcendent experiences with a whole lot of different people in tow...

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
5.1.13  shona1  replied to  Sunshine @5.1.11    7 months ago

Morning sunshine. Depends what part of Oz you want to go. The southern half is cooler than the northern. Central Australia expect 40oC plus. Along the coast is cooler etc but can still hit 40. 

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
5.1.14  shona1  replied to  Snuffy @5.1.10    7 months ago

Morning Snuffy...nahhh 99% is not right...100% is..all adds to the spice of life as they say...

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
5.1.15  author  Sunshine  replied to  shona1 @5.1.13    7 months ago

Thanks Shona

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Quiet
5.1.16  Snuffy  replied to  shona1 @5.1.14    7 months ago

jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

I stands corrected...   Course then again maybe it's just ME that Australia wants dead...   nah,  couldn't be just me,  I smiled at a nun the other day so I'm not 100% bad.  hehe

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Masters Principal
6  Nerm_L    7 months ago

I'd suggest keeping Amtrak in mind.  Amtrak isn't offering much at the moment because of the pandemic.  But Amtrak usually offers a variety of vacation packages.  Amtrak has partnered with the Canadian Pacific in the past and has offered tours into Canada, too.  Sleeper accommodations are pretty nice and the dining options are pretty good, too.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
6.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  Nerm_L @6    7 months ago

Thanks Nerm.  I had not thought of a train trip.  

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
6.1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Sunshine @6.1    7 months ago

We took Amtrak to Montreal and from there went to Quebec City. It is the jewel of the north. The only walled city in N. America and just beautiful, full of history (both Candian and American), and the food is to die for. Not a big trip but really an enjoyable one. Make sure you stay in The Frontenac! 

800

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6.1.1    7 months ago

I purposely did not mention that because you are the appropriate one to do so.  jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

And it is a great choice for a small vacation!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
6.1.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6.1.1    7 months ago

Most likely the most cosmopolitan city in North America - you do feel you are in France rather than Canada.  However, the waiters in those great restaurants can be a little snarky with an "anglais-tete" like all of us unless we happen to speak French fluently. 

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
6.1.4  author  Sunshine  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6.1.1    7 months ago

Gorgeous building.  I could spend most of my time just hanging out there.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
6.1.5  author  Sunshine  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6.1.3    7 months ago

I have been to France twice and found the same with waiters there towards Americans who don’t speak French.  

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
6.1.6  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6.1.3    7 months ago

Buzz,

I would have to disagree with you. I found everyone there super friendly and charming. 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
6.1.7  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Sunshine @6.1.5    7 months ago

You don't have to speak French there. 

I will never go back to Paris, as they have to be the most obnoxious people I have met anywhere. I met really nice people everywhere else.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
6.1.8  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  TᵢG @6.1.2    7 months ago
I purposely did not mention that because you are the appropriate one to do so. 

Thanks, Tig! :)

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
6.1.9  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Sunshine @6.1.4    7 months ago

There is so much to see in the Frontenac and so many they serve amazing food you can get a good English tea, too. But the rest of the city (both the upper and lower city) is truly like stepping back 400 years.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.10  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6.1.7    7 months ago

We had an office in Paris and I was there quite often and never had a problem. I actually enjoyed Paris and her people a lot. 

What can I say, being an international guy has its advantages. jrSmiley_2_smiley_image.png

Pepetikwe chipwa kawacheyn Li Bon Michif, Chimitig nipoopayinwa mitooni aen wiihtamihk mon cheri.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
6.1.11  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Kavika @6.1.10    7 months ago

LMAO! Show off!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
6.1.12  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6.1.6    7 months ago

Well, I've not been to Quebec City for around half a century, so maybe the waiters have become more congenial.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
7  Tacos!    7 months ago

I discovered this only in the last few years, but some kind of all-inclusive resort situation - while expensive - can be very relaxing.

Because I have kids, two come to mind, and they’re both Disney. The first was Aulani resort in Hawaii, and the second was a Disney cruise to Alaska. In both cases, I paid up front and didn’t have to worry about anything for the rest of the vacation. I didn’t have to plan meals, or clean up anything, or navigate getting from one place to another, and my kids always had entertainment available. I could just veg out if I wanted, which is exactly what I did. Most relaxing vacations ever.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
7.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  Tacos! @7    7 months ago

Sound nice Tacos.  Got to keep the kids entertained or they start fussing... lol

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
8  Buzz of the Orient    7 months ago

Looking back, I find it hard to choose because I've spent time in around 17 different countries around the world, but I think that the best vacation I ever had was Hawaii, almost half a century ago.  Spent a little time on Oahu, more on The Big Island, but the most on Heaven on Earth - Kauai.  In a way, however, I could say that being in China, a totally different culture, seeing ancient and amazing sights one could only dream of seeing and experiencing, has to be called the adventure of a lifetime. 

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
8.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @8    7 months ago

I would love to see Hawaii.  That would be at the top of choices. 


 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
9  Kathleen    7 months ago

Hi Sunshine,

You said you liked the mountains, we do too! 

One place we visited was the mountains in North Carolina and we loved it. We stayed at a bed and breakfast called The Red Rocker Inn. There is a walkway to Black Mountain and you can see the beautiful scenery at the top. Plus there are trails you can walk. Also you can take drives. It’s a nice relaxing vacation with nice scenery. 

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
9.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  Kathleen @9    7 months ago

Sounds like nice time Kathleen.  I have not visited that area. 

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
10  Hallux    7 months ago

A vacation can be no more than doing that which you once hired other people to do and can be far more fulfilling than field and fecundity fantasies. Whatever you chose, and no matter how many times you have done it, do it as if it is the first time.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
10.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  Hallux @10    7 months ago

Very true and eloquently said!

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
11  JBB    7 months ago

The best big family vacation we ever took was to Carlsbad Caverns, the Painted Desert and Juarez.

Just going across the border to a Mexican market was a big deal for us kids. A really memorable time...

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
11.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  JBB @11    7 months ago

Good memories 🙂

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
13  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)    7 months ago

People often forget about the UP of MI. Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks, Mackinac Island [talk about history and stepping back in time!], Keweenaw Peninsula, Ironwood, Iron Mountain, the Soo Locks, Shipwreck Museum, Light House cruises, etc. Horseback riding near Tahquamenon Falls was breathtaking. Hiking from lower to upper Tahquamenon Falls was a heck of an experience... I don't know how young the kids are, but anyone 8 or older should be able to handle the hike. 

You'd want to do this stuff in the summer unless you want to go snowmobiling though. jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

My family also really enjoyed Pigeon Forge, TN. We stayed in a cabin with my dad and stepmom. 4 adults and 2 kids.

 
 
 
Sunshine
PhD Guide
13.1  author  Sunshine  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @13    7 months ago

The UP is beautiful MsAubrey.  I have been to most of the places you have, I would add Sleeping Bear Dunes and Porcupine Mountains way up there. The grand kids haven't seen most of these places yet though and I am looking forward to taking them someday.  

I may be the one that can't hike very far these days...jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif  

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
13.1.1  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Sunshine @13.1    7 months ago

My husband and I had a bit of trouble... we're smokers. However,  they have strategically placed benches for those of us that need some rest time.

My husband and I went to St. Croix (USVI) for our honeymoon and I can honestly say, it was GORGEOUS! St. Thomas is more touristy than St. Croix, if there's a preference for that. No passports necessary, still US territory.