We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, March 20. 2013
It's the time of year for trip planning. A bit early to think about fall hunting, but spring and summer plans are on the menu.
For no reason that I can comprehend, Mrs. BD likes to go places with just me. I enjoy including the kids and giving them special life treats as did my parents for me, and their companionship and getting to know them better as they unfold is a joy.
She has gotten a little carried away, and now has things in the pipeline for 2014 too, God willing.
She has scheduled Little St. Simon's Island in April to catch migration season (to please me), a kid's graduation mini-trip, and the annual family reunion week in Wellfleet in August (for the first time, sadly without Mom but, I hope, with all of the immediate and extended family).
For fall, I dunno.
Before I get old, my short-term (3-yr) bucket list includes:
- a good-sized villa (5-8 bedrooms) in Tuscany for 2 weeks with enough room for the entire family and dearest friends, with a cook and housekeeper (they all come with that anyway) and rental cars for all. I am saving up for that, but it's not really too expensive. As much as I love Umbria and enjoy Sicily, the family all deserve more time in Tuscany. Well, my kids are lucky. They've been everywhere.
- More Sicily. Rent a sports car, drink a little Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso, then drive all over with my cowboy hat and a history text and ignore the speed laws like everybody else. Try to frighten the Mrs. with speed, but that is difficult to do. She likes speed too.
- a barge trip through southern France with the inlaws and family. Dad's a bit too feeble for this now, but he already took plenty of these with my Mom.
- I need to get back to Pine Butte in Montana soon, maybe next Spring for wildflower bloom and Grizzly Bears,
- and to Big Sky in the winter before my joints begin to creak. I need new skis.
- Bermuda again, for a romantic 5 days (we like Cambridge Beaches - they call it luxurious but it is only luxurious by British standards)
- Another Holland-America Line cross-Atlantic trip, as we used to do when I was young. I love the North Atlantic stormy days on a ship.
- Another Holland-America Line history cruise
What's on the top of Mrs. BD's bucket list? A week down the coast of Turkey on a gulet. I would love to get back to Turkey again.
Carpe diem, friends, because memories are all we have of lasting value, and memories rarely include our daily routines and chores. Even if they should, so much of it just blends together.
What do y'all have in the works?
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Bird dog...Please drop me an email or ph #...i have quick questions about 'the Lake'...much appreciated! jc
My family (22 of us) rented this villa in Tuscany for a week and it was an unbelieveable week. Highly recommend this place: http://www.vrbo.com/61701
Extended travel is difficult because of family and work and dogs, with aged Mother needing attention that the siblings don't seem to find time for. This year will just be a week on the Cape, as usual, since we've had a couple of family funeral trips already this year, and some unexpected expenses.
Next year we will try to do some foreign travel, my better half is much better traveled than I. We have it narrowed down to Sicily, Israel, or Italy with coastal portions included. Going to be a very difficult decision, wish we could do them all.
On tap for this summer: a 4-week Grand European Tour cruise from Amsterdam to Bucharest along the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers.
The alternative choice, which was hard for my wife and me to pass up, was a sailing cruise to Micronesia and Papua New Guinea. We'll do that one a year or two in the future.
Agent, my sister and her late husband did that very same river cruise a few years ago, they loved it. The next year they just did the latter part, and toured Romania on their own, they had been there in the 1970's and wanted to see the changes. Have fun!
I appreciate the good review you passed along. At the end of the cruise, we've added a short land excursion into Transylvania. How could we ever pass up Vlad's castle?
In a couple months, we're going to the Grand Canyon. It will be the last full summer before my older son goes to college.
We go to the Grand Canyon every Spring and Fall in conjunction with a week at Zion. Love the hikes, wildlife and views. If you plan to vist the Grand Canyon in the late spring and summer months make time to go to Mesa Verde. Incredible and a very under visited park. Also the North Rim is a interesting visit as well in more then one way the "opposite" of the South Rim.
The grand tour of the Continent!
My dad was from Paderborn, Germany, my mom from Vinsebeck, Germany, my father in law from Pali Hungary (near Sopron) and my mother in law from Veseli nad Moravou in the Czech Republic. Not exactly the capitals of Mittel-Europa, but fun.
Some general advice: I'm of European stock, obviously, and I know how they think. There may be trouble coming.
It could not possibly hurt to have a couple of gold coins sewn into your luggage.
Fred Z I hope you do a guest Maggies post. So just what are Europeans talking about quietly over dinner?
Christmas in Vienna, skiing in Kitzbuhel and Madona, hiking in Engadine and Dolomites. We also need to do a summer road trip Western US and Canada.
BD. See if you can rent a boat from the Marina @ St. Simons. Then navigate the intcoastal to Cumberland Island. Wild houses and turkey abound. Nice day trip and back to the Cloister for dinner. I like a lilltle of each of those islands-even Jeckyl in the off season. But I see the appeal of LSSI.
Hoohoo hahaha!! BD, when I grow up I want to be you!! I love hearing about all the details about places my friends from Maggies visit and plan to visit. Somehow, its all very encouraging and inspiring. As for myself...there appears to be no end in sight for my Cinderella self, unless something wonderful happens, it will be work, work, and more work just to stay afloat. Big-ish mortgage, small-ish paycheck, in need of a rich indulgent husband....
An 80 day expedition through the Inside Passage . . . Wait for it . . . In a kayak - solo. The route is from Olympia Washington to Skagway Alaska. I have wanted to do it since first kayaking in the late 1970's.
I leave April 20. The route is complete and I am in through with most of the planning. I only have to decide on my mail drops. Next week I will vacuum pack my food and mail the first two drops.
If you are interested, I will provide a link to my InReach Sat link which will ping my track every ten minutes while I am paddling. Who knows there could be a Maggies Farm kayaker or two out there who are interested.
Best wishes on your bucket list. Family, friends and memories give life depth and meaning.
I do envy you. Looking forward to hearing about the trip. Watch out for Queen Charlotte Sound, pick the right time to cross it.
Y'all might think I'm crazier than hell, but I'm seriously considering spending a few days in Detroit this year. Apocalypse chic and and all that. I did western New York last summer and whetted my appetite for industrial strength decay and ruin. Put a little MC5, "Motor City's Burning" on the cd player in the rental and hope I don't get carjacked.
A week on Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota with the wife's sister and husband. The husband is a fisherman. I'm not. I'm taking the bicycles and my solo canoe. Could be fun. Then maybe a day on Mackinac (Mackinaw?) Island. Why can't the Michiganeans figure out the spelling on that place?
My folks are road tripping from Vermont to us here in CA at the end of the summer. We're renting a house just outside Yosemite and spending some time there. They had to skip Yosemite on their last trip out and like the Grand Canyon, it's one of those places that should be seen. They're not serious hikers so we'll drive to Glacier Peak and Tuolumne Meadows to get the views without the work. I've hiked Vernal and Nevada Falls out of the Valley and it took three days for my legs to recover!
My dad, an American history buff, has an affinity for Old West style towns and there are quite a few towns in the foothills of the western Sierra that have capitalized on their proximity to Sutter's Mill. I'd love to get them to Old Sacramento but it's a bear to schlepp through the city proper to get there.
Mid to late October DH and I make our regular pilgrimage to Death Valley for a week of serious R&R. Three days in the Valley's interior, where we will continue to explore some of the more demanding 4WD routes and do some great camping. No cell, no people, no nothin'! Even this late in the year the daytime temps can reach 100 degrees plus. But, when it cools down to 80 at night it makes for some comfortable and incredible stargazing. Then we'll put in at the Furnace Creek Inn and relax poolside in the Valley's spring-fed oasis for a couple days. One of the routes we'll be exploring this time is further up Echo Canyon past Inyo Mine to Amargosa, Nev. The route takes 8-9 hours to complete and gets a little knarly with a stair-step climb and a tight squeeze. Had to rebuild/replace the front and back differentials on the Cruiser so the lockers could engage properly. Prolly won't need them but we'll have them just in case. Can't wait! http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1367641
Between the TSA assaults, the incredibly small (and still shrinking) seats, the lost luggage, sitting on the tarmac -- I just can't stand flying any more. No matter how nice the vacation, I have found the return so stressful that all my good vibes from the vacation vanish. Plus if there's a time change, I find the jet lag horrible for several days.
I have to fly for work or to visit relatives, but never any more for vacation.
My husband, my dog, a big comfotable car and places we can get to in it -- that's a vacation.
We rented a villa in Tuscany two Junes ago (2011) and loved the experience. You, having spent so much time there already, will no doubt do the trip even greater justice. We most especially liked day hikes, walking from one town to the next with a stop at a local restaurant for a wine soaked lunch.
But my favorite trip of all was a rafting trip down the middle fork of the Salmon River. We flew into the park, landing on a Forest Service strip in the middle of nowhere, where we were greeted by a Forest Service naturalist (who happened to be a member of the local Tribe as well) who gave us a 90 minute illustrated talk on what we would see during our travels, and then we began a week long raft in the morning, hike in the afternoon extravaganza that is unmatched in my experience (even by a magnificent trip through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado). I recommend this trip to everyone with even the slightest interest in natural beauty.
Off to Iceland for a week to hike and take photographs of glacier, waterfalls, geysers, Northern Lights, ride horses,gawp at whales,puffins,and the lagoons. The kids want me to go to elf school, but don't know if there will be time.
Planning future trips to dude ranch, to Prague, Vienna and Budapest later this year into next if I can save up enough money. Wd like to hike the Inca tra to Macchu Picchu. Also Wd like a riverboat cruise in China if We cd avoid all the commercial stops and cities lke Shanghai (am only interested in history, people,art. Animals and scenery, not ugly modern buildings or buying crap). Also India. Greece. Riverboat fr Amsterdam to Bucharest. Etc.
It's too expensive to go anywhere good in the US, and the flying is unendurable. But I don't have time or patience to drive. Overseas is cheaper and more WOW. I've travelled in Latin America and Europe. Turkey my ravorite place recently--wonderful country and people. i'd go back in a heartbeat. wish i cd take more photos and see the east.
A safari in Africa wd be cool but armed bodyguards wd make me more willing to go.
We went through a dude ranch phase in our house, and visited a number over about a five year stretch. Have you picked one yet?
Not yet. Any and all recommendations welcome. But if I bring my son, need STRONG horses. We females are short and poise is tall and thin but son is built, 240 lbs...we"re all riders, but not for years so will be sore the first day or so.
Don't worry about his size, they're probably ready for him. I'm that big too and I've never had an issue.
I'd recommend three places for you to take a look at:
HF Bar Ranch in Sheridan, WY is a long-established place with fun accommodations (every cabin a little different), good fishing and great shooting (if you like sporting clays). The rides are so-so. The staff is young and enthusiastic. The clientelle have often been coming for years, or even generations, which speaks well of the place. We found it a very well-run and enjoyable spot.
Rainbow Trout Ranch is in an absolutely beautiful place (Antonito, CO.), stretched along a hilly spot just north of the Colorado/New Mexico border and not too far from Taos. The fishing is outstanding, the rides are also very good and there used to be a little guest rodeo to participate in if you want. Its been a few years since i was there, so I don't know if their insurer has made them stop that little piece of joy. Overall, I'd say Rainbow Trout is a very fun family spot, if you don't mind some up and down walking, and it was my personal favorite.
Laramie River Ranch is a casual family-run place with excellent rides, some camping, and good hiking. It's also in a beautiful part of the world, in a little valley along the Colorado/Wyoming border and the hosts are very good folks. More relaxing than most such places, though with fewer organized activities, its a very nice ranch.
Good luck in finding a place to go, and I hope you'll have a great time!
Thanks (from Iceland). Can't wait to see the Icelandic horses...
Western Canada to visit Banff and Jasper just before school is out, less crowded. Then up the Alcan highway to Alaska. Vist Anchorage Seward and Homer then up to Denali for a few days then Fairbanks. I would love to drive up to the North Slope but my motorhome doesn't like bad roads. Then to Chicken, on to Dawson Whitehorse, then down the Cassiar and back to the lower 48. The trip is better then any of the destinations. We see so many black bear and grizzlies we lose count. If you make the trip take the time to go through the tunnel to Whittier. If you go in June make sure you stop at some of the favorite fishing spots to see the salmon runs and the dip netting at the mouth of the kenai. July and August is good for Silvers in Seward. The Silvers are everywhere but in Seward they are huge and bright.
Compressing Paris, Chamonix, Aix-en-Provence and Versailles into 18 days this June. Will be myself, my wife and 2 college age kids. The planning is half the fun. Will probably be the only chance we get to do this.
We will take our newly acquired '61 Bambi Airstream all around the great state of Michigan.