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slidergirl

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Everything posted by slidergirl

  1. Totally inappropriate comparison. The hiking and climbing season at Everest is a very narrow window of time each year. The cruise or land vacation to popular tourist attractions is year-round. Not every person is capable of doing Everest. A large majority of people are capable of doing a cruise or leisure vacation. You do have yahoos who have no business doing Everest willing to pay and they end up dead. You just don't wake up one day and say "I'm going to go climb Everest" without preparation. People can and do wake up and say "I'm going to take a cruise" without preparation. The Nepalese government charges $11,000 for a climbing permit; those climbing fees is the majority of the government's income. We had a couple here in town who climbed Everest this past season - years of preparation, physically and financially. Climbing is their passion, so for them, it was a once-in-a-lifetime excursion. Cruising is a passion for some and will spend the same $50,000 they spent for a World Cruise. Paying to visit "attractions" is part of the price you pay for a vacation. If you don't want to pay, don't plan on visiting. That simple. It's not going to limit places like Venice to the elite - just cut back on your coffee stop or your McDonalds lunch and put that money aside. It's not that tough. Budgeting is part of getting ready for a vacation. Paying for visas to visit someplace is part of it, paying to visit attractions is part of it. Even here at home. I live 30 minutes from a National Forest and a few more hours from multiple National Parks. Every time I drive to one of those, I would have to pay an entrance fee. The casual tourist does that every day. I paid for an annual pass so I can visit as many times as I want. Not any different to me.
  2. True. I generalized based on my experiences. I haven't had to pay yet for a seat selection.
  3. I wonder just how many cruisers pay for 2 meals off ship at a port.... I am definitely different as a land tourist vs cruise tourist. I DIY, so the local tour companies aren't making any money off of me. I don't buy tourist crap at those shops near the port. If I want to buy something, I go further into town and hunt. I also rent a car sometimes or take the train to get out of the tourist stuff. I have no issue with Venice or Cinque Terre or any other highly-visited and overcrowded location charging a "day use" fee. If I travel that far and really want to spend time, I'll gladly pay, probably up to 100EU.
  4. Did Barcelona to Pisa on Vueling one year. It was easy. I would image doing a quickie between Barcelona and Rome would be similar. As Mapleleaves said, be very aware of those extra costs for baggage. I remember Easyjet (between Pisa and Paris on same trip) had a strict only one cabin bag rule and a charge for every checked bag. If you go into it fully informed, you should have fun on the short trip to Rome. Maybe see if you can store luggage in Barcelona and only take a tiny bag with you!!!
  5. There are no "highlights" to check off in Cinque Terre. The entire area and each unique village IS the highlight. As others have said, CT has been overrun in the past few years with thousands of cruisers adding to the daytrippers daily. The trains are indeed crowded from La Spezia to each village and back. There are some tours that use boats, but you are subject to the ability to dock, which sometimes can't happen. Private tours can't drive into the villages - they have to go into the parking areas above the villages and you walk down. If it were me now, I would skip CT and save it for a time where I can go back and stay again for a few days so I can hike in the early morning, take a long nap during the day, come back out after the hordes have left and have a wonderful evening with the locals. Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer.
  6. Well, that is a 5% decrease in crowding. Better than nothing. What suggestion do you offer to help address over tourism? Venice wants to implement a "day visitor" fee. Cinque Terre wants to figure out a way to close access daily once a certain number of people arrive. Some have an opportunity to regulate before it gets bad. Port Canaveral is a regional example. There was a day a few months ago when 5 ships were docked. It was not pretty. It is usually 2 at a given time. There just isn't enough cruise tourist infrastructure in the area. Canaveral/Cocoa Beach is still basically beach and a couple of mini golf courses. A few kayak companies. Drive to KSC or make the trek to MouseLand. I guess some could do what they do in Cozumel and just get off the ship and park oneself at the bar of the restaurants at the Port. Carnival is building a new terminal and is going to homeport the new behemoth, the Mardi Gras, there, apparently. RCI has been porting the Harmony of the Seas there. NCL has been porting the Sun and Breakaway this year. It's just too much. Even my friend, who still lives in Cocoa Beach and whose family developed the Port at the beginning and started Premier Cruise lines agrees that it is too much.
  7. I'm not sure why CC reposted my reply above - it was several days ago. Anyway, I read somewhere in the past 2 days (sorry, can't remember where) about cruise lines starting some new ports/destinations in 2020/2021. One that stuck out was that Celebrity was going to stop in Marina di Carrara, Italy. If you don't know the area, it sounds good - the home of the Carrera Marble quarries. BUT, there isn't really anything else (well, there is a small crowded beach there). Why, then, would Celebrity stop there? It's very close (30 minute drive)to La Spezia, where everyone takes the trips to Cinque Terre. It's still too far to really go to Florence. So, it's a very sneaky way of overcrowding Cinque Terre even more without stopping in La Spezia like the other ships.
  8. Every museum it seems has one piece that every tourist wants to check off their "must see" list, ignoring everything else. I see people on here saying they got their tickets to "see David" in Florence, seemingly ignoring all the others things in the Academia. People say they are going to see the Sistine Chapel, ignoring the magnificent paintings and sculptures and tapestries along the way in the Vatican Museums. It took me 4 trips to Rome before I finally said I'd to into St. Peters Basilica for my one definite things to visit. I actually forgot the Pieta was in there, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it. The first time I went to the Louve, I didn't even thing about going to see the Mona Lisa - spent most of my time in the Egyptian section. When I did get there again, I wasn't looking for it, but I ended up passing by it - hoards of tourists with those freakin' cellphones out and taking photos, with some dumb enough to not know to TURN OFF THE FLASH.
  9. Every museum it seems has one piece that every tourist wants to check off their "must see" list, ignoring everything else. I see people on here saying they got their tickets to "see David" in Florence, seemingly ignoring all the others things in the Academia. People say they are going to see the Sistine Chapel, ignoring the magnificent paintings and sculptures and tapestries along the way in the Vatican Museums. It took me 4 trips to Rome before I finally said I'd to into St. Peters Basilica for my one definite things to visit. I actually forgot the Pieta was in there, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it. The first time I went to the Louve, I didn't even thing about going to see the Mona Lisa - spent most of my time in the Egyptian section. When I did get there again, I wasn't looking for it, but I ended up passing by it - hoards of tourists with those freakin' cellphones out and taking photos, with some dumb enough to not know to TURN OFF THE FLASH.
  10. Depends whose pods you use. Even that commercial provider, Boyd's, has compatible K-cups.
  11. I think it's sign that I'm getting old. I used to be pretty darn nimble, but I'm no longer like a Weeble (a kid's toy - "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down"). The hike we did normally doesn't have much water in the creek at this time of year, sometimes even dry. With the late summer and heavy snowfall this winter/spring, it still had maybe a foot in it. Some of the rocks we would use before were under water. I knew I was "going down", so I fell "gracefully." Only a massive bruise on one of my shins and soaked shoes and wet pants as a reward... Nothing like having to get up in the middle of the night to visit the latrine and the temperature is in the low 40s/high 30s and your shoes are cold and wet... I've been home 24 hours now - have the shoes in the sun and they are almost dry - 48 hours later!!
  12. Garnet Hill has a sale going on with some of the Eileen Fisher clothing. Check and see if any of it fits your fancy!
  13. NOTE to SHOPPERS: Garnet Hill has a sale on some Eileen Fisher clothes right now. I ended up buying another black T-shirt dress. And, Jambu has some of their shoes on sale. I bought pair of vegan booties - I wouldn't take them on a trip, but they are good for work. Yokeko - you'll find lots of fun bling wherever you go! Honestly, I wouldn't pack any differently just because you've added in a cruise. It's not the big dressy, formal, affairs like it was back in the 90s. You can pack and dress as you need to for your entire travels, not just a brief jaunt on a ship. Have a GREAT TIME!
  14. I think I need to update my trail runners to waterproof trail runners (Salomon XA Comps in my future!) after slipping and falling into a creek TWICE on my camping trip this week!!!!! All I can say is that my pants were quick dry...
  15. And, Ron Jon does beach rentals (chairs, umbrellas) in the smaller store next to the gigantic one.
  16. I used the John Freida stuff before. it was OK. Right now, I've got IGK "Rich Kid" Coconut Styling Gel on the shelf. I had a sample in a Sephora bag and really like it. At the store, they had "TSA" size ones. Back in May, I had taken my big tube to my stylist - she wanted to see how it worked. Well, I forgot that I had it in my bag and went to the airport. The smurfs didn't detect it and I didn't notice it until I got to the cottage - phew! I checked my carry on for the flight back to be sure I kept it!!
  17. Go for it! I have to say, that is what I do. My last "dressy" event (a year ago June), I wore a long navy tank dress ( I still can't believe I paid $200 for something I've still only worn once) and my classic denim jacket from The Gap. I did put a brooch that I friend made for me and I wore the crystal necklace and earrings I bought in Rome. The next day, I wore that jacket with my jeans and a T-shirt. A few years ago, when I did a trip with friends to Cinque Terre, Florence, Barcelona and Paris, that was my only jacket and I wore it everywhere - Jeans, T-shirt and a classy scarf around the neck was what I wore and it seemed like so many others out and about were the same. Those jean jackets are the most multifunctional pieces around!
  18. My now-ex's relatives are all from Naples, so I know what you speak of 😉 Just get to the airport and check in - I do this every time I fly out of FCO. Even if I'm staying in Rome and have my cell service. Unless you are flying basic economy, you should already have your seats so no reason to do the Southwest Shuffle and check in exactly 24 hours ahead...
  19. I take my trail runners - they are pretty multifunctional. I take one of my pairs of Jambu shoes - they serve well walking around gowns, on the beach, at dinner. If I am going to be heavily beach, I may take my Teva sandals. If I am going to be heavily rough terrain, I may take my Keen approach shoes (basically hiking boot but low-cut like a trail runner). I have never seen the need to have so many shoes on a vacation - I'm not a fashion plate, I'm a practical girl.
  20. Depends on your outlook. In the US, there are parts that are "driving across nothing." But, you have some spectacular places in between! Canada is even more spectacular. Yes, parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are like driving through Missouri and Kansas and Iowa. Going via train is different than driving. But, I would recommend driving from Vancouver to Calgary! It was amazing the entire way. I'd do the train just to do it relaxing than driving. I took the train from Seattle to Los Angeles last year - it was soooo much nicer and interesting than driving.
  21. On the Cocoa Beach FB thread I am on, people did bring up that the Sunshine pulled into Port Canaveral today. Nothing but speculation yet on why - mechanical, medical...
  22. Yep, the drive between Banff and Jasper is beautiful. Did it one summer when we added some time to our training at the Olympic Park with our athletes. Gotta say - those ravens at the Athabasca Glacier were the size of condors!!! They could probably pick up a wolf with no problem. Last time I was there, they had markers to show where the Icefield was a different times - made it very easy to visualize the changes. Plus, where else can you park at the side of the road and walk up a glacier!!! If I had unlimited funds, I would love to combine a cruise to Alaska with train trip from Vancouver to Calgary. That part of Canada is so varied and beautiful, from the fields and vineyards to the mountains and glaciers.
  23. Right now, I'm using my old Xyrtec bottle - screw lid.
  24. This looks a lot like what I would pack. I use trail runners, too. Two of my rain shells (somehow I've ended up with 5!!) are those Marmot Precip. Instead of the fleece, I would take my Patagonia down "sweater" (it's really a very light jacket). It layers quite well under my Precip, and it's is very packable. ALWAYS great-looking sunglasses (I have a stable of probably 10 to choose from, thanks to a friend who works at Oakley) and a hat (from a cool Panama to my REI guide hat, depending on what I'm doing).
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