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Tagged With "United States"

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Re: Boston in the fall - suggestions please!

GarryRF ·
Mac. I'll be in Pennsylvania - Delaware - Maryland - Virginia later this month through September. Although a good way south of your expedition the colours of winter arrive gradually and the days are still warm enough to enjoy walking the empty State Parks. Only a leisurely days drive south of Boston. I love that warm gap between the end of an English summer and getting back home for that first chill of winter. LATE SEPTEMBER
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Re: Boston in the fall - suggestions please!

DrFumblefinger ·
Regarding hotels, Mac, I think I'd spend a few days in Boston to begin with, presuming that's where you are flying into. This will let you get over your jet lag and also give you a chance to see the state of the colors and plot out where you want to go. I would NOT go without having at least a night's reservation booked ahead because you'll waste too much time looking for a place to stay and will end up paying rack rate. Things will be busy and pretty filled up in the small towns of New...
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Re: Wonders of the Modern World

DrFumblefinger ·
The Soviets have never been completely transparent about Chernobyl, but this is the story as best as I was able to synthesize it: It seems that the alarm system was malfunctioning (going off all the time) so it was turned off by the tech monitoring the system. He had the fuel rods pulled out of their cooling chambers for maintenance work, was distracted (remember, the alarms are off), then by the time he focused back on the task at hand the rods had begun to melt and couldn't be reinserted...
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Re: "Mind Your Manners!" VisitBritain Warns Hoteliers

PHeymont ·
No, no one is hacking them...and the "advice" was picked up by all the major British papers...usually with an air of slight derision. You won't find it on the public website, which is devoted to getting us to visit; it was distributed as guidance to hotel operators, and as a press release. Originally Posted by TatToo: It is not the author's list. The cited articles and various others on the Internet state that the list was originally published on VisitBritain's website. However, I am not...
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Re: Where Gumbo Was, #6: The Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An, Vietnam

PortMoresby ·
JohnT, over the years Asia has become more & more a favorite part of the planet for me to wander and hang out. I think the reason may be, in part, because it's much more in a state of flux than, say, Europe and as a result has more to offer someone who likes a bit of edge to their travels. I fear Europe has become somewhat more of the same wherever I go these days while Asia offers more of what I seem to need. Not to say there aren't parts of Europe to which I still enjoy returning. But...
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Re: Where in the World is Gumbo? 21.0

PHeymont ·
Speaking of Hawaii...here's another puzzle: Which state is Hawaii's nearest U.S. neighbor?
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Re: Where in the World is Gumbo? 21.0

PHeymont ·
Well, I didn't expect anyone to twig it quite that fast, and it's not just because of a polar route. Although we usually don't think of Hawaii extending north of Kauai, in fact the state includes the entire Hawaiian Ridge/Emperor Seamount chain, running up to the Aleutian trench, just off Alaska's Aleutian islands. Mostly underwater, mostly administered by Federal agencies as a preservation/conservation area. Kure Atoll and Green Island is the northernmost habitable place in Hawaii, and it's...
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Re: Where in the World is Gumbo? #33

DrFumblefinger ·
Believe it's time for a clue. This photo was taken in the Beehive state.
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

GarryRF ·
Getting around the UK is very easy using Public Transport. Students travel around the country all the time - going to Uni and back home for the weekend. Friends going to weddings and folks going to London. London - like big Cities in the US - is a Traffic Nightmare ! Fortunately the UK is about the same size as a US State. Maybe Florida ? So its only a few hours by road. Trains are much faster - but more expensive, You're choice. So... look at http://www.nationalexpress.com/home.aspx They're...
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Re: Christmas in Arizona--what to do?

DrFumblefinger ·
Arizona is a huge state, EyeWonder. Where exactly were you going to be home-based during your Christmas vacation? It would help to know so that we could better advise you.
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Re: Frommer's New EasyGuides: A Future for Print

GarryRF ·
I know Paul - I'm just being a bad traveller ! It's like folks go to France and complain that Parisians don't smile! But they do when they know you! I just find big cities much the same. Like Havana is the same as any other overgrown City in the Caribbean! Crumbling Spanish Architecture. Dominican Republic is another good example. I must be getting Claustrophobic Paul ! Give me the wide open spaces of Delaware State Park and I'm in heaven. Some days I have the whole Park to myself. Solitude...
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Re: Where in the World is Gumbo? #7.0

WorkerBee ·
It's the capitol building. Well, not THE capitol building but A capitol building. One of fifty scattered around the United States. One with a dome. One in which the building is very similar to THE capitol building in Washington, D.C. Gumbo is in Salt Lake City standing in front of the Utah State Capitol building!
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Re: Where in the World is Gumbo? #7.0

WorkerBee ·
Originally Posted by DrFumblefinger: Canadian legislative buildings are of similar design as well. Sure it's not one of those? Hmmm. It is snowy enough. And there are also several other snow belt states' capitol buildings that have similar domes. However, since Utah is the beehive state I will stick with my original guess.
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Re: The Devil's Millhopper is in Tim Tebow Country

Travel Rob ·
Thanks Vivie, Except for the Oak covered in Spanish Moss,the rest of the vegetation in Devil's Millhopper is far different from the rest of the state.
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Re: Do you Like these Hotel Tipping Tips ?

GarryRF ·
I'm well aware that there may be many contributing factors to the problem of poor service. But I'm not there to consider the state of the world nor am I there to balance justice among the poor. I just want a decent meal at a decent price. Just as in any job - my own included - people just want me to do my job. Do it well. No excuses. And they show there gratitude occasionally, with a tip. Its the same with me. Good food and good service gets you well rewarded. Shape up or Ship out !
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Re: United's Award Chart: Premium Award Cost Goes UP

DrFumblefinger ·
I've seen a lot of "award creep" in my days, and I think there's more to come. A "mile" is worth less and less all the time. It's clear that airline miles aren't worth banking for any period of time. Use them when it's logical to do so. They likely will be worth less in the near future. Thanks for the link, PHeymont.
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Re: United's Award Chart: Premium Award Cost Goes UP

PHeymont ·
Not sure I agree with the "burn 'em" philosophy. At the premium class end, there's certainly been a lot of creep, but not so much in coach, which is more price-sensitive, even for awards. True, summer awards to Europe have generally gone from 50K to 60K, but on the other hand, off-season at American went DOWN to 40K--and with the flexibility of taking one-way awards and combining them in interesting ways...it's actually a better situation. Also, there are some card-linked sales on flight...
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Re: United's Award Chart: Premium Award Cost Goes UP

DrFumblefinger ·
I think you'll find reward trips from the Western USA are harder to get for European travel than from the East coast. But if your schedule is flexible, you could be lucky.
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Re: United's Award Chart: Premium Award Cost Goes UP

JohnT ·
I think for premium travel,it makes sense. It has always surprised me that premium travel is so much cheaper from a frequent flier perspective (2:1) vs economy than when you actually buy the ticket. Just as a side note, aeroplan has recently reduced miles required on some of their reward charts as well.
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Re: United's Award Chart: Premium Award Cost Goes UP

PHeymont ·
John's point about the ratio between the two tiers is interesting (we looked at that a little in a forum post this week on value of miles). My guess--and it's just that--is that the same kind of yield-management used to set prices has taken a look at this and is carefully balancing loyalty vs. burn... I can't really compare East vs West availability personally; my school schedules have defined when I can travel well enough that I'm able to start hunting tickets 330 days out, when the...
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Re: Up, Up and Away: Airline miles cards with big bonuses

PortMoresby ·
I LOVE my airline credit card, but it's great to have all this information in one place to see if I could do better. Probably not without some whopping fees, but whopping bonuses, too. Thank you sir, for showing us all these choices!
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Re: Up, Up and Away: Airline miles cards with big bonuses

rbciao ·
I have a Delta American Express Platinum card that has served us well. The fee is higher than the gold card, but we can check two bags free, priority boarding, and a free companion pass yearly. We fly two or three times a year and the value of the waived baggage fee and the companion pass far exceed the $150 annual fee. The card also accrues one mile for each dollar spent and lately has offered cash back incentives. For example: spend $15 at Panera's using the card and receive $5 credit on...
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Re: AAA Premier a Good Idea for Budget Travelers

Former Member ·
AAA seems to choose their contracted towing services very well. I have always had good luck with them. I used the coverage when I had a break down with a rental car in a small town. The rental car company suggested that I call AAA for towing to their office in a nearby larger town to exchange the car. The rental car company had a contract with the same towing company that was under contract to AAA in that area. So that was very easy. If the tow goes over the 200 miles, they charge something...
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Re: South Dakota State Capital, Pierre – The Land of Infinite Variety

Jonathan L ·
Wonderful pics! isn't Pierre one of the few state capitals that is not directly on the interstate?
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Re: You've got a friend in Pennsylvania...and it's an app!

DrFumblefinger ·
An excellent idea. Hopefully every state (and province) can put out similar information.
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Re: Where in the World is TravelGumbo, #60

PortMoresby ·
The flag looks familiar and if I'm not mistaken, that brown blob is the bear on the CA state flag. If so, I think that narrows down the search for type of tree considerably.
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Re: Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Feb 11, 2015: Fruit of the Vine

PHeymont ·
We have a lot of different state and local laws, so, as they say, Your Mileage May Vary. Since New York is a significant wine-producer, it may be a bit easier here, and in summer there are several wine producers sampling at our local Greenmarket
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Re: Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Feb 11, 2015: Fruit of the Vine

PHeymont ·
The Finger Lakes area in the center of the state has long been a big white-wine producer; Taylor is originally from there. There's been a growing industry on Long Island in recent years, where sandy soil in some areas has been good to the grapes. On the whole, NY wines range from extraordinary to oversweet. And, of course, it's home to one of my guilty favorites: Manishewitz Concord Grape wine, kosher for Passover!
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Re: The Top South Florida Beaches to Visit

Travel Rob ·
Thanks Katy ,some great beaches The water is great for swimming in Florida.The beaches are great .If your coming from out of state though, realize summer is hot,humid and rainy
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Re: Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Dec 4th, 2014: A Ride to Paradise

PHeymont ·
A favorite with my kids when they were young (and with me!) Nearby, there is the Pennsylvania state railroad museum and the National Toy Train Museum, as well as all the attractions of Lancaster County "Amish Country." Thanks!
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Re: New Eurostar Service, London - Provence

GarryRF ·
Sorry Paul but you've lost me ! If you fly to Marseilles and take the 760 mile train journey to London you'll avoid the APD. True. But that will cost you more than the APD and you'll waste a day. You dont see much from the window on a train doing 186 MPH. Be aware that the nation with the most heavily taxed European passengers is France, where over 60% of airport and passenger charges are in the form of state taxes to be paid by the passenger.
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Re: Spring Time on Table Mountain

Travel Rob ·
Thanks adventuretime88 , Your blog made me feel like I was taking that hike! California really is an incredible state .
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Re: AirBnB vs New York. Update

PHeymont ·
As a frequent Airbnb renter (about 16 times) I obviously think it's a valuable thing and want it to succeed. I also think that there's room for reasonable regulation that's sensitive to local needs, and that a reasonable compromise can be found. Let's take the case of New York City...there is a real shortage of affordable housing. While it's not caused by Airbnb, but rather by a series of market issues that I won't rehearse here, it's reasonable for the city/state to ban short-term rentals...
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Re: AirBnB vs New York. Update

PortMoresby ·
I'd love it if they collected the bed tax here. Since they don't, and it's my impression that few here pay it, including it as part of my fee creates an imbalance for me, making it appear as though I'm getting more than I do. I state the breakdown in my listing but hardly anyone actually reads the listings. If they collected it, it would give a fair comparison of the room rate with the taxes added on at the end, as the fees are now. I think, though, despite what seems a good idea from the...
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Re: Gumbo's Pic of the Day, May 3, 2014: Metropole Hotel, Hanoi

DrFumblefinger ·
That's an interesting link, GarryRF, because Sri Lankans tend to be pretty mellow about most things. Still, being disrespectful (or perceived as disrespectful) to Buddha is frowned on and not tolerated by the Sinhalese majority. As many know, it is considered very disrespectful to show too much skin in a Buddhist temple or shrine (no bare shoulders or legs). You won't be allowed admittance to the shrine unless you cover yourself. I believe this woman offended these customs. But this POD is...
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Re: South Dakota (yes!) has booming tourist year

DrFumblefinger ·
The western part of the state is really beautiful, and the plains have their own magic. I'm not surprised by this news. There's a lot to see and do in "flyover country".
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Re: Observatory of New York's One World Trade Center to Open May 29th

PHeymont ·
At those prices, they can certainly claim to be "sky-high!" That's $116 for a family of four for an elevator ride. And even at that, it's only a couple of dollars more than the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, and the same as the Empire State Building charges for its 86th floor deck, with an additional charge for the top deck. It seems a shame that families on a budget have no access to the iconic "NY from the air" view that their children may be clamoring for.
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Re: Airline scheduling: Hurry up and wait, or run like crazy?

Marilyn Jones ·
Excellent and informative article!!
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Re: United, Air China sign up new codeshares

Travel Rob ·
Good to hear. I just took an Air China flight and the airline has some good points for the longf distance budget traveler, like free meals and free video options.
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Re: Airline scheduling: Hurry up and wait, or run like crazy?

Jonathan L ·
Of course the king of "Banking" for years has been Icelandic Air. They have made their whole business plan around bringing planes from 10 different North American cities in the morning and having those same planes fly out to 10 different European cities 1-2 hours after landing. This allows 10 plane loads of passengers the ability to mix and match origins and destinations. Then in the afternoon they do the reverse run. For 2-4 hours a day the terminal is full as passengers switch planes, the...
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Re: Airline scheduling: Hurry up and wait, or run like crazy?

PHeymont ·
Thanks for reminding me of that, Jonathan...since it's where I first noticed it. It's actually so bunched that most of the terminal employees work two short shifts a day, with a gap between.
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Re: World's most attractive libraries

DrFumblefinger ·
A followup to attractive libraries are great bookstores. Fodors just released 16 of their favorites in the USA, which you can find here . I've visited a number of these and enjoyed them. I would like to add two other stores that I know of. 1) Univ. of Washington bookstore. While mostly a student store aimed at textbooks and supplies and such, it has an excellent collection of fiction and non-fiction as well as frequent author readings and book signings. 2) Auntie's books in Spokane,...
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Re: United Economy to Offer 3 Course Meals, Free Beer & Wine on Some Flights

DrFumblefinger ·
Alaska has been offering free microbrewery beer and local wine on its Horizon flights for years. So Kudos to United for expanding their economy services. We need to acknowledge their service improvements when they occur
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Re: Airline scheduling: Hurry up and wait, or run like crazy?

DrFumblefinger ·
Fascinating piece, PHeymont. And I've noticed how tight they are making these connections. For example, in Europe we had connections scheduled 50 minutes from the plane's landing, assuming it was on time. We were definitely running, and it seemed everyone else at Schipol was as well. We made the connection, but I'd rather have an extra hour for a more relaxed transfer. I'm like you -- book a direct flight if possible, even with a premium, and look carefully at where and how long those...
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Re: Airline scheduling: Hurry up and wait, or run like crazy?

IslandMan ·
very informative and useful article, PHeymont. Yes, I can relate with most of this, especially trying to make connections with only minutes to spare. We've now taken to seeking alternative forms of transport like trains and buses just to avoid airports!
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Re: Why Missouri is Not just a Fly Over State

Travel Rob ·
Thanks! What a fantastic piece on Missouri. It really is a great state and you've give me ideas for several trips!
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Re: Northern Arizona: Sedona & Surrounds, Part 2

DrFumblefinger ·
Arizona has many small historic and natural sites of interest like these, one of the reasons it's one of my favorite states to visit. Seems too many people are in a hurry to head to the Grand Canyon or to drive through the state to properly explore it. Thanks for bring back some great memories.
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Re: A Fall Visit to Krakow's Hala Targowa Market

DrFumblefinger ·
Hi Samantha! The apples were a highlight of the market and we enjoyed them! Very sweet and juicy. I've heard of the Oak Glen Apple festival but never visited it. I regret I didn't. But I lived in Washington state for 8 years and as you know, apples are a big deal. There are a number of harvest festivals in that state featuring apples.
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Re: Three tons of pumpkins take Europe prize

DrFumblefinger ·
Here's what a one ton pumpkin looks like. We saw this one at the Alaska State Fair this year, where it set a state record at 2051 pounds. (photo courtesy of the Anchorage Daily News)
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Re: Portugal to Brits: Can we pay for your doctor?

PHeymont ·
More often 'knock wood.' Unfortunately, at least in my state, a permanent policy like yours isn't available, and I have to buy trip by trip. For many years I traveled without, but in the past few I have bought, and last summer we had a medical crisis that used the whole coverage and a trans-Atlantic medevac, so I'm certainly glad I did!
 
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