• 03-29-2012, 09:16 AM
    JohnMichael
    I need a vacation, I need suggestions
    The funeral is over, the stroke victim is in rehab so now is a time for vacation. I am thinking long weekend. I will be traveling by myself. I may want to drive if I am going to an area I have not been to before. I do want to go somewhere I have not visited before.

    I have been to the following cities; Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Burlington, Montreal, Quebec, Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio, San Diego, Pittsburgh so they are out of the running. I am not wanting a major city but do want to visit a city with much to do. Interesting cuisine and wine a plus along with museums and galleries. When I travel alone I do not do much night life. I am looking for a walkable area that is photographic.

    So please share your favorite cities. I do want to spend more time at the destination than getting there. I do not want to spend a large amount of money since this is more for mental health break. Nothing on the scale of going to Paris.

    Thanks for your tips and suggestions. I live in Ohio so East of the Mississippi is what I am thinking.
  • 03-29-2012, 09:35 AM
    Hyfi
    Fells Point in Baltimore Harbor is cool with many little Jazz Bars and Maryland Wines are very good. I used to go to the Maryland Wine Festival every year at the Carrol County Farm Museum.
  • 03-29-2012, 10:11 AM
    bobsticks
    Hey John,

    Sorry life is tumultuous but I'm glad to read that you're scheduling a break. "East of the Mississippi" leaves a lot of areas.

    Of course I'd suggest New York or Chicago but you've already visited those areas. Indianapolis and St. Louis are too spread out geographically for walking and New Orleans cannot possibly be done properly over a weekend.

    Against all odds---or rather to say, this may not sound like something I'd normally recommend---but I'd say Charleston, South Carolina. If you stay on the penninsula you'd have a wide variety of options within walking distance, or at worst, a short cab ride.
    Off the top of my head:
    1) Near Market St. one could dine at Mercato or, better yet, Hanks for fresh seafood. (When on coastal towns I feel it's an absolute necessity to sample fare from the sea and Hank's has a fresh bar. You might have to gravitate away from your preferred reds but may I suggest the Reisling from St Michelle for oysters)

    2) Fort Sumter and the Aquarium within walking distance

    3) The Charleston Museum was the first museum in this country and the museum in the Old Exhange and Provost is home to a fascinating bit of Americana...hell, all of "Museum Mile"

    4) absolutely amazing historic (read photogenic) architecture throughout the city though most prominent in the Charleston French Quarter.

    5) The Stottile Theater of Charleston's campus.

    For the whole experience you might choose to forgo the major hospitality chains and stay at the John Rutledge though there might not be rooms at short notice. If not, the Harbor View is lovely and in the same area.

    Whatever your location, have fun. You deserve it my friend...

    M
  • 03-29-2012, 10:20 AM
    Feanor
    ... Toronto ...
  • 03-29-2012, 10:26 AM
    GMichael
    Milford PA. When are you coming over?
  • 03-29-2012, 10:38 AM
    Hyfi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael View Post
    Milford PA. When are you coming over?

    G, are you really in Milford?

    I have a cabin in Promisedland and spend time up that way.
  • 03-29-2012, 10:41 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    G, are you really in Milford?

    I have a cabin in Promisedland and spend time up that way.

    I sure am. It's a great little town. You should visit too.

    My dad almost bought a house in Promisedland. There is some very nice new construction there. In the end, it was just too far from any hospitals for him.
  • 03-29-2012, 11:01 AM
    Hyfi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael View Post
    I sure am. It's a great little town. You should visit too.

    My dad almost bought a house in Promisedland. There is some very nice new construction there. In the end, it was just too far from any hospitals for him.

    I will let you know when I am up there and maybe we can get together for a listen to your system. The only thing in the cabin is a 40 y/o Lafayette system but still works.

    Honesdale and Scranton are a good clip in an emergency from there.
  • 03-29-2012, 11:19 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    I will let you know when I am up there and maybe we can get together for a listen to your system. The only thing in the cabin is a 40 y/o Lafayette system but still works.

    Honesdale and Scranton are a good clip in an emergency from there.

    Cool. It's a modest system, but I like it.
    Dad no longer has any need for a hospital.
  • 03-29-2012, 12:16 PM
    ForeverAutumn
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    ... Toronto ...

    I was going to suggest the same. :) Toronto is a great city to visit, but you'll only get a sampling over a weekend. And should you choose not to be alone you have friends here who would be more than happy to show you around and perhaps even provide a home cooked meal, or at the very least buy you a great meal. :)

    Unfortunately, said friends don't have a lot of free weekends open in April so timing could be an issue if you decided to visit. But I'm sure something could be worked out. :)
  • 03-29-2012, 12:18 PM
    ForeverAutumn
    Oh...I just realized that I have a lot of smilies in the above post. Sorry.
  • 03-29-2012, 12:29 PM
    Hyfi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael View Post
    Cool. It's a modest system, but I like it.
    Dad no longer has any need for a hospital.

    Only a 30 minute drive from the park to you. Modest systems are good and yours is way better than what is at the cabin.

    Ever jumped off the bridge at Kimbles Gorge off of Rt 6 near Walenpaupack?
  • 03-29-2012, 12:43 PM
    bobsticks
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    I was going to suggest the same. :) Toronto is a great city to visit, but you'll only get a sampling over a weekend...

    Toronto is a tremendously wonderful city and was another one that I thought of, but, ultimately nixed for that same reason after reading John's criteria.
  • 03-29-2012, 01:08 PM
    Hyfi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    Toronto is a tremendously wonderful city and was another one that I thought of, but, ultimately nixed for that same reason after reading John's criteria.

    I was going to say London as that is my favorite city but it's too close to Paris.
  • 03-29-2012, 03:10 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    Fells Point in Baltimore Harbor is cool with many little Jazz Bars and Maryland Wines are very good. I used to go to the Maryland Wine Festival every year at the Carrol County Farm Museum.


    Thanks I will google the area and check it out.
  • 03-29-2012, 03:18 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    Hey John,

    Sorry life is tumultuous but I'm glad to read that you're scheduling a break. "East of the Mississippi" leaves a lot of areas.

    Of course I'd suggest New York or Chicago but you've already visited those areas. Indianapolis and St. Louis are too spread out geographically for walking and New Orleans cannot possibly be done properly over a weekend.

    Against all odds---or rather to say, this may not sound like something I'd normally recommend---but I'd say Charleston, South Carolina. If you stay on the penninsula you'd have a wide variety of options within walking distance, or at worst, a short cab ride.
    Off the top of my head:
    1) Near Market St. one could dine at Mercato or, better yet, Hanks for fresh seafood. (When on coastal towns I feel it's an absolute necessity to sample fare from the sea and Hank's has a fresh bar. You might have to gravitate away from your preferred reds but may I suggest the Reisling from St Michelle for oysters)

    2) Fort Sumter and the Aquarium within walking distance

    3) The Charleston Museum was the first museum in this country and the museum in the Old Exhange and Provost is home to a fascinating bit of Americana...hell, all of "Museum Mile"

    4) absolutely amazing historic (read photogenic) architecture throughout the city though most prominent in the Charleston French Quarter.

    5) The Stottile Theater of Charleston's campus.

    For the whole experience you might choose to forgo the major hospitality chains and stay at the John Rutledge though there might not be rooms at short notice. If not, the Harbor View is lovely and in the same area.

    Whatever your location, have fun. You deserve it my friend...

    M


    Fresh seafood and wine my favorites. I am quite familiar with the St. Michelle Reisling since this is the go to wine when a friend who likes sweet and I like dry get together. A very nice midpoint for us. Sounds like this would cover my interests quite well.

    I will check out the hotels. I trust your taste in hotels.
  • 03-29-2012, 03:23 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    I was going to suggest the same. :) Toronto is a great city to visit, but you'll only get a sampling over a weekend. And should you choose not to be alone you have friends here who would be more than happy to show you around and perhaps even provide a home cooked meal, or at the very least buy you a great meal. :)

    Unfortunately, said friends don't have a lot of free weekends open in April so timing could be an issue if you decided to visit. But I'm sure something could be worked out. :)



    As a caregiver I have to give plenty of notice so the family can fill in during my absence. My vacation may not happen until May but it does the mind good to have something to anticipate.
  • 03-29-2012, 03:30 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    I was going to say London as that is my favorite city but it's too close to Paris.



    Before I went to Paris I was going to meet a friend from Manchester England and he was going to show me London and then we would be on our way to Paris. He had a new job and could not take vacation. After plans fell through the next spring I said what the hell and went to Paris by myself.

    I find it exciting to go to a new city by myself and cameras to explore. No tour groups, no one to argue with about choices just book a flight and hotel and see what happens. Nothing gets my attention more than someone talking about Paris.
  • 04-04-2012, 08:22 AM
    JohnMichael
    I had a dream I went to Quebec City for two nights. The first night I stayed at the Manoir Victoria and the next day I walked through the city to the Chateau Frontenac. I have no idea why I switched Hotels. I have stayed in and enjoyed them both. Now I am missing Quebec City. I feel more alive when I am there than any other place I have been.
  • 04-04-2012, 09:10 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    Only a 30 minute drive from the park to you. Modest systems are good and yours is way better than what is at the cabin.

    Ever jumped off the bridge at Kimbles Gorge off of Rt 6 near Walenpaupack?

    I never jumped off that bridge, but years ago I jumped from the Newburgh-Beacon bridge into the safety nets.
  • 04-04-2012, 09:30 AM
    dean_martin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    I had a dream I went to Quebec City for two nights. The first night I stayed at the Manoir Victoria and the next day I walked through the city to the Chateau Frontenac. I have no idea why I switched Hotels. I have stayed in and enjoyed them both. Now I am missing Quebec City. I feel more alive when I am there than any other place I have been.

    Follow your dreams, John! A familiar place might be good for you.

    OTOH - You CAN do the NOLA French Quarter over a weekend. But, for me, it's always a place I'll go back to so not everything gets done over a weekend and there's more to it than just the FQ.

    Friday night - St. Charles trolley to Avenue Pub - great bar food and beer, then to Roosevelt Hotel for a Sazerac cocktail in the Sazerac Bar, then out to Bourbon St or down to House of Blues if there's a show you want to see. (I saw Iron & Wine there.)
    Sat - shops and galleries in FQ off Bourbon, Muffuletta for lunch, Jackson Square, dinner at the Bourbon House Oyster Bar - beer from Abita, gumbo, oysters any way you like, gator tail and finish with bread pudding and a flight of bourbons (whiskey on beer, never fear!), then out onto Bourbon St then maybe to O'Brien's for a Hurricane.
    Sun - back to Jackson Square for beignets at Cafe Du Monde and photography, stroll side streets of
    FQ - the houses are colorful with distinct architecture - photogenic. Back up to Bourbon and Laffitte Black Smith Shop for a drink on your way to last stop at above ground cemetary just outside FQ (check to see if it's open ahead of time) - more photos. Get to airport to catch plane.
    Hotels - Royal Sonesta on Bourbon - nice, on Bourbon(!), a little pricey. Le Richelieu on Chartres - good rates, still nice, but older/dated rooms, FREE PARKING in FQ but closer to Jackson Square.

    I like Bobsticks' suggestion re Charleston. I'm saving that one. We lived there once, but I was too young to remember. I need to go back and take my family

    Other Southern cities of interest:
    Memphis - for Beale St. and points of musical interest. Watch the ducks come in at the Peabody while sipping an excellent martini. (You don't have to stay at the Peabody to enjoy their lobby bar and duck parade.) My wife and I went to Memphis for a short trip and had a blast. Some of the sights require transportation.
    Louisville - planned a trip there last year but it fell through - when is the KY Derby? - that would be a great time to go if you like crowds and festive atmosphere. I'm a bourbon fan so my trip would've focused on distilleries and bourbon history and a trip down to Bardstown/bourbon country. L'ville has a couple of nice/famous hotels.
    Nashville - again, if you like points of musical interest - it's not just for country anymore.
    St. Augustine - went there years ago, can't remember much, but might be worth looking into if you have any interest in way early Spanish settlements.
    Savannah?

    I suggest not going too far south between Memorial Day and the end of September unless you love heat and high humidity and are going to the beach.
  • 04-04-2012, 05:02 PM
    JohnMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dean_martin View Post
    Follow your dreams, John! A familiar place might be good for you.

    OTOH - You CAN do the NOLA French Quarter over a weekend. But, for me, it's always a place I'll go back to so not everything gets done over a weekend and there's more to it than just the FQ.

    Friday night - St. Charles trolley to Avenue Pub - great bar food and beer, then to Roosevelt Hotel for a Sazerac cocktail in the Sazerac Bar, then out to Bourbon St or down to House of Blues if there's a show you want to see. (I saw Iron & Wine there.)
    Sat - shops and galleries in FQ off Bourbon, Muffuletta for lunch, Jackson Square, dinner at the Bourbon House Oyster Bar - beer from Abita, gumbo, oysters any way you like, gator tail and finish with bread pudding and a flight of bourbons (whiskey on beer, never fear!), then out onto Bourbon St then maybe to O'Brien's for a Hurricane.
    Sun - back to Jackson Square for beignets at Cafe Du Monde and photography, stroll side streets of
    FQ - the houses are colorful with distinct architecture - photogenic. Back up to Bourbon and Laffitte Black Smith Shop for a drink on your way to last stop at above ground cemetary just outside FQ (check to see if it's open ahead of time) - more photos. Get to airport to catch plane.
    Hotels - Royal Sonesta on Bourbon - nice, on Bourbon(!), a little pricey. Le Richelieu on Chartres - good rates, still nice, but older/dated rooms, FREE PARKING in FQ but closer to Jackson Square.

    I like Bobsticks' suggestion re Charleston. I'm saving that one. We lived there once, but I was too young to remember. I need to go back and take my family

    Other Southern cities of interest:
    Memphis - for Beale St. and points of musical interest. Watch the ducks come in at the Peabody while sipping an excellent martini. (You don't have to stay at the Peabody to enjoy their lobby bar and duck parade.) My wife and I went to Memphis for a short trip and had a blast. Some of the sights require transportation.
    Louisville - planned a trip there last year but it fell through - when is the KY Derby? - that would be a great time to go if you like crowds and festive atmosphere. I'm a bourbon fan so my trip would've focused on distilleries and bourbon history and a trip down to Bardstown/bourbon country. L'ville has a couple of nice/famous hotels.
    Nashville - again, if you like points of musical interest - it's not just for country anymore.
    St. Augustine - went there years ago, can't remember much, but might be worth looking into if you have any interest in way early Spanish settlements.
    Savannah?

    I suggest not going too far south between Memorial Day and the end of September unless you love heat and high humidity and are going to the beach.



    Thanks for some great suggestions. You may be right for this mental health break going home to Quebec City may be the thing.

    As I have been looking at Hotels I realized for just me I do not need the Chateau Frontenac or the Manoir Victoria. I spent most of my time taking my mother to Quebec and we stayed at very nice places and ate gourmet foods. I think I just want to stroll the streets and take pictures. Oh and I know where to drink.

    I do not know why Quebec feels like home.
  • 04-04-2012, 05:35 PM
    RoyY51
    I have a good friend who lives in Nashville. He claims that there is more live music per square mile than anyplace else on earth. And, as was noted above, it's not just country music. The abundance of recording studios insures a wide variety of styles comin' through town. Plenty of hotels, nightspots, and just a few hours away; DOLLYWOOD!
  • 04-06-2012, 04:57 PM
    Woochifer
    I would add Toronto the mix as well. Big and very international city, but more like a pastiche of neighborhoods than anything. When I visited several years ago, I just roamed from neighborhood to neighborhood, with no particular destinations in mind and discovered many interesting places. Lot of distinct ethnic shopping districts, so food choices abound. Very similar to San Francisco in its scale and diversity, but flatter and cleaner, and more European and Middle Eastern in its ethnic mix.

    But, I will say that Quebec City had some of the best dining in recent memory. Out here in Cali, French cuisine is fancy and expensive, but out in Quebec, it was just regular everyday food and every meal I had there was outstanding.
  • 04-06-2012, 05:02 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RoyY51 View Post
    I have a good friend who lives in Nashville. He claims that there is more live music per square mile than anyplace else on earth. And, as was noted above, it's not just country music. The abundance of recording studios insures a wide variety of styles comin' through town. Plenty of hotels, nightspots, and just a few hours away; DOLLYWOOD!

    Hmmm, I always thought that Austin had dibs on that claim. When I went there, I remember live music everywhere. Even the most obscure and generic looking restaurants had bandstands up front.

    Another great (and often overlooked) town for live music is Minneapolis.