2004 - Options & Input Request

Dec 16th, 2003, 10:53 AM
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2004 - Options & Input Request

This is one of those oft-maligned "help me decide where to go even though you don't know me" posts. Briefly, my mom is dying to go back to Europe but won't treat herself, so I'm going to surprise her with a short trip at the end of May/beginning of June 2004. Due to my work constraints, we'll have 10 nights plus the traveling days. Now, I'm just having an awful time deciding where to take her.

She really likes mixing in a bit of beach (or serious relaxing time, at least) on vacation but generally likes everything - particularly smaller cities, countryside, wine breaks, and great scenery. Other than time, the only other serious parameter is that I'm treating, so nothing too extravagant.

Here are a couple of itineraries I've been tossing around:

Athens (2)
Mykonos (2)
Santorini (5)
Athens (1)

Florence (4)
Monterosso (4) (took her here in 2000 & she loved it)
Bellagio (2)

Ireland - mostly West Coast (we went in '98 and she still talks about going back, but the weather might not be the greatest then)

For those who would suggest just asking her, the only thing she'll say is not to spend my money on her. And, when I've talked about going places with her, she thinks everything sounds wonderful.

So, (especially for moms out there) if you were going to trek around and relax with your daughter, what would you like?

(She's been to parts of Ireland, England, and France, as well as Monterosso, Venice.)
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 11:14 AM
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Hi Heather,

For what it's worth - I took my mother to Provence (relaxing and good weather) and Scotland (heritage).

If you haven't been to Provence I would highly recommend it. It has everything your mother likes in a vacation. You could end with a couple of days in Paris.
adrienne is offline  
Dec 17th, 2003, 06:45 AM
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Adrienne, you might have ESP ... I took mom to Provence and she loved it and it is one of the areas that kept coming up. Now, I may have 4 ideas to choose from.

Thank you for the feedback.
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Dec 17th, 2003, 04:49 PM
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I was thinking of suggesting Ireland. You wouldn't get any fabulous beach time, but it is perfect for relaxation. My last trip to Ireland was in late May, and the weather could not have been more perfect. If she has done Dublin, I would suggest staying in some of the more quaint places like Adare, Kerry, Tipperary, etc. You could also stay in Dublin for a little excitement and shopping and then do day trips to Monasterboice, Glendalough, etc.

Another option might be a Provence trip. You could ramble through the French countryside, and then if you want some beach time, head south.

Has she been to Bavaria? Again, you wouldn't get a beach, but you could do some relaxation in the Alps. Salzburg is one of my favorite cities, and even though the weather there is always chancy, that would be a good time to try for some clear days there.

Have a great time with your mom!
Jun04ItalyHoneymoon is offline  
Dec 17th, 2003, 10:55 PM
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Heather - Why did three of us think Provence? I would do the hill towns and then the coast to Nice.

Have a great trip. Beth
Beth is offline  
Dec 19th, 2003, 08:13 AM
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Thank you so much for the feedback. It's a silly dilemma trying to decide between all of these great places, but I want to really treat her on this trip. She's a tad cranky from not being to Europe since 2000 (I got her addicted, too).

My Secret Santa bought me a 2004 Italy travel book yesterday, which is so tempting. Oddly, the whole trip idea started with Bavaria. I'm so undecided. Maybe Provence again ... we really liked the place I found to stay and it has a pool. Hmmm.
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Dec 19th, 2003, 12:54 PM
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Heather, In May, and with only 10 days, I would split time between Venice and Lago Como. The lakes are still my top destination in Italy.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 19th, 2003, 04:16 PM
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South of France and short trips inland would be my vote for mother and daughter
in late May the weather would be perfect and the blooms blooming.
chardonnay is offline  
Dec 19th, 2003, 04:37 PM
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Ever thought about Portugal? It has beaches, great wine, great scenery, smaller cities and amazing countryside. And we've always found it very reasonable there. We've also driven there and found it much easier than Greece or Spain. You could travel from pousada to pousada, or hit the beaches for awhile then go inland.
rickmav is offline  
Dec 20th, 2003, 05:31 AM
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Heather, Here's a vote for the Florence/Italy trip. I first went to Europe years ago (on one of those cheap Icelandic deals), and then had the opportunity to go to Italy almost three years ago with my daughter's high school Latin class. We fell in love with Italy together, and are going again in January during her winter break. I've also been to Greece, including Mykonos, but definitely prefer Italy.
LouisaH is online now  
Dec 29th, 2003, 07:08 AM
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Thank you, again, for all of the feedback. It's still a tough decision ... and I agree with everyone's comments. Perhaps I will let airfare prices sway me in one direction or another. Bob, the only reason I didn't put Venice up as an idea is that I just went for the fourth time in October along with the Dolomites and was contemplating it again in Oct. 2004 (the hiking was incredible).
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 07:14 AM
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Heather, I think with the Olympics coming in the Summer, I'd take Greece off the list. A couple of places you might consider; Switzerland (maybe Montreux and Locarno) for walking, hiking, great food, boat rides, shopping. Or consider Croatia in lieu of Greece, great islands and some fabulous ruins in a relaxed and inexpensive setting.
Grasshopper is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 07:28 AM
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My suggestion: SICILY.
I would also suggest Portugal, but not from personal experience. However, if you want to treat me, I'll scout it out for you.
cmt is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 07:39 AM
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My vote goes to Portugal! It has everything you want. They have gorgeous beaches, terrific small towns, nice wine and very gracious people. May is before the tourist hordes descend so it is the perfect time. We especially liked the Western Algarve, Lisbon, Marvao and Obidos.

Nice gift.
SloJan is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 07:43 AM
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Heather, to stick to the France theme, what about Nice (beaches, great people watching) and that area of Southern France if you haven't been there before? We loved Nice and wished we had more time to explore the areas inland.
swalter518 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 07:56 AM
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OK, here's another one: Barcelona & surroundings. Art, architecture, beach, food, wine...
Second choice: Provence/S. France
Third choice: Croatia
Fourth choice: Crete +
You can hardly go wrong in late May!
jenviolin is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 08:34 AM
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Wow! These ideas are getting better.

Portugal is a country I keep contemplating and haven't been to yet. Hadn't really delved into the research part of it too much, but definitely will with the multiple mentions. Also was tossing around the idea of Malta (am really split a 1000 different ways on this trip). So, tonight, I'll read up more on Portugal.

Also, the RT airfare to Paris is about $600 (for 2) cheaper than MXP or Athens. Grasshopper, that's exactly what I was wondering about Greece & the Olympics ... plus, I'd (ideally) like more time when I go back.

So, potentially, the revised idea list is "narrowed down" to:

> Italy (maybe Florence, Lake Como + ?)

> Portugal

> Croatia

> Provence + Paris

> I like the Switzerland suggestion, too ... how would the weather/driving by in late May/early June?
Teach is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 08:41 AM
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I just noticed that "Teach" - a profile of my coworker's who uses my Internet connection - appears on my last post. Looking at past posts, I've not logged her off and logged on as myself, so I apologize for any confusion (completely did not pay attention to this ... giving blondes a bad name again).
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 09:15 AM
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Heather, One of my favorite trips was 10 days in Switzerland. It was the end of June, so maybe a little more weather favorable than early June or late May, but it was beautiful. I flew into Paris and took the TGV directly to Lyon, where I had a wonderful dinner in Vieux Lyon. Then I trained to Geneva for one night (the first couple of nights I like getting my bearings and getting over jet lag). From there I trained to Locarno, via Domodossola (sp?) and the Centovalli (a fabulous ride). In Locarno I took boat rides to smaller towns on Maggiore, went to Bellinzona, and strolled the lakeside promenade. I stayed at Albergo Navegna (which had a wonderful restaurant). Then I headed back to Montreux/Vevey. There are a million and one things to do in that area; wine tasting, dining, boating on Lac Leman, bicycling, hiking.... From Vevey I took the train back to Paris where I spent my last night with a nice dinner.

I think it would be a great Mom/Daughter trip. Nice balance of relaxing and more energetic enterprises.
Grasshopper is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 09:28 AM
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Well I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Amalfi coast area, especially since you are fond of Italy. With your time frame I would spend several nites in Sorrento doing sightseeing of the whole area and then head to Capri for two or three nites for serious relaxation at the end. My daugher and I have done this trip two years in a row but we have a little more time and travel on to France after some time in Italy. All of your possibilities sound pleasant tho! Have a wonderful trip! SueC1
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