Might be last family trip

Jul 14th, 2006, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Australia, New Zealand with a stop off in Cook Islands, Fiji or some other midway place.

Second choice: Costa Rica and the Panama Canal.

Maybe do all five?!
StrayKat is offline  
Jul 14th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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Regarding Costa Rica, I've always considered it the blandest country in Latin America. Nice beaches, great rainforests, but it lacks the foreigness of the other countries - though that is in large part what makes it so much safer than Nicaragua, Columbia, etc. And to my mind Costa Rican cuisine is unforgivably bland. If you do decide to head south for this vacation, and aren't wedded to a beach vacation, why not try Argentina? It is one of the few places with a currency that makes the dollar look strong, Buenos Aires is a world-class town, the culture and cuisine is awesome, and you should have time to explore some of the countryside, like Iguazu Falls or Patagonia. And the weather should be nice and temperate in late March - it is their autumn.
bobludlow is offline  
Jul 15th, 2006, 05:20 AM
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Hi and thank you all who responded. I just had another thought when someone mentioned Argentina, which i never considered but what about the Galapagos Islands? Well I think we will make a list Costa rica, galapagos islands and hawaii list the pros and con of each and take a vote. As far as the older kids, they are so ready for a trip, with the responsibility of work and having their own places. So if any of you think I have missed anything please let me know. Thanks again ETK
etk401 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2006, 03:52 PM
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We just did "last trip" with our teens aged 15 & 18 - a week in an apartment in Rome. It was more difficult to find somewhere to suit us all, but it worked fine -we all loved it.
Even though the older ones have been to italy, have they been to Rome? Paris? london?.
What about a stay on the Venice lido? [might be a bit cool in March, though. ]
THat time of year, London + Dubai [never been but it looks amazing] could be a good choice.
annhig is offline  
Jul 16th, 2006, 05:11 PM
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<< It is getting hard to travel together, so we want to plan one last trip befor the grown kids have kids of their own. >>

A word of encouragement to all parents wondering aboput the pros and cons of taking a "last hurrah" trip with the kids as they move from/through adolescence onward...

We took our "last hurrah" trip (England, Italy, France) in 1998 when our first daughter graduated from high school - - and we have now repeated it four more times - - in 2000 (Germany, Austria, Italy), 2003 (Austria, Czech Republic, Poland and Scotland), 2004 (LA, the coast of California, SF and Yosemite), and its latest version this year (St John/St Thomas in the USVI and Puerto Rico).

I hope we can keep up with reasons (and the means) to repeat for a long time in the future. I'd far rather travel with all of them than without them.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Jul 16th, 2006, 06:51 PM
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I was going to recommend the Galapagos Islands to you, but eco-tourism in Costa Rica (where I've never been) seemed simpler. But go for it!

My impression of youngsters today is that they are eager to see the great WIDE world, not just more international cities where "global youth culture" has taken root. They want to see pristine places and something of the wildnerness. They want to see cultures different from Western consumerism.

You know your kids best, but I will add that given the presently escalating problems of the Middle East, I would not invest in planning a trip to that region.
nessundorma is offline  
Jul 16th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Rex you are so right we have thought a few times we were planning our last trip thank heavens to find out the kids still want to travel with us. I think it really is more me afraid they will get too busy to want to come. So now i am looking for a trip that all 6 of us can have a good time. March is the time Costa Rica Hawaii or the Galapagos? New Zealand is too far for 10 days? I am leaning towards CR or Hawaii all kids say all three choices are great and dh is always open to a new adventure. Thank you all so much
etk401 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2006, 07:39 PM
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<< It is getting hard to travel together, so we want to plan one last trip befor the grown kids have kids of their own. >>

This is ironic- my husband and I travelling to France in August as our "last hurrah" BEFORE having kids! Have a wonderful time...
Kathryncee is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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If you want to make it easy for yourself, book two Celebrity Suites at Lost Iguana outside of La Fortuna in the Arenal area of Costa Rica for half the time, then book a new beautiful villa at the Buena Vista Villas in Manuel Antonio. In Arenal you have zip lines, hanging bridges, rafting, hiking, hot springs; in MA you have the beach and lots of monkeys. Contrary to what lots of folks say, the food is terrific - butter tender beef, fresh watermelon, pineapple, etc. in abundance, seafood, etc.

It's a trip where there's a lot to do, but not TOO much. The day there is pretty much 12 hours all year round (5:45 am - 5:45 pm), so you are sort of forced to have nice leisurely dinners, rather than rushing to yet another attraction.

Your CR trip can be as relaxed, or as action packed, as you want it to be. This option is important for a large family traveling together.
missypie is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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Ok so far we are leaning towards CR. so to make it a bit more confusing what about Belize, weather wise and accomadations. Coppolla lodges were recommended with 4 days in mtn area and 4 on coast. Sounds like same plan for CR Is there a big difference betwwen the two destinations?
etk401 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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I've heard that Belize is better if you're into scuba diving. The Coppolla lodges do look nice.

I will say that Costa Rica is the prettiest place I've ever been. The vacation immediately preceding our CR vacation was to Disneyworld. Costa Rica was experiencing "for real" what Disney tries to create in some of its resorts and rides.

Don't give up on future family vacations, however. One of my law partners and his wife took their daughters (22 and 26) on vacation with them...it was a California wine tasting trip and they had a great time!

missypie is offline  
Jul 17th, 2006, 05:57 PM
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For the record- at 35, my husband and my sister and brother in law LOVE travelling with my parents.. it is SO different as an adult- much more "bonding"- plus knowing how limited time gets to be as adults..it is great family catch up time. Have a wonderful trip!
Kathryncee is offline  
Jul 18th, 2006, 08:20 AM
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We are having a family dinner on Wed. and i can't wait to get serious about this trip. I think CR will get the vote. i will let you all know what we decide and I am sure i will have more specific questions then. Thank you all
etk401 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 09:42 AM
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To all of you who responded a big thank you! The family has made the decision to travel to CR for 10 days in mid March. Only one concern from the eldest daughter, she is not great with flying and voiced concern for travel with in country on a small plane.The youngest daughter told her not to worry she would sit with her and snuggle. I will post questions on the CR site, but any comments are still appreciated.
etk401 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 11:07 AM
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Rent a car; skip the travel on a small plane. You will need a car to get to restaurants and other attractions anyway. You'll actually, however, need a full sized van.
missypie is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 01:03 PM
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Hi Missy, my thoughts are arrive San Jose, stay there? Three nites Arenal then on to Four seasons for beach, any thoughts, how much driving? We will have 10 days bit travel takes up one at front and back.
etk401 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 01:13 PM
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fly out of liberia if staying at the 4 seasons - much much closer.
wsm2004 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 05:15 PM
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When you hear everyone say "Don't drive at night from SJO to Arenal", pay attention to that!!! It's a gorgeous 3 hour drive on amazingly twisty roads-hair pin turns, etc.

We arrived at SJO after 10 pm and stayed at the Hampton Inn..they have a shuttle. It's a great way to ease into another country when you're tired...the shuttle picks you up; it's a 5 minute drive to an almost-American hotel; you eat a breakfast that is almost Costa Rican (they have fresh fruit and great coffee). You're then refreshed, oriented and ready to start your trip.

I have a missionary-like zeal for CR. I know it's become quite popular lately, but I don't know very many people who have been there, which is nuts since it's only a 3 hour direct flight from DFW.

In Arenal, eat at El Novillo...eat there early in your trip because you'll want to go back. The day we left for CR, I had a steak for lunch at the Palm, and the steak at El Novillo put that to shame! (And very inexpensive!)

Can't wait to chat more on the Latin America board.
missypie is offline  

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