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Our Hurry Up and Go Vacation: how inexperienced travelers booked a 3-week trip to London, Paris, Rome, and Venice for 2 adults and 2 teenagers starting only 2 ½ weeks before departure…

Our Hurry Up and Go Vacation: how inexperienced travelers booked a 3-week trip to London, Paris, Rome, and Venice for 2 adults and 2 teenagers starting only 2 ½ weeks before departure…

Jul 29th, 2006, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
In the immortal words of me..."WOW and holy moses"
I came upon your trip report quite by accident and can't remember when I've enjoyed myself so much on someone else's trip.

"Europe as a tropical destination."
"Bastille Day fireworks as we went through Dijon and other towns along the route..."
"the festival of Redentore... oh la la"
"I detect a pattern here…" :-?
"Yeah. Very interesting. But I really just want to know how to tell what flavors the gelati are!”
mclaurie is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,099
I've spent the past hour reading this and after having been in London, Paris and Rome in 2003 and 2005 -- feel like I'm revisiting my top three cities all over again. Thank you so much, and please, do continue.

jules4je7 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 499
You are making your discoveries our discoveries. What a wonderful gift you are giving us.

Thanks so much.
vcl is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 332
Thanks for this - it's awesome! And what a great life lesson - my mom and I have been talking about going to Italy for years, but things keep getting in the way. I'm sending this to her and am going to remember that we could plan something last minute too!!

Can't wait to hear the rest...
pittpurple is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 311
I love this report! Thanks for posting it. Now I have it bookmarked so I can remind myself of the rules at any time.
olive_oil is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,739
Bit late now, but someone suggested putting into your mobile a contact number for the person meeting you at your apartment - saves wandering around looking hopelessly for the apartment. alternatively, some agencies have an airport collection service -it's a bit pricey but we found it was worth it to avoid hassle at the beginning of the holiday.
annhig is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,770
Excellent report. However, having never had to plan for a family and being an airline employee, I have made more than one spontaneous travel choices in my life. Try to imagine flying from Paris to Rome one morning to spend the day there while being deathly ill (okay: just the flu) in order to wait for an Ethiopian Airlines flight at 1:15 a.m. to go to Addis Ababa. After not getting on the flight standby, flying back to Paris at 6:30 a.m. (miraculously cured of the flu during the night!) and seeing that I had a Pakistan Airlines ticket in stock for Paris-New York, I went home from CDG, modified my baggage slightly, and spent the next week in NYC.
kerouac is online now  
Jul 29th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 11,143
I am a W&M alum too and have found your post invaluble. We leave for London in 3 weeks with our two teens and I'm up to my eyeballs in travel plans and details. What would we do without Travel Talk?
Birdie is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,050
I enjoyed your trip report- I'm at the beginning of planning a trip to Venice, Tuscany/Umbria and Rome for us and our 17 year old granddaughter and maybe some other family members.
Saraho is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,774
WOW-impressive. I have found that Rule #1 can be the most important in enjoying a vacation...
marigross is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
NorCalif, I too am sooooo enjoying your trip report. I love long trip reports where the various family members are described and discussed, and how problems and stresses are overcome and reactions to various places and activities are talked about. I feel like I am travelling along with your family.

And the story of you DD and the Roman bus driver is precious!!

More please...
LoveItaly is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 422
What a wonderfully entertaining trip report! I so admire your resourcefullness in planning such a trip. Congratulations on a job well done!

Your descriptions are so vivid, I can immediately visualize your family wandering the streets in search of your apartment, suitcases trundling behind. How you looked and felt. The confusion, the determination, and finally, the reward!

Thanks so much for taking us along with you!
Croque_Madame is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 03:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,424
You have all been so kind. I continue to be amazed at the helpfulness and encouragement of people on this Board. Thank you all so much for your comments – I’ve read and enjoyed them all.

I wanted to respond to a couple of you that asked specific questions:

RBFK50: Interesting question, but I never considered a travel agent. I am just a total do-it-yourselfer I guess (OK, a control freak). And I actually enjoyed a lot of the research process – just didn’t have enough time to do it right.

HAPPYCHEESEHEAD: No, I’m not a writer (although I’d love to play one on TV). I actually am a software engineer. I think I’m enjoying the opportunity to use the verbal side of my head!

Oh – and I have to set the record straight about rule #1 – it didn’t originate with me but was a quote I learned in college. I just googled it to see who originally said it and interestingly enough the first several sites that had the quote were all software design sites – so I must have heard it in some computer science class of all places. But as best I can figure it is a slight re-wording of an observation of Voltaire’s. He certainly deserves the credit for it, not me!

Thanks again to everyone and best to you all. I look forward to continuing the trip report soon …
NorCalif is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 817
Loving every word of your report! Am anxious to hear what you thought of your Rome apartment, as it was on our short list. I e-mailed sleepinitaly to ask about the bed/sleeping configuration, and to question if there was seating for 4 at a table, but got no response. So I reserved a different one (same agency) in Trastevere. I'm sure I could change it, since there's plenty of time, so I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
Hagan is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 286
I am so loving this, great writing style please keep it coming!
Lostmymind is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 07:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,019
It's late and I should be in bed, but your report was so fascinating, I decided to loose some sleep over it.

Great report.
i_am_kane is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 07:09 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 360
This trip report is hysterical. Your writing style is great - reminds me a little bit of Helen Fielding. V.G. Continue on.
nnolen is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 07:46 PM
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Posts: 1,880
Oh, this is a fun report. Love the rules, so good, and so true. I'm jotting those down for future reference. Keep it coming.
laartista is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,660
One more enthusiastic fan. I've just spent the last half hour with you and your family. Enjoying this very much; thanks!
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 293
Reading your trip report is such a pleasure! Thank you!
Cameron is offline  

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