RTW 6 months to go. Any thoughts?

Jun 20th, 2005, 04:39 PM
  #1  
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RTW 6 months to go. Any thoughts?

We depart on the 20 Dec. for the start of a 6 week trip. We are mum n dad and 2 daughters (17 & 19) Our first leg is Brisbane to LA. Then Nyc, Orlando and Chicago. I have posted that part of the trip in the USA thread. (And got into trouble 'cause my title was too long, hope this one is ok?)
We depart Chicago for London 9 Jan 06 at 4.15pm from Ohare and arrive London Heatrow at 6am on the 10th. Any thoughts on transfers? The people at our apartment have offered a minibus transfer for about 50pound? After getting very brave, thanks to all the help on this site, I have booked an apartment http://www.apartment-hotels.com/ . These people were really lovely to deal with, Robert and Polly. Has anyone used this aparment? I would love to hear first hand about it. It sounds like a great location. We are meeting up with some Aussie friends who are flying over for this leg of the trip. Apart from all the usual thing, palaces, museums etc. we really want to see We Will Rock You. Does anyone know if it will still be playing then? WE have seen it in Brisbane and Melb. and loved it and would love the London version. And of course "the girls will want to shop" a LOT. any suggestions?
I will also be writing to request tickets to Ceromony of the Keys, thanks to some great advice on this forum. And of course the London eye. Should I be booking things like that before we leave? Or just take our chances? We will just get tckts on the hop on hop off buses, as we are fairly independant. Really looking forward to a sandwich from Pret a Manger, thanks to 'Tasty'. We (DH & his friend)are also very keen to catch a soccer game. Is this a hopeless idea? Where do I begin to search on this? After 7 nights, next stop Paris!
aussiedreamer is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 05:12 PM
  #2  
rex
 
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Title too long? What is a title too long?

The best title is pretty much the entire question for which you are seeking info, in my opinion.

They say differently over on the US board?

I know that this is a "hijack" of your question, so...

...others, don't respond to me. I can start a new thread on this, or click on aussiedreamer, and see what the fuss was about.

As for your actual question, 50 GBP seems a little high, but not crazy high. Have you checked the chauffeur.co.uk website perhaps?

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 05:17 PM
  #3  
rex
 
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Okay - - I'm not going to start a new thread on this. I see the "issue" with your post http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34637807

It's not the length of the message header - - the just want you to put space between words, so that it will line wrap.

You can make a message header as long as you want.

The first 50 message headers on the "front page" will "fit" there, no matter how many "lines" it takes.
rex is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 05:40 PM
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50 GBP sounds on the high side for the airport transfer. Take a look at justairports.com and their on line estimate for a (cash) transfer to your apartment and I'll bet the price is under 30 GBP. This business gets recommended frequently here. I've used them numerous times and haven't been disappointed. Don't forget to choose the cash option.

We saw We WIll Rock You in Feb with our 14 YO and had a fun evening. This website says it will be playing through April 2006, so you're in luck:

http://www.officiallondontheatre.co....ontentId/69595

Reduced price tickets are almost always available at TKTS in Leicester Square so take advantage of that.

Don't book the London Eye before you go because 1) you don't want to ride it if the weather is cloudy or foul, and 2) lines are not nearly as frequent as when the attraction first opened. Unless it's a sunny holiday weekend, you'll likely not have to wait long if at all.

Sounds like a great trip! Keep posting your questions and try and keep the forum nit pickers in perspective.
obxgirl is online now  
Jun 20th, 2005, 05:42 PM
  #5  
 
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Yes - as rex says, the issue with your other thread had nothing to do w/ the length of the title. The pproblem is that you posted a long title w/o any spaces (you could have used the dashes if you had put spaces in between). That messes up the frame w/ the thread list. But you aren't the first one to make that mistake.

Another helpful hint -- it is VERY hard to read long posts without any paragraphs. Some people just don't bother because they are so hard to follow. In future, if you do a double returns between each paragraph/subject it will be a lot better.

There - enough lectures for one night

About the flat - that is a TERRIFIC location. Really couldn't be better for a family stay. Near tube stations, walking distance to the V&A and Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens, and lots of good restaurants/cafes/supermarkets.

But £50 is a bit too much for the transfer in from LHR. That is only about £5 less than a cab fare. Car services like justairports.com and others will pick you up at LHR and drop you at the flat for about £30 - and even less if you pay cash.

Don't pre-book for the Eye. It really isn't necessary and you don't want to be locked into a certain day/time if the weather is bad.

What a fabulous trip for your family.
janis is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 06:33 PM
  #6  
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thanks one and all. I will definately take your advice on transfers. And paragraphs



We are taking the Eurostar to Paris. Very very excited. I have just paid my deposit with Paris Perfect, for the Chardonay apartment. thanks to everybody who recommends ParisPerfect. Very easy to deal with.

A couple of questions and comments. Will get a museum pass, for sure. both the kids can apply for an international student card, before leaveing home. Has anyone got experience with these? They are only $25Aud. ($19USD)but does anyone know if they will help the girls get into anywhere cheaper or 'free'?

Can't wait to buy a crepe from a vendor, visit markets for cheese, bread, wine...etc. Still thinking of perhaps hiring a van for all of us (7 with Aussie friends) and do a day trip out of Paris...any suggestion? Might be all museumed , palaced out , how 'bout somewhere scenic, ie: wine country. and a nice long lunch, somewhere casual (pub or similar).

As we will be exploring Paris independently, has any one used the citywalk cards? I read about them here, and they sound like a great idea. Gives the basics but still lots of spontaneous exploring.

I have also read on this site about being able to get tickets to a fashion show? The girls would love that. And of course, 'they will want to shop'!!

Thanks for all your help.
aussiedreamer is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 06:46 PM
  #7  
rex
 
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If your daughters have any kind of picture student ID card, I don't think there will be a nickel's worth of value to the "International student card".
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Jun 20th, 2005, 08:27 PM
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Hi Aussiedreamer, we are an Aussie family also who do a 6 week RTW trip last Dec/Jan with our 3 teenagers (13, 15 & 17).

In London we stayed with Rob and Polly and you are correct they are lovely people. They have two separate places fairly close by to each other. We stayed at the Emperor's Gate apartment at 8 Knaresbrough Place It was hardly luxurious but was quite adequate for our needs and by London standards was very good value for money. We had a separate bedroom for adults, a kitchen and the kids all had to sleep in the good sized living room. The building is a little old and worn but our apartment was reasonably well furnished. There is no lift but Robert carried all the luggage up to the 3rd floor for us. They were quite unphased about us arriving well before the room were ready. They just said leave all your luggage here and directed us towards a cafe to have breakfast, told us where the local supermarket was to get in some basic supplies (quite close) and when we eventually came back the luggage was all in the room.

In terms of getting there we simply caught the train from Heathrow without any trouble. There were no changes and we got off at Earls Court Station. There are lifts there so no trouble with luggage. We simply rollled the cases along the pavement for about 150 metres and we were at the apartment. It couldn't have been simpler and much cheaper than a taxi, with the added bonus our train ticket was still available to use for the rest of the day. The bloke at the airport from whom we bought the train tickets from was very helpful in determining what was the best sort of ticket to buy. We ended up getting famiy tickets each day but you have to wait to off-peak to use them which I think was 10am. Each person still had their own individual ticket so it didn't matter if you split up.

I noted you mention that you want to go to a soccer game. If you e-mail Rob he may well suggest or even organise something for you. Whilst we were they Rob offered to take us along to a game he was attending but as we have no interest in soccer we didn't take him up on the offer.

Definitely get tickets for Ceremony of the Keys. We all enjoyed it. I would even be writing now to ensure that you get some. I booked mine some 6 months ahead. London in January is incredily crowded with tourists. I had never seen it so busy before - it was worse than summer.

One other thing that we all enjoyed (and was cheap to boot) was the London Walks. We did a ghost one with them. There is no need to book ahead you just simply turn up. Rob and Polly had a list of their current walks downstairs in the little foyer.

We took the Eurostar to Paris afterwards and that worked very well. Once again we just trundled the cases down to Earl's Court Station. We did have to make one change to get to Waterloo, but the station we changed at and Waterloo also had lifts so once again no problem. I booked as far ahead as possible which I think was 90 days and had no trouble getting cheap seats for a one-way trip.

We didn't pre-book tickets for the London Eye before we got there. As we walking past just generally seeing the sights we booked some for the next day so that it fitted in nicely with Westminister Abbey. They are not far away from each other. By the way it is well worth paying for the Verger's at the Abbey. We wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much without the tour.

Where are you for Christmas itself? Are you still in LA or over to cold New York by then. Our kids absolutely loved having a white Christmas in Germany. They had never really seen any snow to speak of before.
shandy is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 08:30 PM
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Also meant to add that our kids just took their school photo id cards with them and we never had any trouble with them being accepted, although two of our kids were obviously school age. But the nearly 18 year old was never queried either.

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Jun 20th, 2005, 08:47 PM
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One clarification to shandy's post. One would not take the train from LHR to Earls Court. What they took was the Piccadilly tube line.

Yes, the tube (underground) vehicles are "trains", but when one speaks of taking the train in from LHR they mean the Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station.

So the tube is an option if you can manage the luggage.
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Jun 21st, 2005, 12:07 AM
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Shandy, what can I say? THANKYOU. I will definately email Rob, re; soccer game. And also the Ceremony. How great to hear how easy it is to get the 'train'. Thanks for the 'tube' clarification janis.. We will be in NYC for xmas. Not expecting to see any snow, but how cool if we did.
What state are you from Shandy? We are in sunny Qld, so went to NZ last year to see the snow. really the first time for DH and the girls. (apart from a breif stop in US last time to 'play' in the snow on the side of the road)

We will probably purchase our return ticket on the Eurostar from here. We are going back to London for two nights to leave the eldest daughter there (sigh). Seems like a 'right of passage' for Aussie kids to go it alone in the UK for a while. She will visiting newspapers etc to introduce her self and hopefully make some contacts for when she finishes her uni degree, in Journalism.

Any other info Shandy, or anyone, thankyou.
aussiedreamer is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 01:04 AM
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Aussiedreamer, we are from Victoria. Thank you Janis for putting me to rights about my terminolgy. Of course I did indeed mean the tube and not the train to Paddington. One other clarfication, when I talking about Westminister I have just noticed that I didn't include the word "tour". It was the "Verger's Tour" that was great. especially if it happens to be taken by Verger Benjamin. I know a number of fodorites who would be willing to set up a Verger Benjamin fanclub.

By the way I just checked, We Will Rock You will still be on. They are taking bookings until 2006. This is one thing that is probably worthwhile booking before you go. I took my daugher to Phantom and decided not to get tickets until we arrived as I wasn't sure which nights we would have free. We did get to see it but I would have done better if I had pre-booked. I ending up paying too much for poor seats.

Is it actually the apartments at Emperor's Gate or Knaresbrough Place that you are staying at?

We had the most wonderful time whilst we were away and in the six weeks only had one day when it rained, although it was extremely cold. However we were well rugged up. I hope you are as lucky. You just never know with the weather. I just came back from Port Douglas/Cape Trib a few days ago and despite it supposedly being the dry season it poured with rain. Barely saw any blue sky at all and never did get out to the reef - still had a good time though.
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Jun 21st, 2005, 02:46 AM
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Hi again Shandy, 1 & 2) Third Level West - Knaresborough Place. Yeah I had a look at a site somebody suggested and will book WWRU, did you see it in Melb? It really was good, and we have the London sound track.

It was the "Verger's Tour" that was great.
will also look into this.
Thanks again.
aussiedreamer is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 03:39 PM
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Hi Aussiedreamer, as you are staying at Knaresbrough Place that means you are staying in the same apartments we did so my directions about the tube will be fine. I wasn't sure where exactly the other sets of apartments were in relation to the station.

I never did get round to seeing We Will Rock You when in was on in Melbourne. One play we all really enjoyed and had a good lauh with whilst we were in London was "Fully Committed". It was a one man show about a restaurant in NY. We got the tickets for it at the half price ticket booth (TKTS).

Another thing the kids and we really enjoyed was lunch at a restaurant called Sarastro in Drury Lane. It is done up like a theatre inside with lots of little booths and balconies and tiffany lamps everywhere. It is a set meal but the atmosphere was great and you never know who is going to entertain you. On the day we went a string quarter came along and played for a while and a bit later on a couple of opera singers came in and performed arias for us.
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Jun 22nd, 2005, 09:55 PM
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thanks Shandy, I have contacted Rob' re: football tckts and he has given me some starting points. He thinks even at this stage it may be too late for any of the top clubs in the Premier League. But I will try. Thanks for the restaurant tip.
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