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Special 70th Birthday: Need advice on a destination

Special 70th Birthday: Need advice on a destination

Jan 26th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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Special 70th Birthday: Need advice on a destination

Hi all!

Those of you who know me, know that I would never ask for to plan my trip; I can do that myself and of course come back to ask questions.

So, not aksing for you to plan this, I just need some ideas on what you would do to celebrate a 70th birthday

The Scoop:

DH turns 70 in 3 years. 3 years you say!! And your planning now?? Yes, I am . Those who know me, know I am a long range planner, can't help myself; too much fun!

My stepson and I have decided together to get the family together for his 70th. I have arranged numerous group trips and my family is easy , so while appreciated, I do not need any input on why traveling with family may not be a good idea. I can handle group travel very very well.

It will be about 11 of us; all are well traveled, been to Europe and most of the rest of the world. We all know we are there for DH's birthday and that the trip is about him. Age ranges by that time will be him at 70, me at 49, stepson 39, his wife 40, sister in law 53, brother in law ( DH's brother) at 64, other brother in law 67 ( DH's other brother)his daughter, 24, my stepdaughter , 36, my other stepson 25, three nieces 28, 25, 13 and nephew 31. So far everyone is in good shape and no limitations.
Dh is in the best shape of all us!!!!!

I am in chage of exploring European possibilities and eldest stepson is in charge of exploring Central and South America. We've decided to keep it to these two locations for travel time.
His birthday is July 17th, so no worries on really rough cold weather in either location.

What I am thinking is that his ( and mine) favorite countries are France, Italy, Spain and Greece( not necessarily in that order). But open to others. We've been to practically every European country and the only ones we would not be as interested in are Germany, Holland, Austria, Belgium ( loved those places, but not on the top of the interest list for this event)

What I'd like is perhaps a villa that is luxurious, but close in to a city. We all prefer cities to countryside, but are very fine with being in a villa, but within a short drive into a city.

We are all into food and wine and love history, shopping, nightlife. Eldest stepson and wife are more nature lovers, they are expert divers and are a bit more rugged than the rest of us. But again stepson realizes this is about his father, not him.

I'd like the villa to come with a cook and housekeeper; I do not want any of us to have to do any work.

Budget is not a huge consideration, but we need to keep it somewhat reasonable as some family members tabs will need to be picked up.

I am thinking we'll have the family together for about 4-5 days and then each family member can choose to stay on or return home.

Dh and I will come from DC, one brother in law with my sister in law and 13 yr old niece come from Ft Myers FL, other brother in law and daughter come from Nashville, eldest stepson and wife from LA, Calif, stepdaughter also from LA, Calif, youngest stepson from NY, one nephew also from Florida and 2 nieces from NYC.

They will all make their own flights.

So, what might you like to do if this were you??

Thanks a mil.....

tripgirl is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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tripgirl is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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You mention July not being a problem, but if you go to So. America, you are in winter.
An easy place would be to rent a house in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, though you will get some rain. It's historical, safe, has beautiful homes for rent and probably with a cook available. There would be lots of restaurants, and nice shopping. Had problems not arisen in Oaxaca, I would have suggested it as well.
A rental in Tuscany would allow for wine trips, markets, cooking classes, a bit of everything. July unfortunately, will be hot.
Aleta is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Thanks for your response.

First, let me make corrections; we are 14 not 11.

In so far as So america, we would do more like Brazil for bit warmer weather.

We love hot we can all withstand really hot temps, never a problem, no one needs to worry about this aspect for us.

Also, we can go back to places we've been before for this trip or a new place in a country we've been to is fine too.

Two of our favortie places are the islands of Capri and Santorini. We've previously stayed in hotels there, so I am not sure of the villa situation in either. But they would eliminate the need for cars to get to some action and both destinations have a little bit of something for everyone

Just a thought.. more thoughts appreciated.....
tripgirl is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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Hi ...

What about somewhere near barcelona ... you could rent a villa on the coast near there.

isplumm is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 02:19 PM
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I see the key variable as July. I would consider the Alps that time of year. You pick the country---the Salzkammergut is always a good idea.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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Almost forgot !
I will be celebrating my 70th next month. Considering the month, we will spend 16 days in New Zealand.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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A villa near Barcelona is very appealing.

We are restricting our search only to Europe or Central/South America, but happy birthday bob!!!!!!! We are scheduled next year for the two of us to go to Australia/New Zealand and stepson just came back from a month there.

The alps do not appeal, but thanks!!!

I guess I should further mention that we love, love beach, sun, and a place that is not too quiet.
tripgirl is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 02:57 PM
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i should think there would be some very special villas on mallorca, giving you the combination of beach, hiking, mountains and perhaps some diving, definitely good yachting for the group.

there certainly is plenty to do on that island.
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 03:00 PM
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Since the time will be July have you considered Scandinavia? Perhaps, a place like Visby? (Gotland, Sweden). Sailing center, beautiful... not sure about food. Or the island off Denmark? Then people who chose could go on to St. Petersburg or Norwegian fiords, etc.
Grandma is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 03:07 PM
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I got the place and the villa for you: http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/Fra...property=11712

You all fly Delta into JFK on to Nice. I wrote a trip report, let me know if you can't find it. In over 40 trips to Europe throughout the years, this one takes the cake.
Viajero2 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 03:34 PM
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Hmmm ! How about Barbados--it fits well?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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We'll be going to Barcelona and Catalalya and Mallorca in April for our 25th anniversary (and my birthday)--not renting a villa, but staying in Paradores in Catalalya and a timeshare in Mallorca, so will be happy to share information with you when we return.

The only downside of Mallorca in July may be that it is too crowded--a Spanish friend of mine mentioned that summer can get that way there. But that might be true of many places in July.

Happy Birthday Bob.
artlover is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 04:50 PM
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If you have not been to the Basque country lately, and in particular San Sebastian and its surrounds, I would look at that. I spent 3 weeks there last May and I am convinced it is the hidden jewel we all look for. It is a "food" town. More Michelin stars per capita then any place else on earth. [See NYT]

Moreover, I have become a big believer in "in country" travel agents, and if I were you, and if the north of Spain was a possibility, I would present your dilemma to Belen at Totally Spain. Her agency is based outside Bilbao and the personnel KNOW northern Spain. {Maribel is a client].

July in the north of Spain would be a winner. Cool, after the rains, ahead of the crowds; it fits. Run over to Biarritz, down to Pamplona - they are each but an hour.

I called on Belen to help me with a trip last spring and she was super. I was "on the fly" on a day to day basis and we put the thing together from internet cafes, etc and I ended up staying in places I never would have found at prices I could never have negotiated. I have lerned my lesson: if you want to go to Chicago, get a Chicago tavel agent not one based in Amsterdam.

I know this sound like a commercial, but I am just your run of the mill traveler.
weber6560 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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the suggestions of Mallorca, the previous one about Barcelona, Basque cuontry and the Cote de Azure are all appealing.

Have been to Barcelona and spent a summer on the Cote ( we loved it). Have always wanted to go to Mallorca. I also love the idea of the Basque country; have not made it there yet, at top of list.

We are going to Scandinavia this Aug along with Russia, so thanks for the suggestions, but we are going anyway!!

Keep the suggestions coming, most appreciated!!!
tripgirl is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 05:39 PM
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Just took a look at the property in France; it is too small for us; it sleeps 8, we are 14.

It looks nice, but too far from the city( I know 35 minutes is not alot) ,but would rather be even closer.

I know this is going to seem snobby( and you can't tell from webistes) , but the property does not look all that luxurious to me. We really prefer to stay way upscale.

But certainly I do appreciate your suggestion; thanks a mil......
tripgirl is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 03:05 AM
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tripgirl: I am posting this additional info not for you, but for other posters that would be more interested on a gorgeous setting, comfortable, inmaculate than an "upscale" property.

The property in Montauroux is a gorgeous property, an olive farm with a wonderful, rural setting. The house has cable, internet connection, an independent studio, DVD, games, a wine cellar, grill, wood pizza oven, etc... Our companions have million-dollar homes in the US and they were head over heels this property. This is just to clarify for other potential renters.
Viajero2 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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I would do somewhere on the Amalfi Coast. You would be close to Naples (the city). From there you could do day trips to Capri (or an overnight for those who choose to do so). The other area that might be fun is up the coast somewhere along the Cinque Terre or Portofino (nearest cities would be Milan/Florence).

We liked Spain, but Italy is still our favorite European country. The south of France would be a close second.

As a side ?, did you go to Argentina with your group yet?

Also, I'm in almost the same situation, DH will be 68 in 2 weeks, I just turned a big "0". It works well for us too!
owlwoman is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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Look into Tossa de Mar (Tossa for short) just north of Barcelona -- seaside, with reasonable excursions in all directions.
HKP is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:33 AM
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We leave for Buenos Aires in April; can't wait.

We've done the AC but not with the kids. I love it there and may consider it again. We'd stay though most likely right on Capri the whole time; so many people do not like
the island, but we LOVE it!

I do like the idea too of being near Barcelona; one of my favorite cities in the world.

So many choices... But I'll figure something out....

Thanks a mil...
tripgirl is offline  
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