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Where in February or April with teenage boys?

Where in February or April with teenage boys?

Old Jan 11th, 2006, 05:09 AM
  #1  
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Where in February or April with teenage boys?

I'm starting to make plans for 2007 for a family trip, approximately 10-12 days with our then 17 and 14 year old sons. I think Rome would really interest them, but my husband has been dozens of times and is getting bored (poor thing). Where else in Europe would you recommend?

I want to go in low or shoulder season since we will have to get 2 rooms or an apartment.

Any suggestions? Thanks, I'm completely open to any and all possibilities, my family is not the sit on the beach type.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 05:48 AM
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You would know better than us strangers what your family likes...fill us in a bit more. Do you like hiking and nature? Skiing? What time of year? Art? Etc.. the more you tell us, the better we may be able to help.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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We do like skiing, hiking, interesting architecture, great food and wine. The boys like history, especially if battles and gore are involved.

The time of year would be February or April as I said in the thread title.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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If the question is "February or April", unless you are going for the winter weather )like skiing) I would suggest you will enjoy the trip more in April because fo the weather.

If your hubby is tired of Rome, look at London and Paris (1 or both). Depending on the interests of the family both cities will offer plenty to interest you.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Take them to the Dordogne in April. Rent a cottage and spend your time visiting all the Hundred Years War castles (the one at Castelnaud has a great movie on how to sack a castle). Hike around St-Léon-sur-Vézère in the hills where all the prehistoric sites are. Visit the Grotte de Font-de-Gaume and La Rocque St-Christophe. Spend a day in Sarlat. Go to Julien de Sauvignac in Le Bugue and sample the local Bergerac and Pécharmant and Monbazillac wines, along with quince and walnut and chestnut liqueurs and chocolate dusted walnuts. Check out the fresh markets in St-Cyprien, Le Bugue, Lalinde, and Sarlat. Canoe or kayak on the Dordogne if weather permits. Eat like kings - foie gras, confit, truffles - for slightly more than a pittance.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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Thanks, STl Cirq, your suggestion sounds intriquing, how far is Dordogne from Paris? Maybe we could combine a city/country trip, I love Paris.

What is the weather typically like, it would be late April, right after Easter, and I'm wondering if that is a big vacation week in Europe..The kids school vacations are either February or April.

Also, my husband has never been to Spain and I was only 13 when I went last, any suggestions of where in Spain would interest 2 teenage boys? Now that I think of it, they'd probably love to see Goya's paintings.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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We spent just under 2 weeks with our teenaged boys last march/april in Spain. They were 15 and 18 at the time. We flew into and out of Madrid but spent considerable time in Seville and Barcelona. On another trip, I'd add southern Portugal. Click on my name above and way back in the spring of 2005, you'll see the trip reports. Net/net - trip was a blast and we'll go back to Spain again soon!
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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Just another thought - we also took the guys to paris/normandy one year. it was fabulous as well. If they like WW2 and history, there are few better places to visit!
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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Thanks, I'll check out your report. Just curious, did you stay in apartments of hotels?
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:47 AM
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They LOVE WW2 history, my youngest read D-Day when he was nine years old...another great idea.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I've got a lot to think about!
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Nina - we stayed in hotels but used points when possible with Starwood in Spain. the H10 chain in Spain has reasonable and very nice properties as well. In France, we stayed at Lion D'Or in Bayeux and had a family /quad suite and in Claude Bernard in Paris again with a family/quad suite. Other friends have done B&B's in France and been very happy - actually made no reservations which would drive me nuts but just found places along the way that worked out. Don't know if my trip report for Paris/Normandy is still on the board or not.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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The weather in the Dordogne is lovely in late April - the fruit trees are just starting to blossom and the countryside is lush and green. Temperatures are generally speaking in the 60s (F) during the day, but I've been there on plenty of April days when it actually got hot. The temperature dips at night, and there are soft spring showers occasionally. You could easily combine it with a few days in Paris - especially if you rented a house, because the house rental would probably be week to week, and you said you've got 10-12 days.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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I would second the suggestion for Normany. Our boys loved visiting the Normandy beaches & museums there. You could also spend a few days in Paris.

London is also great for kids interested in history, cabinet war rooms, impereal war museum etc.

We always book an apartment when we travel, so much more space and it also saves alot in eating out all the time.

Rome. well what ever about dad, poor thing, it was a huge hit with our kids last year. Don't rule it out. Ask the boys, let them do a little research and help to make the decision. All too soon the will have grown up & you & hubby can travel where ever you like.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Another WW2 site would be Oradour Sur Glan for both you and your boys to see. Its a french village that was sacked by a German panzer group, virtually all the residents were killed and the area was never rebuilt - left as a monument which is stunning, overwhelming, emotional, etc.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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cmeyer,
I just read your Spain trip reports, they were very informative, did you fly into Madrid and out of Barcelona?

Rhona,
I'm with you on Rome, I've only been once for 2 nights, and I could've stayed a week, I think the boys would love the Forum and the sites from the DaVinci Code...hmmm, maybe I can convince him to go back, he does love Montelcino. I think I have to plan 2 trips.

Thanks again for all the great suggestions, fodorites are the best!
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 10:20 AM
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nina:
The roman forum, colosseum, circus maximus, pantheon, trevi, climbing up to the top of St peter's was the highlight for my kids.
The list is endless, you can easily spend 5 days in rome & a week in umbria or tuscany.
Get some good books on how Rome would have looked long ago.

Rent a villa and recover from all that walking in Rome!
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Hi Nina - we flew into and out of Madrid. Used Iberia to fly between Malaga and Barca and Barca to Madrid. Even with one way fares, they were cheaper and faster than trains. Since we used FF miles for the air, we were a little constrained on the primary routing over water. I think the iberia fares were about 19-30e/person depending on time of day.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 05:27 PM
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Nina,

We (two adults) visited Normandie in April 2002 and highly recommend it. Train from Paris to Caen, car rental offices across street from station. Drove to the Memorial Peace museum from station, route was well marked. After lunch and museum visit drove to Churchill hotel in Bayeux on the same street as Lion D'Or above. Bayeux is a good base with it's own medieval history. Drove as far as the amazing Mont St. Michel, visited many museums, cemeteries, battle grounds that dot the country side. In 1998 could visit inside Pont du Hoc by in 2002 ground unstable, could still visit some of the bunkers. Excellent film in Arromanches as well as views of what's left of temporary harbor.
For a completely different trip try York in the north of England but have your teens read Shadows on the Wall by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor before you go. York has Roman ruins, medieval walls, fabulous cathedral, a fun 19th cent. museum, rail museum.
Can't wait to hear where you decide to go.
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Old Jan 17th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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I would definitely recommend the Normandy beaches and the U.S. Military cemetary there. Also, I highly recommend seeing the Bayeux Tapestry--more war stuff. The museum housing it is excellent with an English-language film explaining the various panels on the tapestry and then there's an English audiotour of the tapestry itself.
Since you have a good chunk of time (10 -12 days), I would suggest continuing your battlefield history tour to include WWI by visiting the Somme and Verdun. We saw some amazing areas in the Somme, including bomb craters, trenches and cemetaries. Verdun is similar, but you can also tour the underground bunker there. You certainly get a good feel for what this war (which is rapidly becoming a "forgotten war") was like.
We took our children, who were younger than yours at the time, to all of these places and they (especially my military-history-buff son) seemed to really appreciate them.
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