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  #51  
Old 08-04-2019, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by amaguri View Post
i had an unanticipated emotional reaction to seeing the grand canyon. it wasn't something i ever had on my own bucket list, but it turned out to be one of my most memorable domestic tripss. i'm sure it's bordering on cliche by now but, yes, you really do have to see it in person.
We try to make it there every two years just to rejuvenate. 2020 is the next scheduled trip and I'm going to make it North Rim for the first time instead of the Village.

Pro tip:
Unless you're an absolute candy-ass, stay at Bright Angel Lodge. It's the cheapest place to stay in the park and designed in the 1930s by Mary Colter. As such, the rooms small with an older vibe to them and while all have a toilet and sink in the room, most times to shower you have to go down the hall. To me, this is more than made up by the fact that I can sit outside with my feet propped up, a mug of coffee in my hand, watching the sunrise paint the far side of the canyon.


Thunderbird Lodge
and Kachina Lodge are virtual twins also on the rim, built in the 60s and as such better serve modern sensibilities, but cost more.

El Tovar, the last of the rimside accommodations, costs a lot more but might be worth considering if you figure your GCNP visit a once-in-a-lifetime visit.


Maswik Lodge
is about a quarter mile back from the rim and the only recommendation it has is that's it's easier to get a reservation there for a last minute trip. The rimside lodges, you'd better be looking as much as a year in advance.

If you make a reservation, please enter code DDTSD so I can get my kickback.
  #52  
Old 08-05-2019, 11:09 PM
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It's a loooooong list.

I've been all over CONUS, though there are certainly places I've missed; Typo Knig and I were chatting the other day and trying to figure out how many state capitals we've seen, and the answer was "less than half" despite having, between the two of us, visited all but a handful of the states. That would be more of a "punch the list" kind of thing, not unmissable.

I've never been to New Orleans though I don't have an overwhelming urge to do so. I'd like to visit more sites in the southwest (including the *bottom* of the Grand Canyon, which is tricky since I'm not up for the hike), and I'd love to drive down through the Florida Keys.

I'd love to take another cross-country driving trip - though this time I might want to do it across Canada, then go up to Alaska.

Beyond that: well, despite having been all over the US (and a couple of brief jaunts into Canada), I've never been across an ocean except for one trip to Hawaii. So, Europe in general, and Paris in particular, are absolutely on my must-do list. If I were told tomorrow that I had 6 weeks to live, 2 of them would be spent flying (first class!!) and travelling at least a bit.

Australia and New Zealand are second on the "must do" list. I'd love to spend about 8 weeks travelling around both countries.

Antarctica: There are cruises that leave from the southern tip of South America. Some of them will land you on one of the islands. There is at least one tour company that will take you to the South Pole itself but those tours are about 50,000 per person, so I'll skip that one.

Africa: A friend of mine has done any number of guided tour vacations, including one to various places in Africa - sounds really neat. I'd love to see the Pyramids some day but with things as they are in the middle east, and having a Jewish-sounding last name, I'd probably want to be cautious.

The plan is to accomplish all of these things as soon as the lottery people come through. They're being deucedly uncooperative though.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 08-05-2019 at 11:10 PM.
  #53  
Old 08-06-2019, 09:15 AM
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I'd like to see Mt Everest. NOT climb it, I have zero interest in that, but I'd like to visit Base Camp and see it in person.

I'm ethnically Chinese but I don't really have much interest in visiting China; I'd much rather see Japan.

I'd like to see the pyramids in Egypt but, even disregarding the political situation there, I hear it's kind of sad when actually you get there; it's not in the middle of the desert like you'd imagine, it's literally right on the edge of the city, and the city is threatening to completely surround the site. And then you see photos like this, of the pyramids site, taken from inside a Pizza Hut: http://www.sunnywithachanceofbluebir...Hut-Window.jpg
  #54  
Old 08-06-2019, 10:00 AM
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I'd like to see the pyramids in Egypt but, even disregarding the political situation there, I hear it's kind of sad when actually you get there; it's not in the middle of the desert like you'd imagine, it's literally right on the edge of the city, and the city is threatening to completely surround the site. And then you see photos like this, of the pyramids site, taken from inside a Pizza Hut: http://www.sunnywithachanceofbluebir...Hut-Window.jpg
The Mena House hotel, where I stayed, is right across the street from the parking for the Pyramids complex; I could see the Great Pyramid from my window.

On the other side of Cairo, however, are the Red Pyramid and Bent Pyramid along with some other older "step" pyramids. These are out away from the city and you pretty much have them to yourself. They've just opened the Bent Pyramid up for tourists to see inside (which I didn't get to do).
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  #55  
Old 08-06-2019, 11:35 AM
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I'd like to see the Northern Lights in person.
Me too. For those who have seen the aurora, did it live up to your expectations?
  #56  
Old 08-06-2019, 11:49 AM
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I just call it my "list", rather than "bucket list". We're all going to die. So there's no difference between "list of things I want to see before I die" and "list of things I want to see". I just think it's a more positive spin, and makes you realise it's up to you to make it happen.

Still to do:
Norwegian fjords and midnight sun
Japan, especially Hiroshima
Monument Valley, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon
Pripyat and Chernobyl
Australia - Sydney skyline and Uluru
Tigers in the wild
Smithsonian, especially the Apollo stuff

Of the above, I am booked on a Norwegian cruise next year, and next month I'm going to Chernobyl.

List already ticked off:
Total solar eclipse
Northern Lights
Taj Mahal
Petra
Angkor Wat
Rio de Janiero
Iguassu Falls
Machu Picchu
Tikal
Chichen Itza, Palenque and Uxmal
Pyramids, Sphinx, Nile cruise, Abu Simbel, Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Karnak etc
Masai Mara safari
Panama Canal transit
New York
Red square
Rome
Paris

I will happily advise which of the above are "worth it".
  #57  
Old 08-06-2019, 11:49 AM
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Me too. For those who have seen the aurora, did it live up to your expectations?
I've seen the Northern Lights a dozen or so times, mostly from Northern New England and once from Minnesota. The experience varies tremendously; it can be a dull glow or a spectacular show. The further north you are increases your chances, and further away from light sources you get will enhance the display.
  #58  
Old 08-06-2019, 11:53 AM
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Me too. For those who have seen the aurora, did it live up to your expectations?
Oh, that is a tricky one. It was still breathtaking seeing it, but there's something they don't tell you: it doesn't look like it does in the photos.

When I saw it in Iceland, to the naked eye it was white. Through a camera lens, it came out green. Apparently it's actually green, but your eye can't detect the colour because of the low light levels. So the camera tells the truth, but your eye/brain combination doesn't actually see it like that.

That and the unpredictably of the lights appearing mean I would advise against ever travelling somewhere specifically to see them. I saw lots of other stuff in Iceland that made it a memorable - if expensive - trip, and I was overjoyed to see the Aurora, but it was just a little disappointing.

Now, a total solar eclipse on the other hand.........
  #59  
Old 08-06-2019, 01:04 PM
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I don't really have a list of "sights" I want to see, but rather countries I haven't visited that I'd like to. At the top of my list would be:

New Zealand
The Galapagos Islands (ok, not technically a country)
Some South Pacific island nations, like Fiji or Tahiti.
Egypt
Argentina
Russia
Although really any place I've never been is fair game

Within the United States I'd love to visit Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.
And I'd like to do a long distance train trip someday, like the California Zephyr through the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. In an actual sleeper car.
  #60  
Old 08-06-2019, 02:54 PM
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I missed the edit window, but I also would genuinely like to see the World's Largest Ball of Twine Rolled by One Man in Darwin, Minnesota. No irony whatsoever. My parents live in western Wisconsin, so it's not that far from where they live, but not close either. So far I haven't been able to convince then to take us to see it when I visit them.
  #61  
Old 08-06-2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
I've seen the Northern Lights a dozen or so times, mostly from Northern New England and once from Minnesota. The experience varies tremendously; it can be a dull glow or a spectacular show. The further north you are increases your chances, and further away from light sources you get will enhance the display.


Thanks, Telemark and Scougs That is what I had suspected. I still want to see them with my own eyes

As for other sites, my list is too long to type. At the top would the Great Wall, the Hagia Sophia, the chateaux of the Loire, Venice, ...

One odd one is that I really want to see a kangaroo in the wild, for some reason.
  #62  
Old 08-09-2019, 12:07 AM
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I'd like to see Mt Everest. NOT climb it, I have zero interest in that, but I'd like to visit Base Camp and see it in person.
Barring that, you could do what we did -- take an Everest flight out of Kathmandu. We used Buddha Air. Very nice.
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  #63  
Old 08-09-2019, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
...
Within the United States I'd love to visit Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.
And I'd like to do a long distance train trip someday, like the California Zephyr through the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. In an actual sleeper car.
Glacier / Yellowstone are both well worth a visit. While visiting Yellowstone, make time to visit Grand Teton (when we were there, we actually stayed in Teton and drove up to Yellowstone several times). If you're there for 2ish weeks you could combine Glacier with that same trip; it's a bit far to go on anything shorter than 10 days. If you go to Glacier, bring your passport in case you want to cross over to visit Waterton Lakes park as well.

My son just took a cross-country train trip - the Empire Builder. When he announced his plans, I threatened to stow away. Per my recommendation, he did coach from DC to Chicago (to save funds; one night in coach ain't fun but is doable) and got a roomette for the western bit for 2 nights. If you're travelling with another person, get a bedroom - it's significantly more comfortable for 2 than a roomette is. If you're solo, a roomette is fine.
  #64  
Old 08-09-2019, 11:08 AM
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I have a bucket list, but it's so pedestrian that I don't think I should share it. It would only reveal how little I've travelled.
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  #65  
Old 08-11-2019, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by zimaane View Post
Thanks, Telemark and Scougs That is what I had suspected. I still want to see them with my own eyes

As for other sites, my list is too long to type. At the top would the Great Wall, the Hagia Sophia, the chateaux of the Loire, Venice, ...

One odd one is that I really want to see a kangaroo in the wild, for some reason.
I grew up in Alaska with the northern lights, and I agree with the others that it isn't usually anything close to what you might expect. I did see one spectacular display when I was going to college in Fairbanks. It was as close to the perfection you see in some photos as I ever hope to see.
  #66  
Old 08-13-2019, 10:09 AM
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I grew up in Alaska with the northern lights, and I agree with the others that it isn't usually anything close to what you might expect. I did see one spectacular display when I was going to college in Fairbanks. It was as close to the perfection you see in some photos as I ever hope to see.
That is how I felt about seeing the total solar eclipse in 2017. Everyone I talked to at the site agreed that nothing could have prepared them for what it actually looked like that day. The traffic was an unqualified nightmare, but I would still recommend it to absolutely everyone.
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  #67  
Old 08-14-2019, 08:47 PM
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Failing health would now place limitations on the places I could actually enjoy, but I can still think of a few (given buckets of money to fulfill my bucket list):

Total eclipse- I've missed three now, two to weather, one to not being able to travel a mere hundred miles to the center of totality.

Can you take a train from Moscow to Vladivostok? It would be something to get a visceral realization of how effin' huge central Asia is.

New York City would be good IF I had an expert guide to show me all the things I might otherwise miss.

Being somewhat depressive, I might like to spend a few days (in safe warm quarters of course) in some utterly bleak, stormy high latitude place- Patagonia or maybe Svalbard. Drinking hot cocoa with schnapps and reading while looking out the window at the 60mph winds driving the icy waves onto the barren rocky shore.
  #68  
Old 08-14-2019, 08:54 PM
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Hiroshima
Let me save you a trip there... it's a big thriving city that looks like most other big cities in Japan. If you like oysters they have good oysters.

They do also have a notable museum dedicated to documenting Japan's role as the real victims of WW2.
  #69  
Old 08-15-2019, 07:41 AM
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Can you take a train from Moscow to Vladivostok? It would be something to get a visceral realization of how effin' huge central Asia is.
Trans-Siberian Railway
https://www.seat61.com/Trans-Siberian.htm
  #70  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:35 AM
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I've seen four total solar eclipses: in Hawaii, just NE of Paris, on the island of Guadaloupe, and the 2017 in Hopkinsville, KY. To see the one in 2024, I'll just have to step outside our house and look up.
  #71  
Old 08-16-2019, 05:40 AM
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i had an unanticipated emotional reaction to seeing the grand canyon. it wasn't something i ever had on my own bucket list, but it turned out to be one of my most memorable domestic tripss. i'm sure it's bordering on cliche by now but, yes, you really do have to see it in person.
I try to explain this to people sometimes, and I wonder if this is how truly religious people feel when trying to explain God to us atheists.

Having hiked Bright Angel to Phantom Ranch, and spent a week rafting all the way to Bar-10, I make the following claim: The difference between seeing the canyon from the rim, and hiking down to spend time inside -- is exactly as great as the difference between seeing a picture and viewing it in person. There's no comparison.
  #72  
Old 08-16-2019, 06:05 AM
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I've seen four total solar eclipses: in Hawaii, just NE of Paris, on the island of Guadaloupe, and the 2017 in Hopkinsville, KY. To see the one in 2024, I'll just have to step outside our house and look up.
Ooh, I was in Hopkinsville two years ago too. It was my first. It was the most amazing freaking thing I have seen in my life.

I'm going to Argentina in December 2020.
  #73  
Old 08-16-2019, 07:52 AM
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Having hiked Bright Angel to Phantom Ranch, and spent a week rafting all the way to Bar-10, I make the following claim: The difference between seeing the canyon from the rim, and hiking down to spend time inside -- is exactly as great as the difference between seeing a picture and viewing it in person. There's no comparison.
At a ranger geology lecture one evening he asserted that 99% of the visitors to the South Rim never step off of the rim. Since then, if I happen to be wandering around near the Bright Angel trailhead and I see a first-timer (they're easy to spot) I tell them, "Follow me," take them about twenty yards down the trail, then say, "Congratulations; you're now a 1%-er," and drop that statistic on them.
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