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Thread: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

  1. #501
    Mr. Sanctimonious Gurtholfin's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Went to Canada (Eagle Lake in Ontario) to fish a couple of weeks ago. First time doing this and went with 6 buddies and their sons. We're all friends and our boys are too - all various sports team mates too.

    Was a graduation trip for most of the boys along with a couple of juniors.

    One cabin for the dads, one cabin... er... frat house for the boys. Was a great time for sure - all inclusive... meals provided, fish cleaned & cooked (shore lunch) & packaged to take home, boats attended to.

    Quite spendy. I don't typically go on a fishing trip like that but I was invited, not the planner.


    Two anecdotes...

    1) Forgot to gas up in International Falls, so stopped at a station in Fort Frances. They had a gas attendant and I noticed that gas was only $1.06. Was like... DANG, I guess the cost of living is less up here!

    Got the bill for 10-ish gallons and it was $44. I'm like, what? He tells me $40 US should cover it. Was $1.06 per liter. ****ing Euros.

    I bet $40 US more than covered it. Oh well - when on vaca, I don't sweat a little overspend here and there.


    2) At border station coming back, attendant asks if we're bringing back anything and I say just fish. She hands back our passports and says "See ya." in a very dismissive way.

    No welcome home or have a nice day. "See ya."

    Turns out the Ugly American is working the border.

    Of course I didn't call her on it or lodge a formal complaint as she likely would have administered the body cavity search herself, sans lube.
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  2. #502
    Veteran leswp1's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurtholfin View Post
    Went to Canada (Eagle Lake in Ontario) to fish a couple of weeks ago. First time doing this and went with 6 buddies and their sons. We're all friends and our boys are too - all various sports team mates too.

    Was a graduation trip for most of the boys along with a couple of juniors.

    One cabin for the dads, one cabin... er... frat house for the boys. Was a great time for sure - all inclusive... meals provided, fish cleaned & cooked (shore lunch) & packaged to take home, boats attended to.

    Quite spendy. I don't typically go on a fishing trip like that but I was invited, not the planner.


    Two anecdotes...

    1) Forgot to gas up in International Falls, so stopped at a station in Fort Frances. They had a gas attendant and I noticed that gas was only $1.06. Was like... DANG, I guess the cost of living is less up here!

    Got the bill for 10-ish gallons and it was $44. I'm like, what? He tells me $40 US should cover it. Was $1.06 per liter. ****ing Euros.

    I bet $40 US more than covered it. Oh well - when on vaca, I don't sweat a little overspend here and there.


    2) At border station coming back, attendant asks if we're bringing back anything and I say just fish. She hands back our passports and says "See ya." in a very dismissive way.

    No welcome home or have a nice day. "See ya."

    Turns out the Ugly American is working the border.

    Of course I didn't call her on it or lodge a formal complaint as she likely would have administered the body cavity search herself, sans lube.
    Well, then you could have skipped your Prostate exam...

  3. #503

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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    $40 US really did cover it and a nice tip to boot!
    Current exchange has $44CDN = $33.83US
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  4. #504
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    that sounds fun, but were there mosquito's is the big question.

    I'm heading out for Reims next week. I started out to go just to drive the former F1 circuit and see the cathedral but there is so much more to do there we extended our stay three extra days.

    The dollars is down to a low, hopefully it rebounds.
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  5. #505
    Mr. Sanctimonious Gurtholfin's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Quote Originally Posted by manurespreader View Post
    that sounds fun, but were there mosquito's is the big question.

    No bugs at all.
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Today it was my privilege to visit the former Reims/Gueux Formula one circuit just outside of Reims, France, and drive what's left of the course. The French Grand Prix was held here in the 50's. The pits are still intact as are many other parts but some have fallen into severe disrepair.The course is roughly 8 km long and Juan Manual Fangio holds the course record for the older configuration in about 2 minutes 20 seconds. It's basically public roads and would be considered far too dangerous today. Let me tell you this was a fast course. It would be fast today too. The scariest places are on the west side where you crest a hill in a slight curve and in an F1 car would be doing maybe 135 mph or 140 at the time. I think it would be very hard to do that hill flat. The cars at that time had 425 hp and weighed about 1400 pounds but had poor brakes and almost nothing in safely equipment, not even a roll bar.
    We stopped and looked around and there is a club of aficionados trying to save what's left. They had some brochures which we took one of. The course was basically three long straights with hairpins at the end and much of the course can be seen from the grandstands. Just amazing for me, having grown up following Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart , to finally see this place which has been in so many car magazines and movies. One of the main reasons for my wanting to come here.
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  7. #507
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Going to Canada in a bit- I know you guys will have the answer- How do you handle the $ situation? Do you pay for everything in American or get some $ exchanged to bring?

    Don't like to carry a bunch of cash so usually pay with the Credit card but the Visa we have has a fee for that. Discover does not but a lot of places don't take that. Thoughts?

  8. #508
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Quote Originally Posted by leswp1 View Post
    Going to Canada in a bit- I know you guys will have the answer- How do you handle the $ situation? Do you pay for everything in American or get some $ exchanged to bring?

    Don't like to carry a bunch of cash so usually pay with the Credit card but the Visa we have has a fee for that. Discover does not but a lot of places don't take that. Thoughts?
    Most Canadians will take American cash, but they're usually stiffing you on the exchange rate. If you change out your cash at a bank or service, they'll charge a fee. I don't know which is worth, to tell the truth. The answer likely depends upon the vendor/store you're visiting. Just try to use your CC as much as possible because Visa and Master Card will give you your best exchange rate possible with the smallest aggregated fees.
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  9. #509

    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Quote Originally Posted by St. Clown View Post
    Most Canadians will take American cash, but they're usually stiffing you on the exchange rate. If you change out your cash at a bank or service, they'll charge a fee. I don't know which is worth, to tell the truth. The answer likely depends upon the vendor/store you're visiting. Just try to use your CC as much as possible because Visa and Master Card will give you your best exchange rate possible with the smallest aggregated fees.
    This is what we did on our brief trip into Canada in May.

  10. #510
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Heading to Cuba. Tell you about it later.

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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Vancouver for 4 days later next week. Suggestions?

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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Quote Originally Posted by burd View Post
    Vancouver for 4 days later next week. Suggestions?
    Gastown and Chinatown. Also, Stanley Park.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FadeToBlack&Gold View Post
    Gastown and Chinatown. Also, Stanley Park.
    Whitecaps or Lions game at BC Place. Float Plane tour wouldn't be bad either.

  14. #514
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Quote Originally Posted by FadeToBlack&Gold View Post
    Gastown and Chinatown. Also, Stanley Park.
    Stanley park is beautiful

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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Early bumping on United

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    Quote Originally Posted by alfablue View Post
    Heading to Cuba. Tell you about it later.
    Sailing back to Tampa after an amazing day in Havana. But I'm typing on a phone, so this will be it.

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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Quote Originally Posted by alfablue View Post
    Sailing back to Tampa after an amazing day in Havana. But I'm typing on a phone, so this will be it.
    So the trip was a cruise from Tampa to Key West and Havana. The cruise line helped document what is required to the US laws and also got us the Cuban Visas. Given the climbing costs of resorts and the natural hesitancy to get a B&B in Cuba, right now, taking a cruise is a good deal to head down and get a feel so that you can be confident to make more plans.

    We had a 7.5 hour tour in an air conditions 59 Impala. The whole day was both overwhelming and amazing. So amazing that we booked some cruises that we can overnight in Havana to see some of the clubs.

    So there are restrictions for US citizens going to Cuba- we have to do a people to people travel thing. On June 16, don made an announcement thanks to little maro to stop allowing people to do this kind of travel- which is kind of dumb to me. By letting that take place, we worked directly with a Cuban entrepreneur, who got the most out of us visiting Cuba. There's plenty of things going on that is relaxing the hard lines all the time, and having US citizens come and spend money directly is one big way to keep that movement going.

    Hopefully, the threatened restrictions wont take place, but we will see. At the moment, there are many cruise lines who are going to Havana, and I encourage anyone who wants to go to act and go.

  18. #518
    DYKWIA? FadeToBlack&Gold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfablue View Post
    So the trip was a cruise from Tampa to Key West and Havana. The cruise line helped document what is required to the US laws and also got us the Cuban Visas. Given the climbing costs of resorts and the natural hesitancy to get a B&B in Cuba, right now, taking a cruise is a good deal to head down and get a feel so that you can be confident to make more plans.

    We had a 7.5 hour tour in an air conditions 59 Impala. The whole day was both overwhelming and amazing. So amazing that we booked some cruises that we can overnight in Havana to see some of the clubs.

    So there are restrictions for US citizens going to Cuba- we have to do a people to people travel thing. On June 16, don made an announcement thanks to little maro to stop allowing people to do this kind of travel- which is kind of dumb to me. By letting that take place, we worked directly with a Cuban entrepreneur, who got the most out of us visiting Cuba. There's plenty of things going on that is relaxing the hard lines all the time, and having US citizens come and spend money directly is one big way to keep that movement going.

    Hopefully, the threatened restrictions wont take place, but we will see. At the moment, there are many cruise lines who are going to Havana, and I encourage anyone who wants to go to act and go.
    That's pretty awesome. At this point though, I would probably book it through Canada to be on the safe side. At least, as long as our current POTUS is in office. Can hide the visit, and don't need to document Spanish lessons, museum visits, etc.

  19. #519
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Quote Originally Posted by FadeToBlack&Gold View Post
    That's pretty awesome. At this point though, I would probably book it through Canada to be on the safe side. At least, as long as our current POTUS is in office. Can hide the visit, and don't need to document Spanish lessons, museum visits, etc.
    With a cruise ship, that's totally not needed. They document everything to keep it legal.

    RCI looks go to Havana about 1.5 times a week for the next year and a half. Some with overnight stays. I'm pretty sure Carnival has a ship that does the same.

    And they help you document the tours you take outside of them.

    We've already booked two more cruises to Havana (back to back, including one overnight stay next year). Hopefully, the rules don't change- as it's clear that getting directly to the people works really well.

    On top of that, if don restricts things too much, his buddies in the resort businesses will get really ****ed.

    (although, there are rumors that he will take over a recently stopped project and call it trump tower- talk about being corrupt- make laws that directly advantages your business in the future).

  20. #520
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    Re: Travel Part 2 - Where ya headed?

    Sure, but what if you wanted to check out other Cuban cities? Santiago, for instance.

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