Where to go?

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MrsRicecake Posts : 700 Registered: 2/2/08
Where to go?
Posted: Aug 10, 2009 10:03 PM

My DH is deploying for 7-12 months and when he gets back we will have a pretty good chunck of change in the bank. Our honeymoon was our second choice and Dh's last. So I want to surprise him with a trip that he would actually enjoy...kinda a welcome home/2nd honeymoon.

Here's what i am thinking. He really wants to go to Hawaii or Ireland. I would prefer to go to Ireland because we will be moving to Hawaii a year after he gets back. But he will be stopping in Ireland on his way home from deployment, so I dont know if he would want to go back.

What would you do?

Formerly FMR2008 

Married Since December 27, 2008!

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Where to go?
Posted: Aug 11, 2009 1:20 AM Go to message in response to: MrsRicecake

dear Mrs RC,

I'm going to think outside the box and say neither Hawaii nor Ireland. Why? Because you will have the chance to live in Hawaii and you say he will have some time in Ireland on his way home.

Don't get me wrong; both are great destinations. I went to Hawaii myself in June and had a great time. I've also enjoyed Ireland.

But, why not take your beaucoup bucks and go someplace where neither has been nor are likely to go any time soon? A few places occur to me:

They speak English in:

Australia
New Zealand
South Africa
Scotland, England, Wales (close to Ireland, though)
the Netherlands (from first hand experience, speaking only English is no barrier to enjoying the Netherlands)

Other places that are great destinations, and where I found English-only to be a minor barrier:

Japan
Italy
Spain (most parts) (consider, especially, Barcelona which is fabulous)
Belgium
Iceland

Unless you speak tolerable French, not great French, but tolerable, I would not recommend France.

If you like bike riding, the Netherlands would be a great place to go. There are plenty of "holiday houses" for rent, and there are extensive bike paths along the highways and roads. Bicycle riding in the Netherlands is safe and fun. The country is as flat as a pancake, so there are no Heart Attack Hills to contend with. You'll see people of all ages on bikes: grannies, kids, everyone in between.

South Africa is a great way to experience the continent. You can stay at wildlife refuges and see the animals up close and personal. My jeep had to stop and wait for a family of giraffes to cross the road. I got out and walked as close as I dared; no fence, no bars, no moat, nothing beween me and Mr and Mrs Giraffe.

Iceland is a real exotic destination. They have a huge amount of hot water, which they use for safe, clean power. "Geyser" is an Icelandic word. Even in the middle of winter, you can see people swimming in geothermally heated pools, relaxing in hot tubs, etc. I was there in March, where I watched a kids' swimming class. The children were all in the pool, and the instructor was poolside in a parka!

And, at the total other end of the world:

The South Island of New Zealand is amazing. There are very few people and miles miles of empty, incredibly scenic roads. In New Zealand, it is common for even inexpensive hotel rooms to have a small, furnished kitchenette, so you can make your own food instead of relying on restaurants all the time. The classic way to see New Zealand is to rent a camper and go at your own speed.

Me? This year I'm headed to Southern Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark!

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MrsRicecake Posts : 700 Registered: 2/2/08
Re: Where to go?
Posted: Aug 11, 2009 7:48 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

OOO! New Zealand!! That is such a great idea!! I dont know why I didnt think of that, considering it is on my list of places to go before I die! LOL! Its really hard because with him being in the military, he gets to travel all around the world! I thought of Italy too, but I am worried about the language barriers, same with France. Im gonna look into New Zealand...Thanks Aunt!

Formerly FMR2008 

Married Since December 27, 2008!

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Where to go?
Posted: Aug 11, 2009 10:17 PM Go to message in response to: MrsRicecake

Dear Mrs R,

The language barrier in Italy is not insurmountable. People who speak English are usually happy to try. (Unlike France, where you really have to make a good try at French.)

If you are interested in New Zealand, consider spending most of your time on the South Island. The population density is way lower than that of the North Island. I believe there are 1/4 the people on the South Island and twice the area. (?) I'm relying on faulty memory for that.

Wellington is the farthest-south national capital, and is an interesting city. I really enjoyed Christchurch, which is very "English" in the way it's laid out. There is an excellent museum on Antarctic travel in Christchurch, the traditional jumping-off point for Antarctic exploration. Farther south are Dunedin and Invercargill. I did not get that far, but I met quite a few people from Dunedin and they all seemed nice.

As I said earlier, the classic way to see the South Island is to rent a camper van and just take off. There are lots of campgrounds and holiday bungalows. Kiwis are friendly, helpful people. I had almost all positive experiences with the Kiwis when I was there.

Auckland is the big city in the North Island, with a glorious harbor. You might also consider visiting Rotorua just south of Auckland, where they have geysers and geothermal ponds. There are ferries transporting cars and people between the North and South Island.

(Didn't I mention Iceland? I went to New Zealand, an island country,where sheep outnumber people, where there are plenty of geysers and home of the southern-most national capital to Iceland, an island country, where sheep outnumber people, where there are plenty of geysers and home of the northern-most national capital. I was in New Zealand in February, swimming in the summer ocean, then in frigid Iceland a month later in March, swimming in the geothermal pools.)

You already know this, I'm sure, but in the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are reversed. That makes for a great getaway. When it's freezing cold in Boston it's toasty warm in Auckland. The NZ South Island is colder than the North Island. Finally, take some time before you leave and scope out the astronomical constellations. Then go to the Southern Hemisphere and see how different they look. I had to tilt my head backwards to recognize Orion!

You'll also have to get used to driving on the left side of the road.

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MrsRicecake Posts : 700 Registered: 2/2/08
Re: Where to go?
Posted: Aug 11, 2009 10:29 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Thanks for all the info, Aunt. I am already looking at New Zealand. Its so amazing! DH would definitly love it!

Formerly FMR2008 

Married Since December 27, 2008!

 

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kateo Posts : 18 Registered: 3/30/09
Re: Where to go?
Posted: Aug 12, 2009 11:34 AM Go to message in response to: MrsRicecake

I just wanted to let you know how much we LOVED New Zealand! We booked through Hilary at WAC Travel and you can see our actual itinerary here: http://tortribe.com/australianz.html - Where do we begin? We
truly had a "one-on-one" level of experience throughout the entire week
in New Zealand. The agents greeted us (both driver and agent) the
minute we got off the plane and provided us with a cell phone for the
week in N.Z. They even helped to check us in to our hotel and provided
us with an evening phone call to make sure our day went well. They
checked and double-checked all of our reservations and even assisted us
with the check-in process at the hotels!

Hilary put together the
exact itinerary of our travel goals and desires that were communicated
prior to our trip. It was precisely to our liking!! We had an amazing
experience with nature, wildlife, cuisine and relaxation. The Sydney
Opera was wonderful, Australian Open was fantastic, and the penguins,
sheep, koalas and kangaroos were the ultimate!! Chris and I found that
as we traveled from place to place -- Sydney to Melbourne to Port
Douglas to Auckland and finally Queenstown -- there was a unique
pattern -- We progressively fell further in-love with the next area.
QUEENSTOWN is our ULTIMATE destination.
I know you will have an amazing time! enjoy!

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FutureMrsBabler Posts : 104 Registered: 5/18/09
Re: Where to go?
Posted: Aug 12, 2009 12:38 PM Go to message in response to: MrsRicecake

Hi MrsRiceCake!

I actually lived in Christchurch, New Zealand for six AMAZING months! While living there, I traveled all over the North and South Islands and can guarantee you will LOVE your honeymoon if you and your FH are interested in adventure and scenic landscapes. If you do decide to go with NZ, I would be more than happy to fill you in on some of the must-see places! :)

You know you're in love when you don't want to fall asleep, because reality is finally better than your dreams. 

~Dr. Seuss

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Re: Where to go?
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Re: Where to go?
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Re: Where to go?
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