Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

Yay, we made it to April! Thank you for indulging me in my April Fool’s Day fun today. Miles enjoyed it and I was happy to have the morning off to file my nails and eat bon-bons.

If you’re wondering about the picture above, it’s an Edward Hopper painting called “Night Windows.” Hopper is one of Drew’s favorite artists and last weekend we went to his exhibit at the Whitney, which was very cool. It ends Next Sunday, so if you’re in New York and interested in checking it out, hurry. Hmm… what else? I don’t think I told you guys yet about our upcoming vacation. Drew’s going to London at the end of the month to cover the royal wedding for work, and I’m going to tag along. My plan is to wear a fancy hat and try to crash the wedding. Afterward, my parents are flying up to London for a few days from their home in Germany and we’ll celebrate my mom’s something-ieth birthday (it’s one of those big ones that ends in zero). Then! After that, Drew and I are going to go to Paris for a few days before coming back to good ol’ NYC. I’m looking forward to fish, chips, bread, cheese and chocolate.

So, what about you? What’s the last vacation you took? What’s the next vacation you’ve got planned? Have you ever gone away with someone and realized while spending 24-7 with the other person that you were dating a real jerk? I have. But that story will have to wait until another time. For now, I want to hear your stories.

91 comments… add one
  • TECH April 1, 2011, 5:16 pm

    Wow, Wendy. That sounds like a great vacation. I haven’t been to Europe in many years, and financially, I don’t think I can afford to any time soon. The last vacation I took was to Avila Beach, California, quite possibly one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. I’m hoping I can have a little get away to New Hampshire this summer.

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  • sobriquet April 1, 2011, 5:25 pm

    Currently, I’m trying to plan a mini-vacation to the beach at the end of May for my bff’s birthday. Her live-in boyfriend recently broke up with her and I’m trying my hardest to spend more time with her. I think an inexpensive trip with a few of our girlfriends would be really fun.

    My last true vacation was a trip to Mexico last year with my boyfriend and his family. It was a lot of fun, but traveling with his family was definitely an experience. He gets so stressed around his mom and sister. The majority of the trip was a blast, but there was a day that everything just unraveled and everyone was fighting. My boyfriend and I travel really well together, at least. We just can’t spend more than 3 days with his family without him going crazy.

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    • Kerrycontrary April 1, 2011, 7:26 pm

      that’s a really great thing to do with your friend and I’m sure she will appreciate it.

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  • MissDre April 1, 2011, 5:37 pm

    I went to Jamaica in December =) It was awesome… My boyfriend is from Trinidad (well, he’s Canadian born but his whole family is from Tobago) so he spent 4 weeks there over Christmas… I was bummed to be away from him for so long so it was the best surprise ever when one of my girlfriends told me she’d won a trip for 2 to Jamaica and would I like to go with her!!

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    • Laurel April 1, 2011, 6:03 pm

      Wow what an awesome girlfriend!! I bet you guys had a blast.

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  • Laurel April 1, 2011, 6:01 pm

    Have a great time in Europe!

    My boyfriend and I are taking our first big vacation together the first week of May. We’re going to Apalachiacola, Florida for fishing, wildlife, shell-collecting, and hopefully (if the weather cooperates) swimming. And….we’re going with his parents (dum dum DUM!!). I’m a little apprehensive about it, but also excited. We’re renting a beach house, so we shouldn’t be too on top of each other. I’ve talked a little to my boyfriend about it, and he says part of why he wants us all to take this trip together is so that his parents can really get to know me and he can gauge how they think of me.

    FWIW, I’ve spent a fair amount of time with his folks already—I stayed over several days at Christmas and Easter, and have met allllll the grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc etc (my bf has a BIG family) and I’ve spent time casually with his parents at their house (when my bf and I started dating he was living with them to save money). Also, bf and I have lived together for 3 months and took a weekend vacation about six months ago, so I know we should get along fine.

    Just…Anybody got experience travelling with your SO’s parents? Tips?

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    • Wendy April 1, 2011, 7:12 pm

      Sounds fun! (I mean that seriously, not sarcastically). I have only vacationed with a significant other’s family once and that was the same trip where I realized the guy I was dating was a total jerk. Alas, that was a vacation that was far less fun than it could have been…

      But, I think if you have a great boyfriend and you’re going to a cool place and you know his family fairly well already, then there’s nothing to worry about.

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      • Laurel April 1, 2011, 8:51 pm

        Thanks for the moral support Wendy! I’m pretty sure it should be a great time, I just want to try to make sure (as best I can) that we all get along and everything.

      • SpaceySteph April 1, 2011, 9:15 pm

        I think as long as you keep from topless sunbathing and/or loud sex, you’ll be ok.
        But since you’re getting a beach house, I always recommend offering to help in the kitchen, being proactive about clearing dishes, etc. I haven’t been on a vacation with a boyfriends family but his parents and my parents both live in different states, from each other and from us. When we went to visit his parents house, I always offered to help cook, clear plates, carry anything, actually ended up helping his dad hang Christmas lights (this was Thanksgiving weekend) because neither my boyfriend nor his brother wanted to. Moms remember that kind of thing.
        My mom always ranted about my sister’s ex girlfriend who would always come to our house, our tailgate parties, everything and never once offer to help or bring something.

    • Ally April 2, 2011, 6:04 am

      I would agree with SpaceySteph – just be polite and helpful, but don’t try so hard that it feels or looks fake. Be yourself! Your boyfriend loves you for who you are, and that’s who his parents want to get to know better. My boyfriend’s dad loves telling all his stories to a new audience (me), so if you’re stuck for a conversation topic ask questions. When did you first come to Florida? Tell me more about your job. How did you meet? What was my bf like as a child? I’m sure they are very interesting people and it will be nice for you to better understand where your bf comes from. Good luck and have a great time!

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      • Laurel April 2, 2011, 12:43 pm

        Thanks so much that will be totally useful to me! I tend to get pretty awkward around them when it comes to conversation so having some topics in the back of my mind should really help.

      • SpaceySteph April 2, 2011, 4:46 pm

        Absolutely those are great ideas! People love to talk about themselves and their kids, so you don’t have to do much but seem interested in their stories.
        Just don’t put so much pressure on the week that you forget to have fun! People are more likely to notice that you seem uptight/didn’t enjoy yourself than whether you were a brilliant conversationalist. How could anyone not like a helpful, happy person who loves their son/cousin/nephew/etc?

  • Dennis Hong April 1, 2011, 5:29 pm

    Last vacation was to Vegas, about a month ago.

    Drove there with a girlfriend.

    Drove home by myself.

    So, if you think about it, I kinda did the opposite of what you’re supposed to do while in Vegas….

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    • sobriquet April 1, 2011, 5:46 pm

      Oh, damn. I totally forgot about the trip to Vegas I took a couple months ago! So I guess whatever happened in Vegas indeed stayed there.

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    • thyme April 1, 2011, 7:31 pm



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      • Dennis Hong April 1, 2011, 8:59 pm

        Long story, maybe I’ll tell all about it sometime. πŸ˜‰

        In a nutshell, she got mad because I wasn’t paying enough attention to her (I had work I needed to do that weekend, which I’d told her about), so she packed her bags and stormed out.

      • Ally April 2, 2011, 5:49 am

        What a drama queen!

    • WiddleBabyCharles April 1, 2011, 7:41 pm

      Dennis, how many times do I have to tell you to STOP TELLING STRANGERS ABOUT OUR BREAKUP!?

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      • Dennis Hong April 1, 2011, 8:57 pm

        Charles! Sir! SHHHHHHHH.

        No one is supposed to know about our illicit, yet torrid love affair. The world is not ready for these types of “mixed” relationships… yet.

    • WiddleBabyCharles April 1, 2011, 7:42 pm

      I don’t know if it makes it better or worse that I forgot and wrote that as my cat…

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  • SpaceySteph April 1, 2011, 7:20 pm

    Last trip was to Colorado in early Feb with my boyfriend… and his brother. We spent 2 nights in Winter Park skiing and then another night in Denver sightseeing. The last night we were there was the night before Valentines Day but because we had his brother there, we didn’t really celebrate. We went on our own mini bar crawl through the city. His brother left earlier than we did the next day and took the metro, so my boyfriend splurged on a fancy towncar to take us to the airport so I didn’t have to lug my suitcase on the metro, so it was a pretty good Valentines day after all.

    As for the other question, it wasn’t so much a vacation, but my ex and I were long distance and had been since like the 3rd month of our relationship when I graduated college and left town. And after that we would fly to see each other for weekends once every month or two, and fight ALL the time when we were together. For awhile we chalked it up to the stress of long distance, but I think it was really just that we weren’t compatible and couldn’t spend 24 hours a day together.

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    • SpaceySteph April 1, 2011, 9:32 pm

      Oh I guess last weekend I went camping with my boyfriend. I had just gotten a trailer hitch installed on my car (I’ve been meaning to for years) and gotten a bike rack for it, so I needed an excuse to try it out and my boyfriend just loves to cook on fires and sleep on the group. We went up to a state park 2 hours from home and biked, swam in a really muddy river, and cooked lots of yummy campfire food.
      Idk why I forgot about that… maybe because I don’t consider camping to be a vacation. His roommate said to us “I don’t work all year to go on vacation and pretend I’m homeless.” Vacations to me are not spent sleeping on the ground and cooking your food on a stick… call me high maintenance.

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      • FairhairedChild April 2, 2011, 3:33 am

        “His roommate said to us β€œI don’t work all year to go on vacation and pretend I’m homeless.” ”

        Haha I laughed so hard at that. I like to go camping but I dont really consider them “vacations” either unless it was packaged with something else totally random and fun such as renting jet skis, watertubing, white water rafting etc .. camping to me is just a weekend escape plan.

  • cmarie April 1, 2011, 7:20 pm

    My last vacation was a weekend on the Oregon coast. It’s not warm enough to run around in a bathing suit but it is beautiful and I got to see the “The Goonies” house. Very cool. Couldn’t go inside but was still exciting.

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    • Laurel April 1, 2011, 8:52 pm

      I’ve been to the Oregon coast once and I’d LOVE to go back! It’s so beautiful up there.

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    • Eagle Eye April 3, 2011, 7:33 pm

      I went to a wedding literally on the Oregon Coast, it was right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean…unbelievably stunning!

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  • Kerrycontrary April 1, 2011, 7:25 pm

    Last vacation was a mini-trip with my boyfriend to Deep Creek, MD. We did a lot of outdoors-y things like kayaking and ziplining. It was tons of fun because it was inexpensive, not too far away from home, and drama free! But I’m taking a weekend trip to Florida next weekend with my family which I’m really excited for because we haven’t had a family vacation for 10 years (everyone’s lives go in separate directions).

    Have fun in Europe, Wendy! I’m so jealous you are going to be in London for the royal wedding. I’m in love with France since I studied abroad.

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  • thyme April 1, 2011, 7:41 pm

    I realized at the very beginning of a vacation with an ex that our relationship might be terminal.
    I had spent a crapload of money buying a cross-country plane ticket to finally meet his family. While waiting at the Chicago airport for our layover, I was telling him something that was important to me, and he walked away in the middle me talking. I was so pissed, and I felt horrible and fake thinking about having to go act all happy and good for his family after he was so rude.
    He appologized profusely after I told him his behavior made me want to get on the next plane home, and we ended up having a fun trip. It took six more months of denial before we finally called it quits, but I still think of that moment as the turning point.

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  • evanscr05 April 1, 2011, 8:00 pm

    Sounds like so much fun! Take lots of pictures and share when you come back!

    The last big vacation I had was in February. My fiance and I decided on a mid-wedding planning trip to take a break from the stress of it all and went on a 7-day cruise in the Western Caribbean and then spent 3 days in Orlando. It was the very first time we had ever taken a vacation JUST US, and we’ve been together over 3 years. Good news is, we had a blast and didn’t kill each other, so I guess it’s okay to get married πŸ™‚ We’ve also booked our honeymoon for a week in Rome this September. Looking forward to it!

    I took a cruise a few years ago with some friends as a celebration of completing my master’s degree. I had very extensive communication with them all about paying me back, since I was fronting everything, which they all agreed to. The day before we were supposed to leave, my gay friend’s (I <3 gay friends!) grandmother passed away and he wasn't able to go. It took me two years, and a lot of harassing, to get 80% of my money back. Never ended up getting the rest of it, so I've basically written it off as a very expensive lesson learned. No problems with the rest of them paying me back, at least. Unfortunately, though he was one of my best friends, our relationship has been very strained ever since then and I question if we'll ever really be friends again. Makes me really sad.

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    • plasticepoxy April 4, 2011, 11:04 am

      I haven’t agreed or disagreed with your post, but I thought I would point out that the fact that your friend is gay has nothing to do with his grandmother dying or with the fact that he didn’t pay you back after he canceled on the trip short notice. Not sure why you pointed out his orientation.

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      • evanscr05 April 4, 2011, 11:50 am

        You know, I’m not sure why I did that. Probably because leading up to the trip, most times when I would say “he” people would ask if we were dating so I guess I just got used to clarifying.

  • silver_dragon_girl April 1, 2011, 8:23 pm

    That vacation sounds amazing, Wendy!

    The best one I ever had wasn’t really a vacation. I studied abroad for a semester in Scotland, and while I was there (which was basically one big vacation anyway) I took a bus tour around the country and the Isle of Skye. It was totally awesome. The best part was that it was a tour geared to young people, and we stopped only at these random little hamlets in rural Scotland. The people were all SO nice.

    I also got to spend a few days in London, Paris, and Brussels during that semester. All three beautiful cities. But Edinburgh will always be my favorite πŸ™‚

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    • RosieProbert April 1, 2011, 9:13 pm

      Sigh! Edinburgh is my home town. It is magical! I have just moved to London three weeks ago for work, and while I love the city, I’ve reached that “sniff, where are my friends, and the pretty castle?” barrier. However, I plan to get over that with some Union Jack bunting and some good old British sausage rolls come Royal Wedding day. You’re more than welcome, Wendy! I’m makin’ punch…

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    • Ally April 2, 2011, 6:14 am

      Scotland is awesome, I’m glad you had such a good time here. If you catch it at the right time of year we can also have really nice weather. I can’t wait for summer! Any plans to come back? πŸ™‚

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      • silver_dragon_girl April 2, 2011, 11:51 am

        Lots of plans, very little funding πŸ™ I swear I’ll be back someday, though πŸ™‚

    • Eagle Eye April 3, 2011, 7:37 pm

      Oh, I took a trip like that when I was abroad (in Italy) and spending my Spring break in London/ Edinburgh/ Dublin…Edinburgh was one of my favorite cities to visit!

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  • silvii April 1, 2011, 8:04 pm

    I love Edward Hopper – my favourite painting of his is “Automat”.

    Thankfully my boyfriend and I have had some fabulous trips together – our last was to see my parents in England and prove to him that not everyone eats crumpets and drinks tea. However my parents have tea five times a day so maybe it is true. I think his dreams came true when he saw the London Guards.

    My worst trip was with a douchey guy to Barcelona. He often abandoned me in the hotel lobby saying he needed to “do something” and could I wait, in which I wasted two hours of my life staring at the hotel lobby ceiling. He would whine constantly and then decided at the airport shuttle stop that he wasn’t coming back to England and was staying behind to find work. He forgot that he didn’t have an EU passport, a work permit (he’s American) or any Spanish/Catalan language skills, so that venture didn’t work out. he came crawling back and expected me to forget what had happened. Idiot.

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  • Painted_lady April 1, 2011, 9:16 pm

    I’m so excited for you, Wendy! A good friend of mine is British by birth but has lived in Texas since she was pretty young (middle school I think), and she’s taking the day off work for the royal wedding. She’s inviting a bunch of people over for an English breakfast to watch the ceremony, and we’re all encouraged to wear the gaudiest hats we can find. Unfortunately it coincides with my school district’s fine arts gala, which I am running from backstage, so if I skip school it will look really funny. My mother and I are going to London for a few days during our systematic ransacking of Europe this summer…I think. Mom is paying for the trip as a much-delayed combination college and grad school graduation present (I earned my masters three years ago if that tells you anything). I’m grateful, of course, but every couple of weeks she’s come up with a new plan and new trip dates. As of a month ago we were spending a week in Paris with my cousin, visiting another cousin who works at EuroDisney, then meeting friends in Umbria. Then it was Paris and Spain, and now it’s four days each, Paris, London, and Barcelona. I don’t mind, but I can’t make plans for the summer, and I can’t tell her to make a decision, stick with it and get moving because she’s paying! Oh well. I’m lucky I get summers off, so I shouldn’t complain.

    My last vacation was with my ex to spend a few days at his parents’ lakehouse, and it wasn’t awful, but I was simply completely bored the entire time. All he wanted to do was sleep (seriously, we were there four days and had sex once, on our first night there), and I am not someone who sits still for long (I teach middle schoolers now if that says anything about my energy level). The third day I finally blew up out of pure frustration and anxiety about needing to do something, anything! He was completely confused by my frustration, and it was then I realized the trip we had been planning to New York City in a month ought to be canceled. Mostly to prevent my killing him.

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    • SpaceySteph April 1, 2011, 10:17 pm

      Not to choose sides with your ex or anything, but some people really like doing NOTHING on vacation. I, myself, like to sleep in. I will eventually get up and do something, but I’m totally not a 7am breakfast followed by 12 hours of touring and a night of partying kind of person. I’m more of a 11am brunch followed by 6 hours of touring, then an afternoon nap before dinner.
      Its fine to be one of those 7am to 2am people, too, but you definitely have to make sure you’re going with people who will do that with you. Compatible travel styles is very important to being travel buddies. We used to go on vacations with my dad’s sister’s family and they were early risers while we are all sleep-in-ers and it would drive me and my sister nuts when my cousin would leave our shared room at 7am to go on some bike tour with her parents while we were sleeping in. And she would already be asleep when we got back from some late night dinner with our parents. I love my cousins, but we definitely don’t travel together well.

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      • Painted_lady April 1, 2011, 11:39 pm

        Oh definitely – there’s nothing wrong with how he likes to spend his vacations, but for me, I’ll sleep in but I want to do stuff other than veg out in front of the tv. I can do that at home. And I’m perfectly okay doing stuff on my own, but the community pool needed a code, as did the horse stables, and he was asleep. Hence the explosion. So it wasn’t so much that he was a jerk, I just discovered we reeeeeally ought not to travel together.

      • Painted_lady April 1, 2011, 11:45 pm

        Also, it was pretty much sleep late followed by scrounging up something for lunch followed by a nap followed by some tv where he’d fall asleep followed by dinner and some more napping until we went to bed at midnight. I wish I were kidding.

      • SpaceySteph April 2, 2011, 4:51 pm

        Wow that is definitely a bit too much sleeping. Also I hate watching TV on vacation… it defeats the purpose of being on vacation, you can watch TV on your couch!

  • Jess April 1, 2011, 9:56 pm

    My boyfriend and I went to egypt in october and it was FANTASTIC. Sharm el sheikh/ red sea scuba diving.

    When all the political stuff calms down i highly highly suggest ya’ll check it out! The scuba diving is amazing and the luxury is top notch. sooooo nice, so romantic πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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    • Jess April 1, 2011, 10:02 pm

      And we didn’t fight, it was too perfect.

      Sigh… it just made me imagine that we were on our honeymoon….

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    • honeybeenicki April 1, 2011, 10:08 pm

      I would love to go to Egypt! A few people in my family were thinking about it once the political turmoil isn’t as prevalent. The only time I’ve been out of the country was Mexico and Canada, so I would love to go to all of these awesome places.

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  • honeybeenicki April 1, 2011, 10:07 pm

    I went on my first vacation in years last summer. I went to Disney World for the first time ever and got to be a little kid again. I was with my best friend and her son and it was a blast. Actually, I almost didn’t go home. I was convinced I could live at animal kingdom.

    The next vacation I have planned is to go see one of my good friends from high school in Seattle for a week. I wish my husband was home to go with me, but I guess you do what you gotta do. I’m really excited for the trip though.

    I dated a guy shortly after I finished high school and entered college and because I was always busy with work and school, we never really got away together. We lived together, but I was only home about 1-2 waking hours on a good day, so I never spent any real time with him. That is until we went to go visit my family a few hours away for a long weekend. To be honest, all I really needed to realize what a huge jerk he was… well, was the 4 hour drive. He was so critical of everything and everyone around and that go even worse when we made it to my family’s house. He constantly cracked rude jokes around my family and refused to listen when I tried to get him to stop. He was a complete and utter jerk and if I had stayed with him, I think I ultimately would be alienated from my family.

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    • HmC April 2, 2011, 1:02 pm

      They say that long distance car rides are the ultimate test of a relationship. I can’t tell you who ‘they’ is, unfortunately, but I can definitely corroborate the validity of that test with my own experience…

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  • SpyGlassez April 2, 2011, 12:52 am

    My last real “vacation” was last summer when my sister and my best friend and I went to Wales for about 2 weeks. I’d been before, but my sister is 8 years younger and had always wanted to go. So I took her and we toured around, saw castles and ruins, and generally had a great time.

    Over Christmas, I went to Ohio with the bf to meet his family back there (extended family). I enjoyed meeting them, but a full week plus with his family (especially his parents, who we traveled with) was just about my limit. Don’t get me wrong; I like his mom, we get along, and we actually love to do pottery together. And I like his dad, even though I don’t have much in common with him. After a week and a half, however, it was WAAAY enough.

    Next vacay is in May; the roommate, bf, and I will be going to Wisconsin Dells. I haven’t been in many years, my boyfriend hasn’t been either, and my roommate has never been. We’re looking forward to relaxing and having some time away. The BF will have graduated, and this crazy semester/winter will be OVER.

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  • caitie_didn't April 2, 2011, 1:05 am

    Sadly, no upcoming vacations planned for me…..about a week before he broke up with me, my ex-boyfriend started planning a 2-week trip to Europe for us once I’d officially graduated. Not that I’m bitter about that *at all*. I’m currently trying to recrui new travel companions πŸ˜‰

    I went to Vancouver, BC for a research conference at the beginning of February, but since it was for work it didn’t really count as vacation, right? I guess the last vacation I took was in November, when I went to Banff with the now ex who was working in Calgary at the time. We were long distance for the duration of our almost 1-year relationship which necessitated a lot of weekend visits and long weekend trips and we actually traveled/vacationed incredibly well together. I went to a couple of research conferences with a former boyfriend throughout school as part of a group; although we were never together at the times of these conferences and I already knew he was a jerk that was when his most jerky behaviour would come out! (ironically, this is how i met my ex). Looking back now, I realize how completely appalling his behaviour was.

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    • MissDre April 2, 2011, 11:07 am

      Pfft… my ex started planning a trip to Vegas for the two of us about a week before he broke up with me…. wonder what’s up with that??

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      • SpaceySteph April 2, 2011, 11:30 am

        My guess is that they realize the trip would be a perfect way to meet women… if they don’t bring one along.
        My ex dumped me 2 days before I was set to fly to our hometown from my family vacation to go with him and his family on a cruise. Because it was 3 days before Christmas I couldn’t change my flight and stay, so I basically had to go home heartbroken and spend 3 days alone in my parents house before they came back from their trip.

      • caitie_didn't April 2, 2011, 12:13 pm

        Oh wow…..that sounds awful :(.

  • fallonthecity April 2, 2011, 3:26 am

    Ooh, royal wedding! Sounds like a very fun trip. Will Miles be answering letters while you’re away? πŸ™‚

    The last vacation I took wasn’t a vacation — I went to Prague for “work” (I attended a conference, but was affiliated with my university) but met awesome folks, ate awesome food and enjoyed the city for a week. It was better than most actual vacations.

    My next vacation is in a couple weeks. Gonna go to FL and (hopefully) watch the Endeavor launch, woohoo! And then lounge around Orlando for a day or two.

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    • Wendy April 2, 2011, 10:43 am

      Miles will probably answer a couple letters while I’m away. πŸ˜‰

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  • FairhairedChild April 2, 2011, 3:49 am

    My last vacation was to FL – only two weeks ago actually- to visit my brother since he moved down there recently in December. He has an amazing home! And though I didnt “sleep in per say” (we were always up by 7:30am) I did go to bed earlier because I was so worn out from all the activities throughout the day. I went with my mom and left my boyfriend at home – he had just started a new job and i didnt want him to take any time off. Plus he STILL hasnt met my brother yet (my boyfriend and I have been dating for over a year) and I know that my Brother wont like him right off the bat so I want them to meet when I can also “escape” ie “ok well here’s Bryan.. now you two have met.. ok good. bye now” haha.

    My next vacation is da da da daaaaa! Back to FL! This time for my Brother’s wedding, and that will be in June – and again I’m not bringing my boyfriend because I dont think my Brother’s celebration is the best place to introduce someone from my love life – plus its a small ceremony with only immediate family and a few close friends.

    The next vacation I’m going to after that (this far ahead planned that is) is to go to ANOTHER wedding in MS, and I’m taking my boyfriend to that, but then we are flying from there to CA to visit Big Sur/Red Wood Forests after the wedding for our own personal mini vacation tacked onto the back of taking off for a wedding πŸ™‚ I’m very excited because I’ve never been to CA and I have a few friends from there who I met on previous trips (to europe actually) and I wanted to get in touch with them as well as possibly scope out a “destination wedding” venue in the red wood forest. (Not engaged yet but its set in the future when we are both more finanically stable) If/When I get married I would want a small ceremony too but I think I’d like to at least have my honeymoon at the Red Wood Forest – and I know my family also wants to visit so maybe it can be a mini vacation for them too. πŸ™‚

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  • Lydia April 2, 2011, 5:56 am

    My last vacation was in February. I spent four days in Antwerp with my boyfriend. It was lovely, but a bit cold, and the city was almost deserted at times, since we were so far out of the tourist season. Still, we had a nice time. πŸ™‚

    My next vacation will be in two weeks time, when I’ll spend a weekend in London on my own to see a play with Keira Knightley and Elizabeth Moss. I’m really looking forward to it, I adore London. It’s just a shame that I can only stay for two days.

    We still have to plan our summer vacation too. At the moment, I’m leaning towards Italy, but we also have to move house over the summer and it may end up being too expensive.

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  • Ally April 2, 2011, 6:30 am

    I’m not leaving the country but I’m really excited anyway. Next week my boyfriend and I are going to the beach in Scotland where my parents have a big caravan. Also it will be my birthday while we’re away so looking forward to getting pleasantly drunk in the sunshine πŸ™‚

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  • PinkPanther April 2, 2011, 9:07 am

    It’s really enjoyable to read everyone’s vacation stories as it is making me think of lots of different vacations I had! I’m planning a trip to Alaska in June. My best friend from high school lives there and I’m going to go visit her and her growing family! She is due with her second child in August. My last ‘real’ vacation was to Japan last year. My boyfriend and I were living in Korea at the time so we simply took a ferry to Japan. We had been together for almost 2 1/2 years when we moved to Korea but it wasn’t really until then (also our first time living together) that we started learning how to compromise on traveling. He is a sleep in late and go slowly kind of person. I wake up early and go until I drop. He likes museums. I like hiking and shopping. We’ve gotten pretty good about doing a combination of things that each of us wants to do. I’ve also learned to slow down my pace (although it comes right back when I travel by myself haha)! By far my favorite part of our Japan trip was when we borrowed bicycles from the hostel. It was a gorgeous, sunny, warm day for late January and we took off across the city on bike. We went shopping, visited temples, and then parked the bikes in front of the metro and went to the other side of the city to do some more sightseeing. During dinner, it started to pour down raining! The kind man at the restaurant gave us an umbrella, but that didn’t help us once we got back on the bikes! We peddled like crazy through the pouring rain trying to get back to the hostel as quickly as we could (hoping we were going in the right direction). We were completely soaked by the time we got back and had to hang up our soaking wet clothes in our tiny little room but it was so fun!

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    • MissDre April 2, 2011, 11:08 am

      Call up AKChick while you’re in Alaska πŸ™‚

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  • eel avocado April 2, 2011, 10:20 am

    My boyfriend and I had only been dating (we weren’t even “official boyfriend-girlfriend”; we’re spontaneous to a fault!) for 3 months before we decided to travel together. Two months later–when we WERE official–we vacationed in Ireland for 5 days; it was the best trip we had ever had. It solidified our relationship and we still think back to that trip and smile. It’s been two years since Ireland and we haven’t gone anywhere since because of our financial situations. He’s from Taiwan, so I’m hoping that will be our next destination!

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  • princesspetticoat April 2, 2011, 10:23 am

    Enjoy London, Wendy! The guy and I had been planning to go to London this month as well because his sister lives there and just had a baby. But… some other things happened that has put that trip on the back burner for now. Instead, we’re relocating to another city next week. Does that count as a trip? It’s an adventure at least!

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  • RoyalEagle0408 April 2, 2011, 11:18 am

    I am so jealous Wendy!! Have fun!

    I haven’t been on a real vacation in a long time, but I do try to get some time at the beach every year. Other than that, the last time I went away was when I spent a few days in Charlotte, NC in March ’08, but that was with the pep band, and not really a vacation. I need to get planning!!

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  • HmC April 2, 2011, 12:47 pm

    I’m going to Barcelona for four weeks for an internship this June, then Madrid for one week to stay with the family I lived with for 6 months when I did study abroad there during undergrad. I am soooooooooooooo excited! I consider Spain by second home country after the U.S. I’ve been aching to go back for 7 years!

    The only sad aspect of the whole thing is that I’ll be temporarily leaving behind a wonderful relationship. We will have been together only about a year when I go, and I know I’m going to miss him like crazy. I’d love him to come meet me there for a couple weeks, he loves Spain too and it would be so fun! Unfortunately he can’t afford it. But this was too great of an opportunity to pass up and I know that a REAL connection like ours isn’t going anywhere in 5 weeks, so I’m trying not to worry too much. I’m very encouraged by Wendy and others who have pulled off the long distance thing for MUCH longer than 5 measly little weeks. Skype will be my friend!

    Still though, I can’t help but feel a tiny bit apprehensive. Any tips/advice would be appreciated. πŸ™‚

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    • Caroline April 2, 2011, 1:08 pm

      Last year, I had been dating my boyfriend for a few months when he went off to Germany for a month. I knew he was going to Germany, he has family there and his family owns a house. But I also didn’t see him for a month before that because of summer school, so last summer I went two months without seeing him and we had only been dating for about 6 months. It was difficult, but I talked to him pretty much every day on Facebook and it was nice in a way, because we did so much talking that we became closer together, I guess. I mean, I wouldn’t want to spend two months apart again, but think of it as a good experience. Use the time to really talk to him, maybe you’ll find out things that you didn’t know before. And, it is only five weeks, if you’re going to be super busy the whole time, it’ll pass by really quickly. Definitely, definitely make the most of your time there!!! You’ll have so much fun πŸ™‚

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    • Caroline April 2, 2011, 1:17 pm

      Also, Barcelona is wonderful!! Definitely one of my favorite cities for sure.

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      • HmC April 2, 2011, 4:57 pm

        That’s so sweet and very reassuring, thanks girl! I like thinking that this will actually be good for our relationship, to have time to ourselves to process and experience life as individuals again. I know this will be an amazing experience and I’m so grateful to even have this option available to me. I’ve been to Barcelona once but only for a few days, so I’m super stoked to really settle in there. I plan on allowing myself at least a 5 pound guiltless weight gain for paella and wine alone.

    • Wendy April 2, 2011, 12:57 pm

      How fun! I love Barcelona. Drew and I spent a few days there during our honeymoon and it was wonderful. You’ve got to go to a restaurant there called “Cal Pep.” It’s pricey, and there’s no menu β€” the chef makes whatever is freshest that day β€” but it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. So worth it.

      Also, five weeks is nothing for a relationship that’s strong. If you need tips or advice to help stay connected through the distance, check out this post.

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      • HmC April 2, 2011, 4:54 pm

        Thank you Wendy! I will scrimp and save and try that restaurant if I possibly can. I am a slave to amazing food.

        It’s funny, I noted that post when you originally posted it, but for some reason I thought it wouldn’t really apply to me since I was just leaving for 5 weeks… but looking at it now, most of it does!

    • PinkPanther April 2, 2011, 2:04 pm

      Skype is pretty much the best thing ever if you’re going to be apart from your SO for a few weeks! I was only dating my boyfriend for 8 months when I left to study abroad for a semester. The tips that Wendy gave you a link to are fantastic. I think the biggest thing for us was communication both before and while I was away.

      His birthday was two days before I left and I threw him a nice birthday party and part of his gift was a 4-picture frame that I decorated and put pictures of us and some of the things we had done together in. He really appreciated it and it actually sits on our dresser now (almost four years later).

      We sent emails almost everyday (sounds like a lot, but it really helped and they were sometimes just hi, hope you have a good day!). We skyped about once a week. I also took a lot of pictures and posted them online so that we could share the experience a bit. He wanted to come visit me, but just like your boyfriend, he couldn’t afford it. Once I got home I actually missed all of the talking/emailing and the details I would get about his day/life that somehow get skipped over when you can actually see each other.

      We’ve been apart a couple of times since then (and actually we’re getting ready to be apart again as he will be going to grad school in the fall in another state…) but I have so much confidence in our relationship after our first time apart!

      Best of luck to you and have a wonderful time in Spain!!

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      • HmC April 2, 2011, 5:01 pm

        Awe that’s cute! Funny, I was already thinking that I would give him a little framed pic of us as a parting gift too.

        I definitely think that spending time apart is an excellent, and even NECESSARY part of a healthy long term relationship. I know in my heart that a real connection will thrive on some time apart and I have confidence in what I have with my boyfriend. Part of me is scared, but most of me is excited! Skype really is an amazing invention.

    • Elle April 2, 2011, 6:06 pm

      Aww, Barcelona is awesome! I’m sure you know what to visit by now, but my suggestion is to go see the Aquarium. I’m a sucker for aquariums – I try to see one in every city I go to :).

      When my ex was away, for about 18 months, we would log in every night and talk – we were lucky to be in the same timezone. And we would leave it on for hours. I would go make dinner, he would do the same, we would even eat at the same time. In the beginning, none of us wanted to turn it off, so we would leave our computers on the whole night and I could hear him snore :). I know snores are far from romantic, but it was one way I could feel him close.

      HmC, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Your boyfriend will miss you as much as you’ll miss him. And if he loves you, he will be happy for you.

      Did you think about starting a blog, where you could post pictures and talk about your adventures in Spain? You could give the address to your parents and friends, and they’ll have a chance to see what you’re up to, even if you can’t talk to all of them. Maybe you’ll be too busy, since you’re going there for an internship, but it’s worth a try.

      Have fun!

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  • HmC April 2, 2011, 12:56 pm

    Oh, and it really is amazing how traveling with someone can bring out their true colors. That is, I think traveling quickly amplifies whatever differences you might have, especially the deal breaker differences. And I’m not even talking about romances here, just friendships!

    I met one of my closest female friends while traveling, and it was amazing how fast we realized we were compatible because we could travel together; make last minute decisions about food, sleep at train stations, solve complex metro maps etc. and not want to kill each other. Then there was the girlfriend that I always found mildly annoying, then we went on one weekend trip together and I found her traveling behavior so offensive and immature that it basically broke up our friendship. We’re still friendly, but we basically stopped being good friends after that one trip.

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  • Caroline April 2, 2011, 1:16 pm

    I’m going to Ireland for three and a half weeks in June and July as part of a study abroad program my school has. I’m extremely excited but also kind of nervous because I’ll be traveling with a group of people from my school that I don’t know. I want to get along with them and have fun with them! But I’ve always, ALWAYS wanted to go to Ireland, so it just wasn’t an opportunity that I could pass up. I can’t wait, we’re going to Dublin, Belfast, and Galway. I’m hoping to run into Liam Neeson while in Ireland. A girl can dream, right? I’ll be leaving my boyfriend behind, sadly, but I’m not too worried about our relationship. We’ve been together over a year and we went through a similar situation last summer. Plus it’ll be good for the both of us – I get to do something on my own and he gets to focus solely on his summer engineering classes.

    But, I think we are also planning a short camping trip once the semester ends. I really hope we get to, because I’ve been dying to go camping forever! There’s a lot of great places to camp in Texas, though we’re probably going to camp by the Comal River in San Marcos or New Braunfels so we can float down the river. Ah, bliss. πŸ™‚

    Oh, and I’m going to Lubbock, Texas next weekend to visit some of my friends at Texas Tech from when I used to go there. I’m really looking forward to seeing these girls, one of whom is one of my best friends and I haven’t seen her since I transferred. We’ll all be 21 as well, so we can go out and have a few drinks!

    The last “real” vacation I had was last summer. My family and I spent a week in Vancouver, and it was kind of planned on short notice. We all just needed a break from home and Vancouver seemed like the perfect place to go. Such a beautiful city! The first day we were there we rode bikes around the city. It was a great way to start the vacation. πŸ™‚

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    • caitie_didn't April 2, 2011, 2:49 pm

      Ireland is absolutely lovely!! I went for a high school rugby tour and stayed with host families for the week and a half we were there. We stayed in Clonmel, a tiny farming village called Naas and a sketchy, sketchy hostel in the Temple Bar district of Dublin. Fun fact: we arrived there on St. Patrick’s day. It was out of control!!!

      But seriously, Ireland is truly the emerald isle in the sense that you will never see grass that green anywhere else…and the scenery outside of the city is stunning. I definitely want to go back someday!

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  • MajinMD April 2, 2011, 2:38 pm

    The Chemist/Dr. Mr. Dr. Majin and I are going to San Francisco next week. Partly because we want to see his friends there (he went to grad school at Stanford), and partly because it’s not here. Not here in MN, with snow STILL in the yard and STILL in the forecast.

    As I perserverate on in my blog post (shameless self promotion! stayathomedoctor.blogspot.com), I’m stupidly excited to wear spring-like outfits and be somewhere that isn’t still hovering around freezing. Yeah, we might see a few things, hang out with his friends, etc. But I’m most looking forward to being able to walk in a heels without having to watch out for the patches of ice. It might not be as warm there as SoCal or even what SF is used to this time of year, but it’s easily 30+ degrees warmer than it is here . . . so I’ll take it!

    So if anyone is from the Bay Area and has suggestions about things the Chemist and I should do, I’d be happy to hear them!

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    • Eagle Eye April 4, 2011, 9:02 am

      Well, I’m an East Bay native…although now a rather cold East Coast transplant so probably the top 5 things that I like to do when I go home/ what I make my friends do when they come visit me:

      1. Go to Yank Sing, seriously, its the best dim sum I’ve ever had, especially the pork bun, although you’ll want to make reservations ahead of time, its worst kept secret in San Francisco…

      2. Go to the Farmers Market in the Ferry Building, although hang out in the Ferry Building, all different types of tasty, organic food, coffee, sweets and cheese (definitely stop by Cowgirl Creamery for a taste of their Mount Tam Cheese)!

      3. Munch around the Marina District along Chestnut Street, mostly alot of fun and funky food and shops overlooking the Bay and sail boats.

      4. If you have a car, take a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Marin County, if you guys are hikers of any sort, they have some really fantastic coastal walks for all levels.

      5. If you do happen to to make your way over to the East Bay, spend some time exploring College Ave in Berkeley and Oakland, it leads right up UC Berkeley Campus and its a lot nicer than Telegraph Ave.

      Hope this was helpful and enjoy! I’m quite jealous!

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  • Emsz April 2, 2011, 3:26 pm

    My last vacation was to the MΓΌnster-OsnabrΓΌck area (Germany), where our car broke down when we wanted to visit MΓΌnster, and the rest of the holiday we had to go down to the village to shop on foot (and I don’t enjoy, nor am I good at walking). The first day we were there our tent also leaked and I got approximately 3 hours of sleep in 24 hours.
    It got a bit better, but it was my worst vacation to date πŸ˜›

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    • HmC April 2, 2011, 5:07 pm

      Haha I’ve never heard of someone who didn’t like/wasn’t good at walking!

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      • Ally April 3, 2011, 6:19 pm

        I’m not good at walking, but that’s due to a complete lack of coordination, I find it nearly impossible to walk in a straight line. Also get distracted by pretty/interesting things quite easily, there’s been many a time when I’ve walked into something or off the pavement altogether by not watching where I’m going πŸ™‚

    • Emsz April 2, 2011, 5:27 pm

      Well, the problem is that my hip muscles aren’t very strong, and though I’m working on improving them, a walk can still cause me annoying amounts of pain. Right now for instance I have a very annoying throbbing pain in my right buttock and to the side of my hip, and all I did was horseback riding this morning (as I do every week) and a short walk to the bicycle repair shop this afternoon.

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  • Elle April 2, 2011, 7:29 pm

    Wendy, I hope you have a blast in Europe, and I’m rooting for you to crash the royal wedding!!!

    About vacations – just came back from Vegas. It was fun, but also very tiring. I did a lot of sightseeing, went to see a couple of shows (I love Frank Caliendo, but his show was not that great), I saw the Grand Canyon and I loved it. Oh, I also got a tan :).

    I don’t know yet where my next vacation will be. But that’s ok, because I love making plans anyway πŸ™‚

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  • sarah April 2, 2011, 11:04 pm

    my last vacation was actually returning to my hometown, Seattle, to spend Christmas with my family, since I had been away and living out of the country for nearly two years by that point. it was only a week and the international flights were long and boring by myself, but it was totally worth to spend the holidays with my fam. πŸ™‚
    not to mention the weather was so much nicer in my hometown than Seoul, South Korea, which was well below freezing the day I flew out.

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  • Lauren April 2, 2011, 11:50 pm

    Have a great vacation Wendy!

    I just got back from Orlando today after 3 days of Disney action and outlet shopping. Lucky for me, it’s only 2 hours away! And in 1 day of park hopping, I managed to go to Africa, Germany, Canada, England, Mexico, Norway, Morrocco, Japan, China, France, and Hollywood.

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  • atlimbo April 3, 2011, 3:13 pm

    I’m incredibly excited for my next vacation… for the first time in our 9 years of a “will we won’t we” off and on relationship (finally “on” for good) my boyfriend and I are planning two getaways this summer… we’ll be camping once and staying at an east coast beach house with family and friends for the other.

    Though, Wendy, I’m super jealous of Europe!!

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  • margblogger April 3, 2011, 5:53 pm

    My last vacation was to South Carolina with my two best girlfriends last May. It was a blast and we had so much fun on the beach. My next vacation might be with my new boyfriend of two months. He asked me this weekend to go on a golfing vacay at the end of May (It’s okay, I love golfing.) I was a little surprised that he already wants to go somewhere with me, but I’m getting kinda excited. I think this will be fun, and we’re already inseparable, so spending 72 hours together should be much of a challenge….I hope…:)

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  • Boom ChakaLaka April 3, 2011, 7:59 pm

    Last vacation I took was to Argentina. I so recommend as a must see for everyone! The next vacation will either be to Asia or Africa, although the details are still in the workds. I went on vacation once with my ex and realized he was a jerk. THat, among other things, is why he is my ex.

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  • Jess April 4, 2011, 6:41 am

    I’m thinking about going to Florence by myself this weekend. I can’t find anyone to go with, and if I went with my boyfriend he’d insist on flying/hotels instead of train/hostel, and since we’re going in the summer w/ his family for free, he wouldn’t want to spend the money.

    So, what do you guys think? He says its dangerous for a girl to go alone on an overnight train ride and stay at hostels, but when I was in Prague I met a girl traveling by herself, and she seemed just fine. Is it dangerous? Will it be fun traveling alone? I just really want to go to Italy, and the weather is supposed to be fantastic, and I’m a bit bored of where I am!

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    • WatersEdge April 4, 2011, 8:42 am

      Do you speak the language? I wouldn’t want to go alone to a country where I don’t speak the language at all, but if you know at least a little, then I’d do it.

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    • Elle April 4, 2011, 11:17 am

      Jess, I traveled by train all over Europe about 6-7 years ago. I was with my ex, but I don’t remember having any problems. I think that when you take the night train, you can ask the conductor to lock your cabin, so that no one else can get in. If you buy a ticket in a sleeping car, they usually match you with someone of the same gender, and you can definitely lock yourself in. (Or at least they used to, when I was traveling.)

      If you take the usual precautions (don’t walk around drunk, at late hours, in dark alleys), I think you’ll be safe. Of course, you need to be aware of pickpockets and people trying to rip you off, but those kinds of people are everywhere.

      About hostels – I’ve never been to Florence. I did stay in Rome and Venice. And many other hostels in Europe. Never had a problem (well, except for Antwerp, Belgium, when the guy running the hostel threatened my ex with a knife and kicked us out without refunding us after we complained about a guy smoking pot in our room – we simply wanted another room… But we made it out alive, so it’s all good πŸ™‚ ). Hostels usually have lockers, where you can lock your stuff, or you can leave your valuables at the reception (maybe the return ticket, since I don’t think you’ll have your passport with you, and you need your credit cards anyway.)

      Maybe you know this already, but if you have a student ID (it doesn’t matter from where, as long as it has your picture and it says “student” – they didn’t even check if mine was still valid), you can get pretty nice discounts at tourist attractions. (I remember paying 5 Euros at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, when regular admission was 12 Euros.)

      About getting around – in every train station in Europe that I’ve been to, and I’ve been to a lot of them, there’s an information booth, where you can get free maps, info about the public transportation system, info about local attractions, local restaurants, and they can even make you a reservation to a hostel. So make sure you check that out. They may have some info about local attractions that you haven’t found on the internet.

      When you need directions, ask young people. They are more likely to speak English. And Italian guys are very charming and helpful.

      Oh, writing this brings back such nice memories (my ex and I traveled very well together). Wish I could come with you :).

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  • Jessica April 4, 2011, 9:23 am

    I’m late to the weekend thread, but I just got back from New Orleans and had THE best time ever. We went for 5 nights and stayed in the Garden District and the French Quarter. Definitely want to go back soon. Weather was perfect (I’m from Toronto, Canada) and the food, people and atmosphere was just amazing as well.

    P.s Wendy, I went to Commander’s Palace for brunch and it was phenomenal!

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  • Eagle Eye April 4, 2011, 9:41 am

    My last vacation was actually also in France, my boyfriend and I found some super cheap flights/ apartment rentals in Paris in mid-late January. It was great! I had just wrapped up applying to grad school and my bf had just finished up his first semester in grad school and we both just really needed to get away. Fortunately, my bf also speaks passable French, which also made the whole trip easier. We were actually supposed to spend some time in Italy after Paris (I speak pretty good Italian) but after we arrived in France, we were so tired and were enjoying ourselves so much, we cancelled the Italy portion and just hung out in Paris for a few more days, it was lovely.

    Our first trip together though, was Japan, we had been dating for only 4 mos, separated for another 5mos while my bf lived in Toyko and Osaka and then we traveled around together for about 3 1/2 weeks, I swear my friends and family were taking bets as to whether our relationship would survive the trip or not, but it was utterly fantastic, we still talk about it.

    Now, we’re looking for a quite little getaway at the end of May, maybe a weekend at the Cape, although we’ve also been hearing great things about Iceland…

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