The Latest Vacation Brainstorm
This one struck me at lunch time. Given my continued inability to find hotel rates that won't drain my budget completely, I went completely the other direction again and considered, instead of one, big tour, a series of three shorter tours:
- Six-day tour of Ireland
- Five-day wine cruise in the south of France
- Four-day hotel stay in Rome with tours thrown in
This actually offers three different experiences: bus tour (more or less), cruise, and stationary experience with walking tours set within one city.
However, a pal suggested that a friend in Britain might get me a couple of free pints in one of several pubs owned by a friend of a friend. So the above itinerary could include a couple days on the front end in England--one to get to London (and maybe do that theater thing at The Globe), one to get a train across the West Country, stop in one of those aforementioned pubs, and then get to a ferry port in Liverpool or Wales to make it to Dublin. Doable, of course, just an extra stop or two. And it might mean cutting the Rome stay short, which would mean independent touring in Roma Aeterna. That might or might not work, depending on how much English the average Italian knows. The most common advice I get from family and friends--most of whom are about as linguistically ignorant as I am--has been to get guided tours in countries where English isn't the native or most common language. That ignores the problem, however, of driving on the wrong side of the street, which is made doubly difficult after a wee nip of the creature. Suddenly a bus full of watchful blue-hairs isn't so stupid.
Anyhow, the seesaw discussion continues. I really like the three-country, three-tour journey, though. It also looks like I can save the better part of $2,000 on lodging/transport that way. The questions then become:
- How much free time will I have away from the blue-hairs?
- When with the group, can I play well with others?
- Can I manage the transits between tours (Dublin-Lyon, Lyon-Rome) without bolluxing things up completely?
- Will any travel agent put up with such an outrageous itinerary?
The planning and cogitating continue.