Jay and I recently traveled to New Orleans. It was great until it was not. 🙂 Three days would have been fine. Five days was too long. We had great weather, except one very rainy day. I should have worn “sturdier” clothes that day as I got soaked to the skin and the WWII Museum was very cool (as in, both neat and freezing, because of the A/C). We had the most fun going on a bike tour, renting a tandem bike at City Park, riding the trolley, going on an airboat ride, wandering around Frenchmen St and finding a couple of cool restaurants to eat at, and bars to listen to music (and watch the Broncos). Bourbon Street was a horror.
When we got home I made notes, based on the trip, that should help in future travels. We’re really hoping to do a lot of short, spontaneous trips based on cheap airfare, as well as some long road trips, and some international travel. Here are some of them:
– we are not great “tourists”. We don’t enjoy walking endlessly in cities, shopping or looking for somewhere to eat, at least not in American cities.
– we have the most fun biking, water stuff, pools, hiking, going where locals go, rides, fun/adventure/activity/outdoor stuff vs. museums/landmarks.
– we are not foodies, so don’t focus on going out to eat and drink. Stumble upon places. Go to the grocery store. We get SO tired of eating and drinking too much. It makes us grumpy. Staying in hotels with free breakfasts is great.
– don’t go until after September. Denver is beautiful in September. Why be gone? Besides, we have two birthdays and our anniversary in September and it’s stressful to be traveling and trying to figure out presents and celebrating. I’m a terrible shopper.
– try to avoid the heat. I hate being hot. (Not sure how this is going to happen when we go to Vietnam (see below)).
– 3 days max in most cities. Leave wanting more.
– rent a car unless it’s somewhere like NYC; or just make sure we’re only gone 2-3 days.
– don’t get home late. Choose flights getting in before 7:00, if possible. If the flight lands at 9:00, we won’t get back to the house until close to 11:00.
– park in section XX4 for first drop off. Yes, I am that anal.
– don’t schedule any appointments for the day after our return.
As far as international travel goes, I’m hoping we can go to Vietnam sometime next year. I wanted Spain or Croatia, but Jay really has a hankering for something more exotic. I need to get planning it. I’ve already mapped out a bunch of road trips on www.roadtrippers.com, which has been really fun to do. I’ve got 1) Wyoming Road Trip which, at 1,700 miles, is something we should be able to do in a week and, hopefully, sometime next year; 2) Western US Road Trip (6,400 miles); 3) Southeastern US Road Trip (8,500 miles) and 4) Northeastern US Road Trip (9,400 miles). These last three will need 1-3 months each and will have to wait until Jay retires.
But it’s fun planning them. And, having them documented makes it more likely that we will actually do them!