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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    LOL Danno, I guess I suffer from Short Attention Span Disorder, so 2-3 nights is usually it for me (unless I am on a ski or surf holiday). Bouncing around works for us, but at some point I guess that will change.
    2 nights is probably sufficient for Venice - I would definitely spend more time in the Tuscan "countryside" instead of Florence, unless you guys are big into Renaissance art or something. Siena is a super-easy train ride from Florence and, IMO, a much better destination.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by skaredshtles View Post
    I'd recommend *not* staying in Bordeaux proper. When we traveled there, we realized in about 10 minutes Bordeaux was NOT what we were looking for, so we headed to St Emilion - that little town is incredible.
    Thanks, that looks like a great suggestion.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Bring your own edibles, they suck in AMS.
    You and I have apparently had very different experiences in AMS. I know a place that sells 300mg slices of banana bread for 8 Euro.

    @Liv2Ski- this is a really good restaurant for Dutch meat- https://goo.gl/maps/F8z4XKN5Ayjzt73i6. Not sure I'd call it BBQ, but just really good slow cooked ribs.

    And this restaurant is really good as well- https://goo.gl/maps/oJ6VsS1Lim6QLZWE7 I think I remember a really good Elk course here.

    This one is also worth a visit- https://goo.gl/maps/ftX2mP6qozs5uDoN7

  4. #29
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    Guys, great suggestions. Thanks a bunch. Kevo, we do not eat Mammals. Any good seafood or poultry suggestions?
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  5. #30
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    Piet de Leeuw steakhouse in AMS serves horse meat

  6. #31
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    Speaking of edibles, I use a tincture to sleep. It comes in a small glass bottle with dropper. Is HLS going to take it from me when I go through the airports. I need that stuff to sleep with the bear next to me
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennymac View Post
    Piet de Leeuw steakhouse in AMS serves horse meat
    Before giving up meat we had horse in Hungary. Was fuckin good, but made me really sad to eat.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Rick Steves gold tip: Take the bus from Florence to Siena. It drops you off on top of the hill. The train station is a long escalator ride and walk away.
    "Long" being relative... it's quite literally a 30m walk from the station to the Campo.

    The bus *might* be faster, though, from Florence to Siena - the trian is not particularly quick.

    The Uffizzi in Florence is much more than "renaissance art or something". C'mon, man. Head for the Botticelli rooms, recently expanded. Stunning. Reserve tickets and time ahead.
    We've been to Florence 3 times now and never been to the Uffizi. But... we haven't stayed in Florence more than a couple days on any of our trips.

    Vivoli in Florence for gelato.
    And don't forget grabbing a sammi at I Fratellini: https://goo.gl/maps/1BoVtPFRhPH1JNw3A

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    Before giving up meat we had horse in Hungary. Was fuckin good, but made me really sad to eat.
    Sorry! I missed the part where you gave up meat (mammals)

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    Guys, great suggestions. Thanks a bunch. Kevo, we do not eat Mammals. Any good seafood or poultry suggestions?
    Suggestion 2 and 3 would have what you're looking for.

    I do remember seafood and poultry and either of those places would accommodate your wishes for no mammals I would think.

    Do you guys eat dairy? Dutch cheese is...an experience. It's worth exploring IMO.

  11. #36
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    Schiermonnikoog is a beautiful island and national park close to Amsterdam. For nature, wandering, kitesurfing in spring and great seafood (like Amsterdam) it can't be beat. Buy some weed and hang on the island. It's magical

    BTW, my favorite seafood place in Amsterdam is called "Red". It's on one of the rings east side. I think that it is on Prinzengracht, but it may be Kaisergracht
    ďA society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.Ē
    ― Milton Friedman

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    Speaking of edibles, I use a tincture to sleep. It comes in a small glass bottle with dropper. Is HLS going to take it from me when I go through the airports.
    No - but you might end up in a Turkish prison.

    Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    <snip> Any good seafood or poultry suggestions?
    Oh, man... you're going to *love* Venice.
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  14. #39
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    Thanks for all the input today ^^^^ Great suggestions and bringing the laughs too.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  15. #40
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    - Agree re: St. Emilion (or one of many other small towns around there) over Bordeaux itself. Rent a car and get to some lesser populated wineries. I'm sure some mags can assist on that front.
    - Lived for a year in AMS. Would personally recommend staying outside of the center. Closest in I think gives you a feel of folks who live in the town is Jordaan/De Pijp/Oud-West/Oud-Zuid. If you're into history, the City of Amsterdam history museum is incredibly done. Hope you eat cheese, cause fuck yes. If you have nice weather, renting bikes for the day and wondering Noord is pretty cool. I'm a huge fan of the parks in general and spent a lot of time enjoying a j in vondel/wester/rembrant parks.

    Other unsolicited advice:
    - carry decent travel backpacks instead of roller bags. Saves so much hassle on stairs, old sidewalks, brick roads etc you will encounter all over Europe.
    - figure out having data access on your phone while traveling. It's worth it.
    - get yourselves a couple of credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Yeah, but, it's, ... Banana bread. Or pound cake. Hard to hide and keep fresh while traveling.
    That's a good point. Touchť

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    - Agree re: St. Emilion (or one of many other small towns around there) over Bordeaux itself. Rent a car and get to some lesser populated wineries. I'm sure some mags can assist on that front.
    - Lived for a year in AMS. Would personally recommend staying outside of the center. Closest in I think gives you a feel of folks who live in the town is Jordaan/De Pijp/Oud-West/Oud-Zuid. If you're into history, the City of Amsterdam history museum is incredibly done. Hope you eat cheese, cause fuck yes. If you have nice weather, renting bikes for the day and wondering Noord is pretty cool. I'm a huge fan of the parks in general and spent a lot of time enjoying a j in vondel/wester/rembrant parks.

    Other unsolicited advice:
    - carry decent travel backpacks instead of roller bags. Saves so much hassle on stairs, old sidewalks, brick roads etc you will encounter all over Europe.
    - figure out having data access on your phone while traveling. It's worth it.
    - get yourselves a couple of credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.
    All good suggestions re: AMS. If you're in Vondelpark on a nice day it's worth having a beer at the Blauwe Theehuis, or alternatively having a beer at the same brewery's other location under a big windmill on the East side of town https://www.brouwerijhetij.nl/windmi...-room/?lang=en . If you're into the whole windmill/wooden shoe vibe you can take the train out to Zaanse Schans. It's a bit of a tourist trap but makes for an easy day trip. All of this requires a decent weather window. Otherwise, hang out in a "coffee shop" and then enjoy the Museums (I'd avoid the street art museum in Noord). I live just within the outermost ring in De Weteringschans, so feel free to shoot me a PM if you have other Amsterdam questions or want to grab a beer while you're here.
    Everybody's gotta have parkas. I'm talking custom parkas. Two words: "client development." They see all of you out there cutting the powder in your matching Schweikart & Cokely parkas, you'll make an impression. You will thank me later.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    I am so happy I bought one of these: https://www.rei.com/product/884915/p...ole-duffel-60l It has backpack straps, fits in the overhead, and a pair of ski boots fits in there easily with stuff. Frees hands for rollers.
    Great bag - but a full 60L is not gonna fit into the carryon bag size checker (unless you are flying biz class/first class)

    Yes you can get it to fit into the overhead in economy class - but you sometimes have to get past the airline staff and their rules

    carry on rules on some international airlines are even smaller than those in North America

    most carry on bag checkers fit a full 40L in my experience

  19. #44
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    Plus that duffle sucks compared to a real backpack as far as carrying. I can do a couple weeks (not skiing) in Europe with my 40L backcountry back and have on a couple of occasions.

    My friends who are constantly traveling (e.g. 10-12 2-week plane-based trips a year) swear by these. Get a pair for the wife as a pre-trip excitment gift: https://www.osprey.com/us/en/product...PNT40_326.html

  20. #45
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    It comes down to a balance of how much time are you going to spend with the pack on your back. If you just wear it from when you get off the plane until you get into a taxi you need less of a comfortable backpanel and less hip belt comfort etc

    The Black Hole duffels come with detachable backpack straps but don't have a backpanel - this is adequate for a short carry - especially if you're only carrying 40L (usual carryon size) then you're probably not carrying a heavy bag.

    If you need to walk a lot with the pack on your back then the equation changes

    My friend brought this one to SE Asia last year - expensive but very slick

    https://ca.peakdesign.com/products/t...11530908172332

    I went with a Black Hole 40L instead (half the price) - but again the furthest we carried these on our backs was from an Uber to our airplane gate

  21. #46
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    If you are a cycling fan, Giro D'Italia happening May 6-29. Route

  22. #47
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    I have the Pata 40l black hole and my wife has that Osprey. Hers cinches down better and does carry better, but as mentioned, the distances we're typically carrying it's not a big deal. But yeah, backpack is waaay better for moving around planes, trains and automobiles than a roller.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    Plus that duffle sucks compared to a real backpack as far as carrying. I can do a couple weeks (not skiing) in Europe with my 40L backcountry back and have on a couple of occasions.

    My friends who are constantly traveling (e.g. 10-12 2-week plane-based trips a year) swear by these. Get a pair for the wife as a pre-trip excitment gift: https://www.osprey.com/us/en/product...PNT40_326.html
    Last time we visited Euro-land, I used this pack for a 10-day trip and carried it on with no issues:

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  24. #49
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    Last week I flew to LAX for a week with that black hole 40L as my luggage - it easily swallows a lot of clothes and shoes due to its shape and lack of structure (which makes it less suitable for long periods of carrying)

    Only issue is I forgot the backpack straps - so it was super annoying even on the short walks from the gate to the rental car. Neither a backpack nor a roller....won't make that mistake again.

    re: carryon size - you can carryon literally any size bag as long as the gate dragons/attendants are not scrutinizing and you can stuff it in the overhead. But that is still a dice roll - and the reason carryon bags are usually in the 40-45L size is that is what is commonly "allowed" in NA (and international can often be smaller)

    Anecdotally backpacks get less scrutiny than rollers - so that can be an advantage - and the lack of wheels and frames = easier to squish into places. So you can get away with larger volume backpacks.

  25. #50
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    My thought is- consolidate. If you try and do too many places in a 20 day trip, you likely wonít be as satisfied. Split the first 14 days in go-go-go mode, while the last 6 should be spent more-slowly, preferably planted somewhere. Iíve done waaaay too many trips where Iím on the gas pedal the whole time, and by the end wishing I had vacation to relax from my vacation. Cut at least 1-2 locations out. Yeah itíll seem like you are reducing the quality of your trip, but sometimes less is more when it comes to location-hopping. YMMV, but Iíd at least try to cut something out.

    Some other thoughts:

    Fuck Venice. Itís a victim of its own success and youís be hitting it during the high point of tourist season. Itíll degrade the experience if you donít go in the off season. Take the days you would do there and go to Tuscany instead. Rent a car and stay somewhere outside of Florence, taking day trips around the countryside.

    Amsterdam is dope, and 3 days there would be just enough to enjoy it. Utrecht was always a great place to explore when in lived there, and only 30 minute train ride from Amsterdam central station.

    If it was Bordeaux or Paris, Iíd go the former and end the trip in Bordeaux. Mind you, I was not a fan of Paris when I was there, and felt it suffered the same fate as Venice. The weather is likely to be better too.

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