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Author Topic: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)  (Read 3063 times)

jmrz

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When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« on: 29 Jul 2009, 16:35 »

Okay, so if all goes to plan, I will get to satisfy some of my wanderlust in about six months time and come adventuring to meet the internet.

Things to know:
- I want to travel in January/February. It will most likely be the end of December + first half of January.
- No, I am not mad, I just want to escape the Australian summer and see proper snow and go ice skating outside and get to have two winters for a bit.
- I am saving 80-90% of what I earn every week. Basically every cent I earn is disposable income. I should have just about $12,000AU minus flights when I get to go on this adventure.

I'll be doing a Contiki tour of Europe, with one of my best friends, and then I'll head to the states afterwards. I'm not sure yet whether or not she'll be coming with me.

Places I will likely be when I am in the states:
- Seattle
- DC
- NYC
- Boston

I'd like to have a stop or two in Canada, but I am not sure if I will have the time. This whole thing depends a lot on work.

Now, how long should I try and stay in each of these places? What are things to do and see? How expensive are these places?

What would be the best way to get between those American cities and are there any others I should see? Is there anyone who would want to come to Disneyland with me?

This is basically my 'meet the internet/make the internet real' tour. I want to hang out with as many of you as possible, whether it be for a few hours or for a few days, it would be awesomely incredible.

Any and all advice is a huge help to me.
« Last Edit: 29 Jul 2009, 16:37 by jmrz »
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #1 on: 29 Jul 2009, 17:13 »

Between NYC and Boston, I suggest taking a bus.  They're SUPER cheap.  I guess things to do depend on what you are looking for.  Are you interested in touristy crap or just local hangouts? 
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jmrz

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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #2 on: 29 Jul 2009, 17:21 »

Touristy stuff would be good, but I am more than happy to see local hangouts and things like that. Museums could be fun and if my friend is coming with me, she will definitely want to see Museums and anything history related.

And I've heard good things about the Bolt Bus?
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #3 on: 29 Jul 2009, 17:26 »

I've heard mixed things.  They can have really cheap prices if you book forever in advance, but they also have a tendency to overbook and having to put people on a later ride.  I've never ridden it, so I don't know for sure. 

But let's see... the Museum of Science is a great thing to hit, maybe the Museum of Fine Art, you'd probably want to do the Freedom Trail and..... come on Boston folks, help me out here.  You could spend a lot of time here, but I say you could get a lot done in maybe 3-4 days if you had to. 
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #4 on: 29 Jul 2009, 17:30 »

as far as Seattle goes, you obviously need to go to the Space Needle, and of course that bizarre music museum place with the funny architecture (edit: oh it's called the E.M.P.). then there's Pike Place Market which is pretty cool; they throw fish. Pike Place is free (unless you buy something, obviously) but i'm not sure about the cost of the other two (i've never been because i am a recluse and Seattle scares me). then there's always The Fremont Troll.
the thing i'd recommend the most, however, is just seeing some music. Seattle is world famous for all the great music it has put out over the years and continues to put out so you should try to go to at least one show while you're there. wow, that was an awkward sentence.

if want to get out of the city and see some really great forests and interesting locales then you could drive an hour and a half north of Seattle and i could show you some stuff. i live in a temperate rain forest and it is pretty spectacular. also, i could take you to a really creepy abandoned insane asylum that's all over grown with tall grass and vines and stuff; it's pretty cool. they filmed that movie there...what was it called...A Boy's Life or This Boy's Life or something along those lines.


i wish i could be more helpful but i'm pretty antisocial and and reclusive so i'm not sure about too many fun activities outside of my own property.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #5 on: 29 Jul 2009, 19:56 »

i rode bolt bus with my friend when i went to go see mono in nyc. it was resonably fine. some of their buses have bomb sets, other don't, they have wi fi and outlets for playing on the internet, and i think they have okay fares. dc to nyc is in between 20-25, but really any bus in between dc and nyc will basicially be that much. bolt bus if reasonably okay. but yeah, they do weirdly sell out and such so buy tickets early.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #6 on: 29 Jul 2009, 20:10 »

also if you hit dc at the right time ill probably still be on winter break so we can hang with the other dc qc kids (not that theres many of us.)
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #7 on: 29 Jul 2009, 20:20 »

Whoa, how are you managing to go all the way from Seattle to DC? That's going on 3,000 miles. Flying?
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #8 on: 29 Jul 2009, 20:48 »

It's a well known fact that Australians can glide on updrafts using a thin membrane of skin stretching between their arms and legs. So yeah, I imagine she'll be flying.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #9 on: 29 Jul 2009, 20:50 »

There are a number of Chinatown buses (http://www.chinatown-bus.org/) that run pretty cheap between New York and DC - about $20, it looks like. And DC's Chinatown is actually not a bad place, there are restaurants, it's reasonably nearby to most of the museums (Smithsonian = free admission), not too sketchy, and there's a Metro stop right there at the Verizon Center. If you need a place to crash, I intend to have a house by then, outside of the district but not far from a Metro line.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #10 on: 29 Jul 2009, 21:10 »

We already talked about it, but I just want to remind you that I am down for hangouts in NYC or boston!

Also, I can't remember if I mentioned it, but the chinatown bus lines that run between the two stop in my city for a food break (you get a wonderful choice between burgerking or mcdonald's). If you take that line I can always meet you when you get here.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #11 on: 29 Jul 2009, 21:26 »

Jamie if you want to come to Northampton (2 hours away from Boston, not really much here) I will show you around! Also, I am up for skiing!
Also it will be really cold so pack all of your warmest clothes, and I will cross my fingers really hard for tons of snow because snow is wonderful.
I am so excited for you!
As far as transport goes, if you are pressed for time I would fly, because flying is actually pretty cheap within the US and it is the fastest, the only problem is you don't get to see any of the inbetweens. There are some good national airlines to choose, I would not recommend United!
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #12 on: 29 Jul 2009, 22:08 »

Man, DC china town is awesome. Especially the art museum right in china town, one of my favorite places to just hang.

Also oddly enough all the other buses are around the same price as the china town bus. It's rather odd. I'd expect it to be otherwise, but it's really not.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #13 on: 29 Jul 2009, 22:14 »

Philadelphia could make for a great stop between DC and NYC, there's a bunch of cool stuff to do around here.  I could show you some really cool spots in the city, and a place to crash wouldn't be hard to arrange.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #14 on: 29 Jul 2009, 22:30 »

Jamie if you want to come to Northampton (2 hours away from Boston, not really much here).

Hey, I may be in Northampton later on this summer.

About transports: Doesn't this country have Megabuses now? Looking at the site, they are 19 dollars depending on time of travel.

About flying: Earlier this summer I bought the cheapest ticket from A to B which gave me a 12 hour lay over in Miami, but I didn't mind this, because I got to see Miami. It was awesome.

Things to do in NYC: Governor's Island if it's still open. It's an awesome park on an island with a view of downtown Manhattan. Brooklyn Bridge walking across into Brooklyn then walk around Dumbo and go to the Ice Cream place there. I forget what it's called but it's awesomely good. In Manhattan itself walk around Alphabet City, it's what Williamsburg wishes it was. Also, south street seaport, while expensive is pretty cool because it's all old timey.

In DC: if you're into getting really depressed and angry at the Nazi's I recommend going to the Holocaust Museum. It's really chilling and, as far as history museum's go, very well put together and effect.

Where are you going in Europe?
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #15 on: 29 Jul 2009, 22:32 »

Come see me in Denver. We'll... eat... hot dogs? :\
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #16 on: 30 Jul 2009, 00:19 »

as far as Seattle goes, you obviously need to go to the Space Needle, and of course that bizarre music museum place with the funny architecture (edit: oh it's called the E.M.P.). then there's Pike Place Market which is pretty cool; they throw fish. Pike Place is free (unless you buy something, obviously) but i'm not sure about the cost of the other two (i've never been because i am a recluse and Seattle scares me). then there's always The Fremont Troll.
the thing i'd recommend the most, however, is just seeing some music. Seattle is world famous for all the great music it has put out over the years and continues to put out so you should try to go to at least one show while you're there. wow, that was an awkward sentence.

This is fairly spot-on. Since I live there, I have to strongly agree with the whole "Seeing music angle." Also, the Space Needle costs like $15 for a simple ascension (boo), but the EMP / Science Fiction Museum is free every first thursday of the month (only way it's worth it). Pike Place is fairly mandatory, otherwise I'd hit up Capitol Hill and Fremont and just wander around. Maybe pick up a couple hipsters and go to Red Light or Everyday Music (Seattle has great I repeat great indie record stores).

Recommended venues include Showbox at the Market, Neumo's, The Crocodile, El Corazon, and The Vera Project.
« Last Edit: 30 Jul 2009, 00:38 by scarred »
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #17 on: 30 Jul 2009, 00:28 »

If you do make it to Canada (Montreal specifically), I'm up to hang out, show you around a bit, etc.  If not, I'm always looking for a chance to get to NYC, though that would depend a bit on how school is going whenever you are in the area.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #18 on: 30 Jul 2009, 02:19 »

And DC's Chinatown is actually not a bad place

Now.  It used to be nothing but crack houses.  Despite the fact that it's a lot safer, I feel like it's lost a bit of its charm.


On a more serious note:  Even though I'm generally sick to death of touristy stuff and the tourists that accompany it in DC, you are seriously missing out if you don't stop.  The entire Smithsonian complex is fan-effing-tastic, and its free.  I still rarely miss a chance to go to the natural history museum.  here's a .pdf warning, but just look at this map

home.nps.gov/applications/parks/nacc/ppMaps/map_final2.pdf

you can kill days just walking around this area... and there's stuff to do beyond it too.  There is a reason I keep ending up back in DC (well, the area, I seem to get farther and farther out the older I get) despite a couple of earnest attempts at leaving.   It's very much a place without direct peer.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #19 on: 30 Jul 2009, 02:35 »

Man, all this talk about visiting America makes me want to go back there now I am not quite such an amazingly clueless moron.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #20 on: 30 Jul 2009, 04:09 »

Yeah, but Ben you're old and no one will want to hang out with you.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #21 on: 30 Jul 2009, 04:09 »

Except maybe Joe Hocking.  You two can be old together.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #22 on: 30 Jul 2009, 05:39 »

It'll be great ben, I know all the best bingo spots.

Whoa, how are you managing to go all the way from Seattle to DC? That's going on 3,000 miles. Flying?

seriously though, DC NYC and Boston are all a couple hour bus/train rides from each other, but Seattle is on the opposite side of the country.  That's almost as far as flying from Europe to Boston in the first place.

Although, if your plan is to fly back to Australia in that direction it would make sense.  You would definitely be making a connection somewhere on the west coast anyway, so might as well make that part of your trip.
« Last Edit: 30 Jul 2009, 05:44 by jhocking »
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #23 on: 30 Jul 2009, 06:30 »

I'll get around to replying to most of these properly tomorrow, but yes, you're right. I will probably fly out of the west coast unless my travel agent thinks it better to do it differently, either that or I would fly into the west coast. Either way, I'd have to stop at SF, LA, or SD before I could adventure to Seattle. And I know they are on opposite sides of the country, which is a fairly long way, but I have people to visit, so I really don't mind so much.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #24 on: 30 Jul 2009, 09:06 »

The entire Smithsonian complex is fan-effing-tastic, and its free.  I still rarely miss a chance to go to the natural history museum.  here's a .pdf warning, but just look at this map

This is completely and entirely true. I don't think I've ever been quite so wowed by a series of museums as the Smithsonian. You would be doing yourself a great disservice if you didn't make at least a slight effort to check out DC for a day. If the weather's permitting, I'd check out the zoo as well. The DC zoo is phenomenal. If weather's not permitting and you end up in San Diego for a while, their zoo is great, though not quite as good (DC has a panda still, I think).
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #25 on: 30 Jul 2009, 09:31 »

Yeah, the National Zoo still has a panda or two, but they got rid of the giraffes to make more room for the elephants. There is also the Amazon building which is pretty cool. And apparently there's the Asia Trail: "Six Asian species, including sloth bears, clouded leopards, and red pandas, can be seen in a series of habitats on Asia Trail." I have only spent time in Chinatown in the last year or so, but it definitely has the feeling of an area that used to be oh-god-sketchy and has been scrubbed and franchised beyond recognition. Just don't go east past like H Street, it starts to get kinda sketchy again. OH if you are into theatre, DC has a zillion theaters. It tends to be kinda expensive if you buy a straight ticket, but there are deals for students, matinees, last-minute, standing-room, and under 30. If you are interested, I can give you a list of some of the big theaters downtown, they'll probably have their 09-10 seasons published pretty soon.
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #26 on: 31 Jul 2009, 19:09 »

Basically, I have a change of travel plans!

Explanation:
- My friend Maddy (the friend I mentioned earlier) cannot come to the USA with me, because she works in retail and can't really take a month and a half off over the busiest retail time of the year.
- She wants to see a fair bit and spend a far bit of time in Europe and so do I!
- I realised that with the exchange rate, whatever money I take with me, I halve, which will absolutely kill my bank account, so I don't think I would HAVE the money to go to the USA as well.
- I will only be 20 when I travel.

So, Maddy and I went to the travel agent and we've picked the contiki tour we are both happy with: http://contiki.com.au/tours/112-europea ... er-winter/

We are going to get to London early and have two days in London before the tour, which is what they recommend. It will also only cost us $80AU a night at the hotel which is pretty damn good. We'll then go on the tour, which is January 9th to 24th and then we will have another few days in London and maybe some in Edinburgh after the tour.

Maddy is a huge history nerd and wants to go and see all the Museums and things. I also want to go and see Stonehenge, which we can arrange to do with contiki. They have a London add-on package thing which gives us some kind of travel pass thing and accommodation and options for tours and stuff.

We are both ridiculously excited and will probably book it all this week.

Now, in regards to the USA. I am going to aim to get there in July 2010. I'll be 21, so I can party and get drunk proper like. If I go in July, I can ask for birthday money to pay for the trip and I can go to Comic Con as well. So, looks like I'll be seeing you USA-ers in about a year. You UK-ers, meetups in January?
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #27 on: 01 Aug 2009, 06:42 »

Jamie, you better come to Boston!
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Re: When a Tiny Aussie Invades (jmrz adventure)
« Reply #28 on: 02 Aug 2009, 08:44 »

Party in Edinburgh.
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