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Vacation Travel Plans, Suggestions, Advice

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  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,443
    edited May 2010
    My brother use to live in Fort Walton. When visiting we would always take his boat over to Destin and go fishing, boating and swimming. I really liked that area.. beautiful beach, a lot calmer and more family oriented than some other places.

    I got an email today from our hotel in Panama City. They wrote that we could cancel up to the day of our arrival, due to the uncertainty of oil getting on their beaches. Prior to that you had to give a 30 day notice to get your $200 deposit back. That takes some pressure off... as I couldn't decide whether to cancel or not. If oil hits the beach, maybe we'll go to Disney World. We've been talking about that trip for a year or two. :shades:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    They must be having cancellations left and right. :sick:

    My guide friend says bookings up in Alaska are still way down. Good deals can be had on Denali hotel and bus tour packages into the park - those things never have been on sale before. One rafting business over in Valdez is shutting down and selling all their rafting gear.

    Tough biz....
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,443
    oh no! Just read in the paper, oil and tar balls arriving in Panama City Beach within the next 36 hours. What a horrible disaster. Once that oil gets in that white sand, I can see it hanging around for a couple decades, don't know how they could clean something like that up. :sick:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,815
    edited June 2010
    They have no idea how to clean it up. Drilling technology has far surpassed clean-up technology, the latter still being Stone Age stuff. Someone's been asleep in DC for the last 30+ years.

    I think people will adapt over time but if vacationers keep coming out of the surf with black feet, the word will definitely spread.

    Commercial fishing is another problem. But vacation economies can flourish in areas that have no commercial fishing.

    The real scary part is if this oil starts creeping up the East Coast.

    Or come to my home town, Santa Cruz. Our beaches are beautiful, even if you'll suffer hypothermia if you try to swim :P

    Oddly enough, little kids jump right in there. And surfers, of course, who are probably crazy anyway. We have some of the *best* surf in the world here.

    I wear a shorty wetsuit to boogie-board, so if you come, rent one of those and you're good to go.

    We also have one of the best freak collections on the west coast.

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  • berriberri Posts: 7,858
    My concern is that BP is not telling the whole story. I'm wondering whether despite recapturing some oil after the capping, there isn't even more oil escaping since they had to cut the piping at the ocean bottom to fit it? The company sure seems incompetent. I wonder if they would be working better if this happened by their home country, the UK?

    There is a resort a little north of Oxnard, CA that has a beautiful Pacific beach, however you occasionally get a tar ball on your foot. They said at the Embassy Suites it was because of an old oil incident years ago. The gulf beach at Destin, FL someone just mentioned is fantastic. It is just horrible to see how it may be ruined for years. From what I've read it appears BP may have been rushing, or short cutting the project which may have led to the platform and well explosion. I hope that isn't true.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,815
    A WSJ special report indicates that many shortcuts were taken by BP, and many safety procedures skirted or ignored. It's a pretty condemning report. BP had a lot of trouble with that well and were over-spending on the project prior to the disaster.

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  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    Right now they are talking tar balls all the way to port St Joe in the panhandle. That's right where the panhandle beach comes to that point. Just to the east side of that point is St. George Island - a bit better than 20 miles of the prettiest beach in the world. It was my weekend escape in grad school at Florida State. It's way beyond sad.

    I remember as a kid at the Jersey shore that there was some oil in the sand. Hasn't been there for decades. Sure as heck hoping not to see it again.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    There is a resort a little north of Oxnard, CA that has a beautiful Pacific beach, however you occasionally get a tar ball on your foot. They said at the Embassy Suites it was because of an old oil incident years ago.

    Having grown up in Oxnard, I know what you're talking about. I was never much of a beach person to begin with, and every excursion seemed to end with someone having tar stuck to the bottom of their foot. Not fun!

    As this was during the 70's, I suspect the issue was the oil spill in the Santa Barbara channel in 1969. It, too, was an offshore well that went bad. It was the cause of much of the drilling legislation that was enacted by California in the 70's - some of the toughest in the nation.

    A quick article on the '69 spill
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    I remember that spill. Yeah, that's why there's no drilling off California, Florida and a load of other states.

    Of course Florida has learned the hard way that you can't control what neighboring states do to screw up your environment.

    I'm trying to remember what my mother used to use to get the tar off our feet. Alcohol maybe?
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,443
    Actually we thought about taking a trip to California. Closest we've been to Santa Cruz is Seaside Oregon. We were visiting my aunt who lives in Walla Walla. A beautiful area, and yeah, the cold water a bit bone numbing.

    We got another email from our hotel yesterday, saying they don't have any oil on their beaches and to come on down. I suppose they hadn't received the latest news on the oils arrival time. I don't see how this won't bankrupt BP, all of the lost revenue from hotels, fishermen, putt putt courses, go cart tracks, amusement parks, fruit stands. Florida will take a heavy economic hit.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    "I don't see how this won't bankrupt BP, all of the lost revenue from hotels, fishermen, putt putt courses, go cart tracks, amusement parks, fruit stands. Florida will take a heavy economic hit.

    There is, through reinsurance treaties, adequate funds to be available for legitimate claims.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,815
    Well the nice thing about California is that as you travel around, you get widely varied environments---anything from warm water beaches in San Diego to excellent mountain skiing/hiking/camping in the Sierra wilderness, desert landscapes, big city living, to farmland, vineyards, dairy and horse country, giant redwood forests. I think California's unique aspect, aside from the diverse landscapes, would be how the natural world and urban world live so closely side by side. You could, if your luck was bad, get eaten by a mountain lion while in view of the San Francisco skyline. (not recommended if you come here though).

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  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,155
    Well the nice thing about California is that as you travel around, you get widely varied environments---anything from warm water beaches in San Diego to excellent mountain skiing/hiking/camping in the Sierra wilderness, desert landscapes, big city living, to farmland, vineyards, dairy and horse country, giant redwood forests. I think California's unique aspect, aside from the diverse landscapes, would be how the natural world and urban world live so closely side by side. You could, if your luck was bad, get eaten by a mountain lion while in view of the San Francisco skyline. (not recommended if you come here though).

    As a native Californian I agree with most of what you say. I tell people who have sticker shock on the property that they are paying for the weather and the ability to have a large variety of activities within driving range.

    But I would disagree that even San Diego has any warm water beaches. Water rarely gets over 70 degrees, even in late summer. So it looks nice but is still pretty cold. Not nearly as warm as the eastern seaboard.

    Some of my favorite California locations are Yosemite National Park (almost a reverently beautiful place), Muir Woods, and Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,815
    Well true. I guess I mean that in San Diego you can jump in the water and not require a paramedic.

    Of course, in the "old days" people wore bathing suits in LA that you couldn't roll up and hide in a shirt pocket! :P

    image

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited June 2010
    Bummer Jipster. Are you changing your vacation around?

    I was in Anchorage when the Exxon Valdez hit and then took a long road trip shortly after. Every Fezo in New Jersey (where Captain Hazelwood is from) would see our Alaska plates and wave like crazy. Their way of saying sorry I guess - we sure appreciated the gestures.

    Remediation is a bit of a joke. I went back north in 2005 and went sea kayaking out east of Seward AK. Most of the beaches up there are shale-like and you'd think they'd be easy to clean. And they look clean. I dug down a few inches and found oily stuff. Lots of species still haven't recovered to pre-spill numbers.

    I bet the only way to clean the sand is to bulldoze it, cart it off and landfill or burn it. Forget trying to clean the mangrove swamps and wetlands.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,314
    Lst year my wife and I drove from Vancouver BC Canada down to San Francisco. We drove along the coast highway in Oregon and California. One of the most beautiful drives I've taken.

    I only wish I had a sportier handling vehicle than our Jeep Patriot. :cry:

    I'd recommend this drive to any car buffs. It's really worth doing it!

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg

  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    I did a lot of that drive many years ago. Absolutely beautiful.

    Head south from San Francisco and you wouldn't hate that one little bit either - at least until you were closing in on LA.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    ...at least until you were closing in on LA.

    +1 on that comment, fezo. Anything south of Santa Barbara and you'll be in perpetual gridlock until you get to the Mexican border.

    Drove from my hometown just north of LA to Eureka on vacation once ... 12+ hours to do the whole drive (of course, I did get lost in SF for a bit). Nice scenery north of SF.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,858
    Next time don't stop at SF. Hwy 101 converts to Hwy 1 in SF, continue south through Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur, then go down to at least the Hearst castle (around san Simeon I believe) - I think that is the most spectacular of the whole trip down. Hwy 101 is gorgeous in Oregon, but the next time you are in the Portland area, check out the Columbia River Gorge east of town. Even though it is a river instead of an ocean, there are some beautiful views and scenery there.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,314
    Thanks it's good to know! I've been to LA and south of LA many times, except I always took I5 to go down.

    Next trip down there I'll make it a point to go down the coast from San Fran to LA.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,815
    That's a *beautiful* drive but takes a long, long time. So plan an overnight or two. Big Sur will blow the top of your head off.

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  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,443
    Are you changing your vacation around?

    Right now we're not sure what we're going to do. If there are only a few tar balls floating around, we may give it a go. We've always enjoyed taking the kids to the ocean... bouncing back and forth from the beach to the hotel pools. I thought maybe trying Daytona beach on the Atlantic. I would think their beaches may be safe for another couple of months. If that oil goes down one side of Florida and up the other, as some have said it will, then may be many years before anyone wants to step foot again on those beaches.

    I bet the only way to clean the sand is to bulldoze it, cart it off and landfill or burn it

    I read an article a few days ago about microbes eating the oil, and how certain chemicals can increase their growth. Don't know... but I would think the warmer waters of the Gulf would help break down the oil quicker than the colder waters, where the Exxon Valdez spill happened.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    Big Sur will blow the top of your head off.

    Yes. Exactly.

    Give me unlimited money and I think that's where I land.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,815
    Well it IS in America---it's not that expensive to visit.

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited June 2010
    I heard a similar microbe story on the news today; yeah, lots warmer in the Gulf so they are hoping the oil cleans up easier than the Prince William Sound spill.

    The good thing about Florida is that you can drive across it in a couple of hours from some spots. And there's always the Disney stuff I guess. John Pennekamp State Park is a good snorkeling site.

    We're trying to bug out for Taos again soon and hit the other 100 weaving shops we missed the last trip. :)
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    Oh, visiting isn't a problem. If I actually wanted to live there that's different.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,815
    edited June 2010
    Well if you want a sweeping panoramic view of the ocean, or a cosy cottage on a coastal town, yeah, that costs money, but Big Sur is a very isolated place--pretty wild actually---and not everyone's cup of tea. If Hwy 1 gets closed due to floods, slides or fire, which it does on occasion, people in Big Sur are basically stranded. There is no other way out.

    So moving inland a bit, you might find something affordable, by California standards I mean. But you'll be in the boonies, like you were in the Ozarks or something.

    There are some fun things in Big Sur, though---*great* camping spots (to die for), the quirky Henry Miller Museum, and of course the Ambrosia Burger at Nepenthe restaurant high on the cliffs. Affordable lodging can be found at Deetjens (http://www.deetjens.com/) but they are funky places---warm weather lodging as you can sometimes peek through the walls. Also, in Monterey, you can stay for pretty cheap at Asilomar, a former YWCA camp---also in a beautiful spot and a short bike ride right to the Monterey Bay Aquarium or Spanish Bay golf club. (I don't think you want to pay the link fees for Pebble Beach :surprise: )

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  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    hat's a *beautiful* drive but takes a long, long time.

    I had a 1980 Datsun 200SX and took it down 101 and 1. I was soooo looking forward to all those turns in something somewhat sporty (especially compared to the car and trailer I was in with my parents as a kid).

    It is very fun... until you get stuck behind an RV... which happens quite a bit. If you are a passenger and are prone to getting car sick, best to drive just a portion of it. I discovered that when I was the passenger I couldn't read anything... had to keep my eyes on the road. :sick:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,815
    In Hell, everyone has to drive on Hwy 1 behind a big smelly diesel RV--for a million million years, and you're being tailgated by an 18 wheeler. :P

    So you better be good.

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