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Thread: My first overseas trip was a great success!

  1. #1
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    My first overseas trip was a great success!

    You may remember that I posted several months ago seeking advice for my first overseas trip. Well, Iím back and I had a marvelous time. In case you're interested, here's a brief recap.

    I got to London the morning of July 16, found my way to my hotel near Heathrow and, since my room was ready and available at 10:30 a.m., I settled in. I thought about finding my way into central London at that point but decided I was too tired, so I took a walk around the neighborhood, took a short nap, and then found a nearby pub for dinner, where I ran into several other people who were there for the same event.

    The next morning, I got up, found my way into London on the Tube (thanks to the journey planner on the Travel for London website) and joined the Free Tours Royal Walking Tour starting at Parliament Square which I had spotted in a brochure. The guide, who was very funny and informative, kept us going for about 2.5 hours, ending just off Trafalgar Square. After that, I found my way to the London Eye for my 3:30 ride (and Iím so glad I bought my ticket in advance Ė the lines were horrible), then went to Westminster Abbey for the 5:00 Evensong service, and so I could see something of the inside without paying £20 admission.

    The next morning, I took the Tube back in and went to the Piccadilly area, just roamed around and admired the old buildings and looked in some interesting shops before heading back to the to sign in for the event, get bus assignments, instructions, etc.

    On the morning of July 19, our tour started with a visit to Paultons Park and Stonehenge, and the following days took us to Oakwood Theme Park, Alton Towers, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Flamingo Land, Joyland, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, Pleasurewood Hills, Drayton Manor, Legoland Windsor, Chessington World of Adventures, Dreamland, Adventure Island, and ended at Thorpe Park on July 29 and I went home on July 30. In case you lost track, that was 14 amusement parks and Stonehenge in 11 days. Yes, Iím crazy, but so were the other 170 attendees!

    The best money I spent on this trip was paying the extra cost to have a single room (my DH wasnít on the trip and I wasnít taking a chance on a random roommate). As an introvert, I desperately needed that break from people at the end of the day.

    I got to spend time with some old friends, got to know some acquaintances a little better, and made some new friends. Overall, things went very well and I am so glad I went.

  2. #2
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    How wonderful and thank you for posting your report. I love reading about travels.

  3. #3
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    What a great opportunity. You really packed a lot into your trip.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    So glad you had a good time! I have to ask: why choose the U.K. for amusement parks? That is an unusual itinerary for that region, I have to say.

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    Senior Member IshbelRobertson's Avatar
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    I think many Americans visit here for amusement parks, IL. not my idea of fun though, when there is such amazing historical and natural history available!

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    This trip was done by ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts), so obviously the focus is the amusement parks. ACE does an international trip every couple of years. They've been to Scandinavia, Central Europe, Spain, the U.K. previously, and others that I'm not remembering. I'm also interested in the history, etc., which is why I got there a couple of days early to see some of London. I had been wanting to try some longer-distance trips and particularly one of the international trips for a while but couldn't really do so while dealing with my mother in the hospital and nursing home for a couple of years.

    My mother passed away in March of 2012 and I flew down to Florida that year by myself and spent Thanksgiving with my aunt and cousins, then drove across the state and spent a day at Busch Gardens Tampa by myself. Last year I flew to California alone for CoasterCon (annual coaster convention). After those adventures, I decided I could handle an international trip, especially since it was with people I knew, so I took my shiny new passport and off I went.

    My DH loves parks but doesn't ride the coasters and didn't really want to do the long flights, so he was happy to send me off by myself. He kept himself busy with motorcycle events, dinner with friends, etc.

    I've discovered that I've gotten much more adventurous as I've gotten older - and I like it!

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    Senior Member IshbelRobertson's Avatar
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    Good for you!

    I've always been a 'fraidy-cat' where those rides are concerned, but my offspring really adored going to theme parks when they were younger. The scarier the ride, the better in their opinions!

    We had a bad accident at one of the UK's parks fairly recently, i seem to recall that one teenage girl lost a leg. I think it was Thorpe Park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IshbelRobertson View Post
    Good for you!
    We had a bad accident at one of the UK's parks fairly recently, i seem to recall that one teenage girl lost a leg. I think it was Thorpe Park.
    That was Smiler at Alton Towers. I believe two teenagers each lost a leg. I loved Alton Towers, especially once I discovered I could roam around inside the old castle building.

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    OP, thanks for telling us about this, very interesting and certainly off the beaten UK tourism path.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for telling us about your trip! I visited London 3x in the 1980s and hope to go again in the next year or so.

    Have you ever been to Knoebels in Elysburg, PA? They have a great coaster called the Phoenix. Went on it once, but not sure I'd do it again. I'm not a coaster person!!

    More of a carousel person, actually.


    Quote Originally Posted by sbagirl View Post
    This trip was done by ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts), so obviously the focus is the amusement parks. ACE does an international trip every couple of years. They've been to Scandinavia, Central Europe, Spain, the U.K. previously, and others that I'm not remembering. I'm also interested in the history, etc., which is why I got there a couple of days early to see some of London. I had been wanting to try some longer-distance trips and particularly one of the international trips for a while but couldn't really do so while dealing with my mother in the hospital and nursing home for a couple of years.

    My mother passed away in March of 2012 and I flew down to Florida that year by myself and spent Thanksgiving with my aunt and cousins, then drove across the state and spent a day at Busch Gardens Tampa by myself. Last year I flew to California alone for CoasterCon (annual coaster convention). After those adventures, I decided I could handle an international trip, especially since it was with people I knew, so I took my shiny new passport and off I went.

    My DH loves parks but doesn't ride the coasters and didn't really want to do the long flights, so he was happy to send me off by myself. He kept himself busy with motorcycle events, dinner with friends, etc.

    I've discovered that I've gotten much more adventurous as I've gotten older - and I like it!

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