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Old 01-11-2007, 07:35 AM   #1
Olderman
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I am a 60 + single father of a 3 year old boy. To some that may sound crazy or impossible but I'm happy with it and so is he. The disadvantages of it, lack of energy and some physical limitations, are balanced by my having lots of free time and enough money put away to get along, at least until Mr. Bush plunges the world into another depression or religious war.

Still, I do long for a neighbor who understands the problems of a single parent, and who would share and help with the day to day resposabilities. We are in Portugal right now, but are free to travel, and probably will in the coming months, perhaps a trip to the Caribbean, and later in the spring I want to explore more of Europe.

I would love to hear from anyone who could suggest places to visit, things to do, people to meet. I am not interested in romance, partying, or night life. I don't care how old you are, I just want to talk to, perhaps meet, and share the joys of parenting with others.

I look forward to hearing from some of you.
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:54 AM   #2
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Hello!

I'm the 31yo single father of a 12yo boy.

60+ and 3 doesn't sound crazy or impossible to me; honestly, it sounds more possible than 22 and 3, yet I'm living proof that situation wasn't impossible (although it was pretty crazy).

It's a coincidence you posted, as my son and I are planning a trip to Europe for this Summer. We've just begun to research places to visit, so I can't help you with suggestions yet, but I'd be very interested in whatever feedback you get in this thread. Right now our plans are to fly into Shannon, Ireland in July and fly out of Athens, Greece in August. My son also has some relatives (on his Mom's side) that he needs to see in Ireland, England, and Sweden. We plan on getting the two month Rail Europe pass to get between the different countries. Other than that, our plans are wide open (and we're not particularly into romance, partying, or night life either).

You know, you might be able to help me with some practical info...particularly with details of using the Rail Europe system. Are you familiar with it? If so, I'll post some questions. Heh...unfortunately, with our trip needing to take us from Ireland to Stockholm to Greece, it's unlikely we'd be able to get down to Spain or Portugal to experience those countries.

Finally, although I fully agree with your statements about Mr. Bush and I have *no* authority at this site, I think that it's best if we leave politics out of threads. I don't think the site has any limitations on political content, but really...it's a topic that can cause arguments and hard feelings in a place that's just meant to provide support to Single Parents. It's up to Robin and Don what's allowed, but that's my personal POV as I'm sure your statements made the blood boil of at least some of the good people that viewed it.

Later,
Bobby
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Old 02-04-2007, 06:04 AM   #3
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Sorry to be so slow to get back to you.
I am just getting used to this site and didn't know anyone had replied to my post.

In the summer we are more likely to be in Switzerland or Poland (where I have a farm), than in Portugal.
I have also considered living in Ireland, and may try to visit there sometime this summer, but I have no idea where to go.
Anyway, keep in touch.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:05 PM   #4
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Hey,

My son and I are planning on backpacking through Europe this Summer, and we could use some ideas.

Before I start, I hope I don't come off as obnoxious talking about this trip. Trust me, my son and I lived through some pretty rough times...teenage parenthood, government housing, WIC checks, Medicaid...I can send you links if you need proof. Anyway, after working my *** off and making a lot of sacrifices, we can now do stuff like galavanting about the planet (for a few weeks at least). Around 5 years ago we took the same sort of trip around the US, getting ideas from a different Single Parent site before the trip and reporting about it during/after. It was a popular topic there...soooo...

Anyone have any ideas of what we should do? Really...*anything* would be helpful at this point...even if it's just something you've heard/read about or seen on TV. We have a loose schedule:
Ireland (Shannon Airport to Galway to Dublin) 4 days
England (Dublin to London) 3 days
France (London to Paris) 3 days
Belgium (Paris to Brussels) 2 days
Netherlands (Brussels to Amsterdam) 2 days
Sweden (Amsterdam to Hamburg to Odense to Copenhagen to Stockholm) 3 days
Denmark (Stockholm to Copenhagen) 3 days
Germany (Copenhagen to Berlin) 4 days
Czech (Berlin to Prague) 2 days
Austria (Prague to Vienna) 2 days
Italy (Vienna to Venice to Florence to Rome to Brindisi) 8 days
Greece (Brindisi to Petras to Olympia to Athens to Boston) 7 days

We can change the schedule a little bit if necessary, but we have people that need to be visited in Galway, London, and Stockholm (son's relatives on mom's side) and Paris (friend from school). We've pretty much decided on buying the two month Rail Europe passes. Has anyone here ever ridden those trains? I'm particularly interested how realistic it is to sleep on them. Also, the web site says that England doesn't accept the passes? Seems like a good reason to skip England.

How about ideas of how to pack for the trip? It's just going to be the two of us with what we can carry on our backs. I figure we'll only be able to carry two or three sets of clothes. I want to get souveniers, but it's not realistic to carry it all. Maybe we can Fed Ex stuff home as we go? We're going to have to keep this cheap. After paying for plane and train tickets, we're not going to have a lot of extra cash.

Anyway...looking forward to feedback.

Later,
Bobby
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Old 03-19-2007, 03:02 PM   #5
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Hi Bobby. I'm glad to hear that you and your son are going on this trip. I dont know how old your son is, but I spent some time staying with an uncle in Germany when I was 17 and I will tell you a few of the things that I thought were cool at that time.

First off, I haven't done any sleeping on the European rail system, just simple point A to B destinations, but I do love the rail system. If the US had an adequate rail system I'd sell my car tommorow.

Germany--I stayed in a town near Stuttgart, which is some distance south of Berlin. There is a small town in Bavaria called Garmisch (?spelling) The place literally looks like something out of a fairy tale. Cobblestone streets, little pubs, surrounded by mountains. Breathtaking! I recommend staying in a Gasthouse any chance you get. It's kind of like staying at a bed and breakfast. Usually smaller places where some cute little German lady cooks for you in the morning. Ver cozy, affordable accomodations. I also recommend (depending on the age of your son) visiting one of the concentration camps. I went to Dachau which is near Munich. Pretty intense-but for me lifechanging. Not something for smaller kids though. Also, there are tons of castles in Germany. I took a boat ride down the Rhine and there are like ten to fifteen different castles you can see there. Neuschwanstein castle I think is the largest and best known, the Disney castle is modeled after it.

Austria is also beautiful. Salsburg is the area where the sound of music was filmed and you can take tours related to that (a bit cheesy). I recommend eating the wursts in Germany and Austria (numerous variations of Bratwurst)-- all of which are fabulous and go well with beer. Personal favorite beer--Hefeweitzen.

In Italy there are so many things to see and do, I wont go into all of them. Just take some time to sit at a sidewalk cafe and have some Espresso for me.

Paris-The Louvre is kind of cliche but really is a must, especially for your son. You just can't go to Paris and not see the Mona Lisa. I was less impressed with the Eiffel Tower and the Arch de Triumph, but worth a quick stop. Notre Dame is amazing, and the whole city by boat at night, unforgettable. Not expensive either.

I recommend investing in some sort of pack for money and passports that you can keep under your clothes. Paris is over-run with pick pockets, and this is problematic in other major touristy areas as well.

I was in London last year. Love London. The tube might not be included on your rail pass,but do take it. I wanted to go on the Jack the Ripper tour in East London but my travel companion wasn't into it. Gotta see Westminster Abbey, etc... The British Museum was great. I personally prefer shoe shopping on Oxford street, but that might not appeal to you and your son.

I hope you have a great trip. I really believe there is no better education than travel. My absolute favorite hobby.
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Old 03-19-2007, 08:59 PM   #6
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Thank You...this is exactly the sort of stuff I'm looking for!

Garmisch sounds great! I love visiting places where the attraction is the town by itself. Lol...and that fits our budget constraints too. Is it far from the trains? What's the best way to get around the towns for little money? Someone suggested buying bikes when we land and using them to get around. Is that a realistic idea? StopDiscrimination had suggested the castles to us in another thread; definitely something we're gonna do.

My son is actually a very emotionally stable 12yo (the high functioning autism probably has something to do with it), and he sounded interested in visiting the camps. Are there a lot of WWI and WWII things to see in the Europe? We often go to Civil and Revolutionary War stuff in the US. He's very much into the History and Military channels, and seeing the real places would be exciting for him.

Austria...well, I gotta admit that if I ever end up in ____, the Devil will surely find a way to incorporate The Sound of Music into my eternal punishment. Heh...I had two musical sisters growing up, and the exposure to that movie I endured...*shudder*...thanks for the offer! I'm sure there's other things to do in the country though, right? It's not just the land of Julie Andrews

Would you believe that I didn't know the Mona Lisa was in the Louvre? Seriously...I think you deserve a post card for that! I asked little Bobby what he knew about the painting, and he knew just about everything. The Louvre is definitely on our list. Are the famous attractions in Paris free (like the ones in D.C.)? We certainly are going to go up the Eiffel Tower, but I got a confession to make...I am *deathly* afraid of heights. Uggh...wish lil B was...

London: I haven't heard of the Jack the Ripper tour, but it does sound cool. I'll see what lil B knows about him, as it definitely sounds different. We will most likely stay away from shoe shopping. Are there any music related attractions in London maybe? On the US trip lil B and I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio, and he *loved* it. With all of the music to have come out of England, it seems that they must have something set up to celebrate it. Do you know of anything?

Anyway...thanks for the info and keep it coming! I know the names of some famous stuff in Italy and Greece, but I'm gonna have to research exactly what is where and I'd still have no idea how they *really* are as far as good places to visit.

Later,
Bobby

PS - You're the second person in two days to warn me about pickpockets on our trip. It must *really* be a big problem there.
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Old 03-20-2007, 08:29 AM   #7
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where in erope are you from?
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:29 AM   #8
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My trip was a little different since my uncle lived in Germany and we drove a car to most destinations. I can't imagine that there is not a train that goes to Garmish or near it,and you can always get a bus. It has been 13 years since I was there, but my recollection is that if you have a rail pass you can take as many of the trains as you want and then just walking from the nearest train station.

When I was in London last year I just bought a pass card that included all the destinations I wanted to go to and was good for a week. I think it was about 35-40 pounds for the week. ($70-80) And I am pretty sure that you can get them for any amount of time, so if you are going to be there for 3-4 days, would just buy one for that.

Musically, in London I know you can take tours based on the Beatles, which would be pretty cool. There's always lots of theatre going on as well. I'm not a big fan of musicals, but your son may enjoy that.

I hear there are lots of historical sites from the war in Berlin. Europe is just so covered in History. If you have time you could probably go to Normandy while in France.

I hear what you're saying about Austria and the Sound of Music. It's not really my thing either, but Austria is really beautiful. I know in Salsburg there is a Fort or Castle structure on top of a hill in the middle of the city and you can take like a cable car type shuttle up to the fort. Walking around in it is like going back to the Rennaisance. And you can climb to the top of it and have a panoramic view of the Austrian Alps. Very cool. I didn't get to Vienna, but I know it is filled with culture.

In Paris you can walk around the Eiffel Tower free and I think it's fairly inexpensive to take the trip to the top. I didn't go up because the day I was there it was cold and rainy and I just didn't want to. I know that if it is windy you can feel the tower swaying while at the top, so I hope you get nice weather. I took a hour long bus tour around Paris where you can see the sites, and they let you off to take pictures at Notre Dame and Arch de Triumph. You should also go to Versailles if your son is not sick of castles by then. Versailles is one of the most lavish palaces in Europe with the Hall of Mirrors, and surrounded by manicured gardens.
Plan on spending at least half a day at the Louvre. It is so huge and overwhelming you could probably spend a week there and not se eveything.

In reality you could spend a month in each of these places and not see everything. So, a rough itinerary is probably a good idea so you can see the main points you really want to get to.

Oh, and in London, I hear the Tower of London is really cool. That's where they used to hold prisoners and executions. It now houses the Crown Jewels.
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:17 PM   #9
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Once again, thanks for the info! I hope you didn't take the Sound of Music stuff too seriously...I was trying to be funny.

We're going to google through the suggestions this week. We have a map of Europe on the wall of our kitchen, and we're gonna put a little dot on each place we want to visit as we learn about them. The day before the trip we'll connect the dots and voila! Our itinerary...

BTW...what sort of clothes should we wear in July/August. I'm assuming everyplace will be warm. Would shorts be smart, or should we bring jeans instead? Maybe a jacket in case it rains would be smart? I dunno...we won't be able to carry much...
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:31 AM   #10
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Expect rain in London. Doesn't really matter when you visit. You're going to be covering a pretty large geographical area. I think most of the time shorts and t shirts would be good, but if you go into some of the mountainous areas like the Alps, it can't hurt to have jeans and a light jacket.

By the way, not bothered at all by your disdain for the Sound of Music. Quite funny actually.
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:02 PM   #11
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ok, my co-worker suggests:

For Galway-Shannon: Cliffs of Moher
also The Aran Islands, she said that the best way to get there would be from Galway, you need to take a ferry, this is an all day trip.

Dublin: Wicklow Mountains & Dublina Viking Museum (interactive) you can try on all the viking gear ......

Her sister is going to send some suggestions also so more will follow

I think this is great that you 2 are doing this!!!! I hope that you have fun!
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Old 03-21-2007, 03:21 PM   #12
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Bobby…there is so much to see and you have so little time….
Actually, you will be just travelling most of the time, especially if you’re taking trains, if I understand your planning well.
And it will cost a fortune if you’re taking planes.
Actually, it will cost a fortune no matter what. So, be prepared.
For example, there must be around 1000 miles between Vienna and Rome…this alone will take you 24 hours or so to travel alone (ok, I might be exaggerating a little). Trains are not exactly fast for the most part. In France there are fast trains…the TGV is pretty cool, but this is far from everywhere. In Germany there is the ICE, but on a lot of parts of the railway net, they can’t go to their limits because the rails themselves are old.
Regarding money: Be careful with the supplements. I don’t know rail passes...but often they don’t include the supplements you have to pay in the special trains (faster trains for example), and these supplements can be half the price of a normal ticket.
Europe is a an OLD and SLOW place. SLOW food, SLOW travel, and I won’t go any further ;-).
To really get a feel for it, and to REALLY travel Europe...mho is…take it slow and really take it in…don’t run.

My advice…go to half the places only, and stay a little longer at each.

Just a few comments on a few places I know:

Berlin.....usually hot summers…great for young people, lots of cultural things to do, very particular, not at all representative, but super interesting, forests and lakes where you can swim, and that in the middle of the city, east Berlin…ugly until today..But definitely worth a visit (it’s history, right), Potsdamer Platz…gotta go and see what they did with it in the last 10 years….Bratwurst is a must, Bouletten as well…Pfannkuchen (aka Berliner in the rest of Germany ;-) ..don’t miss Berlin. The ‘Technik Museum’ is my favourite, and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum of course.

Salzburg….it can be nice, but the weather can be very variable, even in summer…the home of Mozart…go see the castle on the hill, the salt mines, (NB: Salzburg = ‘salt castle’), go have a coffee at the Kaffehaus, and an Apfelstrudel mit Schlagsahne, take a walk through the small down town cobble stone streets.

Paris…hot in summer…I like the Trocadero, the Museums at the top of the stairs (this is across the Seine river from the Eiffel tower)….the book sellers along the Seine…sitting on the stairs at the ‘Sacré Coeur’ church in Montmartre…I also love the cemetery ‘Père Lachaise’, where all the famous French writers are buried…

Rome…will be empty of romans in summer, everyone is at the beach….and HOT...no need to comment...Rome is THE city to see in Europe.

Hamburg..don’t forget your raincoat.

Have Fun
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:09 PM   #13
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Hello Mashell and Dew,

Thanks for the input! I'd gotten quite a bit of input about Galway already, actually, since it's where little Bobby's grandfather was born. He was one of 20 children, and ~15 of them still live there (as well as his great grandmother). For people who haven't heard of the Cliffs of Moher, here's a link. I've heard it's really impressive in person; better than the Grand Canyon even. I hadn't hear much about Dublin, however, and the Viking museum sounds cool.

Uggh...I might actually have a problem in Ireland now. Bobby's mom suggested that she might buy a plane ticket so that she'll be there at the same time as us. She was supposed to take him last year, but she didn't have enough money for two tickets so she went by herself. Since I'm already buying him a ticket this year, she can just buy herself a ticket again and go there with him.

I dunno...I'm worried that once we're over there, I'm just gonna get pushed to the side as she enjoys her week with him around her family. I mean, I didn't plan/pay for all this so that I'd be covering half her vacation costs! At the same time, this isn't about me...it's about little Bobby. What would he want? He'd want to be over there with the both of us. Soooo...the mature thing, would be for me to just be delighted that he's getting what he wants. Uggh...although I'm secretly hoping that she won't be able to get the time off from work. You know? Instead of going to Ireland years in a row by herself, she could save the money and take the two of them next year.

I agree that we're spreading ourselves thin. Originally, the plan was to just go from Ireland to Italy, and then take a boat to Greece. My ex in-laws have family in Sweden, however, and they're the ones who have sent us the most correspondence, awaiting our visit. The countries that little Bobby is most excited about visiting, however, are Italy and Greece (the ruins&history that he learned about in school), so I'm hesitant to cut that part out of our trip.

We used the train schedule on the Rail Europe website to estimate the travel time from place to place. Thanks for the warning about the supplements. Is there a way to tell from the link I provided above, if the Rail Passes we're planning on getting will include those or not? Also, is it possible to sleep on these trains? I figure that if we spend a day in a country, and then get on a train at night, we'll be able to sleep on the train until we wake up in another country. Is this reasonable?

You're right that this is going to cost a fortune. It's not like I have a ton of extra money, but little Bobby is only going to have one childhood so I gotta give him what I can while he's still young. Heh...I can worry about making up for the cost after he's 18.

I gotta say...I'm getting a *lot* of cool info about Germany...maybe we should plan a few more days in that place?

Thanks for the ideas guys. Please keep them coming!

Later,
Bobby
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
It's not like I have a ton of extra money, but little Bobby is only going to have one childhood so I gotta give him what I can while he's still young. Heh...I can worry about making up for the cost after he's 18.
....as the old saying goes, you can't take it with you Bobby.

Have you or Little Bobby's mom told him of her plans yet? If not, I would tell her, "listen, Bobby and I have had this trip planne dfor a long time now" and spiel it from there. It is TOTALY unfair of her to include herself in a vacation that the two of you have worked on so diligintly!
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:35 PM   #15
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Not yet...I may tell her my issues with her going and see what she says. Oh boy...saying it like you typed it would make a big blowup though Everything's gotta be handled very calmly and politely with her, or there's problem. Plus, she could say things to her family and make a lot of trouble for us...

At the same time, do you know *how* many times I've taken the short end while supporting little Bobby's love for his mom? Child Support, putting her name of presents she didn't buy, making excuses for her...what's one more? Dunno...

Really...I feel like deleting all this stuff about her after a few days, in case he ever finds/reads it in the future. He doesn't need to have anything but love for her...
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Old 03-23-2007, 11:55 PM   #16
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That's not an easy thing to do Big Bobby. You are definitely the bigger person.

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Old 03-24-2007, 12:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by missabb:
You are definitely the bigger person.
Jeez...enough with the size of my "equipment" already...I wish I'd have kept it a secret

Now, go outside already. It's a nice weather on a Saturday...why are you spending it inside on SFV?

And why can't you get PM's? You have 9x the posts you supposedly need to receive them...

Later,
Bobby
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Old 03-24-2007, 05:39 PM   #18
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LOL. You know I was talking about your behavior towards your ex, right? Not your equipment?

I'm not outside because I am procrastinating about raking the leaves and cleaning up the slop in the yard. Actually today is the only day I havent had work or school in a while, so I have been lazing about the house, napping, checking on SFV, etc... I know, I should really get a life.

Anyway, I dont know why i cant get PM's. I never really looked into it. Do I have to sign up for something?
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Old 03-24-2007, 06:40 PM   #19
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You're supposed to be able to get/send them at 50 posts. Dunno...maybe they're still not sure about you?

Man...I wasn't lazing at all. We went to the post office to get little Bobby's passport. Would you believe that it's 10 weeks processing time? Hopefully there's no delay...we only have 14-15 weeks before we leave.

Uggh...then, this afternoon, I tried to dig 6 huge holes, 4 ft deep. I dug most of them, but I hit a huge rock under one of them, and I know my building inspector is going to want it moved unless it goes down 4 feet. The thing is gigantic...
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Old 03-24-2007, 06:54 PM   #20
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I know the processing time on those things is incredible. I got one for my daughter when she was a year old. It's the cutest passport I've ever seen. What are you building, by the way? And what are you supposed to do about a giant rock in your way. Will that mean you have to re-dig all those holes in another area? Geez, I've been procrastinating about raking and you're out there digging up your yard. I think I'll go back to the couch now.
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Old 03-24-2007, 07:08 PM   #21
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The other holes are fine. I just have to get this rock out of the way in one of them. I can't get it out of there; it weighs too much. It's a flat piece of granite about 2 feet thick and several feet across. I'm sure it was put there 100 years ago to build on. The building codes didn't make people go down 4 ft then I guess.

I'm hoping to dig a hole next to it, and push it over with a friend and two levers.
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:52 PM   #22
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You didn't tell me what you're building. Good luck with getting that rock out. Get lots of help so you dont hurt your back. That would wreck your trip to Europe.
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:49 PM   #23
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Well, I ripped off a two story porch and now I'm rebuilding it to code. I'm also going to rebuild half the upstairs as living space, knock out a wall, and double the size of my bedroom (with it's own little open porch on the corner of the house). Lol...I'd post a pdf of my plans, if I could get my name/address/phone number off of them. Of course, after I'm finished with all this, I'll get to enjoy it for a few months before I give it to a tenant and move into another apartment that needs work...

I didn't end up moving that rock today. They are getting *pissed* at me at work, so I spent the whole day working on things that I know I'm gonna catch ____ for if they're not done tomorrow...and they're still not done Honestly, even if I get fired, I'm still going to take this trip...Bobby's only going to be this age once...but it'd be nice to not get fired.

I'm rethinking some of the Europe plans though. Dew's right that I'm trying to push too many countries into too short a time. Now the question is what should I cut out.

Cutting out Sweden would open up a lot of time, and we don't have anything planned there except for visiting the ex's relatives. Everyone tells me the ex's relatives are really cool, however, and they seem interested in seeing us.

Cutting out Greece would open up a lot of time too. Little Bobby really wanted to see Greece, but maybe seeing Rome would be enough? It's not like Europe forbids people from visiting twice too...maybe we could skip it this time and do an all-Greece trip in a couple years?

Maybe there's something else we could cut out to open up some time? We haven't actually bought plane tickets yet, so there's still time to change plans. Maybe there's another idea on how we could still get to all of the places we wanted to go, without rushing everything?
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:57 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by BigBobby:
Ireland (Shannon Airport to Galway to Dublin) 4 days
England (Dublin to London) 3 days
France (London to Paris) 3 days
Belgium (Paris to Brussels) 2 days
Netherlands (Brussels to Amsterdam) 2 days
Sweden (Amsterdam to Hamburg to Odense to Copenhagen to Stockholm) 3 days
Denmark (Stockholm to Copenhagen) 3 days
Germany (Copenhagen to Berlin) 4 days
Czech (Berlin to Prague) 2 days
Austria (Prague to Vienna) 2 days
Italy (Vienna to Venice to Florence to Rome to Brindisi) 8 days
Greece (Brindisi to Petras to Olympia to Athens to Boston) 7 days
It is alot to fit into one trip and may be exhausting which is never that fun. However, it is so hard to decide what to cut out. Europe is really so amazing that everything is worth seeing. To me, I would keep in the Ireland through Amsterdam. If your son really want to see the war stuff we talked about, Germany might be worth keeping. I have personally always wanted to go to Italy and Greece, but in my mind it's a romantic trip with my S.O.(to be determined in the future when I get a life) But the history there is realy just amazing and I personally would keep those in.

The house plans sound cool. I am currently helping my mom with some renovations around here. I am not very skilled at it, but I think it's fun. I hope your plans turn out as you expect. Do post them if you can.
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:50 PM   #25
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ps. I also hope you dont get fired. Get back to work! LOL

By the way, I do enjoy a healthy debate with intelligent peeople--EVEN if I dont agree with you.
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Old 03-26-2007, 06:09 PM   #26
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Lol...well, I stayed employed for another day, but I certainly didn't manage to keep off the Internet Fortunately my boss was in a meeting all day.

Heh...and thanks for the appreciation of my debate. You know, I think we agree with each other more than you think. My opinion could probably be approximated as (2*you + toomany)/3. Uggh...there does seem to be a mess in there that I didn't intend. I have a smaller one going on in that SPICE thread too. I hate leaving things messy, but I really do need to focus on other things for awhile.

Here's the porch I tore down, and here's the porch I'm gonna build. The big rock is in the way of the second footing from the left. What sort of renovations are going on at your mother's place?

Heh...and to guide the thread back to the trip...it sounds like you're suggesting that we cut out Sweden & Denmark. I'll take that as one official vote then I brought the idea up to my ex last night.

Where do you think that I should spread out those extra 6 days? Honestly, I dunno if the ex's family will let us get out of Ireland in 4 days, so I should probably allocate 1 or 2 there. Maybe we should spend more time in the Netherlands? Lol...I gotta say that when we added Amsterdam to the trip I told little Bobby some of what Amsterdam is known for and he said he didn't want to go

Maybe we could skip Austria and the Czech republic too, and instead travel to Italy through Germany? Do you think that would save us any time? With only 2 days per country, I doubt we'd get to do anything there really...

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Bobby
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:23 PM   #27
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Wow, the porch looks complicated, but it's going to look like a brand new place once you're done. Just tearing off that old porch must be a big difference. Are you building it all by yourself? Do you know how to do that? You seem more brainy than brawny on the internet. LOL

My mother's house is 30 years old, so it basically needs to be totally updated. We're working on the kitchen right now. Redid the cabinets, countertops, light fixtures, and going to put in a center island. I think after that we might take on the master bath-taking out a wall and putting in a larger tub and vanity. Everything needs to be painted and all new flooring. It may take us a while. We just do a little bit at a time, but might be able to accomplish more after finals in May.

I think cutting out Sweden and Denmark might be a good place to cut. I'm sure there are great things to see there, but I've never been there, so can't think of any. I think extending Ireland would be a great idea. I here it's a beautiful place. The UK is also a great place to see history, so your son would probably love it.

The Alps (if I am remembering correctly) run from southern Germany, through Austria, to Northern Italy. (I remember taking a shopping trip on this route by bus). Amazing scenery. You can sort of see the scenery in Austria as you pass through (which is the main great part of Austria). I cant really speculate time frame for that trip, though, since it's been a while since I was there. I've never been to Amsterdam, though I've always wanted to go. It may or may not be a great place for your son to visit, depending on your views as a parent. It sounds like your son is pretty mature and might be able to handle an open discussion about their more liberal attitude towards sex and drugs. But, there are things to see besides prostitutes and legal Narcotics from what I hear so may be worthwhile. I went into part of the Czech Republic (at the time it was still Czecheslovakia). I honestly don't remember too much about it. I was 17 and thought it was really boring. Cant really think of anything too interesting to see there. I could be wrong, though.

Good Luck with your porch.
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:43 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by missabb:
You seem more brainy than brawny on the internet.
Uhhhh...thanks?



I'm going to need a friend for some of the stuff...putting up the posts/beams for example. Legally in Mass, I have to hire an electrician too (since it's a multi-family and they're afraid I'm gonna kill a tenant). I'm doing most everything else with little Bobby as my only helper. To be honest I'm not very good at this stuff, but I like to learn. Did you and your mother do all your renovations yourselves? If so...wow...some of that's some pretty complicated stuff. 30 years old though? Jeez...that'd be a baby around me! My place is 117.

Heh...although I hear 117yo is a baby in Europe. Man I'm excited. I was checking the map and it looks like once I'm going to Berlin, I might as well go to Prague on my way to Italy. Skipping Vienna looks like it could save some time though. Salzburg would be more on the way. Dew said it's the home of Mozart, and little Bobby actually knows quite a bit about Mozart (he read a book about him after watching Amadeus parodied on the Simpsons). Travelling to Italy from there, I think would take me through the Alps route you mentioned? Man, I gotta get a plan down soon...at least decide the endpoint so that I can buy plane tickets!

Lol...yeah, and the legal prostitutes/drugs are what worried lil B about Amsterdam. Although realistically, I think that they have those in right up in Canada too, don't they? They have them in Lowell, but they're not legal and cause all sorts of problems. He's had it firmly implanted in his head that they're bad though, so he's convinced that Amsterdam is no place for a child to be. Heh...maybe it can be a learning experience for him...but I dunno. I gotta say I told him that in Europe they have naked beaches, and he thought that was *hysterical*. I dunno if those are really places that families go though...

Anyway...I gotta figure this out soon. I also gotta get work done I'll probably be slow in responding for a few days. BTW...you should ask why you don't have permissions to get PMs yet. I believe you should...are you able to send them?

Later,
Bobby
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:16 AM   #29
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The house is just outdated and my mother wants to sell it in a few more years, so updating it is necessary. Must be a lot of work on a 117 year old house. We are doing a lot of it ourselves, but we hired someone to install the countertops and I have a cousin who's an electrician so he has helped out with that. Otherwise, my mom is actually quite handy. She's got a whole garage full of power tools. I just do what she tells me.

It sounds like you're on track with the trip plans. I hope you are able to get alot done the next few days. When I get a chance I'll check into why I can't get PM's. Have a good week.
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:26 PM   #30
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Hey Bobby, how's the porch and the travel plans going?
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:16 PM   #31
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...you really gotta get your PMs working...

Porch...well, I have forms up and they're getting inspected on Friday. I *hope* to find a concrete truck that'll come on Saturday. If not, I have to find one that'll deliver late on Friday (hoping that my inspector doesn't find anything wrong), and work into the night. Another option would be to buy 1.5 yards of concrete and mix it myself, but I *really* don't want to do that. Heh...you know, I wasn't planning on putting rebar in my wall at all, but now I have 150 feet of it constructed into a wall-shape. The stuff was cheap...less than $50...and lil B and I had a lot of fun putting it up.

Travel plans...I have one more hoop to jump through at work, and then I'm free to buy my plane tickets. Haven't told the Swedish relatives that I don't think we're coming yet. I brought up the idea to Bobby's mom that he may be happier going to Ireland twice, once this year with me and again next Summer with her, than going once this Summer with the both of us. She gave me a short response, but I think she may be cool with that idea. Dunno...hard to tell with her, but my argument made sense to me...

You know, I think this'll be post #1000 for me.

Anyway...thanks for being interested.

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Bobby
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:08 PM   #32
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Sounds like things are coming along. I think I would be stressed out with an inspector coming and everything. Pretty important stuff, though, to make sure it will be a stable structure.

Your sons mother sounds a bit difficult. I have some family members like that. It's easier to walk on egg shells than set them off. Hard to win an argument with someone who's never wrong. And I'm not usually one to walk on eggshells for anyone.

As for the PM's, I have been procrastinating about contacting Robin. Maybe you can help me with this. I tried clicking the "contact us" link but it automatically brings up the .mac emil function on my computer, and I dont use that account. Aside from that I'm not exactly sure how to contact them. I haven't had this computer very long. I'm very good at nursing...not so good at the computers.

Well, my daughters waiting to get on the computer to get to Tamagotchi town. Gotta go.
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:29 PM   #33
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Heh, well...you could try to post in the Forum Help or Single Parents Feedback section. You can't be the only person with >50 posts and unable to get/send PMs.

Today I received permission from "corporate" to take my trip! It's all done. I'm going to buy my plane tickets today or tomorrow. I've been told that AAA can get good deals on International travel. Do you (or anyone else reading this) know anything about it? I know what Travelocity has for plane ticket prices. Heh, you know? I'm gonna have to use a different credit card to buy these things. The one I usually use on the Internet has a really low limit in case its number ever gets intercepted. I'd prefer to not use my card with a high limit, but plane tix are pricey...

Tamagotchi town...never heard of it...think I'll google after posting this...
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:38 PM   #34
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I have also heard that AAA has good prices. Further than that, I'm not sure. Congratulations on the approval for your vacation.

Tamagotchi's are like little virtual pets. You can log into Tamagotchi town with your pet's passwords and play games and stuff. My daughter is 5. She loves this kind of stuff, but it's a little over her head, so I end up helping her with most of it.

Again, good luck with the trip planning.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:09 PM   #35
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Wow...this thread's dusty.

Would you believe that I bought a 1 SEK plane ticket yesterday? From Stockholm to Hamburg. 1 SEK is about equivalent to $0.15. Wow...wish I could fly from Boston to DC for that price...
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:59 AM   #36
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wow, how did you manage that one?? Is that a regular price?
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:31 PM   #37
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That's what it seemed to pop up as, on the RyanAir web site. $0.15 plane tickets...

Now the Airport Taxes and Fees? They were 350 SEK. Heh...so I think I know how they make their money back on the tickets.
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