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Brown Ajah Travel Week: Favourite Vacations


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Welcome to the Brown Ajah's Travel Week!


In this thread, we discuss our favourite vacations.


In my case, that would probably be one of my various trips to Dragon Con. Which trip, well, let's see ... I've been there six times and they were all awesome trips in their own ways, but if I was going to pick tops, it would have be either 2008 or 2012. 2008 was my second D*Con; the first time there (2007) it took me quite some time to really get used to things, which wasn't a problem the second time so it was my first really fun Con. As for 2012, it was the first Con I got to spend with my beloved, now fiancee, as well as my first meeting in RL with her, so those facts alone made it shine among those trips.


Naturally, being Dragon Con, they took place in everyone's favourite part of downtown Atlanta, Peachtree Centre. It's a nice, generally peaceful area (and the nice thing about a trip like D*Con is you don't really need to venture too far in the city, far away enough to get your liquor and maybe dinner a night or two, but that's about it). I did start to learn to be somewhat vampire-ish and go outside mostly at night though - Atlanta is hot that time of year, and as we know, pavement tends to absorb some of that heat and radiate it back at everyone, too. On the nice side, I could avoid most of that by staying in the original three hotels, which I didn't have much incentive to venture out of until later in my Con-going years, as early on pretty much everything I wanted to do was in the Hyatt or the Marriott, and I could just take the skybridges going between the hotels and the mall.


It was a fun thing, that Dragon Con. I always got to go to at least a few interesting panels (initially the Wheel of Time track was my focus, but that shifted towards Dark Fantasy later on), and in later years some of the concerts and other entertainment. I even got to end your days on a fine geeky note, thanks to Dragon Con TV's fun presentations in the hotel room. And I never came home without, at the least, a nice assortment of new and awesome books. Books you can't get on most other vacations, regular bookstores tend not to carry most of them, if you can find one at all at your vacation destination these days. If you like books, you need to make it to a Dragon Con some or other year. It provided a nice capstone for that series of vacations (I'm sure I'll go yet again someday, but not for a long while - the downside of D*Con is it's expensive and that's just not in my budget for at least a few years now), too, in the form of finding a signed copy of Kushiel's Chosen at the rare book dealer, my first signed copy in that series (one of my favourites alongside WoT).


Sooo ... out of your various outings, what were your favourites?

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that sounds really sweet. I've never done anything like that. maybe I should.


I'm a reluctant traveler, to put it mildly, but for my 21st birthday my mom sent me to St Thomas with my friend Jana. our first time really off the leash, though we stayed with her aunt in a bungalow on the mountain. we were free to roam at will. not a very big island nd not much trouble to be found.


I was terrified in the planes, and the landing strip ends at the mountain which is never a fun approach. anxious for months about going.


but wow... that water... perfectly still bathtub bay... so clear I swam out past the buoys without realizing it cause I could see every pebble and starfish on the ocean floor. I finally looked up and saw a pelican and knew I'd gone way too far. barely made it back to the sugar sand beach. but when I did there were very nice young men rushing over with restorative rum drinks.


I spent that whole vacation in the water, except for the noon thunderstorms. and the occasional boat rides and wanders through the town.


scared as I am of flying I'd go back in a heartbeat if I could. it's paradise. Eden couldn't have been any better..

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St Thomas is beautiful. I stopped there once when in the US Navy. You need the special milk Cindy.


Lots of fond memories of places I have been. The peace and beauty of Yosemite. The chill of Pearl Harbor. Hawaiian beaches were nice. The kindness and cheer in both Turkey and Israel. I love travel.


My favourite will remain with me because it is very personal.

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In one of the other threads, a school trip was considered and I never really considered them a vacation even though it is an excursion.  I suppose in some ways it is though.  I guess my 5th/6th grade trip to Canberra - a parliament house tour and some roller skating and we stayed in some cabins as part of a ....motel...or something.  About 3 of us to a unit, TV and all that.  Back in the days when DeGrassi was good.  Who am I kidding?  I actually watched Degrassi the Next Generation the other day and it tackled some real issues.


Anyway a lot of the trip was caught on video camera (pre-digital), during roller skating, I fell and hurt my wrist.  Later we were in bed and my head was under the covers and in comes the teacher with the camera.  She forces me to answer some question so out comes my head from under the covers and when the tape gets played on the Coach on the way back home, it gets a good laugh.


I wouldn't really call it a favourite and given my emotional state at the time I didn't particularly like it but in hindsight I can look back on it with fondness.

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Oh wow, that's another really hard one to answer. I suck at favourites, I really do, but I'll give it a shot...


Here I find that the difficulty I face is classifying what does and what does not count as a vacation. Is it merely a trip away from home? Or does it have to be for holidaying purposes?


I suppose my current favourites have to be ties between, (I'll limit myself to three things)


1. Summer Music Camp. Probably my third year was my favourite. These camps were the first place I really went completely unsupervised and of course, they were spent getting to know new people and playing music. All the time. My third camp gave me a really good cellist friend who I'll be going to uni with next year, and ten days of music, of discovering the pieces, of refined moments of madness, musical challenges and the simple things, of branching out into other parts of music that you aren't usually involved in, chips and iced coffee every day, a wonderful, wonderful cello tutor who really cared about his students for ten days, idiosyncratic little man conductors, nothing about those days were bad, and the nights were spent in a block full of Dr Who loving art fanatics and cellists, with the houseparents that came over to drink our tea, discuss Wheel of Time and Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. Some of my best memories were made on those camps, particularly the last one, so they have to be amongst my favourites.


2. Going over to England last year for my brother's wedding. There is no need to describe why that was a good experience, but it was truly amazing. The wedding was absolutely beautiful. The whole family stayed in this one giant house we'd rented out for a month before the wedding. We visited relatives I only get to see once every five years and for the first time since I was very young, my entire family were in the one place. The fact that my brother (the one getting married) had been in England for two years prior made the whole thing much sweeter. We're a very close family. Two years is far too long not to see another member of the family. Therefore the reunion, coupled with the union, made an absolutely fantastic holiday.


3. My exchange trip to Germany a couple of years ago. This was my first foray into Germany, and it was made with a class of people to whom I was and still am very close. This trip was inspirational. The places we went were fascinating. They were filled with culture and age and a kind of majesty that doesn't exist in Australia because nothing is quite old enough for it. The buildings in Germany, the places, they manage this great, looming presence filled with wisdom and grandeur but with this easy, casual air. It's fascinating. Add to that the immense amount of culture ready to be discovered in Germany and the fact that this trip led to the friendship I currently share with my Banded <3, and this was a fantastic trip.


4. International Tour. My first ever tour playing the cello. We went to Europe and Asia and the places we went to were absolutely beautiful. Some of them were more alive than the people in them. Not all of them were old, not all of them were pretty, but everywhere I went on that trip had personality. We found the little, hidden treasures in every place and it made the whole trip the brighter for it. Combine this with the way I feel about music, particularly orchestral playing, that is, utter awe and amazement and joy in the faculty of human connection and empathy, this trip was mind-blowingly fantastic. Not only did I get to see a whole bunch of new places, but I got to do it with my independence, on a tour, which is what I'd love to spend my future doing, with my cello and my music.

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I need to get out more...


ooh, yeah, how could I forget...


ocean city, md, and assateague island.


beach, boardwalk, midway, wild ponies, mini deer. mmmmmmmm crab boios.....mini golf, and skii ball, and kettle corn every second step and.... again beach.


went a couple times, always nice.


long drive and rte one is slooooow but otherwise... all good.

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I never get to go anywhere, really. I've been to a few cool places. 


I absolutely adored Toronto. I loved how you could be right in the middle of a noisy city, but walk into one of the parks in the middle of the city and feel like you're

in the countryside. There are really too many things that I loved about it that I couldn't name them all. :)


My favorite though, hands down, would be Washington D.C. There is so much history there! The architecture on some of those buildings are just 

breathtaking, and don't even get me started on the Air and Space museum. I could just go on forever about it. 


There are a couple places that I've made it perfectly clear that I MUST visit in this lifetime. First, I have to see the dig site at Troy. I just have to, and I know that

I will just cry when I finally get there. I need to see everything in Greece that there is to see, and then skip across the pond to Italy and see everything that I can...

the top of that list is Pompei. I have to see it. Those poor people! Can you just imagine? Let's just say that I need to just move to Europe because I must see it all.

Lastly, I need to orbit the Earth a couple times...at least that. I want to see the sunrises and sunsets from space....how absolutely glorious that must be. 


I'm rambling, sorry. ;)

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When I was at the Air and Space museum, they did a little demonstration. They had a piece of the heat shield material used on a space shuttle, this is what 

protects it and the crew when they re-enter the atmosphere. The point of this demonstration was to show how cool this heat shield keeps the shuttle. So they

super heated the piece to the temperature that it reaches upon entering Earth's atmosphere, about 1,650 degrees Celsius (3,000 degrees Fairenheit). I got to 

be the guinea pig for this, so after it was heated, they placed this square of heat shield in my bare hands and I got to hold it.  This thing was glowing bright red, 

but it didn't burn me at all. It was very warm, but my hands weren't even red when I sat the piece back down.  :) I think that right there is what started my love 

of NASA and JPL. :)

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My favorite vacation had to be when I met Amarande at D*Con he usually spent the time in tracks but, we spent a lot of time in the dealers just walking around and meeting some authors along the way it was awesome ! Meeting the band Cruxshadow ...  and just spending time together ! we were at the D*Con store buying stuff and some one sneezed in my face I spent the rest of that trip sick in our room for a day . Ama was nice enough going for some Diabetic medicine in the middle of the night for me ! Amar even missed the Cruxshadow concert to hang out with me :biggrin: What was even more awesome is we went back to this one author's table and they remember who we were from the first day ! 

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A large meeting will usually be called a conference, while a smaller is termed a workshop. They might be single track or multiple track, where the former has only one session at a time, while a multiple track meeting has several parallel sessions with speakers in separate rooms speaking at the same time.

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My favourite holiday will be (thinking positive) the one I am about to embark on tomorrow!


I'm away to Cardiff to see my best friend and meet the new important partner in her life and theeeeen we are going to a music festival. It will be joyous. 

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Yup Senexx, pretty much what Cindy said. At D*Con, you have panels for oodles of different subjects, which are organised into sets across the length of the Con that are called "tracks" and mostly take place in the same room throughout the course of the Con, with the exceptions of really major events that need the large ballrooms (these I try to avoid most of the time, since typically you need to wait in line for an hour before you can enter them, and I'd rather spend that hour doing something else!).


In the case of D*Con, tracks usually keep the same room across years, too, with transfers being relatively rare (e.g., the WoT track moved from the Kennesaw room at the Hyatt to one of the larger rooms in the Westin for its final years, a much needed move since the Kennesaw was really small, I still remember the time I almost missed the Winespring Inn event because they had a band performance that year but were in the small room, and literally was the last person who got in before the doors closed!; on the other hand, the Dark Fantasy track has to my recollection always been in the same double meeting room on B2F of the Hyatt International Tower every year I've gone).


Sadly, the Wheel of Time track ended with the 2012 Con, although I've heard there are plans for individual WoT related panels to occur now and again in the future. It's time for a break anyway, though, with a wedding in a few years I shouldn't be going and spending $1000+ on a hotel room for a weekend :) (That, and the stress of getting the hotel room. I like to stay in the host hotels so I don't have to walk or take a limited-hours shuttle bus to go between room and Con - D*Con is very much a 24-hour-a-day event, and nearly all the concerts in particular are late at night - but these have a habit now of selling out in about 20 minutes from the moment the rooms go on sale, I considered myself lucky when I got my room in the Marriott for last year's, and I had got up super early that morning and made sure I had the day off so I would be prepared for the room rush!)

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