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Tamara

best place for a 50th birthday trip

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My friend Kathy is celebrating her 50th birthday this January. She wants us to go on a little holiday but doesn't know what sort of place she wants. The trip would be between 3 - 7 days. Should it be decadent Las Vegas or a healthy yoga retreat? Maybe a spa vacation. Hey, what about a cruise?!?! We're on a budget and the trip should cost around $1000 each before shopping and meal money (that's Canadian dollars, folks, about 80 cents to the US dollar today, I think). We're not into spending all day at the beach. Those days are long gone. The results of spending all day in the sun back when it was great to do that without sunscreen linger about our eyes. Still, sitting under a shady palapa listening to the ocean might be OK. I'm thinking a week in Cuba might be nice. A little beach time, maybe some scuba diving for me, a couple of days in Havana, some great music and night life. Has anyone been to a spa in Arizona or New Mexico? We're really into some light to medium hiking. Anyway, any suggestions or information would be welcome. I really want Kathy to have a great 50th birthday

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i recomend a thomson cruise (shock horror!) but theyre affordable, the only problem is i'm not sure if they accept dollars or anthing but in pound its normanlly round 700 per person. pm me if you have any more questions.

before anyone starts i know i keep going on about thomson but i find them to be good- and no i dont work for them.

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If we decided to go on a cruise, I expect that we would do something closer to home, given that we have about a week for the trip. My understanding of Thomson cruises is that they're all about Europe and the Med and I would rather do a land trip there. "i'm not sure if they accept dollars or anthing" well, I reckon that experienced travellers would figure that out.

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ive asked and they said they accept them but it would cost more and there is no way to contact them from the us or canada i dont think but i will try to find out for anyone who wants to know. it was worth a try though. as for going somewhere 'closer to home' i would say go to one of the big cities in the us like nyc or chicargo something like that.

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If I can't cruise, my next choice would be Las Vegas...not just to gamble...but to see some great shows. Also, lindie's suggestion of New York or Chicago would be great.

New York, of course, has some great sights and some great Broadway shows, and Chicago is a great city. We drove there quite a few years back and spent a few days, and we had a great time. We went to museums, and up to the top of the Hancock building(around 100 floors up, if I remember right) they have a beautiful lounge up there where you can sit and enjoy cocktails and enjoy the view.

We also took a boat ride on Lake Michigan and got a great view of Downtown Chicago. We went to the race track(horses) in Arlington Hts., a suburb of Chicago, and had a great time. There are a lot of great restaurants in Chicago, also.

We also went to Walter Payton's(ex football star) bar, which was fun. The bartenders toss the glasses around like Tom Cruise did in, "Cocktail," and the waitresses dance on the tables once in awhile. It was a fun place, but we didn't stay too long. I'm not sure if it's still there, and it was a long cab ride from downtown, I think.

If you're into hiking and spas, Arizona or New Mexico(I think I would choose Arizona) would probably be great. My first choice would be a cruise, of course. If you're on a limited budget, you could book an inside cabin to save money, and just spend a lot of time out on deck lounging around or reading. You could book some tours that had hiking in them.

Good luck with whatever you choose, and Happy 50th to your friend!

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I've been getting some great emailed offers from Holland America for January cruises. Perhaps western Caribbean -- that way you have the snorkeling, shopping, history, etc., a little of everything. Of course, you'd have to add on the airfare, but considering the meals are included in the base price, that may be workable.

One thing about the spas in Arizona -- they can be pricey. I stayed at one in Scottsdale last year (it was a business trip, so I didn't have time to use the amenities, unfortunately), and it was upwards of $300 per room per night! The scenery was spectacular, however. There may be other places that are more reasonably priced.

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Tamara - Vegas Baby - I did that for my 50th and enjoyed every minute of it. The nice thing is all you really need are three or four nights - that's actually all I can take :o). I think Allegiant Air is flying out of Bellingham to Vegas on a daily run - the Bellingham airport is just like the one at Abbotsford - you can't get lost - that's important for us "oldsters" lol. Whatever you do have a great time - you and your friend!!! TTFN Jennifer

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Lindie, thanks for the suggestion of going to one of the big cities. I did go to New York a few years ago with a friend for a week and it was a great trip. San Francisco is on our list of possible destinations. We also really enjoy popping down to Seattle, Washington for a few days. It's a great city and only three hours drive away from Vancouver, where we live.

We're also looking at going to the Hills Guest Ranch near Hundred Mile House in British Columbia to do some cross country skiing. They have cowboys there, but of course that doesn't affect our decision at all.

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Hazelson - baby - yeah - Vegas rocks. One of those Thursday to Sunday trips would be great. The Canadian dollar is up, some gambling, a couple of good shows, (NOT Celine Dion!), a little sun and frolic would be great. We're also thinking about New Orleans. I spent one weekend there and it is crazy fun.

We're so lucky to be able to decide where we want to go. It's all up to Kathy to decide where she wants to go; healthy or decadent or a combination.

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Tamara - agree about Celine (YUK!) - the best show we ever saw was the "Blue Man Group" - awesome and totally weird. Never been to NO - but would like t o see it one day. TTFN Jennifer

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