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Old 11-15-2007, 04:20 PM   #1
 
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Question Help! USA Itinerary = sucks

Hey... so I've posted in the USA specific threads about my travel plans and now I've come to a point where I have to choose from 2 itineraries...

My friend is a travel agent and has quit so I have a week to book tickets etc. so I can get them at cost price.

The 2 options are:

SYD dep 9.20pm arr Honolulu 10.10am (approx 10hr flight)
HNL is just a transit stop but I have the choice of a 5 hour stop or a 12 hour stop.

I thought if I can get out of the airport, I'd do the 12 hour stop because after 10 hours on a plane, I'd like to walk around etc.

Does anyone know if I can get out of the airport (seeing as its an international flight I'm taking?). I'd have to go through customs etc right?

The 5 hour stop over then takes me to Minneapolis (also transit) then to Memphis which is technically our first stop. Total travel & waiting time from Sydney to Memphis TN is 27.5 hours.

The 12 hour stop over takes me to LA (transit) then to Las Vegas as the alternative first stop (and we would scrap Memphis all together). Total travel & waiting time from Sydney to Las Vegas is 33.5 hours. There would be 5 hours waiting in LAX too...

The next stop is Austin Texas and is cheaper if I flew out from Nashville TN (instead of Memphis) or Las Vegas.

So a few things I want opinions on:

1) Memphis vs. Las Vegas
2) 12 hour waiting (where we *might* be able to get out of the airport) vs. 5 hour waiting in Honolulu

What would you do?
What would be more interesting - we'd like to see the bright lights of Las Vegas etc. and check out Graceland in Memphis... but we'd that would be the most touristy thing we'd do, and it would only be for about 3 days or so.

Any help ASAP would be

Thx
Steph
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:18 PM   #2
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Vegas has a wide variety to offer... but a lot of it comes at a price also. Sure you can see the sights and find free stuff to keep you entertained, but shows, etc will cost. There is Fremont street, the bellagio fountains, the pirate show in front of Treasure Island, etc.

Memphis/Nashville is home to a great music scene, and graceland. I don't know too much more about the area.


As far as leaving the airport, I believe you should be able too. Although you will probably only have 4 or 5 hours to spend outside of the airport.(of the 12 hours total). I wouldn't imagine much holdup through customs coming from AUS... as your baggage would be in the airport system and it would only be you venturing off.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:34 PM   #3
 
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Can't help you much, but if you get up near Illinois/Indiana/Ohio... That I can help you with.

Memphis is home to some good "Soul food", I'm positive of that. If you've never had a legit rack of ribs, definitely find a good bbq place. Nothing better than some baby back ribs. If you like country music, you're in the right state. Other than that, I really have no idea about the area, only stopped there for a few hours because of stop-over to Indianapolis.

Have fun regardless.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:52 PM   #4
 
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Thanks for the help guys.

If anyone can help for what to do and where to stay in Detroit and Kansas would be good too

We'll be going to Austin for the end of SXSW and for my birthday - any ideas on what to do in Austin for my birthday? (16th March - last day of SXSW!)

Wouldn't mind going somewhere for St Pats day. Any place in TX to go for that?
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:25 PM   #5
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i live in the detroit area so i will look into some good places to stay here.
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:33 PM   #6
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Can i ask why you are heading to Detroit and Kansas? They're just not on the usual route someone might take thru the States. Good luck with your planning, if you make it further east maybe I can offer some advice.
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:34 PM   #7
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I am not sure there is a 'good' place to stay in Detroit. As far as good are you looking for a nice hotel, or just a good area with fun stuff to do.

As much as I love my hometown, and there are things to do, it's not always the easiest to 'get to' places in Detroit. The downtown area does offer some cool restaurants and bars. Ferndale/Royal Oak (north of Detroit) have some nice places to hang out. They have those friendly small town downtowns and you can probably find a good group of people.

There is also Ann Arbor as a place to hang out.

If you are looking for a place to eat in Detroit... might I suggest Buddy's Pizza. It will be a treat. It's actually in Dearborn or Royal Oak (I know there are a couple others, but they are farther out)

Kansas? Can't help ya there. I would imagine Watching Corn Grow, and Cow Tipping are somewhere on the list.

If you end up coming through Vegas, let me know we can hang out for a bit.. have a drink
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2009-2014: February - Mexico (Cancun x 3, Cozumel x 1, Mazatlan x 2

2014 : Europe: Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Czech Rep, Germany, France, England

2015 : US:Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree NP, Salton Sea, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Mt. Rushmore. 20 states. Europe: Stockholm, Barcelona, Madrid, Prague, Krakow, Warsaw, Ireland (month driving around), Northern Ireland, Edinburgh.

2017 : Dublin, South Africa, Grand Cayman (planned)

Need a Railpass for that Trip to Europe?
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:50 PM   #8
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Hmm, well Austin is going to be crazy the last day of SXSW...you might have a good wait to get in anywhere for your birthday. What kinds of things do you like to do? Clubbing, hang out at a bar, a certain type of restaurant, see a concert, etc? I can get more specific if I know what you'd like to do.

For St. Pats we actually have a couple of really nice irish pubs here...Mother Eagens and Fado are the two most popular. Fado is a lot of fun and they have live irish bands there at night. I'm sure it will be insane on St. Pats though so you would want to show up pretty early!
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:02 PM   #9
 
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I just wanted to give a little praise... It's nice to see someone visiting America and actually visiting America. I can't stand when people say they visit America and have only been to New York City or LA... Yes, these are great(in some cases) American cities, but its not America. Maybe this is just my opinion.
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:40 AM   #10
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Don'y fly into LAX!! You'll have a 5 hour wait in the most god-awful airport in the world, haha.

(Brett, I like your new avator!)
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:45 AM   #11
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Actually yeah, if you can fly into San Fran its a little more laid back but its about the same flight wise. And as far as continuing on, SFO will have all of the same flights to domestic locations as LAX.
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:22 AM   #12
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Haha Andrew you are so right man. I talked to a few people who loved Florida. Where did they go in Florida, why the Magic Kindgom of course.

Not only is there more to Florida and Orlando than the Magic Kingdom, there is more to Disney World than the Magic Kingdom!

Haha :D

In fairness though, most of us do the same thing. "I love the UK!" "Where did you go?" "London" " See a lot of London did ya?" "Nope never left Zone 1!"

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Old 11-16-2007, 10:54 AM   #13
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I never really noticed until someone lays out an itenerary of the US, how difficult/expensive it is to travel about the country.

I'm with Sijuki, Vegas is going to be hellaciously expensive, I was just there in June and dropped an obscene amount of money. I think Vegas can be done on a budget but it is verrrrry difficult. If you stick to the 99 cent buffets and do all the free stuff and stay off the strip (or on the old end of the strip), but what fun is that? on the other hand, I've never had more fun anywhere else in the US than Las Vegas and it's easily my favorite place in the US, so in my opinion it's worth the cash, regardless. and the Qua spa at Caesar's Palace is the best quailty spa in all of Vegas.. don't know if that's your thing, but I was seeking a lil R&R last time I was in Vegas and frequented Qua, like every day.

Nashville/Memphis also freaking rules. It's much more reasonably priced and for Memphis, two words: BEALE STREET!!! The bar scene in Memphis is a freaking GOOD time. I've been to both Nashville and Memphis on several occasions and really you can't have a bad time there either.

So hope this helps. I know nothing about Kansas and nothing about Michigan (except that the Detroit airport has a Chili's in it and is a very nice airport and about the only nice thing I have to say about Michigan )
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinknic38 View Post

So hope this helps. I know nothing about Kansas and nothing about Michigan (except that the Detroit airport has a Chili's in it and is a very nice airport and about the only nice thing I have to say about Michigan )

Yeah, that's right give props to our nice airport. It makes your last hours in the state enjoyable... just to reassure you, you are making the right choice by leaving.

J/k i love Michigan!
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2009-2014: February - Mexico (Cancun x 3, Cozumel x 1, Mazatlan x 2

2014 : Europe: Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Czech Rep, Germany, France, England

2015 : US:Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree NP, Salton Sea, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Mt. Rushmore. 20 states. Europe: Stockholm, Barcelona, Madrid, Prague, Krakow, Warsaw, Ireland (month driving around), Northern Ireland, Edinburgh.

2017 : Dublin, South Africa, Grand Cayman (planned)

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Old 11-16-2007, 02:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sijuki View Post
just to reassure you, you are making the right choice by leaving.
I couldn't agree more!
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:23 PM   #16
 
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OMG You guys are all HILARIOUS!


Ok in response to everyone's comments:

Kansas and Detroit?
My friend and I have a SEVERE obsession with The Get Up Kids. So, we thought we'd visit Kansas, Lawrence and Eudora to check the music. Detroit - well as Sijuki stated, Ann Arbour is the place we're interested in (Anne Arbour was a song by TGUK).. Oh and I want to see that Big Fist too... it's a long story, but I need to take a photo with it.

I'm currently rescheduling EVERYTHING so we may end up doing Memphis (I was sold by picknic38's comments!) and we'll try to aim for a drive to Las Vegas. We're mainly there for the lights. I don't gamble. I'm cursed! I would have to say this would be the "touristy" part of our trip.

Maracle - Re: Austin. We'd be there for music and most likely drinking. I don't like the sounds of waiting in line, but anything FUN would be better than waiting in line. My friend I'm travelling with and I like to create our own fun anyway so we are very easily amused... Would there be any partying going on in the streets by any chance?

And thanks for the props SGRHewitt. I went to Texas last year, I just fell in love with the people there and I loved doing the non-tourist things. Experiencing the "American" way of life was amazing!
The time I spent in NY was mainly in Brooklyn and just being able to feel like I was apart of the city and not just a tourist was great. We'll still do some tourist things but we're more interested in driving around to SEE things, meeting people and making friends.

If ANYONE lives in any of the places I'm visiting (I'll write it at the very bottom), PM me and if time permits, we'd be happy to meet up (so long as you aren't a crazy serial killer. I don't think my insurance will cover that).

And as always, we're tightasses, and if I can get away with doing this trip under $7000 AUD, I'm a happy camper! I'm already doing a roadtrip in Feb along the east coast of Australia and plans for Africa over 2008-2009!


Memphis - Austin (TX) - San Antonio (TX) - Kansas City - Eudora - Lawrence (KS) - Detroit - Ann Arbour - Toronto Canada - Montreal Canada - New York City - (maybe Philadelphia) - Washington DC (not sure if I'll be staying in DC or with family in Bethesda MD) - Los Angeles - Las Vegas (hopefully) - San Diego - San Luis Obispo - San Francisco - Honolulu
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:57 PM   #17
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Like I said, check out Ferndale/Royal Oak while you are also by Detroit... it's like Ann Arbor but not plagued by university yuppies.
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2009-2014: February - Mexico (Cancun x 3, Cozumel x 1, Mazatlan x 2

2014 : Europe: Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Czech Rep, Germany, France, England

2015 : US:Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree NP, Salton Sea, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Mt. Rushmore. 20 states. Europe: Stockholm, Barcelona, Madrid, Prague, Krakow, Warsaw, Ireland (month driving around), Northern Ireland, Edinburgh.

2017 : Dublin, South Africa, Grand Cayman (planned)

Need a Railpass for that Trip to Europe?
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:32 AM   #18
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Yeah there are a lot of good things to do in royal oak and Ferndale. Also downtown Birmingham which is North West of Royal oak has nice downtown area but is more expensive than either royal oak or ferndale.
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:55 PM   #19
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If you happen to be in Ferndale and knock back a few and get a buzz and decide you are hungry. There is a pizza place at 9 mile and Woodward called Como's. If you are drinking, this is the best pizza in the world. Don't eat it when you're sober though... not nearly as good.

Basically within 100 ft (35m) of this place are probably 8-10 bars. WAB (Woodward Ave. Brewery) is cool (brew their own beer). Rosie's is a pretty nice dive. Some bar I've been to that was in a basement... kinda reminded me of what an old English bar would have looked like (dark, dingy).

Enough about Ferndale though.
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2009-2014: February - Mexico (Cancun x 3, Cozumel x 1, Mazatlan x 2

2014 : Europe: Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Czech Rep, Germany, France, England

2015 : US:Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree NP, Salton Sea, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Mt. Rushmore. 20 states. Europe: Stockholm, Barcelona, Madrid, Prague, Krakow, Warsaw, Ireland (month driving around), Northern Ireland, Edinburgh.

2017 : Dublin, South Africa, Grand Cayman (planned)

Need a Railpass for that Trip to Europe?
Or Maybe a Hostel Reservation?
Frog Creek Brewing -- Upcoming Microbrewery

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