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Dave Holmans Travelblog


Dave Holmans Travelblog
Thoughts on Travel and Tourism, travelogs, wheelchair accessible travel resources

Articles

Nashville, TN - Music City
2008-03-14 21:38:00
And it really is. The whole city is about music. I didn't think I would like Nashville the first time I went. I am not much of a country music fan. Besides, I have been playing guitar for 35 years,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
More About: Music , City
Golden Princess to Mexican Riviera - DONE
2008-02-17 02:25:00
Okay, just got in, thought I would do this while it's still fresh. I have done a dozen or so Mexican Riviera cruises ( I live close enough to drive to the Port), this one is in the top 5. Some good,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
More About: Princess , Golden
NCL's Pride of Hawaii - Now the Jade, cruising Europe
2008-01-15 05:10:00
Pride of Hawaii - Hawaii I was on the April 30 sailing of the Pride of Hawaii. In a word - Fabulous. We flew in the morning of the cruise, arriving in Honolulu at 11am. Went straight to the ship.... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
More About: Europe , Pride , Jade , Rope
Golden Princess to Mexican Riviera
2008-01-05 03:16:00
Well, booked it today.....Had an offer I couldn't refuse. So me and my brother are taking an accessible balcony stateroom and heading to Mexico. February 9th. Don't even know how many Mex Riviera ... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
More About: Princess , Mexican , Golden
The Dollar is Falling - Where should I go?
2007-12-29 04:59:00
For those of you who have been thinking of a Europe an vacation, but finding prices are thru the roof due to the strong Euro, I have one word: CRUISE Since cruises are paid in Dollar s, and include... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
More About: South America , Cruise
The Canals of England and Wales
2007-12-21 06:18:00
Probably the most unique trip I ever took was narrowboating on the canals in the U.K. For those of you who don't know, England is criss-crossed with canals built before the invention of the steam... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
More About: Wales , England and Wales , Anal
Nashville, TN - Music City
2007-11-21 04:53:00
And it really is. The whole city is about music. I didn't think I would like Nashville the first time I went. I am not much of a country music fan. Besides, I have been playing guitar for 35 years,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
More About: Music , City
The BLOG is now open
2007-11-18 06:15:00
Anyone have any great travel stories, cruise reviews or travelogs? I would like to create a blog here that is interesting, informative and topical. But that is too much for me. So, if you want to... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
More About: Open , Blog
Wheelchair Cruising - a brief history
2007-11-18 06:03:00
As I alluded to in my profile, my very first cruise was in 1981 on Carnival's first new-build, the Tropicale, then in her maiden season. When I first approached my Mother and Stepfather with the idea... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
More About: History , Brief , Wheelchair
Dave Holman's Travelblog: The Places I have been
2007-11-13 07:01:00
Dave Holman's Travelblog: The Places I have been [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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The Places I have been
2007-11-13 06:00:00
It has been a bad week - building a new website for Dave Holman Travel Services. I might get out of the travel business, and take up website development. I know way more now than I ever wanted to... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
More About: Places
Riding the Rails - Amtrak re-visited
2007-11-08 03:03:00
An oft-overlooked vacation style, Amtrak . Although the Golden Age of Train Travel passed decades ago, there is still much to recommend using Amtrak for your next vacation. I have taken the Amtrak's Sunset Limited (Los Angeles to Orlando) round trip, the Southwest Chief (Chicago to Los Angeles) end to end and the Texas Eagle (San Antonio to Chicago) end to end.I have also ridden partial routes from LA to Oregon, St. Louis to Kansas City, and New York to D.C.One thing about a train: It is both transportation and destination. The train ride itself is faster than driving, the seats are more spacious than airline first class, and the sleepers are quite comfortable. And besides your personal seat/sleeper there is a Bar Car with a snack bar, a good place to hang out and talk to people or play cards, the Observation Car, which is mostly windows, another great place to meet and get to know your fellow travelers, as well as watch some great scenery slide past, and finally, the Dining C...
More About: Rails , Riding
Knott's Berry Farm Hotel and Resort
2007-11-05 17:54:00
I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised by this hotel. If you are going to Orange County on vacation, this would be a good place to stay. Located on the park property at Knot t's, and just a short drive to Disneyland, it is a good location for exploring Southern California.While the rooms were kind of small, the property boasts a great pool area, with some fun stuff for the kids, tennis courts, an on-site pro shop to make golf arrangements and a good restaurant. Also on the Knott's property is a T.G.I.Fridays and, of course Mrs. Knotts Chicken restaurant, which has been there since 1934 or something, and is still kicking out that great fried chicken. While I did not stay in the Snoopy Rooms (being the youngest in our party at 46), I did see the corridor, separated from the other wing, and done up in Snoopy themed decor totally different from the rest of the hotel. If I had kids with me I would pay the extra.The most impressive thing about the hotel, though, was the level of ...
More About: Hotel , Berry , Farm , Resort
Party at Coto de caza
2007-11-03 17:30:00
On my way to a 30 year high school reunion - Not mine, my brothers. Reunion dinner is being held at a place called Gentile's in a town (Coto de Caza) that did not exist when I was growing up in the area. Hard by Irvine (which didn't really exist when I was growing up either - it was still a ranch in those days). It will be fun to see if all the new houses are an improvement on the orange groves they replaced. Certainly more pretentious - why such a Mediteranean Riviera name for a town in the foothills of Orange County is beyond me. Should also be fun to catch up. I was only two grades behind my brother, so a lot of his classmates also had siblings in my grade.We will be staying at the Knott's Berry Farm Hotel in Buena Park, a first for me, since I don't normally stay in hotels so close to home. It looks nice on the website, and I got a great rate. I will let you know Sunday if it is all that, or not. Sunday is a picnic in my hometown, Santa Fe Springs, CA. Nice little t...
More About: Party
The TOP 10 cont. Greenville, NC - The Spirit of the East, or Sportstown U
2007-11-02 05:29:00
Catchy, those mottos. But, seriously folks, Greenville, North Carolina (not to be confused with Greenville, Ohio, Texas, Missouri, Mississipi, Maine, Michigan or SOUTH Carolina), while a relatively small town of 75,000 is home to a University, a regional hospital, etc, and as such has more restaurants, hotels, stores, theatres, amusement venues, etc than most cities it's size. Not to mention some really great sports bars. It is the major commercial center of the region, and also one of the fastest growing areas in the South. That growth, and a nationally recognized Chamber of Commerce, have spurred commercial development of all types in and around the city. It is also blessed with mild weather - mid-80's in summer, with less humidity than the coast, and mid 40's in the winter with moderate rainfall.As a vacation spot it boasts lot's of amenities, and also a great central location for exploring the region. Two hours south of Virginia Beach, Va, and two hours north of Myrtle Beach...
More About: East , The Spirit , Spirit , Ville , Envi
Wheelchairs and Airplanes
2007-10-31 17:51:00
I have written about me and my brothers first experience on a cruise ship with a wheelchair, and how vastly better cruise ships are today, in terms of wheelchair accessibility. The same is true of hotels. In our early wheelchair traveling days, hotels were generally a major hassle, with narrow doors, totally inaccessible bathrooms, etc. In the last few years, however, nearly every hotel we have stayed in has been relatively accomodating, with many barrier-free showers, larger rooms (or rooms with less furniture) to make in-room navigation easier, public areas all ramped, etc.The only part of the travel industry that steadfastly refuses to change is the airlines. And, honestly, I think they have gotten worse rather than better. In my opinion, the airlines are a perfect example of why laws and regulations are sometimes counterproductive. It is fascinating that cruise lines, under no legal obligation to do so, have so vastly improved their product, simply becaused it drives business th...
More About: Airplanes , Wheelchairs , Wheelchair
Panama City Beach - The Redneck Riviera
2007-10-30 04:21:00
You have to love a town that embraces the title "Redneck Riviera ". Unlike the hip, slick and cool beach towns of south Florida, PC beach is a laid back kind of place. A little threadbare maybe, a little past it's "sell by" date, but, hey so am I.On the other hand, beach front rooms are cheap. And when I say beach front, I mean open the slider and you are in the sand. The beaches along this area are fabulous, the hotels are pet friendly, and the water is warm and calm. I spent many mornings, just soaking up the sun, and playing fetch with Harley.A little to the south is an actual surfing beach - not much wave action for a California boy like me, but by Gulf of Mexico standards it is pretty good. There are several surf shops where you can rent a surfboard, or a boogieboard and get a little waye action.There are several restaurant/bars along Front Beach and Thomas Streets, all of them, like the rest of the town, just on the edge of seedy looking. But they all seem to have good fresh s...
More About: Panama , City , Panama City
Sandusky, Ohio - The Town with no Motto
2007-10-29 03:26:00
"Sluggish and uninteresting enough,... something like the back of an English watering-place, out of the season." Thus spake Charles Dickens, on passing through Sandusky in 1842. Obviously, before Cedar Point was built.Seriously, Cedar Point is the amusement park to end all amusement parks. Eight years running, Amusement Today has named it the "world's best", and with good reason. Not just one wooden coaster, like most amusement parks, but a whole section of them. And the tallest, and the fastest and the most "G's", and all the measures of a great thrill ride. Cedar Point has most of the records.If you are a serious roller-coaster fiend, you have to go.But there are more reasons to go to this little Midwest town of 30,000. It is located on the banks of Lake Erie, with watersports aplenty, and some of the best freshwater fishing in the country. Personally, I would recommend camping at any of the waterfront campgrounds in the area, but if you don't want to rough it, most of them als...
More About: Ohio , Town , Motto , The Town
Memphis, TN - Land of the Delta Blues
2007-10-28 02:17:00
And Barbeque, and Ole Man River. And not too far from the casinos in Tunica, MS. All in all, a great vacation spot.If you are going to Memphis , do it in May. The Memphis in May Festival combines the World Barbecue Championship AND the best music festival in America. Either one would be worth the trip, but both, together, make it a MUST SEE.I have been lucky enough to make it to the festival three times. It is not just a Blues Festival, the music includes Blues, Jazz, Rock, Bluegrass, Country, all going on all day on multiple stages. From Grammy winning mega-stars to local bands.I was also lucky enough to be working a neighborhood and get invited to lunch by one of the Barbeque cook-off contestants, who was rehearsing. Best BBQ I ever ate, and he came in 3rd that year.And besides the Festival, there is Beale Street, the legendary blues-club row. Just pop in anywhere, order up some grub and listen to some Blues.And of course, Graceland, an obligatory stop, even for a non-Elvis fan li...
More About: Land , Delta
Lafayette, Louisiana - Capital of Acadiana
2007-10-26 18:03:00
Another of my TOP 10 would have to be Lafayette. Forget N'Awlins - if you are going anywhere near Louisiana - Lafayette is the place. First - the food. I have never had a bad meal in Lafayette. There are great restaurants on every corner. Next - the people. Before traveling to Lafayette, I knew just a little about Cajun culture. Spend some time getting to know the locals. It is easy to do. They are absolutely some of the coolest, friendliest folks I have found. Happy to talk about their history (the Cajuns came to Louisiana from Canada, to escape religious persecution by the British), the challenges of maintaining their unique culture and language, their philosophy of food (some cuisines have recipes, the Cajuns, like the Japanese, have a philosophy)and fun (the Motto here is "laissez bon temps roullez", or "let the good times roll")And finally - the music. Oh, the Cajun music. Now, I generally just listen to music - but bring out the zydeco band, and something happens t...
More About: Capital , Acadia , Adia
Off the Beaten Track - Dave's Top Ten Cities in America
2007-10-25 02:29:00
Since coming off the road about 1000 people have asked me what my favorite city was. It is impossible to say. America is just too big and too filled with stuff to narrow it down to one favorite. What I have done here is to pick my Top 10. The criteria was rather fluid, but what they all have in common is A) they all taught me something about America you just can?t learn in school; B) with a couple exceptions, they are not "tourist" towns, and C) one of them isnt a place at all.. You can read about Chicago and San Diego and Wash D.C. from a million sources, but who?s gonna tell you what to do in Amarillo?And, in all seriousness, if you are truly looking for something a little different, I would recommend any of these for your next vacation:1 - Amarillo, TX2 - Lafayette, LA3 - Memphis, TN4 - Sandusky, OH5 - Panama City Beach, FL6 - Greenville, NC7 - Rutland, VT8 -Indianapolis, IN9 - Nashville, TN10 - The Sunset Limited (Amtraks southern Trans-continental route)AMARILLO TEXAS - HELIUM ...
More About: Cities , Track
Narrowboating in the U.K.
2007-10-24 06:55:00
Probably the most unique trip I ever took was narrowboating on the canals in the U.K.For those of you who don't know, England is criss-crossed with canals built before the invention of the steam engine, and subsequent development of railroad transport. The many locks on these canals are 8 feet wide. So, imagine a boat, 50, 60 or 70 feet long, and only 7 1/2 feet wide!Narrow boat indeed. And seeing as how these canals predate the Industrial Revolution, the locks are manually operated. So, you pull up to the lock, someone hops out, makes sure there is no one in the lock, or waiting in the other direction, then cranks a handle to open the lock, letting the water in or out, then swings the gate open, then you pull the boat in, close that side, and crank open the other side to let the water in or out, open the gate and proceed on your way, as the crank turner hops back in. Sometimes there is 5 or more miles between locks, but one particular stretch we hit had 11 locks in less than 2 mil...
Disabled Cruising, Then and Now
2007-10-24 03:51:00
As I alluded to in my profile, my very first cruise was in 1983 on Carnival's first new-build, the Tropicale, then in her maiden season. When I first approached my Mother and Stepfather with the idea of taking my brother on a cruise they were, to say the least, taken aback. In those days, only rich old people took pleasure cruises. And wheelchair-bound hemiplegics didn't go anywhere except the doctor's and physical therapy.But, being all of 22 years old, and invincible and stupid - I prevailed, (did I mention I have always been a fairly good salesman?), and off we went.On the big day, we drove to San Pedro and boarded (after 3 hours in line - after all there were nearly a thousand people) this behemoth of a ship (47, 000 grt, I think).After getting aboard we went to our 160 s.f. stateroom, which, of course (remember this is nearly a decade before the ADA) had a 22" door to accommodate a 28" wide wheelchair. A little quick thinking on my part, and we did a standing transfer from t...
More About: Disabled , Bled , Then
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