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Old 04-07-2013, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,251 posts, read 53,323,117 times
Reputation: 94605

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I'd curious (or entertained) to hear some negativity as well.



I have some photos from a few years back. Mostly Liverpool. A commercial street:



I nearly got run over as a kid by looking the wrong direction for traffic when crossing the street. Old court building (St. George's Hall):



There was an imitation judge's wig left out. My friend put it on and sat on the judge's seat. St. George:



old building:



docks:



on the dockfront:


Those are awesome photos - thanks for sharing. They make me even more excited about the trip (if that's possible).

We are renting a car (gasp) - I can't imagine driving there, but my husband lived in Scotland for awhile and he swears he can do it. He has warned me, however, to be very careful crossing the street because he's very nearly gotten flattened a time or two!
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,251 posts, read 53,323,117 times
Reputation: 94605
Quote:
Originally Posted by George & Bill View Post
Yes, I think you did mention that trip

I seem to remember I gave you detailed instructions on how to book a train journey from London to Harrogate at minimal cost, but you seem to have been a little confused by them, as you came back to this forum and told people that you'd decided it would be cheaper to rent a car
I appreciate your suggestions, but please don't be offended if I choose another option!

Yes, it will be cheaper to rent a car for a week than for both of us to purchase BritRail passes. Now - it's not less expensive than buying a simple train ticket to and from London, but we want the freedom to drive wherever we want whenever we want and stop and look at whatever we want to.

The cost for renting the car is less than $300 for the week. I know petrol is high but I also know that the car we're renting is a fuel efficient model.

The BritRail passes are $375 each for 8 days.
http://www.britrail.com/passes/britrail-pass

The train tickets to Harrogate from London and back are about $225 each - so that's $450 - and then we'd still have to pay for means of travel once we were there - tickets to Whitby Abbey, York, Middleham Castle, from our B and B in Pately Bridge to my daughter's house at Menwith Hill several times, etc. All that would DEFINITELY add up. Plus we wouldn't have the flexibility that driving ourselves gives us.

http://tickets.eastcoast.co.uk/ec/en...ing/MixingDeck

So yes, I believe a rental car is the best option economically for us.

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 04-07-2013 at 03:12 PM..
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:12 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
46,080 posts, read 49,824,829 times
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I took the train the last time I went, it was quick and fairly cheap, though I took it by myself. But only I visited two destinations, London and Liverpool.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,251 posts, read 53,323,117 times
Reputation: 94605
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I took the train the last time I went, it was quick and fairly cheap, though I took it by myself. But only I visited two destinations, London and Liverpool.
Oh, I don't doubt that the train system is fantastic, and fairly affordable. But here's the deal - renting a car becomes "more affordable" when two or more people are traveling together and sharing expenses. And it offers flexibility that the train system simply doesn't offer. Plus we don't have to worry about what we're carrying with us either - we just throw it all in the back seat.

We did check out the rail options but we were so pleasantly surprised at the affordable cost of renting a car - and so surprised by the cost of BritRail passes - that we just decided to go with the car idea.

Individual tickets to individual places are less expensive, I'm sure - but then that also depends on just how many places you're wanting to visit. Plus, like I said, the roundtrip tickets to and from London to Harrogate were over $200 each -so that right there was more than the cost of the rental car (not including petrol of course).

I was rather looking forward to experiencing the rail system, but I guess I'll get a taste of it anyway, because we'll be taking the train from London to Hampton Court and back one day.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:13 PM
 
994 posts, read 1,173,565 times
Reputation: 806
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I appreciate your suggestions, but please don't be offended if I choose another option!

Yes, it will be cheaper to rent a car for a week than for both of us to purchase BritRail passes. Now - it's not less expensive than buying a simple train ticket to and from London, but we want the freedom to drive wherever we want whenever we want and stop and look at whatever we want to.

The cost for renting the car is less than $300 for the week. I know petrol is high but I also know that the car we're renting is a fuel efficient model.

The BritRail passes are $375 each for 8 days.
http://www.britrail.com/passes/britrail-pass

The train tickets to Harrogate from London and back are about $225 each - so that's $450 - and then we'd still have to pay for means of travel once we were there - tickets to Whitby Abbey, York, Middleham Castle, from our B and B in Pately Bridge to my daughter's house at Menwith Hill several times, etc. All that would DEFINITELY add up. Plus we wouldn't have the flexibility that driving ourselves gives us.

Book cheap train tickets & find train times online > East Coast

So yes, I believe a rental car is the best option economically for us.
I'm not offended, just a little disappointd that you obviously didn't investigate the links I gave you - at the time I posted them, I recall that returns from London to Harrogate were available for around $80...

I also think it's a mistake that while you had a healthy budget, you chose to mis the fantastic EXPERIENCE - it's far more than a means of conveyance - of seeing the country by train, just to save a few bucks. You could still have rented a car in Yorkshire! I would urge you to re-think in future - not out of any sense of pride in my recommendations, but because I know what you're missing!

But we shouldn't get too diverted!

By all means be polite when you visit, but do not demure from all criticism, or people probably won't trust you!

Last edited by George & Bill; 04-07-2013 at 04:23 PM..
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,251 posts, read 53,323,117 times
Reputation: 94605
Quote:
Originally Posted by George & Bill View Post
Quote:
I'm not offended, just a little disappointd that you obviously didn't investigate the links I gave you - at the time I posted them, I recall that returns from London to Harrogate were available for around $80...
Well, actually I did investigate the links you gave me - but since we were still in the planning and coordinating stages of setting up the travel details, I couldn't commit to buying specific tickets for specific routes on a specific day, especially when we knew that we'd probably see sights along the way that we might want to stop and explore (it's a four hour drive from Heathrow to Harrogate) and weren't all too keen on limiting our options before we had thoroughly thought out our plan of action.

And economically $80 times 2 is $160 - and then we'd STILL want to rent a car once we got to Yorkshire so.....

Quote:
I also think it's a mistake that while you had a healthy budget, you chose to mis the fantastic EXPERIENCE - it's far more than a means of conveyance - of seeing the country by train, just to save a few bucks. You could still have rented a car in Yorkshire! I would urge you to re-think in future - not out of any sense of pride in my recommendations, but because I know what you're missing!
Another reason for our choice of rental car is because my husband is very familiar with both the train system there, and the roads there. He's comfortable driving - I wouldn't be. I am going back next year alone and I will almost certainly use the train. I plan to visit my daughter several times over the next few years. I have my own personal driver this time though!

Quote:
By all means be polite when you visit, but do not demure from all criticism, or people probably won't trust you!
This southern girl is always polite when traveling, dahling!

As for voicing my criticisms, I doubt I do much of that - to be honest, I look forward to the traveling but I don't think I'll be in "friendship" mode - I expect most of my interactions with Brits to be casual and of a pretty superficial nature, rather than deep meaningful conversations. So I plan to keep my negative opinions to myself.

That being said, of course if I get into any deep conversations with people and they ask my honest opinion on matters I feel negative about - I think I can manage to be kind and yet honest simultaneously!

I am, always, a sincere person - if nothing else!
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:06 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
46,080 posts, read 49,824,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post

This southern girl is always polite when traveling, dahling!

As for voicing my criticisms, I doubt I do much of that - to be honest, I look forward to the traveling but I don't think I'll be in "friendship" mode - I expect most of my interactions with Brits to be casual and of a pretty superficial nature, rather than deep meaningful conversations. So I plan to keep my negative opinions to myself.

That being said, of course if I get into any deep conversations with people and they ask my honest opinion on matters I feel negative about - I think I can manage to be kind and yet honest simultaneously!

I am, always, a sincere person - if nothing else!
I wonder how much of your avoidance of criticism is a southern thing — I tend to prefer bluntness within reason. Is the update (scroll down a bit) in this article a good illustration:

What I Grew Up Not Talking About | The American Conservative
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
64,251 posts, read 53,323,117 times
Reputation: 94605
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I wonder how much of your avoidance of criticism is a southern thing — I tend to prefer bluntness within reason. Is the update (scroll down a bit) in this article a good illustration:

What I Grew Up Not Talking About | The American Conservative
I don't know - I don't AVOID voicing necessary criticism, but I also don't think it's necessary to tell strangers in a pub in the UK what I don't like about their country - which is the scenario we're basically talking about.

"So - whaddya think about spotted dick?"

Option #1 (blunt) - "I don't like it. I prefer American style puddings."

Option #2 (Southern girl) - "Well, I've certainly never tasted anything quite like it before! It takes some getting used to! But I didn't come here to eat foods I'm used to - I came here to try out English foods. What other local specialties is this area known for?"

Both honest responses, both convey that I don't really care for it - but one closes down the conversation and the other opens up the conversation. Pretty soon they'll be telling me about toad in a hole and I'll be describing menudo to them.

That's what my momma tought me anyway. So far it's worked well in my travels - and I've had a lot of interesting conversations and experiences - nearly all positive.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,346 posts, read 114,940,030 times
Reputation: 35920
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I don't know - I don't AVOID voicing necessary criticism, but I also don't think it's necessary to tell strangers in a pub in the UK what I don't like about their country - which is the scenario we're basically talking about.

"So - whaddya think about spotted dick?"

Option #1 (blunt) - "I don't like it. I prefer American style puddings."

Option #2 (Southern girl) - "Well, I've certainly never tasted anything quite like it before! It takes some getting used to! But I didn't come here to eat foods I'm used to - I came here to try out English foods. What other local specialties is this area known for?"

Both honest responses, both convey that I don't really care for it - but one closes down the conversation and the other opens up the conversation. Pretty soon they'll be telling me about toad in a hole and I'll be describing menudo to them.

That's what my momma tought me anyway. So far it's worked well in my travels - and I've had a lot of interesting conversations and experiences - nearly all positive.
Option #2 reminds me of what a Minnesotan might say, according to my daughter who went to college there:

What do you think of this potato 'hotdish'? (A MN word for casserole)

"It's interesting".

"Interesting" was the adjective one used when when trying to be polite. Of course, everyone knows what it means, but it's sure more pleasant to the ear than, "It sucks".
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:33 PM
 
1 posts, read 950 times
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wow..After reading the whole list here comes my comment.
The US is not a country for everybody and Im probably going to receive a lot of negative responses after what Im going to say. I agree with the author in several of his points and I kinda identify myself with him.
No one likes generalizations, and as the author repeteadly said the blog was based on his experiences only. In MY EXPERIENCE with americans I had positive experiences and bad experiences. I have been working in the service industry for several years now, going from 3 stars hotels to luxurios 5 stars, and as much as I hate to generalize, the most demanding and difficult guests have been americans. I can not re-call the amount of times where an american guest called the manager to complain that, the valet attendant is rude because he didn't smile enough, they need a refund because they just changed their mind last minute about a tour and will dispute the charges with their bank if not given, or just put a complain so they can get a complimentary breakfast or dinner or something because we didnt meet their expectation and our job should be to pamper them.
Rarely we have encounter problems with asian guests for example who know what they pay for and know what they get. Or Europeans who we have rarely dealt with a complain about part of the stuff being rude for not smiling enough. Now I'm not saying ALL american guests are like these but just FYI. We also notice whenever someone wants to compliment a very well service is usually the american guest who goes all the way writting emails about how great their experience was and that, that specific employee should be rewarded for the great job he does.
I believe part of the mentality comes from the tipping culture. Since you are a child you are used to going to restaurants having waiters and waitresses going all out of their ways to satisfy you, expecting to get a GREAT AMOUNT OF TIP from you. So most americans are used to everyone acting like their waiter or waitress who would do anything for a tip so they expect the rest of the world to do so. NOW THIS IS NOT ALL AMERICANS BUT A GOOD GROUP DOES ACT LIKE THAT. I rememember the first time I got a cab in New York City, It was my first time in America, and the taxi driver was nice and friendly and asked me several questionS to why my stay in New York, I was thinking what a nice guy! when it came the time to pay, I handed my credit card marked an x on the tip part and payed my taxi fare. the guy saw that I didnt include a tip and gave me a stink eye kinda saying you cheap tourist!!!. so I wonder do I really like someone being nice to me just for my money? or do I prefer someone who is genuanely nice because that's their nature? I actually prefer the second.
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