Summer Vacation

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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby piqaboo » Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:07 pm

Left, right. Got it.

I've driven a bit in England, Aussieland and Kiwiland (crossed England right to left diagonally, on the small roads, circumnavigated the south island of NZ and crisscrossed the north, random wanderings in Aussieland). I find the "Keep Left" stickers plastered all over the rental cars to be very useful. There was one on the steering wheel, one above the speedo, one on the rearview mirror, one on the driver's visor.

The two circumstances that caused me the most difficulty were
a) if I parked against the flow of traffic. Its illegal here in CA, so I automatically assume the car is pointing with the flow when I come back out to it.
b) on long straightaways. An oncoming car causes a painful need to move over to "the correct" side of the road. It takes great effort to override that conditioning. And its accutely uncomfortable until the oncoming car gets close enough to make it obvious which side is the safe side.

Nonetheless, I shall take stickers for the car, in case the rental agency hasnt used enough of them! In years past, I was not distracted by having an Altoid in the back seat.

DVD player..... OT suggested we consider this too. Thanks for the idea!
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby dai bread » Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:54 pm

Don't forget the voltage difference between here & the U.S.; also hz difference. (230v, 50hz here).

If you bring American multi-voltage appliances, you'll need an adapter plug as well. Our outlets are different too.

Unless it is battery-operated or multi-voltage, your player will fry itself the minute you plug it in.

<small>[ 01-14-2006, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: dai bread ]</small>
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby OperaTenor » Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:55 pm

Hi DB,

Are your outlets like the British, two round prongs?

I believe there are little transformers sold to accomodate the higher voltage and lower frequency. However, I seem to recall they aren't to be trusted. I recall Piq telling a story about a curling iron that could melt lead even though it was plugged into such a device.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby dai bread » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:42 pm

Hi O.T.

Our outlets are for 3 flat pins arranged like a sad face
/ \
l

The bottom pin lines up between the other 2. I'm having trouble with the typing.

British plugs don't work either. Aussie ones do, though.

If you're bringing standard U.S. appliances, get an adapter plug and a transformer.

Dick Smith's online catalogue:

Step-Down Transformer 240V-115V
This stepdown transformer provides power for small appliances such as small battery chargers and radios where the load does not exceed 25W. Plugs directly into mains outlet. $38.67, presumably NZD.

<small>[ 01-17-2006, 11:44 PM: Message edited by: dai bread ]</small>
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby barfle » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:50 am

Originally posted by OperaTenor:
I believe there are little transformers sold to accomodate the higher voltage and lower frequency. However, I seem to recall they aren't to be trusted. I recall Piq telling a story about a curling iron that could melt lead even though it was plugged into such a device.
You don't have to worry about the frequency unless you are running a motor that is frequency dependent, so that's not an issue, but no, the transformers won't change the frequency unless you have something akin to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

A curling iron probably draws too much current for a real transformer, but there are switching voltage reducers around that could probably accomodate such things. I'd check with travelsmith or a luggage store.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby piqaboo » Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:24 am

We have a set of adaptors and ?transformers?, used in England, Ireland, China.
RadioShack sells them.

The equipment keeps working, but as OT noted, hairdryers and curling irons get a bit "muscular" despite the transformer-thingie. It took my hair a year to recover from 3 weeks in China.

The intended use for the DVD player is during the very long flights to and fro. After that, she will be expected to look out the window. (Oh god, we have to find out if we can rent a childseat again. I [b]do not[/] want to schlep one on the plane and thru the airport!!!)
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby barfle » Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:01 pm

The DVD player is clearly battery operated, so a small transformer should be adequate for a charger.

I might recommend a dual voltage hair dryer and/or curling iron. Then all you need is a plug adapter. The travel ones are pretty small, but do an adequate job. A bit noisy, though.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby dai bread » Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:01 pm

The DVD player will be battery-operated, then. I don't think aircraft have power sources for such things do they?
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby barfle » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:44 pm

Some aircraft have 12VDC outlets for laptop computers and such, from what I understand. I've never seen them in coach, where I typically travel these days.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby analog » Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:41 pm

Just a curiosity on the DVD player -

There used to be a difference in television video signal format US to Europe - NTSC versus PAL i think were the keywords.

Does anyone know - will a DVD player made for the US market play video disks acquired overseas? :confused:
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby barfle » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:11 pm

In addition to the video standards, DVDs are also "region encoded." This means that a disc encoded for region 1 (North America) would not play on a player built for use in Japan (where the video standards are the same as they are for the US and Canada).

Not all discs are region encoded. The ones that are not region encoded will play on any player with the proper video standards. It's also entirely possible that a DVD player exists that will play NTSC, PAL, PAL-M, or SECAM, but I am not aware of it. I know that there are VCRs that will play multiple video standards, but who uses them any more except dinosaurs like me?
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby BigJon@Work » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:32 pm

Search Amazon.com for
Philips 642/ 37 Region Free

It converts PAL
"I am a 12 foot lizard." GCR Jan 31, 2006
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:17 pm

Speaking of Ipods, depending on how things progress with Altoid's interests and attention span, and Ipod might be a good traveling compamion along with the portable DVD player, for those long trans-Pacific flights.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Schmeelkie » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:09 pm

Meet me in St. Louis....

Looks like the hubby may be going to a week-long conference in St. Louis in July. I'm thinking of bringing Pumpkin along for some or all of the time... Ah, but what to do....? Any suggestions? Pumpkin will be nearing 3 by then (yikes!) and we have no friends or relatives around - although I know a few B.com BB's are in MO....
"Up plus down equals flat" Pumpkin, 3 yrs, 10 mo, July '07
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Schmeelkie » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:14 pm

Oh yeah - not going to the SF conference in March - timing didn't work out - didn't want to subject Pumpkin to 6+hours of travelling, one full day in SF, then 6+hours travelling again the next day. Next thought was to see hubby's dad and stepmom over his spring break - but they'll be in Belize... at this rate, probably no travelling until summer. :-(
"Up plus down equals flat" Pumpkin, 3 yrs, 10 mo, July '07
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:23 pm

I’m easing my way into a three-week vacation in Scotland in July - Aug 2008. I just bought my tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo for August 6 (note to self, rearrange travel dates to include being in Edinburgh on 08/06/08)

I watched the Tattoo when I lived in the UK on TV. Since I was a dirt poor G.I. I couldn’t afford tickets in those days and I always promised myself that someday I would sit in a front row (well, second row in “A” Section, “B” Section is the best section but was already sold out but “A" ain’t bad) and watch the show live.

Any other suggestions for our visit? We (the MRHYN, the twins and I) spent 14 days camping in Scotland in 1980 (it rained 10 days) We did the east coast. This time we’re starting in Edinburgh and doing a circle going up the east coast across the west coast and finally winding back up in Edinburgh to see the Tattoo before we catch the Caledonian Sleeper back to London.

I have a copy of the AA”s Hand Picked Tours in Britain first published in 1977. It is the best UK tour guide I have ever found and even though 30 years old I found in 2004 when we visited England that the tours are still accurate and only one small tour location was closed.

I look forward to testing it again.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:43 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:...I just bought my tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo for August 6 ...

:envy: Pipes. Drums. No accordions. Great hairy highlanders in kilts. :crazy:

I suggest you avoid participating in any caber tosses you might pass. Those sticks look hard to fling. Speaking of flings, might there be any? And is the MRHYN in the mood to visit distilleries and check for tasting rooms? :grin:
>^..^<
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:57 pm

Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote: And is the MRHYN in the mood to visit distilleries and check for tasting rooms? :grin:


I have no intention to ask her..... Any answer she might have would be redundant to my itinerary
:rofl:
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby barfle » Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:26 am

Several days on the whiskey trail is highly advised. Not to mention souvenirs of the journey.
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Re: Summer Vacation

Postby jamiebk » Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:41 am

Haggis@wk wrote:I’m easing my way into a three-week vacation in Scotland in July - Aug 2008. I just bought my tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo for August 6 (note to self, rearrange travel dates to include being in Edinburgh on 08/06/08)

I watched the Tattoo when I lived in the UK on TV. Since I was a dirt poor G.I. I couldn’t afford tickets in those days and I always promised myself that someday I would sit in a front row (well, second row in “A” Section, “B” Section is the best section but was already sold out but “A" ain’t bad) and watch the show live.

Any other suggestions for our visit? We (the MRHYN, the twins and I) spent 14 days camping in Scotland in 1980 (it rained 10 days) We did the east coast. This time we’re starting in Edinburgh and doing a circle going up the east coast across the west coast and finally winding back up in Edinburgh to see the Tattoo before we catch the Caledonian Sleeper back to London.

I have a copy of the AA”s Hand Picked Tours in Britain first published in 1977. It is the best UK tour guide I have ever found and even though 30 years old I found in 2004 when we visited England that the tours are still accurate and only one small tour location was closed.

I look forward to testing it again.


Sounds great!! I spent a week in the Border Counties of Scotland about 5 years ago (wow..has it been that long?). We had a great time. Nice people. We stayed at Wedderburn Castle in Duns the whole time and felt like kings and queens. http://www.aboutscotland.com/wedderburn/index.html Wedderburn is about an hour south of Edinburgh

We never got to the highlands and were disappointed about that, but hey, lowland scotch tastes almost as good! As you might guess with names like Jamie, Bonnie, Heather, and Taylor, we are of Scottish descent. Unfortunately, we never searched out the home of clan McLean of Duart while we were there.
Jamie

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