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Old 02-24-2009, 07:46 PM   #1
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Talking AIRforums, PLAN our TRIP!

Amy and I are planning what will likely be out last trip out of the St. Louis Metro area for the next two years. I am going back to school, and once July hits I won't be out of class more than 1-2 days at a time. Amy has almost 70 days of vacation to burn, and we are looking for a trip to remember. We like to live a little on the edge (Not off a cliff or anything), and want the well traveled AIRforum members to help us plan a great trip.

I have recently been informed of a brother and sister that I have never met before. Leaving the family politics out, we have been speaking for a couple of weeks. I have decided that a destination for sure is Clearwater, Florida where they reside and attend school.

Our travels will begin on 1 May at the Rend Lake, IL rally. This rally ends on the 3rd of May. I have thought about making a trip from there to Huntsville, AL with hopes in seeing the NASA Airstream quarantine trailer. From there I was thinking of Panama City Beach, Florida where a good friend from high school is living with his family.

Some rules to play by.

1. Clear Water, Florida 3 nights and Panama City Beach, Florida 1-2 nights are must have stops on the tour.

2. Driving times per day are preferred not to exceed 8 hours including stops only for food and potty breaks.

3. Possible overnights can be electric only as long as there is a dump station on site. Courtesy parking would be great along the way. Preferred safe areas of course.

4. A trip up the East coast is fine providing we cover the other rules.

5. Lowest possible grade mountains if possible.

6. Activities appropriate for a 4 and a half year old please.

7. End date to be back in St. Louis, MO is May 17. Quite a good amount of time to cover some great country, see some sites, and hopefully meet some amazing people.

One final request....I would prefer to not spend 8 hours each day traveling. I would like to find places that offer several things to do, and maybe spend a day and a half or two. Driving 8 hours in a day, and setting up camp is not my idea of a trip. It may be a journey, but not an experience.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:04 PM   #2
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Here's a start...

Here is a thread that will cover the first segment of your trip through Florida

Love the section from Mexico Beach on to St. Marks. Stop at Wakulla Springs.
Home of Tarzan and Creature of the Black Lagoon Movies.

Hope it helps!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...era-37772.html
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:19 PM   #3
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Best of luck to you and education is always a great thing. We are in Malibu, Ca a bit out of your way however if you get up the east coast you can have free overnight parking at our sons house in Middlebury, Ct. If you have an extension cord you are ready to go. That may be a nice stop on the way to Boston from NYC. Let us know!
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:33 PM   #4
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Getting that far north on the East coast is likely an impossibility, but I would like to see it sometime.

Extra credit points to someone who takes us through Jackson Center en route back home.

Steve
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:48 AM   #5
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No problem Steve, If you are already in florida you might just want to see the Kennedy Space Center while on the road and when headed home from there travel up I-95 to Stone Mountain and Atlanta. Loads of civil war stuff to see and do. They have a great auditorium that has an interior that turns 360 degrees so as to view a panogramic painting of the battle for Atlanta. Coca Cola also has the headquarters there and is a good tour. Then head northwest on I-75 through the mountains to Chattanooga, Tn. and the Chickamauga battlefield. continue north on I-75 to Knoxville and take a side trip to Oak Ridge, Tn. to the site where the first tests were done for building the atomic bombs that ended the war with Japan. Just up the highway into Kentucky you will pass thru the Smokies and Daniel Boone territory. North into Ohio still on good old I-75 you will travel to Dayton and be in the home city of the Wright brothers. It is also the home to Wright/Patterson AFB and aviation museum. From there it is only about 45 minutes to JC. Is that enough for you or do I need to tell you that when you leave the factory you can drop back down to I-70 and head back for St. Louis going thru Indianapolis (Home of the INDY 500) and back into Illinois past the Moraine View rally site thru parts of Illinois where Lincoln traveled in his youth and fought the Blackhawk Indian Wars, not far from where I sit. It is less than 1 mile from my house to the Historical marker naming the site of some of the battles. I know you don't want to come the extra distance from I-70 to the Quad Cities but I just had to put in a plug for us while I was on this travelog. Hope this helps you to plan a great route. Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:54 AM   #6
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Congrats on going back to school, Steve! And on being able to plan such an awesome vacation!

I would say come through Kentucky and JC is only a few hours from here, but you'll be here in April. You're welcome to come back!

Susan
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:53 AM   #7
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With a child you should visit Disney World, staying a few nights in Ft. Wilderness campground.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:50 AM   #8
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Ed,

I have been to Atlanta many times to visit the Coke museum, underground Mall, etc. I have also visited Stone mountain, and the Civil War Battlefields. Some good suggestions though. I just want to ensure my 4 year old is kept entertained.

Dmac, I have seriously thought about Disney, but haven't looked into anything yet. Universal is also a consideration.

Thanks all...keep them coming!

Steve

On Edit.....Fort Wilderness wants $63 a night for Water and Electric. They are out, but I could camp elsewhere in Orlando easily.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:05 AM   #9
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Steve, The Diorama (SP?) in Atlanta was about to open when the premier for Gone With the Wind was in town in 1939 and the male lead actor (Clark Gable) went to see it at the request of the owner/artist. He asked if his likeness could be painted into the portrait. The owner said that it could be added. Unknown to Gable the owner wasn't happy with his (Gables') portayal as an anti war capitalist. (At the beginning of the movie you will recall Gable tells all the southern supporters of the war that the South will lose.) To spite Gable for his role as Rhett Butler in the movie he was painted in as a dead Union soldier. I believe that is the jist of the story if it isn't totally accurate. I have always enjoyed that bit of trivia. Hope you like it too! Ed
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:55 AM   #10
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I have found a small naval station in Panama City Beach to stay at for $15.00 per night with full hook ups!!!!!!

MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa had Full hookup beach camping for $18.00 per night.

I believe that Redstone has military rates near Huntsville as well....My trip to Tampa is pretty much finalized, now what to do after this.

Steve
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:20 PM   #11
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Gotta ask ... what kinda school?

inexpensive campground near Kennedy Space Center is KARS park - riverfront for under $25. Can see the cruise ships from Port Canaveral --- just over an hour to Disney/Universal. Maybe 15 minutes to Cocoa Beach and the infamous, Ron John Surf Shop. It's almost a theme park.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:05 PM   #12
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Fun Kill...as it currently stands, I will be attending school for Radiography.

I talked to my siblings who live in Palm Harbor, and have decided MacDill is a little too far. Looking more in the Clearwater, FL area for an RV park.

Anheuser Busch offers military families free Busch Gardens or sea world Orlando tickets. We're going to hit Busch gardens for sure, but still want to see one major attraction in Orlando.

Steve
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:13 PM   #13
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Disney Military Salute

Steve,

You do know about the free Disney five-park hopper pass (companion tickets for nominal charge) for active/retired members, right?

Check with the Tour & Travel Office at Scott, if you're interested....it is not being advertised very well.

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Old 02-25-2009, 01:45 PM   #14
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Chief,

I didn't know that. Is that only for the military members or for family as well?

Steve
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