"Have Beard, Will Travel" Krakken232's Profile

Montana

I'm from Montana, the great frontier, the last best place! I love history, architecture, and natural beauty, and love to travel to new places to see firsthand some of the things I've read about since I was a kid. Sometimes it's tough finding the time to get out of my home territory, because when you live in Montana, there is so much to see, do, and explore right outside your front door.

Philippines - 2007

I lived for about 6 months in the Philippines working with a humanitarian organization. I experienced the wonderful people of this country every day and was constantly amazed by their generosity, friendliness, and general good will. I also consumed by far the strangest foods I've ever had in my life over the course of the short time I was there, including my first (and only) dog.

Spain - 2011

I took my first (for fun) trip the year I got out of college. After getting sick of all my friends travelling to exciting locations on their parents' dime, I finally scraped enough money together to go see something new on my own. Despite having extremely limited knowledge of Spanish, and never having used public transportation before (we don't have any here!), with the help of the friendly people in the VirtualTourist forums I made an itinerary and got it done! Amazing trip - solo wasn't AS nice as I thought it would be, I definitely would have liked someone to share the whole thing with, and I discovered that around two weeks truly is my burnout time on travelling... But it was definitely a formative experience.

Virgin Islands - 2012

Honeymoon time! Beautiful place, very vibrant and laid back, fun people. Tough to beat the heat unless you are in the ocean 24/7 though...

Italy - 2013

Finally the dream vacation! My wife and I took a whirlwind tour of this beautiful country and saw most of the major attractions we had looked forward to all our lives. In between the craziness of rushing from place to place we took a break for a few days to explore Tuscany by car, and a few days to rest up in Cinque Terre, both of which were amazing. After a great mix of city and rural experiences, we capped the trip off with a few days in Venice, which I had dreamed of seeing ever since I was a little kid.

  • Intro Updated Mar 13, 2014
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Comments (1)

  • Mar 12, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Hello, I've been reading the thread you started about renting a car in Rome vs. Siena. My family is heading into the exact same situation and am wondering what you chooses and what you would recommend? Thank you -Donna

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      Mar 13, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      Hey! We ended up taking a bus from Rome to Siena and renting a car from Hertz in Siena. The Hertz staff was quite friendly and the place was conveniently located about a 5 - 10 minute walk from the bus/train depot in Siena - we then drove (with the help of the GPS unit we rented with the car) to a lot outside the city gate to explore the city for the day, then used the car for the rest of our time in Tuscany. I chose Hertz because we were going to Florence afterward and, considering they had an office open on Sundays in Florence, it made more sense to just drive up there since we already had the car (we also got a free upgrade to a diesel SUV because we were returning it to Florence... for some reason...).

      Here were my deciding factors - and they may be different from yours:

      1) I was scared as hell of driving in Italy - I'd never driven in Europe before. It turned out to be no big deal, but I was much more comfortable having my first experience be out of Siena than out of Rome! If this is not the case for your family, then that might change your decision, but Rome was INTIMIDATING for a Montana boy with no European driving experience.

      2) We took the bus from Rome to Siena, which was very cheap and convenient. However, we were two 25 year olds with backpacks and were very mobile. The main bus depot in Rome is huge and a little confusing, we had to ride the metro there in the morning, and we missed the first bus to Siena. The 5 to 10 minute walk from the bus depot in Siena to the Hertz office was pretty easy, but it was hot as hell and on a pretty busy street. All of this would have possibly been a nightmare with 5 kids in tow, or whatever (haha again I don't know what your situation is), just a heads up!

      So yeah - if I was to do it all over again I would probably do it the exact same way. Having a car in Tuscany was the only way to go in my opinion, travelling the countryside at your own pace is an amazing experience, GPS was a necessity, etc, etc.

      I'd be more than happy to answer any specifics or other questions about the area in general -- I've gotten a TON of help from people on this forum, so I'd love any opportunity to pay it forward. Good luck!

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Krakken232

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Real Name
James
Location
Kalispell, Montana
Member Since
Nov 7, 2010

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