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BansheeOne

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Nice, nice. Could you bring the Ferret to make someone feel young again? :D

Are you going to pay the $2000 round trip shipping costs?

 

More likely we can go by a friend's farm and look at the dingos. Or, perhaps Marc will let us get a ferret or dingo out of the museum and I can conduct some driver training. They need exercising anyhow.

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Well, we'll have a one-time Ferret commander at hand.

 

I've notified Banshee Seven of intended trip dates and cleared my own leave at the office. Will make final coordination within the Berlin Cell this week and book flights and accommodation. Surprised to hear of the problems with the Washington Metro; I found it a comfortable system last year, but of course travelled only between Union Station, Arlington and the Pentagon on two days.

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I found two reports about bedbugs in the Omni Shoreham. Pity, breakfast looks very, very appealing, up to Simon levels (almost).

 

Sheraton Reston looks bug-free. Fortunately, Washington DC has way less of a bedbug problem than NY.

 

I was first alerted to the problems in Washington metro by this article.

Edited by sunday
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The Hilton Garden inn at Dulles Greenway and Loudoun Co Parkway was decent enough. I stayed there for a week not 2 months ago.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Holiday+Inn+Washington-Dulles+Intl+Airport/@38.9959128,-77.4801544,16.67z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x2e40f3ee6efd3f6f!8m2!3d38.9845128!4d-77.4280785

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The Hilton Garden inn at Dulles Greenway and Loudoun Co Parkway was decent enough. I stayed there for a week not 2 months ago.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Holiday+Inn+Washington-Dulles+Intl+Airport/@38.9959128,-77.4801544,16.67z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x2e40f3ee6efd3f6f!8m2!3d38.9845128!4d-77.4280785

I live extended walking distance from this hotel. I cannot think of a closer one.

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Well, we'll have a one-time Ferret commander at hand.

 

I've notified Banshee Seven of intended trip dates and cleared my own leave at the office. Will make final coordination within the Berlin Cell this week and book flights and accommodation. Surprised to hear of the problems with the Washington Metro; I found it a comfortable system last year, but of course travelled only between Union Station, Arlington and the Pentagon on two days.

 

Preliminary schedule ideas?

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I am looking forward to stay 15th-27th.

 

Places to visit, in no particular chronological order:

North:

Gettysburg and Antietam battlefields, one or two days

 

East:

Washington DC, three or four days.

 

South:

 

Udvar-Hazy, one day.

VMMV, 19th-21th
Manassas battlefield, in the way to/from Fredericksburg, one day.
Fredericksburg, with 4 ACW battlefields. Also historic Fredericksburg. This could need 2 days, or even more.

Norfolk, with some BB goodness, one day.

 

This is enough to fill about 10-14 days, depending on how could things be combined. There are some museums in the Quantico area that could merit a visit, so this list is only a outline.

 

More on logistics that probably frequent travelers already knew, but I did not until I looked for it - about that Hilton Garden Inn Dulles North hotel that Ryan mentioned, seems you could apply for a free Hilton loyalty card and pay only for one occupant in a room with two persons, under some conditions. That could be useful for those able to share a room. Did a trial booking, and the result was about 62 bucks/night per person, taxes included.

This loyalty card also allows to earn Lufthansa/United miles, and staying more than 10 nights at once means an upgrade to the next level of the loyalty program. Moreover, one could save up to 15% when renting a car.

Edited by sunday
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My dates will depend on the vehicle tour, right now I'm thinking about catching a red eye the night before the tour and then staying through through the 27th Depending on the schedule I may spend one or two days 'working' from DC or since I've seen most of the downtown tourist sites going off on an ACW eastern theater binge for a few days.

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I'm looking at LH418 from Frankfurt, arriving IAD 1555L on the 17th. They run a 474-8 with Premium Economy, a definite plus with my leg length ... this would give the German contingent Thursday to acclimatize with light activities like strolling over the Mall before we supposedly step it up Friday to Sunday as the bulk of participants comes in. Despite the notes about the Metro, I'm still sticking to the Sheraton Reston for easy access to same, as some in the contingent might want to go on independent operations in DC while the rest goes for stuff they're not interested in, like climbing all over military vehicles, shooting, etc.; travel times downtown will obviously have to be accepted.

 

Definite weekend items would include the Udvar-Hazy Center and possibly Quantico. Others:

 

- VMMV (weekday; Friday or Monday would be good as immediately adjacent to the weekend for short-time participants, but Ryan is in charge of this)

 

- Range event (possibly widely popular, so maybe on the weekend if it can be fitted; CT96 in charge, but don't try to force it if it compromises your job! :D )

 

- Tour of Congress/White House if possible (obviously only really interesting for the furriners, so could be done some time after the weekend; I think Harold said he was going to look into this)

 

Auftragstaktik at its finest! :D

 

Activities ranging farther afield like Norfolk and the ACW battlefields would also be done after the weekend. Or in the case of Sunday and possible other early arrivers, maybe partly before.

 

Return could be LH417, leaving 1525 on the 27th; all later flights have Premium Economy sold out already, and I'm not good at sleeping on planes.

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I've already have a reservation at the Hilton Garden suggested by Ryan, but a flexible one with zero change/cancellation costs. There is in place some funky discount for checking in Thu-Sun, so one should arrive 14th or 18th in order to claim it. Anyway, it's way more affordable than the Sheraton, and the price difference would comfortably cover the costs of some trips to DC by Uber, especially if sharing a vehicle among several persons. Harold and I went over that yesterday.

 

Flights on 18th are cheaper too, and seems the way to go is the direct flight Lufthansa/United with ancient 767s. Despite the loyalty program of Lufthansa being less than desirable, as it is useful to obtain class upgrades only. Flying Iberia means flying BA, several hours waiting at LHR, and flights through BWI too.

 

I would book flights once I have that ESTA thing, not sooner than June, 29th. I hope that by then I could see if the early arrival, could be justified.

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I'll need a fairly firm headcount ASAP and a date or dates that I should request. The requests are first come first served and having multiple dates makes it more likely that we get in. That will be for the bog standard tour. I'll ask about getting something outside the ordinary but I'm not making any promises.

 

Looking at this page http://dcmetrohero.com/safetrackand the metro safetrack page it looks like work impacting the silver line between the hotel and downtown will be done before and after August.so they shouldn't be impacted by the construction. That doesn't rule out the usual problems that can be experienced on the metro, if nothing else come prepared to climb lots of stairs since the escalators have always been rather problematic in the stations.

Edited by Harold Jones
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For the VMMV, I'll make sure to make myself available - even if I have to skip most of the other events. Include me in the headcount.

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I'll need a fairly firm headcount ASAP and a date or dates that I should request. The requests are first come first served and having multiple dates makes it more likely that we get in. That will be for the bog standard tour. I'll ask about getting something outside the ordinary but I'm not making any promises.

 

Looking at this page http://dcmetrohero.com/safetrackand the metro safetrack page it looks like work impacting the silver line between the hotel and downtown will be done before and after August.so they shouldn't be impacted by the construction. That doesn't rule out the usual problems that can be experienced on the metro, if nothing else come prepared to climb lots of stairs since the escalators have always been rather problematic in the stations.

 

I'll attend if it's sufficiently convenient, that is, I don't have to jump through hoops like contacting the Bulgarian embassy or something. I'm a permanent resident so I don't think I should have to.

Also if it is close to the VMMV dates, if it's several days earlier or later I probably won't be able to show up.

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I'm looking at LH418 from Frankfurt, arriving IAD 1555L on the 17th. They run a 474-8 with Premium Economy, a definite plus with my leg length ...

 

[...]

 

Return could be LH417, leaving 1525 on the 27th; all later flights have Premium Economy sold out already, and I'm not good at sleeping on planes.

 

I have now booked these flights to secure convenient and affordable seats, but are holding off on the hotel pending composition and individual interests of the group solidifying. Unfortunately BansheeSeven is out since his boss chose to have his own vacation in the relevant timeframe; waiting for word from another party. I'm updating the running list with likely attendants and what they want to do.

 

Allan (most interested in ACW battlefields, Udvar-Hazy, Washington Navy Yard Museum, not interested in shooting, may rent car)

 

BansheeOne (all activities)

 

CT96 (local, with car, but may only participate on weekend, will definitely attend VMMV, possibly Udvar-Hazy and Manassas, may organize shooting event)

 

Dave (all activities except not interested in shooting)

 

Fritz (limited attendance around weekend, car, most interested in activities outside DC, National Electronics/Cryptology Museums, Capitol Hill/White House Tour)

 

Harold (most interested in ACW battlefields, USS Monitor Center, may organize Capitol Hill/White House tours)

 

Mike

 

Ryan (most interested in ACW battlefields, will organize VMMV tour)

 

Sunday (all activities; may rent car)

 

Possible extra: Pat (VMMV specifically)

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