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Vacation advice: Arizona? New Mexico?

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Vacation advice: Arizona? New Mexico?

Old 12-26-05, 04:42 PM
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Vacation advice: Arizona? New Mexico?

My parents invited me and my wife to vacation with them in April. They were going to go back to Hilton Head, SC since it's an easy drive from Atlanta. But I suggested we fly some place none of have visited before. We have to use his Marriott time share, so that narrows down the cities.

I'm thinking somewhere in New Mexico or Arizona (or possibly WAY down south in Florida... like the Keys). What is a good city to visit in either of those states for relaxation, warmth AND short little drives to interesting tourist sites? We fell in love with the desert the one time we visited Las Vegas and drove to the Grand Canyon. Want to try different things this time.
Old 12-26-05, 05:09 PM
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If you golf, AZ is pretty good around tha time. Just starting to get hot. Sedona is really nice to visit, if you are the artsy fartsy type.
Old 12-26-05, 05:14 PM
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Hmmm, I'm not 100% certain, but after looking on Marriott's site I might have jumped the gun starting this thread. Only Phoenix seems to be a likely desert candidate. I guess there are some decent tourist things to do outside the city?

Deftones, my father is golf nut, but I'm not into it at all. I'm sure that would be a helpful thing, though.
Old 12-26-05, 05:24 PM
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Albuquerque is cool. There's a Marriott here. In town, there are Old Town, art museums, the Atomic museum, a museum of natural History with iMax, galleries (including my own), the aquarium, botanical gardens and zoo, and unusual shops.

Easy day trips- La Ventana natural arch, and El Malpais lava fields. Casinos. Golf, riding, fishing. The Sandia crest (look DOWN at the sun from there) Santa Fe, Madrid, tinkertown, ice caves, scenic Rt 14 and old 66.

Plus, you know a couple of people here! (sort of)
Old 12-26-05, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
Plus, you know a couple of people here! (sort of)
I do, don't I?
Well, I think the Marriott's that deal in time sharing are a select few. They are nice for sure, but limited. I didn't see any in New Mexico, but I could be mistaken just by looking at their website. Albuquerque sounds like an intersting place to see. I'm sure if we don't make it out there this trip it will be on our list of areas to see one day. The desert really fascinates me!
Old 12-26-05, 06:09 PM
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I spent a few years in "The 'Buque" (yes, a nickname worse than "The ATL") and was often really bored. If you like staring at pretty scenery and walking/biking trails, you'll probably have a good time, but I wouldn't expect too much else. Santa Fe is like old town Stone Mountain with more turquoise, and the museums I saw weren't much better than Fernbank. There's nothing wrong with the place at all, and the people are nice, but I wouldn't actually plan a trip there. If you do go, drop by the Frontier Restaurant on Central to see what UNM students eat and maybe try some green chili stew. Also, for something unique, hit the K&I Diner for lunch and try a "Travis", which is this insane burrito-with-everything smothered in fries. A "full Travis" will feed a family of four, but they sell them in halves, quarters, and eighths.

Yes, the only thing I fondly remember about Albuquerque is the food.

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Old 12-26-05, 06:24 PM
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Yeah, a whole week in a place like Stone Mountain would be waaay too much. After more research, it does appear we have plenty of other choices other than Marriott. We could hit smaller cities like Sedona or Tucson, AZ. Hell, we'll probably chuck the idea and end up in a large city like Orlando or Miami.
Old 12-26-05, 10:37 PM
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Arizona is the place to go. Tucson has some cool things. The outdoor desert museum is there and close to that is Old Tucson. Old Tucson is where they filmed most of the western shows/movies up to a few years ago. Even though Tucson is right over the mountain, not much civiliazation can be seen so it looks like natural old west scenery. Just south of Tucson is Tombstone where the OK Corral is. Cool western town with several locations for recreations of old west shootouts.
Old 12-27-05, 12:22 AM
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don't fly. the Wagon Queen Family Truckster is the way to go.


Old 12-27-05, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Cameron
don't fly. the Wagon Queen Family Truckster is the way to go.


Old 12-27-05, 02:20 AM
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ARIZONA is the bomb!
Old 12-27-05, 02:36 AM
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If I went, I'd probably spend most of my time in a bar or other nice air-conditioned area. I despise the heat.

That probably wasn't too helpful for you, though.
Old 12-27-05, 10:04 AM
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Santa Fe Opera is world-class. The Santa Fe art museums have some excellent art, but there is no central location.

If you like the touristy stuff, you can be amused for a day by Santa Fe square and another by Albuquerque Old Town, but if you're like me you'll only be interested for an hour.

Albuquerque and Santa Fe have NO nightlife. Don't even think about it.

There is a lot of interesting scenery, which I always enjoy. The Taos loop, Bandelier national monument, numerous pueblos, Chaco Canyon, Sandia Peak Tram, Carlsbad Caverns. Mesa Verde in southern Colorado has amazing Anasazi cliff dwellings. It's a big state, so some places are a bit of a drive.

http://www.newmexico.org/favorites/index.php
Old 12-27-05, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
Albuquerque is cool.
Don't know if that has ever been said about ABQ before!

Santa Fe would be a good choice, if that's on your list of possible places. I would not choose ABQ unless you were already into southwest stuff. Otherwise, you might find it to be a dry, dusty city with little to offer (other than great green chile ).

As for AZ, if Sedona or Flagstaff are options, go there. Of course, I am assuming that you will be interested in the natural beauty. If that will only hold your interest for a short time, and you need city stuff to do, then neither place will be very good, and Phoenix is probably a better option.
Old 12-27-05, 11:05 AM
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Spring Training! Might be too late though.
Old 12-27-05, 11:34 AM
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As for AZ, if Sedona or Flagstaff are options, go there.
I'm going to look more into those cities. I saw some pix near Sedona and they were gorgeous. Don't care about city life for this type of vacation.
Old 12-27-05, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by atlantamoi
I'm going to look more into those cities. I saw some pix near Sedona and they were gorgeous. Don't care about city life for this type of vacation.
Plus, the further north you go of Phoenix (Sedona is about an hour and a half or so, and Flagstaff is about a shade over 2 hours north) the cooler it will be. So if it's in the 90's already in Phoenix, it will likely be in the mid 80's up north.
Old 12-27-05, 12:25 PM
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IMO AZ is a better vacation than NM. You have the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and some cool Indian ruins sites. In addition you can visit some cities like Phoenix, Tuscon, and Flagstaff.
Old 12-27-05, 08:50 PM
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I went to AZ this summer. If you can get up to the Grand Canyon and see Sedona, you've seen some of the most beautiful places in this country.
Old 12-28-05, 01:16 AM
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You might want to tell your parents to keep a close watch on their credit card bills...

Marriott Discloses Missing Data Files
Backup Tapes Lost At Time-Share Unit

By Michael S. Rosenwald
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 28, 2005; D01

Marriott International Inc.'s time-share division said yesterday that it is missing backup computer tapes containing credit card account information and the Social Security numbers of about 206,000 time-share owners and customers, as well as employees of the company.

Officials at Marriott Vacation Club International said it is not clear whether the tapes, missing since mid-November, were stolen from the company's Orlando headquarters or whether they were simply lost.

An internal investigation produced no clear answer. The company notified the Secret Service over the past two weeks, and has also told credit card companies and other financial institutions about the loss of the tapes.

The company began sending letters to time-share owners and customers Saturday, and issued a press release about the loss yesterday. Company officials said they delayed making the matter public until they had researched what information was on the tapes and whom it affected, and determined the issue was sensitive enough to warrant a broad disclosure.

"At this point, we are taking all things into consideration," company spokesman Ed Kinney said. "The tapes may have been taken, but they could have been misplaced. We're still investigating the situation."

The Vacation Club has told time-share owners, customers and the division's employees to be on the alert for changes to their credit histories or accounts. So far no one has reported any misuse, Kinney said. Those affected have been offered free credit monitoring services.

"We regret this situation has occurred and realize this may cause concern for our associates and customers," said Stephen P. Weisz, president of Marriott Vacation Club International, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bethesda hotel chain. More than 280,000 families use its time-shares worldwide.

The loss of Marriott's tapes is the latest in a series of high-profile security lapses involving data that can be used in identity theft schemes. In 2005, there were at least 134 data breaches affecting more than 57 million people, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, a California nonprofit that helps people hurt by identity theft and lobbies on computer-privacy issues.

Last February, ChoicePoint Inc. disclosed that it had released thousands of reports containing names, addresses, Social Security numbers and financial information to people posing as officials in legitimate insurance, debt-collection and check-cashing businesses. In June, MasterCard International said that Card Systems Solutions, which processes credit card transactions, had been hacked and that forty million people had their credit card information exposed.

Even high-security defense companies have been victimized. In January, thieves stole computers from Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego that contained personal data on thousands of current and past employees, including former military and intelligence officials.

It is not clear how many cases of identity theft have been caused by the data breaches. There are about 10 million cases of identify theft a year, with total losses of $53 billion, said Robert Douglas, a Colorado privacy consultant and chief executive of PrivacyToday.com.

The costly identity theft schemes have caused state and federal lawmakers to fight for tighter protection of personal data and quick disclosures of breaches.

In 2003, California became the first state to pass a rigorous disclosure law requiring that organizations inform individuals if their personal information is compromised. More than 20 states have passed similar laws since then. Congress is considering more than two dozen bills on what companies should be required to do in data breach cases.

"For the longest time, people have said it's the consumers' fault," Douglas said. "They don't shred their bank statements at home, or what have you. But since the California law was passed now we are learning how much of this information has been breached and is floating around out there."

"We try to be proactive in cases like this," Kinney said. "We followed our own process of being open and proactive."

Kinney said the tapes, which require specialized equipment to access, were the responsibility of the company's information resources group. Citing company policy, he declined to say if anyone from the group had been dismissed or disciplined because of the disappearance of the tapes.
Old 12-28-05, 09:48 AM
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Sedona and the surrounding area is really lovley, but I have to warn you... it's chock full of newage. Be prepared for talk of vibes from the stones, UFO's, and ancient Indian mysticism of the sort that makes real Native Americans fall over laughing.

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