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Old 06-08-2019, 12:05 PM   #1
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Pack Up + Go: A Mini-IRL Dynasty

For the past couple years, I've been planning to go abroad for my 40th birthday - either Argentina or Peru. But when Mom died in late January, I sunk into a months-long functional depression (still there, though I take active steps to combat it). By the time I got out enough to start thinking of a trip, all the Machu Picchu trail trips were sold out, and I wasn't sure I'd have the money anyway. Plus, before she died, Mom made my sister and I promise to use some of the inheritance to go to Australia together, which we'll probably do in the next couple years, which would also cross one of the continents off my bucket list (and leave only South America and Antarctica to go).

I still wanted to go somewhere, though. One of my other bucket list items has been to go to an airport and buy a ticket to the next plane leaving, no matter where. But then I remembered months ago I read about Pack Up + Go, which plans surprise 3 day/2 night trips somewhere in the US. It's something I also wanted to do, so went for it.

For two or more people, the minimum is $650/person. For single travelers like me, it's $1000 per person minimum (due to hotel costs being split with multiple travelers and other things). So I signed up, filled out an extensive survey (part of which you'll see in a screenshot below), and paid my $1,000.

They sent an initial email confirming, then a second email reminding of the trip a few weeks later, and today I got the long-awaited weather report and packing tips email:



I've redacted dates and flight info so people don't reverse engineer and try to figure out where it's going (I'm keeping this a surprise until I get to the airport).

My immediate thoughts are that we're headed somewhere in the Northern part of the US. Putting this together and the following excerpt from my survey:



A couple other notes: They've never sent anyone to places like New York City and LA, based on the philosophy that people will book their own trips there (despite that there's still an early vote for NYC). I also mentioned later in the survey that I hated Philadelphia when I visited there.

With all that in mind, my initial guesses are Seattle, Portland, and Boston.

The current running vote tally from the Facebook crowd:
Seattle: 4
San Francisco: 3
Boston: 1
Portland: 1
Denver: 1
New York City: 1
Cour d'Alene, Idaho: 1 (the Pumpy Tudors option)

I've allowed people a max of 3 cities for guesses, though most have chosen 1 or 2. Personally I don't think it'll be San Francisco, though I did ponder it for a minute - I feel like it's too short a flight and would be more something Pack Up + Go would do for a road trip option ($400/person for multi-, $650 a person for single travelers on that).

I'm really looking forward to this.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:58 PM   #2
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Big shift in the Facebook voting. A rush of San Francisco votes and an additional Seattle pick cemented an even more commanding two-way race, and a flip in positions. Tally now is as follows:

San Francisco 7
Seattle 5
New York 2
Boston 1
Denver 1
Portland 1
Couer d'Alene 1 (Pumpy option)

New York picked up an additional vote, and the original lone voter there hasn't changed despite info. I *still* think SF is too close to Vegas (9 hours by freeway, 1 hour by air) to be an option, but we'll see what happens.

An envelope will arrive 2-4 days before my trip and I could cheat then, but I'll wait until I get to the airport the way it's meant to be.

BTW, y'all FOFCers who haven't voted already can chime in. Just try not to reverse-engineer it.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:54 AM   #3
AnalBumCover
College Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: La Mirada, CA
Following along. I've never heard about Pack up + Go. I'm really interested. Does this sound like they create trips for mainly adult travelers? Anything about trips for families with, say an 8-10 yo in tow?

My vote is somewhere in the PNW. I'd say Seattle or Portland.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:22 AM   #4
thehitcat
H.S. Freshman Team
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
It's never that sunny in Seattle

I'll go Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine as my two choices (though the museum thing doesn't really track for either.)
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:23 PM   #5
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
Following along. I've never heard about Pack up + Go. I'm really interested. Does this sound like they create trips for mainly adult travelers? Anything about trips for families with, say an 8-10 yo in tow?

My vote is somewhere in the PNW. I'd say Seattle or Portland.

Yes, families can take them. From their FAQ:

Quote:
I have kids. Can they come, too?
Yes! We love planning trips for families. If your children have any specific interests (or any strong dislikes!) please be sure to mention them when you're filling out the survey. We'll make sure to include plenty of family-friendly and age-appropriate recommendations so everyone will have a great time. We may also reach out to you directly when planning your trip to gather some additional information.

Quote:
It's never that sunny in Seattle

I'll go Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine as my two choices (though the museum thing doesn't really track for either.)

Yeah I thought maybe June would bring some sunshine to Seattle - hence why I tossed it in as one of my own personal votes. We'll see, though!

Today is Mom's first birthday without her on this Earth. She would have been 69.
Spoiler
(Spoiler contains spiritual/religious content that some folks probably don't want to read, so I've spoilered it for those folks)

In Pack Up + Go news, the package arrived today!



My postal carrier handled it roughly, sadly to say. Cue Facebook friends all OMG how can you have the self control to wait until Saturday?! I'd open it right away. And I'm just like... that'd spoil the surprise and ruin the whole point of it all.

Still, I recognized temptation might get me in a weak moment, so I addressed the situation:



I figured using a photo album and my much-loved and read copy of The Gambler was appropriate cover for this situation

Between more Facebook votes and the ones here, there's been a massive change again.

San Francisco 9
Seattle 7
Portland (OR) 6
New York 3
Denver 2
Washington DC 2
Boston 1
Portland (ME) 1
Couer d'Alene 1

San Fran is still tops, but it couldn't gain any more ground. Portland (the Oregon one) leaped out of nowhere to charge to a close third, turning this into a three city race. People who didn't read the damn email portion added DC, while New York continues to get some traction from the people who didn't read that New York isn't one of the places PU+G sends folks to.

I remain baffled that Boston hasn't gotten more traction. Not necessarily contending with the top 3, but in the running.

Not long to go now. Despite some people thinking the days will drag by, I think they'll go by pretty quickly. I'm still nervous my replacement instructors permit hasn't arrived yet, and it's cutting it close to the deadline. It was in a wallet along with like $30 that got accidentally donated in a backpack while we were cleaning my parents' house out a couple weeks ago.

That just means a more lengthy screening process, but the less hassle the better obviously.
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Last edited by Izulde : 06-10-2019 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:05 PM   #6
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
With the addition of some coworker votes and a couple others elsewhere, we've had some interesting developments in the running tally:

San Francisco 14
Seattle 13
Portland (OR) 9
New York 4
Denver 3
Portland (ME) 2
Washington DC 2
Austin 1
Albuquerque 1
Asheville (NC) 1
Flagstaff 1
Boston 1
Couer d'Alene 1

San Francisco and Seattle have turned this back into a two-way race, with Seattle tying a couple times before dropping back one vote behind. Portland (OR) is still in third, but now clearly alone in Tier 2.

New York continues to get some support for whatever reason, but Denver picked up another vote, as did the Other Portland. Most intriguing result of the current work vote (more might appear): The rush-in of three A-named cities (Austin, Albuquerque, and Asheville-NC) alongside Flagstaff, AZ (which state name preserves the A-listing).

The overwhelming consensus is that it's almost certainly a West Coast destination, with few considering the East as viable (though I think that well could still be in play).

Breaking it down regionally:

West Coast: 38 votes
Mountain West: 4 votes (75% of which are Denver
Southwest: 3 votes (1 a piece here - Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Austin)
East Coast: 10 votes (60% of which are the ineligible NYC and DC)

The entire Midwest and the Deep South are absent representation (unless you want to count Asheville as Deep South, though I'd consider it more Mid-Atlantic).

No question though - West Coast bias. Even if you combine every other category, West Coast's 38 votes win 69.1% of the current tally. Insert your own jokes here for that percentage.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:05 AM   #7
AnalBumCover
College Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: La Mirada, CA
It's been a month. Did this trip happen yet?
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:54 PM   #8
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Yes! I forgot to update here, though bombarded Facebook with photos and commentary and such (reminds me I still have to write my recap there, too).

Will try to get something up tonight or tomorrow before I leave for Comic-Con.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:43 PM   #9
Chas in Cinti
High School Varsity
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Don't you know our lurking is much more important than living your *real* life... c'mon man!
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