This website is awesome and friendly and I have enjoyed reading everyone's experiences. This is my first post..soooo here goes.....
I'd appreciate some wisdom to help the parents of our exchange student travel safely from New Orleans to Michigan then to Chicago. The French speaking couple (limited English skills) will arrive in New Orleans in early June 2010. They love to hike or rent bikes, and they also love wine. They enjoy some town cultural experiences, but they appreciate art and architecture as well. I do not know yet what type of car they will rent. They do not have a SET number of days in each preferred city, but they did say they wanted to visit these cities. (except Louisville is flexible too)
Their rough itinerary follows:
1. New Orleans: ARRIVE JUNE 3
2. Savannah, GA (I tried to get them to pick either Savannah or Charleston, but either my French is too poor or they REALLY want to see both of these great cities really badly...) Is there a closer town along this route...It will be a long day of driving between these first two cities, I keep explaining that the distances are great.
3. Charleston, SC (AND they want to really experience the mountains on the way to Nashville)
4. Nashville, TN (HOW IS THIS TOWN RIGHT NOW? I HEARD THERE WAS MUCH FLOOD DAMAGE HERE RECENTLY?)
5. Louisville, KY (if they do not want to drive straight through to MI)
6. Northern Michigan (to see their son and our home town) ARRIVE JUNE 12 or 13
7. Chicago, IL JUNE 16 or 17 and depart JUNE 20 (because they booked their return ticket from here and they'd like to drive on Route 66..if only for a short distance.......)
They will be traveling with a GPS. Are GPS directions generally correct regarding time/distance/directions in the moutains or does the GPS offer advice without taking into consideration the terrain/rate of speed?
My biggest questions/concerns revolve around the trip from either Charleston or Savannah to Nashville. I am not familiar with this area of our country.
A. What route would be the best for this leg of the trip?
B. They are not afraid of winding mountain roads, and I think they'd even spend the night in a small town if there was a suggestion of a special place or attraction...hot springs, wine tasting areas maybe?
C. Will it be ok for them to not book hotels ahead of time because they are not sure how long they will stay in each city?
D. The father really wants to be able to drive on Route 66, even if only for a short distance. Before they leave from O'Haire, would this be possible? IS there any landmark or location indicating the beginning of the "historical Mother Road"? Is there an interesting sight for them to seek here before leaving for Switzerland?
E. Do they have too much planned for their time constraints? June 3- June 20
I do appreciate any comments. Their son has become our son this year. I have truly enjoyed learning about their country through emails in French. They have been practicing English and are very brave to tackle this huge trip. I'd love to help them enjoy our country.
Thank you for any help. :)