Topic Wiki

Since this TR covers a couple of cities, I created this wiki to help sort it out.

Planning Stage
Booking Stage
Chicago
L.A. Part 1
Hawaii Day 1
Hawaii Day's 2 & 3
L.A. Part 2
« Last edited by shulem92 on October 27, 2016, 02:46:17 PM »

Author Topic: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago  (Read 4532 times)

Online mmgfarb

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2016, 09:41:53 PM »
WOW! Just read through the whole thing. Great TR!! Really getting a cheshek to head out there now.
You didn't have one before?
"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

Offline sag95

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2016, 09:45:17 PM »
You didn't have one before?
Sure I did. But it just got a lot more real. Now I think I'll push the DW a little more. I think I should show her this TR. I think that might do it.

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2016, 09:47:22 PM »
Sure I did. But it just got a lot more real. Now I think I'll push the DW a little more. I think I should show her this TR. I think that might do it.
"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

Offline shulem92

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2016, 01:32:32 AM »
It must have been jet lag, because we woke up at 6 AM. We're lucky that we did, because we were treated to a gorgeous sunrise from our porch.

Sunrise From Keauhou Resort by shulem 92, on Flickr

Sunrise From Keauhou Resort (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Sunrise From Keauhou Resort (8) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Sunrise From Keauhou Resort (9) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Sunrise From Keauhou Resort (10) by shulem 92, on Flickr

sheraton sunrise (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

sheraton sunrise by shulem 92, on Flickr

We ate breakfast, grilled lunch in the sandwich maker, and headed out for the day.
We drove for around an hour enjoying the gorgeous scenery overlooking the ocean. We turned off the highway to our first stop, Miloli'i Beach Park. The road to get there is a bit scary, as its a steep, windy road, with hairpin curves, and its only one lane. But its pretty much deserted so we never really had an issue. From the highway, I would say you're going down probably a mile, elevation wise, so the view on the way down is truly incredible. (Unfortunately our GoPro died while shooting this video, so it got lost for eternity 😞.)

scenic drive kona (5) by shulem 92, on Flickr

scenic drive kona (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

drive to Miloli'i Beach Park (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

drive to Miloli'i Beach Park by shulem 92, on Flickr

We got to the beach, and they had a small bathroom there that we changed in. The beach was nice, but that's not what we came for, we came for the Honomalino Bay beach. It involves a 25 minute hike, through rainforest, lava fields, and a wading pool, but the beach was gorgeous. Perfect! Black sand beach, with palm trees in the background, and not a soul in sight! I can not properly describe how nice it was. I wasn't expecting it to be so nice, because the guidebook said that it got partially wiped away by the Japanese Tsunami a couple of years ago. We hung out there for a bit, until some Chinese tourists showed up. On our way back, we saw a bunch of Hawaiian Garden Spiders, which look dangerously scary. We also passed a couple of wild Noni trees. We got back to our car, thankfully it wasn't broken into, despite the guidebook's premonitions.

Enroute To Honomalino Beach (8) by shulem 92, on Flickr

private beach on the way to honomalino bay (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

private beach on the way to honomalino bay by shulem 92, on Flickr

hike to honomalino bay (4) by shulem 92, on Flickr

hike to honomalino bay (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

hike to honomalino bay (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Enroute To Honomalino Beach by shulem 92, on Flickr

Enroute To Honomalino Beach (4) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Honomalino Beach by shulem 92, on Flickr

Honomalino Beach (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Honomalino Beach (5) by shulem 92, on Flickr

honomalino bay by shulem 92, on Flickr

honomalino Beach (6) by shulem 92, on Flickr

hawaiin noni fruit (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

hawaiin garden spider by shulem 92, on Flickr

Next stop: South point. The southernmost point in the United States Of America. The road out there, is a drop bigger than a one lane road, so you have to be careful, and not go too fast. Its a little surreal, as it kind of feels like you have reached the bottom of the globe. There is ocean on your right side, and straight ahead of you, and that's where you're headed. The turbines give it a "green" feel. When we got there, we parked and went to look around. You are standing on a cliff 40 feet above the ocean. People were jumping off into the ocean, and climbing back up this old rickety ladder. This young college dude jumped in to prove his macho-ness to his friends. After he climbed back up, his flip-flop went sailing into the ocean, and he absolutely wouldn't jump in again to go save it. I couldn't stop laughing😂😂. There was a blowhole in the rock that led straight down to the ocean. Only one person was brave enough to jump in. If you didn't time the waves properly you would get smashed against the rocks.

turbines on the way to south point by shulem 92, on Flickr

south point by shulem 92, on Flickr

south point (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

south point (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

south point (4) by shulem 92, on Flickr

South Point Cliffs by shulem 92, on Flickr

South Point Cliffs (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

After soaking in the gorgeous view for a while it was time for the next activity.
There's a dirt parking lot where a couple of locals are capitalizing on tourists. They offer you a ride to the green sand (Mahana) beach in their 4X4's. Totally worth the $15 that they charge! You park your car and hop into the pick up truck. After a grueling 15 minute drive, we arrived at Mahana beach. You have to climb down 150 feet, on steps that are carved on to the mountainside. I didn't believe it until we actually saw the sand up close, but the sand was really green! A beautiful shade of olive green. Apparently there is some chemical called olivine that was in one of the volcanoes that blew, and that's why the sand is green. The beach itself is a very nice beach, with a mountain on one side, and rocks on the other, serving as natural breakers. The driver gave us a half hour and then we headed back to the truck. On the way back we decided to be a bit more adventurous and ride standing up in the bed of the pickup. You have to hold on real tight when trying to climb a 90 degree hill. We made it back in one piece B"H, and got back into our nice air-conditioned car. At this point we realized that we may have to cut out some parts of our plans, because we didn't have enough time. We decided to head for Volcanoes National Park (VNP), as we wanted to see some volcano action both at day and at night.

Green Sand (Mahana) Beach (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Green Sand (Mahana) Beach (4) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Green Sand (Mahana) Beach (5) by shulem 92, on Flickr

green sand (mahana) beach (7) by shulem 92, on Flickr

green sand (mahana) beach (10) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Green Sand (Mahana) Beach (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Green Sand (Mahana) Beach by shulem 92, on Flickr

off road shoreline by shulem 92, on Flickr

off road shoreline (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

On the way to VNP we literally passed right by Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. Even though we already experienced a black sand beach that day, the guidebook says that this is the nicest one, so we jumped of of the car to check it out. Truly gorgeous, and the black sand was very fine. The water was frigid, as there's some sort of freshwater spring right there. It's a shame that we didn't have too much time to spend there, as the turtles like to hang out there. Oh well. We sped off to VNP, only to start encountering dreary, chilly, misty weather.

punalu'u black sand beach (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

punalu'u black sand beach (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

punalu'u black sand beach by shulem 92, on Flickr

TIP: bring your sweatshirts with you as the weather on top of the volcano can be quite chilly.
Next stop: Volcano National Park (VNP). We pulled into the park entrance, payed the $20 car fee, and stopped at the visitors center. There is a huge display there showing you what to do based on order of importance, and how much time you have. It was already close to 6PM and sunset was around 7PM. We stopped off at the steam vents, where there is hot steam coming out of these holes in the ground. Kind of reminded me of the subway vents in NYC😂. We walked to the lookout which overlooks Kilauea Volcano. Unfortunately the weather was so voggy that we couldn't see a thing more than 10 feet in front of us.

steam vents (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

steam vents (4) by shulem 92, on Flickr

jaggar museum (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

jaggar museum (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

We then drove over to the Jaggar Museum which basically has any information you ever wanted to know about volcanoes. We were almost ready to call it a day, when suddenly we heard noises from the crowd outside. Lava had been spotted! Despite the misty conditions, 2 fountains of lava were clearly visible through the haze. As the skies darkened, the vog cleared up until the lava shone like the sun. We stood there mesmerized watching the lava. It was like a water fountain, just in hot orange liquid. Something you never will forget for your entire life. We looked up at the skies and saw thousands of stars all clear as day. I can only imagine how the sky looks from the observatory on Mauna Kea's summit. It was truly a glorious end to a wonderful day.



lava first glimpse (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

lava (5) by shulem 92, on Flickr

lava (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

lava (4) by shulem 92, on Flickr

When we got back to the hotel we noticed a bunch of boats in the water congregating right near our porch. After checking it up in the guide book, I saw that there are these huge mantra rays that feed around the Sheraton, and there are tons of scuba tours that come and watch them.

sheraton night view by shulem 92, on Flickr

We woke up the next morning bright and early. Right down the hill from the resort there is a rental place. We rented a double kayak and billed it to our room. We kayaked for around a half hour and then headed back. After returning the kayak, we jumped into the water with our snorkeling gear. The view is amazing. All sorts of colorful tropical fish munching on the the coral reef. Unfortunately we didn't get any good pictures😥.
We ran back to our room as it was very late. Our flight was at 1:10 and if we missed it we would run into shkiah problems. We checked out at 12 and got to the airport at 12:35. In hindsight I should have checked in first and then returned my car, but I wasn't thinking too clearly. We show up at the counter, and the lady tells us "sorry we can't accept luggage less than 45 minutes before the flight". I told her OK, I'll walk it through security, and check it at the gate. No can do. I was starting to get upset, because this airport is so small, she could have literally taken our bags and walked to the plane in 30 seconds. Oh well, nothing she can do for us, except route us through San Francisco. Annoying, but we has to get off the island before shkiah! At least she booked us into economy plus exit rows. It was pretty annoying that the entertainment system was down, but we really needed to catch up on some sleep anyway. (We later received $100X2 credit from United for compensation for the entertainment system, so it was worth it😎.)

Thus ended our honeymoon in Hawaii, but more is yet to come. Stay tuned...

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2016, 04:09:56 AM »
It keeps getting better and better!

Offline shulem92

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2016, 02:34:34 PM »
We landed in SFO at 9:30 PM PDT. Our flight from San Francisco was delayed till 12 AM, so we took a walk around the airport. Very modern airport! We landed in LAX at 1 AM PDT. They were doing construction in the airport, so they had everyone walk through the United lounge, and out a side door.
We headed over to national, and got into a nice Chrysler 300. The gate attendant asked me for my Honeywell ID, and would only let me take the car for an additional $500. I returned the car to the stall, and went to wait for the outgoing shuttle. We convinced the driver that since no one was going to the airport anyway, and because it was 2 AM, to drive us to Hertz. I made a compact reservation at Hertz, and got into a Hyundai Sonata. It normally wouldn't be my first choice, but there were very few cars on the lot. We drove to the house that we were staying at, and called it a night.
The next morning we went to the first kosher place we saw for breakfast which happened to be Eilat Bakery. I got the breakfast burrito, and DW got the Santa Fe salad. I found the sauces very random. Peanut sauce on eggs?? And neither of us liked the salad. Its a bit pricey too. Not a fan.

Eilat Bakery's Santa Fe Salad (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Eilat's Egg Breakfast Burrito by shulem 92, on Flickr

We went to Pico Kosher Deli to buy some takeout food for shabbos, which was reasonably priced, and tasted pretty good Friday night. We made a small stop by Ralph's to get some more stuff for Shabbos. Shabbos we just relaxed and rested up, after our very full week.
Motzai Shabbos we drove over to Santa Monica, and checked in to the Le Meridien. They upgraded us to a king suite. Unfortunately all 3 suites with the outdoor hot tub were already taken :( It's a fairly modern hotel. Free valet. The suite we we're given was "only" 500 ft². It had 2 balconies with lounge chairs overlooking the pool. Our room had Apple TV. It's the first time I've seen one, and I'm not too impressed. (It did help though, that the last 5 people who used it never logged out😎.) It had that downtown city feel though, where the hotel is trying to jam as many rooms as possible into their design.

Le Meridien (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Le Meridien (5) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Le Meridien (7) by shulem 92, on Flickr

le meridien (10) by shulem 92, on Flickr

After putting our bags down, we went to Nagila Pizza for Melave Malka. The nachos were just that, nachos. I mean, they weren't bad, but nothing to write home about. We also had the mushroom pizza which was pretty good.

Nagila's Nachos by shulem 92, on Flickr

We went for a walk down to the pier, (it's around 15 minutes walking distance from the hotel). When we got there, we thought there was a concert going on, as hundreds of people were streaming down the pier. Turns out they were all engrossed in their phones. I'll give you 3 guesses what it was. Pokémon Go! After a drop of googling, we found out that Santa Monica Pier is one of the hottest places in America for rare creatures. (I'm still not sure how this game works, so if anyone can enlighten me, it would be appreciated.) Utterly ridiculous! People weren't even watching where they were going. We saw a couple pushing 2 strollers, and both parents were totally engrossed in their phones! On the way back we passed the original Muscle Beach, which is a pretty cool concept.

Santa Monica Pier (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr



Sunday morning dawned bright and early. Our last day of vacation :( We went to Bibi's Bakery for breakfast and got the breakfast special.

Bibi's Breakfast Special by shulem 92, on Flickr

We also bought some mini pita's for our flight the next day. We then went to Glatt Mart to buy some food for the flight, and a bottle of wine for our Shabbos hosts. I made reservations to go jet skiing in Oxnard at 6 PM. Followed by a reservation in Tierra Sur for 7:30. I disregarded Waze's concern for traffic, and headed north on the PCH. The drive was stunning!! It was totally worth the extra 20 minutes of traffic.

pch by shulem 92, on Flickr

pch (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

pch (4) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Our destination was SoCal rentals in Channel Islands. We got there early so we could go to the beach there, without the pressure of having to run to the jetskiing place. I never knew we had such a town in America, but Channel Islands, is like a mini Venice. Every other street is a little canal. Everyone's got their boats in their "backyard's". In a way its nicer than Venice, because of the palm trees😂. We tanned on the beach for a bit, soaking in the last rays of sun on our vacation. The beach was totally deserted, as there are miles of beaches for very few inhabitants who live out there.

channel island beach by shulem 92, on Flickr

channel island beach (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

channel island beach (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Pricing on the jetski wasn't bad, $120 an hour for a 2-seater. We also took the wetsuits for an additional $10 pp. We headed down to the dock, and were shocked to see tons of seals hanging out on the dock. We followed our guide out of the harbor and took it full throttle. Kind of disappointing, as they don't let you out into the ocean by yourself, instead you have to stay behind the breaker. It's a pretty long stretch, so I was able to get it up to 50mph, but it felt a drop restrictive. Almost ran over a bunch of seals, a couple of times. Sunset was incredible at the dock. Its a 20 minute drive from Channel Islands to Tierra Sur. We were both too bombed to do any of the wine tasting, so we skipped that. (I know, I know, what was the point of going, then?) The food was out of this world! We started with the Charcuterie Board, which consists of: Chicken Liver Custard with Chicken Cracklings and Strawberry-Balsamic Compote, Beef Cheek & Sweetbread & Veal Tongue Pâté en Croûte, and Veal with Black Truffle Terrine.
I didn't like the liver custard, the texture threw me off. The Beef cheek was pretty good, and the Veal was amazing. For the main course I ordered the 12 oz Grass Fed Uruguayan Ribeye steak which was one of the best steaks I've ever had. I especially liked the red wine demi. DW got the Spencer steak, which was also delicious. For dessert we ordered the Molten Chocolate Cake and the Blueberry Crumble. The blueberry crumble was amazing if you're a blueberry-type-of-person, (which we are😁). Instead of bringing us the Chocolate Cake, they brought us the Churros. They corrected their mistake and brought us the cake also. The Churros aren't bad if you like cinnamon, and the cake had too much cherry flavor in it, but the pistachio ice cream that accompanies the cake was pretty good.
Overall it was one of the best restaurants I have ever been to!

Tierra Sur's Charcuterie Board by shulem 92, on Flickr

Tierra Sur's Charcuterie Board (4) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Tierra Sur's 12 oz Ribeye Steak by shulem 92, on Flickr

Tierra Sur's Spencer Steak (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

Tierra Sur's Blueberry Crumble by shulem 92, on Flickr

Tierra Sur's Churros by shulem 92, on Flickr

After dinner we quickly took the self guided tour. In our case it was a drop more literal, as I used to work in Kedem during Pesach Bein Hazmanim's, so I was able to give DW a fully detailed tour of all the equipment😁.
Somehow we made it back to Santa Monica, even though we were bombed. We packed up, and prepared food for the flight. The next morning we checked out of the hotel, returned our car to Hertz, and checked our luggage in with Southwest. TSA pre was a breeze, (even though we got pulled to the side because our guacamole looked suspicious, I guess...). We had a flight back to EWR with a stopover in MDW. The stop was totally worth it, because the route to Chicago passes right over gorgeous scenery in Utah. The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Zion National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park. Since I had done the national park road trip in the past, I was able to point out all the different parks to DW. I never had such good entertainment on a flight before.

Departing LAX by shulem 92, on Flickr

Departing LAX (5) by shulem 92, on Flickr

flight over utah by shulem 92, on Flickr

flight over utah (5) by shulem 92, on Flickr

flight over utah (2) by shulem 92, on Flickr

flight over utah (3) by shulem 92, on Flickr

flight over utah (4) by shulem 92, on Flickr


We passed over these interesting circles and half circles. i refer to them in my pictures as Area 51. If anyone knows what they really are, feel free to PM me please...

Area 51 by shulem 92, on Flickr

Our plane was delayed in MDW for a bit. Before we knew it we were back on the East Coast. Our grand honeymoon was over :(

I would like to thank all my fellow ddf'ers who helped make this trip a reality.
Any particular questions, feel free to PM me

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed, because we definitely did!😂😂

Offline shulem92

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2016, 02:49:44 PM »
wiki added

Offline srf60

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2016, 12:54:19 AM »
Wow, just read this thru, great tr! And some amazing pics too!!

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2016, 08:25:55 AM »
Sounds like a great trip.  Why didn't you ask United for compensation for rerouting you through SFO?

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2016, 11:25:37 AM »
wiki added
You only added the Chicago part to the Wiki, can you add the Big Island and LA part also.

Offline shulem92

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2016, 12:56:09 PM »
You only added the Chicago part to the Wiki, can you add the Big Island and LA part also.
I meant that I made a wiki in the beginning of this thread. I don't want to mess up the Master thread wiki, so I'm waiting for someone else to add it for me

Offline shulem92

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2016, 12:06:09 AM »
You only added the Chicago part to the Wiki, can you add the Big Island and LA part also.
it is now in the master wiki also
HT: SomethingFishy

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2016, 12:51:40 PM »
We ran back to our room as it was very late. Our flight was at 1:10 and if we missed it we would run into shkiah problems. We checked out at 12 and got to the airport at 12:35. In hindsight I should have checked in first and then returned my car, but I wasn't thinking too clearly. We show up at the counter, and the lady tells us "sorry we can't accept luggage less than 45 minutes before the flight". I told her OK, I'll walk it through security, and check it at the gate. No can do. I was starting to get upset, because this airport is so small, she could have literally taken our bags and walked to the plane in 30 seconds. Oh well, nothing she can do for us, except route us through San Francisco. Annoying, but we has to get off the island before shkiah! At least she booked us into economy plus exit rows. It was pretty annoying that the entertainment system was down, but we really needed to catch up on some sleep anyway. (We later received $100X2 credit from United for compensation for the entertainment system, so it was worth it😎.)

just got $75x2 for the rebooking, and hassle...turns out I made $350 off the fact that we came late for our flight

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2016, 03:05:25 PM »
I think I stayed in the same room in Le meridian
"Respect is earned, Honesty is appreciated, Trust is gained, Loyalty is returned"

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Re: Shulem92's Honeymoon to Hawaii, L.A. and Chicago
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2017, 04:26:03 AM »
just got $75x2 for the rebooking, and hassle...turns out I made $350 off the fact that we came late for our flight

Why did you need to get off island before שקיעה?