Author Topic: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!  (Read 1269 times)

Offline Proisrael

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Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« on: November 16, 2017, 01:22:17 PM »
It all started with a small trip I arranged for my wife and her sisters to Cyprus for 4 days....one of my Brothers-in-law said "hey we should get away too" I could not agree more though was not sure he was the exact person I was looking to get away with....soon enough the trip went from me and him to include my wife's Father-Brother-Sister-Her Husband-Her Uncle and Aunt (No the wife did not come). Given my travels in the past I was voted to be the tour guide and arrange this trip for them. After much deliberation my final trip was going to be as follows for them:

11/5-TLV-CDG-LAX Air France $690
11/6 LAX-SJC Southwest $55
11/7 OAK-PHX Southwest $48
11/15 LAS-LAX Southwest $40
11/15 LAX-FCO-TLV Alitalia (Included in the 690)

For my ticket it was more interesting. I had bought a United flight round trip on 12/16 I flew one way and then cancelled the return to earn credit for half the flight as I decided to book LX Business for the return. When I checked my credit to see what I had to go to LAX I found they had credit me the full flight back so right away I booked a round trip non-stop into Newark. After that I booked an economy award (12.5k) into SFO and for the return I booked a flight with Spirit LAS-EWR (paid to upgrade to the Big Seat $70) and then the United flight back. However I decided to spend some time in my old stomping grounds of Jersey and just booked a return with LX again in business back to TLV.

Thank God my in-laws managed well into Los Angeles without issues. I had them booked in the Hyatt Regency at the airport for I believe 190 per room. I had told them to rent a car for a couple of hours to check out the city but they decided on crashing in the hotel and walking to Starbucks (or Coffee Bean).

The next morning at around 4 they got up to go to the airport for the SouthWest flight into San Jose. I had arrived in San Francisco the night before and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott at the Airport. They were "officially fully booked" for any upgrades.  The hotel was very nice and definitely comfortable for a nights sleep. The one thing to note is there is no shuttle late night.

In the early morning around 715 I got picked up by Extranomical tours for my tour to Yosemite, we left to San Jose airport to go pick up the In-Laws in our private 15 passenger coach bus. After picking them up we left to Pars Kosher Market to pick up some Bread/Dips/Cold Cuts and the like for Lunch/Breakfast. The trip to Yosemite took around 3.5 hours from the Market in San Jose.

20171106_154250 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171106_153816_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171106_153748_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171106_141303-EFFECTS by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

Below you can see the waterfall flowing even though the winter rains have not started yet:

20171106_135828 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171106_134622 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171106_133609 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171106_133229_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171106_114732 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171106_170257_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171106_160440 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

This is a small picture of the comfortable coach bus with excellent drivers!!

20171106_155843 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

There was a little mix up at the end of the trip as we had booked a night at the Crowne Plaza in Concord, however there is no kosher food in that area. Extranomical worked with us and hired an extra driver to drive us back to the hotel after supper at Sabra Grill in Downtown. Drivers can only drive for 10 hours, they have a timer attached to the car and he cannot legally go one minute past that time. Here is a really bad picture of the outside of Sabra

20171106_200942 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

Some pics of the Crowne Plaza hotel room:

20171106_220537 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171106_220540 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

We had paid USD $2,200 for the tour for 8 people. It also included a guided tour of San Francisco the next day.




Offline TimT

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2017, 01:31:23 PM »
Really nice scenery pics. Thanks for the writeup

Offline davidmal

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 01:38:28 PM »
Wow. Blown away

Surprised you didnít book everyone else one way tickets
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline Proisrael

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 01:53:33 PM »
Day 2: San Fran city Tour

The started with some of the men in the pool:

IMG-20171107-WA0017 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

IMG-20171107-WA0016 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

IMG-20171107-WA0015 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

After swimming the tour met us at around 9 to leave to the kosher bakery/breakfast place Frena Bakery. This place was absolutely AMAZING!!! The bakery items though steep in price were absolutely delicious!! Their Paninis were a huge hit for all of us as well as the pre packaged salads.

20171107_112211 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171107_112205 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

Once we finished eating the tour guide took us to all the famous spots. We did not have a full day as our flight to Phoenix was at 545 in the evening. We went to all the main locations to see including the City Hall/Golden Gate/Twin Peaks/Observation tower/Trolleys....Here are some of the pictures from the days adventures:

20171107_102802 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171107_115619 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171107_115631 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171107_115833 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171107_121901-EFFECTS by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

Not me but you can get a nice shot here:

20171107_122612 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

Alcatraz:

20171107_133005 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

More famous then the Brooklyn Bridge?

20171107_133807 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171107_134035 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

Buildings left from the world fair:

20171107_135923 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171107_140300_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

Hilly San Fran:

20171107_143558 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171107_144146 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171107_144204 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

After finishing the tour we got dropped at the BART given that they are not allowed into Oaklands Airport for dropoffs:

20171107_154701 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

We took Southwest into Phoenix where I rented a car from Thrifty and Dollar from Tuesday night into Wednesday night, a week later. We went to check in at the Town Place Suites which was a very nice place with a nice breakfast in the morning as well for around 160 a night.

20171108_061725 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_061708 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_061704_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_061700 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr


Offline Proisrael

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 01:54:14 PM »
Wow. Blown away

Surprised you didnít book everyone else one way tickets

Trust me when I say that at the end of the trip I was ready to cancel the return tickets.

Offline davidmal

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 02:33:54 PM »
Trust me when I say that at the end of the trip I was ready to cancel the return tickets.
haha.
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline ludmila

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 10:11:00 PM »
Nice ,thanks for posting.
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
Pele Good,Maradona Better, George Best.

Offline Proisrael

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 12:18:51 PM »
Day 3: Phoenix Sedona and Grand Canyon village

After waking up davening at Chabad, I went to the hotel to check what we can eat from the nice breakfast spread they had, all bread/bagels/dips were kosher, interestingly the eggs were all kosher as well but they warmed them together with bacon. After breakfast we headed to Jerome for some beautiful views and a nice scenic road (Jerome is around 40 minutes round trip off the way to Sedona from Phoenix. I enjoyed it and so did the rest of the family). We then headed to Sedona for our sunset Jeeping tours with Pink Jeep Tours (cost was around 80 per person) we tipped before and the guide really gave us a great time!!  We lucked out with a witty/adventurous guide. After that we headed to the Holiday Inn at the Grand Canyon with a pittstop at Flagstaffs WalMart for supplies.

Townplace Suites Breakfast:

20171108_083950 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_082757 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_063217 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_063212 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_063209 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_063158_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

Jerome:

20171108_143802 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_142903 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_142901 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

8 Seater Pink Jeep:

20171108_160630 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_162345 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_163703 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_163708 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_164033_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_164633_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_172036_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_172048_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_173149 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_173240 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_173412_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171108_174231 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr


Offline Proisrael

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2017, 09:18:30 AM »
Day 4: Grand Canyon

Day started off normal, after waking up and Davening we headed down to breakfast and man what a breakfast it was, Pancakes/waffles/eggs/bacon/bagels/Cereals/Oatmeals etc....Most of the cold items were all Kosher and we all ate our fill (Big negative the coffee was horrible). After breakfast we finished packing and headed to the cars. My FIL tried starting his car but to no avail. I asked the hotel for a jump and they quickly obliged sending their maintenance guy to jump the car successfully. We got the cars packed and headed to the Grand Canyon. After driving for a while to get the battery's charged sufficiently, after parking and shutting the car we decided to try it again but to no avail. Apparently we had an issue with the alternator. I told the family to go enjoy the canyon while I went to the Info Center to place a call to Thrifty. They told me that I can wait 4 hours until someone from Vegas comes to get me, then take me back to Vegas ALONE, pick up a new car and drive it back to the GC to get the rest of the party. I told them they were nuts to propose that but they would not give me another option. I decided we would jump the car and drive straight back without shutting the engine. We did the tram tours (Yellow I think) to a few locations. Hiked down a little and then headed back to the car to jump it and head to Vegas to the AirBnb. With a massive amount of Siyata Dishmya within 5 minutes I found a guy in an RV who had a portable jumper to give us a jump and get us started. As we were pulling out he came running back and gave us his older portable jumper and told us to pass on the favor to another person in need. I had wanted to stop at the GC Caverns but the last tour was at 4 and we were passing it at 4:15...we drove to the Hoover Dam around sunset for a few pics and then got into Vegas to our AirBnb.

We got the absolute jackpot when it came to AirBnb, When I booked I had searched specifically in the area of Chabad so we can walk to shul on shabbos. The place I found had 4 bedrooms with a pool I booked immediately. After I booked I looked closer at the picture of the owner and she was definitely wearing a Sheitl! I reached out to her and she was from Chabad. She gave us her daughters number who lives 3 doors down for any help we would need. They brought us over a grill so we can have a BBQ Thursday night....they brought us pans so we can cook for shabbos and they invited us for the meal Friday night!! It was awesome. The AirBnb cost $180 a night which was a no-brainer as it was split between everybody ($35 a night per person). We went to Smiths to pick up the meat for the BBQ as well as meat for the Cholent and the rest of the shopping for shabbos. Seems to be Sushi and a take out at the Smiths for those who are interested. At night I took the crew to see the Belaggio fountains and a little shopping in the hotels.

20171109_094143_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_094147 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_094156 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_120619 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_120631_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_120634 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_120941_Pano by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_121558 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_122003 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

This Picture is taken from the hike down looking up.

20171109_130849 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_130852 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_131038 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

These Elk are everywhere:

20171109_133535 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_173105 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_173611 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_180123 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

The AirBnB house:
Bedroom 1:
20171109_183909 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr
Bathroom 1
20171109_183911 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr
Bedroom 2 (With Connecting Bathroom)
20171109_183918 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr
Connected bathroom:
20171109_183922 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr
Bedroom 3:
20171109_183931 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr
Living room:
20171109_183940 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr
Dining Room
20171109_184002 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr
Bedroom 4 with connecting Bathroom+Jacuzzi:
20171109_184013 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_184029 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171109_233038 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr





Offline a good yeshiva bachur

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2017, 09:53:17 AM »
😎

Offline Ergel

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2017, 10:11:49 AM »
Details on the AirBnb? Seems like a steal...
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Proisrael

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2017, 10:32:18 AM »
Details on the AirBnb? Seems like a steal...

Sorry meant to post it above...It really is a steal and the hosts could not be more accommodating.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16425739

Offline Proisrael

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2017, 08:26:11 AM »
Day 5: Lake Mead

Started the day with a nice breakfast and quickly left to the lake. We had called ahead to make sure there were Jet Skis available as it is a nice trip to get there (45-60 minutes). After we pulled into the parking lot and went to check in, the lady told us they had to pull the jet skis due to a Fire Extinguisher recall.....We ended up renting a Jet Boat that fit 8 people for $95 for an hour (split 8 ways $15 a steal!) There is a $500 deposit as well. We had a blast heading to the Hoover Dam for some pictures. It was really windy and the waters were rough!! We got back to the house with only a couple of hours to shabbos so finished what needed to be done.

Day 6:
Shabbos night we ate by the hosts daughter who lives a couple of doors down the block. Food was excellent as was the company!  Shabbos day we davened before the Zman then headed to shul at 10 to get Kaddish and Borichu plus Kriat Hatorah...
On Moitzei Shabbos they wanted to go shopping so we headed to the Vegas North Premium Outlets they were in 7th heaven....

20171110_134756 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171110_132132 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171110_132129_HDR by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171110_130927 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

Offline Proisrael

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2017, 08:45:57 AM »
Day 7: Bryce and Zion National Park

We woke at around 7 quickly ate breakfast and we were on the road by 9 heading to Bryce. The drive was around 4.5 hours to get there we did it pretty much straight without any side stops.  Difference between Bryce and Grand Canyon is The Grand Canyon is Grand it is too big to take all in at one time. On the other hand Bryce is smaller and you can appreciate the beauty standing from the top looking down. There is also a huge height difference. The Grand canyon main area is around 6500 feet as opposed to Bryce which gets up to over 9000 Feet. We drove to a couple of the scenic outlooks did a short hike (very hard with the thin air and it was freezing!!). After finishing there we headed to Zion around 1.5-2 hours for the scenic drive down and through the tunnels. At the end of the day they all said Zion was the nicest of the entire trip! I highly recommend doing this in 2 days as opposed to the round trip we did it in.


20171112_152757_Pano by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171112_152629 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171112_151217 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171112_144835 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171112_143738 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171112_141322 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

ZION:

20171112_174011 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171112_174004 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171112_172911 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171112_172807 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171112_172804 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171112_152757_Pano by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

Offline Proisrael

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Re: Southwest tour with the....IN LAWS!!!
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2017, 09:24:28 AM »
Day 8: Shopping A WHOLE DAY

Nothing to be said but wow they just went on and on all day long at the malls/marshalls/walmart.....For Supper we ate at Ace of Steaks which was very decent food though I did feel it was way too expensive for the portions. They have some claims to being 1 of 2 kosher restaurants that serve some type of USDA grade beef but still pricing was expensive.

Day 9: Vegas Hotel walk around and shopping

We started the day with 2 of the group heading to more shopping and the rest of us walking to the Linq for a ride on the "Big Wheel" ($25 per person) Supposedly bigger then the any other in the world. You can fit over 40 people in each Caboose...once we finished that we headed to the Gondolas at the Venetian. The Gondolas are expensive!!! $30 per person for 13 minutes we decided on the indoor tour as the outdoor looked lame. The gondola was nice and then became epic as my FIL and Uncle broke out in song in middle of the mall. People were loving it!!

After that 3 more of the group left to shop and I took the remaining 2 for a walk through the Caesars Forum shops and then the NY NY for the Roller Coaster ride. Overall it was a great day finished with supper at Jerusalem Grill.

20171114_162614 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171114_160329 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171114_160313-EFFECTS by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171114_134914 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171114_133839 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171114_133132-EFFECTS by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171114_133054 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171114_115202 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171114_114111 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171114_114106 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr

20171114_103913 by ProIsrael Israel, on Flickr
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 10:06:16 AM by Proisrael »