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Re: Fairmont Nights Master Thread Looking to buy 2 nights, Please pm me, references upon request
August 03, 2017, 12:19:03 AM
2017 Eclipse and Crazy Road Trip TR I went to see the eclipse last week with @Something Fishy, @Dan, and @lfas25. SF will write the "official" TR (hopefully before 2024 eclipse ;)), but for now I may as well share the quick thing I put together to share with my family without any changes.

Hope you enjoy.

Goodbye, NY:

A Delta pilot flying standby on American Airlines:

Welcome to cow country:

Ouch.. What did I do wrong now?

The officer walks up and asks for license and registration and tells me that I was going 71 in a 45 MPH zone.. I'm trying to express how sorry I am, and that we just landed after a long exhausting trip and it's a rental. I didn't think I'm getting out of this one. He gives me back the registration and insurance card and tells me to make the the car company aware that the color on the registration and the color of the car are not matching. Walks back to his car and runs my license.

As he comes back and makes himself ready to give me a warning, the back window rolls down. Apparently one of my friends was bored, out of the blue tells the cop that he's from New Jersey and if you can take a selfie with him.... ;D  ;D

In no man's land:

At the tri-state marker where Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, come together:

Standing in 3 states at once:

Welcome to Missouri:

Welcome to Oklahoma:

Another tri-state marker where Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas come together:

Taking photos of... I have no clue:

Picked up some kosher food:

Went to warm up and eat at a Dan's in-laws house, the nicest people you would ever meet.

Experimenting with a pinhole camera to use for the Eclipse:

Trying to find the place with the best weather for viewing the Eclipse:

Checked in to the hotel. There were only 2 beds so we smuggled in blow-up mattresses:

Got up in the morning, the weather was really bad. It was decided we're going to drive to Boonville, Missouri.

It was pouring rain:

As we got closer to Boonville the weather cleared up:

As we are driving to the exact spot (Franklin Island Access) we see a plane... What's going on are we in an airport??.. As it turns out it was 2 older guys from Texas decided to fly to Boonville to see the Eclipse with their self assembled water plane and land on the Missouri River:

At our spot at the Missouri River:

Setting up the cameras:

When it started it was pretty boring, there were a lot of clouds, and when looking through the eclipse glasses it looked pretty much like the moon:

But as it came closer to totality everything started to change:

The temperature dropped about 30 degrees from 90 to about 60, it started to get really dark and really quiet (you don't realize how much noise nature makes until it gets really quiet), and the wind stopped blowing:

And when we took off the eclipse glass there it was an unbelievable spectacle, something no pictures can describe...

Totality lasted for about 2 minutes and then it went back to boring.....

And it's over!

The Texas guys are getting ready to fly home:

Now what? How about covering 2 more states? Iowa and Nebraska here we come.

Taking photos in the middle of nowhere:

Stopped to eat supper in the middle of nowhere:

Weather got horrible with crazy lightning:

Video taken by @lfas25's dash cam #dashcammed

Welcome to Iowa:

Oh, there's a cop let's take another selfie:

Our sixth and final state, Nebraska:

After driving all night it was time to get back to reality:

Welcome back to NY:

Welcomed home by Trump:

The end.

August 25, 2017, 01:50:55 PM
2018 Arctic Expedition Coming Soon!

March 26, 2018, 04:34:48 PM
Re: 2018 Arctic Expedition.
If you're gonna finish this before I really get going on my 2016 TR, you're gonna be banned from future trips.

Just sayin'.

What makes you think I wanna come again? :)

Just sayin'.

March 26, 2018, 04:42:20 PM
Re: 2018 Arctic Expedition Part 1

Before I get started I need to give a big shoutout to my dear friend @Something Fishy. Thanks for arranging this amazing adventure, thanks for convincing me to come along (3 months into a new job) and at last thanks for being an amazing friend... Now let's started.

This was an adventure that words and pictures can't even start to describe it so I'm not going to try (I'm going to let @Something Fishy try - if he ever gets to it  :) ) All I'll do is post some pictures and try to give some context. 

We started the week as 12 individuals. 5 DDF Members: me, @Something Fishy, @Joe4007, @Moishebatchy,  He Who Must Not Be Named, and 7 Muggles, but by the end of this trip, we were one big (dysfunctional) family.

As one of the Muggles described it:

In total, I covered 9 countries, 12 flights, flown over 13,000 miles.

Saturday, March 10th, 2018.

Motzei Shabbos, 2 hours after the zman we boarded our first flight from SWF to DUB.

Melaveh Malkah.

Sunday, March 11th, 2018.

The Executive Lounge at the Dublin Airport.

@Something Fishy playing with his STD. (Satellite Texting Device - name credit @Moishebatchy :) )

We had a few hours to spare so we decided to visit the Malahide Castle, nine miles north of Dublin.

The Malahide Castle, parts of which date back to the 12th century.

Cool taxi meter embedded in the mirror.

Boarding flight #2, DUB - CPH.

The Primeclass Lounge at the Copenhagen Airport.

Cool fountain

Boarding flight #3, CPH - OSL.

Our hotel for the night.

We got to the hotel tired and hungry, and there was @Moishebatchy with a load of sandwiches he brought along from Israel, that sandwich tasted better than the best meal I had at Tierra Sur.

Our room, (and by "our" I mean me and @Joe4007, my roommate, my snowmobile-mate, my tent-mate, my soul..... and my best friend going back almost 14 years.)

Monday, March 12th, 2018.

The 5 minute walkway between the hotel and the airport.

The SAS Lounge at the Oslo Airport.

Waiting to board flight #4, OSL - TOS.

Somewhere above Norway.

The beautiful approach to Tromsų, Norway.

Tromsų, Norway, from above.

Boarding Flight #5, TOS - LYR

The beautiful approach to Longyearbyen, svalbard,

A glacier from above.

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, the world's northernmost settlement.

5 flights and we are finally here.

Welcome to polar bear land.

The smallest airport I have been to.

The town.

Main Street, and no the road is not asphalt - it's ice covered by gravel.

Sub zero temperatures doesn't mean that the kids have to be locked indoors.

Our hotel for the night.

Hotel doorman. (you find taxidermied polar bears all over town, as it's illegal to take them out of Svalbard)

Finely eating something normal.

To my knowledge the first minyan on Svalbard.

And it was time to get a good night sleep before the Expedition starts,

Stay tuned.....

March 28, 2018, 11:56:00 PM
Re: 2018 Arctic Expedition Part 2

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018.

We got up early to this beautiful view.

Davening shacharis.

After breakfast, we were picked up by Better Moments (the outfitter we used).

Their unique lodge (they call it "office"), where we were outfitted with the appropriate gear.

Erlend, one of our guides, giving us a brief overview of the islands of Svalbard.

Reviewing the route we are planning to take.

Safety briefing.

Our other guard Renč, with his rifle (it's illegal to leave the town without a gun).

All of our stuff, the camping gear, extra gas, and emergency equipment were loaded onto 4 sleds.

One more lesson on how to operate the snowmobile.

And off we went.

Svalbard, a rough yet unblemished land. No photos can do justice its beauty - or roughness, for that matter (not even your TR @Something Fishy.)

We drove through the most scenic mountains and valleys trying to make our way to the east coast of the island, where we were planning on setting up camp for the night.

We stopped at this beautiful site, to eat lunch and to daven mincha.

It's hard to show the size of those pieces of ice.

Bonding with @Moishebatchy.

@Something Fishy taking some photos.

Yup, that's me up there.

@Moishebatchy gets grumpy if he misses his daily nap.

We continued to drive up the glacier for about another 2 hours or so, then stopped on top for sundown.

It was breathtaking - sadly this is the best photo my phone could take.

After driving a bit more we arrived at a safe place to set up camp.

Setting up camp.

It's getting darker, but we are still in the process of setting up our tents.

It took us about 2 hours to setup 6 small tents to sleep and one big heated tepee for eating, davening and to warm up a bit.

Time to warm up, we melted snow in a pot and Sous-vided our frozen food. Hot food never tasted so good....

And then the northern lights started, the most amazing display of nature's fireworks.

It started slow...

It got stronger by the minute...

And then it was all over us.

Our tent... Time to go to sleep

Stay tuned.....

April 04, 2018, 10:51:52 AM
Re: 2018 Arctic Expedition
The question is if the pictures do it justice

Once it exploded, it was changing so rapidly, no still photo can do it justice.

April 09, 2018, 01:06:25 AM
Re: 2018 Arctic Expedition

I don't see them holding their hands up :-\

April 09, 2018, 01:08:20 AM