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Re: Ex-TLV Routes and Flights Discussions
Rumors of a new ex-ORD international long-haul route

ORD-TLV 3x a week
Oh that would make sense, once the LY route is not happening anytime soon.

July 06, 2020, 07:18:29 PM
Re: Passport expedite
But the schedule doesn’t have any openings. You mean to call them and push to get a slot opened?
Yeah, correct or maybe find someone you know there or something like that.
I had a friend who needed a passport for his baby... same idea... no appointments available.....he pushed a little and got an appointment the next day.
Make sure to send emails also, even though it says don't send more then once... You have an appointment already so they won't cancel.
Also push by both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They say there is no real communication between the two regarding these matters.

July 19, 2020, 04:59:03 PM
Re: Israel (Not) Reopening To Foreigners
Why is it more of a problem then what's been going on from after Pesach? The article makes it seems as if it's a new problem not a continuing one.
It kind of is. After Pesach they were just finishing the year so too finish a year not such a problem. Now you have whole new group of girls and guys that don't know what to do since they were planning on going to Israel....

July 28, 2020, 12:41:33 PM
Re: Things To Do In Israel Master Thread try posting here:
July 30, 2020, 05:58:04 PM
Denver Trip Report Thank you DDF for all the help for planning this trip!
I first want to while I am writing this TR for everyone to enjoy these trips are  more of personal experience for me and the pictures here are from that personal perspective as opposed to trying to capture the scenery or anything else.
Another disclaimer is that is that we try to  spend the least money possible while having a good time and of course trying to get a good idea of the area. I guess it helps that one of the things we like is nature since the cost to National Parks are minimal We also did a lot of driving like putting almost a 1000 miles on the car for the time we were in Denver.

Denver Trip Report:

Trip was from a Sunday afternoon – Wednesday Afternoon. Pesach Time (from a year or two ago).

Southwest Flight from East Coast

(We came with someone else who stayed at):
La Quinta – Denver Tech Center - $90 a night – good price, lower class than Hilton Double Tree but rooms clean and big, had a couch. Free breakfast. Not as classy but we would have been ok with staying there, just we had points they did not.

We stayed at:
Hilton Double Tree Denver Tech Center 
40,000 Points – Standard Awards Room – 3 Star.
Near the Southwest Side of Town -  7 Min drive from Aish Denver.

3 Star; nice big lobby and nice clean newish rooms, good location, but felt like was right in the middle between a lower class and higher class so worst of both worlds. But, hey I still got a nice hotel big room for free! For example, had a free breakfast but it was in the non-kosher restaurant. Rooms were nice but no amenities besides for the regular stuff. They also were unable to upgrade us to a bigger room because we were staying for three nights. They did agree to put our meats in the freezer! Small indoor pool in a very public area.

Car – Advantage Car Rental Car- New Ford Fusion Hybrid - $23 for 3 days, with a coupon from a website In general I find the closer the to rental date the cheaper the price is.
long wait, could not find my reservation at first, tried to rip me off by telling me I need more than a more powerful car to drive into mountains but once I did get the car it was a rock solid car that with no issues and I got a good deal.

Aish- Nice New building in a nice new part of town; Kiruv community.
Edos- more central part of town closer to shuls but no view of the mountains.

West Side- much older but main yeshiva community is there.

Day 1 North:

First Stop- Walmart, highway from airport, on the way to the Jewish Community  (need those Powerade’s – was not interested in taking the slightest risk at altitude sickness) and basic supplies (besides for Kosher Meat and Deli’s which we brought with us bought all the food we needed there ). 

Took care of some business in the Jewish Community.

Supper by West Side Jewish Community Park near Sloan’s Lake- more diverse with different kinds of people.

Day 2  North (of Denver):

Celestial Seasonings Factory Tour and Tea Tasting Boulder, CO Free- Interestingly enough,  there were no signs to it until you get to last turn right before the parking lot. Fun thing to do. Not that interesting but it is a fun chilled type of activity.

Tour- Able to see sorting room (don’t know exactly what that is. They were cleaning it when went).

Big Supply of Spices and Herbs from all over the world. Peppermint room where they keep the all Peppermint. Big strong smell. Sinus Cleaner. My eyes are tearing up just thinking about it. 


After/ Before Tea Tasting with all kinds hot and cold tea. (as been mentioned before here) all the tea’s are kosher so no problems tasting whatever tea you want.

Interesting photo ops with the Celestial Seasonings Teddy Beer and some other cute setup they have there.   

Next Stop:

Rocky Mountain National Park & Estes Park
We headed to Trail Ridge Rd but it closed at some point due to the snow on the road.  I think it was around 10,000 feet that it was closed at.

Sprague Lake- Spots for Bbq which used, partially covered in snow. Partially frozen lake with snow around it made a for nice walk also a place to pictures with gorgeous backgrounds. 
Headed back to Denver – drive around downtown and quick look at Coors Field.

EDOS for Mincha/Marriv.

Southwest or Westside is the way to go! Since Eastside is only place with no view of the mountains and if no view of mountains what Denver is.  ;D

Day 2 South( of Denver):

Pikes Peak
-  Was not sure if full mountain would be open due to snow but kept on checking the hotline  (719-385-7325) to see if mountain would open up and it finally did!  Elevation of Colorado Springs around 7,000 feet, Elevation on top of Pikes Peak  is > 14000 feet. Drive up Pikes Peak is a ½ hour with a 25- 30 degree temperature drop and a 7,000 foot elevation climb. Outdoor Temperature went from 65, 60 degrees to a 30. Br…..!
 Nice store on top-  cool view from top.
 Totally worth the drive!

Next Stop:

Garden of Gods
– Nice combination since Pikes Peak cost money Garden of Gods is free and Garden of the Gods is in the backdrop of Pikes Peak.
Nice through points where when you stand behind it, Pikes Peak is in the background. Perfect spot for pictures. Nice easy to walk paths and other stone formations! Option of horseback riding (which we did not do). 

Also- there is an  information center about the park + (on other side of the park) there is also a one of those stores where you find all kind of cool outdoor stuff.

Day 3: Denver, Snow Storm and head home!

Just an example of Denver weather. Tuesday weather was in low 70’s. Wednesday Morning- when I went out my car in the morning it was sleeting and 40 with a blizzard Warning!
We wanted one last thing to do before our flight.

United States Mint- Denver - (coin Tour) Free Tour Near the Courthouse and famous steps that say “One Mile above Sea Level” – perfect nice small trip. Tour was around an hour. History of US coins and explains basics of coin making and then you see the factory floor where they produce real money and you also get to see a nice chunk of gold. Probably would be boring for kids though.
Then we headed to the Airport where tons of flights were cancelled and ours was the last flight out for the next 24 hours. Curbside check-in! Offered to bump us, but no thank you!
UA Lounge in Denver – Big, some kosher food. We had an Israeli there finding out if things were kosher and then he was all proud to report back to us. Some of the chips were indeed kosher! Otherwise not too much else but better then spending time in the airport terminal.
One thing to note:
Beer Factories are not open on Tuesday and Wednesday and they say Budweiser Plant in Fort Collins better then Coors factory.
Happy to provide exact address for any shuls or places I visited.
Glad to answer any questions anyone may have.

August 12, 2020, 11:23:27 AM
Re: Pictures taken from or on the plane/airports (only taken yourself) National Mall

August 13, 2020, 12:07:13 PM
Re: Pictures taken from or on the plane/airports (only taken yourself) Only those from Baltimore will appreciate this:
Quarry on Greenspring Ave.

August 13, 2020, 12:11:56 PM
Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
Yes, you heard that right. A solo 4-week road trip from NYC to California and back, hitting as many National Parks as I can along the way.

I eat dairy out, so I won't be obsessing around where to get food. Sorry to disappoint. I'll post food pics if there's demand, or when eating at a hechshered establishment.

Let the trip commence!
Cool good for you. Looking forward to seeing how it goes and telling other people how you were brave enough to do it solo.   

August 20, 2020, 04:23:20 PM
Re: Mir Yeshiva opening in Bushkill Falls Inn and Conference Center I don't think this is the Mir, its seems like a different yeshiva learning the same thing as the Mir.
August 23, 2020, 06:14:11 PM
Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020 This TR almost reminds me of a few years ago when Dan and the crew did the Antarctica cruise, new exciting update everyday!
August 25, 2020, 12:06:31 PM
Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020
TR Day 6 and 7 - Friday and Shabbos

In Gillette, Wyoming, I woke up early and saw a bunch of clients over Zoom. And then I promptly went back to sleep. I am slowly discovering that I’m a human being. This traveling is exhilarating - and exhausting. I took my sweet time and got on the road in the early afternoon.

I was planning on staying in Billings, Montana for shabbos (I ditched Bozeman because it was too far and I wanted to use the Beartooth approach to Yellowstone). My dad suggested that I stay in Red Lodge for shabbos, which was an hour closer to Yellowstone. I found a bunch of dumpy places, and then had a conversation with @JuryDuty. He has a real knack for finding the needle in the haystack. A few minutes later, I had a couple of good suggestions, and off I went.

It was a pretty uneventful trip, taking about 4.5 hours for the 300 miles. I made all my shabbos calls, which was nice.

Anyone know this person?

Ok, I’m only one day behind on my TR. Not bad.
Especially driving the whole way and doing all the planning yourself!
We on the DDF are glad to be part of your fan club ;D.

August 31, 2020, 09:44:44 AM
Re: Seeds getting planted for Emirates to fly to Israel?

This  is great  :D
Always trying imagine what it looks like when משיח will be here... I guess this could be preview shot.

September 03, 2020, 08:46:18 AM
Giving Away Coupon to Giving away 25% off coupon code to - electric shavers and more....
Please PM me.

September 03, 2020, 04:51:01 PM
Arizona, LA and back to Israel Trip Report
Part 1 Trip Planning and Drive up to Grand Canyon:
I had this big question that I wanted to answer:
I wanted to find out if the Grand Canyon is really so Grand.
Read on to Find out the Answer.

Trip Planning for BWI-PHX (Grand Canyon)– LAX ( for Shabbos)- MUC ( stopover)- TLV:

 (Not so many pictures in this segment but more pictures coming)

In America for Sukkos a few years ago- Sukkos ended on a Tuesday night, need to take are of some businesses first so we had from Wednesday night – Shabbos for a trip; then to LA for Shabbos and then back to Israel.
That created time for quick short trip somewhere in United States and I had BA Avios I was looking to burn.

Criteria: Had to be a flight from BWI leaving on a Thursday Morning that gave us a good amount of time for something to do and then get to LA For Shabbos.
First Option was Minneapolis, MN and I actually booked the flight with BA miles - BWI ORD MSP but flight from MSP- LAX became too expensive and at over $300 per person, I scratched that idea and the had points refunded minus the fees of $5.50 per person.

Next it being BA I needed another American Airlines Hub Idea. Left us with two options BWI - DAL or PHX; Then I realized that PHX was a gateway to the Grand Canyon so I booked BWI PHX for 11,500 points per person and PHX - LAX for $150 per person on Southwest on a Friday noon flight.

 Just a quick side point: We are almost were able to take a semi private jet that flew PHX ( from a private terminal terminal) to BUR for same price but by the time I was ready to book the price went up that ruled it out... so we had to settle for Southwest.

Another option I could have done was fly into PHX and then drive from GC to LAS but LAS is an extra 1 hour drive from the GC and first driving an extra hour in a day where we flew and drove a whole lot adding on another hour of night driving is not worth it and I also I wanted to see the D-backs stadium in Phoenix so we decided to headback to Phoenix after the GC.

BWI Airport:
 Lyft from Jewish neighborhood around $30 - got to airport a little more than an hour before flight
6:25 AM - 8:52 AM flight from BWI to AZ on American.

Always a nice selection of kosher food snacks and fruits.

Seats were ok; No backseat screens on flight and ( disappointing) no flight map on AA In Flight App. No way to track progress… Ahh… Had to guess where we were…. Not sure how you run an airline like that…..
Landed in PHX on Time – Got to daven Shachris 7 hours after waking up…. And make Zman תפילה since Netz in Baltimore was 7:30….

So after a quick in Airport Shachris break went to get the car and was out on the road a little before 10.
Shuttle to rental car came right away (I think there are building a tram to rental car place in PHX): booked on Enterprise 900 points for the one day rental.

Set out right away for 3+ hour drive Grand Canyon.

AZ Sign:

Drive leaving PHX Area:

Stopped in Swift same exit as Flagstaff airport; nice clean new rest stop; good snacks. A little more than halfway.

Flagstaff has small little airport- was fun to drive around the "terminal" of like 3 gates.
If you do this drive to/from Phoenix to the GC - this a great half way place to stop and take a break and get out of the car and stretch a little.

Flagstaff Airport Signs:

Most people dont tell you Flagstaff and GC is around 7,000 feet above sea leval and PHX is only 1,500 ( ABSL) there is a major temperature difference between PHX and Flagstaff. The Grand Canyon has even had a bigger temperature change.
Two ways to get to GC from Flagstaff - one more scenic one less scenic - depends which area of GC going to.
Stopped by Visitors Center first - not sure if it helped; may have been waste of time
Entrance to GC National Park is $35.. unless you have a National Park Pass…
Free shuttle service throughout the park. Many different options to do.

Grand Canyon Visitors Center Sign

To be continued....

September 06, 2020, 12:19:49 PM
Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020 Know its crazy exhausting to go across country by yourself and write but anxiously awaiting next segment.... I guess good things you wait for.  :)
Hoping all the comments would keep you going more than Milts BBQ sauce   ;)

September 06, 2020, 05:55:49 PM
Re: Where can I get it? (Israel edition) Ok too bad; if its a phone I would offer t bring it but unsure when I'm getting back.
February 18, 2021, 01:51:50 AM
Re: Israel (Not) Reopening To Foreigners

I still think it's very possible Israel will be wide open for foreigners by Pesach.
Let's try to get foreign nationals/ students back first....  :D

February 28, 2021, 04:25:12 PM