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Re: Costa Rica Master Thread I flew to SJO with a conspicous cardboard box full of meat and chicken without an issue.
November 28, 2012, 10:34:36 PM
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Re: Carribean Islands (Which One?) Master Thread
not a diver so don't know. Snorkeling was best in Cayman, and I have heard turks is fantastic. Barbados has great reefs but further off the beaches, the snorkeling beach side was mediocre.
How is the snorkeling in SXM?

On a side note you are lucky you found SPG availablity in the Carribean I have had a hard time finding in the past.

January 27, 2013, 10:14:11 PM
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Re: Alaska Master Thread Alaska trip report, Disclaimer I did this 3 years ago so trying my best to get it right.

I planned this whole trip with my wife pretty last minute but it ended up working out really nicely.

We landed in the evening in Anchorage and rented a jeep from a local guy so that we could drive the Denali highway which you can't do without a jeep. We payed about 900 for 2 weeks. We spent the night in Anchorage. The next day we drove to Whittier and did a nice cruise of the Price William sound. We saw many glaciers and a few sea otters. Was really cold as Alaska can be when you are on the water so bring rain gear etc. We loved driving thru the tunnel and found the town small but quaint. We then drove to Seward.

The next day we drove to Homer AK to catch a float plane to some remote national park to see Grizzly bears catch fish. Was really cool taking off and landing from the water. We paid 300 per person which is why we did it out of Homer which was a 2 hour drive away. From the touristy areas they start at 600 pp. Was the coolest part of our trip. We saw many many grizziles swimming in the water all around us (some were less the 5 feet away!). A few of them had cubs and it was really something you gotta do one day. You can see the salmon swimming in the water, and when they get caught the bears just gobble them up!

The next day we did a 9 hour tour of Kenai Fjords. It was a Friday but we got back at 5 and Shabbos wasn't until 10 so that was not an issue. We saw humpback whales, killer whales and a lot of other wild animals as well. We saw glaciers and the coolest scenery and it was well worth it. Make sure to take something for the rough seas, the ships sell them and if you take before you leave you wil be fine.

Shabbos we walked around Seward and played games till Shabbos was over at around midnight!! We stayed right by the water so we got to watch the bald eagles and otters hang out right near where we were staying.

Sunday we drove up to Talkeetna, stopping many times along the 4 hour drive. we then checked into out log cabin deep in the woods. We did a small hike and just walked around town a bit. The town has a real charm. The next day we did a flight over Denali which was super cool and did another nice hike. Note that we had bear spray as the area has many bears. A few hikers were mauled the next year in Talkeetna so go prepared.

Tuesday we drove to Denali and did another hike near the cabin we had rented. The scenery was out of this world and even just the drive up to Denali was for the books. Our cabin had a balcony overlooking a huge river and was right next to the park.  Wednesdat we did the Kantishna bus into Denali park. It was very cool however we found it to be a bit long. There was a lot of animals but they were all far from the road and we were spoiled from our bear viewing experience so we were not as impressed. The mountains were really cool but seeing Denali from the flight was a lot cooler. It's still worth going into the park just to experience the vastness of the area.

Thursday we drove across the Denali highway to the Copper river princess lodge http://www.princesslodges.com/copper-river-lodge.cfm . The drive was on this rugged highway which you can only do with a jeep. Took a couple of hours but was from the more scenic drives in AK. As you can imagine there werent to many other cars out on the road. Friday we drove on a dirt road thru Wrangell-St. Elias national park. We only went in about 35 miles which is as far as you can go, but the drive was over 2 hours. Hard to describe how amazing it was. The park has the largest concentration of high peaks anywhere in North America and you see them along the whole drive. Pretty scary driving but was worth every minute of it. The whole area has less tourists but it's still on the tourist route so you don't feel like you are out of it.

Shabbos was very relaxing in the wilderness lodge. There is a huge sitting area in the back overlooking this huge valley and perfect mountain range in the background. The lodge caters mostly to cruise passengers so it's really nice. We booked our room through princess cruises.

Sunday we drove to Valdez to watch the ships and see the bay which was really pleasant. The drive from Copper River to Valdez has these huge mountain passes which was one of the reasons we did it. Valdez itself was also just a fun place to walk around. We then drove about 6 hours to Anchorage, stopping many times along the way. We went hiking on a glacier which was really cool. IIRC that night we flew back home.

We did many more small things while we were there, mainly stops along the way that caught our eye. We also tried finding Sara Palin in Wasilla (that was when she was still big) but we couldn't find her.

May 12, 2013, 01:47:40 AM
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Re: Went through the process of house hunting/buying
now that's what I call a return. Why didn't they buy two?
I wonder if in 20 years we will be saying that about some other areas, who knows.

June 11, 2013, 02:28:02 PM
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