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Re: Boston for a 22 Hour Mileage Run TR with @Itsyehuda Nice TR!
I'm sure others will find this handy

August 16, 2016, 01:10:14 AM
Re: Best of DDF
I just bought this then i realized i don't have a porch... lol

August 16, 2016, 12:58:06 PM
Re: Nescafe Italy/London Honeymoon Friday:

Our hotel gave us (with our request at front desk) a percolator for hot water so we can make coffee. We brought a bottle of milk from NY as we didn’t know if we would be able to get kosher milk in VCE. BTW, there was no fridge in our room only a mini bar but it was a large mini bar so we were able to fit other perishables (milk, cold cuts) in it (Our hotel in Pisa and Rome had the same thing). One problem however, the mini bar (in Venice only) made a noise every time you closed it so we couldn’t use it on Shabbos. 

After drinking a coffee, I headed to the Ghetto and I davened shachris at Chabad (9:00). After shachris, I went back to the hotel, had some leftover sandwiches from our flight, and headed out to take the 4.2 vaparetto to Murano (as instructed by our hotel receptionist). We arrived at Murano at about 11:30. We wanted to be there before 12 as we heard that the Glass Factories took a long lunch break from 12-2 (which turned out not to be accurate. Lunch was from 1:00-2:00)

After wandering around, we ended up in a factory behind a nice big shop which told us that it costed €5 pp to watch the glass blowing. Since we weren’t well informed that all others were free, we paid €10 to see it and got a 10% discount on anything we wanted to buy in the shop.  (the shop was an expensive one so we didn’t buy there) The glass blowing was fascinating!

After looking around at all the glass pieces, we started roaming the streets of Murano to find souvenirs. At about 2:00 we took the #12 Vaparetto to Burano.

Burano was a really beautiful Island! We got some fabulous pictures. We even managed to get ‘lost’ on the tiny island ;) After about an hour, we made our way back to the Vaparetto stop to head back to our hotel to prepare for Shabbos.

We are not sure what we did wrong, but the trip back to our hotel took over 2 hours!!!!! (Good thing we left early
enough) Eventually we made it back to the ghetto area and we were lucky to find that Gam Gam Goodies was still open at 5:30 (their hours 8AM-6PM erev Shabbos). We bought some pizza and coffee (€9 for small pizza and €4 for coffee). We also stopped in the bakery (Open Friday until 7) for some Shabbos goodies. Goodies in hand, we got back to our hotel starving and hot as there was a heat wave (of course that happens when we’re there!!!) On our way up, we stopped at the receptionist desk to pick up our key to our room for Shabbos.

After eating, we decided to hurry and make an early Shabbos so we can daven in the Italian shul to hear the Italian Nussach (7:30).
We arrived 15 minutes late to the shul to find a huge crowd gathered in the square outside the shul due to some technical issues that they had inside. We were advised to take along our passports but we weren’t asked to show ID. They only started davening close to 8:00. Davening was a really beautiful experience. The davening was very different than anything we were used to, which enhanced our experience.
After Davening, we took a short walk before heading to the Art Gallery which we had reserved for the Shabbos meals prior to our trip. As we walked in, we were warmly greeted by Rami who showed us to our table which was beautifully set up with Challah, wine, and a nice array of dips. Waiters were very friendly and served the meal each at their own pace. The fish was served in tomato sauce- it was pretty good. Chicken soup was watered down. Main course was chicken with a variety of side dishes. All dishes were served in generous portions and waiters were more than glad to bring doubles when asked. After the meal was over, we took a short walk (was after 12:00) and headed back to the hotel for some rest.

Shabbos day:

I woke up and made my way to Chabad for davening (10:00). Arriving there, I found a table set with cake, cookies and hot coffee. The place was so full that I didn’t even have a chair to sit on. Davening was similar to what I was used to at home. Rami gave a speech before Mussaf in honor of Gimmel Tammuz, Yuhr Tzeit of previous Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT”L. After Mussaf, my wife and I decided to skip the Kiddush in the square and headed straight to the Gallery for the Shabbos meal. Just as the previous night, the tables were nicely set and the meal was very enjoyable. The food was very traditional. Salmon fish, dips, eggs, chulent, cold cuts, and kugel. After thinking that we ate enough for one meal, plates of cake a fruit were brought in for dessert!

It was a great experience to meet people from so many different backgrounds and countries. We got to chat with many people about random discussions.

Everyone in the gallery felt like one big family!

Overall, I felt that the price paid (€75 pp)was well worth what was given. (Although my wife didn’t love the food as she doesn’t like the zatar spice (as mentioned before ;) ) which was used in most of the dishes (the peanut gallery is adding “including the chulent!!! LOL!)

After the meal, ‘paper’ map in hand, (no google maps….. ) we started our tour around Venice. Our ultimate goal was to reach the Rialto Bridge, which we wanted to visit. We wanted to visit this on Shabbos as the bridge is under construction and we knew we wouldn’t need pictures. We explored Venice for almost 3 hours (in the heat wave) and then made our way back to our hotel for a Shabbos afternoon nap.
After our nap, it was just about time for Mincha. After Mincha, we yet again made our way to the Gallery for ANOTHER meal.  Surprisingly enough, the tables were set as if we hadn’t eaten in a few days!!! We spent some time chatting over food and made our way back to Chabad for Maariv. After Maariv, Everyone congregated in the square outside the shul for Havdalah. As soon as Rami finished Havdalah, all the men started singing and dancing. The scene was very memorable and moving to see all different types of Yidden all in one big circle!
Gam Gam Goodies was closed on Motzei Shabbos but Ghimmel Garden was open. After getting back to our hotel, the late hour made us decide not to go back there for Melaveh Malka. Instead we had some rolls that we bought in the local bakery before Shabbos. (FYI, for some reason the bakery was open on Shabbos too….. not sure what that means)
Coming soon….. Jewish Ghetto tour, San Marco Square, and Pisa.

August 17, 2016, 10:58:40 PM
Re: $6 Spider-Man waffle maker Whoa. This, as they say, is a game changer.
August 24, 2016, 05:04:24 AM
Re: HOT!! Hyatt Regency Paris Etoilele club room for 3k points plus 20 EUR a night! Can't argue with the price, but note that the hotel is rated 3/5 on both Yelp and Trip Advisor. Once you are paying for airfare and taking the time, might be worth to spend a few euro more and make a great trip out of it. Might not be the prevailing DDF mentality, but just my $.02 worth.
August 28, 2016, 11:06:18 AM
Re: Nescafe Italy/London Honeymoon Sunday:

After Shachris at Chabad, we started our day with the Jewish Ghetto Tour. We took the first tour at 10:30. The tour guide herself was not that amazing (to say the least) but we had to do the tour as this was the only way to gain access to the all shuls in the ghetto. The tour costed €10/€8 with student ID. The Shuls were magnificent!!!!!!! We were told that as of 3 weeks before, photography was allowed in all the shuls so I got to take some beautiful pictures. (hope to post some as soon as I figure out how to!)

After the tour, we strolled around the museum and saw some stunning silver pieces and handmade torah mantels aging back a few hundred years. We were in a bit of a hurry since we still wanted to have enough time to spend in San Marco Square so we bought pizza and coffee from Gam Gam Goodies for brunch. We also bought milk from there as well since we didn’t know if Rome would have kosher milk. (Kosher Delight Grocery in Rome did have) We also made a stop in the bakery to buy some goodies for later since the bakery closes at 12 on Sunday. FYI, all shops (convenience stores) close early on Sunday for some reason.
With all our goodies, we headed back to the hotel to check-out, which was at 12. The guy at the front desk saw us walking in with our pizza in hand and told us we that we can take our time eating lunch before checking out. We checked out about 12:15 and gave the hotel to put our luggage in the holding area. We even asked them to keep some things in the refrigerator for us- which they did gladly. We had a very nice experience with the hotel in general. We would highly recommend this hotel to anyone wanting to stay in the Jewish Ghetto area over Shabbos.

After hotel checkout, we bought 1 day Vaparetto bus tickets from the local shop down the block as we were going to use the boat a few times throughout the day. We took the Vaparetto to San Marco Square where we headed to the Doges Palace. We were very eager to get in as we were told by one of the tourists that we met over Shabbos in the Gallery that there is a special Jewish exhibit in the palace in commemoration of 500 years of the Jewish Ghetto. We purchased tickets for €19/€12 with student ID. After walking around and taking some pictures, we followed signs to the Jewish exhibit. We passed many gorgeous paintings and furniture throughout the palace. With the help of a few curators, we finally found the exhibit only to learn that we needed a separate ticket for the exhibit!! Having no other choice, we trekked back down to the main entrance to buy the additional ticket required for entry (€2 pp). Additional ticket in hand, we trudged back upstairs in the heat (There was no AC in the palace!!!) and finally made it back to the exhibit. It was worth the hassle!!!!! On display there were some seforim as old as 500 years and some kesubos aging 200-300 years. I was fascinated by all those things as I have a strong interest in old Seforim. We spent the better part of an hour by this exhibit. (It didn’t hurt that the exhibit had AC LOL)  We then explored other parts of the palace and headed toward the exit, stopping in the yard for some nice pictures.

Upon leaving the Palace, we wandered around the Square window shopping and taking more pictures. At about 4:00, we headed to the Vaparetto station and made our way back to the Ghetto area. We stopped into our hotel to cool off and have a cold drink (which we ended up buying in the hotel bar for a hefty price because all shops were closed!!!) We then headed to Ghimmel Garden for dinner before we left Venice. When we arrived we were told that the restaurant doesn’t open until 7:00. Since we had a train to catch (no tickets bought yet), we made our way to Gam Gam for dinner. I ordered the Mussaka Gam Gam (€12). My wife, wanting to be on the safe side to avoid the zatar, figured the Shnitzel (€14) would be her best bet. Both dishes (even my wife agrees ;) ) were delicious!!!

After picking up our luggage from the hotel holding area, hopping onto a Vaparetto, we arrived at St. Lucia Train Station about 6:00. From my research prior to our trip, I knew that the last 2 trains out of Venice to Pisa were at 6:25PM and 7:25PM both were with about an hour connection time in Florence. We didn’t book in advance since we weren’t sure which train would work better for our schedule.  As we walked in, we immediately saw a kiosk that appeared to have been the place to purchase train tickets. We quickly made our way to the desk where the agent told us that the 6:25 was sold out (even 1st class) He said he would be able to put us on the 7:25 train (1st class was the only one available). Reluctantly, we agreed only to hear that he would be charging us commission on our tickets as he worked for a travel agency!!!! I thanked him for his time and he was kind enough to show us where to purchase tickets directly from the train company. We quickly made our way to one of the machines (it was already 6:15) and with the help of an agent who worked for the train company, we were able to purchase 1st class tickets on the 6:25 train. It seems that the last few seats are locked and can only be purchased directly from the company- even the travel agent didn’t have access!!!! For the train from Florence to Pisa, I was told that I can board any train in Florence using this ticket.

We ran to the main platform and stared at the screen until our platform # was displayed. We were told to keep our eyes focused on the screen as the platform only appears a few minutes before the departure time. Additionally we were informed that our train’s main destination was to Rome (Roma Termini) but it was making a stop in Florence. As soon as the platform appeared, we RAAAANNNNN to our train in fear that we would miss it!!!! We actually made the train, and made ourselves comfortable in our 1st class seats. (I would highly recommend buying 1st class tickets as a first option since it is a very big difference in comfort but not that much more expensive.)

Upon arrival to Florence, we learned that the connecting train to Pisa was delayed by 45 minutes. After about 1:30 waiting (standing in front of the main screen in fear of missing our connection), we finally boarded a train to Pisa. After boarding the train, I realized (not sure how) that I had to validate the tickets for this train so I quickly ran back to the machine to validate praying all along that we do not miss our train. Phew! We didn’t.
This train was a regional train with no 1st class nor designated seats. There were also no compartments for luggage so we sat with our luggage. After a tiring hour long train ride, we were glad to arrive to Pisa train station. As we pulled into the station, a fellow passenger, who appeared to have been staring at us all along, came over to us and started asking me questions about Palestine. Not looking for any trouble, I told him that I only spoke English (which is true) and didn’t understand what he was saying. This was our only anti-Semitic experience throughout our whole trip.  As soon as the doors open, we bolted off the train and made our way down the stairs from the platform, only to learn that we had to go up another flight of stairs to the exit. Exhausted from dragging our luggage all over the place, we were more than glad to see that our hotel was literally right across the street of the train station exit.

We checked in to the NH Pisa hotel at about 11PM. Right after checking in, we went to a local grocery to get cold water and beer. Then we made our way back to our hotel room for midnight snack/cold cut sandwiches (which we had brought from home) and called it a night.

Next Up……….Leaning Tower of Pisa, Rome

August 28, 2016, 07:30:39 PM
Re: amazan Nature Valley Granola Bars
use Subscribe & Save and

Clip 25% Off Coupon to about $7
first of all repost
secondly you need to add a link or something next time

August 30, 2016, 01:04:42 PM
Re: 6 Foot Folding Table $39 Pickup or $78 for 2 Free Shipping Sukkos.
August 30, 2016, 04:41:29 PM
Re: Nescafe Italy/London Honeymoon NH Pisa:

Our hotel room was very nice and clean. Was worth the price (about $115) being that they had great service, and was well located. One hitch that we had in the room was that we couldn’t figure out how to close the bedside lamp. We tried all the light switches- there were about 20 (as the room was dark when we entered). But to no avail! The light was stubborn and refused to cooperate!!!! We continued to battle the lamp well into the AM hours. We even tried to unplug the lamp- for some reason the plug was screwed into the outlet!!!!! Finally, we came up with a grand plan “We will call the front desk and ask for help”!! However, the directory was in Italian and after many attempts (and probably waking up other hotel guests) we gave up and decided to just unscrew the bulb!!! At least that was not permanently connected to the lamp! Other than that, we were very satisfied.  :)


Being that the earliest direct train to Rome was at 1:57PM, there is not much to do in Pisa besides taking pictures at the leaning tower, and we arrived in Pisa close to midnight the night before, we decided to take our time in the morning with davening and breakfast. For breakfast we had delicious tuna sandwiches (bought rolls in Venice the day before, small mayo and tuna cans brought from home) and some hot coffee (our room was equipped with a small percolator) substituting milk with coffee creamers that we took from the plane since we wouldn’t have where to refrigerate the big bottle of milk until later that evening.

At about 11:30, we checked out of the hotel leaving our luggage in hotel storage. We were told that there was a bus across the street from the hotel which will stop right near the leaning tower. (Think it costs €2) After checking google maps, we chose to take the scenic 20 minute walk instead.

Since we were afraid that tickets for the direct train to Rome will sell out, we made a quick stop at the train station across the street to purchase tickets for the 1:57 train so that we wouldn’t be pressured to get back to the train station early.

We then headed to the leaning tower which was WOW!!!!!!!  It was amazing to see the tower, which we had heard so much about, is so obviously slanted. We (and everyone else) took pictures while trying to hold the tower up and then trying to push it down! Many people looked quite silly in awkward positions.  :) (who are we to judge LOL) We spent about an hour taking pictures and buying souvenirs. We even found one shop that was selling mugs and shot glasses on a slant, which was just too cute not to buy!

We didn’t end up climbing the tower since by the time went online to book tickets (about 2 weeks before visiting Pisa) there were not slots available in our time-frame. (FYI, tickets can be booked up to 20 days prior to scheduled visit date)

We then headed back to the hotel to fetch our luggage and head to the train station. Thankfully our train was running on time and as soon as we arrived to the station, we boarded the first class cabin for our ride. Since we were satisfied with the 1st class seats to Florence, we bought 1st class tickets for this ride as well. But, the first class on this train was not nearly as nice or comfortable as the day before. We were still glad that we were sitting there as opposed to the main cabin.

The train ride lasted about 2.5 hours. It was a very scenic route!

Upon arrival to the Roma Termini Station at about 4:30, we collected our luggage and made our way to the exit. There were taxi’s outside waiting for customers, however, due to the fear of being ripped off, we decided to use Uber instead. (Yes! There is Uber in Rome). After a few minute wait for the Uber, (during which taxi drivers tried to convince us that the Uber would rip us off) the driver contacted me as he was circling for a few minutes and was unable to locate us. Finally we were sitting in our Uber and enjoyed a very pleasant ride as our friendly driver pointed out some landmarks on the way. Some 20 minutes later, we pulled up to a building which matched the address of our hotel.

While planning our trip, we were unsure which hotel to book for our stay in Rome. Many fellow DDF’ers stayed at one of the Sheraton hotels but we weren’t so sure about staying there since both Sheraton hotels are quite far from the main sites and attractions. Additionally, various TR’s mentioned that the public transportation in Rome was unreliable, and unsafe too, which led us to seek other hotel options. We were looking for a hotel that would be walking distance to the Ghetto area, and would also be safe to walk at night. After much research on TA, we settled on Hotel Navona, which seemed to have pretty good reviews, was within 10-15 minutes walking distance to most attractions, and was very decently priced.

Upon arrival to the above mentioned building, we entered the courtyard when DW said (in a calm voice that we all know means troube) “we are not staying in this place”!!!!!! I couldn’t agree more as the outside décor was ‘less than beautiful’ to say the least. I told DW to reserve judgement until we reached our room. (All the while I praying that Sheraton still has available rooms). We rang the bell by the main entrance where there was a sign “Hotel Navona- 2nd Floor”. After a short wait, a bellhop greeted us and helped us with our luggage. We read online that the building does not have an elevator but the hotel provides a bellhop. Fortunately, that turned out not to be accurate as they recently installed a small elevator, which was just enough for the bellhop and our luggage. We waited for the next shift……!!

After exiting the elevator and entering the 2nd floor, we calmed down somewhat seeing that the front desk and hallway were pretty ok looking. We checked in, and got a map of all the main attractions and headed to our room, holding our breath all the while. We were relieved to see that our room was by far much nicer than the courtyard!!!! By now DW agreed that we can stay here for our 3 night stay in Rome. PHEW! The room was actually pretty spacious; we even had a little porch.

After we settled into our room, we went for a stroll to explore the Ghetto area where the shul and all kosher restaurants are located (7-8 minute walk from our hotel.)

Since we hadn’t eaten lunch that day, we went straight to Ba’Ghetto Milky (we stuck to milchig since we didn’t want to run into problems with Glatt meats). We ordered Eggplant rolls filled with tuna and mozzarella cheese as an appetizer (€6.50), Spaghetti with cheese and cubes of salmon (€12.50) and Cheese and Smoked salmon (€12) as mains. Additionally, there is €1.50 pp sitting tax in all restaurants in Rome. Also, just like in Venice, you pay for your water ;).

All the dishes were delicious and we wiped our plates clean. (hopefully the pictures will be posted one day)

After dinner, we headed to the great synagogue for Mincha/Maariv. As informed on DDF, we took along ID, which had to be presented prior to entry. In addition, everyone was subject to a security check and had to pass a metal detector. They were very strict about shutting phones during services, as pictures weren’t allowed and the gabbai strongly enforced the rule. (It later turned out that during a tour, pictures were allowed).

After davening, we took another short walk along the river before heading back and turning in for the night.

Up Next Day #1 in Rome…………

September 04, 2016, 10:59:33 PM
Re: 8 packs of 36 organic fruit leathers only $32
Seems OOS and not allowing me to add to cart. Nice find though.

Back in stock!! but it will sell out fast..

September 05, 2016, 09:09:32 AM