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Atlantic City Master Thread anyone stay at the sheraton atlantic city?
is it gross?
whats the upgrade for gold members?

July 05, 2009, 01:05:59 AM
Lancaster, PA (And Hershey Park) Master Thread Does anyone know of a nice hotel with good rates for a 2-3 night stay with a family in the Lancaster, Amish town, Dutch Wundeland area? any itinerary would be appreciated. Thanks
August 25, 2009, 02:42:36 PM
Chicago Master Thread Gonna be in Chicago for a few days.
Can people post ideas of things to do and places to eat.

I obviously know about Ken's (and Great American).
And also I was once at the Museum of Science and Industry which was very cool.
Gonna be there in August so probably check out the air and sea show.
Cubs are away the days I'm there but maybe catch a White Sox game.

Anyone have any other ideas?

July 11, 2010, 04:59:51 PM
Shavers What shavers u guys have? I have Braun 790cc and I luv it!
May 27, 2011, 05:28:17 PM
Honeymoon: Cape Town, SA - Safari - Mauritius This is my first trip report and it took me around 10 months to finally write it up…
The Honeymoon of a lifetime was actually planned from even before we got engaged. We were deciding between South Africa & Australia and as you can guess, South Africa won! I did a ton of research for this trip, from other friends’ who went to SA on their honeymoon, from DDF and from well, the internet. This is my first trip report but hopefully you will enjoy it.
For Flights we booked the following:

JFK – JNB – Booked on South African Airways with United Points 80,000 roundtrip pp economy
JNB – JFK - Booked on South African Airways with United Points 80,000 roundtrip pp economy

For hotels we booked the following:

6 Nights in Cape Town at the Cape Royale Hotel (4th Night Free – Citi Prestige)
5 Nights in a Safari lodge called Kings Camp in the Timbavati Reserve (4th Night Free – Citi Prestige)(5th Night Free from the safari Resort. Stay 5 Pay 4 Special) (the 4th Night credit from using the prestige card reimbursed me $1,500 for one night!!!!)
1 Night in Johannesburg at the Palazzo at Monte Casino
5 Nights in the Westin Mauritius turtle Bay Resort – 10k SPG per night
2 Night in the St. Regis Mauritius – 20k SPG per Night

Wednesday, December 28th/29th, JFK-JNB with a 2 hour stopover and then JNB – CPT

We got to JFK with plenty of time for our flight which was scheduled to depart at approx. 10:40AM. After check-in I was told from the TSA agent in the Pre-check line that South African Airways doesn’t not patriciate with TSA pre-check, which was kind of disappointing. Although somehow we were able to make our way to a different Pre-check line and did not have to take out my laptop or remove my shoes. After security we proceeded to the Wingtips Lounge in Terminal 4 at JFK. Our flight was delayed about 40 minutes so after doing some emails and getting a bite to eat, we then made our way to the gate and awaited our 15 hour flight to JNB. With about an hour left in the flight I asked a stewardess if I would make my next flight to Cape Town and he assured me that I had nothing to worry about. He said they have flights leaving every hour and if I missed my flight scheduled for 10:10AM local time there was an 11AM one and I would make that one. Sure enough we landed at around 9:30AM but the Customs line much long and by the time we got through was exactly 10AM. We still had to go to the check-in counter and check our bags to Cape Town. So at the Domestic counter in JNB they put us on the 11AM flight and we were at the gate with plenty of time to spare. (We would have made our 10:10AM flight if we were delayed in JFK for 45 minutes). After a 2 hour flight we finally made it to Cape Town and after getting a SIM card in the airport and calling an Uber we finally arrived at our Hotel at around 3PM.
6 Nights in Cape Town
After checking into the hotel and getting freshened up we heading to the V & A Waterfront to walk around. With it being Hanukkah we saw the stage set up for later on that evening they were having a candle lighting ceremony and have complimentary latkes and sufganiyot.
For Dinner we headed straight to Avrons and little did we know we would go back 3 more times after that. Avron’s had a Friday night dinner option in the restaurant and so before even trying the food on Friday we signed up and paid for the Friday night dinner. The total for Friday night dinner was approx. $15 per person, and trust me we did not leave hungry. Below are some pictures from our meal on Thursday night.

The next day, Friday we woke up at 3:30AM (YES, 3:30AM) and we were picked up at our hotel by 4AM on our way to swim in cages with Great White Sharks. This was so surreal. One of the coolest things we ever did in our lives. The weather was beautiful and the drive was gorgeous (although the wife fell asleep for 2 hours so she missed out). The water temperature was pretty cold but with the wet suits and masks and equipment you didn’t feel the cold water too much. After a long day we finally headed back to Cape Town to shower and change and head to Avrons for dinner.
Saturday we walked around the V & A Waterfront again and stayed there pretty much all day. Saturday night we headed straight back to the waterfront as it was New Year ’s Eve. The waterfront was packed and they had so many cute and fun events and it all topped off with a nice fireworks celebration.

Sunday we hired a private driver and vehicle to drive us around the entire cape peninsula. We headed straight to Café Riteve to pick up breakfast and lunch for the road. The food was really good and the staff was pretty nice. I can go into detail about the tour but pretty much these are the main points of interest that were very cool. This was an awesome day, we saw some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and had a chance to take a boat ride to Seal Island, take a swim with Penguins and saw the exact point the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Clifton & Camps Bay
Hout Bay – Seal Island boat ride
Chapmans Peak Drive
Ostrich viewing drive by
Cape of good hope
Cape point
Simons Town – Penguins Colony
Kirstenbosch botanical gardens (although by this point we wanted to get back to the hotel badly that we saw a few flowers, put a NY Giants hat on Nelson Mandela and left)
Monday we made our way to Table Mountain. We took the cable car up and probably waited about 30 minutes. Once we got up we headed straight for Abseiling. This was insane!!! The pictures do not do justice but this was the highest and longest commercial abseiling company in the world. After repelling down we had to make our way back to the top which took about 35 minutes. This was no easy task for the wife who is in very good shape so thankfully she altered our plans initially which was to climb up the whole mountain from the bottom.
Our afternoon activity got cancelled due to the strong winds which was kind of unfortunate because we were looking forward to paragliding off Lions Head. Instead we headed back to the waterfront and was looking forward to taking a short ferry ride to Robben Island. Unfortunately due to it being a very busy time of the year in Cape Town they were fully booked for the next 8 days so we couldn’t go. Instead we took a sunset cruise around the cape.
Tuesday we had to make some alternative plans as well as we had Skydiving booked for the morning but once again due to the strong winds in Cape Town they cancelled our scheduled dive and being that we were leaving Cape Town the next day we couldn’t do it there. My wife, believe it or not was the one that was most disappointed. We took our time packing up our things in the hotel and went for a nice breakfast and then we got picked up for our next activity, Sandboarding. The sandboarding driver picked us up and drove us to the Atlantic Dunes where we proceed to go sand boarding. The only problem was it was a very windy day (obviously though since skydiving was cancelled) and they did not provide goggles. This activity had a ton of potential but it was absolutely miserable. I had sand in places on my body for the next few days, not to mention my eyes. This could have been easily avoided if our driver told us we should buy goggles because we stopped at a gas station and easily could have purchased a pair. In middle of the activity I went back to the car and just stayed there, my wife finished the hour or hour and a half and then came back to the car. I recommend this activity as it was very cool and a lot of fun, but it was torture for me. So I recommend bringing goggles or buying goggles or making sure the place provides them for you. After the sandboarding we wet Quad Biking (ATVs). This activity was very cool as well. We were supposed to go on the beach but instead went Quad biking on an insane closed course that was very cool. We loved it and had a great time. We both have went ATVing in Israel before but this was a lot cooler as the course was an intense course and not just an open road. We then made our way back to the hotel, finished packing and got an early night sleep.

5 Nights in Kings Camp – Timbavati Reserve – Kruger National Park

We woke up early Wednesday for our 9AM 3 hour flight on SAA from Cape Town direct to Hoedspruit. When speaking to a friend of mine who booked his trip with a travel agent, the travel agent told him there are no commercial flights, and the charter flight could only carry approx. 22 pounds of luggage. He spent over $700 to ship his luggage to JNB because he was not made aware of that and paid over $1,500 per person for this flight. He was in fact, wrong. We flew direct and was to bring onto the plane a luggage that weighed 50 pounds each. With about an hour left on the flight the Pilot got on the loudspeaker and said a flight that took off from JNB and was flying into HDS as well was scheduled to land an hour before us had to get rerouted back to JNB because of the strong winds. For us this would have been terrible. The pilot assured us that they would try and do everything they could to get us in, and so after 30 minutes of flying with our landing gear down and flying in a circle waiting for the clouds and wind to open up, we made our decent down and landed the most terrifying landing I have ever witnessed. Thankfully we landed safely and got off the plane because we ended up finding out that we were the only flight to land that day.


We got our luggage and were met by the managers of the camp, Warren & Lisha Moore. They picked us up from the airport and then drove the 45 minutes to our camp. I am not going to go into detail on the next 5 days but I am going to give you a little idea of what we did.

My wife and I are both strictly kosher so making the decision to come to Kings Camp was a no-brainier. Kings Camp was able to provide us with a Mashgiach from Johannesburg, a totally separate and kosher kitchen, a private chef who prepared three meals for us daily (not to mention the best food we ever had), meats, cheeses, kosher wines and anything else you can think of for our stay. The level of service and the accommodations at Kings Camp was unparalleled to anything I have seen or anywhere I have stayed before. Below are some pictures of our stay and the food and our daily schedule at the camp.

We had a private dinner on our veranda


On every game drive, whether it was in the morning or the afternoon we stopped off and unloaded the food and set up a coffee station in the morning or tea/wine station in the afternoon


We even had breakfast in the middle of the African bush and they were able to bring a portable kitchen and cook fresh breakfast in the middle of god knows where.



My wife was able to light Friday Night candles even, although the clean up from all the wax was a huge hassle and I did feel bad for the housekeeper.


Our Daily Schedule:
5:00AM Wake up
5:30AM – 9:00AM First Drive
9:00AM Breakfast
1:00PM Lunch
3:00PM – 3:30PM Snack time
3:30PM – 7:00PM – Second Drive
8:00PM – Dinner, Sleep and repeat
Here are some pictures of the animals.


Our stay at Kings Camp was something we both could not have imagined. We enjoyed every single minute and couldn’t have asked for a more insane adventure. I am strongly recommending a Safari to everyone, whether you love animals or don’t. In addition, for anyone looking for the kosher experience, or even if you are not requiring the kosher experience I implore you to reach out to Kings Camp in the Timbavati Reserve as your destination. I am now their unofficial spokesman, although they don’t know it yet. I came back ranting and raving and telling everyone from my brother to the stranger sitting next to me on the subway that they have to go on a safari and must stay at Kings Camp.
Monday, January 9th we went on our last drive in the safari and then made our way to the airport for our 12 PM flight to Johannesburg.
1 Night in Johannesburg

 The flight was only an hour long and we landed in Johannesburg airport to a little bit of a surprise.  Our luggage in Hoedspruit (airport in the safari) checked in our luggage directly to our next destination, Mauritius. Only 1 of the 3 luggage’s we had checked in made it to the luggage carousel and even that was a mistake, the luggage tags all said Mauritius, so in fact we were a little lucky. Normally this is not an issue, we are in Johannesburg for only one night and why would we need the other two pieces of luggage. However before we left on our trip we reached out to two different kosher catering companies in Johannesburg and ordered over 70 pounds of food our stay in Mauritius. So now our two luggage’s that were checked in and somewhere in the airport were both half empty and the one luggage we had, and the two carry on suitcases we had were probably ¾ of the way full. Now came the fund stuff.
We went to the hotel where the food was in the freezer waiting for us and had to just wait it out until the next morning to see how we were going to fit the food. To make a really long and unforgettable story short, we fit everything into the one luggage and two carry-ons we had and ended up with two carry ons weighing approx. 50 pounds each and a suitcase which weighed at least 90 pounds.
We got to the airport and tried to play dumb but when the agent at the counter saw over 40 kilograms she started to panic. When smooth talking her didn't really i took out i took out the only currency i had in my pocket, a $50 bill USD and handed it over to her. If i tell you her reaction you would never believe it. She proceeded to tear up and say thank you a million times. she blessed me with all her heart for the next 10 minutes and even came around the counter to hug me and thank me. So while a $20 bill might have done the job the $50 made the experience that much better. we checked the big luggage and a carry on and made our way to Mauritius. 
5 Nights in Mauritius – Westin Turtle Bay Resort
We arrived in Mauritius and got into a car that was waiting for us and that was arranged by the hotel. the drive took about an hour, maybe even a little more. For the first 20 minutes or so of the drive it was pouring rain. my wife was nervous about the rain in Mauritius and the first experience on the island was a bit upsetting. she started to go on about how it's going to rain the whole time and it won't be hot and sunny, and i said let's see what happens.
It turns out it didn't rain one more minute on the island after that first half hour. the weather was sunny and beautiful every single day. the water temperature of the ocean was perfect and the hotel was great. the hotel has a bunch of activities to do for free and a few that can be purchased as well. we stayed at the Westin for 5 nights and the staff was great. They heated up our Lunch and Dinner for us when we asked and only charged us $10 per person per meal. (considering what they could have charged us this was nothing to complain about). the lounge at the westin was great as well and everything about the resort was perfect. after 5 days on the island and the end of the trip coming to a close we ended our trip with 2 nights at the St. Regis resort.



2 Nights in Mauritius – St. Regis Resort 

Our hotel arranged for a taxi to pick us up from the Westin in the morning after breakfast and drove us another hour to the south Western tip of Mauritius, a little area on the island called Le Morne where we checked into the St. Regis. This hotel was insanely gorgeous.


Everything about it was perfect, the staff, the service, the accommodations, everything was perfect. We got upgraded to the Manor house suite which is the nicest room in the hotel. The hotel heated up our lunch and dinner for us as well and didn't charge us anything. it took until the second to last day of our stay in Mauritius to finally come across Americans. I guess with it being close to 21 hours away many Americans don't get the chance to go there. These Americans were traveling for close to 2 months and the stop before Mauritius they were in Seychelles. They confirmed with me that Mauritius was a much better island and resort than Seychelles. I can't vouch for that, just sharing what they said. Mauritius, while really far away was a beautiful island with lovely staff and if you're ever in the area i would certainly recommend it. We checked into the airport with enough time to spare and the agent at the check in counter was able to send our luggage from Mauritius straight to JFK so it was an awesome sigh of relief when we didn't have to get our bags again.

Our flight from Mauritius to Johannesburg was a little delayed but we landed in JNB with about 2 hours to spare before our flight back home was scheduled to take off. we went straight to the International Transfer line and waited close to half an hour without moving three feet. We then called up Nandos Kosher and ordered food for them to deliver to the airport. We got off the line and went back to the regular customs line and after 15 minutes we made it back to the departures terminal where an order of fresh chicken and burger sandwiches from Nandos kosher was waiting for us. We quickly got back onto the security line. got through customs again and went straight to one of the airport lounges. I took a nice hot shower in the lounge while my wife relaxed a little. we then ate our food and proceeded to the gate for check in. we boarded, took off and 16 hours later we landed in JFK.
I probably could have kept this TR going for another 10 pages but i left out a lot of the boring stuff. South Africa and Mauritius were amazing places to visit and my wife and i talk about going back one of these days. Or maybe for our 20th anniversary with our children. If anyone has any recommendations for editing the TR or adding to it. or if anyone has any questions about SA or Mauritius please reach out to me.

November 03, 2017, 01:15:36 PM
Master Thread Of Jack6941's Awesome Amazon/Walmart Deals Follow this thread daily for awesome price drops and deals on Amazon and Walmart  from @jack6941!
November 26, 2019, 09:02:31 AM
Corona Time 3 Day Getaway to the Berkshires With Quarantine blues, some of the kids camps cancelling, and trying to bring some fun as we try to transition back into normalcy, I tried to find a 2-3 day getaway to have some good family time outside the house.

I was hoping Busch Gardens Williamsburg would open as that has been a fun safe getaway for us in the past, but they kept delaying their opening so I ruled that out.

With just about everything indoor closed, and many hotels closed, we needed to find something outdoors where in the same area we could find normal (affordable) lodging....but we kept encountering closures.

In the end, we managed to find a real nice getaway, so my wife and I (and 8 kids) headed north to Massachusetts. I literally spent 10+ hours planning this short getaway, so I'm sharing in the hopes that if someone is in my situation that they will benefit from my research.

Transportation - We departed from Lakewood with both our cars. My oldest daughter drives, so that allowed my wife and I some quality time together in the front seat (which is almost non existent when the kids are practicing to drive and we're travelling as a family).

Lodging - With absolute divine intervention, I came across a Fairfield Inn & Suites in Williamstown MA, for 5K Marriott points a night! We needed 4 rooms for 2 nights, which was a total 40K point total. The hotel opened in December and it was clean and comfy and a great base to some of the places we planned to visit. The pool and fitness room were closed, and they make you wear face masks in the public areas. Overall, I felt I finally some good usage for my Marriott points.

Food - Fairfield Hotels only have mini fridges and I'm always wondering if those things really work or not, so thanks to our trusty bear bags (we brought 3 of them) we're able to keep everything cold or frozen without the fridge. We got one of these Portable Gas Grill from Walmart ( with a few mini propane tanks. We also brought a sandwich maker. So sandwich makers and homemade muffins for breakfast, cold-cut sandwiches and wraps for lunch, and marinated shnitzel, hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner. We usually bring a few cases of Tradition Soups as well as an insurance policy. The hotel served a grab and go breakfast that consisted of a OUD granola bar and muffin as well as a water bottle. For us it was was a waste of time, but they did say it varies by day.

Activities -
Day 1 - We departed Lakewood at about Noon. The drive direct to the hotel was roughly 4 hours, so I was looking for something en-route that we can break up the drive. Literally 10 minutes out of the way I came across Minnewaska State Park that was the perfect find. Entrance fee was $10 per car. We did a beautiful 1 hour small hike to Awosting Falls. It's beautiful and the kids loved it! We also did a 2 mile walk around the Lake Minnewaska Loop. Both would be accessible with a decent stroller. We then had a picnic dinner before heading towards the hotel.

Day 2 -
Natural Bridge State Park - Literally 10-15 minutes from hotel, this (free) stop was beautiful and fun.
Berkshire U-Drive Rent-A-Boat on Pontoosuc Lake - Just 25 minutes from hotel this was also a great find. 10 person pontoon was $206 including tax for 2 hours. The kids got to jump in the water and it was great fun.
Burbank Park by Onota Lake - The locals told us to park alongside the road that takes you to beach access where we'll find picnic tables by the water to make our BBQ dinner. Pretty.

Day 3 -
Jiminy Peak - Alpine Slides, Mountain Coasters, Zip Lines. $39 and $29 unlimited depending on your size and you only pay if you ride, but you do have to reserve ahead of time a 4 hour slot. (This is tomorrows activity as I'm here in the hotel typing this as I had some down time. I hope we'll have a blast. )
BBQ at Jiminy Peak and then head back home.

I hope this helps :)

July 01, 2020, 11:08:06 PM
Summer 2020 Covid 19 4 week Road trip to CO, UT, AZ, CA, NV, MT, WY.
I Will not be posting pics as we used our phones for the pictures and they do not do it justice and i don't have the time to upload them. You can google the names of the places to see the pictures which are unbelievable. If someone would like to post the pictures send me a PM and I will send you the relevant  pics.

The trip was planned in 4 days and by the time we left we had the first week planned but for the remainder we remained open and flexible.

Trip was 2 adults and 4 kids aged 5-12

Total Price for hotels, flights and car for the trip was 730k UR points. 300K Marriott Points. 16k Hyatt points and $1500 cash.

We brought along some pots and pans with the idea of looking for hotels with kitchens.
All the Shuls that I reached out to were either closed or not allowing visitors. The Sole exception was Chabad of Palm Springs that had an outdoor minyan in 110 + degrees.

Hotels were limited as far as housekeeping, bell service, pools, spas etc..

Day 1 .
Flight to Denver.  The airport and flight was more crowded than we had expected but everything felt safe and clean. 
After arriving and renting a suburban, we went to target, East Side Kosher and the Pizza Shop to  stock up food and supplies we bought an indoor grill and some disposable outdoor grills. We Then drove 1.5 hours to our first destination, Estes park at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park. We stayed at the Estes Park Quality Inn which turned out to be clean and comfortable.  We had a 2 floor room.  The first floor had a king bed, pull out sofa and bathroom, and the second floor had a private room with a double bed and bathroom. Both floors had a little porch.  We had a BBQ dinner at Estes Lake. The views were beautiful.   

Day 2.
We were up and out 8am and headed to Trail Ridge Road.  The views were absolutely unbelievable!  There are no words to describe and the pictures don’t do them justice.  In Colorado there are so many different types of mountains.  From one observation point you can see rocky mountains, green mountains and snow capped mountains.  We saw the snow melting into lakes and rivers.  There was lots of wild life too!  We saw elk, moose, cows, marmot and chipmunks!  Due to the high elevation we all felt a little unwell, lightheaded and a little dizzy and out of breath  The kids had fun climbing in the summer snow and we saw the continental divide, where the water runs either to the pacific or atlantic oceans.    After finishing the drive we ended up in Grand Lake and ate our picnic lunch .  Another gorgeous lake with magnificent views!  We decided to rent a boat and ride around for an hour.  The kids had a blast taking turns driving the boat while listening to Mordechai Shapiro on the Bluetooth.  We  loved seeing all the homes right on the water.  They were big, beautiful and had boat garages!  The whole town was so charming.  After our hour rental was up we got back into the car for a 3.5 hour drive to Snowmass (about 20-30 minutes away from Aspen).    The views were amazing and again there was lots of wild life.   For some of the drive we were on what felt like a dirt road for quite a while.  We saw the Colorado river many times and drove through tunnels that were built right into the mountain.  We checked into a 2 bedroom suite with a full kitchen at Viceroy hotel.  It was super clean!   

Day 3
After breakfast, which took a while because the fancy Wolf  stove only registers certain pots and not the pots we brought from home, so in order to cook we are putting our pots inside the hotels.  So it took a really long time to make eggs!  We finally headed out and our first stop was a 10 o’clock free guided nature wildflower hike in Snowmass.  This hike was about 1.5 hours long.  Although it was a nice hike the kids complained most of the way and it wasn’t very exciting.  We saw some wildflowers, learned about the Aspen trees whose roots interestingly connect to each other underground, and saw a beaver dam.  After the hike we drove about 20 minutes to Aspen.  We took the silver queen gondala up Aspen Mountain and saw amazing views!  The 10 minute ride was exciting for the kids, We ate our lunch at the top of the mountain and walked around a little We then went back down on the gondola and walked around the streets of Aspen.  It’s a charming area, lots of fancy shops and outdoor dining.  By 3pm the kids had enough and we headed back to the hotel to swim. 

 Day 4.
After a good night sleep and a hearty breakfast, we headed out to the Grottos Loop Hike.  We wanted to do Maroon Bells but we could not get a reservation.  Our destination was about 20 minutes away but somehow we missed our exit and drove an additional 20 minutes on a really scary narrow road right on the edge of the mountain.  This is a famous road called Independence Pass or Colorado 82.  It’s a 2 way road but sometimes only one car fits on the lane, and the cliffs on the side were really scary.  The views however were breathtaking!  When we made it to our destination we noticed the sign for the exit was twisted which is why we missed it.  We parked, applied sunscreen and bug spray and began our hike.  We started walking over a small pedestrian bridge over a creek.  We ended up off the trail path for a while but then found it again.  We saw ice caves and gorgeous water falls!  There was some fun climbing up and down some steep rocks.    After exploring and hiking for a while we went back to the car to get our lunch bag and brought it back to the bottom of the waterfall to have a picnic lunch.  We then climbed on some of the rocks in the water.  Back at the hotel We walked up to the outdoor mall, it was quite a hike up, got a drink at the westin hotel and sat outside overlooking magnificent mountain views.

Day 5
We packed out of the Viceroy in Snowmass.  This took longer than expected.  Although we were living out of our suitcases, we had to pack up all our kitchen things and this took a while.  We really enjoyed our stay there.  The staff there was so nice and they all maintained a really high level of cleanliness, constantly disinfection and cleaning.    We finally left at around 9:15/30am.  It was a long ride to the Royal Gorge Bridge and park.  We had to take Independence highway again, the very curvy narrow and steep road.  It was really scary at times!  We finally arrived at 1pm and had a quick lunch on a bench.  The views were once again unreal.  This was a suspension bridge from one cliff to the next and below is the river.  It was amazing!  Walking across the bridge was very scary for some of us.  When we got across the bridge we walked around a little, went on the merry go round and then we headed to the gondala to take us back.  When we got to the gondola, it was shutting down due to an incoming storm.  We got stuck at the park during the lightning storm which was breathtaking to watch and waited it out at the theatre.  We were a little concerned about all the people in a small room and all those germs, so as soon as the rain got lighter we waited on the covered porch. When it was over we walked back across the bridge, bathroom stop, and into the car.  We drove 2.5 hrs to Gunnison where we were spending the night.  We arrived at the Days INN and upon a quick inspection we realized this was not a hotel we can stay in so we went the Nearby Holiday INN Express instead.   
Day 6 and 7

We were on the road by 8am and arrived at our hotel Mountain Lodge Telluride at around 11am.  We booked a 2 bedroom suite with a full kitchen. However, due to Carona, they were not allowing for early check in.  We had to come back at 4pm.  This was a bit of a bummer since we were  looking forward to settling in.  We drove to town, found a nice park for a picnic and some frisby, walked around and found a farmers market and then bought ice cream from the supermarket.  We took a nice drive to see the Bridal Veil water fall and then went back to the supermarket to stock up for our 3 day stay.    We finally arrived and the check in process was unique because of carona.  The front desk texted us with a code to a locker that wasset up out front.  In the locker was our key and map of the property.  There was no one to help with the luggage.  we parked the car and then we schlepped the bags to our room  This was not easy, traveling with 6 people and lots of luggage up a hill.  We quickly unpacked the kitchen and put up some Shabbos food.  The room was hot as there is no AC in the hotel.     After Shabbos lunch and Naps We walked to the center center of town which was a short 5-10 minute walk.  It was such a charming little area, with a central plaza, cafes and live music.  We also saw the mountain bikers biking down a mountain path.  They took the gondola up the mountain with their bikes, and then road down.  It was a lot of fun to see.  We found a small playground and rock climbing area for the kids.  The views in Teluride were pretty amazing.

Day 8
We got out a little before 9 and drove 1.5 hours to Mesa Verde National Park.  Once we arrived it was another 45 minute drive to the first view point.  We enjoyed seeing the cliff dwellings.  It was so fascinating to see how they built homes and communities right into the mountain.  Unfortunately, because of Corona we were unable to actually go inside.  We visited a few spots where we were able to see different dwellings and pits.  We then went on a short hike (most hikes were closed because of corona and because of a forest fire).  The hike was a bit disappointing it was advertised as adventurous and steep with some rock climbing but that was not the case.  Perhaps the exciting part was after the point where the hike was closed off.  The end of the hike was a nice view, but it wasn’t worth it. 
When we got back to our hotel, we ate dinner and then took the free gondola to the town plaza, enjoyed some live music for a bit and then back up.  We stopped at the market to buy ice cream and then walked to the hotel. 

Day 9 
We managed to get out of the hotel a little before 8am and drove to Moab, Utah.  We arrived around 11am and were able to check into the Hyatt place hotel.    We then went to the Arches National Park.  Wow wow and wow!  It was like nothing we have ever seen!!!  I can’t even describe it and will have to look at pictures to understand.  Different rock formations, arches and windows…..all natural Gd made!  We stopped at a few and the kids had a blast climbing up to the top.  The climb up was fun, when they got to the top it was nerve-wracking as  there was a cliff on the other side.
Day 10
We managed to get out by 7am today!  We left Utah and drove to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.  What should have been a 5.5hr drive turned out to be close to 7hrs.  We were about 1.5hr away from our destination when we saw a sign saying the East gate to the Grand Canyon is closed!  We had to drive all the way around the mountain to enter from the south gate.    When we finally arrived, we used the bathroom and had a picnic lunch.  Then we walked around the South Rim.  The views were amazing!  The long drive was exhausting, and no one was up for a big walk or hike.  We spent around 3 hours in total at the Grand Canyon.  A little bit of walking and then a drive to the village and one other viewpoint.  We then drove 2.5 hrs to Kingman, Arizona to spend the night.  We stopped at Wallgreens for supplies.  Checked into the Springhill Suites hotel, shower, dinner, bed. 

Day 11
We left for Palm Springs. to be continued.

August 07, 2020, 03:29:44 PM