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Thailand Master Thread Dear Friends,

 I am planning a trip to Thailand later this month and I have seen online all of the great work that Chabad is doing there. I would love to hear eyewitness reports from anyone who has been to the Chabad Restaurants in Phuket or Chiang Mai. How's the food?  Have you spent Shabbos there?

Thanks a lot,

July 07, 2008, 11:25:09 AM
Re: jokes, any type goes.Whats the difference between mashed potatoes, and pea s Three men arrive in heaven all around the same time. St. Peter sees the three men and proceeds to explain to them that Heaven is becoming very full, and they can only allow 1 out of every 3 people into heaven. So to choose which guy out of three that gets into heaven, St. Peter decides to let the person who had the worst death in. Peter takes the first guy aside and he begins to tell his story:

"Well Peter I had been having a very rough week. I have been suspecting that my wife has been cheating on me for a long time, so one day I left work early to catch her in the act. When I got home, sure enough there was my wife in bed naked, but the bastard wasn't in bed with her. I searched the entire house when I finally found the prick dangling outside my back balcony. I lived on the 8th story, so I started stomping the guys fingers trying to get him to fall off, but the asshole wouldn't fall. I went back into my room and got a hammer and smashed his fingers again. finally the guy fell off and landed in a big pile of bushes, but the bastard was still alive! I went and unplugged my refrigerator, threw it off the balcony, and finally killed the guy. After that though I felt so bad that I went into the back room and shot myself."

St. Peter agrees that this is definitely an unfortunate way to die, but goes on to the second guy;

"Well Peter, I had just bought this book on Yoga and decided to give it a try. I went back home to my tenth story apartment and preceded to try this new book, when I lost my balance and fell out the window. Luckily I grabbed onto a balcony two stories down, when out of nowhere some guy starts stomping on my fingers! Thank G-d i held on, and when he left I tried to pull myself up, but then he comes out with a hammer and breaks my hands! I couldn't hold on any longer and fell 8 stories down. Luckily there were bushes to break my fall and I only had broken bones and was lucky to be alive. the last thing i remember however is a giant refrigerator landing on me and killing me."

Once again St. Peter agrees that this is a horrible way to die, yet he goes onto the third guy:

"Alright Peter picture this. You're bare @ss naked inside of a refrigerator..."

May 11, 2010, 06:07:35 PM
Notification Thread For Sizzling Flights (POST DEAL LINKS ONLY-NO DISCUSSION) The idea in signing up for notifications is to prevent you from missing out on a CHEAP AIRFARE / GLITCH that you might have otherwise overlooked. By signing up for notifications you will get an email every time someone writes a posts in this thread.
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  • Please post a link to the thread with the deal, do not follow up with posts in this thread.
  • Please do not discuss the merits of this thread, or lack of thereof, here. You can discuss that here.
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September 02, 2013, 01:57:17 PM
Re: Orlando Master Thread Thursday 1/8

It took me a while to figure out what to do for the 3rd, and last, day of the trip. Why did we go for 3 days? My wife had a final on Monday, and I knew I wanted to be home for Shabbos. So I booked the departure for Monday night and figured, hey we might as well stay for as much of the week possible, so we'll stay till Friday morning. I quickly realized that by flying back on Friday, I’d be taking an off-day from work on Friday just to travel, so I changed my flight (thanks Southwest!) to Thursday night. We simply had a 3rd day because, why not? True, we wouldn't be able to do a big park on that day since you really don't want to be worrying about rushing early out of a park to catch a flight, but because Universal only has 2 parks, I knew we'd be done by day 3 and could just enjoy the warm weather with a smaller activity. The Titanic Museum and mini golf with alligators came up as decent possibilities, but when I went to the Eden Wok DO on Christmas Eve and met ad120 who offered me FREE LegoLand tickets he didn't need and happened to have on him (!), I knew exactly what our 3rd day activity would be! (No, ad120 no longer has any tickets.) He warned me that LegoLand is a bit on the kid-side of things, but I figured, free tickets - why not? My wife was very excited as she had gone to LL as a kid and had fond memories.

But, I wasn't done yet. I still wanted to do something else and get in a little surprise for my wife. For the last night/day of our trip, I very much wanted to rent a home with a private pool on AirBNB so we could have fun swimming privately. My wife loves swimming, so I thought it would be a great idea. I spent the weeks leading up to our trip checking AirBNB all the time for possible rentals. Most places have pics of their pool, but you'll find that a lot of times, (at least the homes in Orlando) are walled in by clear glass walls and are part of a neighborhood of homes that share the same big backyard and all have these glass cages around their pools where you can see in from one pool to the next. This provides privacy, although not modesty. The few houses that I found with fences around their pools wouldn't accept a 1 night reservation (1 owner's concern was that I would be having a party) or were way too expensive. I had some issues while communicating with some of the owners and AirBNB gave me a $50 credit to make up for the hassle. After a few (read: too many) emails, I got AirBNB to combine the $50 credit with the $25 credit I got for signing up so I now had $75 off! I was willing to spend $100 after the discount, so now my options opened up a bit. (As an aside, you'll find that the prices you see are often not so accurate - there's an AirBNB fee and often you'll be hit with fees for cleaning and pool heating that are not included in the sticker price.) I still didn't have a place a week before we left (which wasn't a problem, because I still had the BRG booked), and then got the idea to message owners of more expensive houses and ones that had minimum stay requirements and ask if they would work with me because they were still vacant for just a week away. I got one lady to agree to allow me to stay for just 1 night, include the pool heating fee, cleaning fee and everything (after mentioning it was our anniversary) for about $150 so that after the AirBNB fee, the total cost would be under $175! I plugged in my code, which brought the cost down to just $93 and paid with my Arrival+ card, so that in the end of the day, there was $0 out of pocket cost to me - something you by now know I love :)

Now, I know that my wife prefers to stay in the same hotel when travelling (unless we're leaving the city), and I really only booked the home so we could go swimming in the morning (yeah $93 just for swimming ;D), so I didn't want to cancel the Comfort Inn for the last night just yet. I figured we would wait to see how the room was when we arrived and then decide. But because of the possibility that we would leave on the 3rd night to go to the private home, I needed the car rental to be ready for that night, which is why I arranged for it to be ready after Universal as I posted about above. In the end, we were very comfortable in our suite, and I wasn't going to deal with packing up on the morning of our 2nd day and leaving the bags with the front desk - which would ruin the surprise of going to the private home - so we kept our reservation and stayed the night at the Comfort Inn.

Finally, we can start our day. I woke up on time and made it to Chabad. I figured I could be a little later after yesterday when it took them 15 minutes to get to Mizmor Shir, but of course, today they were actually 15 minutes into Davening when I showed up. Perhaps they're not so consistent with their speed. After Shul, I picked up breakfast - again, yogurts and hot chocolate - and went upstairs to start packing. I told my wife that we needed to be ready a bit earlier since we had to drive to LegoLand, so we were out by 9:30. Checkout was smooth (which is always a bit nerve-racking after a BRG) and we were off! About 30 minutes later, we pulled off onto a small street where every house was identical. Every house had the same shape and same tan/yellow color. It was like we drove into a movie set of some utopian world. Pretty freaky. Anyway, we pulled up to the house and when I pulled into the driveway, my wife gave me a look. I said, “C'mon let's go!” and she confusingly followed me to the door. Of course, the moment was ruined a bit when I couldn't get the code to unlock the door and had to call the property manager who reminded me I had to nudge the door as I entered the code, but we were in! The house was really nice. Very clean and obvious that no one lives there and it's just for rentals (few drawers, empty closets), but I immediately saw how this could be really cool for a family for a week. I took her to the back and had her open the shades where she saw the pool! She was still very confused, but definitely happy and laughed when I pulled bathing suits out of my bag, having successfully snuck them into my suitcase at home without her noticing. Unfortunately, it was cold outside today. Cold for Florida I should say. One touch of the water (even with the heater on), and we knew it wouldn't be fun at all to swim in it. :(

To give you an idea of the modesty level of the pool that I finally went with, here’s a pic. The backside was a forest and the two sides had frosted glass on the bottom layer, which meant that if we were in the pool, neighbors couldn’t see in. You can also see from the picture how close neighbors with the glass-cage-over-the-pool are.

We went back inside, and I emailed the owner telling her she was really going to save a lot on a cleaning crew because we were just going to leave. Oh well. It would have been fun, but you can't predict the weather. We were wearing sweatshirts and long pants/leggings that morning, so I knew it may not work out as we were driving, but obviously I was at least going to check out the house/situation anyway.

I had thought we would swim till around noon (got the owner to allow late checkout) and then go to LegoLand for a few hours, but we were obviously on our way earlier than that. 40 minutes later, we pulled into LegoLand, and I realized I forgot to buy parking online for a $2 discount, so we ended up paying $14. Too bad :P You could tell by the size of the parking lot and by how few cars were there at already noon, that it was going to be an empty park which is always great. Right outside the park, they’re building a Lego hotel, scheduled to open Summer 2015. The concept sounds cool – each room is decorated with a different Lego theme, plenty of activities for the kids to do, but the idea of going to Orlando and calling LegoLand your base seems like a bad one. There is 1 park here and you’re 40+ minutes away from Disney and Universal. The official resorts by Disney and Universal make sense because each place has at least 2 parks, and both places are only about 20 minutes away from each other. Anyway, let’s begin with LegoLand!

As a kid, I always wanted to come here – a whole world built out of Lego! – and as a kid, I’m sure I would have loved it. My wife had been to the LegoLand in California as a kid, so she was excited to bring back some memories. However, I was a bit let down. The park is not built out of Lego (or built out of things that are made to look like Lego). Sure, there are Lego statues of characters placed around the park, but I was expecting every building, fence, bench, etc. to look like it was made out of Lego. I was also surprised that every life-size Lego creation was worn out with the colors faded. Did no one think about the ramifications of leaving Lego outside in rainy conditions? Seems like that was just overlooked. The park was nice, don’t get me wrong, but the quality of it was a CLEAR notch down from the likes of Disney and Universal. Additionally, almost every ride is geared towards kids (which is obviously the point) with some rides actually being off limits to adults, while Disney still manages to make adults feel welcome and enjoy kid rides, so I think LegoLand just missed out on that. You would also think that with the huge success of The Lego Movie, there would be a ride or a show or something related to it but NADA except for a meet & greet with a plain-faced Lego character that could have been Emmet – or really any other plain Lego character from your childhood. :-\

I’m going to approach this a bit differently than how I broke down the Universal parks. The park does not have a perfectly clear order for walking around, so I’m just going to point out the things we did (not in any real order) and in much briefer fashion than I did for Universal. I will first point out that the park was empty. Like I said, it was very cold today (we were cold in our sweatshirts) so that likely kept the park empty, but I’m curious if it actually gets much fuller in better weather.

The Beginning
Island in the Sky - a round “arena” that gets lifted slowly up above the park and spins slowly around. Nice way to see the park, but it was closed when we got there, so we rode right before we left for the night.

Fun Town
Lego Factory – sounded interesting but was closed whenever we passed by :(. Fun Town 4D Theater – this was the closest ride to a classic Universal ride where you sit and watch a show, except… that it was just a movie theater. It felt like going to the movies. Sit wherever you want (not placed into a specific row/seat), no seat restraint because the seat didn’t move, and yeah just the theater felt used/dirty and not maintained. The video was a cute story about Clutch Powers which apparently (found out afterwards) was a straight-to-DVD Lego movie. The 4D was fun as they poured snow down on top of us. Overall, the experience didn’t come close to the even the worst of Universal’s rides.

This was a really fun part of the park. It’s basically a section that contains Lego-size creations of famous sites, like the Las Vegas strip, NYC skyline, Statue of Liberty and Kennedy Space Center as well as a whole Star Wars section with different scenes built out of Lego. A life-size Darth Vader and Darth Maul hang out here, too. Fun to look around and they did a cute job of having Lego boats in the water move around, the fountain at the Bellagio splash water, etc. Once again, most of the creations were faded due to exposure to the elements. How they could have spent countless hours building these wonderful works of art (next to many creations throughout the park, there’s a plaque saying how many pieces are in it and how long it took to build) and not realize that leaving them in the rain would “ruin” them is beyond me.

Pirates’ Cove
Nothing to do here besides watch an on-the-water pirate show, which there were no showings of for the whole day we were there.

Imagination Zone
The focus of this section was an indoor Lego activity center. We could tell from the outside that it wasn’t for us, so we didn’t even go in.

Cypress Gardens
At the end of the park, is a botanical gardens. I can’t figure it out either. The most likely explanation is that it was there before the park was built, and they couldn’t get rid of it because it’s a national something or other. We walked through it because “why not?” and thought it was nice, but no need to stop by here. It takes a while to go through the whole thing and that’s not why you came to LegoLand (I’m imagining you’re here with your kids). At the center of the gardens is a huge banyan tree (funny how Yehoshua just posted about one in Maui, well there’s one in LegoLand, too, lol) which is really cool to walk through as you can actually walk under and through the different trunks that make up one huge tree.

Lego Technic
Project X – the first roller coaster that I’m discussing today. It’s like one of those “mouse” coasters with a little cart that goes around very loopy. My wife wanted to go, but there was a drop that I knew I couldn’t handle. Instead, I spent $10 on a game and won her another Minion doll (only because the guy let me have an extra shot at knocking down the clown). This Minion was not nearly as fuzzy, cute or official-looking as the real one we bought yesterday.

Lego City
Because the map I took that day was in Spanish, I can’t tell you the name of the next ride I want to describe. We didn’t end up doing it because my wife wasn’t interested, but I thought it was pretty cool. 4 teams of people get into their own fire truck and they have to get it to drive to a “fire” by pumping a lever that makes it move. Once at the fire, they have to pump a hydrant and aim the hose at a target to put out the fire. First team done, wins. It was cool to watch. Boating School – here, you sit in a 2-3 person boat and go around the short water track. The boat moves with a pedal/wheel, so you are kinda in control. On line, an older gentleman looked at us and asked if we’ve been to Kosher Grill or Simka’s Sweets (Kosher ice cream store) – lol are we that noticeable? Driving School – was really just for kids, but my wife enjoyed watching it and reminiscing her time on it as a kid. Flying School - after watching this roller coaster go around once, I agreed that it was slow enough for me to ride! The line was non-existent, as were most lines today, so we got right on. I don’t know coaster terminology, but it was the type that holds you from over your head/arms and your feet dangle below. It didn’t go fast, but I still didn’t love the twists and turns and drops. Whatever, roller coasters aren’t my thing and by now you know that. :P

Water Park
Right next to Flying School is the entrance to the water park. The water park was closed today, and from the calendar, it seems like it’s often closed when the main park is open and vice versa. If $80 didn’t stop you from entering the main park, perhaps you’d be willing to spend the other $80 or so it costs to get into the water park. From the map, the water park looks a drop bigger than a “section” in the park, yet it costs just to get in there? Okay…

Land of Adventure
Coastersaurus – my wife really wanted me to go on this one, but I couldn’t see enough of the ride, and LegoLand didn’t have entrance agents by each ride like at Universal, so I just couldn’t get myself to go on. My wife was dying to go on Safari Trek as she had very fond memories of taking her disposable camera and snapping away at all the Lego animals that you see on the safari. Unfortunately, adults aren’t allowed on the ride without a kid (kinda opposite how every other park/ride operates lol) and even with some sweet talking, we couldn’t get on. Lost Kingdom Adventure – one of those shoot-things-with-a-laser rides that I love! However, it seemed like everything you shot at didn’t actually get shot and everything you didn’t shoot at did get shot. We finished with about 30,000 points IIRC and the kid infront of us somehow had over 100,000 :o

Lego Kingdoms
The best-made section of the park. You’re in one of the classic Lego castles and yeah, it’s cool. The Dragon – a roller coaster that my wife rode about 100 times as a kid. Or 100 times according to what a kid thinks is 100. She was dying to go and after watching it go around, I was uneasy. Somehow, I agreed. The ride starts out on a slow tour through the castle and you just see such cool things made out of Lego. You go through the King’s dining room, you see treasure, and finally, you approach the dragon. As you pass him, you leave the castle and begin the coaster. It wasn’t fast, it didn’t hurt, and it wasn’t scary – yet somehow I still didn’t like it. When it was over, they told us we could just ride again since there was no line. My wife gave me one look and I agreed, so we rode again. It was more fun the second time, but I’m still ehhh about coasters…

World of Chima
ad120 had told me there was a water ride that adults could enjoy. We finally found Quest for Chi towards the end of our day, but because it was so cold, there was no way we were going to get on it. You basically sit in a boat going around with a bunch of people and you have water guns. People on each boat try squirting each other, and people standing in line also have access to water guns and try to squirt those on the boats. So yeah, lots of water, lots of wet – no thank you.

Duplo Valley
This area, the last we went through, is a toddler zone. One attraction, Duplo Farm, caught my attention as it was housed in a building, and I thought perhaps it’s some sort of petting zoo. My wife said there was zero chance that was the case, yet I proudly walked up to the person standing at the entrance (this ride of all rides actually had someone here) and asked if there were actual animals inside. I got such a look from her as she told me that it’s a toddler playroom and my wife starting cracking up.

We went through some shops as we headed out of the park and went to find our car. (At some point we ate lunch that we brought with us, might have been sandwiches, might have been pasta that I made at home and brought with us – I can’t remember what day we ate the pasta, so I might have lied to you a different day and told you we had sandwiches when we really had pasta – gasp!) LegoLand was cute, is probably a ton of fun for kids, but was just okay to walk through as adults-only. We had a nice day, but yeah, I wouldn’t suggest going without kids.

I had originally thought we’d be at the park till it closed at 5PM and then drive straight to the airport, but because we were done early, we decided to stop by Kosher Gourmet one last time. We ordered 2 helpings of popcorn chicken to go, and I Davened Mincha in the Shul next door while the food was being prepared. We got in the car and headed back to the airport. Found Hertz without much a problem, left the car with the attendants who asked if I was Gold and had taken care of gas. I told them yes, and they said we could go. (Again, I had paid with a free day voucher.) I still never got charged the ~$5 tax so maybe that’s a data point that if you return it by just leaving it with the attendants, they don’t review the file and charge you tax? I don’t know, not complaining. Hertz is a quick walk into the airport, and we had our bags checked with plenty of time to walk around.

MCO is a fun airport, like I mentioned before. Now, we actually had some time to walk around. Unfortunately, they have an interesting layout in terms of gates. There are 4 sections of security that lead to 4 different groups of gates. After security you take a train to that group of gates. We could have gone to either the DL lounge (Amex Plat) or UA lounge (UA Club Passes), but neither were in the same group of gates as SW, so we didn’t want to take the chance of taking a train to a different part of the airport and then having to go back and get to the SW gate for boarding. No worries really as we had a fun time walking through the Universal store (yes, they sell the same stuff at the same prices as the stores in actual Universal – no need to go into the parks to waste $40 on a replica wand) and Disney store. We also had plenty of time to get our shotglass. I’m Makpid on having the name of the city/country we’re in be on the shotglass, so we turned down the Universal one (and even the cute Mickey Mouse one – which would definitely be weird since we didn’t go to Disney) and finally found an Orlando in a newsstand store. Off to the gate where we enjoyed our popcorn chicken – although it definitely had a different breading than the first time we got it (and therefore wasn’t as good) – and just read/played on the phone until boarding for our 8:25PM flight. The flight was empty, so luckily, we didn’t have to pay for an extra seat for Stu.

We got back to ISP and within a few minutes we had our bags. It was freezing, and we didn’t have coats (sine I refused to bring one just for the trip to the airport), but the shuttle came pretty quickly. We were back at the Clarion before we could blink, got in the car, and had no traffic on the way home (much better than on the way there). Until next time, Orlando!

January 26, 2015, 01:11:47 PM
Lufthansa Lounge Passes for Sale Selling LH Business Lounge one time use passes $20

 "Present Lufthansa Business Lounge Voucher together with your boarding pass for a same-day flight
operted by a Lufthansa Group Carrier (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Germanwings,
Eurowings) to lounge personnel at your departure airport."

May 06, 2016, 09:13:16 AM
Re: Southwest Companion Pass Master Thread Basically can I transfer from Ur to hyatt or from hyatt to southwest with same last name but different first(Dont want to waste au)?
November 19, 2016, 09:49:41 PM
Re: New Coin Deal
usually how long does it take to get a tracking number? all 3 of my orders are still "processing"
This time it's terribly slow, don't remember other times being so slow

November 22, 2016, 11:21:40 AM
Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Need to spend another ~$40-50 on my $300 travel credit, does anyone have any ideas? any gift cards work?

November 27, 2016, 06:24:03 PM
Lowest Ever On Amazon (LEOA) MASTER THREAD Every "deal" that is a deal just because it's the lowest ever on Amazon please post it here...


Add names to the Wiki if more names are needed... ;)

March 24, 2017, 09:48:56 AM
Re: Amex Platinum Master Thread
If you own it in 2 calendar years, you can get the airline $200 reimbursement twice.
or 3 times #TripleDip

March 27, 2017, 01:45:43 PM