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Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure

Well I'm still waiting for a certain someone (hint: his name rhymes with Shcmyme) to finish it up...


July 05, 2017, 10:24:57 AM
Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Wow so much to say here. below comments are not to disrespect you or your trip but my own feelings on recommending (or Warning) this trip to others.
also great photos so far I really liked the Semi Submerged one!

1. Roatan, wow. If not for the private island I would not see the draw. Snorkeling can be found in Belize or Cozumel that equals or bests Roatan.
Roatan is a Dirty 3rd world country but that goes hand in hand with spending less. Safety is a big concern in some parts.
2. Private Island, while I love the idea of privacy. I love the idea of having service when I'm on a trip.
My Idea of a Vacation is not having to deal with some things like cleaning the bathroom or making my bed. If your up for those things GO FOR IT!!!

This trip while insanely cool only few members can pull it off Married. If you do have the ability to pull this off
1. Be prepared to bring everything you might need from a tooth brush to pam for a pan or whatever you would need for your day to day activities.
2. If you want to do a private island but don't want to give up service you can charter a boat to drop you off and pick you up for the day at a Remote Island some can be had for Free.
we did a remote Island for the day then headed back. (Same story bring EVERYTHING you might need for the day.)

Either way Have Fun & Post a TR!

You be crazy. The draw of your own island for days is amazing.

July 07, 2017, 12:44:06 PM
Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
I did it for a day and it was hard.

Imagine you forgot ANYTHING
your like shoot now whatŅ

maybe if you had a uber boat or Google now delivering things for you as your day continued

You never realize how Needy you are intill you can't get something.

I think it's a GREAT TRIP
just for the people who can handle it.
You sound like such a NY'er :P

What if there aren't 12 kosher restaurants within 2 blocks?

Part of the whole romantic idea is it's just the 2 of you and if you forgot something it's just you two so who cares you make do. (Not to mention with SF's planning skills it's unlikely they forgot anything.)

July 07, 2017, 12:49:50 PM
Re: Great DDF One-Liners
You sound like such a NY'er

What if there aren't 12 kosher restaurants within 2 blocks?

July 07, 2017, 01:18:35 PM
Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Well for me I'm fine with that....
It seems, we have very different things that appeal to us (like everyone) and I can respect that. I'll relish over your TRs at 5 star hotels, and SFs Island adventures, and enjoy them both while doing my own thing.

July 07, 2017, 01:29:19 PM
Re: The New DDMS! Also, in the comments, your name should stand out more than any others. Maybe a profile picture or logo next to it, or  a different color. 
July 07, 2017, 03:04:07 PM
Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure Because of course we can reach a consensus in a eruv discussion in a random TR thread.
July 10, 2017, 03:34:19 PM
Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure
Is it a few days yet? 
He must be waiting for @whYME

July 12, 2017, 01:43:55 PM
Mini LA TR/ a graduation trip? Going to do this TR a little bit differently and break it up into sections:

Intro-I recently graduated grad school, DW recently passed her nursing boards (you may remember that she graduated based on my Kauai trip).  For my graduation trip I wanted to go to Roatan, Honduras based on pictures that I saw, but due to Zika that was out.  Dan posted a big jetblue sale months ago JFK-LAX round trip, so I jumped on those and decided to make LA my graduation trip.  The 1st time we went to LA we centered it around our babyís needs, so I wanted to see LA without a baby.  First trip we took without the baby.

Flights-Dan posted a deal for $62 flights to LAX and back.  I texted DW, she told me to get them.  I booked for a long weekend, Friday morning July 7th-Monday night July 10th.  I figured Iíd be saving some miles this way by buying these cheap tickets.

Hotels-2 nights at the Residence Inn Marriot Beverly Hills by Pico and one night at the Residence Inn Marriot by Oxnard.  Donít remember off hand how many points I used, but I got a good deal on it.

Food-Picked up Shabbos food from Pico Kosher Deli, placed the order the night before; food was very good.  Got Challah from Schwartz bakery, quite expensive but good.  Motzai Shabbos we ate at Nagilla pizza, pretty good, better than the pizza we got in LA last time.  Sunday morning we ate at delice bakery, phenomenal.  Lunch Sunday was at fish grill on the coastal highway; I do not like to eat fish so I got pasta, it was okay.  My wife said her fish was good, but she thinks the fish is better at Dag Dag in Cancun.  Sunday night we went to Tierra Sur as per everybodyís recommendations.  Though the food was really amazing, it was not the best meal I have had in my life like many people say it is for them.  Monday morning we got cereal from the hotel.  Monday afternoon we went to Mexikosher, I found it to be better than the mexikosher in NYC.  Dinner on the way to the airport we went to my favorite place in LA, Jeffs. 

Activities-Friday afternoon went to the grove.  Saturday night we went to the movie theater in century city, wonder what we did there.  Sunday we went to downtown Burbank, Warner Bros. studio tour.  Monday we went to the Reagan Presidential Library, drove down pacific coast highway, went to Santa Monica, and picked up souvenirs on Hollywood Blvd.

Simple quick trip.  Hopefully Iíll put up pics soon.

July 13, 2017, 11:53:02 AM
A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Panama - saw50st8 TR When I turned 34, my mother asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told her that in 1 year, I wanted her to watch my 4 kids while I went on vacation with my husband. We hadn't gone away alone together since we went to Japan back in 2007. We were long overdue for a solo trip! She agreed. We figured at that point, our youngest would be just about 4 years old and really ready for both of his parents to be gone for an extended period of time. We had to work out schedules for both our jobs, my mother's travel schedule and my sister's availability to help my mother and we landed on going in May.

We considered many different places but wanted the following criteria:

1) Bucket list item
2) Easy to travel to (language, currency, access)
3) Lots of activities and things to see
4) Kosher food (We don't normally mind the tuna packets, but wanted to with a nicer vacation this time)
5) Good for a week of travel, including travel time

Panama hit all the items on the list. I have always been fascinated by the canal, how well designed and built it was, how simple gravity helps ships navigate through the mountain ranges in Panama. Panama also has no visa requirements for US citizens and uses the US dollar as currency, so no changing money. They officially have their own currency, the Balboa, but no one uses it.

Since our schedule was flexible, we were able to book United Saver award tickets EWR-MIA-PTY for 35,000 United points each.

The Panama Marriott was also on point savers, so we book 5 nights for 40,000 points. Our original plan was to fly in PTY, spend 5 days exploring the area and then fly up to David to see the coffee plantations and do some amazing rafting and hiking, but by the time we tried to book those flights, they were very expensive. We decided that instead of doing a day trip to San Blas, we would rather stay overnight in San Blas.
We wanted to plan a relatively active trip, but didn't really feel like renting a car so we decided to book day tours. We looked into a lot of different tour companies and finally settled on Almeza Tours (also known as My Friend Mario). Our friends had recently come back and used them and been very happy. They were also willing to negotiate on price and provide us transportation to and from the airport. This checked off our easy to travel requirement!

With our plans in pace and childcare settled, we were ready to go!

For those of you who are interested in this sort of thing, our pictures were taken on a Samsung Galaxy S5, an iPhone 5s or an Olympus TG-5. 

Leaving from Newark


Our first view of Panama City

When we got to Panama City, we were greeted by Mario, who would be our tour guide for a few day trips. His car had many license plates stacked up on top of each other but we never asked him why. Sometimes, you just don't want to know the answer.

He dropped us off at the Marriott and we checked. We chose the Marriott because we had enough points and was on point savers discount. The hotel itself is beautiful. It has that old world colonial charm. We got a standard room which was quite spacious and had a mini fridge. The bathroom was perfectly nice and clean, the beds were comfortable and everything was as you expect from a full service Marriott. The hotel had a really nice pool area with a pool, hot tub, hammocks and lounge chairs. It's fully enclosed and you can enter through the gym. We requested a low floor and were put on the third, right next to an accessible staircase. It worked out very well for shabbos.  However, if I were going back, it would not be my first choice of hotels to stay at. The Hotel is sort of in the middle of nowhere. The kosher restaurants are a 20 minute walk, the shul was a 30 minute walk and wans't in the eruv. We knew all that before going, but I didn't realize just how humid Panama was.

After settling in, we walk to Jeffrey's Bakery, where we picked up empanadas for breakfast and lunch for the next day. Then we went to Aroma Cafe for dinner. Aroma is a beautiful restaurant and very white. We walked in during early dinner hours so the restaurant was empty. The staff didn't speak a word of English (and we speak enough Spanish to ask for cerveza fria), but they had an English menu. Fish is amazingly cheap there, so a large portion of sea bass was around $16. They served delicious bread to start and we ordered focaccia, sea bass, fried mushrooms and a margarita. Everything was delicious - it was one of our favorite restaurants.

July 18, 2017, 08:56:09 PM