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Re: Minneapolis, Minnesota Minnehaha Falls:





Target Field:





Prime Deli:



Little House Wayside:







National Eagle Center:







Frontenac State Park:





State Capital:







Mall of America Mirror Maze:



Ropes Course:



Ziplining:



Aquarium:






May 08, 2018, 09:25:23 PM
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Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related

April 02, 2020, 09:46:01 PM
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Re: Which US national parks have you been to? Which was your favorite?
Are passport stamps from now-closed visitor centers available elsewhere?
Yes. Outdoor tents.

June 19, 2020, 08:24:01 AM
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Re: Chicago Master Thread
Anything to do in Chicago these days?  What's the story with restaurants?

All restaurants are open for outdoor seating (Call the restaurant to verify they have outdoor seating and if reservations are required). Chicago announced today restaurants can have indoor seating June 26, 2020.

Not much. Navy Pier is open, limited things are open so check their website to see if its worth it for you, but parking is free, YAY. Indiana and Wisconsin is nearby and more things are open, check fruit picking, zoo's, etc.

June 19, 2020, 07:48:41 PM
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Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related

June 24, 2020, 02:54:49 PM
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Re: Life Hacks, Post Your Favorites!
Is this much different from hitting the Print Screen button to save a screenshot to the clipboard?
yes, like this you can choose the area to screenshot, and you can mark it up before copying it elsewhere.

June 29, 2020, 01:39:07 PM
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Re: Do you know someone who has had Coronavirus after Pesach?
How can "anyone being intellectually honest" be speaking for yourself?
Because you’re not being intellectually honest, obviously. If you had to wear a mask because you’d die otherwise you’d get used to it real fast like glasses, seatbelts, life jackets, or any other “imposition”. Within a week you’d forget it existed and it would be second nature. You *never* gave it that chance because from day one you’ve been in denial about the efficacy of communal mask wearing. (Unless you have underlying respiratory issues, which you said you don’t have).

Mask wearing is literally a tiny step to take that would greatly improve safety overall but as I’ve pointed out there seem to be religious objections to it. It’s what made me realize this was never about government overreach or “lockdown issues”, but always about selfishness and personal comfort. Mask wearing will be uncomfortable for anyone in the beginning. But for some reason doctors, nurses, food industry workers etc. who are required to wear masks all day figure it out and live with it.

July 02, 2020, 10:50:15 AM
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Re: Long Term Effects of COVID-19
There hasn't been a flood of people becoming reinfected.  Only a handful of people around the world are suspected of that happening and none are confirmed.
That's exactly what reinfection would look like. It would start very gradually, as a few people start to lose immunity and come into contact with an infected person. 
Quote
A person experiencing symptoms, may potentially spread it to others. Appealing to their common decency may motivate them to be careful no to infect others.
More accurately:
A person experiencing symptoms, may have already spread it to others.
Transmission is highest a day or two before symptoms appear, so they need "common decency" before they know they're infected.

July 03, 2020, 04:34:13 PM
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Re: Long Term Effects of COVID-19
I assume you had it but have no antibodies?  I don't think you'll get it again.  Sorry.
Does the virus ask what you think?

July 03, 2020, 05:02:06 PM
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Re: New DDF Forums
Ahh... thats how you have 10K+ posts...  ;D

July 08, 2020, 03:05:50 PM
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Re: Kareem Abdul Jabbar calls out lack of outrage over anti-Semitism
When we were kids, (~30 yrs ago) Kareem used to bring his son to play baseball in the little leagues in Gardner park. He ignored any Jew that came over to him (he signed some autographs for others...)
people can change believe it or not... what he’s doing now is a great gesture

July 15, 2020, 06:34:09 PM
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Re: Correct spelling of Yiddish/Jewish names
Can someone please post the girls' נ page?  TIA



https://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=8545&st=&pgnum=164

You might also find this useful: https://www.sefaria.org/Beit_Shmuel%2C_Beit_Shmuel_on_Names_for_Women?lang=bi

July 19, 2020, 03:37:51 PM
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Re: Random questions.
Not necessary.

This was live earlier but you can see the replay



July 29, 2020, 04:21:01 PM
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Re: Question about mandatory quarantine in NYS
The school said they were required to provide contact info.

September 10, 2020, 01:22:30 PM
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Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
Anyone know if KF of the U.K. is good?
Kosherquest approves.

January 06, 2021, 03:55:24 PM
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Re: Milestone Posts Now I have 1K likes.

February 01, 2021, 12:07:27 AM
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Re: Megillah leining
Can people please post "at risk"-friendly megillah leinings?  All frum communities (I'll try to wikify if relevant), but I'm looking for NYC area.

Make your own. I'll be laining for my parents.

February 11, 2021, 02:27:52 PM
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Re: Megillah leining NYC is a big place. In Flatbush, YI of Midwood and YI of Avenue J have been very strict with SD and masks since reopening. I would expect the same for Purim, probably with additional readings to spread the crowds out even further.
February 11, 2021, 02:36:50 PM
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Guatemalan Getaway A mere 5-hour flight away, with beautiful weather, vistas aplenty, and fascinating culture, Guatemala is a no brainer for great winter getaway.
On Wednesday evening, we took a United direct flight, which was very smooth and comfortable, especially since the plane was very empty.
If flying international, be aware to give yourself an extra 40 minutes or so these days. There is a line where they are checking that you have the proper COVID paperwork in order, and it takes a while.

We landed in Guatemala City and proceeded immediately to Antigua, which is about an hour drive away.
We chose to stay at Casa Santa Domingo, which is a beautiful old hotel. It’s a converted monastery and ended up having a lot more religious items and decor than anticipated, which made me slightly uncomfortable. But it is a beautiful, inexpensive hotel, and has hard keys and only 1 floor which makes it great for Shabbos.
It is a 20-minute walk from Chabad, but it’s a nice easy walk and a great opportunity to get a nice feel of the city.

Chabad of Antigua is a fabulous, all inclusive, warm and welcoming Chabad center. They have hotel suites, beautiful gardens, and a restaurant with delicious food. They also arrange tours of all kinds and can really be a one stop shop for your trip to Guatemala. 

Random point: upon just reviewing my credit card bill, I am noticing how incredibly cheap Uber (and everything!) is there.

View from our hotel balcony:


The streets in Antigua are cobblestone, so be aware if you are the sort of person that gets sick in the car.


Thursday /Friday:
We woke up at the crack of dawn on Thursday after just a couple of hours of sleep and headed to Chabad. We were doing the day and a half Acatenango hike, which had been planned through Chabad. We met up with our fellow Jewish travelers, gathered our food that they had prepared for us, and were soon on our way.  We weren’t quite sure what we were in for but were excited for what lay ahead.

Acatenango is a beautiful volcano with an elevation of about 13,000 feet. Acatenango is dormant, and the goal of hiking it, aside from the spectacular views, is the crystal-clear view of neighboring, very active, Volcano Fuego.   
We drove for about an hour to the base, where we met up with the rest of our group and gathered our gear.
Due to Acatenango’s elevation, it’s extremely cold in the upper parts of the volcano. For this reason, we bought many layers and warm clothing, in addition to our food.  We hired porters to carry our packs and were also able to rent walking sticks and windbreakers, which were quite helpful. Some people also rented horses to help with the climb. The tour company took care of tents and sleeping bags and set it up at camp prior to our arrival.

We travel like proper Jews. See our porter below carrying our Kosher pot.


We started off hiking and immediately decided that this was a terrible idea. You feel the altitude almost instantly, and the volcano is INCREDIBLY steep, which amounts to a lot of huffing and puffing.
The altitude, the steep incline, and loose rock make this an extremely physically challenging hike (I consider myself pretty fit).  We had rented horses, though I did do most of the hike on foot, I was able to hop on the horse every once in a while to catch my breath, which definitely helped.
Even the most fit find themselves stopping to catch their breaths every few minutes and the horses were panting. (Of course we had the ubiquitous Israel ex-chayal in our group who was running up the mountain in his shorts).
It’s beautiful and sunny, so we started off in thin layers and slowly added layers as we got higher and the wind picked up. It took us over 5 grueling hours to reach the summit, which included a couple of short stops.

As we neared the summit, we felt the increasingly cold temperatures, wind, and heavy fog, to the point where it was difficult to see around you. We finally reached our camp site, where the guides set up a fire, which was a sight for sore eyes.
We all kind of collapsed on the ground around the fire and stayed put for a while. We ate, had some tea, and rested up. Our little Jewish group enjoyed a Tu B’Shvat party of dried fruits and nuts around the fire (and noted how apropos it was to be one with nature, quite literally, on this holiday 😊).

When we mustered up the energy to get up again, we headed to our tents, which were all pitched on a small ledge at the summit. In the distance we heard the rumble of Fuego but could see not a whit through the dense fog. Our guides said this weather was very unusual and seemed very pessimistic that we would actually see anything, which was about the most disheartening news I’ve heard in quite a while.
After the requisite grumbling and sulking at the weather, we settled into our thermal sleeping bags to get some sleep, as the temperature dropped, and the winds picked up. At around 10:30 PM, we heard the guides exclaiming and hurriedly climbed out (sweatshirts and shoes flying about in our excitement). The fog was clearing slightly and behold! There was Feugo before our eyes, in all its glory.

Seeing a volcano erupt was definitely a bucket list, once in a lifetime, am I really seeing this, kind of experience. It was surreal to hear the rumbling (and feel the ground vibrating beneath me!) and the ensuing boom, and then see lava spewing forth and flowing down the mountain. We all stood around for a while, shivering in the cold, and gasping each time the fog cleared and the volcano was in sight. We were able to make a bracha on it as well, which was nice (you learn new things every day!). At one point, it got so windy that I had to hold onto a nearby tree, but we stayed out until the fog got too dense again and visibility was down to nil.

We settled back into our tents for the night. This was quite a brutal experience, and not one I am keen to repeat. My whole body was shaking from cold, the wind was deafening, ripping through the tent and flapping furiously and noisily around. The thermal sleeping bag did do its job after some time, so the bottom half of our bodies were warm, but we were wearing layers, gloves, and hats on top. Between the cold, the hard ground, and the roaring, deafening wind, sleep was not really an option.
At about 5 AM, the guides woke everyone up for an optional hike to the peak to see sunrise. We chose not to partake, being that we hadn’t slept a wink and the weather was so bad. It turned out that the group couldn’t make it to the top either way because the wind was so strong that it became too dangerous.
We got up and out either way since the sky was completely clear at this point (Thank G-d!) and we wanted more views of the volcano while it was still dark. We were treated to some amazing eruptions, and then watched the magnificent sunrise from camp. After some time, we had a bit to eat and packed up our stuff to begin the trek down.

Hiking down the volcano is, in a sense, even harder than hiking up. It’s so incredibly steep and full of loose rock, that you have to hold yourself back at all times. We all took a couple of spills but eventually made our way down, shedding layers as we descended. After about 3 hours we reached the bottom, sweaty, blistered, filthy and exhausted. We proceeded to then drive back to Antigua after dropping off our coats, sticks and packs.
We arrived back at our hotel at about 1:00 PM. We showered, ate, and rested in bed for a couple of hours, until it was time to get ready for Shabbos.

Views from the hike:


Fog started rolling in:
on Flickr


We made it!



Home for the night:



Volcán de Fuego:








As it gets lighter, the view changes from red lava to smoke:


Shabbos:
We had a really nice and fun Shabbos with Chabad.
We only decided to do the hike a few days before. I probably would not have booked this hotel had I known, since it’s a 20-minute walk and every bone in our bodies were aching, but it ended up turning out fine.
We had beautiful weather and since we didn’t have much time in Antigua, this was a nice way of seeing the city.

On Motzei Shabbos, we packed up and drove to Lake Atitlán, which is about 2.5 hour drive from Antigua.
 
To be continued.

February 16, 2021, 11:48:48 AM
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