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Re: Bahamas Master Thread @Lou: I asked my friend, and he said that all he did was call and ask, nothing to it. He did book on one of those fancy AmEx cards, maybe that had something to do with it, but he doesn't think so. Maybe he just got lucky? Either way, good luck!

----------------

Trip Notes Part 2:

   First of all, the water there is fine, or at least the three of us were unaffected by it. It tastes a little chalky, like Miami water, but really nothing too bad.

   We never made it to the International Bazaar, or Downtown. I donít think there is really much to see there, although weíre not really into the tourist trap type areas. It could be itís more family oriented or whatever.

   We never made it to Xanadu, but we did make it to Gold Rock Beach. (Itís in a national park, so it costs $3 per person for admission, but well worth it. Also at the park they have some underwater caves or something, but we didnít have time for that.) Itís the beach where all the corona commercials are filmed, and parts of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 were also filmed there. It's this really gorgeous beach with really clear water, but the only thing is you have to make sure you are there for low tide. This site has tide charts for Freeport, that's the best I could find. To be honest I'm not sure how tides work and if they will be similar, but ask some locals. The slope there is nearly nonexistent, and you can walk out about 100 meters before the water reaches your shoulders. The problem is that if youíre there during high tide, the water comes all the way out and you have no sand.

   You can rent scooters at Lucaya and some resorts for 8 hours or the whole day, at 40-60 per rental. If you want you can rent them to get around, but I wouldnít recommend doing it to get to Gold Rock, because its pretty far and a bit confusing. We took a cab from our hotel and it took just over 30 minutes I think, cost $75 for the three of us.

   I would highly recommend the snorkeling at Taino Beach, the rental was only $10 for the day (til 430) and by the reefs and rocks there were all sorts of fish, it was pretty nice. Also, when leaving Taino Beach we hitched a ride with a ferry to Port Lucaya. I think it goes back and forth twice a day, but there are tons of boats you can try your luck with.

   The last night we went to the casino in Our Lucaya. There are tons of slots, Blackjack tables, and 3 card Poker, but disappointingly no Texas Hold ĎEm. Two things good to know there: Sands Beer is complimentary to gamblers, even the two-cent slots! Thereís basically one waitress for the whole place, so drinks can take a while, but blowing a dollar in the 2 cent slots for a cold one ainít too bad! Also, at the playerís club desk to the right when you walk in, there is a promotion for $10 of free play. Just two things to help you stretch your buck at the casino!

   Also a warning, as we found out the hard way. If you plan on getting any tobacco/alcohol at duty free, the one in the airport doesnít open til 9AM. Also, if you buy any liquids in the airport, and you then have a stopover like we did, TSA might give you issues with bringing liquids on the plane. Instead you can buy stuff at the duty free store in Port Lucaya. Iím not sure if itís as cheap, but it may be all you can do.

   Have a good time! And thanks again Dan, you're the man!! :)

June 15, 2010, 12:55:29 PM
1
On the Daf (insights, questions etc..) In honor of the new Daf Yomi cycle, how about a place where one can post Chidushim and Hearos, ask questions (even a simple Teitch word if someone needs help with that) on the days Daf!

Please, if you have a chiddush from elsewhere on the web, do not cut and paste it, rather post a link to it.

Always start post by referencing Masechta/Daf

PLEASE only use for Divrei Tora on the Daf

August 05, 2012, 01:27:28 AM
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Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others so sad to hear these stores. I recently told a friend who is new at the cc game that he should never swipe for people he doesnt know, in the end 100k UR is worthless if ur 100k in debt.


January 02, 2014, 03:32:50 AM
1
5 day Kauai/Maui Trip Report with 4 month old and maneuvering tznius issues I know many trip reports here are about how someone flew some premium class flight for the minimum amount of points or some glitch where they basically got paid for going, but I wanted to share my experience as it might interest those who have very tight times of when they can travel, canít find availability or want to know how crazy it is to go with a baby. I also wanted to share my perspective as someone who wonít go to a beach, pool, poolside or snorkeling during normal times when other people are around.

I just went on a 5 day trip with my wife and 5 month old to Kauai/Maui. This was our second trip to Kauai with a baby. Our first trip was during a major storm with the only part of the island seemingly dry was the Grand Hyatt and Polihole Beach. Even Waimeu Canyon was under clouds for 4 days. Even with all that rain, that first trip was awesome and just hanging around the GHK was amazing. But with all that we heard about the island we decided to adventure out 3 years later and try it again.

Flights: We flew Hawaiin Air JFK-HNL-LIH, LIH-OGG, OGG-HNL-JFK. Biz seats were not available with points, so we took economy (20K each way) and paid $100 each for Extra Comfort seats. No, it was nothing compared to when we flew United or AA from JFK to LAX last time in biz, but the travel time was short, the customer service was great, and the Extra Comfort Seats gave us loads of legroom and allowed us to put baby to sleep on floor with room to spare. Itís together with first class section so more quiet as well.

Lounges: We checked out the IASS lounge in HNL with Priority Pass. No bathroom, No AC, but free drinks and wi-fi so okay if you come in with low expectations.

Hotels: We stayed 2 nights in the Grand Hyatt Kauai (44K Chase points) and 2 nights in the Andaz in Maui (2 free nights for opening Chase Hyatt card). They upgraded us in GHK to room with beautiful views of pools and ocean. No upgrade in Andaz so we had ďGardenĒ view.

Food: For breakfast Ė My wife made these healthy muffins and we brought several Nugo Bars to start the day. We kept the muffins frozen in the cooler until the day we needed. For lunch Ė We brought both cold cuts in individual vacuum sealed packages as well as prepared tuna fish in Ĺ pound containers and alternated having that with crackers, Matza, or wraps. For Dinner - We brought a 4 quart slow cooker along with those Meal Mart meals they sell in Costco which we froze and kept in Polar Cooler which keeps frozen for 24 hours. http://www.amazon.com/Polar-Bear-Coolers-Pack-Cooler/dp/B001PCNXFG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1421772458&sr=8-4&keywords=polar+cooler+bag. In the morning we would pop 2 meals of brisket or stuffed cabbage or whatever and keep it on low and when we would come back to room at night we had hot food waiting. I bought the one that had clamps http://www.amazon.com/Crock-Pot-SCCPVL400-R-4-Quart-Cooker-Stainless/dp/B008S6ZJ6S/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1421772847&sr=1-1&keywords=crock+pot+4+quart++Cook+and+Carry and I put in a oven cooking bag which I knotted inside to not only simplify clean up, but to make a second seal. On the days when we couldnít do the crock pot because of flights, my wife had made dark breaded schnitzel and froze it in cooler. We took out 4-5 hours before we needed and worked out great.  And of course, lots of snacks  :) .

Baby: This is BEĒH #8 for us and all kids are different, but in our experience before 12 months itís worth the gamble and 13-24 months itís not. At least not for an escapade with just my wife and I. When we travel with the family itís anyways a circus so doesnít make a difference then. We brought one of these Ergo Baby carriers like 10 years ago: http://www.amazon.com/Ergobaby-Original-Baby-Carrier-Black/dp/B001JZU8O8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421774582&sr=8-1&keywords=ergo+baby Iím sure we could have done cheaper but we have put many miles on it and worked well for us but nothing to compare it to since itís really the only one we ever had.

Weather: When you come for 1-2 weeks you can afford rainy days, but when you do a short marathon, the rainy days can ruin your trip. Well BĒH unlike our first trip, the weather was perfect every day.

Activities:
ē   Day 1 Ė Arrived in LIH in the early evening. By the time we got to the hotel, we decided to try to go to sleep by 9PM and get early start on next day.
ē   Day 2 Ė Woke up like 7AM, took a walk around pool area, grounds of GHK before if got busy. Left to Waimeu Canyon at around 8 AM. Did the lookouts recommended in Kauai revealed book. Hiked Awa'awapuhi Trail (6.5 miled RT) and had lunch overlooking the valley. Shortly after did the Canyon Trail (3.6 miles RT) which book recommends as well. Nu'alolo Cliffs Trail was closed with pretty mean signs on it, so with a 4 month old in tow and 7 kids at home, I didnít think risking my life was worth it. Changing diapers and nursing every few hours definitely takes more time, but baby was able to fall asleep with me holding him in carrier. We could barely walk the next day after doing over 10 miles, but the views were unforgettable. We were going to do sunset in Polihole beach but since we spent time there on our last trip and we were tired (and hungry), we headed back to catch sunset by GHK. Sleeping by 9 PM
ē   Day 3 Ė We were going to get up early and go up North to Hanalei, and Keíe Beach (our last trip we visited St Regis in Priceville) but we were so sore and my wife was having such a great time at GHK that we spent the morning chilling out there. We had 2 PM helicopter ride with Blue Hawaiin which was awesome. When we finished we went straight to airport where we caught 4:30 flight LIH-OGG flight. Arrived at Andaz, checked in, unpacked and went to sleep by 9 PM.
ē   Day 4 Ė We were woken up at 5:45 AM by a fire alarm sounding in our room with announcement that they were evacuating hotel. For most people it would have been a nightmare but it got me free parking at checkout and more importantly it allowed us to start our Road to Hana trip at 7:15 AM. No it wasnít me who pulled it and it was cancelled 10 minutes later so we didnít even have to leave the floor. Road to Hana was amazing. The Revealed book gave me places to stop where everyone else seemed to keep driving. Yes, we drove all the way around and it was a beautiful day. We didnít get back to hotel until 7 PM. We had dinner waiting, explored the hotel a bit, packed and again went to bed by 9 PM.
ē   Day 5 Ė I had told my wife we had to leave hotel by 10:15 AM. We were up early and had a nice time walking the grounds, watching the Ocean, getting some morning sun. We checked out and I surprised my wife with a massage at this place which had great ratings and was 3 minutes from hotel : http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60632-d1957591-Reviews-Wailea_Massage_and_Body_Care-Kihei_Maui_Hawaii.html It was less than half the price of hotel and my wife said actual massage was on par to what she had in GHK last time around. Then off to catch a 2 PM flight OGG-HNL-JFK.

Tznius Issues: From the sounds of it, Iím one of the few people who have gone to Hawaii and wonít go snorkeling period, hang out in the beach or in the ocean or go swimming in pools during normal hours. Honestly I would have loved to go snorkeling, but couldnít figure out how to do any of the above for religious reasons. So my choices were either not to go, or do what I can do and make best of it. Iím not trying to encourage those who feel itís inappropriate to go. My intention is help those who have the travel bug and feel they will have to compromise since they think it's not possible to do the Kosher way. Iíll share my experience and hopefully it will be helpful for others who share or have similar views to mine.
ē   Kauai
1.   Hotel - Our experience at GHK was that if you hit the grounds early (out before 9:30-10 AM) or come back 30 minutes before sunset, then you can enjoy the beauty of the property. That doesnít mean you wonít see some people inappropriately dressed and youíll need to look away, but itís in no way worse than Miami where everyone is flocking to. If anything, itís much better. Thereís many nooks and crannies which gives you many places to explore and less probability of running into trouble. We probably could have gone swimming early morning or at night if my wife would have brought appropriate clothing but we didnít.
2.   Activities Ė Lots of safe stuff to do. Waimeu Canyon for sure all day activity. Polihole you can find empty beach and beautiful sunset. Helicopter ride. Drive up North to Hanilei, waterfalls and more. Check out St Regis. Beautiful hike right next to GHK along coast and golf course on other side.
3.   My Bottom line Ė With some brains and preparation, Kauai can definitely be done without compromising your standards and itís so beautiful. Anyways they know youíre Jewish, so no reason feeling uncomfortable sticking out and wearing Jewish clothing.
ē   Maui
1.   Hotel Ė The Andaz at least when I was there was a whole different story. The staff wears real low cut uniforms and the guests were young, cool and trying to play and dress the part. Even at night we had trouble navigating the grounds without pumping into Speedos or the like. The early morning was much better at pool area, but beach even at 8:30 AM had lots of joggers dressing in bathing suit or low exercise tops. I had a guest ask me at the hotel if there was a religious convention going on there because he had seen so many religious Jews. Not sure if best place for religious convention.
2.   Activities Ė We only we did Road to Hana. At 1 waterfall there were some ladies in bathing suits so we took detour. At Red Sand and Black Sand beach we had to turn around since there were too many bathing suits. Even 7 Sacred Pools which is one of the biggest attractions on RTH we had to leave since we were there at 3 PM and place was packed with bathing suits. But most of it was not an issue and many places to chill by the coast and watch the water or waterfalls and have them all to yourself.
3.   I would have loved to do Sunrise on Crater, but feared altitude change with baby. Could be thereís many other safe activities but just sharing what I did.
4.   My Bottom Line Ė The hotel was beautiful and RTH was awesome, but having done that already, I probably wouldnít return to Maui. It could be the other Hyatt attracts a whole different crowd which would have been better and I should have known better what would be at beach sites and should have just avoided those sites. Unlike in Kauai, I felt I was having to look away more times than not. Maybe it was just my experience or mazel when I was there, but again just sharing.

I hope to hit The Big Island one day.

I hope none of this offended anyone and I apologize if it did as it wasn't my intention at all. Iím just sharing my experiences as someone who loves nature and Gods creations but doesnít want to compromise my standards in doing so. If anyone is still reading this, Iím also full of gratitude to Dan and these forums for the great info in so many areas and hope that at some level Iím giving something back. Please PM me if I can help anyone.

January 20, 2015, 03:18:27 PM
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Re: 5 day Kauai/Maui Trip Report with 4 month old and maneuvering tznius issues Why is  everyone critical of the OP? He did what he thought correct and reported back to help others. Let's not make this a popcorn thread
January 20, 2015, 05:10:11 PM
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Re: 5 day Kauai/Maui Trip Report with 4 month old and maneuvering tznius issues
+1

Wow. Not that it means much, but throughout your TR, I could not help but be impressed with your self-control and high standards.

Truly remarkable. Hashem should bless you!
+2
Thanks for being informative but also sensitive to others!
It's clear you put a lot of time into phrasing things sensitively

January 21, 2015, 08:49:22 AM
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Re: 5 day Kauai/Maui Trip Report with 4 month old and maneuvering tznius issues

If you think about it, what you basically did was take nice drives, see beautiful scenery, and go some great hikes. Most people looking to do that would go somewhere like Colorado or the Southwest. I would think that to schlep to Hawaii for that would be a waste, but if you were happy with that descision, who am I to judge 8)?


We did Colorado, Grand Canyon, Hiked down Supai, Canadian Rockies, Zion, Bryce, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Tetons. But I do agree if it's someones 1 time shot who loves nature then he could easily be satisfied with any of the above.

For me, sitting on a plane with no cell phone reception and being able to have a conversation uninterrupted with my wife is also part of the getaway (remember that I have 8 and the house gets quiet at 11:30 PM when I'm practically sleeping) . Anyways we need to fly 5-6 ours to west coast, so 5 more hours to see something spectacular was worth it for us.

January 21, 2015, 10:43:55 AM
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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta Day 9, Monday:

Today was our last on the island.

I woke up before dawn to see if I could catch a nice sunrise over Hana Bay while my wife slept in. The hotel is fantastically located, just a two-minute drive from Hana Bay and down the street from the Red Sand Beach trailhead.

The beach at Hana Bay is a beautiful crescent of black and white sand with a long jetty off to the right, where I set up and watched the sunrise. After the craziness of the day before, this was a nice change of pace. It was quite lovely sitting there all by myself while the town behind me slept:



First light hitting Hana and Haleakala behind it:



After sunrise it was still quite early, so I decided to head over to the world-famous Red Sand Beach (actual name Kaihalulu Beach). The advantage of going this early was two-fold: I was dying to see (read:photograph ;)) the beach, while my wife wasn't interested at all. And at 6:30 in the morning, it was virtually guaranteed that I'll have the place to myself.

Getting to this beach is difficult - and dangerous - in the best of times. The trail consists of a notch in the cliff, often only a couple of inches wide. The cliff and trail are both made out of loose volcanic cinders, which makes for extremely unstable footing. The ocean here is ferocious; at times you're 40 feet above the waves crashing on the boulders below. One wrong step and you're toast. The many exposed tree roots along the trail serve as both occasional handholds and terrifying stumbling blocks which have to be climbed over. Thankfully, the trail isn't very long, maybe 1000 feet or so.

I parked at the trailhead (facing the correct direction! The cops here are bonkers about that.) and headed out. It occurred to me (premonition :o?) that no one knows where I'm going, so I texted my wife my plans along with my GPS location. The trail is not exactly deadly by any stretch of the imagination, but should I slip or something it could be hours before I'm seen.

Taking the trail nice and slow, it took around 10 minutes until the bend where the beach appears. What an amazing sight! A little beach, red as can be, sat nestled underneath a towering red cliff. A line of jagged rocks stand sentinel and protect the beach from the ocean's fury, where gentle waves lap quietly.

I stood there drinking in the view, when suddenly drip, drip, SPLAT!

In the space of two minutes, the sky had gone from sunny to dark and stormy. The skies opened and it started pouring.

I knew that I couldn't remain there; there was no shelter whatsoever, and the distant rumblings of thunder could now be heard. Everything I had read about this trail said the same thing: do not even attempt if it has been raining. Nowhere were there instructions on what to do if you're stranded...

The trail was becoming more dangerous and slippery every minute. I whipped out my camera, took two pictures through the rain (priorities ;D!), and tried to figure out where to go. I couldn't head down to the beach, since the trail got even steeper in that direction. The only solution was to head back before the trail became impassable.

The return trip was harrowing. The rain had loosened the zillions of cinders on the trail, and every step was a fight to keep from slipping off the edge. If I tried to grab onto the side of the cliff for support I just came away with a handful of cinders. At this point it was lightening as well...

After half an hour or so of this I finally made it back to the car, soaked to the bone but happy to be back on terra firma :D.

It of course goes without saying that as soon as I got into the car the sun came right back out ;D ;D ;D. But success: I got my pictures and made it back alive  :P:





(Unfortunately, the rain made the reds appear brownish. Too bad... But I like the pictures anyway.)

In hindsight, I think it was incredibly stupid of me to head to that beach by myself, without checking the weather forecast and taking along any rain gear. Lesson learned.

After all this it was still quite early, so I headed for another photo stop at Koki Beach, around 10 minutes down the road:





I then headed back to the hotel to begin the days "official" activities. The plan was to head to the Venus Pool after breakfast, hang out there for a while, then back to the hotel to check out. However, when we arrived at the pool's trailhead, there were seven cars parked there already (even though this was still quite early in the morning). This meant that there were at least 15 people sharing the pools already, and this obviously didn't appeal to us in the slightest.

When we had checked into the hotel the night before, we were given a schedule of the following day's activities. These were all free for guests, so we decided to take advantage of 'em. We figured that since we're paying so much more for the night than we had originally planned we may as well get our money's worth. We were also in the mood of something more toned-down, after yesterday's (and this mornings!) excitement.

Unfortunately our first choices didn't fit our schedule, so we went with the archery instructions. It was just us, the instructor, and two other guests, and in a lovely setting up-mountain from the main hotel grounds. While not a typical "Hawaiian" activity and not something we would ever have planned on ahead of time, we ended up enjoying it a lot (even though it turned out that we were terrible at it ;D).

We checked out at around 11, and headed back on the the Road to Hana and towards 'Ohe'o Gulch. This is better known as the Seven Sacred Pools, and is part of Haleakala National Park. If you pay the entrance fee for the summit you could show your receipt here and get free entry withing three days. However since we had gone up for sunrise five days ago, we had to pay again. No worries; it was only $10 or so.

The Pipiwai Trail is also here, and is up the mountain from the parking lot. The Pools are in the opposite direction, towards the ocean. Our plan was to head down to the pools, and then do at least two miles of the Pipiwai Trail (till the bamboo forest).

In the parking lot we bumped onto the local Chabad Shaliach and a couple he was escorting. We had a nice conversation, and he suggested we join them on the Pipiwai. I was more interested in the pools, so we declined. (This would turn out to be one of the only regrets we had on this trip.)

The hike down to the pools was longer than it seems from the maps, so it took us more time than expected to get down. Quite frankly, I was disappointed when we finally arrived. The place was packed - there were literally hundreds of people in a fairly small area. True, the falls and pools were beautiful, but you had to see past the group of teens climbing behind the falls, the busloads of octogenarian slowly picking their way from rock to rock, and the piles of kids running every which way.

I had envisioned a quiet and peaceful spot; instead I got a zoo. Supposedly the place is supposed to be empty before 1 o'clock or so (when the RTH day-trippers arrive), but that was definitely not the case that day.

Most pictures of the pools look about the same, so I wanted to see if I could get something unique. Careful positioning enabled me to get a fresh perspective on the oft-photographed scene:



By the time we got back up to the parking lot we were hot, tired, and disappointed. We decided to skip the Pipiwai Trail and move on. Now we were wishing we had gone with the Shaliach earlier; I'm certain it would have been far more fun. From the short conversation we had he definitely came across as someone who it would be great to spend more time with.

Back on the road:



Past the park is where the road stops being the lush Road to Hana and turns into the wild "other half". Though technically called the Piilani Highway, it's generally referred to as the other half of the RTH. The road here starts out as a one-lane, generally unpaved road hugging the cliffs. Soon it passes through shrubland and pastures, which eventually changes into bona fide desert, not unlike the American Southwest. Finally it climbs Haleakala's flanks and back to greenery and Kula.

On this half, the road is more about the jaw-dropping scenery than activities, waterfalls, and the like. There's not much to do here, but I found myself pulling over and gawking at the scenery more often than on the first half.

(Fair warning: there are lots of road pictures coming up, as that's the star of the show here.)

The first part of the road is an astonishingly beautiful nail-biter:







Some spots are downright alarming:



Some areas had guardrails...:



...but most didn't:



In some areas the guardrail has simply given up:





The one-lane bridges are even hairier here than the first half:











A curve in the road takes you back to the jungle for a moment, and reveals a tiny but stunning beach through the foliage. Perfect spot for lunch:









Many people think that a regular car can't make it all the way around. This is simply not true. In fact, there are many large tour buses doing it just fine. Whenever we had one of those behind us, I'd pull over and let him go ahead. That let us keep our pace nice and slow:



A tiny, localized rain shower up ahead:



Rain like this means just one thing, so I promptly put my wife on rainbow-spotting duty ;D. Not five minutes later she called out a target:





The other side of Haleakala's Kaupo Gap:





Another beautiful double rainbow:



Slowly the road went from green jungle to scrubby land. With this change came the cows: dozens of them, in multiple herds, meandering mindlessly wherever they pleased:













The landscape changed yet again, this time to desert. Without thick foliage in the way, you have marvelous views of Haleakala on one side and the ocean on the other. The road itself is often visible for great distances, a winding ribbon wending its way to the horizon.

Every rise and every bend provides yet another - and completely different - vista:

























The Pokowai sea arch is off to the left:



One of the most incredible-looking areas on the island is on this part of the road. In between mile markers 28 and 27, the road takes a nearly 180-degree turn around a hill. At you round the turn, your breath is taken away. The road falls sharply away from you, revealing a landscape that would feel at home in Utah or Arizona. This is the Manawainui Gulch, a deep, dry canyon which makes its way down the mountain.

The road drops 123 feet in around a tenth of a mile - that's a 40-degree grade. For comparison, the maximum allowed grade in the Interstate highway system is 7 degrees.









When people think of Hawaii, something like is is not what they imagine... The diversity on this island is unbelievable.

On the other side of the bridge the road climbs back up:





After this some plants start to appear again, as the road turns more inland towards Kula.

Someone appears to have had a lot of fun on a motorcycle here:



It was getting late in the afternoon when we came to the Auwahi Wind Farm overlook:



A shower over the island of Kahoʻolawe:



A cinder cone from Haleakala's last eruption:



The darker looking area on the left (in front of Kaho'olawe) is the Molikini crater:



Tourists:



My wife dared me to drive with the roof down and wearing my snorkel gear. I added a lei for good measure ;D:



(My motto in life is "Why be normal when you could be yourself" 8).)

Once you're back upcountry, green abounds:





Back in Kula, it's off to our cottage to pick up our luggage:



We had just enough time to our flight to collect our stuff and have dinner. One incredible Hawaiian sunset later and off we were, homeward bound.

The end :D

May 31, 2015, 09:03:35 PM
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Re: Kenya Safari TR Part 5

As life has it, all awesome things must come to an end. Our safari would be no different. We had a departure time of 8:45AM from the Olseki airstrip to Wilson Airport, a forty five minute flight. From there we would be driven to Nairobi for our flight to ADD.

Here are some photos at the camp Encounter Mara.










Yes, very important to see


Bucket shower


General lounge area


We asked to leave to the airstrip a bit earlier so that we can take advantage of the extra time and perhaps get to see some more wildlife along the way. This worked out nicely as we got to see a lioness with her cubs, a wandering leopard and a flock of vultures consuming the carcass of a zebra.







 
It is safe to say that the most frightening part of this trip was flying on this aircraft whose last maintenance check is still unknown. Upon arrival at Wilson, we met our driver for the 20 minute transfer to NBO.


The airstrip terminal


I felt a bit safer with two engines


At NBO. Perhaps practicing for the presidentís arrival?


When we arrived at the airport we asked if we can be placed on the earlier flight to ADD which wasnít open at the time of booking. After speaking with a manager who allowed it, we attempted to check in. After an hour of failed attempts, they proclaimed that their computers were hacked and were shutting down. We panicked. If we werenít going to make this flight, we were ready to purchase a ticket on any flight that would get us out of there.

They finally said they would be issuing handwritten boarding passes. When we finally got ours we headed to the lounge.




Lounge in Nairobi




And that is why I donít fly Kenya Airways


The flight was better than expected. We didnít have a kosher meal because we took the earlier flight. I didnít at all mind the trade-off.




We had a long layover in ADD. We initially wanted to leave the airport. But it was dark, we were tired and we would need to purchase a visa, so we scrapped that idea.
 

The lounge in ADD






These were great!


A new 787 to LHR


When looking to book a safari, there are many factors which influence price, such as time of year, location, duration and level of luxury. The place we chose was all inclusive. Additionally, in Mara, there was no cell reception, Wi-Fi or swimming pool. There are those locations with more amenities but arenít as exclusive.

I also want to point out that we never went hungry. We packed a large bag of provisions. Such as bread, peanut butter, granola bars, instant soups etc. We also had our freezer bag and had hot meals in the evenings.

Although not required to enter Kenya, we did get yellow fever and typhoid vaccinations. We also took malaria pills.

A visa for US passport holders is $50 which you can get on arrival.

I would like to thank Platinum for all his help booking this trip.


Thank you all for reading, I hope you enjoyed!

July 23, 2015, 09:09:28 PM
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Please (Make and) Post your Kiddush Hashem-Honesty Story In light of all the recent negative coverage of the frum community I thought its important to make an extra effort to make a kiddush Hashem- especially in all honesty related matters.

Sharing your Kiddush Hashem or honesty story is in itself a Kiddush Hashem- and you are encouraging others to do the same.

I will start with my little story which occurred this week:

I dropped my Keurig water container and some of the parts fell off. I couldn't figure out how to reassemble the parts so I called Keurig customer service and the rep said as a courtesy they will send me a new water reservoir for free. (Cost about $30 on amazon) She asked for my shipping address and I actually cringed a little when I specified Lakewood as my town.

She said it would take 7-10 business days to arrive but I wanted a coffee now :)  so when I hung up the phone I tried again and was able to figure out how to snap back the parts and my Keurig was back in service!

My initial thoughts were- great! I fixed it and I will also be getting a free backup in case it breaks again! Surely a huge company such as Keurig won't care, and at the time it was really broken- so totally legit!

But then I thought again about all that's going on and remembered cringing when I mentioned 08701. I said to myself even if legally and Al Pi Halacha I'm perfectly entitled to take the free water container, I will still make an extra effort to be 1000% honest and in addition though there's only the slimmest chance I will get the same rep, maybe somehow it will get noticed and I can make a Kiddush Hashem.

I called back to cancel the free part and lo and behold I got the same rep! She said I remember you and thanked me for reporting that I had fixed it myself- and yes, she did cancel the free part shipment- but I'm still very happy I took a small step toward impeccable honesty and making a kiddush Hashem.

I hope this will be one of many stories to come.

July 06, 2017, 06:14:44 PM
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