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A Pleasant 3-Day Family Getaway - Saratoga/Lake George area I decided that it's about time to spend some quality time with my wife and children out of the four dull walls of my Brooklyn home. My wife and I decided that such a trip is long overdue, so we promptly started with the planning. Knowing that traveling in the Nine Days isn't ideal from both a halachic and practical perspective, we put it off for after Tisha B'av (namely, Tuesday because Monday was washing day for those heaps of laundry accumulating and overflowing).

Criteria we were limited to:
  • Any place requiring flying was out. Not all my kids have passports yet. (And it's not like I've covered everything locally already.)
  • All attractions had to be geared toward a family with young children.
  • No water activities (speed boating etc.). The little kids are just gonna squirm out of our grip and leap right into the water.
  • Animals were out. That's not what we saved this trip for. We can get enough of them locally.
  • Time of the day when we can do activities had to be kid (baby) friendly. (Which includes naps as well, though that's possible with a carriage.)
So with having to take all this into consideration we felt the decree of shevor es hachavis, ushemor es yainah... But baruch Hashem we pulled it off and it worked out perfectly.

After many ups and downs we settled on Upstate New York, in the Saratoga Springs/Lake George area for a few reasons:
  • It's not another typical trip to the catskills.
  • The views both on the way up and in the area are nicer than closer South.
  • There are convenient minyanim in the area.
  • There are enough not-your-typical attractions around the area.
The next step in the planning was where to stay. After some research I settled for the Hyatt Place Malta Saratoga conveniently located right off exit 12 on the I87. This was also only a ten-minute drive from the Belzer Yeshiva in Saratoga (also just a minute off exit 15 on the I87).
[During my first Mincha at Belz I found out that there's a Comfort Inn right nearby where I can get a room for pennies on the dollar via a PC number that some of the guys around there can give me. Though that option would've been a bit risky, as it only works for walk-ins. You cannot make a reservation with that; so if they are full then it's tough luck on you.]

I don't remember why, (perhaps because I thought I may get a better deal elsewhere) but I left the booking of the Hyatt for after Tisha B'av, only a day before I was to be arriving there. A BIG mistake on my end. On Monday I went online and only found availability for a room with a single king-size bed, which was very not ideal in my situation as I was traveling with several kids. More beds means better sleeping conditions for the little ones, and doubling them up doesn't become that difficult. So I went ahead and called up Hyatt on their main phone number to try and get a rep to book me for a room with two queen beds instead of the one king bed the site was showing. To my dismay the rep told me that ALL rooms are taken, and THERE IS NO AVAILABILITY. Not one to be turned off so quickly I hung up and started a search. Orbitz. Priceline. Expedia. Back to Hyatt's site. Start again... Nothing. All booked. I called up the local number of that particular location and tried my luck with them to see if they can get me something, the receptionist told me that there's nothing she can do, as they have no empty rooms. As I was talking to her I quickly did another search on their site and saw that indeed they do have a room with a king bed available. When mentioning this to her she told me that she can't see it on her end  :o, but I should feel free to go ahead and book it. Although it wasn't my first choice I booked it, figuring that I will first stick my foot into the door and later worry about squeezing in the rest of my body; I will call later to see if they can change me. I confirmed with the receptionist that I will have no loss if I cancel (that is if I can't change to the queen beds), as my stay is already within the next 24 hours. I booked. Promptly after booking I called them back up asking (I obviously displayed a tone of someone holding this reservation for a long time and just requesting a minor change) if they can just do this one small change to the two queen beds. Lo and behold my reservation was changed in an instant!  :o :o
This extremely helpful receptionist, Victoria, promised me that it's taken care of (although even after several attempts she couldn't send me a confirmation email of the change), and if I have a problem I can contact her.

August 24, 2016, 07:35:12 PM
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Re: Laptop Deals Master Thread
Hi Iím looking for a 13-14 inch laptop. 16 gb ram and ssd. Should be very light also. Any deals?
Maybe this https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1358390-REG/dell_xps9360_7697slv_xps_i7_7560u_16gb_512ssd.html?

February 07, 2018, 10:07:55 PM
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