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Messages - Yuey

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Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Iceland Master Thread
« on: May 12, 2021, 06:18:16 PM »
Does anyone have recommendations for a good tour guide in Iceland?
I would like to go at the end of May for 4 traveling days.

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Thailand Master Thread
« on: January 31, 2020, 09:58:16 AM »
We have a trip planed to Thailand and Singapore, anyone think we should avoid the area because of the Corona virus? WHO and CDC haven' issued any warning about those two locations...

Trip Reports / Re: 36 Hours In Havana, Cuba
« on: January 20, 2020, 12:23:10 PM »
I think all the things we did were the must sees, my order would be:
1) walking tour of Old Havana and soaking in the culture, people and city streets;
2) City tour in classic convertible;
3) Cigar factory;
4) Havana music and night life;
5) Cuban Missile Crises Monument; and
6) Some of the historical and political monuments, plazas and sights.   

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Spain Master Thread
« on: December 24, 2019, 03:25:17 AM »
I will be in Madrid 1/15 from 9:55AM - 5:00 PM. Anyone know the shuls and minyanim, if I can get a Mincha/Maariv.
Also how easy is it to get ot the shul train/ any other suggestions.
Also anything really worth it to check out in Madrid over these hours.

I would recommend the double decker bus. You can see everything in under 7 hours and most probably also use that to get to the Shuls. In my opinion the best thing to see is the Palace (and a bull fight).

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Cuba Master Thread
« on: December 24, 2019, 03:23:07 AM »
anyone know the current status of traveling to cuba? thinking about going the end of january

It could be a fun quick trip

Trip Reports / Re: 36 Hours In Havana, Cuba
« on: November 07, 2019, 11:39:54 PM »
As you just came back and spend almost the same time touring as would have, here my questions:
Will be in Feb in Miami for 10 days. Thinking of taking a one day tour of Havanna with my wife and kids (age 1-14)
I see that I can fly early in morning, that will get me in at 08:00am and leave 9pm with aa (booking with avios)
It would make it much easier traveling without luggage and not having to stay over night
Do you think I can see enough of the jewish and regular sights in a day?
Any other tips you can give me before planning such a crazy daytrip :-)

I think you can see a lot in one day if you really plan it well. I don’t recall there being a lot of traffic so you can probably see most of Havana’s hot spots in a day. The airport is 30 minutes away from the center of town and the airport wasn’t busy at all, so getting in and out shouldn’t be a problem. You should try to arraigned the cigar factory tour on the way to or from the airport and also try to arrange transportation in advance. The one thing you may miss out on, if this even interest you, is seeing what goes on there at night with the live music and how the locals play music and dance in the streets.

Food in general is an issue in the Socialist island, they don’t have a single American product. Not even Coke! There are only two places in the entire Universe where you can’t get Coca-Cola (Cuba and North Korea). Another  thing to keep in mind is the visas cost $100 per person and I believe they add on another $75 health insurance fee which Cuba makes you buy.

Trip Reports / Re: 36 Hours In Havana, Cuba
« on: November 06, 2019, 08:05:42 PM »
Cuba Missile Crises Memorial

Trip Reports / Re: 36 Hours In Havana, Cuba
« on: November 06, 2019, 08:00:17 PM »
Here’s some more pictures:

Trip Reports / Re: 36 Hours In Havana, Cuba
« on: November 06, 2019, 07:52:14 PM »
Who remembers these for international calls?!? Well that scratch off “calling card” is what  I had to use for Internet down there. I purchased this in the airport and it only worked in a very small area. The hotel has something very similar.

Trip Reports / 36 Hours In Havana, Cuba
« on: November 05, 2019, 10:51:38 PM »
Quick 36 hour trip to Havana

Visiting Cuba is like walking into a 1950s time warp, but not exactly the glamour we see in the movies. We wanted to visit Cuba while it’s still open to US Citizens and there are easy direct flights. The Obama administration loosened the restrictions and open up limited travel, but there are still severe restrictions and the Trump administration is seriously tightening them. Before you plan a trip make sure to check the check with US Department of State for travel restrictions and business that you are not legally allowed to patronize in Cuba (there are over 80 hotels that we can’t stay in).
Good reference:

US Department of State issued a travel advisory “Exercise increased caution in Cuba due to attacks targeting U.S. Embassy Havana employees resulting in the drawdown of embassy staff.”

We left Miami at 10:00 AM and landed in Cuba at 10:50am!! It was awesome!! Super quick flight! (We went to Miami with the family for 2 weeks and took the quick trip from there).

Special thanks for all the guidance on the forums. Booked AA 15k and got complimentary upgrades on the short flight. American Airlines helps coordinate the requirements and has someone by the gate that will help you obtain and pay for the visa (TIP: do not lose the Visa if you don’t want to get stuck there). Booked the hotel with Expedia only once we had the visa and already boarded the plane. (Expedia was actually very helpful when we got there because the hotel wouldn’t let my wife into “our” room because she wasn’t added to the reservation. Expedia customer service was helpful). The US government on permits US citizens from staying in certain hotels. We stayed in Parque Central, based on the reviews was the nicest hotel US citizens could stay in,
however, rooms were to be desired and wouldn’t want to stay there for more than a night. It’s also in the best location. Please also keep in mind there are zero American products, you can’t use an American credit card and there’s almost not internet. You need to pay cash for everything and the currency is tied to the dollar.

We arrived, took a taxi to the hotel, “Parque Central,” we put our bags in storage and heading straight into a 1950s orange Buick convertible and took an hour and half tour all around Havana. We saw all the “hot spots” and enjoyed the stunning weather, with our  sunglasses on and mojitos in hand.

We then walked the streets, getting lost, on purpose, just soaking in the culture. We went into bars, shops and of course smoked a couple of cigars along the way. We had drinks with some locals who were clearly “random locals” who were overly friendly and spoke a perfect English ;). Crazy what we observed, the city is frozen 1950, there’s currently and economic crises and wide spread food rations. We saw very little grocery or corner stores, with the ones we saw severely lacking.

We then cooled down on the hotel’s rooftop pool. We had dinner and went to the local bars to enjoy some Cuban nightlife, filled with, music and dancing on the streets.

The next morning we enjoyed complimentary breakfast and headed to the cigar factory to watch how Cuban cigars are made. The process was simply mesmerizing. We caught a noon flight back to Miami and made it to our gate within the hour.
What a whirlwind!!
I highly recommend a short trip to see the culture and turn back the clock to 1950!

Trip Reports / Re: Yuey’s Costa Rica Trip Report
« on: February 26, 2019, 08:33:49 PM »
$24 a day

Trip Reports / Re: Yuey’s Costa Rica Trip Report
« on: February 26, 2019, 05:24:57 PM »
The food was excellent. Delivery was $100 since the food was delivered from San Jose. (It is generally cheaper when they have multiple orders in the same location). Keep in mind that it’s 50/50 chance the will confiscate your imported food from outside the country.

Trip Reports / Re: Yuey’s Costa Rica Trip Report
« on: February 26, 2019, 05:20:28 PM »
The activities were $200/per person that we ordered and paid to the hotel. The benefit was that the hotel vetted and ensured a private and secure English speaking guide to pick us up from the hotel and take us where ever we wanted to tour. It was so easy that we didn’t have to do any advance planning.

Trip Reports / Re: Yuey’s Costa Rica Trip Report
« on: February 26, 2019, 05:17:34 PM »
The hotel was pretty reasonable and nice about the meals.  They  only charged us to warm up one meal per day even though we had 2 meals. They also delivered the Shabbos meals free of charge.

Trip Reports / Yuey’s Costa Rica Trip Report
« on: February 26, 2019, 04:59:11 PM »
Costa Rica- January 2019


Airfare: JetBlue 53k/each  UR
Hotel: Andaz Papagayo Peninsula 20k/night
Food: Super Kosher Costa Rica

We left JFK on Wednesday morning, January 16th, at 11am, and the weather was 26 degrees Fahrenheit.... 5 hours later, at 3pm, we arrived in Liberia airport to a sunny 88! We were definitely off to a good start!!

A driver from our hotel, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, was there to greet us and take us to the hotel.
After a quick 30 minute drive we arrived at The Peninsula Papagayo, better known as Paradise.
From the moment that we pulled up to the Andaz, we knew that we were in good hands. The staff greeted us with a warm smile, a glass of pineapple mint juice and a cold neck towel. Ah, so refreshing!!
We checked in, went to our room, on the 3rd floor, with a gorgeous view of the forest. We truly felt like we were one with nature. The room was beautiful.

We then went down to the main restaurant, Rio Bongo, where our meal, sent by Super Kosher Costa Rica. The food was packaged beautifully and labeled perfectly. We knew this was going to make our stay that much more enjoyable. The kitchen staff was beyond accommodating. The staff, in general, was amazing!

We woke up after an awesome night’s sleep, and went straight down to the pool to soak up some sun. Again, the Andaz, has everything! Flip flops, sunscreen, fruit infused water and even baristas bringing around complimentary fruit smoothies poolside. The pool was magnificent! An infinity pool, with a view of the rainforest. It was simply breathtaking.

After a lunch, we went to the beach where we took a 10 minute boat ride to the Andaz Beach house. It was extremely relaxing and entertaining! The monkeys were roaming freely and put on quite a show. We then went back to the hotel for our “barista class.” Being that Costa Rica is known for it’s amazing coffee, we knew that we were in for quite a treat. The Barista teacher, Luis, did not disappoint. He was extremely well educated in all things coffee. He showed us serval different techniques to achieve the perfect cup of joe! We tasted them all and they were all delicious in their own way. Now that we were wired, it was time to dance the night away! The bar band was awesome! We had a great time!
The caffeine wore off and we fell asleep, super excited for our adventurous day in Borenquin.

We left the hotel at 7am with our adorable tour guide, Jose. He had such a passion for his job and it was evident from the moment that we got into his car. We arrived in Borenquin about 90 minutes later and ready for our exciting day ahead of us.
We started off with horseback riding with spectacular views. We went through stunning greenery and ended by a gorgeous waterfall. Jose was an amazing photographer and went above and beyond to capture all the fun!

We then got suited up for “canopying” which we refer to as zip lining. It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done!! We did 13 zip lines through the rainforest. Each one was cooler than the next!! It’s an experience I’ll never forget. After lunch, we went onto relax a bit. We went to the sauna, followed by a mud bath, from volcano mud, and then a dip in the sulfur bath. Our skin felt amazing afterwards!

Borenquin was the perfect place to get a taste of many of the amazing things Costa Rica has to offer.
Jose then took us to the souvenir shop where we bought tons of local Costa Rican coffee along with the Chorreador, the famous stand used to make the perfect cup of Costa Rican coffee.

We got back to the hotel at 4:30, with an hour to spare before Shabbos began. We packed a bag with our books, snacks and drinks and brought it to the front desk before Shabbos began. The staff once again was so accommodating. The hotel engineer, came to our room to turn off all the sensors.

The next morning we took a walk to the marina. After our Shabbos meal, we went to the front desk where a sweet employee carried our bag of goodies to the pool. They set up our longe chairs and we read our books which sipping our fruit infused water, what could be better?! How about a hammock on the beach? After we finished our books, that exactly what we did! It was so relaxing. We then went back to our room for shalosh seudas and havdallah. We capped off the night with a great time by the hotel bar accompanied by music.

We woke up for our last day in paradise ready to soak it all in. We went down the beach and went kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling. Afterwards, we went to the pool and completely relaxed. The fruit smoothie in the pool was the icing on the cake! Once we were dried off, we took one last bike ride around the Penisula Papagayo. We took the hotel’s free electric bikes and had an amazing time. The scenery was stunning. From the marina view to the lush greenery to the ocean. It was the perfect ending to our stay.

Special thanks to my wife for writing the TR

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