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Topics - zow

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Deals/Deal Requests / $25 off $100 with Visa Checkout at SHOP.COM
« on: Yesterday at 05:27:50 AM »
I got this email. Haven’t done the deal so can’t vouch for it, but wanted to pass it along.

Discovered this serendipitously. Scanned three UPC codes and then got this.

Not sure what it means that you can get 6 of them.

On The Road / TRYP Bat Sheva Jerusalem
« on: February 03, 2018, 01:52:18 PM »
Just arrived.  Great location. So far so good. Property opened 6m ago. Rooms lovely but small. Looks like they have good set up for Shabbat.  Candles for Shabbat and evidence of havdalah. Will add photos later.

 I heard people returning the Shabbat keys.  No charge but 250NIS deposit.

We look forward  to breakfast tomorrow.

On The Road / Ramada Resort Hadera Israel
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:42:34 AM »
We’re here now. $65+3k per night for a suite.  Key thing is they allow 4, and maybe 5 adults per room.   Will post room pics later, but here are breakfast pics (included with points booking). Delicious. Rabbanut, I think.

Deals/Deal Requests / Vineyard Vines 25% off everything in-store and online
« on: November 26, 2017, 06:21:07 PM »
Use code HOLIDAY17

Good through 11/27/17.

Trip Reports / zow’s father-daughter Dubai TR
« on: November 19, 2017, 05:38:55 PM »
We snagged the August 2017 AC error fares (~$247 pp RT, including the seat assignment fees for the long-haul legs) for BOS-DXB via YYZ. Spent four nights in Dubai, including Shabbat. Sightseeing, relaxing, and hopefully helping my daughter to appreciate the people, land and culture of a different part of the world. We left Boston Tuesday after work/school; arrived in DXB Wednesday evening; visited Abu Dhabi Thursday; did dune bashing tour Friday; chill Shabbat at the Park Hyatt; Dubai Mall and Fountain Show motshash; Jumeira Mosque, Burj al Arab and, finishing with sunset from Burj Khalifa on Sunday, before departing DXB at midnight Sunday night.

Flights and Airports:
Tuesday afternoon BOS-YYZ
  AC departs BOS from a sterile alcove in Terminal B, with no direct lounge access. 
Fortunately, I learned that I could access the main Terminal B area with my AC boarding pass and use the Admirals Club. Does mean need to go through TSA twice but not a big deal with PreCheck and short lines. 
Had about 90-min layover in YYZ, enjoyed the PP lounge, though not much kosher there.
Tuesday night YYZ-DXB
  No matter how you look at it, it is a long flight, especially in Y. The flight was totally full. We had reserved the window and aisle, but gave up the aisle when Mrs. Middle arrived.  The KSML (Hamasbia, IIRC) were edible.  The crew was particularly kind and accommodating.   They were very understanding when I asked them if I could daven in the galley area.  Slept about 4-5 hours (not great sleep but adequate) before davening shacharit.  Then watched TV most of remainder. Davened mincha. Arrived into DXB.
  Immigration line was long. It must have been 25+ minutes.  But no issue whatsoever from the friendly Emirati border agent. On my passport there is an Israel stamp (from 2010–they don’t stamp any more) and the yellow security stickers on the problem.  My daughter’s name is very problem. 
  Got our luggage , walked through the green “nothing to declare” line, and voila into the arrival hall.
  Picked up our Hertz rental (had reserved via PL) — they have a desk just past customs.  Cars are parked in the lot just across the roadway—in a short-term Parking lot area.  Got 2018 Mazda 6. About $40/day, all in.
  Grabbed a SIM card from du    For about $15, I think I got 20 SMS, 20 min of calling (anywhere) but only 200MB data, which was gone in the blink of an eye.  (But no worries, as we mostly used WiFi, and we were actually able to use our regular Sprint — free low speed data and $0.20 min for calls.)
(Lodging and activities will follow in subsequent posts.)

We got to the airport way early—7pm for a midnight flight. Check in didn’t open until 9pm —bummer.  But no worries, daughter and I hung at Starbucks (FYI Can’t use Starbucks app/card in UAE.).
After about 90 minutes helping  my daughter learn how to manipulate equations for velocity, acceleration, gravity, etc., we checked in, made our way through security and immigration, and then to the Priority Pass Lounge.
  Immigration was again a breeze.  The agent was friendly, kidded with me a bit (I said we had a great time and wish we didn’t have to go home ... he said we can make sure you don’t get on your flight!). Makes such a difference in life when people interact with you with kindness. I mean, would it cost TSA agents or US CBP anything to be nice, or at least cordial? I know they have a job to do, but they are also ambassadors for our country.  [End rant.]

We spent about 90 minutes in the Priority Pass Lounge. It was very nice.  Not much for strictly kosher diners.  They did have little cups of Baskin Robbins ice cream. They did not have the StarK hechsher, so I didn’t says only kosher if the hechsher is present.  :(. Nice bar and nice shower. 

One comment about Dubai airport.  Dan made a point of saying and showing how stunning it is. He was in the Emirates Terminal. I was in the other international terminal (all airlines except EK). It was fine, but didn’t strike me as gorgeous or stunning. 

Flight home was full. Watched a pretty good movie in Hebrew with English subtitles.  The Women’s Balcony. Chatted with some very nice FAs. Meals were from Thailand Kosher and were fair, edible.  The chicken curry was pretty good but not hot enough.  Didn’t realize until after I opened.   Slept about 5 hours.

Unfortunately flight was about 45 min delayed out of DXB unclear why.  We ended up missing our connection in YYZ, so we went to the Priority Pass Lounge for about an hour, showered and davened.  Lounge is very basic, not nearly as nice as DXB, but functional. 

Got back to BOS, I Ubered home, daughter changed and got her to school and me to work by noon!   A little tired and jet lagged but we both had great stories to tell!

  Hope to write future installments on what we actually did while in Dubai, and a description of the PH, with some pix....

Deals/Deal Requests / Free Coffee 9/29/17
« on: September 28, 2017, 12:50:18 PM »
In honor of national coffee day, and just in time to set you up for a severe caffeine withdrawal headache, free Joe at 7-11, WaWa, Cumberland Farm, and more.

Check all your accounts.

Up In The Air / Need help with a RJ equipment change
« on: April 04, 2017, 09:33:35 PM »
My son and his friend are flying the following itinerary tomorrow (4/6)
One ticket:
Second ticket:

Both tickets, all in J, were purchased via AmexTravel (with BizPlat points, not that it matters).

The problem is that RJ has changed the equipment on CAI-AMM. The RJ  phone rep says that they do not have a "downgrade" policy, meaning that if the pax was booked in J but ends up flying in Y, they don't compensate. Instead, they put the pax on an earlier flight or a later flight in the cabin that was ticketed. Problem is that they only arrive in CAI two hours before the flight, so they can't take an earlier CAI-AMM flight, and they don't want to take the later CAI-AMM flight, because then they will need to spend the night in AMM airport and won't get back to TLV until Friday morning...not ideal.

I can certainly HUCA to RJ and see if I can get some compensation from a different agent, but the guy said that he asked his supervisor.  I am on the phone with Amex Travel to see if they can help.  I guess best case would be that the boys stay on the flight that is ticketed, still get to use the business class lounge in AMM, and get some compensation. Can I expect Amex to provide compensation?

The other point is that maybe flying in J for the CAI-AMM leg isn't such a big deal... it's only a few hours, right?

Thanks for any advice.

Text DANDELION to 555-444 and if one of the first people, you'll get free box of 24-ct Crayola crayons.

DDF DO Board / DDF DO: Cancun Edition
« on: February 12, 2017, 10:10:10 PM »
Anyone going to be in Cancun next week?

Trip Reports / Seville for Shabbat
« on: December 14, 2016, 06:35:51 AM »
A friend of ours just got back. She is not a DDFer but wrote up a pretty darn good TR and was happy to allow me to share here. So, HT to her!


1.       Very nice hotel, though not in the center of the city (other side of river, near university):  Barcelo Sevilla Renacimiento.  Was part of Expo 92.
2.       Went to shul Friday night, 6 men, 1 other woman, orthodox, sefardi, hidden in unmarked building in city.  Surprisingly, people not so friendly ,but may have been their discomfort with English.
3.       Ordered kosher food for Friday night with colleague – local community member, Moises Hassan, gets the food from Malaga (I think) – not great, but nice to have it
4.       Went to Flamenco performance (3rd on tripadvisor – yours was sold out, I think) Sunday night – enjoyed – thnx for suggestion
5.       Private tour of Jewish Quarter with Moises Hassan – very interesting – he is extremely knowledgeable – lectures on Holocaust but lawyer by training – thinking of moving to Boston to send son to Maimonides.  Only 25 Jewish families remain.  Tour was very worthwhile and I learned a lot.
6.       Went to Palace – amazing!
7.       Walked all around
8.       Don’t miss the river next time!! (Editor: we were there last summer. )

Conclusion: I would love to go back with (NAME REDACTED) – beautiful city!  Sadly, Jewish life is almost non-existent.


Travel details:  I took the train there from Madrid (which I think you did, too).  Very easy from Madrid airport.  I flew from Seville to Madrid for my return.   Almost missed my flight from Madrid (extreme fog in Madrid delayed flight from Seville), but didn’t, though my bag did.  Since the next Iberia  flight from Madrid-TLV was actually an El Al flight, they wouldn’t take my bag, so had to wait >24 hours for next real Iberia flight to take it.  Oh well.  They will be delivering it to me. (Editor: bag delivered today. I suggested she seek compensation.  She said she was just happy to have her bag!)

Sorry no pics.

*Earn 10% Cashback Bonus when you use your Discover card with Walmart Pay on up to $100 of purchases from now through December 31, 2016. Cardmembers can earn a maximum of $10. Rewards will be added to your Cashback Bonus account within four billing periods. This email is intended for the original recipient only and is not transferrable. See Cashback Bonus Program Terms and Conditions for more information about your Rewards.


(not sure if above link works -- it just shows the weekly ad; no coupon needed; no limit AFAIK; I bought 4 cartons on Friday)

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