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Messages - morgs

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Trip Reports / Re: Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 09, 2015, 07:05:01 AM »
How did you find out what hotels are new?
Was wondering the same. I also realized that you guys actually had a fully kosher kitchen in the Towne Place, since it was never used.
I wish we had time to use the kitchen-good point I had not thought of though...
As far as knowing it's new, whenever I conduct a search on I always select the option in the side bar menu for new hotels and it singles out which ones are opening soon or have just opened (the option will only be there if it's relevant)

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Thailand Master Thread
« on: July 09, 2015, 06:55:39 AM »
Exotic doesn't mean beaches. And Phuket smells plenty worse then Chiang Mai-if you consider Chiang Mai to smell
I was asking him what he meant by exotic not what exotic means

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Thailand Master Thread
« on: July 09, 2015, 06:54:28 AM »
I expect to have the same $0 bill when I leave and hopefully they'll give me my money back
or maybe send another email now telling them that you keep kosher and you don't plan on eating there etc. and ask them if there is another option.

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Thailand Master Thread
« on: July 09, 2015, 03:06:38 AM »
If i can only visit one location in Thailand, what would it be?

Looking for the most exotic + interaction with elephants and tigers.

Ko Samui?
Exotic-meaning beautiful beaches etc?-usually the best place to do the animal things are in Chiang Mai but it is not exotic as in beachwise, etc (it is rather dirty and smelly)
Each city in Thailand does offer some type of place that allows you to interact with animals (they have a tiger place in phuket as well) but they are generally not as good as the ones in Chiang Mai...
Most people do Koh Samui or Phuket for the exotic and Chiang Mai for the animal stuff, so......(maybe you can add a second stop-they are only about an hour or two flight from each other?)

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Thailand Master Thread
« on: July 09, 2015, 03:01:36 AM »
They matched it!! Here's the reply...

NICE!! I had a feeling they would based on my experience and how accommodating they were-not sure how useful the resort credit is though as you are not going to eat any meals there, etc-(unless you plan on using the spa-that is a diff story)we ended up with $0 in charges when we left as we only visited the bar once and I paid on the spot......

Trip Reports / Re: Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 08, 2015, 05:14:42 PM »
I've seen it a few times were hotels under the same flag in the same area all pool their cribs and cots together. They each take from each other as needed.
That would make sense as there are TONS of these lower brand Marriotts in the Orlando area..

Trip Reports / Re: Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 08, 2015, 05:13:42 PM »
Interesting. I've heard that you can switch every year if you so choose.

Anyway, nice installment!

I asked the rov about that mishna berura and he said that that is not what he means and R Moshe clearly said that you cannot switch back and forth at will only for a really good reason-but i guess each can ask his own LOR ;)

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Thailand Master Thread
« on: July 08, 2015, 05:07:41 PM »
I can't believe it!! I just booked yesterday morning and am paying $688 for 2 nights and jetsetter is offering it for $548. I booked it thru Anantara directly and that was the best price that could give me. I reserved a pool villa and they guaranteed me an upgrade to the lagoon villa because I booked thru them as opposed to a third party website. They charged my cc already and I can't cancel. I just emailed them a screenshot from jetsetter and asked them to match it. Any hopes in them matching this sale price??
I hope-they are really nice and were accommodating to me about changes I had to make to my room that I booked through Jetsetter and they were willing to change it for me even though I booked through jetsetter-please update what they say

Trip Reports / Re: Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 08, 2015, 05:00:43 PM »
Tuesday-Day 3

What was supposed to be an early morning departure ended up getting a bit delayed as we could not pull ourselves away from this amazing resort.  We could have easily spent a few days there as there is a lot to do on the island besides all the things that the hotel offers like free bike rentals, etc. After walking around the beach area, we reluctantly got back into the car heading north.

Our first stop for day 3 was Savanah, Ga. I loving seeing old shuls, so we made quick stop at the old shul in Savannah (which is actively used by the community daily) called Bnei Bris Yaakov and it was really quite beautiful. After spending a few minutes there we continued on to the main tourist attraction in Savanah-the waterfront.  This is a long street located on the waterfront of the Savanah river- again, lots of quirky shops, cafes, street performers, and giant souvenir shops-a real tourist trap. We saw lots of nice options for boat rides on the river, etc. but unfortunately time would not allow. All these cities are major US cities and really have lots to see and do-this was just to whet the appetite and put them down as requiring full attention at a later date.

Shul in Savanah

Waterfront in Savanah

After spending some time on the water front we headed out towards South Carolina. The purpose of our stop in South Carolina was twofold-One, to see the city; two, to visit some good friends of ours that had recently moved out there for kiruv work. We got into Charleston about two hours later in the late afternoon and headed straight so the Charleston City market. It is about 3 blocks long and covered and has vendors selling all different types of things. It actually reminded us of the markets in Asia, except here everything was displayed nicely, it was clean and air conditioned, and they were not selling fried bugs anywhere ;D ;D! Unfortunately we arrived a tad late and most of the vendors were closing up shop for the day so we did this a bit quickly. We then walked over to the Charleston waterfront park, which is a huge and beautiful park complete with loads of greenery, a boardwalk, and lots of fountains-located right on-you guessed it-the waterfront. The place was really stunning and we hung out there for some time until our friends came to meet us there.

Entering South Carolina

Charleston City Market

Waterfront Park in Charleston

From there we headed to their house for a fantastic BBQ dinner but took a quick detour on the way to see the old shul in Charleston which is really quite something. After hanging out for a while with our friends we were off to spend out third night at the Towneplace suites in Florence, South Carolina using an anniversary free night cert. Now, this hotel was the clincher-new-wise-only 12 days old and we were the first guests using the room-it was really a cool feeling! 8) 8) 8)

Living room-Towneplace Suites Florence, SC



Trip Reports / Re: Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 08, 2015, 02:47:19 PM »
When booze was served? ;D ;D ;D
No-on the final day after having driven 9 hours straight-I guess it was a similar feeling though ;D

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Thailand Master Thread
« on: July 08, 2015, 02:07:24 PM »
did you click on the link or you just wrote what?

Trip Reports / Re: Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 08, 2015, 01:21:16 PM »
Monday-Day 2

After a restful night we checked out of the hotel at about 10 AM and were back in our van due Northeast. We planned on stopping at Jerusalem Pizza in Ormond Beach, FL (which is just a bit north of Daytona Beach), picking up lunch for later in the day, and heading over to our first stop-Fort Matanzas. Ft. Matanzas was built back in the 1500ís and is located on an island out in middle of the ocean. The National Park Service provides a free ferry service to take visitors back and forth and the entire tour is free.

When we left Orlando in the morning the sun was shining bright and it was a beautiful day-but being in Florida-which all changed pretty quickly and by the time we got to Ormond Beach the sky was black and we were in the middle of a serious downpour! I decided to call the office at Ft. Matanzas to see if they were still running the ferry service and behold they had cancelled it for the rest of the day :'(. With that out, we decided to pick up our lunch and then decide what to do from there. I had previously called in our order for a small pie, a fries and lasagna so that I would not have to waste time waiting for the food. I came into the Pizza shop (which is located in their grocery store) and was greeted by an authentic Italian pizza maker, complete with Italian accent and all (he got seriously insulted when I asked for ketchup on the way out and I had to promise it was only for the fries and not the pizza and still beg for forgiveness before he reluctantly handed me our food ;D!). He told me that he was out of Lasagna noodles so he prepared us manicotti instead. The pizza was possibly from the most authentic and delicious pizza we have ever had and the manicotti was seriously amazing!!

Amazing authentic pizza


We gave one more shot at Ft, Matanzas and called them again (even though the weather was even worse now) to see if any of the later crossings were rescheduled but alas they were not. So, we decided to move onto our next stop which was visiting the city of St. Augustine-officially one of the oldest cities in the US. When we arrived it was still drizzling outside but we had ponchos and a rain cover for our stroller so we parked on the street and headed out. Shortly after the weather actually turned nice and we were left with a nice warm afternoon and sunny skies. There are many things to do in the city of St Augustine but we stuck to the main tourist drag where there are lots of quirky shops, cafes, and a few attractions. Among them was the oldest wooden schoolhouse (still intact) in the USA which we checked out for a few dollars. At the end of the main road right on the water is a huge fort known as Castillo De San Marcos built in the 1500ís which we visited and was pretty interesting. There are stairs so you can climb to the top of the fort walls where the old cannons are and the views from up there were pretty amazing. (No clue, though, why every time we took a pic up there using our rebel ts3 it came out dark-paging SF!!!! :-[ :-[).

Braving the rain in St Augustine

Oldest wooden schoolhouse in US

Bathroom (aka-meditation room)

View from the top of the fort

We stayed there until late afternoon and then headed on to Jacksonville, FL. We got into Jacksonville a bit late so we missed out on all the attractions there but we made a quick stop at the Winn Dixie there which has a huge kosher section. We stocked up on some deli, bread, nosh, etc. for that nightís dinner and back to the car it was!

We continued north and crossed into Georgia at about sunset time and an hour later we arrived at hour second nightís stop-Jekyll Island, Georgia. Jekyll Island is a huge strip of land that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean and is accessible by a huge bridge. The whole area is considered a state park and you need to pay a toll before entering, but it was not much IIRC. For the second night, again focusing on new hotels, we chose the Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island which had just opened 3 weeks before we got there using an IHG anniversary free night. The place was BRAND NEW and amazing 8) 8)!! The resort was right on the beach and all the rooms overlook the water with balconies. Funny to say this about a HI, but I had one of the best hotel sleeps I have ever had there.

The obligatory road trip pic

Toll at entrance to Jekyll Island

Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island

View from room

(Notice how new the palm trees are)

Trip Reports / Re: Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 08, 2015, 01:17:00 PM »
Great trip report. As you know I also drove up to ny after pesach and decided to keep second half of sfira in order to listen to music (just saying)
I asked a shaila to a very well known posek and he said that you cannot pick and choose halves at will-R' Moshe says that you can switch only for a very very good reason like a wedding, etc (and, no having a kid in the car was not considered a good enough reason :P)-not arguing with you-I am sure you asked your own shaila before you did that ;)

Trip Reports / Re: Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 08, 2015, 01:14:35 PM »
Cool TR so far! Thanks for bringing it to us!

Didn't know KSC was so cool! Will have to consider it one day (after Disney, of course). :-p
Even though the hotel is new, the furnishings seem a bit old, like that crib. Weird.
We also thought the crib was out of place a bit-maybe they bought old used cribs off a different hotel, etc ???

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