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Messages - morgs

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Trip Reports / Re: Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 08, 2015, 01:13:42 PM »
Yup, did the round trip (I did all the driving). That was before the kiddies though. +1 on the Kennedy space center, everyone thought I was a geek for planning a stop there, but it turned out to be really cool.
Did all the driving too from beginning to end-only one time during the trip did I regret it (in a later post...)

Trip Reports / Re: Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 08, 2015, 10:19:20 AM »
Day 1-Sunday

The morning after Yom Tov we got up bright and early and loaded up all our stuff into our minivan and set out at about 10 AM due north. We made a quick stop at CVS for some road munchies and at Shemtov’s to pick up milkshakes, etc. for breakfast and pizza, etc. for lunch (which we kept hot in a hot/cold back that really kept the food hot even three hours later) and were on our way. We also had to make a quick stop at my wife’s grandparents to say good bye up in the Boca area. At about 12 pm we pulled out of Boca and began the real road trip.

Our first stop was at the Kennedy Space center visitor center in Cape Canaveral, Fl. We got there at about 2:30 (after eating lunch in the car on the road-after this trip I am now an expert at driving while dipping fries into ketchup and getting it to my mouth w/o it spilling all over my shirt) and went to will-call to pick up our tix that we had pre-booked. The admission was not cheap at $50+ per person but the experience was fantastic. They really fashioned the whole place to feel like a theme park-there are different areas, there is theme-park like music playing over the speakers, there are dresses up astronauts, etc. to take photos with-you get the picture.  Some of the noteworthy attractions: “Backlot tour”- a bus tour of the launch pads (you do not leave the bus, bit you get to see the hangers where they build the rockets, launch pads, transporters, etc.), Simulate a launch experience, Imax, Meet an astronaut- overall a very enjoyable day and worth the price IMO. (Note: you can spend an entire day here so plan appropriately-we came late and missed out on half the things).

Entrance to KSC Visitors Complex

Hangar where rockets are assembled

Vehicle used to transport rockets/space shuttles to launch pads (aka-the crawler)

One of the Apollos on display

Atlantis on display

Area called the rocket garden

We left the KSC at around 7:30 and headed West towards Orlando-it is about a 40 minute drive from KSC to Orlando. We stopped off for dinner at Lower East side Kosher restaurant-the food/service was great-nothing fancy, but basic and good (it was the night after Pesach so at least we knew it was fresh). As it is considered peak season, I was able to catch a Maariv in the shul that is located in the restaurant. 

Grilled Chicken sandwhich

The reason we chose to stay in Orlando (although it was slightly out of our way) was because I had a couple free night cert. and points to use up and I tried to fit them in as long as it was not crazy out of the way. We also decided that since the cert. do not necessarily allow such upscale hotels we would try to stay in the newest hotels possible. That being said, we decided to spend the night in the Springhill Suites (category 5) in the Kissimmee area of Orlando which had just opened 5 weeks before we got there 8). The hotel was about a seven minute drive away from the restaurant and was really nice (it was brand new!).

Room at Springhill Suites Orlando Kissimmee

Desk area

Trip Reports / Roadtrip TR (w/ pics): Miami Beach to EWR
« on: July 08, 2015, 10:16:00 AM »

I hope that this tr will be helpful to others as I did not find much info on this when I was planning it. I know the general sentiment is that if you can spend 2 hours on a flight why would you spend 20+ hrs. driving- BUT firstly those hours were turned into a road trip broken up over a few days, and because there were some other things that went into this. Here it goes…

We joined my wife’s family this year in going down to Miami for Pesach. During the pre-Pesach planning I was naturally chosen to try and find a good deal on a rental car for the two weeks (basically impossible in MIA during that time of year) as I am known as the “Dan’s Deals guy” in the family ::). During one of my searches I came across the $9 a day one way FL-NY car rental deal that is offered at that time of year. Every April the car rental companies need to get some of their cars back up north for summer season (as more people vacation in NY in the summer and FL in the winter) so they offer you the price of one way rentals at $9 a day for regular cars and abt. $20 a day for a minivan (which is insanely cheap for FL standards (at that time of year a reg. rental for 2 weeks in a minivan could run about 11-1500 dollars!)). 

We decided that we’ll save my wife’s parents some money and take an extended road trip back from Miami to New Jersey after Yom Tov. The total for the minivan for the whole 2 weeks of Yom Tov and the week after was $500!! (Besides the fact that we were anyways pretty sick of flying-even if it was only another 3 hour flight-as we had already been on 5 flights in 2 weeks (coming from Israel and stopping for a visit in LA before going into NJ and then heading down to FL and were about to get back on another flight back to Israel!!)!

For our 2 year old we bought this- and attached it to his car seat and it actually worked really well! We also stocked up on lots of videos, coloring books, crayons and nosh before the trip. One very convenient thing was that we were in the new Chrysler town & country-which is really comfortable and has a lot of connection options like a standard plug so we could always keep our devices fully charged!

Our kid using the Snack n play travel table

(Note to self: Do not do this drive, or any long drive, again during a time when you cannot listen to music!!!!!!!!)

Trip Reports / Re: Hopping Around Asia (Mostly)
« on: July 07, 2015, 09:25:04 AM »
This is awesome!! (can we keep the positive response level high so that the next installment comes just as quick :D)

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Singapore Master Thread
« on: July 07, 2015, 08:57:57 AM »
Thanks! Problem is figuring out what's open at 7 AM. :P
Check this out
some of the sections of the botanic gardens are open from 5AM!!

Falafel Teiman is tiedup with mirro.
if you can stomach the cleanliness :P

Trip Reports / Re: Hopping Around Asia (Mostly)
« on: July 06, 2015, 08:16:45 AM »
Really excited for the rest of this tr-keep it comin!!

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Singapore Master Thread
« on: July 06, 2015, 07:42:48 AM »
...precisely what I stink at. :(

As someone who's done most (all?) of these activities, how would you do them, in what order? What should I cut out of the itinerary?
IMHO-I would go first to the Singapore zoo which is imo the best I've ever seen , then possibly to the bird park or botanical gardens (I was not at either but I heard they are both amazing)-I would skip the luge as it is in Sentosa Island which is semi-far out and an attraction that you could easily spend 3 days at in itself (just till you figure things out there and wait on line it can take you until its time to leave-def. not for such a short visit)-then I would head to the rooftop pool at MBS-I would skip chinatown as well (not as interesting as it's made out to be-smelly, a few markets -but nothing that compare to the real stuff)...

Thanks for the recommendation.  Beautiful location and really hit the spot for break-fast food.
my pleasure-was just there last thursday night for dinner as well-place was packed and food was fantastic!! Glad you enjoyed!

great tr-thanks for taking out the time-looking forward to the rest!!

Anywhere to break the fast on Sunday in Tel Aviv (close to the Sheraton)?
The cafe cafe(dairy) in the Namal (not far from the sheraton) is mehadrin (and shemita lechumra last I checked)

wow!! amazing tr and great pics!! Thanks for taking out the time!!

Trip Reports / Re: Should DDF TRs Be Featured On DDMS?
« on: June 27, 2015, 03:53:43 PM »
Great idea-def. one of AJK's epic tr's (although maybe he is already considered featured on DDMS with the recent island hopper tr :D)

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Thailand Master Thread
« on: June 26, 2015, 07:35:01 AM »
Is there any kosher food to be gotten in Krabi or Ko Lanta?
you could ask Chabad of Bangkok if thet might ship it there

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: London Master Thread
« on: June 25, 2015, 05:56:22 PM »
I'm gonna be in London for just a quick stop this summer before moving onto 1 week in Paris and 1 week in Rome. Only 1 full day in London't as an extended stop over.

I was thinking a tour of Buckingham palace and the tower of London would be the main activities for the day. However when I proposed this to a coworker she said to skip the Buckingham palace tour since I will be visiting Versailles on the trip and go to the British museum instead. Either way, this trip will have a plethora of museums and palaces. Thoughts on Buckingham palace? Or a better 1 day itinerary?
We did the inside of Buckingham palace tour and thought it was pretty cool-not a tremendous amount to see though as they do not let you into any of the functioning parts of the palace (like the living qaurters, throne room, etc)-it was just really cool to have been inside Buckingham palace-I would not do it though if I only had 1 day in London.
Perhaps consider the changing of the guard tour (in the wiki) and then the tower of London to see crown jewels...

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