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Great post JJ , im glad i somehow slipped in there  ;)

Trip Reports / Re: CBS Brazil TR
« on: March 04, 2018, 04:07:18 PM »
Pics to come
I would rent a car again but supposedly it's much worse in high season but only because I'm crazy like that but not everyone should follow suit...

IGU for next time.. Was too much with the kids we were settled and having fun where we were..

P.s. Why was this moved to a new topic?

(if you want to merge you can put here

Trip Reports / CBS Brazil TR
« on: March 04, 2018, 11:49:18 AM »
Trip Report

Tickets Booked:
12/23 - MIA-GIG   AA Business
12/27 - SDU-CGH JJ Coach - 4.5k BA avios + $9 tax  per person
1/7 - GRU-MIA  AA  Business

The visa process was very annoying , lots of papers but we got it all done. it seems now theres an E-visa so i wont go through that process.

The AA were booked as a multi city one way coach , return business
1 ticket i used Amex BP  260k with the 35% rebate
other tickets paid cash adult $2350 / Child $1750
i used AA SWU to upgrade the outbounds

A family member referred me to a driver in Rio. Highly recommended, He speaks a nice english which is important there since no one speaks a WORD of english.
we paid about 500 BRL / day and had him at our disposal for 10 hours approx

He met us in the airport with a sign and drove us to our hotel

We booked the Hilton Copacabana (at an agent Discounted rate). We got a 1 bedroom suite with a connecting room which worked out perfectly for us and our 2 children

12/24 - Sunday - Day 1
after we settled in hotel and rested from the flight it was about 1pm and we went to go get some lunch
We stopped at Sushi place which is in the same complex as the Kosher store and Shelanu Meat store. - Its extremely hard to find your way around when you get there. The place looks like a rundown building and half the lights are off in the shul or whatever the jewish center is.
In the back of the building is the sushi in an alleyway - and up the steps in the front is Shelanu
and on the side is the kosher store.
Apparently due to Xmas a lot of things were closing early that day and NOTHING was open on monday - so we ordered dinner for that night as well .

We then hit the pool and tried a caipirinha which was quite disgusting - they didn’t know how to make it

we familiarized ourselves with the area and had an early night

12/25 - Monday - Day 2
First thing in morning we went to Sugar Loaf Mountain - took the cable cart up - Incredible views from up there and you can see the SDU airport as well and watch planes take off. and thats where i planned my seating for my next flight out of there so we can get a nice view of the city as the planes go in one direction !
its pretty stroller friendly they have these mini elevators in different places where you manually push it up and down
One thing nice about brazil is they have a line for pregnant , children, disabled and it helped a lot with our kids in many different places - also in airport on our return

we spent about 2 hours on sugarloaf
Then went to the hotel to eat lunch Thankfully we had some coldcuts/tuna and snacks as the restaurants were closed for Xmas
we then hit the beach and tried another Caipirinha in a Coconut which was also quite nasty. too much alcohol not tasty.

We had a scare at the beach. I hear a commotion about 50-100 ft away and i see someone trying to stab someone . Apparently the guy stop something from his pop up shop but at first it seemed he was running around wild with a knife. I picked up my kids and started heading back to the road while the rest of the beach was whistling for the cops who then settled it all
Off to the pool we went again

After some naps we took a drive around town - found the Famous Colorful steps “Escadaria Selaron” took some pics there and headed to the marketplace on copacabana beach where we bargained and got some souvenirs

12/26 - Tuesday - Day 3
8am we started our day with “the statue” - took the 20 min train up had incredible views
Theres no real place for strollers on there so you gotta fold up or get the first row which has some more legroom
on top we saw some incredible views although it was a bit cloudy it was still nice

after some Shelanu Lunch (since sushi was closed again!) we went to a park near Copacabana where we took Duck paddle boats on the lake and drank some coconut water from coconuts.  we also found a bunch of moon bounces things for kids and we watched our son let out his energy there
For dinner , I headed over to Delite only to find out that it was closed until after new years for renovations. so back to Shelanu we went
 at that point we were all Shelanu’d out!


12/27 - Wednesday - Day 4
8am flight to Sao Paulo - Against Dan’s advice we rented a car at hertz…. fully loaded chevy Cruze! The manager there spoke perfect english and i tipped him $10 which he refunded to take and i had to force him to accept.
Driving in SP keeps you on your toes and is quite wild. worse then NY and Israel
We have 2 relatives there and we stayed at one of them and hung out with the other.
If not for them i would probably skip SP . not much going on there other then the best Sushi I’ve EVER had!
We first went to eat lunch at a Buffet restaurant in the hospital lobby - i think its called Viena - Then went to the Sorbet /icecream store which was real good
For dinner thanks to my cousins who watched our kids we went to Sushi Papaia - TOP sushi ever had and best Capriniha also
I also fell in love with Guarana (zero) while in Brazil and (now i see they sell it walmart here in FL)

12/28 - Thursday - Day 5  - Asarah B’teves
Went with my cousins to see difference shuls and the Chabad run Amazing soup kitchen for the poor they run there (Ten yad)
Took it easy rest of day
For the Break-Fast we went to Celadon. Nothing better then breaking fast there!. Food is incredible , Service was great - 10/10 experience

12/29 - Friday  - Day 6  thru 1/7
about noon time we Drove up to Campos Do Jordao about 2.5 hr drive - Up in the mountains where we spent the next great 7 days
Many People in Sao paulo and rio go to vacation there. they call it the Europe of brazil as the architecture and style resembles Europe and its more upper class people.
My cousins had a family friend who gave them their Beautiful house which came with a housekeeper and we found a babysitter for dirt cheap who watched the baby’s while we did activities.

Activities we did over that week Included:
Kids Jungle gym
Horseback riding (free style and Buggy style for kids)
Petting zoo (not like american style more like some animals walk around uncaged..)
ATV's (all manual gear)

One of the nights we arranged someone to bring from Sao Paulo a platter of sushi from Papaia! (yes its that good)

1/7  - Drove back to GRU - lots of traffic from city to airport - note for extra time
got Hertz (localiza) to drive us to the terminal with all bags and babys . There was a huge line at the airport to get to the counter, even flying business didn’t get you too far..
but thankfully they have the handicap, kids, old ppl line that we only waited 20-30 min on..

Flight home was uneventful other then AA losing the the case on the stroller.

Thats it for now.. till  next trip !

Thanks all for your help and tips to plan

DDF DO Board / Re: DDF DO South Florida Edition
« on: January 28, 2018, 09:00:02 PM »
I'm open Jan 31-Feb 4 for a dinner or post-dinner DO, anyone else around and interested in a DO?
if u want to come try out the delicacies of boca im in.... ::)

Just Shmooze / Re: Where Are You Posting From Now?
« on: December 28, 2017, 09:50:16 PM »
Sao Paulo

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: South Florida Master Thread
« on: December 10, 2017, 04:02:21 PM » Looks amazing for anyone 21-30 (or older than wants to spend more.)
Shame they don’t have a VIP for that age...

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Brazil Master Thread
« on: December 10, 2017, 03:59:27 PM »
Ok time to hit up Brazil for the first time.

IYH have tickets to go in 2 weeks for 2 weeks

Trip will be with our 2 kids (age 2.5 and 8 months ) - First time going more then 3 hour flight and international with them...wish me luck..

General idea is :
Motzei shabbos MIA-GIG land Sunday 10am
Spend there till tues eve
Fly to GRU till Friday then head up with our relatives that live there to Campos do Jordao

Originally we had planned to stay in Campos (like upstate NY style but supposedly nicer) from Friday till the next Sunday (8 days - 2 shabbosim) and kinda chill family style with our relatives.
but thinking about I feel like its too long and wasting time in that part of the world.

My thoughts are to go for that last shabbos (thurs-Sunday night) to Chile or Peru as long as flight availability allows us to. Or maybe Igazu if those don’t work

Thoughts , adivce?

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Chile Master Thread
« on: December 10, 2017, 03:49:50 PM »
Is there anyone here that’s been to Chile? I’m cant find a trip report or any info from expereinces

Up In The Air / Re: how to open a travel agency
« on: August 23, 2017, 06:26:05 PM »
Not worth it . its a dying industry

Just Shmooze / Re: Where is...
« on: March 24, 2017, 04:48:47 PM »

I think he followed in the Polish footsteps and changed his name already.

« on: March 16, 2017, 03:26:36 PM »
Noob here..Aero miles can be used on United? if so, can it be used for all reward flights or only the ones that have the cheapest miles available (like AA supersaver)..thanks! 
and how do you book a flight on united with Aero points>?

check out

make an account and look for flights, yes they can only book the saver united awards

Up In The Air / Re: New Site Is Now In Beta Testing
« on: February 11, 2015, 03:55:12 PM »
nice . about time they changed it up

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Maldives Master Thread
« on: November 25, 2014, 02:31:12 PM »
I wouldn't worry about that.  The hotels have mostly foreign workers anyway and are on their own private islands far away from Male.
+1 - the main island of Male is a boat ride away from airport, just dont go there.

Im starting to hesitate..... Maybe BOB..... If only there was an easy way to get to BOB in premium cabins....
i wouldnt hesitate.

No, look, there is nothing to be nervous about. I spoke to my rav, and he said the same thing other ppl said, go as its your private vacation, dont go to revolt against their beliefs... youll be fine then. I wore a hat at all times, CBS i think wore a yarlmuka (he went the same time i did - during the war). The main chef knew i was jewish and he was fine with it. He actually tried every which way to make the meals as easy and enjoyable as possible under the kosher req.
correct, i wore my yarmulka always or a hat (for sun purposes) -

no one gave a dirty look or said anything, i even became with a Lebanese couple that was there and they were cursing out hezbolla

chefs were very accommodating. On shabbos they gave me tour of the kichens to see if anything was kosher, and they walked with me all over the island as i refused to get on the trolly

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Next Vacation - Ideas
« on: November 24, 2014, 01:01:52 PM »

Or better yet GIG or EZE.
will look into it thanks

How long? How many ppl?

3 nights, 4 days in either:

2 ppl

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Next Vacation - Ideas
« on: November 24, 2014, 11:31:39 AM »
Time for another Vacation!

Departing out of FLL/MIA

haven't looked to deeply yet, but for starters i was thinking for mid JAN

3 nights, 4 days in either:

Punta Cana
St Martin


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