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Messages - mdv

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Goods For Sale/Trade / Re: Polar bear suitcase for sale
« on: July 27, 2020, 04:29:36 PM »
They charge 18$ minimum for shipping

Goods For Sale/Trade / Re: Polar bear suitcase for sale
« on: July 27, 2020, 02:50:27 PM »
Why would someone buy a used one from you at the same price of a new one from Amazon? To save a few bucks on taxes?
Um...its not the same price . And yes that's why people buy used items to save  money...why else?
Regardless its currently selling for 120 on Amazon

Goods For Sale/Trade / Re: Polar bear suitcase for sale
« on: July 23, 2020, 09:10:15 PM »

Trip Reports / Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 20, 2020, 01:29:38 AM »
Tuesday - Day 3 07/07/20
As I previously mentioned, the Aspen mountain gondola is a very close walk to the hotel but the St Regis had some nice Escalades and BMW house cars so we may as well get a ride

St Regis house car (jersey plates !!?)

The gondola has 2 options : either a one time ride up or for a bit more you can get an unlimited pass for aspen and the nearby snowmass mountain which has more activities, and some food/drink vouchers which were useless for us. We opted for the second option although we only ended up going up aspen once .(oh well they got us ).

Aspen gondola

The views from the gondola and at the top were quite amazing. There was a restaurant at the top with some indoor and outdoor seating. We got some drinks and took pictures.

Portrait mode

Restaurant with a view

We went back to the hotel for some lunch( frozen pizza ) and then we went back out to check out the W.

As I mentioned, the W is quite new and very intriguing. The design of the lobby, rooms , and even hallways are pretty wild . I was looking at the pictures online before we went and the pictures of the presidential suite were so insane I decided I wanted to see if I can take a tour so we went to check it out.

Its quite close to the St Regis (like everything else ) so we walked.
The building looks pretty ordinary from the outside but when you step inside things start to get interesting. The carpeting is supposed to be a map of aspen. The colors and designs are really astonishing.

The W lobby

DJ booth

The hallways are supposed to look like a mine shaft (alot of mining history in the area)

Then we headed for the rooftop area which its famous for. There's a restaurant, bar , infinity pool and hot tubs. The entire rooftop has unobstructed views of all the surrounding mountains and it's really serene. Although the whole chill was more of a party vibe with loud music which was a bit of a contrast but was still very enjoyable . I ordered a drink which the waiter totally forgot about and I had to go remind her.

I asked them if I can get a tour of the presidential suite but it was occupied so they showed us the residences instead.

Here's the picture on that made me want to see it but unfortunately it didn't work out.

Heres some pictures of the residences.... they are definitely quite unique too but they don't have that sick bed :-)

This residence also had an amazing panoramic view from the balcony but I didnt get a picture

As we left we hotel they had a interesting kind of hoverboard called the Onewheel that they let you try (just had to sign a waiver ) .I had seen other people zipping around on them and it looked fun so I gave it a shot.

After a few tries I got the jist of was pretty fun

Overall the W is a very cool, fun, unique, modern and colorful but definitely wasn't high class ,quality and luxury like the St Regis . It was definitely worth the visit but ultimately we were glad we stayed at the St Regis
We went back and had some delicious short ribs from yapchik, pulled chicken tacos, and some rib eye (slightly less delicious.... again that stuff should be made fresh)

Goods For Sale/Trade / Re: Polar bear suitcase for sale
« on: July 16, 2020, 05:23:50 PM »
worked like a charm for me. The reason Im selling is because I really wanted a different size but it didn't come in time for the trip

Goods For Sale/Trade / Polar bear suitcase for sale
« on: July 16, 2020, 05:21:45 PM »
selling a polar bear suitcase - black 24 pack. Used once (for one trip ) . $105 . Here's the link the the item on Amazon

Trip Reports / Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 15, 2020, 08:40:01 PM »
Monday - Day 2 (07/06/20)
After a leisurely late morning, we had some breakfast (cereal, coffee, and some pastries from lkwd) , I called private dining to bring up the rest of the food we wanted for the day to start defrosting, and we headed out.
Just a few minutes walk from the hotel was the whole boutique shopping area. We had a nice time browsing some designer stores .... alot of them had the feeling that they were like the "flagship " stores of that brand. We checked out a cool art gallery but wasn't allowed to take pictures, got some starbucks.

The whole vibe of the place was basically just upper class wealthy people....(apparently plenty of non frum jews but definitely didn't see anyone frum....arguably one of the best parts of the vacation  ;)). We didnít really feel all that fancy in our Jaguar when surrounded by Range Rovers and G wagons lol.

We went back for some lunch - frozen pizza and lasagna from bagelnosh (bit shvach - should have stuck with penne or something).

The whole day I was planning to try and get into a suite even if I would have to pay for it as long as it's reasonable so I gave Carlos a call .He had given me his direct number to let him know about shortening my stay - he said as long as I let him know a day or two before I wanted to check out I wouldn't be charged . I told him that I was still undecided about the last night but now I have another issue and I explained the issue and I mentioned how I was only offered the $900 upgrade which is way too steep for me even tho there were others bookable online and I understand that my gold status doesn't entitle me to a suite upgrade but I didnt even get any kind of enhanced balcony no nothing . He said let me check what I can do and he came back and gave me a junior suite on the same floor for no extra cost !
The butler came and helped us move all our got complicated as there was a mini fridge they had brought me for perishables and both my toaster oven and sous vide were on but we managed.
Here's some pictures . (For reference-Room 425 on floor map attached previously )

Here's the view from my room

As you can see the suite is way bigger than the first room and definitely worked much better for us. Even though there wasn't actually a separate room that we can close the door but still we just put the crib in that first room which was kinda around the corner from the main room .
The bathroom was very nice sized and gorgeous - I liked it better than the one at the St Regis in PR even though that one was way bigger and redone almost 10 years after !
Even the living area I enjoyed more because even though it wasn't new and modern but the couches were actually plush and comfortable as opposed to nicer looking but very stiff ones in PR.
The whole suite in general was done nicer than the base had tv in bathroom... fancier coffee machine etc but funnily enough the storage was actually worse because for some reason it seemed as they didn't get a new dresser for this room (it was visually worn out) and it wasn't as good as the dresser in the first room , but as a whole having the suite changed the whole vacation for us.
We decided to stay all four nights once we were in the suite and also because it didn't really make sense to start going somewhere else for one not just to do something which isn't in the area we were staying.... we can always do that another time if we are based out of Denver but for this trip it made most sense to just do some things around Aspen and enjoy the hotel.
If we wouldn't have brought our baby we would have been able to do some more fun activities such as biking down the ski slopes (supposedly amazing), horseback riding ,or some real hiking but hey you win some you lose some....we only got the suite because we brought him !
We decided to try out the pool area as it already later in the day and was emptying out. Officially they were limiting the pool to 8 people at a time but no one was actually enforcing that. When we came to the pool it was just before 6pm and the attendant informed us that the pool closes at 6. When I asked about the hot tubs (which are kinda meant to be used at night when it gets cooler) he said I'm new here let me ask my supervisor. He came back a bit later and said that his manager is also new here (due to covid) and he didn't either know but then he goes -" between me and you if you paid to stay here then you should be able to use the pool and hot tub whenever you want so I won't bother you. Lol !! 😆 🤣
The pool was nice.... nothing special and the hot tubs were also enjoyable

Wine makes everything more enjoyable :). (Tip - the average wine bottle fits in the standard hotel safe....eliminating any issues of non mevushal wines)

Hot tub with a view (and a doona )

The other guests at the hotel also seemed to be very classy wealthy people... the type that the whole family was sitting around eating at the outdoor seating all dressed up.
The lobby area was definitely beautiful and luxurious but clearly was built long before "open concept " was invented. More of a cozy feel...fireplaces and plush leather couches.

Dont forget the chandelier in elevator !

We went back and had a great supper of freshly sous vide steak seared with blowtorch , yapchik and pulled chicken in baguette.
Searing with blowtorch (pro tip: it's best to do this on a balcony or some other outdoor area so the DW don't get nervous; ))

My food preparation setup

The yapchik was heavenly and the steak was very solid if a bit overspiced . And as always... wine makes everything better :)
Still to come : Tuesday and Wednesday... the best is yet to come...

Trip Reports / Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 15, 2020, 09:31:38 AM »

Correct me if I am wrong but as far as I can tell from a quick look around this forum I am the first reviewing aspen and the St Regis so I will try to be as detailed as I can to give you an accurate picture.
Aspen is a beautiful and extremely wealthy town 8000 feet above sea level nestled in the rocky mountains with beautiful views of the surroundings peaks wherever you look. Its just a hop away from some of the best ski slopes in the winter (the lifts are a short walk from basically anywhere in town) and from some of the best hiking and scenic spots in North America. There are plenty of high end boutique shops (hence the attraction for my wife) , restaurants (nothing kosher obviously) , and hotels.
There is even an airport with flights from denver and a few other cities but we needed to stop in denver for supplies and we wanted to do the drive so we didn't fly in directly to Aspen.
As I previously mentioned, the St Regis is an older building (originally opened as a Ritz I believe and eventually rebranded as St Regis) that was renovated about ten years ago .
To be completely honest this point was when our "luck " felt like it was running out, I will explain. We have previously been to the St Regis Bahia Beach in peurto rico and when we arrived at that resort we were greeted by numerous people who right away welcomed us and offered us refreshing towels and drinks and took our luggage etc etc the whole nine yards and we were upgraded from a base room to a suite despite only being gold. So although we realized that this wasn't the same situation at all as this property isn't a whole resort with its own grounds etc. its just a building on a street in a town ,(actually they do call themselves "The St Regis Aspen Resort " not sure why) , nonetheless we expected some kind of welcome. Unfortunately when we pulled up no one even came to greet us I actually had to approach someone to help us with our bags ! - not the end of the world but still they definitely fell short on first impressions (they actually apologized later about this).
Then we went to check in . I had called the property before I booked just to make sure that things were open and functional and to find out what special measures were going on for covid (no turndown service and masks required indoors but not everyone listened and definitely wasn't enforced) and was told that it was pretty for some reason I kinda assumed that they would give us a suite. I knew we could use the extra space with a kid but at time I didn't realize how necessary it was as this was our first time staying at a hotel with him. Anyways after arriving with a bit of a sour taste, we walked up to the checkin counter and inquired if there was any upgraded rooms available and was informed that the only suite available was the presidential suite for $900 extra per night (despite there being many other suite types bookable online)
. So we said no thanks we'll stick with our regular room but when we got there, although the room was beautifully furnished, we just felt so claustrophobic with the crib and all our stuff... the was literally no where to move. The bigger issue was that once my baby was sleeping we couldn't make any noise or turn on any lights since its basically one room and there wasn't even a balcony to step out into. Lesson learned....never attempt a hotel stay with a baby in a base room unless its like the St Regis Bal Harbor.
I didn't have a chance to get proper pictures of the room because unpacking was such a balagan but I'll post some nice pictures of the suite we eventually got in Monday's installment.
Here's a taste . You can see the crib crammed in behind the bed

The building is shaped like a "ches" with one whole side dedicated to the residences and the remaining "L" shape making up the hotel part. Here's the floor plan for the fourth floor which we were on. We were in 417 as you can see its even the smaller of the base rooms

In the middle of the "ches" is some outdoor restaurant seating, some fire pits and then up some stairs on the second level is the pool and a few hot tubs

The lower level

The pool level

The pool is definitely more old fashioned and can use a refresh but obviously people aren't coming to Aspen for the swimming....

Back in the room the butler did a great job helping us unpack and we settled in. One thing I would like to point out is that even though I had emailed the hotel dining staff to ask about storing and or warming up my meals (they wanted $45 per dish to warm up but thankfully I didn't need that) and they promised to notify the front desk about the fact that I would need my stuff brought to the freezer, I still found myself having to explain myself a few times until I got someone competent enough to understand what I wanted and look on the notes on my reservation and put me in touch with the right people (in room dining) and have someone come pick up the food. Don't expect it to go smoothly unless its a property that gets alot of this kinda stuff .

It was already quite late and we were quite knocked out from a whole day of travel on very little sleep and the 2 extra hours of time difference , we walked around a little and then warmed up supper.... some homemade schnitzel on baguettes warmed up in toaster oven and some oyster steak and lamb ribs from yapchik warmed in the sous vide. The shnitzel was great but the oyster and the lamb weren't amazing (they are best off fresh...) but it did the trick .
I went down to find street parking as the hotel charges $50 for valet and I found residents parking right next door which is free on Sundays but they usually charge $8 per day but they they actually weren't charging for the whole month of July so that worked out nicely
Then we called it a night.
To be continued.....

Trip Reports / Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 15, 2020, 07:00:57 AM »
Awesome job, little brother! Keep it coming- just what's with the grammar? Did we go to the same school or what?  ;D ;D
:-\ embarrassing older brothers

Trip Reports / Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 15, 2020, 06:59:57 AM »
Pretty sure I saw you in the Hertz parking lot in Denver as I saw that Jag in the parking lot and went inside to double check if I could have it, and then my kids came inside and told me other Yidden got it first!
yes I remember seeing you guys at baggage claim and at hertz.... that's really funny.I guess I owe you an apology! At from now on you know that anything in the PC lot just take it and run - don't look back!

Trip Reports / Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 15, 2020, 01:17:54 AM »
Ah well I guess that's the price I paid for not stopping at these pull offs either way .... didn't end up having time. Pity

Trip Reports / Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 15, 2020, 12:30:07 AM »
Sorry the time lapse doesn't seem to work...l will try to attach  it a different way

Watch in full screen for full effect

Trip Reports / Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 15, 2020, 12:29:04 AM »
Sorry the time lapse doesn't seem to work...l will try to attach  it a different way

Trip Reports / Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 15, 2020, 12:14:20 AM »
Sunday 07/05/20
We had to get a really early start as our flight was 7am from Philadelphia and we had an hour drive from Lakewood. We got to the airport, checked in our 4 free bags (i think 2 of them may have been a few pounds over 50 but thankfully they didn't make any issues...either because they saw I was traveling with my baby or just southwest isn't so makpid...I definitely didn't go over our combined 200 lbs) , went thru security (I have TSA pre but my wife doesn't....still haven't figured out why it doesn't always give it to her even tho she is booked on same itinerary as me) , and got to gate just as they were starting boarding. I happen to still have A list status with southwest from my credit card so I knew our boarding position was going to be one of the first but when I walked up to the gate there was literally no one else with A boarding position so we were the last to the gate and the first on the plane! The gate agents were nice enough to let me bring the doona on when I explained to them that I can strap it to the empty seat they were guaranteeing (I actually collapsed it as I was advised to do so they would see its a car seat and not a stroller but the way back I totally forgot to and they let me bring it anyway when I explained). This as opposed to numerous reports of united and AA not letting in car seats even though there are empty seats.
We boarded the plane first so we had the option of taking the bulkhead, but unfortunately the doona is too wide to fit on a seat without lifting an armrest and the armrests in the front row don't go up as they contain the folding tray we ended up taking one row back. Still it was a pretty ideal setup .
Thankfully my baby was a little angel on the flight- he basically slept most of the time and was happy in the car seat...we barely had to hold him...pretty good for a free seat!
We landed in denver, went in circles a few times until we figured out how the airport works (were they drunk when they built it?) , finally located our bags and hopped on the shuttle for Hertz.
Our shuttle driver was quite enthusiastic about his job ( gave us a whole introduction, this "trip will be approximately 5 minutes " "I'll be playing 60s music unless anyone objects "giving us old fashioned actual driving directions how to get to the city ) - gotta love these guys who are all pumped about their job lol.
We arrived at herz and sitting in the PC lit was a nice white Jaguar SUV .... you don't leave something like that in the lot (even if a bigger SUV would have been more practical with all our luggage) so we took the Jag , managed to cram all our luggage in ,and headed for the city.

It was a beautiful sunny day in denver and just as we were leaving the airport we got a stunning view of the snowcapped mountains far off in the distance with a southwest plane taking off in the foreground.... unfortunately we missed the picture .
We headed to king soopers for drinks, paper goods, butane for my torch and some other odds and ends, then we went to a chabad so I can daven shachris (I have the rabbis number if anyone needs) , then headed to Brooklyn Pizza and got some great pizza , then to East side deli to pick up our order and I got some wine there as well. ( I had bought back at home a nice bottle of yarden cab and a castel rose' but the wife was too nervous to bring in luggage - I ended up getting some cheaper stuff in denver because the selection was pretty weak and the good stuff was way too expensive - oh well, sigh. First world problems. )
Finally we hit the road for our 3 and half hour drive through the mountains to Aspen . Even though I knew we were driving through the mountains I didn't realize that this drive would be as epic as it was....the only problem was the weather was a bit rainy( the way there). I always think its a chaval when you do these kinds of drives because you can't experience and /or get pictures of most of it - even if you stop at all the spots on the side you're still missing alot and we didn't end having time to really stop at all either way so I actually set up my phone in the mount to take a time lapse of the drive (obviously you're still only getting the front view and the best is really the side views but the only way to get those would be by setting up a gopro on each side of the car and that fancy I am not. lol) but the time lapses from the way back came out better as the weather was better I will try to attach one below (disclaimer: you may get dizzy :))
The drive really was spectacular ....from wide open lush vallies with cattle grazing surrounded by snow capped mountains to narrow passages carved out of a cliff with barely enough space to squeeze past the incoming traffic....and the elevation fluctuating wildly - my ears were popping and unpopping the entire time ( I also had a bit of a cold I don't think my wife had it so bad). The weather also was pretty wild from almost 100 degrees in denver it dropped to under 60 degrees at one point !
Here's a screenshot of the route I believe we took (for some reason I couldn't find it in Google timeline ) .

We took the 70 west and south to wheeler junction then the 91 to Leadville which is a little town with incredible views whichever way you turn and then we took the 24 to the 82 and that's when things got really fun as you can see from this screenshot .

It passes a landmark called the continental divide which is a mountain ridge that runs north to south and is the point where all waters to the east flow toward the Atlantic and all waters to the west flow toward the pacific (bet you didn't know that...well I didn't either until I googled it after- I am retroactively fascinated lol)
heres a time lapse (from the way back cuz was nicer weather)

Finally we got to Aspen and we pulled up to the magnificent St Regis

to be continued....

Trip Reports / Re: Mdv's Aspen Colorado trip report
« on: July 14, 2020, 06:43:59 PM »
There's definitely some great pics coming - you won't be disappointed ...maybe even some videos and time lapses if l I can figure out how to do it . Still writing day 1.
I would definitely recommend going with kids (obviously you're gonna need 2 rooms )as long as they appreciated m nature and scenery etc. otherwise they might be bored

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