Author Topic: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida  (Read 17240 times)

Offline AJK

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Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« on: September 03, 2015, 07:31:20 PM »
[deleted]
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Dr Moose

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2015, 07:33:24 PM »
now you got us all curious
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Offline Yaalili

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2015, 07:37:59 PM »
That's the spirit, live TRs are awesome! I really enjoyed going through ISP too.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 07:41:03 PM »
[deleted]

Well that didn't last too long ;)

Offline AJK

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 07:48:42 PM »
Oops  ;D

It was posted too early by mistake. Will post here shortly.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Chapshnell

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2015, 07:52:09 PM »
Oops  ;D

It was posted too early by mistake. Will post here shortly.

ISP-FLL?

Offline AJK

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 08:18:29 PM »
Oops  ;D

It was posted too early by mistake. Will post here shortly.

What I meant to post  ;D



Following in the steps made en vogue by Marco Polo, I am going to attempt my first ever "live" TR. [You'll have to excuse that I took the pictures on my Note 4 instead of the Sony A6000, though.]

My alarm started buzzing at 4:30 AM this morning and by 5:10 AM we were in the car en route to ISP for a 7:05 AM flight: ISP-FLL on Southwest using the Companion Pass. Current ETA: 6:23 AM.

About halfway there, I had made up 8 or so minutes, so my ETA was now about 6:15 AM.

And then I saw him.

A Nassau County State Trooper pull up slowly behind me. And just paced me for a mile or two. I know from experience, this is almost never a good thing, so I just held my breath.

To no avail.

He lit me up and pulled me over, took my license and registration, and accused me a multitude of crimes, which I vehemently denied, continue to deny, and will deny, and will vigorously oppose in a court of law. More importantly, though, while he was back in my car drafting, well, what seemed to be the riot act of 1883, convene a death squad, and summon the dark lord, I saw my ETA go from 6:15 AM to 6:28 AM.  After what seemed like an eternity, he gruffly handed back a summons the length and size of which I will never forget, and I peeled out of there. OK, maybe not peeled, but I didn't say thank you either.

We arrived in ISP at 6:36 AM and I drove Mrs. AJK straight to check-in, where, completely unlike JFK or EWR, the WN curb-side agent asked, "Well, good morning! How are you?"

Mrs. AJK: "I'm well, thanks. And you?"

Agent: "Well, someone's grammar teacher is gonna be happy!"

Love it!

Without mentioning the time, he gladly took our one bag and off Mrs. AJK went to find some sort of liquid strength to power her through a 4:30 AM wake-up.

Seeing as it was only 6:38 AM, I figured I had plenty of time to (i) google what parking would cost at ISP, (ii) compare it to the second best alternative, which turned out to be the Clarion Hotel about a two minute drive away, (iii) drive to the Clarion, (iv) go into the Clarion and ask how I can park there and be driven back to ISP, (v) find out that you had to have made a reservation online, (vi) to making a reservation on my phone, (vii) parking in the lot, and (vii) getting into the shuttle at 6:46 AM back to ISP.

And this, my friends, aside from the gracious encounter my wife had with the staff at ISP, is why I love this airport.

I arrived at the airport at 6:48 AM and was on the plane by 6:52 AM.  Even without TSA Pre, there was no line, and by the time I was gathering my stuff from security, they started paging me.  Even though I assumed the TSA reviewer would simply huff and gruff when I pointed out that it was ME they were paging, he said, "Oh, don't worry. You're headed to FLL? Here's your stuff, head up the escalator to your left and you'll be at your gate in a jiffy."

That. would. never. happen. in. JFK/EWR. Not the funny agents, not the understanding TSA, and certainly not curb to plane in 4 mins. (If only ISP wasn't an hour away... or patrolled by Super Cops from the Future with Minority Report powers.)

Sure enough, I was the second to last to board, and despite that fact was able to sit next to Mrs. AJK for the 3 hour flight to FLL.

All in a day's work.

We arrived in FLL a bit early at 10 to 10 and--gotta love it--our bag was second off the plane.  We grabbed our Chevy Impala from Hertz and off we went to brunch. And boy was it a brunch.

Zak the Baker, hereinafter to be known as ZtB is off-the-chain. It's located in the Wyndwood Art District which in and of itself is a sight to behold, if not a weird place for a bakery... Anyway.


20150903_112222 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_112313 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

At first blush, the place is clean, orderly, and best of all, you can see what everyone is doing in the back, from making bread, to doughnuts, to omelettes.

We ordered the Breakfast Sandwich, a Tuna Melt, Lemon Curd Toast, and fresh-squeezed lemonade and grapefruit juice.

My friends, the food was delicious. I don't recall being as impressed with a new restaurant in recent memory.  The breakfast sandwich, for one, has got to be the one of the top 3 sandwiches I've ever had the pleasure of eating. It's up there with the BLT for Pardes, for instance.  It's made with fresh, oven-toasted bread, the texture of which is to die for, cheddar cheese omelette, avocado, brussel sprouts and just enough chili aioli.



20150903_113518 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



And the Tuna Melt which we both liked was unique (cranberry bread!), tasty, and visually enticing.



20150903_114202 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



We ended up with the Lemon Lavender Toast (HT: Dan) and our drinks. Though it was not to Mrs. AJK's liking, I liked it a lot. Again, it was unique, creative and tasty.


20150903_112919 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_113341 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

All of it was simply wonderful. And ZtB's bread may be the star of the show. Stuff is fantastic. And the proof is in the pudding--the place is hopping. We arrived at 11 AM and throughout our lunch, people of all stripes, Jews and non-Jews, hipster and goth, models and fat men, comprised a line that went out the door. And I'd say with good reason.

Alas, we were way too full for actual pastry dessert, so we'll have to make another go at some point before we leave.

Afterwards, we headed to the Wynwood Walls (HT: MarkS), where local artists get to showcase their graffiti talent. Pretty impressive stuff.

20150903_131030 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_131353 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

HT: Moishebatchy

20150903_131513 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_131621 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_131657 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_131957 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_132227 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_132441 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



After a quick tour of Wynwood, we knocked another thing off the old bucket list: airboating through the Everglades to see some gators. And for $27.50 per person for 45 min tour, we couldn't say no. And we really liked our guide--super cool guy. Recommended.


20150903_141318 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_141958 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_142613 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_144300 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_144340 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_144801 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_145314 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



When the guide got to the male alligator above, he showed us a little demonstration (and since there were only 4 of us on the airboat, it was nice and private). This guy was boss.  He was part of the Indian Tribe there and has been doing this since he was a child. Don't try this at home, kids.  (Not sure where the sound went on the first half of the video, sorry, but he was explaining about the alligators, etc.)





Then he took us to an island where he knew an smaller, but fiercer, female crocodile which he was able to coax out of the water and feed.  Apparently these things can run like bullets, but I only found out afterwards  :o :o


20150903_150552 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_150642 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_151540 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



From there, it was off to check-in to the Conrad Miami.  After staying at the Conrad Koh Samui, and the Conrad Bali, both of which we loved, our expectations were high.  Now, because it's in downtown Miami, in the business district, and not even on South Beach, it ain't the CKS or C-Bali, but fortunately, the service thus far has been great, and once we checked-in on the 25th floor, we were upgraded to a very large corner suite on the 22nd floor overlooking both the city and part of the bay.



(Don't yet have pictures of the outside of the hotel, but will add those later.)


20150903_163049 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_163059 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_163110 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_163609 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_163135 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_163150 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_163215 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_163226 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_163255 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_163305 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150903_163324 by AJK DDF, on Flickr


Now, Mrs. AJK beckons...

...Fuego awaits.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2015, 08:35:39 PM »
Was worth the edit. The Everglades for $27 included all that and private island etc. is that standard price or was it with a coupon?

Offline Moishebatchy

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2015, 08:59:25 PM »

Offline AJK

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2015, 09:29:19 PM »
Was worth the edit. The Everglades for $27 included all that and private island etc. is that standard price or was it with a coupon?
Standard. Second result on Trip Advisor.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Online Ergel

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2015, 09:35:14 PM »
Cool. We just did the Everglades on our own. But getting the gators to be active was probably worth the $27
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Online whacked1

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2015, 09:38:29 PM »
Dude love it!! Dont keep the DW awaitin'! lol

Offline etech0

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2015, 09:39:23 PM »
Nice!!
Workflowy. You won't know what you're missing until you try it.

Offline benjie1305

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2015, 09:43:31 PM »
Any reason you chose the Conrad over, lets say the St Regis?
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Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2015, 09:52:22 PM »
Any reason you chose the Conrad over, lets say the St Regis?
HH Diamond.

Great start! Boy, those pictures are clear for a phone camera. Thanks for the live report! It's fun, but don't let it take away from your trip!