Author Topic: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida  (Read 17113 times)

Offline morgs

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #60 on: September 07, 2015, 06:54:26 AM »
Thanks for the great tr-it's great to read tr's on run of the mill places to see them from different angles!

Offline mlomni

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #61 on: September 07, 2015, 11:04:41 AM »
Great Pics. Now I'm hungry :)

Offline rediplus

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #62 on: September 07, 2015, 02:26:40 PM »
Thank you for the TR . As someone who has never been to Florida this is another added incentive.

Offline zow

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #63 on: September 07, 2015, 03:10:48 PM »
Really enjoyed the TR. Thanks for writing and posting.

Offline AJK

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2015, 10:20:59 AM »
After breakfast, we headed up to relax by the pool for an hour or two.  While there, I had a nutty idea, but a nutty idea I knew Mrs. AJK would love--leave the Conrad and check out another hotel.

And, sure enough, as soon as I suggested it, she was in. So, while at the pool, we made a reservation at the W South Beach for $180, got a 3 PM late checkout, and cut our Conrad stay short by a day.  By the way, the first day we paid for valet parking at the Conrad for $38 (which apparently turns into ~$50 after this tax and that fee, a fact incidentally they conveniently neglected to mention). So, in light of this highway robbery, for the next two days we parked at a lot directly across the street which afforded us in/out privileges for only $20. Recommended.

By a quarter to 4, we were pulling up to the W SB and immediately felt we were "automotively under-dressed" given our Chevy Impala compared to the cars parked in front.

$265,000 McLaren 650s:



20150906_152826 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_152810 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



$135,000 Maserati GranTurismo:



20150906_153027 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



$180,000 Porsche 911 Turbo S:



20150906_153058 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



The W SB, as the name implies, is on South Beach, unlike the Conrad, which is downtown. And the character of the hotels reflect that fact.  The latter is more reserved, a bit more stuffy (which makes sense as it caters to business men), while the former is (or tries to be) hip, uninhibited, and modern.  Frankly, both Mrs. AJK and I prefer hip and modern, so we were delighted when we walked in the trendy, automatic, silver double doors of the W SB, heard music a bit too loud, saw decor a bit too edgy, and smelled a fragrance a bit too overbearing. In short, we loved it.



20150906_153408 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_153619 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



We checked in and were told if we wanted an upgrade, we would have to wait another hour or so because the room wasn't ready.  That was fine with us, because we were going back out anyway. So we left our suitcase with them, jumped in our car, and headed to Deerfield Beach, a 50 min drive north.

Our destination? Skirixen USA. (HT: jj1000)

This place was pretty cool. Described by them as: "Direct from Europe to Florida comes one of America's first Cable water ski resorts. The new, fun and affordable water skiing system pulls you silently over glassy smooth water. No boats and no boat hassles. Just have fun! We're not restricted to wakeboarding and water skiing - people of all ages can slalom, trick ski, kneeboard, wake board and even surf without a wave."

You have watch a safety video and basically sign your life away before they'll ask you what type of water activity you want to do.  When I told the guy I wanted to wakeboard, he said "I think you should try to knee board first, as it's pretty hard to get up if you've never done it before." I asked him if the fact that I'd been snowboarding for years would help and he said "Well, I was a professional snowboard for awhile and I started with knee boarding (suuuuure), but it's up to you." I said, thanks for the advice, but I think I"ll wakeboard. He was surprised, but dutifully issued me a helmet, lifejacket, and board.

And, yeah, it wasn't easy, but it wasn't as difficult as he made it seem either.



All in all, it was very fun, though very tiring, and after about an hour or so, I was exhausted, and just about this time I happened to check my phone and see I had a voicemail from W SB letting me know my room was ready.  So we bid farewell to the people far younger and in better shape than me, and drove back to the W SB.

And, oh boy, were we in for a surprise...

We went to the front desk to pick up our keys, confirmed we were upgraded, and were directed to the 17th floor.  Once in the elevator, the floor greeted us with a "good evening."



20150906_194312 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



We then walked halfway down the hall, and I can tell you I was not prepared for what we were about to walk into. In fact, I think this room (at least as far as the room itself goes) was the nicest we've stayed in, not to mention the largest, and most functional.  I believe they called it an Oasis Suite, and it was selling for $1200+.





1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 2 living rooms, 2 balconies, 3 TVs, full size fridge, freezer, washer, dryer, oven, and a stove.

First a timelapse (shaky) video, then some pics.





20150906_194401-001 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195130 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195206 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195218 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195238 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195257 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195309 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195330 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195350 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195408 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195423 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195435 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195442 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195554 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195607 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195627 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195643 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_195659 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_142907 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_142933 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_153341 by AJK DDF, on Flickr




The room was crazy; we could absolutely lived in it. And then damaxer91 told me he suspected it was one of the residences... and that got us thinking.

Perhaps it was a residence. Mrs. AJK, our resident sleuth, then set out to confirm his suspicion. And succeeded. For the low price of $1.8 MM, you, too could have a room like this. What a life, eh?

Anyway, we hung out a bit, then showered and changed and met up with Mrs. AJK's brother for dinner at 26. Service was very good, and the waiter seemed to know his way around the menu, which I appreciate....And we ordered like we were in the middle of a famine.




20150906_212954 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150906_215041 by AJK DDF, on Flickr




We ordered:






20150906_215451 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



20150906_215506 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



20150906_215643 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



20150906_215911 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



20150906_220302 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



20150906_220319 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



20150906_215937 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



20150906_220446 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



20150906_220504 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



And finally, a spicy passion fruit alcholic beverage to wash it all down.



20150906_215653 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



Fantastic items: Crunchy lettuce wraps (the crunch and the flavor was phenomenal), tequenos (best mozzarella sticks I may have have ever eaten)
Excellent items: sushi pizza (super tasty), crunchy mozza (this roll was crazy good, had melted cheese in a tempura roll, yum!), cholito samurai (a spicy flavorful no messing around super fresh roll)
Good but not memorable: trio fritas, miso soup
Skip: both mains--coconut curry sea bass (even though it came highly recommended) and fettucini a la huancaina

We were wayyy too full from the above to order dessert, but we probably should have skipped the mains, added one more tapas, and then had dessert. So we'll know for next time.  (Come to think of it, it looks like I've rated the food increasingly poorer in the order it was delivered, so I hope my level of satiation didn't play too much of a role in my review.)

After dinner we went back to our monster room apartment and went straight to sleep.

Early Monday morning, we did some relaxing at the W SB pool which was pretty empty, and we had plans to go back to ZTB for a brunch. 



20150907_093514 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



There is also an adult-only pool which was *totally empty*



20150907_102303 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



At about 1030 AM, we called ZTB twice and neither time did they pick up and we instantly realized that they were probably closed for Labor Day. HUGE bummer.

But then we called a third time a half hour later and success! So we jumped in the car and ran over for our second round.

On the way out, though, more beautiful cars:

$250,000 Lamborghini Murcielago with custom blue metallic paint job:



20150907_093055 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_093041 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



$140,000 BMW i8


20150907_093104 by AJK DDF, on Flickr


$320,000 Rolls Royce Ghost


20150907_102657 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_102710 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



20 minutes later, we were back on hallowed ground.



20150907_104731 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_113141 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



The place again was very busy and this time we had to wait for a table. And, for the entire 90 mins we were there, the line was always long.


We ordered another breakfast sandwich (of course), a portabello melt, two iced coffees, and a creamy tomato basil soup.

The breakfast sandwich was again incredible, and the tomato basil soup was delicious. Personally, though, I preferred the tuna melt to the portabello melt.



20150907_110156 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_114352 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_110514 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_114320 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_111443 by AJK DDF, on Flickr

20150907_110204 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



On the way out, we grabbed some pastries for the pool. Frankly, the item I thought was going to be the best, the blueberry coconut pie, was terrible. The rest, though, were good. Though nothing is as good as his bread.



20150907_113845 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



After brunch, we went back to the hotel, spent some more time relaxing by the pool and walking on the boardwalk. We asked for late checkout and were only offered 1 PM. I tried for more but no dice. Then I decided 1 PM wasn't going to cut and insisted on 4 PM. We settled on 3:30 :)

We then packed up our stuff, put it in the car and then went back to the pool.  At about 4:35 PM, I realized I may or may not have wanted a tuna melt for ZTB for the plane. I looked at Mrs. AJK... she looked at me... and we agreed. Let's try to make it there before 5 PM when they close.

We raced to the car, called ZTB to phone in an order and... "sorry, we don't take orders over the phone, even if we are about to close." WTH?

So, instead of risking life and limb to make it there by 5 PM to give them more business, we decided we were going... back to Fuego. And I am glad we did.

We ordered the pulled brisket flatbreads and the ribeye sandwich.



20150907_174604 by AJK DDF, on Flickr


20150907_174656 by AJK DDF, on Flickr



The former was very good, but the pulled brisket flatbreads were simply not normal. Mrs. AJK and I looked at each other after the first bite and in unison said, "man did we make a mistake not ordering these on Thursday..."  One of the best appetizers I've ever had, simple as that.

We filled up the car, which was nearly empty at this point, returned to Hertz, hopped on our 715 PM flight, landed in ISP with a broken piece of luggage and was in bed by 11:30 PM.

And thus ends our 369.5 mile eating-our-way-through-Miami Labor Day hop on the WN Companion Pass.



20150907_181217 by AJK DDF, on Flickr
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 01:03:54 PM by AJK »
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 Marco Polo

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2015, 10:39:44 AM »
Great finish to the TR.

Forgot to add that it probably takes a long time to clean that room you stayed in. Seems like it would be worth the wait though.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 10:55:15 AM by Marco Polo »
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline jj1000

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #66 on: September 11, 2015, 11:06:49 AM »
I told you that you can't leave without the flat breads. :))

Great TR! Thanks for sharing.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 11:14:37 AM by jj1000 »
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Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #67 on: September 11, 2015, 11:13:47 AM »
Bravo! Well done with the TR. It almost makes me want to visit MIA just for ZTB, though almost doesn't count in this case.

Great pics! I like the menu snippets along with the food. The W looks awesome as well. Thanks for sharing.

Offline Ergel

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #68 on: September 11, 2015, 12:59:02 PM »
Me so hungry
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #69 on: September 11, 2015, 01:19:40 PM »
After breakfast, we went around the corner to Kosher Price Market to get some provisions for Shabbas.  While there, I bumped into a friend of mine from Yeshiva who was in town for "draft day."  Apparently, he came down to Miami because LeBron James and Chris Paul are in his fantasy league and they were going to attend in person the draft day. I couldn't help but doubt the story, but he whipped out his phone and showed me emails from LJ himself. Pretty cool for someone who is into the fantasy league stuff. 
I can't be the only one who wants to know how in the world your friend from yeshiva ended up in a FFL with LbJ and CP3.

Offline jaywhy

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #70 on: September 11, 2015, 01:54:08 PM »
Great TR.

Skirixen and Quiet Waters Park are hidden treasures around here.

Offline yakrot

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #71 on: September 11, 2015, 02:12:23 PM »
I can't be the only one who wants to know how in the world your friend from yeshiva ended up in a FFL with LbJ and CP3.
I'm wondering how much $$ they are playing for to have ppl like that in the league. (my guess is its no hundred dollar league.)

Offline yakrot

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #72 on: September 11, 2015, 02:13:50 PM »
Great TR.

Skirixen and Quiet Waters Park are hidden treasures around here.
Shhh +1 ski rickson is great  can be frustrating though to get the timing of your jump just right.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #73 on: September 11, 2015, 04:28:01 PM »
Great great TR AJK!!! The pictures are all sharp, appreciated the car stuff too.

Offline damaxer91

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Re: Labor Day Hop on the WN Companion Pass: New York to Florida
« Reply #74 on: September 11, 2015, 04:41:45 PM »
we made a reservation at the W South Beach for $180,

In what world is the W SoBe $180?

Usually $400++