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About slidergirl

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  1. Thank you, sail. My two best moments have to do with interactions with Orthodox Jews. That moment with the family doing the cross-country candle lighting was definitely a highlight. My favorite guest was Mr. Meyer, a 6'5" Orthodox Hassidic "penguin" (a term of endearment - he wore the whole black & white and hat and the peyote) from Brooklyn. He was also a rabid snowboarder. If we were scheduled to get a big dump of snow, I could always count on seeing a reservation for him come in. I knew he didn't like apples that we always had out. I asked one day what fruit he did like. When he said "oranges", I always made sure I stopped off and got a few organic oranges to put on a plate to give to him at arrival. I was always careful to not touch his hands when we exchanged things - it is frowned on for a woman to shake hands with a man. When he went to snowboard, no one would have a clue that he was Hassidic - he looked like every other rider on the mountain! That's why I think any ship or hotel should be able easily accommodate a special religious meal IF they are asked in advance. It's not like they are doing it every day. At those times where the holidays are celebrated at the same time, both should be celebrated. JMHO
  2. It indeed looks like some track maintenance work or some such thing, I didn't look at Ostiense specifically, but I put in "tutti" (all stations) and all have the same diversion. Sometimes we get hit with "gotcha" into our perfect plans - sorry this one is yours.
  3. I usually take the Leonardo to Termini. From there, I'll take a taxi to my hotels (I don't stay near Termini). As cruisemom said, as long as you are capable of handling your own bags on/off the train and walking 602 yards to your hotel, you will be fine. I once took a car service from FCO to my hotel - my concierge set it up - for 98 EU. As I was staying free at the hotel, I was willing to take that little luxury splurge.
  4. I'll do what I should do for all of my guests... They are in "my home" and I want to make them feel welcome. My local synagogue and the rabbi are very open to me calling and asking questions. Even when Hanukkah coincides with Christmas, I lobby to get some blue and silver decorations. And, I am in charge of the Hanukkah menorah. The local rabbi showed me the proper way/order to light the menorah each night. Last year, I had a gentleman and his 2 boys ask if there was a place they could do their own observance. I offer the area at my desk, since I could watch the candles until they burned out. They did their "thing" that night and I just observed quietly. The next night, they came down and insisted I join in. The gentleman got the rest of the family on FaceTime and we had a joint celebration with both places lighting candles. I was introduced to the rest of the family and they took photos of me with the gentleman, the boys, and the rest on the iPad. They sent them to me. When they left, they left me their menorah. I was honored. Not too bad for a Protestant...
  5. I like to use Hopper only because I love to watch that little bunny scurrying on the screen - it's so darn cute... I'll use to keep an eye on flights, but will look directly with the airline. I also use ITA Matrix - I can get detailed fare info there instead of just the usual "economy, business" headers. With that info, I have been able to book just what I want...
  6. It sound, to me, that you might want to try a good river cruise. I don't know of too many missed ports on river cruises, Other than possibly smaller cabins that you may want, I had a wonderful time. Great food, lazy days on board when not going to sites on land, great staff-to-guest ratio. Now, my cruise was on the Nile on a "5 star" ship through Abercrombie & Kent, the Nile Adventurer. Only 32 cabins. The chef had been named Best on the Nile. So luxurious and relaxing... I'd love to try a river cruise on the Mosel...
  7. Yes, I know that. I was discussing the kashering of an oven for a one-time use of a group. If you go to oukosher.org and look at "The Modern Kitchen", it will show a very few items which need to have special kashering for Passover vs "regular" kosher. That was how we were able to outfit the suite's kitchen for the Passover use. We are lucky to have a local Orthodox rabbi who is an expert in kashering. He was the in-house rabbi at a glatt kosher fine dining restaurant here, He was in that kitchen every day, inspecting each leaf of lettuce, observing prep work to ensure the entire process was up to standards. NO, I'm not Jewish. But, somehow I have been designated the "jewish rules" person at work. Probably because we all got some good training at my old hotel who was owned by an Orthodox Jew - we were taught rules of "engagement" with Orthodox guests, locks and lights and elevators, where to find the Sabbath clock online for our area, things like that. Customs and traditions fascinate me, so I really got into it.
  8. I am rather inept with corkscrews - I never get the screw in the cork straight in those corkscrews you get in hotel rooms or ship cabins. If I had space and didn't care about weight, I'd probably bring my Rabbit with me (no, not THAT kind of "Rabbit" 😉 ). I bring my trusty Ah-So with me. 2 prongs, wiggle it down the neck and then twist to bring up that cork. You can reverse the process to re-cork if you want.
  9. As far as heating Kosher food in a "non-Koser" oven: At one of my hotels that once hosted one of those large Kosher holiday vacation groups, we set aside ovens in the kitchen as the "Kosher" ovens. The local rabbi came by to "kasher" them - it had to do with firing them up to something like 500 degrees for a certain amount of time. It was then considered OK for kosher preparation. And, we took one of the suites "off market" and had the rabbi kasher the kitchen and put in new kitchenware so that people in the group could "cook" if they wanted...
  10. One of my big fears/phobias is being someplace with big drops and no guardrails. I've gotten out of cars in a few places and walked when the passenger side looks down a ravine and there is no guardrail. I got maybe within 10 ft. of those edges at the Grand Canyon. I watched as my friends climbed Angels Landing at Zion NP - I probably could do the up, facing the wall, but I couldn't get back down off he ledge. I have troubles ziplining because of that step off the platform... As for the woman and her SO - anyone want to bet they had no passports? Wonder how long it took for them to get back to the US?
  11. You buy something online with a CC - they ask if you want to put this one on file as a default card. Say No. For AirBnB, they want a CC on your account. If you Uber, they want a CC on your account. You have a frequent flyer/guest account - you can put a CC on your profile as the one to use. Things like that.
  12. I'm loving my tie dye boots! No issues with them so far wearing them around town... For Alaska, you probably don't need a pair of hiking boots. If you want, look at low hiking/approach shoes. You can get post-cruise wear out of them at home as they aren't boots. All the major brands have them - vented, water-resistant, waterproof, light, heavy. Right now, I am using my Keen Voyageurs that I bought a few years ago and put away for "future" use (if I find something I like, I'll buy 2 pair and save 1). My Solomon Synapse just gave up the ghost after years of use. Merrell has some good low shoes - the MOAB series is good. I wish I could go back to Italy this year - I feel so comfortable there. But, alas, that has to wait for awhile.
  13. All of my fraud has been perpetrated in the US. "Best" one: I was on a multi-week trip abroad (total coincidence). When I got back, I had a bunch of FedEX envelopes at my door. It was my FedEX number on them and different addresses, but all returned to sender (apparently me). But, when I opened them, they contained checks to people with female names from a trucking company in Iowa. Contacted my local PD to file a report. A little investigation including FBI found out that it was a truck stop prostitution ring and they were sending "paychecks" to their "employees". Multiple people had credit cards linked to their FedEX accounts used. Last Spring, I had someone use my AirBnB account to book a nice 7 day vacation in Punta Cana. I will say both AirBnB and AMEX cleared that one up within a few hours of me reporting it. Now, I do my best to not have to link a credit card to anything...
  14. Sorry - totally off topic, but: retafcruiser - I LOVE your furry little avatar! What a cute little rat. I had a little mouse living in our Front Desk Closet - he was a cutie. I'd talk to him when I opened the door. But, then, one day, he got out of the closet and started wandering the Lobby. Engineering set out a trap, and, well, that was the end of my little friend. Back on: To me, the hand sanitizers just give a false sense of security to people. I bet most would stop washing because they believe "a little dab will do you."
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