I just returned from a one and a half day vacation with my kids Saarya and Tal. It was nice. I wish I was more of an organized trip-planner, because sometimes we couldn't decide what to do next. But it was still nice.
Room and Board
We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Tiberius, which gives you free access to Hamei Tiberius, a spa. You only get free access to the pools and sauna, not the massages and stuff. The rate was only 50 NIS more than staying at a much less nice bed and breakfast.
Despite what I heard that everyone and his friend is on vacation and traveling on the week before Passover, this is not true; which is what I had originally thought. Things were fairly empty. Youth groups were traveling, but they all did hikes and stayed in the scroungy places.
Meanwhile, we ate at one of my favorite restaurants, the Pagoda in Tiberius. It's Asian food and it's scrumptious. Best of all, I paid with a coupon from eLuna.com which allowed me to buy food at 2/3 the normal price.
I didn't post anything from the Holiday Inn because I a) don't own a laptop, and b) the Internet kiosk at the hotel was one big security disaster.
They have a credit card system for accessing the Internet. You open IE and all access points you to the payment page until you've paid. On the payment page, you enter your name, credit card details, etc.
When I sat down to enter my details, I clicked in the name box and the name of the previous person who used the system appeared in the drop down box.
Yes, the credit card details and everything else was there, too. I ran to the front desk who sent a security guy back with me to check it out. When I speak of security guy, I mean physical security, not computer security.
"Oh, no problem," said security guy, who unplugged the machine and plugged it back in. When the system rebooted, IE's fields were no longer pre-filled.
"See, Works now," said he, and walked away.
I only hope he knows better about what he's doing with the physical security of the hotel. I entered a letter into the name box and hit return, and then checked to see if there was a way of wiping the personal information from the system. There was a menu item to do that, and it worked. So I probably could have used the system without worrying about that. But I decided that if they got this so very wrong, they probably got lots of other things wrong, too, so best not to bother.
Of course, an administrator could have configured IE not to store information in fields, but I didn't have admin access and couldn't make the front desk understand this.
Code Guru and Beach
Tuesday we hustled to Hertzelia so that Saarya could take part in a Code Guru competition for ultra-bright geeks. It's sponsored by IBM, Aladdin, Weizmann Institute, and others. He says he did well, but so did all the other kids, so he's not sure of the results yet.
Meanwhile, Tal and I hung out on the beach, which was clean and free, even the parking. The water got up to my waist within the first few feet from shore, and then got no further than my shoulders for about half a kilometer out. It was all sandy and clear, too.
Rachel comes back tomorrow.