Home » Archive

Articles tagged with: travel

Places I’m going, packing, to do lists, generally more tips than the actual destination itself.

Written By: Gary on November 10, 2008 No Comment

So the first thing I head this morning as the alarm went off was all about the icy roads in the Detroit area. Specifically between me and the airport. Not a good sign, especially since I didn’t have that much extra time allocated since it was a morning flight and I didn’t know about the weather before had. But all was fine, a little slow on the roads but I got the airport fine. The airport was dead, I’ve never seen it so quiet there.Clouds Treo 111008 001

Got checked in, got me a morning McSandwich and got to my terminal with just a few minutes to spare. Someone took the seat next to mine so I moved to the back row, no reclining but i’ll live. I’ve got an empty spot next to me, an adorable little 8 month old boy on his Mom’s lap that I was pretty excited about, he had been pretty friendly the few times I had run into him. I thought he was going to be a lot of fun but he passed out a few minutes into the flight (boring!).

It’s beautiful up here in the clouds. We’re just above them and the sun is lighting them up perfectly. Looks like snow, maybe more of how I’d picture it in Antarctica (or some other vast snowy land). My cell phone photos just don’t do it justice at all; should have pulled out the real camera.

Bonus! They just brought us a bowl of cereal (Total) and a banana, don’t know if I’ve ever gotten that for a non-international flight. I’m a much happier flyer if I’m snacking and staying hydrated, it really makes the flight more comfortable for me. On a side note, I can’t believe the number of people drinking mixed drinks already!

Written By: Gary on September 25, 2008 2 Comments

I got my International Driving Permit today. international driving permitpermit insideIt’s a boring slightly-larger-than passport sized booklet. It’s $15 at AAA (no membership required) bring 2 passport-type photos if you have them, they’ll charge more if they need to take your photo. If you go in they make it up and you take it with you; you can mail in for it also (a list of the 180+ “participating” countries are on the application form). Make sure they check all your endorsements on the form before you leave; they forgot to check my motorcycle endorsement (I noticed before I left).

When you travel you still need to keep your driver’s license with you. This is just an official document with your info copied to a specific page and then the key to that page is translated into 11 different languages so whomever pulls you over can figure it out.

Sorry, the photos are a little blurry, I took them with my webcam, but you should get the idea; besides they’re official documents I shouldn’t be posting hi-res copies, right?

Written By: Gary on August 26, 2008 No Comment

It was a much nicer day today! It was mostly sunny but drizzly on and off but looked stormy so I didn’t want to walk up the the waterfall (a real hike) and get caught in a storm; later I hear the water that you walk next to (through at some parts) were pretty wild so some people turned around and came back, which must have been all the rain from yesterday/last night.

I got to spend some time at walking the beach and relaxing. It was nice to not be running around too much. I just walked for a while and read and talked to some people that I’ve run into more than a few times this trip. I started to go farther up the beach but it started to rain again and since there was a (fancy) hotel on the beach so I popped in there for a deliciou$ lunch (and stayed out of the rain).

I did try to catch the sunset but it just got cloudier and cloudier as I got closer so that was a bust. But on the way I did pick up a couple of guys from Argentina on the road and gave them a lift for a few kilometers they were interesting and spoke great english. Just to be clear, they were from Argentina, not on the road from Argentina

It’s pouring out now but that’s okay since I’m inside and have nothing else to do but grab some dinner and sleep. If it’s nice I’d like to get up early so I can play in Montezuma more before I head to San Jose tomorrow.

Written By: Gary on August 24, 2008 No Comment

I left for the Airport before 6 am and didn’t get here until 7:15 pm (9:15 my time); that’s factoring car rental time and immigration and a short stop for lunch (no other real stops) so it was a long day. I ended up renting a car because it was cheaper to rent for five days than to take a taxi and it was WAY too hot to try public transportation (taxi then bus then taxi then ferry then another 2 buses or a taxi) and I couldn’t find any kind of shuttles. I rented some little wind up 4×4 which ran really well for me. I really didn’t think the drive would be that long from the airport but it was.

The view was beautiful for the start of the ride. But while it was great out I knew from the clouds the afternoon showers would be starting. After a while it started to rain so I thought it’d be a good time to stop for lunch since it might be a while before the next town (especially since I was starving). But then after I got back on the road it poured for a really really long time. I wasn’t concerned about the rain affecting my driving, I was worried about the road farther up ahead. I was afraid the road might get washed out on the stretch that kind of separates the lower and upper sections of the Nicoya Peninsula (between Narango and Paquera) they’re actually in different providences (or something like that). The roads weren’t too bad when I got up there, but remember my expectations were it would be “washed out” so it was still pretty bad, didn’t have to drive through any actual rivers this time (yet!).

The sun set around 6 PM (5:54 at this location according to my trusty GPS) so I drove the last 75 minutes in the dark but it was mostly paved so the night driving wasn’t so bad but the last 4 miles were awful (as always). The rain really slowed down my total drive but I think that way isn’t optimum even if it was sunny, the other airport (San Jose) is better for Montezuma.

I did get to see some really great scenery earlier in the day :)

Town was really hopping, the bar they always say is the hot spot (Chico’s) was packed. But I was so pooped from my long day I went to be early…

Written By: Gary on June 7, 2008 2 Comments

Cardiff-Photos
So I’ve got a few photos that I put together from Cardiff City Center. I’m not sure if the castle is technically in the city center or not but I including those few anyways. There are captions on a few of the photos.

Written By: Gary on June 7, 2008 No Comment

It’s been a very long flight and we took off late so we’re going to get in late. They were having problems with one of the bathrooms and they tried fixing it, then they gave up and had to drain the tanks(?) and that took more time. The long bathroom lines are annoying slow but at least they’re moving. The flight home was already eight hours and fifty minutes; I’m glad it was a direct flight, I’m not sure how it’s affecting the the people with connecting flights.

Saw some cool ice “stuff” while flying, not sure if it was part of Greenland or something else, it was a huge massive land formation that was all while and looked like it was ice.

I’ve got a bunch of other entries and posts that I still have to put on-line (or finish and put on-line still) so they’ll be more to come on-line….

Written By: Gary on June 4, 2008 No Comment

Cardiff Words
I cannot even describe to you how awesome the Wales Millennium Centre looked at night. All the letters were illuminated from the inside and it was just incredible! I just stared at it for a while, I’m sure I looked like such the tourist.

All the little towers around the plaza (Roald Dahl Plass) were lit from the inside and the outsides were lit with different colors (which slowly changed).

I thought it might be kind of busy down there, but since it had cooled off so it was pretty quiet down there. Sadly, I didn’t have my camera. I didn’t know where I was heading after so I didn’t bring it.

It almost made up for the tall fountain being broken…

Written By: Gary on May 30, 2008 No Comment

So we got to the Detroit Airport super early, but it really made it ultra-low stress since we weren’t in a hurry at all and the lines were all pretty short so it’s been pretty easy going so far.

My cool PacSafe secuity backpack got put through the xray machine a few times. I’m not sure if that’s from the wire mesh that’s in it or all the electronics…

Written By: Gary on April 16, 2008 One Comment

So I was feeling pretty great while I traveled this trip. The allergies weren’t too bad (even with all the extra dust and strange plants) and I slept great but never long enough (even the nights when I had my own room).

But the part I really noticed was:

  • I didn’t have any headaches. For the previous few weeks I’ve been eating Ibuprofin like they were M & M’s, I actually had to cut myself off since I was starting to bruise to easily (disturbs the platelets?). But I didn’t take a single one while I was on this trip (even after hiking and taking a little spill). The only time I considered it when banged my forehead last night.
  • My neck/back hasn’t bothered me much at all, even after sleeping on all sorts of strange beds, flying thousands of miles and carrying all sorts of luggage and other junk with me. And these cRaZy roads and all the bouncing around on them and I still feel pretty good.

    So what is it about home that causes these headaches and neck/back pain? Any thoughts?

  • Written By: Gary on April 9, 2008 No Comment

    Pict2354Well, we made it to Costa Rica! Found an Internet cafe so I wanted to hop on-line quick. A few e-mails and posts queued up but not much exciting to post yet (sorry).

    We’ve done some traveling by 4×4 and some mini-adventures trying to get some cash (the ATMs are giving us trouble). He’s a photo of the beach (from Mal Pais?) click to enlarge. I’ll post more later….

    Written By: Gary on April 2, 2008 One Comment

    NicoyatipwhereSo far I’ve only explored the southmost point of the Nicoya Peninsula and stayed in Montezuma. I want to explore more of the Pacific coast next trip (later this month).

    I’m looking for tips on where to travel and places to stay. As requirements for places to stay go: walking to beach distance, hot showers and air conditioning (not fancy, cheap is better). There was a pullout section of the TicoTimes a few weeks ago but it only seemed like it covered the ultra fancy hotels and resorts.

    I just want to wander around the towns and the ocean and find some waterfalls and stuff like that.

    Nocoyapeninwhere

    Any thoughts or suggestions on what not to miss? restaurants to eat at? or hotels to stay at?

    Written By: Gary on February 6, 2008 No Comment

    As reported on msnbc.com, United Airlines will charge fliers an extra $25 per bag to check more than one bag starting May 5th, 2008 (“silver” and “premier” frequent-fliers will not be charged).

    It’s a bit, but it’s cheaper than paying the overages for the first bag being over the weight limit. If your itinerary includes international flights you will (may?) still be able to check the second bag for free; this will help me, probably more than half my air travel is international.

    Found at DealMac.com.

    Written By: Gary on December 4, 2007 One Comment

    I can’t believe how empty this plane is! It’s the plane from Costa Rica to Atlanta. I had an emergency row seat with a little more legroom (but it’s got the funky trays and they seats don’t recline), so I ended up moving and have a whole row to myself. I put up the armrests and stretched out, that’s enough legroom for me!

    Now if I only had kept that old pillow that I brought with me and discarded back in Costa Rica…

    Written By: Gary on December 4, 2007 One Comment

    In addition to the few books I brought I left some other things in Costa Rica. I always bring a few things to leave behind. When I’ve got some stuff that I know it’s near time to get rid of it, I’ll take it on vacation and leave it there. This includes books, an old pair of shoes, the jeans I wore to get there, a few old shirts (etc.), a few wash cloths (the hotels don’t always supply them here), a pair of beach shoes, and a pair of sandals if they don’t hold up. The clothes are stuff where when you pull it out of the dryer you can see it’s only god for a few more washes and are starting to fray and you think it won’t last many more washes. I even brought an old pillow that I almost got rid of last time I was cleaning (I’m kinda fussy about my pillows, if I travel by car I always bring one of my own). It lightens the load as the trip goes on :)

    As I get close to emptying things out at home I’ll save them for a trip. Toothpaste, shaving creme (not as empty as I’d like so if I have room, I’ll bring it back), shampoo, etc. Why carry down all that stuff full and bring it back 1/4 empty? I just take it 3/4 empty, which is a heck of a lot lighter and leave it when it’s more empty.

    I travel heavy, I blame my mother for this, I was an only child and we usually traveled by car so I could bring anything I wanted as long as it kept me entertained (quiet). I think that’s when I probably started bringing my own pillow too (that might be something I got from Grandma).

    Written By: Gary on December 3, 2007 No Comment

    I’m up early in the morning to catch a 5:30 am cab so I can catch a 7:00 am ferry so I can then drive to the San Jose Airport for my 2:00 pm flight to go to Atlanta and then to Detroit. That’s going to be a really long day…

    I’ve never taken the ferry before so that’ll be something new at least, I think it’s about a 75 minute ride. Maybe get some good photos as I’m doing that at least. I think I’ll have some idle time at the airport because of the ways the times work out…

    Written By: Gary on December 2, 2007 No Comment

    Here was my mission: I was looking for something so I could go hiking or walking along the beach. But I want to have my camera with me, but when I go swimming (or something where I need to put my back down) I don’t want to leave my stuff unattended. So what I had in mind was a smaller version of an military duffle bag (that really think/tough material) that you could somehow clasp at the top and lock it to a tree. Yeah, someone could cut through it, but they couldn’t just grab it and run (and they’d have to work at it).

    What I found was the “PacSafe DaySafe 100 Security Backpack“, it’s two things in one. The first is a backpack made for security, the zippers can be latched so someone can’t easily open it while you’re just walking down the street (the latches are hidden and hard to get to) and like a lot of luggage and you can (optionally) lock the zippers. Part of the main bag is slash-proof, it’s got a metal screen in the material, so someone can’t cut it to get stuff out while you’re wearing it. Plus, one of the straps is detachable and latchable so while you’re sitting there someone can’t just grab your bag if you’ve attached it to the table you’re eating at (this doesn’t work if you leave it unattended). It’s also got a few other areas that they have to make it harder for someone to casually grab things from it. It pretty much looks like a regular backpack.

    ExomeshinsertThe second is a DaySafe (they sell this as a separate product) the DaySafe is pretty much a small tote bag (17 liters) made completely out of the material with the steel built into it (eXomesh®). The drawstring is a metal cable that latches and locks (included) and is pretty secure. If you take the cable and wrap it around a tree (or a stationary object in your hotel room or rental car) before you lock it, it becomes pretty hard for someone to just grab your stuff and run.

    The safe fits inside the backpack perfectly and there is a special spot (hole) for the cable to secure the backpack too (the stuff in outer pockets would be at risk). I do have a smaller backpack that this fits into that is perfect for just running around like that, the included backpack is pretty big for a casual hike/walk.

    I wouldn’t leave my stuff locked to a tree all day but for the bit that I want to go in the water and stay mostly in sight of it it’s perfect.. Or if I hike up into the hills to the waterfall, I can both take pictures and then go for a swim and not be too paranoid about my stuff. So I’m kind excited about this one, since I don’t have to limit what I take when I wander far…

    Written By: Gary on November 29, 2007 One Comment

    So if you want to see specifically where I am you can go to the Google Map, that’s my hotel in Jaco, dead center (actually, it looks like it might be before the renovations but that’s it.

    If you click the minus sign (“-“) on the scale on the left you can zoom out. After about 4 clicks you can see the whole Jaco Beach coast. After about 5 more clicks you can see the Nicoya Peninsula (where I’ll be heading via water taxi). A few more and you can see the whole country. Another 4 or 5 more and you can see Costa Rica with a good chunk of North and South America. Jaco should stay in (near) the center as you zoom out.

    Written By: Gary on November 28, 2007 One Comment

    So I ran all over today. I went swimming in the pacific and then packed up my backpack and headed north (actually north west I think). Took all sorts of pictures and a little video.

    Map Of Costa Rica JacoAte lunch at a nice place on the beach, the name escapes me for now. Some people sat down at a table next to me and it turns out it was a guy from Traverse City, Michigan! What are the odds? He comes down a few times a year to vacation, seems to really like to eat and stay at that place (although they were booked up). I actually started talking to them because they liked the place they stayed at we chatted for a while.

    I swam some more and then rented a scooter (moped). It was a bargain at 6 hours for $25 but they closed in 4 hours and I didn’t want to be responsible for it overnight so I gave him $20 for 4 hours. It was a new scooter too, the temporary plates were just a few days old. I buzzed around all over the area, lots of development going on. Riding is nice and cool compared to walking around :)

    I’ve decided to stay another day in Jaco. I’ll leave on Friday for somewhere or another…

    I can see I got some sun today. Since I was wearing a backpack for a chunk of the day it looks like I was wearing a bikini top. Hopefully, that’ll even out in a few days!

    Weather report – It was cloudy on and off all day, but still very bright and very hot (maybe more humid than hot. That was okay except for when it came time for the sun to set, way too many clouds. RIght now as I’m writing this it’s almost cool, but still way humid. High of 82 for tomorrow!

    I’ve got some photos up on-line too.

    Image courtesy of the CIA World Fact Book.

    Written By: Gary on November 27, 2007 No Comment

    So for the second leg I didn’t get an aisle seat, but no one sat in the middle seat so I had lots of room. I got to watch the clouds for a while, but they weren’t as smooth and flat where they look solid, just lots of lumpy fluffy ones.

    I think airline food has gotten better the last few years, my chicken and rice was delicious and even the carrots were good. I got to read a little bit, a sci-fi paperback called Manifold Time by Stephen Baxter, I’m liking it so far but I’m not very far into it. I plan to leave it behind and I forgot my BookCrossing labels.

    The Atlanta airport was nice, I don’t think I’ve ever been there when I wasn’t running for a connecting flight. We got in early so I had some time to look around (and get my last McDonald’s food for a while). I even had time to switch my seat (from a middle one) and to sign up for frequent flyer miles, I couldn’t find my Delta number anywhere, and they made it sound like I could claim old miles too and I know where my last ticket is (when I flew to NY via Atlanta).

    Also, last night was Monday, my big TV night, so I threw a few of those shows in my laptop and got to watch Chuck and Journeyman. That really makes the time go by…

    Tags: [, ]
    Written By: Gary on October 6, 2007 3 Comments

    So I’m looking for a practical and cheap and semi-direct way to get from London, England to Cardiff, Wales. I figure my choices are train, bus or rent a car (I have no problem driving on the left). When I go to London in the spring I was thinking of spending a day or two over that way. Also, I’m looking for a place to stay in Cardiff near public transportation, decent but not too expensive (of course) a hotel or bed and breakfast would work. Of course I’ll want to visit this general area so I’ll need some walking tour information too (or book recommendation).

    Cardiff Words LightI keep seeing it on TV and movies and other places so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve never been in that direction, I think the farthest west I’ve been is Stonehenge/Sailisbury.

    Also, any bloggers who lurk around here and want to meet up drop me a note. I’m also looking for restaurant and other tourist recommendations. And if anyone knows about any Torchwood filming dates in the spring (I’m thinking they’re editing around now, so probably not) I’d be interested in that too, especially if you have any contacts related to seeing some of it.

    Written By: Gary on August 26, 2007 2 Comments

    Once I got into Chicago yesterday everything went completely smooth. I got food, I got checked into my hotel immediately, showered and managed to hook up with Kevin and Dave and we went over to that Apple Store to check out some eye candy (iCandy, get it?!?) and wandered around a bit before meeting up with the bigger group later. I had a blast with all of them and I’ll expand on that later, but I’m checking out of the hotel and I thought ager my other problem post the last few days I’d mention that all is well.

    And today I feel a whole lot better than I thought I would after all the Long Island Iced Teas, so that’s a bonus too…

    Written By: Gary on August 25, 2007 No Comment

    So I made it to Chicago, even with the traffic reports not helping me any (actually I had two ways to go and choose the one that I hadn’t heard any numbers mentioned so maybe it did help). The weather is awesome right now and looks like it will be great.

    SRO_ChicagoOn the way in, I was starving and I headed straight for Standing Room Only to get some ribs. It was the last meal I had the last time in Chicago and they were delicious, so I made it my first meal this time around. Google maps on my phone helped me get here, I sure wish it had GPS to figure out where I am so that when I want directions and I’m don’t have an exact location that it could figure it out for me!

    I think I might take a short walk, and then go check in. I’ve got to get this car into the hotel parking so I don’t need to deal with driving/parking any more today, then I’ll see if I can hook up early with some of the people I’m meeting later on. I had planned on being in town hours and hours ago but yesterdays delays resulted in my not getting enough sleep and flooding delays encouraged me to do some shopping in Michigan City before getting too close to Chicago in hopes flooding would die down..

    Written By: Gary on December 30, 2006 No Comment

    Walked about a million miles today. Ate and drank lots too. It was a great day! It was actually a bit cloudy so it really cut down on the sun beating down on you, it was still pretty hot though.

    The time I came to Jaco on the last day we rented scooters/mopeds for a few hours and it was pretty cheap and it was nice and cool to have the breeze of driving them around. The plan was to do that a lot this trip, but no one seems to do that any more. A few places have them but it’s lot more per hour (it seems like last time we thought it was incredibly cheap). One of the car rental places has some and it’s only $39 for the whole day, which might not seem like much but when you consider a car is only $55-$65 a day it’s a bit (especially since we need two). So the plan for tomorrow is to get them for the whole day and travel all around.

    I promise to take lots of pictures tomorrow and post them sometime in the next few days! I just haven’t seen that much that I haven’t seen before so I don’t think to snap any.

    Tags: [, ]
    Written By: Gary on December 29, 2006 No Comment

    So while our seats were a little tight for the trip to the layover (in Charlotte, NC) the seats from there to Costa Rica are great! We got emergency row with awesome leg room, I can’t even reach the seats in front of us. Plus, there was were only room for two seats so there wasn’t even anyone next to us on the four hour flight.

    I’m really, really tired though. Had to get up around 4 AM to get to the airport by 6 for a 7 AM flight. Wasn’t able to sleep at all on the flight but I’ll bet I’ll sleep well tonight.

    We’re spending the first few days in Jaco but not sure for the rest of the trip. Anyone have any suggestions?

    We should be landing in about 25 minutes…

    Written By: Gary on December 29, 2006 One Comment

    I really don’t know what kind of Internet access I’ll have while I“m traveling. I’ll be writing on the laptop and postdate/time will reflect when I wrote them but who knows when I’ll get to post them (since I’ll need a place that will let me hook up my laptop).

    To make things more confusing, I may have written some posts on the laptop that weren’t posted. But may get access to a computer somewhere else and write up something quick. As a result some earlier posts, may be posted later but will still be dated earlier (and as a result listed earlier farther down the list).

    Written By: Gary on November 11, 2006 One Comment

    GarypuravidaSo I’m heading back off the continent again. Actually, I’m not 100% sure that’s true, Costa Rica is on the isthmus which connects North America and South America and while I think that makes it not part of South or North America I’m not sure if it’s “off” the continent. but I digress…

    So it’s time for some sun and relaxing. Want to try to get to some different places this trip but the trip is starting back in Jaco, my favorite town so far. I’m trying to find somewhere out on the peninsula that’s on the northwest part of the country for somewhere different to go.

    “Pura Vida” is kind of a catch phrase / motto there, it means “pure life”. I did the magazine cover shown here after my last trip.


    I’ll be crossing two items items off my 101 in 1001 list with this trip: traveling somewhere warm this winter and returning to Costa Rica. I’ve also talked about eventually moving there if I make a decision (either way) I can cross that off the list too…

    Written By: Gary on July 5, 2004 No Comment
    1. Bed & Breakfast or hotel?
    B & B is the preference. But I also like the hotel with hot tub, pool, bar and WifI…
    2. What determines where you stay?(i.e. price, accommodations, transportation, travel package)
    Price helps, next trip it’s part of the package. It was the only way to make the flight affordable and it seems like we ended up with a great place.
    3. When determining where to stay, do you ever consider the establishment’s history? (i.e. it might be haunted, location of high profile crime)
    If it were interesting but not something I “shop” for when making plans.
    4. Would such considerations sway your decision?
    I might avoid the ghost. Or pay extra to know that einstein was conceived there…
    5. Do you try and read the local paper for where you’re visiting, to get an idea of what the area’s like?
    Definitely! I want to see what the people and area are like! I want a cafe to hang out at, maybe a bar or bookstore and want them to know my name or at least my order by the time I’m gone…

    Found at Monday Madness

      Copyright ©2003-2013 Gary Said…, All rights reserved.| Powered by WordPress| Simple Indy theme by India Fascinates

    http://GarySaid.com/tags/travel/page/2/ generated Friday, November 24th 2017 at 7:09:48 pm EST (in 207 queries in 0.786 seconds).