Home » Archive

holidays + events

Relating to holidays, events, vacations, short trips or maybe just big get-togethers.

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 September 7, 2007 5 Comments

Momporch60ThSo I got some of the photos from Mom’s Surprise party up. This first one is from in front of the house, my cousin and uncle decorated it during the night. The rest of the photos are from the party.

I posted about 18 and hope some of the others with cameras will send me some. I you missed the post, the surprise party was yesterday.

These are really old school photos of my grandparents kids, my mom is in the lower-right.

Written By: Gary on September 6, 2007 2 Comments

So today my Mom turned sixty today. She thought I was taking her our to dinner tonight but when we got to the restaurant she was surprised that I had about thirty people there! I couldn’t mention it before today, because I don’t know if she reads my blog at all, I know she knows it exists so I didn’t want to take the chance. I made a lot of phone calls, my aunt called a bunch and my cousin took care of the cake so it was all pretty easy to set up.

The people who were got there first put up all the balloons I had dropped off and put some streamers around the outside railing. We had the timing down perfectly, I think just about everyone was already there when we got there. And they were all waiting outside in front so she saw them as we pulled up. It took her a minute to process all the people that were there…

We had lots of family and friends show up. Some drove a ways to get here so that’s always nice. Lots of cards with gift cards and lottery tickets. She’ll get to do some shopping this weekend. A few showed up later and a few had to leave early and it was a great time. She really had a perfect day and she just called me up again a few minutes ago to say that and to thank me again.

My Mom is awesome, she did a pretty great job bringing me up mostly on her own. She had a lot of help from her parents the first six years and baby-sitting help from the other relatives but most of the rest of the time it was her and she did a great job making everything work out.In case you were wondering, we went to Woody’s in Royal Oak, Michigan (they’ve got two inside floors and a large rooftop area). Very casual place great service, everyone seemed happy with the food and drinks. Elizabeth was our beautiful (and efficient) waitress and did a great job. Personally, I was happy with the bill, I thought it was a good value before I even realized they had already tacked the tip on. I’d definitely recommend there for a gathering in the future.

On a completely unrelated note, while I was at the party someone bid last minute on eBay for the bike rack that I was trying to get; it was almost identical to the one that was damaged last week (and barely used). I had just upped the maximum today in case anyone else had bid on it (no one had yet). They must have used some software to bid on it (or they were sitting right there) since it was bid at the last minute :(

Written By: Gary on August 24, 2007 No Comment

So I spent some time on Drummond Island (in Michigan just off the east side of the upper peninsula) a few weeks ago. You can see a better perspective of where this is by checking out this map. Note the solid line that zig-zags around it, that’s the Canadian international border. You have to take a ferry (from DeTour on the Michigan Upper Peninsula side) to get over to the island, it was great both times, didn’t have to wait for the next ferry (only once and hour) although we just made the ferry and I had to part at a 45 degree angle to fit! But at least I didn’t have to wait an extra hour. Since there is only one ferry you only have to pay to go there, there ride back is free.

Drummond-DetourI’ve been there before but only when it was very cold. It was beautiful weather the whole time, it was great to bicycle around. The stars were so clear and I had an excellent view of the Perseids Meteor shower.

The internet access was lacking though. They offer hi-speed free wireless at the chamber of commerce but the DSL was down for the whole weekend, , I was starting to get the shakes!!! FYI, the Chamber of Commerce is kind of the Visitor’s Center and is located at “The Four Corners”, everyone knows that’s the intersection with both the blinking red-light and a stop sign :)NorthwoodbarPlus, while I was there I got to hang out at the Northwood which is where everyone hangs out in all the Jill Traynor Mystery books. I had actually started re-reading New America (Book 4) while I was on the island.

So it’s a very relaxed atmosphere there, which is good as long as you want to relax. That’s all that I wanted to do so it was perfect, well, except for the internet being broken that was a problem for me (they did fix it sometime the morning I left) but not so much for most people….

Written By: Gary on August 20, 2007 No Comment

Smithsonian Magazine’s site has an article on a theory on How the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid at Giza. Pyramidsmithsonian

Tackling an ages-old puzzle, a French architect offers a new theory on how the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid at Giza

I think this is from the August 2007 issue, but it might just be only on their web site.

Written By: Gary on July 20, 2007 2 Comments

Found this cool 360 degree panorama of Karnak Temple. It requires Quicktime (I was there last year, BTW).

(I was actually looking for something on The Moon Landing which was 38 years ago today….)

Written By: Gary on July 16, 2007 No Comment

So I really enjoyed my concert experience at Ravinia (in Highland Park, IL). It was a beautiful place and I loved it. Beforehand it had been mentioned to me that you couldn’t see from the lawn, but I figured that was an exaggeration, it wasn’t. When I walked in, it was wall to wall people and I couldn’t even see the cover of the pavilion, it was the Lawn From Hell. I bet I walked around for five minutes before I noticed the pavilion, I’m so glad I got a seat, I did look back from inside and there really only were a few spots where I could see a limited number (50-100) of people on the lawn. This place was great though, people had shown up hours early and set up their little fold up tables with their wine and cheese; at first it seemed a bit pretentious but I really began to like the place for as crazy as it was there.

One complaint is that it wasn’t made clear that I couldn’t take drinks into the pavilion, (bottled water only I think) they’d sell it to me right next to the pavilion but I couldn’t take it in. They said to chug my wine :(

They have a great shuttle system to get you to free parking lots all over the area (on site is $20-ish). It was a little confusing on the way in but it was like clockwork on the way out. They’ve got a nearby Metra stop too, but I was confused if you need to needed to take the shuttle or if around concert times it actually stops on the grounds; you actually cross the tracks if you park in one of the lots on-site.

I’ll definitely check the schedule there the next time I’m in the area.

Written By: Gary on June 24, 2007 No Comment

SSbadgerSo right now I’m on the S.S. Badger heading over to Wisconsin so that tomorrow I can go to Lincoln Park, IL to see that Brandi Carlile / Indigo Girls concert I mentioned a few weeks ago.

I’ve been bouncing around up north for the last few days and now I’m taking the ferry from Ludington to Manitowok. The ship is huge, they were unloading semi-trucks and busses in addition to all the cars. It was very impressive watching it come into the dock. Please note from this photo the the square shape on the left side of the cargo hold is a huge bus.

I got a good seat on the deck, I’m sure it’ll get cold later, but it’s awesome for now! It’s a little pricey to take but I’ve always wanted to do it and this seemed like a good time…

Written By: Gary on June 15, 2007 One Comment

Roswell60ThWell, it doesn’t look like I’m going to get to go to Roswell, New Mexico this year. I can get flights and I actually have the time in my schedule but I can’t find any hotels in the area, and I mean any. I’ve checked with all sorts of travel sites and direct hotel sites but I’m just not finding any on-line (I will call some hotels today, JIC). And if it’s that cRaZy I’m not sure I want to stay a town or two away and commute into the craziness that must be going on.

Unless anyone has some recommendations for somewhere or someplace to call, I’d be thrilled for the info. Leave a comment or send an e-mail.

Written By: Gary on May 6, 2007 2 Comments

Skype logoOn Mother’s Day (May 13) you can make unlimited free Calls (from US/Canada Skype) to anywhere in the world!!! Check out the Skype page for more details. Actually, it’s not really unlimited it’s only 200 minutes free, but that’s still a pretty good deal.

Post edited to not incorrectly refer to “today” as Mother’s Day…

Offer valid from May 13th 2007, 5:00 am (Eastern Time GMT-5.00) to May 14th 2007 4:59 am (Eastern Time GMT-5.00)

Written By: Gary on April 18, 2007 3 Comments

2006-04-20 15-10-44.Img 0735So today’s LensDay dealt with flowers so this week so I submitted this photo that I took in Egypt. I thought most of the flowers from there seemedso bright and beautiful. The other people on the trip compared it to flowers in Hawaii but since I’ve never been there I attributed it to the Egyptian mystique…

I just thought they all seemed so bright and beautiful….

Written By: Gary on February 21, 2007 One Comment

So some different things got me thinking about Roswell: Quite often Grey’s Anatomy does since Katherine Heigl was one of the stars. So that started me thinking about the TV series Roswell and I started surfing around stumbled along THE video clip (to set this clip up, you need to know that Max and Liz didn’t know each other well but secretly had crushes, two men get in an argument in the Crashdown Cafe, a gun goes off, Liz falls to the ground and Max runs to her side) where it all started . It was a great series but it only made it three seasons, which is actually pretty good for sci-fi.
Roswell60Th
And then I remembered that the Roswell UFO Festival is this summer (as always) but this year is 60 years since the aliens crashed there. The biggest coverup since well, since anything else. This is the reason as to why they always dismiss UFO sightings as ‘weather balloons’ because that’s what they accused the Air Force guy of doing, of confusing a weather balloon with a spaceship…

I’m really thinking of going to the festival this summer, has ever anyone gone? Any tips? Anything from someone whose been there but not during a festival? Maybe a not-to-miss place (museum or restaurant)? Or an alien-theme hotel or maybe just a good but cheap hotel?

Written By: Gary on February 14, 2007 3 Comments

heartI hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day! Try and make it a great day for everyone else too. Smile at everyone today!!!

And remember if you do get a card for someone they (she) really does look at the back to see if it says Hallmark.

And remember, some people take this day really seriously. So be nice to the extra-sappy people…Here’s some background on Valentine’s Day.

And some history(?) of the heart as a symbol.

Written By: Gary on January 28, 2007 No Comment

Cr Tortuga MapSo almost everyone was giving us mediocre reviews of the volcano this trip, so we decided to skip it. Since we skipped it we were staying in Montezuma for another day and then going back to Jaco.

Staying in Montezuma (Costa Rica) resulted in us taking a tour to Tortuga Island. Every travel group in town seemed to offer a similar tour to this. A trip on the water (hopefully spotting some whales/dolphins) some snorkeling and some time on the beach with with lunch cooked there and then some more (optional) snorkeling and back along the coast. I’m glad we went but the day went by really fast.

Cr Snorkle 2007-01-05 10-59-57.Img 4592The photo with the island (big rock) in the middle is not Tortuga, it’s nearby and it’s where we snorkeled (if you look real close you can see people snorkeling). Now remember where we are, there aren’t real lessons. They hand you some flippers and a mask and a snorkel and off you go! I asked some of the other tourists and got the gist of it but was always afraid of somehow getting a big gulp of water somehow (which never happened). The fish were awesome, different colors and if you stayed still you could be in the middle of a big school of them. Different colored rocks and coral, it was all very cool. Now one some of the people who had gone down to the Caribbean (or other exotic snorkeling places) were a little disappointed but the rest of us were happy.

I also saw some kind of Eel and some kind of Sting Ray. The eel was a squiggly but I’d guess it was about 3-4 feet long and the Sting(?) Ray was probably a little less than 3 feet (from wing tip to wing tip). They were 6-10 feet below me so it’s hard to judge the size.Cr Tortuga 2007-01-05 14-21-56.Img 4605Cr Tortuga 2007-01-05 14-21-51.Img 4603The beach was nice, set up as if you were outside a hotel on the ocean. The rest of the island was a “state park” of sorts (and had admission costs, in hindsight probably pretty cheap) but the day went by so fast, there just wasn’t time for exploring.

And they made us a pretty good grilled lunch too!

All the photos in this post are clickable for larger versions.

Written By: Gary on January 28, 2007 No Comment

Costa Rica Montezuma WaterfallSo here’s the Montezuma Waterfall that we climbed way up into the hills to get to. We swam and (I) jumped into the pool there and then we climbed way farther up into the hills to get way above the waterfall (and there were a few more pools up there too) and then I climbed down past them so that if you were where I was when I took this movie you’d seem me at the top of the falls.

I know I’m behind in getting stuff up, but I’m getting there. FYI, I rotated this movie, so if it doesn’t play, can you please let me know?!?

Written By: Gary on January 8, 2007 No Comment

So we’re off in the morning and we’re very sad about it. We rented a car (National seems to have the best deals around here, with no drop off fee at the airport) so we’ll leisurely head back to the airport in the morning, not like the car-sickness-indusing cab rides (and it’ll actually be less than a cab). I’m not done blogging though, I’ve got posts I haven’t finished and mucho photos to put on-line.

Pack tonight, breakfast and a quick swim in the morning and we’ll be off!!!

A minor concern is the 1 hour and 5 minute layover between flights where we’ll actually need to go though customs before we board our flight from Charlotte, NC.

Tags: []
Written By: Gary on January 8, 2007 No Comment

So I’ve added some photos and maps to some of the earlier posts and I’ve added some photos to Flickr, Yahoo! Photos and in my Gallery (I hadn’t been putting any in the latter two lately). They need to be cleaned up and titled a bit, but at least they’re are new ones…

Written By: Gary on January 7, 2007 No Comment

sunset jaco costa ricasunset jaco costa ricaOne of my favorie parts of the movie Running Scared (1986), is when Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal (who play Chicago Cops) are in Florida (Key West, I think) and see a bunch of people standing by the pier. They think ‘someone must have found a body’ or ‘a car must have drove off the pier’. As they try to get closer they ask someone ‘what happened?’ and the response is, ‘they’re just watching the sunset’ and the both look at her and say, ‘no, really, what happened?’ and she replies, ‘everyone comes down every night for the sunset’ and they just don’t believe it. But sure enough, it’s just the sunset and they’re hooked they watch it every night get hooked.

That’s what it’s like here in Jaco, Costa Rica, everyone starts showing up on the beach in the evening. Even if they aren’t going to get in the water they just show up to watch. Some show up just a few minutes before, some show up an hour or so. They bring the kids, the babies, the grandparents and just watch it set and the colors fade away…

sunset people jaco costa rica(I’m just paraphrasing the movie, I can’t find the actual quotes, anywhere on-line, but you get the gist of it.)

As usual, click the photos for larger views.

Written By: Gary on January 7, 2007 No Comment

Pict1918-1So there are somethings we really take for granted but it just isn’t the same everywhere else. For instance:

  • Medicine – While I was at the farmicia (drug store) I saw a family come in to get a single (1) Allegra tablet (the are actually individually wrapped). Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see how much one was. With my insurance, which I’m very thankful for, I get a three month supply for only $2 (via mail-order). I don’t have any idea what they paid, but I’m sure it was more than two-and-a-half cents, but maybe not, you never know. I’m assuming they cost enough to where you don’t keep a jar of them at home.
  • Coleman cooler – Here’s what we would consider to be a normal sized Coleman cooler (one of the larger ones, not the small ones that just hold a 5 pack). It’s about $63, that’s a lot of money here. We talked to a waiter last night (at a the nicest restaurant I’ve ever been to in Costa Rica) and he makes about $30 a day including tips, now remember things cost less here but that’s still two days wages here. At minimum wage it’s probably a 1/2 days wages, and remember that’s minimum wage.
  • Health care – so many of the places are remote it can be hours to a hospital, and that’s only if you have a way to get transportation to where you are when you need the help. I don’t think there’s even one here in Jaco, you probably have to go to Punteranes or San Jose (about 2 hours, maybe a little less).

    I’m sure I’ll add to this list as I think of more…

  • Written By: Gary on January 7, 2007 2 Comments

    Cr Montezuma Big MapSo we really liked Montezuma, I’ve never been in that peninsula in Costa Rica and I’ve always wanted to go there (I think it’s called the Nicoloyia Nicoya Peninsula). We just kept extending our stay a day here and there and ended up staying four nights. We’re really glad we stayed an extra day or we would have missed the island of Tortuga (more on this later). It’s a very small town, just a few streets but it’s very laid back and I’ll definitely go back!

    Seems like a bit of a surfer town, but we saw very little surfing, even though there were lots of places to rent/buy surfing supplies. The water seemed very clear but part of that may have just been because the sand is so dark in Jaco. Speaking of Jaco, it seems like it’s a bit mini-Jaco before it grew, maybe if you could roll it back 30-40 years.

    Here is a street map of Montezuma. You can see all the busineeses on this map. If there is nothing listed it’s probably just trees or sand. Size-wise most of the hotels only have 10-15 rooms so they don’t take up much room. Most of it is concentrated in the top have of the map with Chico’s Bar (#14) at the center o the town, we stayed at El Sano Banano (#9) which is really close to the center.Things did seem less expensive in this town, but don’t assume and be sure to check the menu’s prices before you sit down. Generally (but not always) if a place lists the cost in US Dollars they are more expensive. FYI, no ATMs in this town so make sure you have cash, especially since many places will give you a better deal for cash than charge (mostly noticed this with tours, transportation and hotels).

    It’s way more laid back and it’s a bit of a hippie/rastafarian/bohemian crowd that seems to have settled in there. Some just seem to be traveling for a while and stop for a few months or years and others just seem to have moved there. There seems to be a few Ticos (Costa Rican people) who have relocated up that way as well, they just think it’s more relaxed than some of the other places they’ve been.

    Written By: Gary on January 5, 2007 No Comment

    White Monkeywhite monkeySo the hotel we are at (The El Sano Banano in Montezuma, CR) has a sister hotel (Ylang Ylang) down the beach (which you can only get to by walking, but they will transport your luggage) and we’re allowed to use their pool and hammocks, etc. But the main reason we went down is we heard in the afternoon that the monkeys stop by. We got there just in time and I got a variety of photos (many blurry or obscured by trees) and some video.

    They would come down and take food from people, they were very cautious but many of them took some. It was funny since as they climbed closer the branches would bend and they’d panic and try to scramble back up. Be sure to notice in the one photo you can see the White Monkey with a baby on it’s back.I’m not really sure if they were called “White Monkeys” or “White-Faced Monkeys”.

    FYI – The Ylang Ylang is more resort-ish (pool, hammocks, lounge chairs, massage, yoga, etc.) but it has no Air conditioning…

    Written By: Gary on January 4, 2007 No Comment

    Img 4271So we’re staying at the The El Sano Banano and we keep adding days to our stay. It’s a great hotel in that it’s located right in the center of Montezuma and it’s got all the necessary requirements for a hotel. It’s got air conditioning which to me is a must and not that many hotels have it (and it’s brand new, so it works very well), private bathrooms/showers, the showers have heat and it’s only about $65 US a night. There’s no internet but I just found out that the Ylang Ylang (the sister hotel) has free WiFi but I just found that out so I haven’t tried it yet.

    It’s cute but plain vanilla, just beds and a TV in the room, no chairs and no desk. It’s tiny, only 12 rooms, but many of the places are like that. Free breakfast in the morning, it’s delicious(!), I get Huevos Rancheos, which is eggs and salsa on a tortilla but no frijoles (beans). The dinning rooms shows free movies with dinner; I assume the legality of this is questionable, but I haven’t bothered to quiz them on the legalities of international copyright and are they paying the proper fees (my spanish stinks and no one’s English is that good). But pretty much you’re wandering the streets or beech or at a restaurant or people-watching or on the beach.

    I’d definitely recommend this place for the price, location, A/C and the rest of what I’ve mentioned above. The A/C really helps the enjoyability of it, the water pressure could be better (sometimes it’s awesome, but sometimes it’s not working). No one we’ve talked to has air conditioning, but they’re staying at places for half the price but we really like the A/C…

    The photo is the view out my window.

    Written By: Gary on January 4, 2007 No Comment

    So after talking about the wonderful weather this morning, this afternoon the last few hours of daylight were the cloudiest I’ve ever seen while I was in Costa Rica. I actually thought it might storm. It was still gorgeous (and the lack of sun did make it more comfortable), I just thought it was weird after I mentioned it this morning.

    Written By: Gary on January 4, 2007 No Comment

    I never mention the weather her because it’s always beautiful in Costa Rica. It’s always warn, hot or very hot (sometimes too hot). It strangely cloudy for a little more than an hour late yesterday afternoon but otherwise it’s always sunny (they’re might be clouds but the sun always wins!).

    A side note regarding the heat – Mark and I both like it cold in the room, we had it a little too cold yesterday and we had condensation on the outside of our hotel room windows (we check the other rooms and we were the only one). So we raised to temperature a little to avoid suspicion…

    Written By: Gary on January 3, 2007 No Comment

    lower fallsSo we took a walk up to the lower waterfalls which were really small but were nice to swim in. It was just up the street and was pretty easy to get to. I’ll have pictures later, but the bandwidth here is very slow (it’s all dial-up).

    Cr-Montezumafalls-2003Then we decided to hike it up to the bigger falls. This really was a hike but worth it. The falls were at least a hundred feet high (I’ll see if I can get a real number) and there was pond to swim and jump into from the surrounding rocks. You could also climb up on the rocks and get behind the falls and jump out through them. It’s really hard to swim around since the falls are generating current and huge amounts of spray and the closer you get you can feel the pressure(?) of the water impacting on the pond as you (try to) breathe.

    Cr-Montezumafalls-1963It was a blast! I jumped off the rocks a few times and through the water fall multiple times too (Mark did no jumping). One of the thumbnails links to a photo of me diving in from top the rocks (not all the way up!) click for larger images of all the photos.

    The we decided to climb up to the top of the waterfalls This was more of a mountain climbing expedition, it was tricky navigating the “trails” and twice I thought I’d lost Mark but he managed to hang on and we continued our quest. Once we we got to the top it turns out we were way above the falls. So then I had to go down two more levels to the top of the falls and then I was at the top, so if anyone took pictures of the falls at the time I was standing right there where the water came over the edge.

    Getting back was another quest, some of it was much harder but it was shorter (and mostly downhill) so we did (eventually)make it back home alive!

    Written By: Gary on January 3, 2007 No Comment

    As we know standards of living varying from place to place and so must our expectations as we travel. Most of these issues don’t apply when staying at a hugh hotel chain, but it never hurts to ask…

  • Air conditioning – Ceiling fans may sound quaint but if that’s all they’re listing then that’s probably all they have.
  • Private bathrooms – This isn’t anything exotic, it just means you don’t share it with any other hotel guests. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, if it’s a nice place then they they probably kkep it nice.
  • Number of beds – You never know how many unless you ask. And if you ask if it has two beds, they will respond with “no” if it has four beds.
  • Television – This is a luxury, but you can’t assume they have it. You also can’t assume they have cable, some areas just don’t have cable.
  • Telephones – Unless it’s a huge hotel many will not have them in in the rooms Iand if they do, rates are out rageous even to us a calling card).
  • Internet – If they say they have Internet it may only be one computer in the office (and it may be dial-up).
  • Water – If you’ve gone for some of the above “luxuries” you probably have hot water (but you never know). The “hot water” is generally some kind of electrical attachment to the shower head. Sometimes looking kinda scary but it heats the water. You can’t really count on too much water pressure; last night there was no pressure (no water) and this morning was the best shower I’ve had in a long time (even in the states).
  • Washcloths – Don’t assume the hotels will have washcloths. And don’t assume that if you have one that ater housekeeping comes that they’ll replace it (I’ve seen this at several places).
  • Hangers – And while there may be a place to hang clothes, there generally isn’t any hangers :)
  • Stay another night – Don’t assume you can stay another night. They may be full or have a reservation for that room. It seem like many places reserve you a specific room and juggling the rooms aroound later is a difficult concept for some.
  • Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on January 3, 2007 One Comment

    dancing with fire 3Picture 8So we’re in Montezuma (Costa Rica) now. A great little town on the peninsula (more on that later). We had just kinda given up on the night and were heading back. And there was a group dancing in the street so we started to watch. Then they started using some sticks and some chains with weights and then they lit them on fire. And then they danced around some more. It was very very cool, eventually the crowd was huge. I did run up and get the video camera but I’ll have to put that up later (if it came out).

    The pictures are clickable to get larger images.

    Written By: Gary on January 2, 2007 No Comment

    So wireless Internet connections are limited around here (all of Costa RIca). There are computers at Internet cafes (all over) but most don’t have wireless (WiFi), actually I haven’t seen any cafes with that yet (just a few restaurants). Some are willing to let me plug in my laptop (which is almost as easy as wireless) but many don’t understand the concept. I want to do it this was because I type and pick photos before I ever go to the cafe, I don’t want to sit at the cafe, I just do it when I have a few minutes here and a few minutes here and there (99% of what you read and see is picked and typed already). Then when I get to the cafe I hit send and I just have to wait a few minutes to send/recieve e-mails and post items (photos take longer).

    FYI, Internet is way cheap everywhere here, about 20 colones a minute which is about $2.40 an hour. Some are very slow though…

    Written By: Gary on January 2, 2007 No Comment

    So we needed to stay another night at the Hotel Balcon del Mar and we had to transfer to another room. That was a little trickier than we thought it would be. Checkout is at Noon and checkin is at 2, no one seemed to have the ability to make sure the room we were transferring to was cleaned first and our old room cleaned after we moved. It finally worked out, we just didn’t bother to checkout so when the room was ready we moved. (It worked for us at least).

    Cr Montezuma Jaco BoatSo we got moved from the new wing of the hotel to the old wing. (Just to give you some perspective on the hotel there is probably only 50-60 rooms in the whole place and it’s shaped like an “L”) The old wing definitely needs to be renovated. It’s not awful it’s just not as shiny as the new wing. But I’ll come back, the location and setup works well for me.

    So in a few minutes we’re off to taxi a “Taxi Boat” up the coast to Montezuma, which is on the peninsula on the north pacific side of Costa Rica. I’ve wanted to go to this area for a while now! See the image on how we’ll cut across the ocean to get there. The boat is an hour instead of the many (treacherous) hours driving up the coast, and probably more scenic :)

    Written By: Gary on January 1, 2007 One Comment

    Img 3956So it was crazy here on New Year’s Eve. People all over the beach: camping, parked on the sand, surfing, anything you can think of. Way more people than I’ve ever seen and it just got crazy as the night went on. There didn’t seem to be an organized fireworks, just everyone was launching there own from all over the place. It was all totally unsafe. The one (blurry) picture shows people, cars, music and fireworks all on the beach. It was crazy!

    Img 3900A lot of the restaurants were closed, having private parties and the rest were full. Some of the bars were totally packed (generally the ones that were normally dead) and one was flowing out into the streets.

    We just hung out with the beach madness and watched all the fireworks and (of course) people watched. I went back out later and road the scooter around to see what was going on, but other than a few hot spots, it had died down (a bit) by about one-thirty am. But I could still hear music and fireworks while I was in bed. A lot of people we still on the beach in the morning but it had all cleared out by noon. It looked like great surfing for the people that hung around today though…

    I have two photos here and I’ll post more on my Flicker page.

    Written By: Gary on January 1, 2007 No Comment

    So I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions any more. People generally don’t keep track and they tend to eventually fade away. I found out about the 101 in 1001 list on-line. What you do is make a list of 101 things you want (and can) to do and you have 1001 days to complete the list. They need to be measurable like how many pounds or how many miles you plan to walk per day. This gives you almost three years to complete the items you put on the list. It can be as simple as “taking a warm winter vacation” or “visit Costa Rica again”, or even do “taxes on-time”.

    I’m just bringing it up since it’s that time of year and I’m sure a few of you have already broken a few of the resolutions that you’ve already made. I’ve been doing mine for just over a year and I’ve completed 30%, and I still have 18 months to go. I’m sure I’ll hit 90% (at least 80%) and that’s probably better than the average person does on the old fashion list of resolutions.

    Here’s the link to the originator of the 101 in 1001 list with their rules.

    Written By: Gary on January 1, 2007 No Comment

    So I got too much sun on my arms today! Two hours on the scooter today (we had until 11 am to return them) and they look a little baked. I’m not sure why that happened today and not earlier :(

    I think I’m going to find some cooling/soothing lotion more sooner than later….

    Tags: [, , ]
    Written By: Gary on December 31, 2006 No Comment

    Img 3533Img 3535So we got the Scooters, they pretty much just looked like mopeds. We got there a little late and then the guys weren’t even there! We had have the security give us the number to call from the store next door. We couldn’t tell him to call since for some reason he didn’t seem to understand we wanted the guys from the rental place. Duh?!? And then of course it’s like renting a car, so it takes forever. So we actually didn’t get going until 11…

    On the way south we took a trip towards a beach and found a cool hotel right on the ocean. I’ll post more on that later. I’ll be staying there next time (or maybe later this trip).

    Img 3537
    But we kept heading south and eventually made it to Quepos, it was about 70 km south. It was pretty deserted, we had a Coca-Cola and wandered around a bit, popped into some stores (got nothing) and then we had lunch. It was really really deserted. I’ve been there twice before and and it just seemed to be kinda busy both times. At the same time they were clearing setting up for a New Year’s party in the streets (stage and all). I really wish I had gotten a good photo of some of the rickety bridges we had to drive on. One lane and some pretty big gaps on the driving surface, which was railroad tracks (rails) mounted perpendicular to the way you were driving (yes, I mean the metal railroad tracks/rails, not the big wooden ties.

    Then we had the ride home, which was really great except it was getting dark and all we had were sunglasses for eye protection. So that was a little tricky. The bugs didn’t make it any easier. Sometimes they were so thick I wanted to laugh but I didn’t want to open my mouth.

    But we made it back. We were very happy to see the city lights verses the darkness of the highway.


    Img 3528On the upside. We found a 15% off coupon for the rentals attached to one of the tourista maps. Plus, we were going to return them at night since we didn’t want them out during the festivities but we found a great place to park them. We actually parker them in the hotel where the were still doing some construction. We were happy since they weren’t on the street and they were happy since they had an extra parking spot. Now we can ride them on the first since we’ll have until 11am to return them!

    Most of the photos in this post are from Quepos, Costa Rica. I’ll have much more photos later…

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

    http://GarySaid.com/topics/holidays-events/page/3/ generated Monday, October 23rd 2017 at 7:41:52 am EDT (in 241 queries in 0.811 seconds).