Friday, February 27, 2009

La Fortuna and Stupid Americans AGAIN!

Living in a tourist town in Costa Rica, such as La Fortuna, we obviously run into and meet a lot of foreigners. But why is it ‘us’ Americans (I’m talking the 50 States here), who usually come off as the more stupid of foreign travelers who visit Costa Rica. UGH!

Being from the United States can sometimes be truly embarrassing and that’s without BUSH.

I’m standing in line at our small grocery store to check out and the two guys ahead of me LOOK as if they’re straight out of the ‘Deliverance’ movie- I’m thinking West Virginia, complete with missing teeth…. yeah I said it. How did these guys ever come to be in La Fortuna Costa Rica? These guys couldn’t have looked more out of place if they were on a float at a GAY Pride Parade in San Francisco. They have 2 cans of black beans and some microwave popcorn… I know, a tad strange. We’ll call them, 'Dumb' and 'Fuckin Dumber'. 'Dumb' asks the cashier in a Hillbilly, English drawl that can only be described as ‘inbred-retarded’, “Do ya’ll have some of that there Gatorade or Powerade in this here store?

Ummm, let’s guess the reaction of the Tica cashier….. EXACTLY, a tacit, ‘I don’t have the foggiest idea what you just said.’ 'Dumb' says it again, s-l-o-w-e-r and LOUDER (as if that makes all the difference in the world), “DOOO YAA’LLL HAVE SOME OF THAT THERE GATOORR-AA-DD-EE or POWERRR-ADE IN THIS HERE STORRRE?” 'Dumb' looked at 'Fuckin Dumber' as if he had just cured cancer, he honestly believed this would help her to understand, you know, because she was retarded and all, and he appeared to speak her language. 'Fuckin Dumber' nodded like 'Dumb' was his HERO or something. I was thinking, how about buying a toothbrush for God sake.

She smiled again, made the UNIVERSAL face of not understanding and said, “Lo siento, no entiendo.” Looking uncomfortable, Tica was glancing around for some help and actually left to find a co-worker or manager. *You might be wondering why I didn’t intervene? This happened fairly quickly, and it was so surreal, I was like a ‘deer in headlights’ waiting to get run over. I couldn’t shake the thought of what in the HELL were the cast members of Deliverance doing in Costa Rica?

Folks, this is embarrassing- 'Fuckin Dumber' looks at 'Dumb' and actually asks him why she’s talking about Nintendo. 'Dumb', the obvious brains of the outfit, told his partner that he didn’t think that’s what she said. 'Fuckin Dumber' looked perplexed.

I finally chimed in. The drinks in question were not but 3 feet from where they stood, in every flavor imaginable- the only thing missing were flashing lights.

I’ll paraphrase and save you the d-r-a-w-l, but 'Dumb' says to me, “You’d think this being a tourist town and all, they would teach these girls some English.

Obviously, I mentioned that this being Costa Rica and ALL, they may want to learn some Spanish. Of course, I said this in the nicest of ways (I’m still thinking Deliverance), so 'Dumb' and 'Fuckin Dumber; didn’t even catch the slight. Always one to help out fellow Americans, I explained to them, if ever they don’t know what is being said in Spanish, just say, “Yo siento, no Nintendo.

They thanked me for the TIP and smiled,,,,yikes. I also wanted to tell them that Dental work is done at a very reasonable cost in Costa Rica (insert theme song from Deliverance HERE).

'Fuckin Dumber' was practicing, “Yo siento, no Nintendo,” as he exited the store.

Luckily for me, I’ve been telling people I’m from Canada ever since I got here 3 years ago… REALLY, it often comes in handy in these trying times.

ALL your Costa Rica Travel Information at Travel Costa Rica NOW. Hope it HELPS!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

La Fortuna to San Jose- Crime on the BUS

Received this email yesterday from some friends that had been staying with us in La Fortuna:

Hi guys,

Well, we should have stayed in La Fortuna. Somewhere between there and the bus terminal in San Carlos MY FUCKING DAYPACK GOT STOLEN!! The worst part is that D'Angelo actually warned us about people stealing your bag from the upper rack in buses. I guess I was thinking that happened when you're sleeping. Not when you're wide awake and it's right over your head (I guess that'll teach me to read on the bus...).

Okay CLASS, I’m not sure how many times we can go over this. We’ve done Travel Tip VIDEOS and written extensively on crime and theft as it pertains to the Costa Rican traveler.

Here it is in a nutshell: In Costa Rica, theft is normally one of ‘distraction’ and/or ‘opportunity’ and the above is a perfect example. So, click on the links in this article, cruise around the sites, and watch the video below to get re-acquainted with things you may have forgotten you know.

There will be a TEST.


All the Costa Rica Videos you could want at Costa Rica Travel Channel, and ALL your Costa Rica Travel Information at Travel Costa Rica NOW. Hope it HELPS!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

the Other Blue Zone in Costa Rica- La Fortuna

The next Blue Zone in Costa Rica will be found in La Fortuna, home of the Arenal Volcano- The Nicoya Peninsula has NOTHING on La Fortuna Costa Rica.

Why? I will tell you.

I love philosophy, always have. I’ve been in many of debates on the effects of religion and how it brings comfort to the people who BELIEVE. Personally, I think this to be a ‘false’ comfort for the true believer crowd, but a comfort nonetheless. Bottom line for me: WHATEVER works for YOU, we’re all on different paths. Me, I’m a Richard Dawkins type of thinker.

Back to the La Fortuna Blue Zone

The man in this picture is somewhat of an inspiration of mine. I don’t know him, never met him, know nothing about him really. But I do know one thing: He works out in the park, everyday from 6 in the morning to whatever at night, six days a week, rain or shine. Needless to say, La Fortuna has one of the most beautiful parks in all Costa Rica for a town its size. Our apartment overlooks the park, so we know how much the locals and tourists ENJOY it! Hell, I know how much I enjoy throwing OPEN my curtains everday!

Without fail, this man and his co-worker (they look the same), work the park; trimming, cutting, pruning, and trimming and clipping some more; the never ending job of manicuring a small slice of PURA Vida for others to enjoy, and believe me, it’s often taken for granted by the locals who frequent the park. The two also pick up trash, repair STUFF; they even empty out the fountain to keep it sparkling clean since often bored teenagers will throw SOAP SUDS in the fountain (I guess that’s kinda funny), and many Tico’s also have no problem throwing their Coke cans in the fountain, you know, since the trash can is 3 ft. away. (Don’t get me started about Costa Rican’s often blatant disregard for their country in the name of LITTER). And can you imagine the dog POOP? La Fortuna appears to be the home of the CHIHUAHUA, you would never know those dogs were so small after seeing the size of their…….. well, I’m sure you get the picture. These guys start the first few hours of their everyday, pickin up the disregarded shit, people we’re too damn lazy to throw away themselves.

Seriously, these men are bent over at least 5-6 hours a day and they’re NO spring chickens. If I was bent over for like 20 minutes, well, there’s no ‘if’ about it, I couldn’t do it without the help of some serious medications. Oh, and by the way, here, they normally use weed whackers to cut the grass, not lawn mowers, everything else is done by machetes of various sizes.

I watch these guys, they’re Content- I can see it on their faces. Nothing fazes them; not soap suds in the fountain, not dog shit every other step, not beer cans from the night before, or even demolished park benches- they just go about their business of keeping up the park- putting in a long-ass day that would KILL the rest of us. I know they go home, eat a hardy meal, sit out on the porch with family, maybe enjoy a beer or two, go to bed early, and get up early and DO it again- and I gotta million bucks says they make it to church EVERY Sunday. These guys are destined to be do’in interviews on ‘60 Minutes’ as to the secrets of a long, happy LIFE. BUT, this is the attitude of much of the unskilled labor force in Costa Rica (not sayin they’re not skilled, just sayin), they do their jobs, lead the SIMPLE life, and my guess is they’ll live a lot longer than the rest of US, creating the second of many BLUE ZONE’s that will eventually be found all over Costa Rica.

Come out to La Fortuna and be INSPIRED. I don’t know if I’m ENVIOUS, or think they’re the dumbest motherfuckers out there… but they ARE inspirational, and if their GOD doesn’t reward them with an eternity of harp music, Cacique and some HOT virgin TICA’s… There’s GONNA BE HELL TO PAY.

Here's what I really think of Blue Zones: Blue Zone Bandwagon

Tons of Videos on Costa Rica at the Costa Rica Travel Channel and if you're planning on Living or Traveling to Costa Rica, then check out Travel Costa Rica NOW for all your INFORMATION. And see ALL our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos on YouTube. ENjOY!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Manuel Antonio National Park- Full of **IT

Manuel Antonio National Park is perhaps the #1 tourist destination in ALL Costa Rica, with places like La Fortuna, Tamarindo, Jacó and a few others- a couple steps behind. Manuel Antonio is like the Poster Boy for Costa Rica, the CREAM of the CROP, the successful SON, the CROWN JEWEL; but NOW it appears Manuel Antonio is about to be pushed off the pedestal- HARD! Why, because Costa Rica has shot itself in the FOOT (actually the FACE), yet again.

Here’s the Costa Rican NEWS today:

The Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio could be shut down the end of the month unless the Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones (Minaet) corrects a number of deficiencies signaled by the Área Rectora de Salud de Aguirre (local health department), following a visit to the park last week. Read FULL story here.

Read the story if you must, but it’s all about SHIT; shit in the ocean, shit in the lagoons all around Manuel Antonio National Park- nothing but shit, shit, shit. There’re also a few problems with ‘exceeding park capacity,’ and ‘junk vehicles found in some of the trails,’ but mostly SHIT, and ‘flowing’ from the RANGER STATION- are you fuck’in kidd’in ME.

This story disgusts me. There’s nothing to say, and I don’t want to even THINK about the implications- let’s just say if this is happening in Manuel Antonio, what about the Parks and places around the country that don’t get as much ‘PLAY,’ or have the resources Manuel Antonio has been privy to over the years. And don’t get me started about the Eco-friendly, GREEN, Self-Sustainable, ‘BULLSHIT moniker’s,' Costa Rica has been waving in the AIR the last 10 years or so in order to entice the eco-tourist, they’re obviously not SERIOUS about this SHIT. pun intended.

I DON’T GET IT. It’s not, “What are you thinking?” it’s “Are you thinking?”



I just want the SHIT to stay in Jacó where it belongs.

Related Articles:

Lookin Both Ways - another POST about Costa Rica shooting themselves in the HEAD.
Our REVIEW of Manuel Antonio National Park
GAY Manuel Antonio

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

La Fortuna Costa Rica- the 'Green Market'

Gotta LOVE a Costa Rican ‘GREEN MARKET.’ No matter where you are in Costa Rica- San José or ‘any’ small town, you can be rest assured, they WILL have a green market- complete with ALL the best fruits and vegetables you’ve come to expect from living here. And the tilapia, let’s just say, I’m a fan.

La Fortuna is no different, unfortunately the green market is only once a week- Friday, which makes it hard to stock-up on fruits and veggies for the obvious reason. But we make do, and I guess the ‘once a week’ makes it somewhat of a treat.

We did a little comparison shopping, so WATCH this VIDEO and let us know WHAT YOU PAY in your neck of the woods. Here's another market we found in San Jose.

*Food prices are going up worldwide. We thought we were saving money as far as grocery items go living in Costa Rica, but NOW, not so SURE.

Tons of Videos on Costa Rica at the Costa Rica Travel Channel and if you're planning on Living or Traveling to Costa Rica, then check out Travel Costa Rica NOW for all your INFORMATION. And see ALL our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos on YouTube. ENjOY!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Do'in Costa Rica Becomes a 3Some

I'd like to introduce an extension to my 'Do'in Costa Rica' blog that you may or may not have noticed (or CARED, for that matter). I've decided to put all 'GAY' related posts in one place, which from now on will be on the 'Do'in GAY Costa RICA' blog site. I'm sure many of you get a little tired of the 'gay' posts, and probably don't have any interest in seeing or reading gay oriented articles anyway. So from NOW on, GAY is on one side, Costa Rica NEWS on another, and Do'in Costa Rica will do what it does best, which is to offer Costa Rica Travel Tip VIDEOS, and my perspective and information about Costa Rica in general- and I'll leave the 'gay' to itself, after all, it will only be one click away, so it's not like its confined to the 'closet' or anything. Thanx ,no matter which part of 'Do'in Costa Rica' you ENjOy!

Here's a few NEW 'GAY' posts you will find at Do'in GAY Costa RICA:

Gay Costa Rican MEN- Condoms Anyone?
Abercam La Fortuna- GAY Tico FUN
GAY La Fortuna- Palo Verde Gay Party Review
Bochinche's Night Club in San Jose
GAY Costa Rica - the Gay Traveler
Gay Traveler vs. Living GAY in Costa Rica
GAY Costa Rica- Pucho's Night Club in San Jose

Tons of Videos on Costa Rica at the Costa Rica Travel Channel and if you're planning on Living or Traveling to Costa Rica, then check out Travel Costa Rica NOW for all your INFORMATION. And see ALL our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos on YouTube.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

GAY COSTA RICA experiment

Manuel Antonio has been a popular destination among gay travelers for years, and seemed the obvious choice to begin our gay Costa Rica experiment.

The Manuel Antonio/Quepos area (also affectionately known as MANtonio and GAYpos) has been on the gay Costa Rican map for a number of years. San José is perhaps the only place in Costa Rica more gay friendly, but that’s to be expected, big city and all. Manuel Antonio WAS also widely known for their exclusively male, gay nude beach; and it has been enjoyed by thousands of butt-ass-naked gay GUYS over the years, at least until recently. VIDEO:What happened to the nude gay beach in Manuel Antonio? More INFO about GAY Costa Rica.

We needed/wanted this gay experiment to start off on the right foot, and we were pretty certain Manuel Antonio would deliver the positive results we were looking for. HEY, we didn’t say this was scientific.

The Gay Costa Rica Experiment

Most travel books will tell the gay traveler to keep their ‘gayness’ to themselves while traveling in and around Costa Rica, and although it may be one of the better gay friendly Latin American destinations; Costa Rica is definitely a ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell, Don’t ACT’ country- traditional and steeped in the Catholic religion. They don’t mind knowing you’re gay, but they don’t want to SEE you acting gay (which for this experiment means- Public Displays of Affection). Really, in Costa Rica, ‘gay friendly’ basically means that some entrepreneurs, who were either gay themselves or understood that ‘green’ is ‘green’ no matter who gives it to you, opened a few hotels, restaurants and bars, in search of yet another avenue to separate a tourist from their dollar. It’s not like the country itself is ‘accepting,’ it’s purely a ‘money thing’. So, hence the Frommer’s book tip of keeping your ‘gayness’ to yourself.

You gotta start somewhere and we decided the ‘beaches’ would be a good beginning. So, the hypothesis is as follows:

IF a gay couple engages in appropriate (what a straight couple would take for granted and be acceptable to others) public displays of affection on the beaches of Costa Rica, THEN they will NOT be discriminated against.

So, would the beach at Manuel Antonio be gay friendly or would we find ourselves knee-deep in faggot discrimination?

The main Manuel Antonio beach was packed. We held hands and walked along the beach and back again. We stopped 3 times and engaged in appropriate flirting, making out behavior. Don’t understand? It means whatever it is you would do with your significant other at the beach, if you were feeling romantic and in love- what ‘straight’ people take for granted and others in the area deem as appropriate. There was NO grinding or appearing as if we’d be fucking anytime soon.


We pretty much called this.

The hand-holding didn’t get much PLAY; some held a stare a little longer, but as long as we kept walking, they weren’t that interested. Making out and flirting, we got ‘looks,’ lots of ‘looks’. Some watched because they were bored, some because we happen to be in their line of sight, some seemed interested to see if would eventually have sex right there on the beach, some looked because we’re not that bad looking, and others stared as if they had happened on a REALLY bad car accident. And then there ARE ALWAYS those stares from the folks that just may have been FOLLOWERS of the late Jerry Falwell. Somebody whistled, not sure who, but no one, I mean NO ONE made an inappropriate remark (at least to our face) and no one approached us in an aggressive manner. One gay man lightly pushed his partner while we passed them and said something to the effect of, “why don’t WE do that?” Another gay couple did approach and told us we made a cute couple and it was nice to see 2 people obviously in LOVE. It’s only fair to mention, we also got A LOT of the ‘other’ stares, the 'I wouldn't mind F**k'in around with you in a VERY GAY way' type of stares. Come on, don't be shocked, we are gay and we are in Manuel Antonio for God sake, comes with the territory….. just sayin.


Manuel Antonio is a tourist HOTSPOT, almost exclusively so. Not many ‘locals’ really. The tourists visiting Manuel Antonio are from all over the globe, so most just believe it’s acceptable behavior, especially the Europeans, and yes, you can tell the difference. It’s the ‘straight’ AMERICANS that were more likely to stare as if we were a bad car accident, and their ignorance was embarrassing, Asians also, but they didn’t have the balls to make themselves obvious, but ike I said, Europeans, by and large, didn’t seem to care. The locals that work the beach looked, but my guess is they had seen it all before, and didn’t give a shit.

We never felt uncomfortable, but I could see that some were VERY UNCOMFORTABLE, after all, there were children to protect from those……….arrogant, gringo fags. I know, they didn’t say it, but a few times you could definitely ‘feel’ the hate.

We will be replicating this behavior on the beaches around Costa Rica because, like I said, you gotta start somewhere and I can assure you, La Fortuna is NOT that place.

*Just to SAVE OUR ASSES- we aren’t recommending you do 'ANYTHING' in regards to ACTING GAY (public displays of affection) while in Costa Rica, I guess we're just the type of guys that don't really give a shit.

OH! and don't forget- Ever want to DO gay La Fortuna, then visit Abercam, La Fortuna's first and only- MEN 'ONLY' GAY HOTEL.

Tons of Videos on Costa Rica at the Costa Rica Travel Channel and if you're planning on Living or Traveling to Costa Rica, then check out Travel Costa Rica NOW for all your INFORMATION. And see ALL our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos on YouTube. ENjOY!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Island of Costa Rica

Got a little chuckle this morning- Here’s the start of the story:

Travel agent sends woman to Puerto Rico instead of Costa Rica. Samantha Lazzaris set off for a dream vacation among the beaches and forests of Costa Rica, but she ended up 1,300 miles away in Puerto Rico thanks to a blunder by her travel agent.

At first reading, this is funny shit, but after thinking about it for a moment, it’s actually quite SAD.

Living in Costa Rica has afforded me (and other expats) to actually witness firsthand, the unabashed stupidity of many of our family and friends who have absolutely NO idea where Costa Rica is located on the map, or at least they didn’t before ‘WE’ moved HERE. You may laugh, but I can’t count the times my more ‘educated’ friends have confused Costa Rica with Puerto Rico… and this is MUCH bigger than merely confusing the two countries because of similar semantics. I hear them muttering...

Rica, Rico, Rico, Rica, I mean really, what do you expect? I only took 1 year of Spanish.

I’ll bet RIGHT NOW, some of you are SCRAMBLING, you’re worried, you’re confused, you’re FEELING, well, DUMB…. “Damn, isn’t the island of Costa Rica off the coast of Florida somewhere? SHIT! Rico, Rica, Costa, Puerto……Rich Port Coast…..F**K…. Ahhh, who cares anyway, I know where Del Taco is.”

This is the SAD part- many Americans are geographically impaired (there’s HELP out there) because they believe the WORLD revolves around the UNITED STATES. “We’re the U.S. of A, we don’t have to know SHIT, you have to know where to find US.” On a personal note: I believe this to be the root of most of our problems. See: Ethnocentrism

We ARE indeed an arrogant lot. We don’t even apologize for being stupid, sorry, ‘geographically impaired,’ because once we’ve learned the capitals of ALL 50 States, the 7 continents and the 5 oceans, what else is there? Well, except for maybe, Del Taco.

I guess it should be noted, before it’s pointed out, this story didn’t happen in the STATES, actually it was in the UK. But my point still stands; after all, you probably don’t know where the UK is either.

Actually, what does the UK even stand for,,,,, ummm?

Rico, Rica, Costa, Puerto, uno, dos, tres……………..damn, all this Spanish makes me hungry for some Mexican

OH! and for the record- I call Bullshit! That lady was the DUMBASS who BOARDED the plane to Puerto Rico......

Tons of Videos on Costa Rica at the Costa Rica Travel Channel and if you're planning on Living or Traveling to Costa Rica, then check out Travel Costa Rica NOW for all your INFORMATION. And see ALL our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos on YouTube. ENjOY!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Driving Costa Rica- Death AROUND every CORNER!

Our new Travel Tip Video (below) about 'Driving in Costa Rica' has caused quite the STIR with both potential tourists and resident Tico's alike. Who woulda thought?

We made the video for ONE reason- to INFORM people of the possible driving conditions they may encounter if they decide to rent a car to travel Costa Rica. We think it's important to KNOW what you're getting yourself into. That said, it was NOT meant to SCARE anyone away from driving. Personally, we think driving is the BEST option of getting around Costa Rica. But it's not for the faint of heart and the decision to drive or not should not be taken lightly. Here are some other options.

I can't tell you how many emails we've gotten from people planning a trip to Costa Rica saying they would no longer consider driving after watching the video. I suppose the video does seem to imply that DANGER lurks around every corner, and in a WAY, that's TRUE, at least the potential for danger.....but COME ON! Really, it's the potential for DANGER that makes driving here so exhilarating and adventurous (along with the spectacular scenery of course). I guess you have to be a TYPE A personality to understand this.

It's much easier to understand why resident Tico's were ready to STRING ME UP for this particular video. First, they think the video is too negative and shows their country in a bad light; exposing a skeleton of sorts. Tico's love to maintain their illusions (yeah, they don't cut down trees anymore either). In their minds, the video is enough to STOP people from visiting......AS IF. Second, in the video I call Ticos some of the worst drivers on the PLANET. Right now they're outside my apartment searching for a suitable tree. But, I stand by that comment, because it also happens to be TRUE; they really are a scary LOT when they get behind the wheel. You can go here to read my TAKE on Tico drivers.

Here's the video in question. All the video really says is be AWARE and be CAREFUL.

But if you see me hanging from a tree, you'll understand.

Tons of Videos on Costa Rica at the Costa Rica Travel Channel and if you're planning on Living or Traveling to Costa Rica, then check out Travel Costa Rica NOW for all your INFORMATION. And see ALL our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos on YouTube. ENjOY!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feliz Cumpleaños to ME!

* This post has NO relevance to Costa Rica, except for the fact I DO live in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. It's my Birthday, and today, it's ALL about me......hehe

I hate to rain on my own parade, but NEVER have been one for birthdays, NOT mine and NOT other peoples. Actually, I don't do holidays either as I can't stand a 'calendar' telling me when I should recognize something or someone. If I want to give a gift, well then, I do, whether it's a holiday/birthday or not, In my opinion, the randomness of GIVING is much more thoughtful and sincere than any DATE set on a calendar for the sole purpose of NOT forgetting to recognize someone you supposedly care for (I find that strange). That said, it took me awhile before I realized it's NOT all about me, and some people really do enjoy a yearly reminder of being one year closer to WHATEVER. People never believe this, but in the recent past I had actually forgotten my birthday until some well-wisher, usually a family member, reminded me how close I was getting to 50 (as if TIME was standing STILL for them). For the RECORD- 50 doesn't mean shit to me, I'm young at heart, a little wiser, and a 20-year old would be more than happy with a body like mine....just sayin. So truthfully, feel more like 34. Although my lower-back may disagree......

But, don't get me wrong, I don't mind getting older- for me, it's ONE more year that separates me from the fact I was fairly STUPID not so long ago. It's also quite comforting to have the days of wondering if I could make BAIL firmly behind me. "Dear Mr. Bail Bondsman, will you except snow skies for collateral?" Yeah, for now, don't mind getting older one bit.

I came across this a couple of weeks ago and found it 'interesting'. It should be noted, I do NOT believe in these over generalizations as far as personality traits go and I think we have a LONG way to go before we really understand astrology............... and NO, I don't think we can tell ALL about a person by analyzing their signature. In my opinion, the people that 'run' or 'plan' their life by the 'STARS',,,..well, they're the same people that think keeping 600 cats in the kitchen is normal.

One of my favorite quotes is Walt Whitman's, "I am large and contain multitudes." But, if I had to describe myself, put myself in a BOX and plaster a few labels, then this overview of 'Aquarius' comes pretty close to describing me. Indulge me, it's my Birthday!

Aquarians present themselves in one of two ways. On one hand, you'll see someone who is shy and quiet. On the other, an Aquarius can be boisterous, eccentric, and energetic. Both are deep thinkers with a love of helping others. Highly intellectual, this is a fiercely independent sign that prizes intuition tempered with logic. Both personality types have an uncanny ability to see both sides of an argument without prejudice, making them excellent problem solvers. While very much attuned to the energies around them, Aquarians have a deep need to take time out alone and away to rejuvenate themselves. The keyword for this sign is imagination. The Aquarian can see a world of possibilities even when there appears to be none.

Friends and Family

Even though Aquarians are great with groups of people, it takes a bit when it comes to making close friends. Deeply sensitive and cautious, closeness means vulnerability to an Aquarius, and this is not something to be taken lightly. Aquarians' direct, no-nonsense approach in combination with their strong values can make it challenging to get to know the inner person. Yet those who are able to do so will discover a friendship that lasts through the years. An Aquarius will go the distance for a loved one to the point of self-sacrifice if necessary. They look for creativity, intellect, and honesty in their friends. When it comes to family, the expectations are no less. Although dedicated to a sense of duty to relatives, the Aquarius isn't one for developing close bonds unless the same qualities they expect in their friendships are there.

Career and Money

Aquarians bring enthusiasm to the work they do, especially when it involves expression. They have an exceptionally high ability to put their imaginative qualities to the task and to think outside the box. Careers that allow for concept development or demonstration can suit this sign well. I know is the key phrase for the Aquarius. High intellect combined with an Aquarius' willingness to share their talents inspires many who work in the same environment. Being visionary types, Aquarians love to engage in careers that aim to benefit humankind in the long-run.

When it comes to money, this sign really has a knack for keeping a healthy balance between having the things that they need and putting money away. When they are out shopping, the shiny, glittery, and extravagant will catch their attention even though their homes are generally decorated with great taste. It's not uncommon to find the Aquarius turning heads dressed in daring, brightly colored outfits. Most are well-attuned to their individual sense of style and aren't afraid to show it.

Careers that suit the Aquarius are acting, writing, teaching, photography, or piloting. The best environment is one that gives the freedom to tackle the task without a lot of strict guidelines. The Aquarius is unconventional, and given the opportunity to show their true talents, they can perform amazing feats.

Love and Sex

Intellectual stimulation is by far the greatest aphrodisiac for the Aquarian. There's nothing like a lively chat rich in culture and future possibilities to get this sign going. When it comes to love, people best suited are those that are not thrown off by Aquarian frankness. Open, communicative, imaginative, and willing to risk are all qualities that blend well with this sign's perspective on life. Honesty and sincerity are essential for anyone seeking a long-term connection to this dynamic personality.


Ruling Planet
The ruling planet for Aquarius is Uranus. This planet is considered the breaker of rules and tradition. Uranus rules psychology, inventions, originality, creative will, rebellion, and autonomy. This planet is futuristic, intellectual, and even eccentric.

Compatible Signs
Aquarians are most compatible with Gemini, Libra, and other Aquarians.

Opposite Sign
The opposite sign for Aquarius is Leo.

Perfect Gift
Unusual machines, music, books on favorite subjects, a gift to their favorite cause

A good cause, being part of a club, scientific ideas, fun with friends, a good listener

Dull or boring situations, people who disagree with them

Natural sign of the Eleventh House. This house focuses on friends, goals, hopes, wishes, circumstances beyond control, and love received.

Progressive, original, humanitarian, independent

Runs from emotional expression, uncompromising, temperamental, aloof

Charismatic Marks

Good looks, beautiful eyes, angular faces, thin build

Best Environment

Any gathering of people to exchange ideas

Personally, you'd know just as much about me if I would have said my favorite color is Burgundy, favorite number- 24, love to watch re-runs of 'Little House on the Prairie" and think John Edward's of 'Crossing Over' fame might be better OFF crossing over himself.

and I think, "CAT- the 'OTHER' White Meat" is pretty funny.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

SNOW DAY! in La Fortuna Costa Rica

I grew up in the Midwest. I know COLD. I remember windchill factor and I recall missing school because of snowdays. I was a kid, cold was COOL, hell, I spent my winters shoveling driveways for like 2 bucks a pop. And I KNOW they were snickering watching me scrape the ice from their sidewalks as their fat asses sipped coffee in the warmth of their kitchen. I didn’t care, 2 bucks was 2 bucks, and it’s not like my baseball card collection paid for itself.

My first REAL job took me to Nebraska, also the Midwest, also cold as a MotherF***er. I must have been a glutton for punishment. It took me a few years to realize I hated windchill, and I damn sure didn’t want to shovel anymore driveways; let some 14-year old pick up a few bucks WHILE I SIP COFFEE IN THE KITCHEN. Besides, I sold my Johnny Bench rookie card years ago.

Hello Las Vegas. I loved Vegas- all 15 years. Cold was a distant memory. Vegas taught me that my body loves the heat like a mosquito to a candle.

Enter Costa Rica. Hello tropics. I love Costa Rica. However, my faith in the weather here was severely put to the test yesterday and for a moment....... I considered Fiji.

Acclimating to COLD is NOT like riding a bike- your body doesn’t remember SHIT. Me, my body goes into survival mode under 72 degrees, complete with shivering.

I’m here to tell you, yesterday was the coldest day in Costa Rican history. Well, at least my history, which is all of 3 ½ years. I couldn’t work. I decided I was taking a SNOW day; huddled on the couch, bundled up, in complete survival mode. (Wasn’t it the best feeling in the world when the radio alarm clock went off and you heard YOUR school declaring a Snow day?)

At one point I recall looking at D’Angelo, wondering if I could EAT him if it came to that.

Don’t laugh, but we actually turned on the dryer to generate some heat in our apartment. In the States, the dryers have some sort of metal or flexible aluminum tubing that runs from the dryer to a vent in the wall, releasing the hot air. Here, most houses or apartments were NOT built with a ‘vent’ in the wall. Instead, the tubing from our dryer goes into a small canister filled half-way with water. Don’t try to picture it, just take my word. Put it this way, when we turn on our dryer, it gets VERY hot in our apartment, the windows even steam up. Think sauna. But yesterday it was a godsend.

Today, thankfully, we’re back to normal (D’Angelo is safe for now), but I just had to check, I KNOW there had to be a record set yesterday in La Fortuna Costa Rica.

I consulted the internet.

Yup, I was right. Yesterday DID set a record; last time it was even close to being this cold was back in 1946.

Yesterday, in La Fortuna Costa Rica it was a bone-chilling 65 degrees.

Hot chocolate anyone?

Tons of Videos on Costa Rica at the Costa Rica Travel Channel and if you're planning on Living or Traveling to Costa Rica, then check out Travel Costa Rica NOW for all your INFORMATION. And see ALL our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos on YouTube. ENjOY!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

La Fortuna Banking- Whimsical Banking BITCHES!

2 Money Orders sent to me, by my mother who lives in Portland Maine- one for Christmas, the other, my birthday. Just so you know- sending an envelope to Costa Rica has a much better chance of reaching its destination (intact) than sending a package. Let’s just say packages could end up under someone else's Christmas tree. Both Money Orders total a mere $300.00.

As the story continues, keep in mind:

- In Costa Rica, Money Orders can take up to 30+ days to clear. So, it’s not as if you’ll be seeing cash anytime soon.
- Three years ago, upon arriving in Costa Rica, I did deposit a Money Order for $500.00 without a hitch (same bank).
- It is a TRUISM, in Costa Rica, branches of the SAME BANK do not necessarily provide the same services, and even the BASE services are subjectively applied from branch to branch.
- My Spanish is EXTREMELY suspect. (More on that in an upcoming post).
- My bank is Banco de Costa Rica (BCR).

I take my Christmas Money Order and patiently wait in line. Now, to a Tico, waiting in ‘any’ line is a social occasion, even at the bank, and often I half expect them to pull out a picnic basket and yard darts. To a gringo here, waiting in ‘a line’ is a chance to practice what Oprah and Eckhart Tolle explain as, ‘Being ‘ONE’ with the Moment.’ Trust me, Oprah and Eckhart would have their 'oneness' severely tested here in Costa Rica. *Yeah I know, I don’t see Oprah waiting in a line either.

Long story short, it didn’t get deposited; had something to do with the date, and the fact the teller thought it was a personal check. After that, I just heard the Spanish equivalent of blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile, my birthday approached and the second Money Order arrived. I had to figure something out.

Enter my friend, José. Tico, perfect English, even knows our slang. He called my bank and talked to someone. At first, they didn’t know what a Money Order was, then after talking to several people, it was discovered I needed a personal ‘Contract’ with the bank, so they could ‘except’ my ‘International checks.’ What the FUCK EVER. Even José was miffed.

José called his bank, BAC San José and asked them about the Money Orders. He’s been with BAC for like 20 years; and yes they knew what Money Orders were and yes he could deposit them in his account and give me the money when they cleared. I’ll believe that, when I see it.

We walked over. Same line, same picnic, and Oprah was nowhere in sight.

The first teller did a lot of smiling, but wouldn’t accept them as she didn’t know what they were. José insisted she call someone. Enter the manager. First, she flatly said "NO". (Whimsical Banking Bitch). Then come to find out, only one person in the ENTIRE bank could ‘approve’ the Money Orders, and she was NOT IT- ‘he’ had left 15 minutes prior and wouldn’t be back for the day. José wouldn’t let it go. He told them he was a ‘valued’ customer (which he was), he had talked to someone prior and they said it was okay, and blah, blah, blah. They refused. José shook his head, but he had some banking of his own, so proceeded to do so.

Suddenly, after José’s transaction, the original teller decided she would take the Money Orders (Whimsical *smiling* Banking Bitch). I signed and handed them over. 5-minutes into the transaction, the computer pops up that the transaction needed ‘approval’.

The Money Orders are still hanging on the refrigerator.

This is Costa Rica- 5 different tellers- 5 different answers; hence, WHIMSICAL BANKING BITCHES……………Although some DO smile.

Tons of Videos on Costa Rica at the Costa Rica Travel Channel and if you're planning on Living or Traveling to Costa Rica, then check out Travel Costa Rica NOW for all your INFORMATION. And see ALL our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos on YouTube. ENjOY!