Saturday, 5 November 2011

Danger 5!

Wow, I almost think this may not be real, simply because it looks like it's going to be so amazing:

But according to their website (which has a pretty hilarious spoof on a 60s action magazine complete with clickable articles), they're actually going to produce this, starting November 21st. I'm pretty sure the guy who says "Domo Arigato" is wearing the same wig I wear for most Halloweens.

I'm gaining more and more respect for Australia and Australians.

Monaco is the November Vacation of my Dreams

Monaco is situated not too far from the place where my friends have their summer flat. When I visited them for the first time about 25 years ago, they wanted to show me all the most interesting places and Monaco was among them. We travelled with the car, and there were the custom barriers in that period. I had the permission to stay only in Italy and could not pass the border, normally. But we found one place where the customs officers did not look at the passes (even if the first time I laid on the seat under the coat).This way we passed every afternoon and evening abroad.


One evening we were near the famous casino of Monaco and wanted to enter inside. Together with the very beautiful women with evening dresses. :-) that went out from Aston Martins cabriolets... Do you think, it was unpossible to enter there? No, we could enter without any problem in the main hall. But it was only a beautiful building... The entrance of the casino was in that main hall. Clearly, we could not enter there without special evening clothes.
Monaco was so beautiful in the daytime and in the evening, and I was so much impressed by it's beauty...I thought, it is the most beautiful place I've ever seen in my life (betraying my love for Saint Petersburg).
Hotel in Monaco
I would like to visit Monaco once more. But NOW, in this period. Do you know, why? Because they have the most important feast on Nov. 19 and it will be the fireworks show in the evening. They say that those fireworks are the most beautiful in Europe. I would like to see this show...

Friday, 4 November 2011


Just a quick re-cap from Blogtoberfest: It was awesome! Many thanks to everyone who checked out the posts. I actually got up to 31, which is one more than last year. We'll have to see what I can get done next year!

I'll also include the Pictures of the Day from October if you'd like to check them out. You can see larger versions of them and the October Leftovers on flickr, or you can just check out the slideshow here:

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Walking the Nantes-Brest canal - update for 2012

The Red Dog Books guide to the Nantes-Brest canal first came out in 2007, and has been very well-received, proving popular with walkers and cyclists alike. It gives maps of the entire 365kms with details of what to see, where to stay and places to buy provisions. The introduction also covers the history of the canal and its construction.
This guide is now in the process of being updated for a new issue in 2012, when it will appear in a bi-lingual English/French form - the result of so many French people asking for a guide of this handy spiral-bound format in their own language.
Autumn and Winter walkers should make the canal towpath a prime target, as it offers easy going on made paths which do not get too muddy, although some stretches (in Finistere in particular) are occasionally underwater after very wet weather. Recommended areas for beautiful and varied scenery are the Foret de Branguily near Pontivy, from Plelauff to Bonen in Cotes d'Armor and from Chateauneuf-du-Faou to Pont Coblant in Finistere.

Monday, 31 October 2011


I originally had combined this post with the last post about the Animal Sanctuary, but it became really huge so I divided them since they're not related, anyhow.

I put a message on Twitter the other day talking about an app called Box giving away 50 GB of cloud storage to iOS 5 users. I've not got an iPad or an iPhone, but I'm sure a lot of you do. Still, I do have an iPod touch, which is basically like an iPhone without the phone (and with a crappier camera, unfortunately). Nevertheless, I downloaded the app and I indeed have 50 GB of free cloud storage now. It's a pretty good backup option for documents and pictures, quite similar to Dropbox in many ways. In any case, if you're interested, check out this link. It does say that it'll only be doing the free 50 GB offer for 50 days, which means there are probably 40 days or so left. I don't get anything if you do or don't go for this deal, but I thought I'd share it since it seems pretty cool.

So, that's it for now... We'll have a Blogtoberfest wrap-up in a little bit, though!

Wild Animal Sanctuary

I recently saw this picture on

At first I couldn't figure out what it was, but then I read the caption:

"Keenesburg/Colorado, USA. Noch feiern die Amerikaner zwar nicht Erntedank, Truthahn gibt es f�r den L�wen aber trotzdem schon. Der gerupfte Vogel wird dem Tier im Wildtier-Schutzgebiet serviert, in dem rund 290 L�wen, Tiger, B�ren, W�lfe und andere gro�e Fleischfresser leben. Das Gel�nde ist das �lteste und gr��te seiner Art in den USA."

That more or less means:

"Although Americans aren�t celebrating Thanksgiving yet, the lions already have turkeys. The bird is being served in a wildlife reserve area, in which around 290 lions, tigers, bears, wolves and other large meat-eaters live.  The reserve is the oldest and largest of its kind in the USA."

I noticed the Keenesburg, Colorado part and I realized that it was talking about a wildlife reserve where my dad volunteers sometimes (he's a veterinarian). I found their page online and it's pretty interesting. I thought I was going to just look at it for a minute, but there's so much information that I spent about an hour there, and now I'd really like to go visit the facilities next time I'm in Colorado. You can check the website out here if you want: The Wild Animal Sanctuary. (It's also got more information if you're interested in visiting).

My dad also mentioned that the reserve has trouble keeping things running since it's a pretty expensive type of place to operate. We always complain that our two cats (aka Our Little Crap Factories) are expensive to maintain, but I can't imagine how much it must cost to keep a bunch of wild tigers, panthers, and bears.

I considered making a donation, although when I checked it out more I saw that they also have an online gift shop, and the products are pretty cool (I like this picture of a lion that looks eerily similar to 1980s Steve Perry, and the lion in this poster reminded me a bit of our old cat Cucho... with Steve Perry Lion behind him). Even better, the proceeds from online purchases are tax deductible and support the Sanctuary. Or, if you're so inclined, I think it seems like a good place to make a donation. I myself bought an item in the store and made a donation to help out the Wild Open Spaces project today. That's a program to buy land surrounding the reserve to expand it and build the "Mile into the Wild Walkway." It seems like a great idea because it combines animal protection and expanded open space, both of which I strongly support. It'd be cool if you'd consider it, too. Thanks!

That's all for the moment, but now that I've asked for your help, in a few minutes I'll put up a link that may help you!

The Ghosts of Halloween Costumes Past

They don't really celebrate Halloween here in Costa Rica. Well, I guess they do have some parties, but since it's not part of the cultural background here, it feels a bit like forced cultural imperialism. But in this case, it's strange because the country is forcing the cultural imperialism on itself, if that makes any sense. As long as they don't try to adopt Thanksgiving, possibly my favorite holiday, I'll probably be OK. But Thanksgiving is ours, man!

But hey, Halloween's OK by me. We didn't go to any Halloween parties this year, but I have been to some pretty fun ones in the past. In fact, one of Angela's dreams is to be in the U.S. for Halloween so that she can wear a costume. We'll see if we can get that done one of these years. But in the meantime, I thought I'd show a few pictures of my favorite Halloween costumes that I've accumulated through the years... enjoy!

This is from Halloween 2008, I believe. I was working as an English teacher at a call center outside of San Jos�, and I figured that I should at least dress as something, so I decided to go as "My Arch-Nemesis, Bryan Fitzman." That bastard! In any case, one of my students took this picture, and I liked it so much I decided to use it for my Sitzman ABC site's logo.

I think this is from 2004, when I was a grad student. It's at the faculty party. Obviously (can't you tell??) I'm going as Axl Rose. I also had a very similar costume a few years before that, when my roommate Himal went as Slash. It's a cool costume, but all too literally... we went out afterwards and I was incredibly cold walking around in the late October snow.

For all those in the know, my 2005 costume was Prince, but a few thought I was a pirate. Their loss. In any case, it was much more comfortable and warm than the Axl costume, but on the downside I had to put some kind of makeup on my eyebrows and skeezy facial hair... eyeliner? Whatever that makeup's called that women usually use on their eyelashes. That was the stuff.

I happened upon this one when looking for Halloween pictures today. It's me and my friend Miss Thang (now Mrs. Thang) in Regensburg in 2001. I can't remember who took the picture or how I got it, because people didn't even use digital cameras then. It must be scanned. In any case, I think I just wore random crap and called it a costume. I know I borrowed the wig from Matt (thanks) and the shirt from Miss Thang (also thanks), and then called it a day in terms of costuming. As usual, I also included my "Smart Guy Glasses," which are actually construction goggles I got a long time ago.

This was 2004, I think? I think I also wore a costume in that house where I dressed up as Tom Cruise's character from Risky Business (it's probably better I couldn't find a picture of that costume, since its main components were sunglasses, a dress shirt, double-bagged tighty-whities, and a smart-ass smile). But time-wise, my math may not work out. In fact, this may have just been a costume party, and not actually for Halloween. Who knows. All I know is that Jesse, Zach, and I dressed up as the undercover cops from the Beastie Boys' Sabotage video (I think I'm supposed to be "Vic Colfari as Bobby, 'The Rookie'":

Now, prepare yourself...

Finally, we come to my favorite costume, "Sitz-man"! I think the idea of this picture is that I've just saved Cowgirl Katie from some kind of danger. It's my favorite costume because it's the most original thing I've probably ever come up with. Plus, due to the long underwear it was really warm, one of the two prerequisites I've come to adopt in my Halloween costumes (the other apparently being a wig). It took me about an hour and a few drafts to color in my chest insignia. I then found a baby blanket, some long underwear, and some blue underwear, and I even put together a pretty awesome utility belt! The very next year after wearing this costume, I was in Costa Rica, so maybe subconsciously I recognized that my costuming had reached its apex, and I semi-retired after that. 

Anyhow, if you're going out tonight, have fun and be safe! Eat some candy for me!

Swissta Rican Quiz Answers!

I meant to post the answers to the quiz last night but our power went out a couple times over a few hours. If you've not checked out the quiz, it's easy: all you have to do is decide whether 9 pictures were taken in Costa Rica or Switzerland. Go here if you still want to try it.

So, here are the answers:

1. Switzerland

 2. Switzerland

3. Switzerland

4. Costa Rica 

5. Costa Rica 

6. Costa Rica 

7. Costa Rica 

 8. Costa Rica

9. Costa Rica

So, how'd you do? Thanks for reading, and check back later today for more Blogtoberfest fun --it's our last day of Blogtoberfest, after all! 

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Legends Course bargain ...

Only two more days to get a reduced rate (18� instead of 20�) for the Legends of Brittany one day course on November 16th. It will be held at L'Autre Rive caf�/bookshop (pictured) on the edge of the forest at Huelgoat. There'll be a short optional walk at lunch time, weather permitting, but the bar is open all day for the less energetic! General information about the course is on or (both links opposite).
Full details of the day (11am- 4.15ish) will be sent to registered participants next week. It's going to be fun ...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Swissta Rican Picture Quiztravaganza!

After the post from the other day talking about the similarities between Costa Rica and Bosnia-Herzegovina, I felt like I should mention that at least on the surface, there are some similarities between Costa Rica and Switzerland. So let's have a little quiz, shall we? I'll put up some pictures, and you decide if I took them in Costa Rica or Switzerland --it's just that easy! But remember that looks can sometimes be deceiving! Check back tomorrow evening for the answers. Good luck!










So, do you have your answers ready? If so, great! If you want you can leave a comment with your guesses, or you can just check back tomorrow (Sunday) night for the answers.

Thanks for reading and guessing! Have a good one!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Not Feeling So Hot

I had planned on writing a longer blog post today (it's still Blogtoberfest for three more days, after all!), but I'm not feeling too good right now. I had a bit of a sore throat earlier, but now my teeth and eyeballs have started hurting, and that's never a good sign. So for now I'll leave you with this picture, which previews what I'm about to do:

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Costa Rica: The Bosnia-Herzegovina of Central America

Can I just say something? This flag is awesome.

I came to Costa Rica in 2006 and it wasn't long before I heard one of Costa Rica's unofficial nicknames: "The Switzerland of Central America." 

"Hmm," I thought, "That interesting." Coincidentally, the only time I had been to Switzerland was just a few months before I got here, and I was curious about the comparison because frankly, I didn't see it. (See here, here, and here for more details and ideas about this nickname). I asked a few people and apparently it got this reputation because both countries are sort of peaceful and democratic in areas that are frequently neither. And both have lots of mountains and cows. Sure, I agreed with those points but beyond those, I didn't see many more similarities to Switzerland. A safe haven for banks where trains run on time? Not exactly. A reputation for transparency and efficiency? Yeah, right. Watches? No. Pocketknives? Well, they do have a lot of machetes here, but they're hardly discreet. Yodeling and shit? Try again. The more I thought about this, the more I became convinced that it was just a ploy by some Costa Rican tourism agency.

But then one day while eating cereal I was reading the statistics in the back of my atlas (as I like to do) and I noticed something: Bosnia-Herzegovina and Costa Rica are almost the same size (Bosnia is the 127th-largest country and Costa Rica the 128th). Then I started noticing a few other similarities. Let's break a few of the main ones down, shall we? I found some general stats for each country on Wikipedia (Costa Rica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Switzerland). We'll consider it a contest-- the closest country to Costa Rica for each category wins!

Costa Rica: 19,653 square miles (128th)
B-H: 19,741 square miles (127th)
Switzerland: 15,940 square miles (133rd)
Winner, Bosnia vs. Switzerland: Bosnia-Herzegovina!

POPULATION (2010/2011 estimate):
Costa Rica: 4,608,426 (123rd)
B-H: 3,843,126 (129th)
Switzerland: 7,866,500 (95th)
Winner: Bosnia-Herzegovina!

GDP* (Per capita, nominal, 2010/2011 estimate):
Costa Rica: $7,843
B-H: $4,702
Switzerland: $75,835
Winner: Bosnia-Herzegovina!

Intentional Homicide (aka Murder, 2008, per 100,000 people):
Costa Rica: 11
B-H: 1.8
Switzerland: .71
Winner (aka Loser): Bosnia-Herzegovina!
(Sad Fact: The USA's score was 5.4 on this)

Costa Rica: 3
B-H: 0
Switzerland: 9
Winner: Bosnia-Herzegovina!


So, as you can see, Costa Rica may have cows, but in the end it's got more in common with Bosnia-Herzegovina than the famously-neutral watchmakers of Switzerland.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

*As indicated, this is using nominal GDP, not PPP GDP; if PPP were used, neither Bosnia nor Costa Rica would look as impoverished on paper... but I don't really know much about PPP since I'm not an economist.

Fast-Talking Explanation Videos

If you remember a recent post about coffee, then you may remember an interesting video in that post. It basically explained more about the whole coffee production process. It turns out that the guy who made the video, someone named Grey, has made some other videos that I think are pretty cool. I actually put this one on Sitzman ABC since it explains Daylight Savings Time (they don't do it in Costa Rica, and it's a weird thing to describe or justify to classes sometimes):

And I also liked this one about continents, which is incidentally another controversial topic in my classes here:

The reason it's a controversial topic is because, as the Grey notes in the video, in the US they generally count 7 continents (North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica). However, in a lot of Latin America, Costa Rica included, they count North and South America as one continent, and from there the confusion begins.

Anyhow, I thought they were cool videos, so have a look if you'd like. Grey's YouTube page also has some explanatory videos related to the United Kingdom and different electoral systems, most of which are fast, entertaining, and educational. Have a look!

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Two Faces of Sorrento

Sorrento is one of the ports of call for the cruise ships in Campania, in Italy. This little town is actually all faced to the tourists and they can found there everything they could look for when they step on the soil. There are comfortable connections to the other cities and tourist objects of Campania, too.

Sorrento is situated on the "terrace" of vulcanic stone (it's practically one tongue of lava) 50 meters over the port where there are only some services like taxis and bars. The tourists have to go up the stairs to reach the town for excursion or to take a train or a bus. This is the "new", the "modern" part.


If you are interested to explore the antique, original mode of life of the local population, you have to visit Marina Grande, a fishers' village that is situated from the other side of the rock you see on the first photo and that is possible to reach walking about 15 minutes from the center of the town. Here you can enjoy not only the colorful houses of the fishers but -if you want- you can swimm in those warm waters, too. So, if you like swimming and have to explore Sorrento don't forget your bathing suit. There is free and paid possibility and you will have a great walk up in the town after that -if you don't prefere the bus that stops directly on the beach.


Do you like Sorrento? You can book a cruise from this page -there is a cruise search engine on the right of this article. And remember -if you book your cruise from MY site, you can ask me to guide you in one of the touristic objects in Campania. There you will find the hotel search engine, too. If you prefere, you can contact me for last minute and other offers -you just know that  I'm a home based travel agent.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


This picture shows the telephone jack in one of the rooms in our house. As you can see, for some reason it's being swarmed by hundreds of little ants. In fact, many of the outlets in our house are currently being swarmed by ants, and we can't figure out why. Most of them seem to be carrying and/or laying eggs, too. It's pretty depressing.

At least with some plagues like cockroaches, crickets, and millipedes, the animals are easily identifiable and so is the solution (step on them and/or just clean your damn house), but in this case, we're baffled. We cleaned the outlets with a mop to get rid of the ants but within about an hour they'd somehow swarmed to other outlets. Of course, it all somehow happened when we were at work, and when we came back our friend Gina was with us, since she's staying at our house. Now she probably thinks we're just filthy.

It's sad living here sometimes.

Sunday, 23 October 2011


With only two options per question, you wouldn't think I'd have gotten so confused.

A while ago I was talking with Bobby, and he said that Chris had mentioned something about a "Keirsey" test. That sounds very similar to the name of a town in eastern Colorado that I don't have a very good impression of, so I was skeptical at first. But Bobby explained that it was a sort of personality test, and that Chris had correctly predicted what category Bobby would fall into.

For me, "personality test" also calls to mind images of Scientology, although it's not like that at all, either. In fact, you can take the test for yourself. I thought it was pretty interesting in the end, although some of the questions were very confusing for me (but maybe that's just part of my personality--getting frustrated at weird questions on personality tests). Here's a link to the site, and here's a link to the test. Here's a link with a bit more of an explanation on the different "temperaments." 

Just so you know, if you do take the test, it'll get you into a temperament, but not into one of the 4 specific categories in each temperament. I guess you may have to buy the book if you want to do that, but Chris (a "Rational Architect") has had quite a lot of experience with the test (you know, party tricks), so we were quickly able to nail down the fact that I'm an Idealist Counselor, or an "INFJ"--just like Alec "Obi Wan Kenobi" Guinness! Angela then took the test and discovered that she was an "Artisan Composer," aka "ISFP" aka "just like Michael Jackson"! 

For me the most interesting part was to consider how much Costa Rica had affected my personality, or at least my own perception of it. For many questions I was saying things like, "Well, for Costa Rica, I'd be ___, but for the US, I'd be the complete opposite." I also didn't see the logic of many questions, and many of them didn't seem to offer two conflicting answers. It was a good thing that I had Chris to talk me through it, and it's a good thing that Skype calls are free!

Well, I thought it was kind of cool, so check it out if you're interested. Thanks for reading, and don't worry, Blogtoberfest is continuing, no matter how much crappy weather or bad internet Costa Rica throws at us!

Next walk

We do not have a walk in November this year, only a Day Course on Breton Legends on Nov 16, which will include an optional short walk in the forest at Huelgoat, where the event is held.
So the next walk is in December, on the 6th, at Locmaria-Berrien (a different walk from last year's one located there). More details nearer the time. There will also be a walk on Boxing Day.
Bookings for the Legends Course paid for before Nov 2nd will be at 18�, but 20� after that date. Details are on or

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Dead Pants

I know I've mentioned Die Toten Hosen on this blog before (here's the post to prove it), but I wanted to put up a few of their videos because they're still one of my favorite bands in any language. Their name, as the title of this blog indicates, means "The Dead Pants," but "toten Hosen" can also mean that nothing's going on somewhere (maybe like "the boondocks" in English?).

When I was looking around the internet doing "research" for this post, I also came across this. It's got a good general overview of the band and it's in Spanish. It also seems that they actually came to Costa Rica in 2009! I wish I had known about it, but then again, I'm not sure I'd have gone, since my concert-going days seem to largely be a thing of the past.

Anyhow, here's the video I put up in the other post, for "Steh auf, wenn du am Boden bist," which means "Get up when you're on the ground." It's actually a pretty motivating song, and I played it in my German class this evening. My students seemed to like it:

But wait, that's not all! Here's "Walkampf," a sort of play on words that literally means "Whale-Fight." It's definitely one of my Top 5 German Punkisch-Rock songs featuring a bagpipe. It's not necessarily got a positive message or anything, but it's fun to listen to and the video's pretty cool, too:

This one definitely doesn't have much of a message at all, except for that the Bayern M�nchen football team is crap. Die Toten Hosen are from D�sseldorf and they're big fans of the local team, so the chorus says, "So many things can happen, so many things can occur, only one thing I know 100% for sure: never in my life would I go to Bayern!":

And they even have some pretty good songs in English! This is one of my favorites:

So, there's a very basic primer to this group. If you like the songs, I'm sure you can find more just by following the YouTube links at the end of each video, or you can also go to their website to find more information about them.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Unusual Cruises Around the World

Cruise holidays have become more and more popular over the years. Now catering for all age groups,cruises have it all in one place.

With locations constantly updated and cruise liners continuously being improved, cruises are the modernway to see the world.

They are no longer limited to the popular regions of the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Baltics, but nowalso go to more unusual places, such as the Norwegian Fjords and the Alaskan wilderness.

Here we look at some of the unusual cruise options available around her world:



A cruise along the Norwegian Fjords showcases a profusion of unique natural wonders; waterfalls, lakes,glaciers and fjords. Along the way, the majority of the ports visited are little fishing towns perched on theside of the bays, providing intimate and low key cruises.

There are a number of different stop-offs, which include Bergen, Oslo where you can see the Vigelandsculptures, Stavangar, the Viking capital of Trondheim and the gateway to the Arctic. Some liners crossthe Article circle where you can visit the lunar landscapes as well as the world's most northern town,Hammerfest.

The town is the best place to see the spectacular Northern Lights and is a very popular tourist area.Norwegian liners vary in size and luxury; a number boast private balconies, which at a slight extra costprovide a perfect way to view the Norwegian scenery.


Despite being the largest state in America, Alaska is a land of immense beauty whilst being very sparselypopulated. Similarly to Norway, Alaska boasts a number of fjords, glaciers, icebergs, coastal wildernessand snow-capped mountains as well as fertile rainforests. A range of animals are also regularly spottedincluding whales, bears and eagles.

Alaskan cruises offer a number of different experiences that cannot be enjoyed anywhere else. Guestshave the chance to enjoy the unspoiled wilderness whilst also visiting frontier towns full of history andexperiencing up-close encounters with wildlife in their original and undisturbed natural habitats. Thereare also a number of on shore excursions available, including helicopter tours, river trips, bear watchingand dog sledding.

With two passages available, an Alaskan cruise has benefits for all kinds of people. The Inside Passage isusually a trip that does not involve flying into one city and out of another, but instead boasts a roundtripsail. On the other hand, the Gulf of Alaska allows the travellers to see a wider range of the Alaskanscenery, including additional glaciers. However, there is also the option for custom made trips to Alaska,which could include land tours of the interior country or Canadian Rockies as well as the conventionalcruise route.


Disney Themed

Themed cruises are also becoming more popular with choices such as active, relaxing and for the kidsamongst you, the Disney cruisers. Starting in Florida, the Disney cruise transports you into a fairytaleworld with activities for all ages. The cruise liners offer classic beauty with a twist of modern luxuries favoured by cruises nowadays. A wide range of dining is available, from snacks to sit down meals, buffetsto adult only restaurants.

Disney theatres are located on the liners so that travellers can enjoy an abundance of Disney themedshows throughout their trip. As well as this, there are regular character greetings, which give childrenand adults the chance to meet the Disney favourites. With restaurants, pools, rooms and spas namedspecifically after Disney characters and movies, the Disney cruise is a must for any Disney fan.


For those wishing for a more relaxing cruise, the Caribbean can provide a perfect place for a relaxed andharmonious cruise. The Caribbean provides individuality and spectacular landscape and diverse culture.Cruises around the area are usually divided into three areas; eastern, western and southern. The easternitinerary includes islands such as Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua; the western offers the Mexican Riviera,whilst the southern surrounds itself with the Panama Canal, Margarita Island, Aruba and Curacao.

A slightly less popular destination on the Caribbean cruise is Hawaii, due to its distance. However with itshistorical traditions, it is an ideal destination on relaxing cruises and can be combined with stopovers inother cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.



There are a number of luxury cruise liners that run around the world. Despite most cruises offering luxury holidays and accommodation, certain liners go that extra way to ensure that guests have an even moreluxurious time aboard their ships. Not just for the privileged, luxury cruises allow the traveller to travelaround the world in the most stylish ocean liners.

With the majority also having an all inclusive policy, food and drink are included in the price with someliners offering premium wines, spirits and champagnes. Luxury liners give a feel of a private yacht ratherthan a large cruise liner with exceptional service. Staff to guest ratios are close to 1:1 with personalservice throughout your stay. Award winning restaurants are also available aboard the luxury liners, withculinary masterpieces influenced by renowned international chefs.

For those after smaller, less commercialised cruises, luxury liners are a perfect choice. Exclusivelydesigned for fewer guests, the liner boasts more space despite being generally smaller than other liners.Due to this it also enables the cruise itineraries to be based around more exotic and unique destinations,as they have the ability to call into ports that large mainstream cruise liners are not able to dock in.Regardless of the size, the liners still have the same facilities seen in a normal liner; show lounges, casinos,spas, swimming pools and large fitness facilities.

Although possessing similar facilities to mainstream liners the facilities come with a much higherspecification and level of comfort. Suites are also high-end luxury with many possessing balconies. 24hour room service is also commonplace to complement the spacious suites, bathrooms, fine cotton bedlinen and high quality toiletries; personal butlers are also sometimes provided with individual suites.


Cruise holidays are also now becoming more popular for the whole family rather than just couples; it isnot uncommon to find more than 1000 kids on board certain mainstream large liners. With Disney cruisesbeing very popular, other themes have also sprung up with certain liners specifically set up for families.

Family cruises contain specific children's facilities, which can often rival those at land resorts. New linersare now being nicknamed 'floating resorts' as they possess everything expected on a land resort to keep children happy whilst allowing parents to relax, knowing their children are safe.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

I Now Officially Have Plans For This Evening...

As one of the YouTube comments says, "You�re wrong, this movie? are too much complex to your limited mind."

Happy watching!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

El Regreso

This afternoon Angela and I went to the movies for the first time in... well, in a long time. We saw a movie called El Regreso:

As you can see, it's actually from Costa Rica.* It's the first Costa Rican movie I've ever seen, although it can't really be argued that there's a huge catalog of them to choose from. It's about a young writer who comes back to Costa Rica to visit his ailing father after living in New York for 9 years. For the first 10 minutes or so I had some strong doubts about the movie, since it seemed to highlight all the things I find annoying about the country (an abundance of bars on the windows; overweight, fruit-eating bureaucrats; the general shittiness of San Jos�; and family members completely freaking out and overreacting to everything). Plus, there were some people in the movie theater that wouldn't shut up at the start (another thing I don't care much for here). But after that point it seemed to shift and get better, the people in the back shut the hell up, and Angela and I both ended up enjoying it.

Angela and I were picking apart some of the details, and we think that it was pretty accurate when it came to depicting the capital, the weird shifting of address forms between Usted and vos (but never t�, of course!), and the strange abundance of Dos Pinos products. We joked, though, that the most implausible part was that not only was the protagonist a writer (in Costa Rica!), but that his father was also a writer, and a popular writer, at that! Also, there's one thing that occurred to me about two hours after we left the theater: the movie's got a lot of similarities with Garden State. I'm going to have to investigate this more and watch Garden State again, but I can say that there are also enough differences that it's far from a rip-off.

In any case, if you happen to see this playing at a movie theater or a video store sometime, it's worth checking out. It does shed some light on Costa Rica's positive and negative social aspects, and it's pretty entertaining, to boot.

Thanks for reading!

*Not Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico can ram it.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

October Rain

I've mentioned in a few posts and emails that it's been raining a lot here, but we should probably be thankful that we're in Costa Rica, since it's been a lot worse in other parts of Central America. As this article notes, it's been especially bad in Guatemala and El Salvador, and around 90 people have died. It's even washed out bridges and houses in a lot of the isthmus. So, maybe keep the people here in your thoughts. I also wanted to post a few rain-related pictures, although they're all older pictures.

On the upside, the rain has slackened today, at least in Berl�n and the nearby area, which is a good sign. 

A picture from last year. These types of landslides are unfortunately common in the rainy season.

I don't have much else to add today, but since it's Blogtoberfest, I wanted to make sure I posted something today. Thanks for reading, and have a good one!

A picture that Dustin took when he and Sam visited a few years ago.
When I see this, I realize how remarkably the Formerly Crappy Casita has transformed.

Walkers and other animals

We had a lovely walk at Carhaix today, with dry weather, perfect temperature, great scenery and ancient buildings galore. There was also a large variety of two and four-footed animals waiting to enliven our route along the way, from geese to goats, and gorgeous horses to a glamorous kingfisher on the river Hy�res.
Thanks to all for a really enjoyable afternoon.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Wait, 10 Blogs?

As I was writing yesterday's post to commemorate Sitzblog's 700th post, I mentioned that I had 10 blogs. That does seem like a lot, so I thought I'd explain.

Blog 1: Sitzblog. This blog.

Blog 2: Sitzman ABC. The up-and-coming whippersnapper in the Ryan Sitzman internet conglomerate. It's a blog that I've set up mainly for my students' benefit, and I post things related to language learning there. I've also mentioned this blog here a few times because I sometimes post about cultural issues.

Blogs 3-7: Class Blogs for my Advanced Students. (Levels 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6) OK, this is cheating a bit, possibly, since I usually never have more than one going at once, and in fact none of them are active at the moment, but I still put some work into them. I can also use them as an example for other teachers who are looking to start class blogs. I guess.

Blog 8: Sitztoast. This blog is still active, although I've not posted to it too frequently of late, since I've been concentrating on Blogtoberfest (and work, I suppose).

Blog 9: Gringiticasa. I made this blog when we were building the house, and it actually has quite a few posts. Now it's mainly got a slideshow of the construction process from start to finish. I guess I check it out every few months to reminisce.

Blog 10: Gringo + Tica = Love. I started this mainly to give information about our wedding, which was upcoming at the time. As a result there's not too much there.

Bonus! Website: I've not updated this very recently, but I'm hoping to do so in the near future. But you know what they say about good intentions...

Anyhow, that's it for today! Thanks for reading, and have a good one!