Auto Awesome Western Wall

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Funny that when I was in Israel last year, Google’s ‘Auto Awesome’ feature would do weird things like put snow flakes onto pictures of the Tel Aviv beach, but now a year later is actually pulling the pics I took and making them ACTUALLY AWESOME.  Check out this black and white treatment it gave a pic I took of the Western Wall last February.

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19 Idiotic but REAL travel complaints

These are actual complaints received from dissatisfied customers by Thomas Cook Vacations (based on a Thomas Cook/ABTA survey):

1. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

2. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”

3. “On my holiday to Goa in India , I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”

4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”

5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”

6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”

7. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”

8. “No one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”

9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”

10. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”

11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”

12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”

13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”

14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort’. We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”

15. “There were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”

16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”

17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”

19. “My fiance and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

I want to marry you in Minneapolis

This. Is. Awesome.  Go Minneapolis!  I was sitting on my lunch break today reading this week’s issue of the Isthmus and I saw this full page ad regarding LGBT wedding opportunities in Minneapolis.  Minneapolis is rolling out the red carpet to all the same sex couples that are looking to get married.  It is great to see them getting the word out to other like-minded cities in the region that don’t currently have the same opportunities available for the loving, committed couples looking to get married. 

Mayor Rybak is a great guy for getting this tourism/wedding campaign going.  It will be awesome to see the great economic impact all these “destination weddings” to Minnesota will have on the state.

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By the way, The Hotel Minneapolis is an excellent hotel.  I have stayed there.  Exceptional service, convenient to the light rail, and in the middle of the walk friendly downtown.

Upgraded at Target Field

Yesterday my wife and I went to a Twins game at Target Field in Minneapolis.  We bought the cheap seats as usual, but then I discovered that using the At the Ballpark app on my phone can allow me to upgrade my seats for a little bit of money.  I logged in, put in my ticket seat info, and then it offered me an upgrade from my Section 307 seats (which were $11 seats) to Section 107 for just $9 dollars more per seat!

Here is how that offer turned out:

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Here is a panoramic pic… Why the hell not, eh?!?

Target Field panorama

This is the closest I have sat to the field at an MLB game since my first Wrigley Field experience back in 2000

Pretty sweet, huh…  $60 seats for basically $20 each

Featured on Lonely Planet’s FB Page: Me

Lonely Planet, the travel guide company, lets their fans send a picture of them in the “wild” with their Lonely Planet guides.  I posed with my Costa Rica guidebook last week while in Costa Rica and emailed the picture to community@lonelyplanet.com and they posted the picture to their Facebook page this week!

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Costa Rica 2013: El Viejo part 2

Part of El Viejo experience included a ride on a boat in the Rio Tempisque. The Rio Tempisque is a river that is brackish, meaning it has a mix of salt and freshwater. It is inhabited by many creatures, including crocodiles.

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The birds were so awesome. So many different birds.

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I had never seen a crocodile outside of a zoo (besides on Discovery or Animal Planet). There were a lot in the Rio Tempisque.

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After the 1hr 15min boat ride we headed back to La Casona to indulge in a delicious, traditional Costa Rican lunch.

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El Viejo was worth the trip. I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to experience more than just the coastal, beach towns of Costa Rica. The beaches are not the only beautiful thing about the amazing country of Costa Rica.