Cano Negro Tour ?

May 13th, 2007, 11:01 AM
  #21  
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I forgot to mention Lottery Tickets to theater seats. Most theaters offer front row lottery seats to shows every day for $25.00 each... You arrive at the theater 2-3 hours before the play begins and enter your name into the lottery drawing. They draw approx. 2 hours before the play begins. Each winner can purchase 2 tickets. I know that WICKED and PUTNAM CO. SPELLING BEE are two that participate (they are also side by side theaters, so you can participate in both drawings at the same time). You can google some other plays to see if they participate. We won 2 front row tickets to the Spelling Bee Play and bought two $25.00 standing room only tickets... 4 tickets for $100.00. fun!!
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May 13th, 2007, 11:32 AM
  #22  
 
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What a deal. Wicked has been sold out for the Memorial Day weekend for quite sometime. Consequently (having heard it was so good), I purchased tickets for my daughter and I to see it in Okla. City in June.

We've bought tickets to Hairspray. Looking for another evening entertainment while there--I'll check into the lottery suggestion. Anything else you can think of?
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May 13th, 2007, 11:35 AM
  #23  
 
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sparks fly, I'm just now seeing the rest of your message. Thanks! We'll be sure to take the ferry AND check out the cupcakes. Our older daughter has done that, but the rest of us haven't. Where is Bryant Park approximately?
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May 13th, 2007, 12:19 PM
  #24  
 
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Great NYC tips, sparks_fly. I'm noting them for my own future reference! You are obviously very well traveled. Please post back after your CR visit. I would love to hear your impressions.

You may actually be surprised by the climate in Arenal. We visited last December and the temperatures were quite pleasant; it was actually a bit cool in the evenings. I remember there being humidity in the air, but it was nothing like Manuel Antonio on the coast. I live in Florida and neither Arenal or La Paz phased me, but MA was definitely hot and sticky (although totally worth it!).

Shillmac,

The most memorable place we ate last May was Carmine's (right off of Times Square in the Theater District).

http://www.carminesnyc.com/

It's a family style Italian place and very popular (reservations recommended). It was really delicious with a fun bustling atmosphere, but be warned that the portions are gigantic! We ordered some kind of sampler platter to share between the 3 of us, and barely made a dent in it (and we were hungry that night!).

Happy travels to all with Memorial weekend plans!

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May 13th, 2007, 12:20 PM
  #25  
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Bryant Park is at 42nd and 5th Ave., right behind the NY Public Library.It is close walking distance from Times Sq. That location of Crumbs is closed on Sundays- FYI. It is a fun break during the day to get a few cupcakes and share between everyone in your group.

Another thing we have been meaning to do for the past few trips is to shop at Century 21 near WTC. Is is supposed to be a super place to shop, I imagine it to be like Marshalls and Ross on overdrive. I always see people with multiple bags from there. They also have a website to check out the store.

I will put on my thinking cap and let you know if I think of any other quirky thing that we like to do in NYC...

You are going at a great time before it gets too hot....
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May 13th, 2007, 01:58 PM
  #26  
 
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Thank you sparks and cam!
I'm noting everything. Carmine's sounds like a place we'd enjoy. I also thought the girls would like Center Stage Deli--they have wonderful cheesecakes!
We'll be very close to Bryant's. Staying at the Belvedere. . .Finding a hotel in NYC is a world apart, that's for sure!
Is it true that FAO Schwarz is closed now, across from the Plaza Hotel on 5th?
I always enjoy the one in Caesar's Palace in Vegas and thought the NYC original quite something years ago when I was there.
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May 13th, 2007, 01:58 PM
  #27  
 
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Talk about hijacking a thread!
At least it's your thread, sparks, and you're participating in the hijack!
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May 13th, 2007, 04:22 PM
  #28  
 
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sparks_fly, just got back from costa rica...today in fact! and wanted to let you know we did just about all the the things you did and stayed where you are going to stay (Arenal observatory logde--AOL) and we loved it. I'll try to post a full trip report when i finally have time to breathe, but I wanted to let you know a couple of things. We went on a cano negro tour, by canoe, not by boat and absolutely loved it, it was for me, the highlight of our trip. The tour was through canoa-aventura who was recommended to us by AOL. It was quite a long trip--started at 6 and got home around 6, but it was well worth it. We were on a lesser used area of the park...actually saw no other people besides a few cowboys and their cattle, but saw an amazing amount of wildlife both on our way up there and back including sloths (both kinds) howler and spider monkeys, tons of caiman and over 40 species of birds including toucans, aracari, trogons, and lots of others we had never heard of. Even if you dont do this tour, I think cano negro is definitely a place you need to go if you want to see wildlife. A little note about the phone outside the lobby at AOl...do NOT use it...my husband made less than a 5 minute call to his parents in the US and it cost over 40 dollars!! We have emailed AOL about this..they do not do the billing for the phone, but I think they should have something posted near the phone telling you that it is outrageously expensive to use. I would love it if you would complain about it for me too!! Other than that glitch we loved our stay there...the volcano was very active and the grounds were beautiful. Would love to type more, but i have to run...we also went to la paz, stayed at poas volcano lodge and rented a car from tri-color...if you want anymore info,just let me know! have a wonderful trip!
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May 14th, 2007, 04:01 AM
  #29  
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Shillmac, You are right I am fully participating in the hijacking of this thread...ha!!
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May 14th, 2007, 04:08 AM
  #30  
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Julie_t, I would love to hear all about your trip to CR. How long were you there? We only have 4 nights with only 2 of them being in Arenal area. Did you do any zip line tours of the rain forest? We are leaning towards the Sky Tram=Sky Trek as it sounds like the newest one with the most safety features. Your Cano Negro tour by canoe sounds wonderful. We are traveling with our kiddos and will do the regular boat trip, but we are excited about seeing the wildlife. Please be sure to write your trip report when you have time.
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May 14th, 2007, 04:14 AM
  #31  
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Shillmac, Another restaurant to try is John's Pizzeria on 44th St. off Times Sq. It is in a former Church. It is also a very popular restaurant so be sure that you have time as the lines are sometimes long and they do not accept reservations.
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May 14th, 2007, 10:45 AM
  #32  
 
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RE the phone issue: we stopped in La Fortuna at a pharmacy and bought the "199" telephone card, which comes in different values, and it made it very easy to call from any public phone back to the States, at as far as I remember around 30 cents a minute.
Also--our boys loved Skytrek/Skytram and still talk about it.

I'm participating in the hijacking of the thread on NYC; sorry!
Shillmac: We live in Manhattan and my husband works in Times Square but that doesn't mean that we're good at directing visitors. However, I do know that after closing for a while, FAO Schwartz reopened in the same spot across from the Plaza, and is pretty dramatic. I don't think you'll have kids with you, but the Toys R Us store in Times Square is a different experience too because there is a ferris wheel and a large robotic dinosaur (I agree that the Natural History Museum is more valuable to visit for dinosaurs!) One other Times Square tip--Ollie's is a very popular, inexpensive and good Chinese restaurant, formerly on 44th St, but it just moved to 42nd between 8th and 9th avenues, in case you go looking for it. Of course there are other smaller, less touristy restaurants in the area. My favorite smaller musuems are the Frick and, off the beaten track, the Cloisters, in northern Manhattan--which would be a good introduction to Europe for you! Not so easy to get to though. The medieval collection and parts of cloisters brought from France are outstanding, as is the view of the Hudson-- a very different view than the one from the ferry. Have a great time.
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May 14th, 2007, 12:47 PM
  #33  
 
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we did the cano negor boat tour and booked through our hotel the Arenal Paraiso...i think they use sunset tours? but there are tons of others in La Fortuna...ours was great! highly recommend them...see the trip review I just posted for more info.
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May 14th, 2007, 02:54 PM
  #34  
 
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If you want to support the continued success of the nature preserve at Cano Negro I'd suggest choosing a company that actually pays an entrance fee to the National Park. So many companies simply tour the outerlying waterways and don't even enter the preserve. We used a company that did buy entrance tickets (Canoa Aventuras) and I think there are others. I'm sure the other companies and guides do a good job but I feel tourists should be supporting the Costa Rican government efforts to preserve natural wetlands and wildlife.
We had a great day at Cano Negro and a great guide.
If you go in the wetter months you will get to travel further up the Rio Frio and well into the reserve.
We went in March and still saw lots of wildlife - monkeys, birds, caimans, turtles, bats etc.

hope this helps.
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May 14th, 2007, 06:38 PM
  #35  
 
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I love this--Cano Negro with a New York City twist. It's great. Talk about extremes!

We LOVED our Cano Negro tour and would do it again in a heartbeat. Has anyone ever actually stayed up there overnight? I looked into it a few years ago, but it doesn't seem to be a popular option. I guess most people just don't have the time to do that when it is such an easy daytrip.

On another thread, capecodgirl was asking about that possibility. I almost wish someone would do it so they could tell us all about it. I'm guessing, though, that there isn't much going on up in that area around Los Chiles and that lodging might be pretty rustic?

Thanks, everyone, for all the tips on NYC. I have made notes on every single thing from Ollie's to John's Pizzeria; glad to hear about FAO and Toys R Us. With 2 full days and 2 part days, we're going to have to do things on the way to other things.

The Cloisters is of particular interest to me. My husband's aunt and uncle lived in NYC years ago and then were "stationed" in New Jersey for a few years just before his retirement from Mobile. They lived overseas for 20 years also. She was one of my favorite people in the world, and I remember her talking about how much she enjoyed The Cloisters. Very classy lady. I can see her there, and it makes me want to go. Maybe we can work it in. The view of the Hudson sounds nice also.

Again, thanks so much everyone. I'm still listening, as long as sparks_fly is game on her thread!
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May 14th, 2007, 06:42 PM
  #36  
 
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By the way, sparks, your children are at such a great age to enjoy someplace like Costa Rica. They'll be in awe! I told a friend recently (whose kids are about the age of yours) that they need to go. She's a science teacher and I "reasoned" that she could consider it a great science "camp" for her children. It really is just that. And can be REALLY that if you purposefully planned it that way. . .
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May 14th, 2007, 06:51 PM
  #37  
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Hi everyone, I don't mind the hijacking at all. I really appreciate all of the travel help to CR that I have gained. Glad also to add my 2 cents into others travels... I travel to NYC a few times per year.. ususally quick trips, even day trips on occasion.

The Plaza Hotel is closed. They are turning it into condos. We were shocked when we walked by there a few months ago. I really wanted to share it with some friends who were with us for their 1st trip to NYC. Also regarding FAO Swartz- we were in there a few years ago and one of the employees said that they closed during the slow season to "remodel" and that their rent would lower or stop during remodeling time... not sure if that is true or not... Toys R Us in Times Sq. is really a neat store with much more to see than FAO.

I have some shopping information that I gathered a while back on NYC. I will try to find it on my work computer and post it for you all. It was some really neat ideas that I am looking forward to trying out on my next trip to the city.
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May 14th, 2007, 07:10 PM
  #38  
 
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Oh man, I hate that The Plaza has closed. I was looking forward to showing that landmark to my younger.

Change just bugs me sometimes! Some things just shouldn't. . .!!

Yes, by all means, keep it coming. I liked the other shopping suggestion you offered. Thanks!
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May 15th, 2007, 03:37 AM
  #39  
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Dvlish,
I just read your trip report. It sounds like you and DH had a great time except for the bug he picked up. Any idea what he ate or drank?
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May 15th, 2007, 01:36 PM
  #40  
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Ok, here is the shopping information I picked up from another Fodors poster. I have not been to any of these locations yet.. so not sure if they are all still in business. Most stores have websites so you could check them out. They do look like great bargins on big ticket designers. Please post back if any of you get to them 1st... enjoy!

discounted designer
Find Outlet
Labels on the color-coordinated racks change frequently, but we've spotted Katayone Adeli, Helmut Lang, and Paige Novick — all for at least half off (mostly under $100). And don't miss the always changing discount bins. The downside? With miniscule dressing rooms and a perpetual crowd of intrepid bargain hunters, Find isn't for the claustrophobic.
• 361 W. 17th St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves.; 212-243-3177
• 229 Mott St., between Prince and Spring Sts.; 212-226-5167; www.findoutlet.com

LoftWorks
This downtown storefront in TriBeCa has three floors of designers like Prada, Gucci and Armani for up to 80% off. High ceilings, large fitting rooms, and a helpful staff make it feel more like a trendy flagship than a bargain boutique.
• 100 Lafayette St., between White and Walker Sts.; 212.343.8088, www.loftworkslafayette.com

Gabay's Outlet
Are you wandering the aisles at Bergdorf's, wishing it could all be yours? Well now it can (for about 60 percent less). This East Village shop gets most of its merch from the midtown department store's surplus, so you can be sure to find deals on fashion-hound faves like Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, and Chanel. The occassional Blahnik or Choo will pop up, but be sure to join the mailing list for weekly shipment alerts, so you can be there at opening time to snag them.
• 225 First Ave., between 13th and 14th Sts. 212-254-3180, www.gabaysoutlet.com

Century 21- (this is the store I was telling you all about near WTC)
We realize that we're not letting any secret out here, but in all our travels there is no other store that compares as a bargain hunter's dream for designer wear. Savings of up to 75% are the norm on everything from La Perla lingerie to couture Gaultier gowns to Robert Clergerie pumps. Sometimes it's survival of the fittest, with all the clawing and pawing going on amidst the racks, but if you're true to your game, you can score big.
• 472 86th St., between Fourth and Fifth Aves., Brooklyn, 718-748-3266 .
• 22 Cortlandt St., between Church St. and Broadway; 212-227-9092, c21stores.com

designer consignment shops
Beacon's Closet
This chic shop is especially popular with stylists looking for a turn-around on post-shoot garb. There's a great selection of used or vintage pieces, hip downtown basic, and high-end designer names. On any given trip you can score such finds as a Calvin Klein dress for $40, a Martin Margiela tank top for $10, or a pair of Dries van Noten boots for $20.
• 88 N. 11th St., between Berry St. and Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-486-0816
• 220 Fifth Ave., between Union and President Sts., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-230-1630; beaconscloset.com

Designer Resale Corp.
Make sure you pay attention to the color-coded items, because merchandise is reduced by 20 percent after 30 days and by half after 60 days. Keep that in mind as you're skimming the racks loaded with Joseph Abboud (suits are $195), Chanel, and Armani.
• 324 E. 81st St., between First and Second Aves.; 212-734-3639
• Gentlemen's Resale Clothing, 322 E. 81st St., between First and Second Aves.; 212-734-2739
• Designer Resale Too, 311 E. 81st St., between First and Second Aves.; 212-734-3639; resaleclothing.net

Encore Designer
The first New York City shop of its kind, Encore was founded in 1954 as a place for ladies-who-lunch to unload their old clothes for a bit of cash. Most things here are less than two years old and cost a fraction of what they once did. A recent trip uncovered a black Donna Karan blazer ($125), a Jil Sander cashmere jacket ($300), and a big Tod's bag ($550).
• 1132 Madison Ave., between 84th and 85th Sts., 2nd fl.; 212-879-2850, www.encoreresale.com

Ina
Ina scores barely worn (if ever) styles by the hottest designers -- Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Comme des GarÁons -- from local models and fashion insiders and passes them on for less than half the original prices. Look for Burberry raincoats (under $200), Prada and Gucci evening dresses (from $200 to $400), Calvin Klein tops, and Versace pants.
• 21 Prince St., between Mott and Elizabeth Sts.; 212-334-9048.
• 101 Thompson St., between Prince and Spring Sts.; 212-941-4757
• 208 E. 73rd St. between Second and Third Aves.; 212.249.0014
• Ina Men, 262 Mott St., between Prince and Houston Sts.; 212-334-2210; www.inanyc.com

national chain outlets
United Colors of Benetton
Hop the 7 train to Queens for great deals (up to 70 percent off retail) on the Italian brand's teeny tees, short shorts, bright swimsuits, and other youthful, sporty staples for both men and women.
• 40-06 Main Street, at Roosevelt Ave., Flushing, Queens; 718-461-7777, www.benetton.com

Eileen Fisher
Fisher's simple mix-and-match cotton and linen separates are comfortable, casual, and always roomy. The East Village clearance location offers bargains on casual work-to-weekend staples like boat-neck tank dresses and cropped crepe pants. Samples start at 20 percent off; seconds start at 35 percent off.
• 314 E. 9th St., between First and Second Aves.; 212-529-5715, www.eileenfisher.com

Nine West
The popular source for trendy, affordable shoes has an outlet in Harlem and five more in Brooklyn. Deep discounts on Nine West's already-low prices (retail, averaging $29.99 to $129.99) are so worth the trek.
• 282 St. Nicholas Ave., between W. 124th and W. 125th Sts.; 212-665-1022
• 1419 Kings Highway, at 14th St., Brooklyn; 718-376-0286
• 1218 Fulton St., between Bedford and Nostrand Aves., Brooklyn; 718-783-4528
• Georgetown Shopping Center, 2125 Ralph Ave., between Aves. K and L, Brooklyn; 718-444-7206
• Loehmans Plaza, 2027 Emmons Ave., between Ocean Ave. and E. 21st St.; 718-616-1614
• 420 86th St., between Fourth and Fifth Aves., Brooklyn; 718-748-4250, ninewest.com


online shops
www.Bluefly.com
It's no wonder that this discount site has been a fashionista favorite for over four years. It's got everything a well-dressed girl could want: hundreds of designers—from Balenciaga to Burberry, Theory to Tracy Reese—and thousands of items including shoes, handbags, and jewelry for up to 75 percent off. Shipping is cheap and returning is a breeze.
• www.bluefly.com

www.Girlshop.com
This New York-based shopping site specializes in ultra-trendy downtown designers. Check out their sample sale section to get up to 75 percent off of groovy raiments and accessories from hip houses like Lulu Guinness and C. Ronson.
• girlshop.com

Flip Flop Trunk Show.com
They may bill themselves as being "all sandals, all the time," but there's a lot more to this site than just designer slides, thongs, and mules. A trip to their sale page can yield must-haves like St. Tropez totes, Sophomore tees, and Douglas Paquette belts for up to 50 percent off.
• www.flipfloptrunkshow.com

For cocktail circuit stuff, have a look here
http://nymag.com/listings/stores/des...als/index.html
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