Site News

who moved those topiaries?

So after actually reading The Shining, I have decided NOT to construct a life size cyborg version of Jack Torrance. However, I am going to use my now ample free time to switch hosts for my website this weekend. Probably sometime late Saturday night (Japan time) and in the event that you happen to visit our site and its down I am very sorry.

At least initially there will not be any major changes to the website but in roughly a month or so we will be making some aesthetic changes and some minor additions.

However, there are some REALLY TRULY AWESOME things we are going to do in the near to immediate future.

The AWESOME list:


Sprose is a new comedy project from We get a lot of spam. Hundreds of thousands of poorly typed barely English words in the comment section that are somehow supposed to fool us into thinking a real person left us a message. However the artistic audacity that spam uses the English language with isn’t something to just be deleted. We think, simply throwing away spam is a tragedy almost as terrible as spam’s butchering of the English language to begin with. We want to provide the spam we get the proper ridicule it deserves. We will do this through dramatic and often sarcastic readings.

Also, apologies to Spam™ for being synonymous with annoyance and poorly typed e-mails.


KumamonDo You Want Stuff From Japan?

We are giving you the opportunity to have us do your shopping for you in Japan. Your wish is our command. More coming very soon!

Wish I Was There Photo Competition – Al Fresco Holidays Blog

Most things in life, even if they are advertised as free, are not.

Case in point. I would like the free camera offered in this photo contest: Al Fresco!

To get extra entries in to the Wish I Was There contest you can add a blog post about the contest. I assume everyone who is entering the contest is doing this. What is the price I am paying to increase my chances to win? Bombarding my social media connections with unpaid advertising. HOORAY! Just imagine me really happy with my new camera. Are you imagining it? Like, REALLY imagining it…? Ok good.

I have to tell a story with my photo sooooo…


Here is my story for this photo: I wish I was there. Venice breaks something inside you. Spoils you. Every step you take in Venice is somehow filled with wonder. Sure, its expensive. Sure, its touristy. There’s a reason it’s popular but my first glimpse of Venice was, shall we say, unconventional.

My wife and I spent part of our honeymoon in Venice. After a … rough… day of travel we finally arrived in Venice around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. When we got to Venice we thought the best way to get to our hotel would be water bus because our hotel had its own stop. This… at least from the perspective of a couple of tired and relatively cranky travelers was a mistake. From a budget perspective, it made a lot of sense because private water taxis are very costly. How long could the water bus take anyway?

About 3 hours later we were still on the boat. However, call it kismet, good fortune, destiny, or just plain coincidence but we ended up getting a (mostly) free sunset tour of Venice. For one reason or another, the water bus kept stopping in the middle of the really big canal. Because the boat was mostly stationary we were able to lean out the windows and snap some great shots of Venice that would have been hard to obtain otherwise. This photo above is one of my absolute favorites from that boat ride. Not just because it captures some of Venice’s heart gripping, breath stopping beauty or the elegance of a perfectly placed sunset in a famous location. Not because it was on my honeymoon and blah blah kisses kisses… but because it’s a reminder that even when things seem really annoying/awful/stupid/unbelievably inane, you’re still on vacation. Take a picture.

I wish I was there, in that boat, again, taking this picture.

So there is that. I hoped you liked my story.

With that I am entering this contest. You can check the formal details at the link above, what am I your lawyer? However here are the basics of what you need to do if you want to enter the contest.

“How to Enter

There are a number of ways to enter, all of which are simple and easy. Whichever method you decide to use, we want you to let us know the location of your photo and the reason why you wish you were back there!

The entry methods are as follows:

  • Tweet us @AlFrescoHols using the hashtag #AFWishIWasThere
  • Post your picture on Instagram using the hashtag #AFWishIWasThere
  • E-mail your photo into”

The contest submission deadline is Feb 28th, so get on it!

That’s all for site news. Stay tuned (what do you do if it’s the internet, stay logged in?) for all those awesome changes that are coming.

Andrew & Shana