Archive for the ‘Costa Rica’ Category
While I absolutely love the hub bub of the holiday season approaching, this time of year really drains me, mentally, physically and emotionally.
In our 45 years of marriage, we’ve never lived any where near relatives….however, we’ve lived in 5 different states and have many friends still in those old haunts. And with Facebook, it’s a real treat to re-connect with old friends. Our family is scattered all over the US and it’s virtually impossible to do the family Christmases we had when the girls were little.
The worst part for me is the shopping. I like to do handcrafts and it’s just impossible to find fabric and all the notions, etc. in a one stop shop! Usually, I just get frustrated and head home – ticked that I can not get the things I want/need. Am slowly getting over that, tho’….or else the Pura Vida is slowly creeping in. Or I suck it up and pay the international shipping and then by the time my order makes its way to Costa Rica, I’ve forgotten what I wanted the things for.
Stopped at Payless Shoes yesterday because a friend was going to buy shoes for their “angel” from the angel tree; a pair of tennis shoes for a child was $26!!! It makes me sad, because the Costa Rican people we know and are friends with, can’t pay that for one child, let alone their family of 2, 3, or more children. I honestly don’t know how they do it – but they are so happy!
Am slowly getting used to the grocery shopping – still not quite sure what I’m getting in the meat department because “cuts” of meat here sure look different to me than they did in the Kroger meat department.
With Christmas approaching and it being the giving time of year, it would certainly be wonderful if every charity could spread out their “please give to me at this time of year”…..either that, or I need to learn to put aside a certain amount of money each month for the month of December. Probably will end up being the latter of that previous statement.
Our neighbor girls are excited about Navidad approaching. They come and go pretty much at will at our house – so I’ve really frustrated them! LOL Have started wrapping Christmas gifts so they have no clue who they are for! Mark said he caught Nazareth peeking in the window of the second bedroom looking at the wrapped gifts. This is the fun part for me. We’ve sort of adopted the two girls, Nazareth and Dylana, and their two cousins up the street from us.
Dylana will be graduating from 6th grade in mid-December. She wants clothes for Christmas….so I will take her shopping with the stipulation that she has to act surprised when she opens her gifts! Did that last year when I bought them shoes because I wanted them to pick out the shoes they wanted – and their expressions didn’t disappoint. As usual, Mark has no clue what’s in the packages, so he was the most surprised!
Maricela, the girls’ mother, has been asking me for two weeks, about the arbol de Navidad…she’s quite excited about the trees, yes, trees, going up soon. Last year was the first year the girls “had” a Christmas tree, even if it was at our house. They spent hours helping me decorate the trees. (One inside and one on the rancho.) And are eager to do it again this year.
Since a lot and I mean A LOT of people already have their homes decorated, I guess I’ll give in and get started with the tree decorating. According to Mark, he needs at least a 10 day notice to get all the bins, and boxes down for this endeavor! LOL
I was going to try and wait till after Thanksgiving, but think I’ll just jump on the bandwagon and go for it! Everyone will be happy! LOL And that’s what it’s all about, keeping everyone happy.
One thing that is really super wonderful here, is that all ex-pats take on “being your family”. We have so many wonderful friends here from all over. Disney is right, it is a small world!
Pura Vida for now as I give Mark his marching orders to get the Christmas decor down.
UPDATE: Forgot to mention that the girls and I made the 350 name tags for the Angel Tree Angels Christmas party! They love helping me do things like that!!!
Last Friday was Cuco’s (Maricela’s espouso) Feliz Cumpleanos and we were invited to help him celebrate on Sunday afternoon.
Maricela makes the best tasting Picadilla de Papa!!! Had rice, beans and chicken also.
After eating, the music started….and I’ll give you three guesses who the main entertainment was! Yep, you guessed it Nazareth!
Met a friend of their family named Orlando. He does sculpting out of any type of material; he’s made sculptures for Mel Gibson’s mansion in Costa Rica, of which I promptly said, “tell good ole Mel to pay his taxes he owes to Costa Rica”! (It went over everyone’s head!) He learned how to do this type of work in Mexico. He’s been all over the world doing various things. For those from Atenas, as you enter town via Hwy. 3 and look at the sculpture high on the mountain, that’s just one of his works. He has an ipad and showed us many, many photos of various works he’s completed. He is absolutely amazing! And Maricela is going to take Mark and I to his house. There’s an animal park in Guanacaste and he has some of his work on the grounds there.
Friday, September 13th, four adventurous women boarded the bus to San Jose at 8 a.m. We arrived at the bus station in San Jose approximately at 9 a.m. – or as it’s called “the Coca-Cola building”.
Shirley was on a quest to get new drapes for her house. She knew exactly which “tela” (fabric) shop she wanted to go to because they had ready made drapes. However, she ended up ordering drapes to be made – and get this, it was probably 10-10:30ish when she ordered them and received a phone call around 1:30 p.m. that they were ready. Is this a great country or what?!
We went to The Grand Hotel, across from the National Theatre for coffee. From there we went to the National Theatre hoping to get a tour; however, there was an event planned and they weren’t giving tours in the afternoon.
Liena, knew of a bead shop across the plaza from the National Theatre…all I can say is WOW! I was so overwhelmed, I couldn’t think! I will be going back there to purchase, soon! LOL
Headed to a “sewing” shop and across the street from there was a “Chinese” shop; lots of pretty things at extremely reasonable prices….ie: jade jewelry, turquoise, etc. I even bought a pair of white turquoise ear rings!
From there we went to pick up Shirley’s drapes and then to the central market there for lunch.
As we were leaving the central market, it started pouring rain….the skies opened up and it was a deluge! We weren’t far from the bus station so that was good.
Headed home, tired but it was a “good tired”.
Always enjoy the adventures of the over 60 gals!!!
When we first moved to Costa Rica, we were advised/warned/told that if we had a list of things to get accomplished in one day, if we were able to mark off one item, we should consider it a successful day!
Today we were able to accomplish A LOT!
Sofi and Derby were headed to their day of beauty with Stephanie; got them to her house and that only left us with one dog in the car. Sedona needed to go the vet for a check up on her nose, which has healed nicely.
After dropping off the “diva dogs”, we went to the ATM…..then the Post Office…..then to pay for our WIFI…..then to Centro Farmacia…..then to Coope – Mark needed to re-charge his cell phone; I stayed with Sedona in the car because we had the car parked in the shade….it was wonderful! Then I went in to the grocery – only two check-outs were open but they were filled with people with full carts – I think I waited longer in line to gather the few things I was buying.
Then we headed to wait for the dogs to be finished….since we were close to Mike and Joni’s, we stopped there because I needed to go to the bathroom. DUH!
Stephanie called and the dogs were ready; picked them up and called in a take-out order of Arroz con Pollo at Antano’s; home now, have eaten lunch and ready for my first nap of the day!
I don’t think we should have accomplished all those errands in one day….LOL
Pura Vida from Paradise!
Yesterday was actually my birthday; however, the celebrating is continuing today! Meeting Dra. Victoria (our eye Dr.) for lunch – we share the same birthday. And because of both of our extremely busy social schedules, we’re meeting today!
Went to Escazu yesterday afternoon. We needed to get some ink cartridges for the printer; went to Office Depot….alas! They don’t carry cartridges for US printers! Epson, get with it! However, a friend is in the states and has offered to get us some, whew, international catastrophe averted.
Picked up Mike and Joni for yesterday’s adventure. After being so disappointed that we couldn’t get ink cartridges, we headed to Multi-Plaza and wandered around AutoMercado; at one point, Joni commented, is wandering around a grocery store fun on your birthday when you don’t need to be at the grocery! LOL
Headed to the theatre to see The Lone Ranger. (yes, I saw it in the states, but it was showing in the VIP Lounge Theatre 1; we sat in really comfy recliners, and were waited on to get food. Mark fell in love with the recliners because they were finally long enough for him! LOL Guess we should go to the movies again and he can tell them they need to upgrade their recliners and he’d like to purchase one of the used ones! LOL
Enjoyed the movie even the second time around. Johnny Depp is so good!
Leaving the theatre we saw Dra. Candy and Jorge. She looked at Mike, Joni and me, and said “you should not be eating popcorn!” Then she turned to Mark and said, “but you can!” We got busted….Mike said it was a good thing she didn’t see what we ate before the movie! It was a neat experience and will now keep an eye on what’s playing at the IMAX theatre.
Arrived home around 10:30 p.m., which is very late for us! You know, the older you get, the earlier you go to bed and get up….
Two large iguanas are on the roof and Mark says they are in fighting mode – bobbing their heads up and down. I’m in the house and there’s a lot of running and sliding going on, or so it seems.
Off for another birthday celebration…..getting old has it’s advantages! When I turned 60, I think there were 10 days of celebrating!
Pura Vida from Paradise!
Posted June 27, 2013on:
About a month or so ago, my sewing/embroidery machine started acting up; not all the time, just every once in awhile; it seemed to be only when I was using a USB for embroidering. Then this week, the light bulb went off and I thought, why not try a design that came with the machine. It didn’t work either.
So after much researching on the internet, we ( yep, had to get the husbter involved in finding this), found some machine repair shops that worked on Brother sewing machines; my machine is a Babylock Ellisimo, which is the same as the Brother Quattro.
Pat, one of our friends that is fluent in Spanish, made the call for us to see if they worked on my type of machine. It was a yes and it will be diagnosed while you are there.
So today, we headed to Alajuela (there is one in San Jose, also) to check it out.
When we walked into this shop, we were both astounded at what we saw. Seems like every machine imagineable was there! From basic sewing machines to fancy embroidery machines with many needles, to sergers, etc.
We were promptly taken to a table to put the machine on so I could show “the Dr.” what the problem was. I set up the machine, and started embroidering on it and you should have seen the crowd of people that work in there come to check out the “el grande maquina”…..I looked at Mark and said “perhaps I should give classes!”
This is a picture of the store front – the repair shop is also located there – and get this, there is a Singer repair shop that’s attached to the repair shop – so it’s a 3 – stop place! And quite easy to locate also.
It was just unbelievable seeing all the machines they had available for sale. There were all kinds of parts available in the display cases….Mark says he wishes auto mechanics carried such an inventory here!
At any rate, we both felt a sigh of relief when we walked in and I had no qualms about leaving it. Now to wait for it to be repaired. I will most likely be in the states when that happens, but call me Miss Pollyanna, I’m holding out for sooner, rather than later.
They had extra hoops for sale, all kinds of scissors, glue guns, glue sticks, thread, lots and lots of thread.
They also had 3 machines for sale called The Butterfly….from China, of course. However, the machines looked like old Singer machines and were even in wooden sewing machine cases/tables for around $300. I made the comment that I’m almost tempted to buy one of those so I’m not without a sewing machine! I should have taken a picture of his face and the look I got….it was one of those priceless moments!
Then we headed to Jalepenos – Normans in Alajuela for a great lunch.
Pura Vida for now – I’m a really happy camper having found La Bobina!
A while back I was visiting at a friend’s house, Shirley’s, and commented on a most unusual piece of art she had hanging on the wall….it was made out of river rock – yes, stones!
I was put in touch with Rosita, that envisions the most unusual out of this medium. Got the word this week, that my “piece was done.
Rosita’s husband made the frame….It’s already on the wall!!!
June 20th, I celebrated my second anniversary of calling Costa Rica home! First of all, I can’t believe it’s been two years…guess time flies when you love where you are.
The reason I used “I’ve” in the title is Mark didn’t arrive until July 2.
I actually should have arrived in Costa Rica the day before; but I had to get a crazy letter from my Doctor…..those that need to know, know this…..so wasn’t able to fly until the following day.
My friend of many years, Cheryl Johnson, came with me. She handled Sofi and I handled Oliver; it was really exciting for me.
Flight was pretty non-eventful till we arrived in Costa Rica. One of my bags didn’t make the flight!
Cheryl and I got the rental vehicle and headed to Bruce and Frances’. That’s where my bag was to be delivered; and it started raining like crazy; just arriving here, rain, darkness and bright headlights, unfamiliar roads, etc. – that was a little unnerving. However, it felt like home with the welcome we got from Bruce and Frances!
After awhile, the bag arrived and Frances insisted on guiding us to my new homestead; glad she did! For those that know the road we live on, arriving in the dark, raining, etc., it was nice to have tail lights to follow!
We came in and got settled and promptly headed to bed. Cheryl got cracked up because I brought a rain gauge with me! But I knew the couple of weeks I was here before Mark, the first question would be “how much rain did you get today”! And I was right, that was the first question, LOL…..and I was so happy I could tell him.
The first night of my life in my new home-land; 2 of my 4 dogs with me, a great friend to go on this adventure with me….that was the beginning of Pura Vida!
Two years and still loving it; I keep reading about the people who don’t like it here after they’ve lived here about this amount of time. Mark and I moved a lot in the states and to me, it was just another move. If you are going to move to another country to live, you have to realize you have left the U.S. behind – if you want it to be like the U.S., then don’t make the move!
We love the country, the weather and most of all the Tico people. We’ve made friends with people from all over the world that have chosen to live here.
Life is what you make it….this is the first time we’ve gotten to choose where we live and for us, it’s been the right choice!!!
Pura Vida…..and year 3 begins!
Yesterday we tried to do the unthinkable – getting 3 things accomplished! When we first moved to Costa Rica, we were “warned” that if we got one thing on our list accomplished, to think of that as a successful day.
I had a dental appointment at 2:50 p.m. in Escazu; went smoothly except I have to return next Tuesday to see a Root Canal Specialist and then meet with the dentist afterwards. Between you and me, they can pull the tooth….not relishing the possibility of a root canal. First thing accomplished. Loud applause, please!
Then off to CIMA for a bone density test. Got registered for that and paid for it; waited a bit to be taken back for the test. Just as they called my name, Joni called and said your appointment with Dr. Arbaca needs to be changed, he had an emergency. That office only speaks Spanish (except for the Dr.) and I can muddle through it; however, on the phone is just too friggin’ challenging for me! Enter Joni!!!
So as I’m being walked to the “bone density room”, I’m trying to come up with a time for the new appointment; settled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
So, 2 of 3 things were accomplished and it was a very successful day in my mind!!!
Living in Costa Rica means you just have to go with the flow – if you are unable to do that, this might not be the best place for you! LOL
Pura Vida…..it’s another gorgeous day on the mountain side!
Back in the old country when I was but a wee lass……May Day, May 1st, was a great holiday. We spent the week before May 1st making May Day baskets. Then we would fill them with candy, spring flowers, etc. – on May 1st, you would deliver your May Day baskets, hang them on the front door or your friend’s homes, ring the door bell, and run like hell so they wouldn’t see who was delivering May Day baskets to you! Sort of signified the coming of spring in Michigan (for us, anyway).
I kept up the tradition with our girls for awhile too….of course, by then, people had no clue what was going on…hmmm, perhaps that’s the beginning of dumbing down America! LOL
Here in Costa Rica it’s ”labor day” and most things are closed.
With President Obama coming here on Friday, traffic will be a worse mess than normal; except for the closed roads. We live on the side of a mountain where planes coming in to land at Juan Santa Maria airport, make their wide turn in their approach. We are hoping to see Air Force One make that approach!
I had wanted to go and see the “parade” but decided to heed the warnings of traffic delays, etc. , so we’ll just stay home and watch it on TV.
Welcome to Costa Rica on Friday, President Obama…..too bad you can’t come to Atenas and meet lots of ex-pats!