Archive for the ‘Shopping’ 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!!!
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!!!
Last Thursday, Shirley, Clara and I went on an adventure. We headed to Multi-Plaza because “Mama needed a new pair of shoes”.
Was beginning to think I was going to be out of luck, when we happened upon a “sport’s type” store. Wandered in and voila, found almost exactly what I had in mind!!! And they had them in my size…..had found some at the Clark’s store, but honestly, I do not pay $135 for shoes, EVER!
Now that I’ve worn them for a few days, they are so comfortable. Found them in a store in Atenas, however, the soles are thinner….I guess as one ages, one needs more support in the foot department – along with other body parts – more support, I mean! Obviously, I should have taken a pic of them before my “big toe” stained them.
I’m happy, my feet are happy! Pura Vida!
We stopped at Coope and they saw a “stuffed” Santa so I snapped a picture of them!
Mark made a quick trip to the old country a week ago on Saturday and returned on Wednesday. Daughter’s father-in-law was in the hospital; I had the Costa Rican crud and there was no way I could fly with a stuffed up head and chest – (in fact, I’m still coughing!) Happy to report he’s doing well!!!
Mark returned on Weds. around noonish; we were at Dumas’ school graduation at 3 p.m.; I had a dermatology appt. at 4:45 p.m. and then we were at Maricela’s for chichirrones to celebrate the graduation! Yep, one friggin’ busy day!
Then on Thursday, was our second annual 12 Days Before Christmas Party. Lesson learned, make more Sangria, lots more Sangria! LOL Lots of good snacks but as with any party, it’s the friends that make it.
Spanish class on Friday morning….can you say, Spanish wasn’t really on my mind. Georgia wasn’t either! LOL
Sunday, Lee and I ventured to Cemaco – all I’m looking for is a pastry blender; I’ve seen one down here but I can’t remember where! Nothing irritates me more than to need something and not be able to find it! Sheesh!!! And I’m still looking….
Today Maricela came to clean and it had already been set up that Dylana and Nazareth and I would go Christmas shopping in town. Because the girls are girls (LOL) and we’ve raised 2 girls, it’s evident that they know exactly what they want; so off we went in search of a Christmas gift for them.
I have NEVER EVER shopped with such patient girls in my life! Nazareth thought she wanted a toy – we went to three or four stores and she looked and looked; Dylana knew she wanted shoes; all of a sudden Nazareth decide she wanted shoes too. Of course, she wanted heels (she’s 7, and there’s no way I was going to buy her heels because I know she’d break a leg, ankle, etc.) She picked out some cute flats; Dylana picked out a pair of tennis shoes….and the whole time I’m reminding them – they cannot tell their mother! LOL They even picked out a pair for Maricela!
Heading back to the car I asked them if they wanted to buy their mother a gift; their eyes got real big and then grinned and nodded yes! They were so excited!!!
We went to Antanos for lunch; such well behaved girls!!!
All the way home they kept saying how they had to come to my house to wrap their mother’s gift!
It’s funny because I think they visit our house daily to see if there are more gifts under the tree!
Pura Vida for now…..it’s such a fun time of the year with kids!!!
Thursday morning, yes, Thanksgiving morning, we received an email from our credit card fraud department!
Yep, someone tried to use our credit card to go to Berlin…..
And we now know of another person that the same thing has happened to….same issuer of the card: American Airlines credit card…..
I do think this happened when I traveled to the states….ho hum…..
Big, big sigh – yep, we’re very thankful for the Fraud Department! Of course, it makes you leery of using it – and of course that card is no longer able to be used…..
So readers be aware! Sort of scary knowing someone out there attempted to use our card!
Today was the big day for Velma to return to the dentist at Denta Vac in Escazu. We left around 9:30 ish a.m. and stopped at the Feria in town.
Ran into lots of people I knew….that is always fun!!! I think it was a contest between Velma and Joanne on who could buy the most! We came away from there with lots of veggies and fruits.
Then off to Escazu. Stopped at a great Mexican restaurant for lunch – and I promise, the next time I write about this Mexican restaurant, I WILL REMEMBER THE NAME OF IT! It’s near the Santa Ana/Belen exit off Ruta 27. As always, the food was excellent.
From there we went to Denta Vac. Velma was early for her appointment and Joanne and I left to find the fabric shop so I could hopefully find more of the fabric I bought to have some chair covers made. Yes, I could probably do it, but for $8.00 a chair, I cannot go thru the aggravation of putting in a zipper, etc. Now to find the fabric I originally purchased but didn’t quite have enough of….will have to get with Isabel to meet with the lady again. LOL (My translator)
Decided to hit a Pequeno Mundo to find a new laundry basket since mine cracked….have to quit leaving it in the sun! First Pequeno Mundo didn’t have it; went to another one and they didn’t have it! All I want is a friggin’ plastic laundry basket! Will hit the stores in town tomorrow and see what I can find.
Denta Vac called as Joanne and I were checking out and Velma was done!!! Alas, another appointment next week! She’s grinding her teeth at night and will have to wear a mouth guard to protect her new “front teeth”.
After that we headed to Multi-Plaza; Velma was desperately looking for a new bracelet. Found the perfect bracelet and then there was a ring that sort of matched it, that said, “please buy me and take me home!” So she did.
Went to Cemaco looking for a laundry basket – none there either….so we got some ice cream. Ice cream cures all, right!
On the way home it began to rain….by the time we got to Atenas, it was really coming down. The streets were flooded in low areas. Around Cruz Roja, the CAJA Clinic and in front of Kay’s….it was virtually a river in the street.
Places on each side of the road we live on were full of rushing water.
Made it home safely….a full day, tired but it was fun!
Oh, I forgot…..on the way into town, there was a tire lying along the edge of the road….I want to “collect” some old tires, paint them and use them as planters.
As Mark was unloading the car with our many purchases today, he got to the bottom of the pile and found the tire! The look on his face was priceless!!! For awhile I let him think I bought it…but finally gave in and said it was a “find” along the road!
Very productive day…well, it was a financially productive day for Velma in the “Spending Department”.
Pura Vida…..love having my friends visit!!!
Isabelle decided to take a trip and asked Shirley and I to tag along….
Today’s adventure took us to Sarchi, to the Else Kientzler Jardin Botanico. WOW! WOW!
You get to wander through these gorgeous gardens at your own pace. There are places to sit if you need to rest, a picnic area, waterfalls, rivers, man-made “water” paths…..it was so pretty!
There was an orchid section, a cactus section (it still blows my mind that cactus grow here because of the rain), a Hibiscus section, an area of Heliconias, Bromeliads…you name it, they had it!
Was a super day to do this because it wasn’t unbearably hot.
A few pictures I took today…..
An area of any color of impatiens you can imagine….picture does NOT do it justice.
Forgot the camera so these are pics from the iphone. Also saw one of the most gorgeous neon blue butterflies, but I can’t remember the name of it! LOL
Had lunch at a Soda in Sarchi across from the park….Rincon Sarchiceno….very good, and unbelievably cheap!
Stopped at a place in Grecia that had some Mexican pottery; gorgeous pots, but the car was full of plants!
It was a great day – another place found to take visitors.
Three weddings in 6 weeks have put me in “shopping mode”. One wedding has already happened in the old country; gift bought and will be presented when I’m there in October; second wedding is right here in Atenas – which has prompted this blog. The third wedding I’ll be attending in October in the old country.
In the old country many stores offer free gift wrap and you walk out of the store with a gorgeous looking package.
Since I needed to be at CIMA on Thursday, and it’s really close to Multi-Plaza, I knew that would be where I would shop. I had been advised the intended couple had registered at Cemaco (a fav store of mine!) and at Aliss (another fav store of mine).
Was able to convey I needed a gift registry by showing the wedding invite. Keep in mind the gift registry is in Spanish, I had been forewarned so I wasn’t too shocked!
The clerk waiting on me knew very little English and I know just a little of Spanish. I would point out something on the list and we would go to part of the store of that particular item; I can’t just settle for the first thing I’m shown and picked out various other things so see what they had registered for….and, we zigged and zagged all over the store! She didn’t know where some of the items were either and had to go to a computer to see where the items were shelved.
Made a decision….and as the clerk is taking me to the check-out, she asks me if I want it wrapped with tissue paper; so since I had to give up all my stash of wrapping paper when we made the journey here, I said “sure”. Well, the tissue paper is actually newsprint; here are 2 pictures of the gift!
These were just wrapped in newsprint, then a wrapping paper over it….no box! I chuckled to myself as I walked out of the store.
Today was day 2 in looking for a different car. Drove a Nissan Pathfinder which would be just fine, however, the airbag light, door light, etc. kept coming on and flashing; probably a sensor problem.
Then headed to another dealer to see an Exterra….which after we had been there the first time today, had been taken to a mechanic for a “tune-up” – for one thing when we looked at it, the battery was missing. So when we back to drive it it was gone; Russ and Shirley were with us and they were going to stay in Grecia and do some shopping so the plan was they were going to stop by there after 2 p.m., we had been assured it would be back by then! This is Costa Rica and it wasn’t. But both places were willing to take the Montero in on trade, which is a plus because we wouldn’t have to bother trying to sell it.
Tomorrow morning we have Spanish class – Sofi needs to be dropped off for a day of beauty after Spanish class and we may head back there to try and drive it.
I always used to think buying a different car was fun and exciting! In Costa Rica it’s extremely stressful and a royal pain in the patootie! It’s a crap shoot on what you get; the condition of it, etc.
When you open the hood of the car, everything and I mean everything appears to be brand new! They scrub and shine up everything; old cars look really good – key word is look.
Anyone reading my blog that is thinking about moving to CR, move your car! Or buy one in the US and bring it on down here. At least you’ll know what’s been replaced with new or used parts….
Came home after a great lunch….and no I can’t remember the name of the place but I know how to get there – that’s the most important part, right? We will be back there to eat!
Dogs were quite glad we had returned…..
Sat on the rancho and studied Spanish……another mind-boggling, stressful time.
Then we decided to walk down the hill and see if Maricela and the girls were around; as we approached the gate to the entrance of the development, I could hear lots of commotion in the trees across the road. At least 5 white faced monkeys were frolicking in the trees and munching on the mangoes. They would take a couple bites and then drop it – wasteful little critters they are! Saw some that were for sure adults and at least 2 smaller ones….they sure kept an eye on us. I had Sofi in my arms. I think they thought she was one of them!
Another full day tomorrow…..
Pura Vida -
Yesterday was the 60+ ladies adventure. This month we traveled to Fabrica de Carretas Eloy Alfaro in Sarchi – for most of you, this mean the Oxcart Factory.
Their machinery is operated by a water wheel and some of the machinery is dated to the early 1920′s. Yep, it’s the old fashioned way of creating their works of art – it’s amazing to see!
There is a wonderful gift shop – a very extensive gift shop from woodworks to clothing to leather handmade sandals, etc.
Behind the souvenir shop, they have many easels set up to give painting classes. You paint a small wagon wheel….it’s fun but it does bring back memories of the 80′s when I attempted to take tole painting and just couldn’t quite get the hang of it! Painting or art is in the eye of the beholder, right?
After the class, we took a trek to downtown Sarchi and ate in a wonderful little restaurant; I’m sure the owner was thrilled when all 10 of us were served and on our way!
From there we walked across the street to the park to view the world’s largest oxcart!
We all wondered how many oxen it took to move this from the factory to the park! It’s HUGE! And so vividly painted. A must for everyone to see. (It’s on our tour when friends come to visit.)
After oohing and aahing, we headed back to the cars and then headed to another factory, the mattress factory. Frances and I have been here many times – when the owner/manager of the factory (a female, I might add) comes over to hug you, you know your welcome! LOL Anyway, Bruce had a bedspread made and it was ready to be picked up. Besides mattresses there, of all densities and sizes, they make sheets (fitted and flat), curtains/draperies to match the bedspreads. It’s fun to walk back into the factory part and see the machines in motion. What I wouldn’t give to have a cutting table just 1/4 of the size they use! LOL
From there we were headed to the Feria in Grecia; it’s a lot bigger than the one in Atenas! I love getting fresh brussel sprouts from there! One vendor has any kind of lettuce you can imagine.
After wandering the Feria, we climbed into the cars and headed for home. Everyone was thrilled with the exciting day we had.
We left Atenas at 9 a.m. sharp and we’re back by 4:30 p.m. A full day for 60+ ladies! LOL
Wonder where our August adventure will take us?