Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category
Posted July 8, 2012on:
Joni got in touch with us on Saturday and wondered if we wanted to go to the 4th of July Party being held in Grecia, well, actually it was held in San Francisco de San Ysidro de Grecia, Alajuela, Costa Rica! Yep, that’s where it was….
We drove to their place in Ms. Smartie because Old Bessie is still in the shop; meaning, Mike had to drive. Left around 11 a.m. Grecia is about 15 minutes from where they live.
Arrived in Grecia and realized we didn’t have, excuse me, Mike and Joni didn’t bring the paper that had the map on it to find where this place is. Tried using the GPS and that was just one wrong turn after another, with lots of laughter – some people wouldn’t think this was funny…..we did!
Finally, we were able to get a phone signal and attempted to call the number for directions once we found a spot with cell service. Living in Costa Rica is never dull! LOL
After numerous phone calls to the number that was on the website (from the Iphone), and the calls being dropped, etc., the man Joni and Mike were talking to wouldn’t answer the phone any more! However, we did finally realize there were little tiny roadside signs, covered up by red, white and blue balloons! Which caused a lot of laughter. We like Mike and Joni because they are just plain fun and LAUGH a lot!
We didn’t get there till 1:30 p.m. – and when we paid the entrance fee, Joni said “we left at 11 a.m. to get here.” The guy taking our money responded “I hope you are kidding!” Which of course, brought on another fit of laughter!
It was held at a very nice park- type setting with a pool, etc.
Ran into other people we knew from Atenas….sort of like old home week.
And there was shopping, not a lot, but a little. I did pick up a few things which I cannot mention because they are Christmas gifts….no Amy, not for you!
After getting our bellies full, we decided to head back home. That was uneventful!
We laughed a lot today; it was fun; and can’t wait for the next great adventure with Mike and Joni!!!
A 4th of July party on July 8th reminded me of the first year we lived in Bowling Green and the 4th of July fireworks were held on June 30th!
Terri arrived early (at oh-dark 30 a.m.) Saturday morning. Have had a good time catching up!
She wanted a Tillie Toucan (toucan made out of a tire for plants) and we decided Monday would be a great day to venture in to Santa Ana and find the place where I purchased mine.
Turned at the wrong exit so we detoured into Pequeno Mundo (CR’s answer to Big Lots). Then off to find the “arty” area where I bought my Tillie.
Made the wrong turn and didn’t find it….however, I was not giving up! Frances and I found it one day because we missed the ramp to get on the toll road. So we headed back and took the earlier exit; and voila! We found it! Not only did they have toucans – but they had parrots and a quetzal. She settled on a toucan and they wrapped the beak for traveling. She’ll send me a picture of it after she gets home and gets it unwrapped. Sure hope we can stuff it in her suitcase!
Then we headed to a Mexican Restaurant that John and Pat introduced to Mark and I. After a good lunch, we both decided to head to the “bano” before departing for home….and it was a GOOD thing we did.
About half way home, I heard a funny noise that I wasn’t sure if it was coming from the car or the sound bouncing off the road barriers. I asked Terri if she heard it and she did too. So I changed lanes….the sound lessened; then I let up on the gas and the sound was gone. At that time I looked at the temp gauge and realized it was climbing upward.
We were coming upon the La Garita exit and I decided we had better get off in case we had major car problems. Coming down the exit ramp, I stepped on the brakes, and good ole Bessie died! Right there on the spot. I couldn’t get it started and didn’t want to grind it for fear I would do more damage.
There’s nothing like calling your husband to say, “I have car problems, what do you want me to do?” So after explaining to him what happened, he said “I’ll come to where you are”.
So Terri and I sat with the emergency flashers on and people pulling up behind us and honking; then we would wave the “not so intelligent” drivers around us. An ambulance went by and didn’t stop; the “help” van vehicle that runs up and down the toll road to help people drove by and didn’t stop. People would pull up beside us, roll their window down and we were hoping they would offer to help, but they kept on going. Finally a guy in a van pulled up and said “do you have car trouble? what are you going to do?” I explained that my husband was coming. So off he drove.
Then my phone rang and it was Mark. He had stopped at Freddie’s, our mechanic, (if you live in Costa Rica and have a car, you best have a mechanic!). Again he asked me what the car sounded like, etc. Explained that after we stopped “white steam” was coming out the hood so I thought the radiator had run out of water. (We’ve had major radiator problems previously.) He said he was bringing Freddie with him.
When they got there, Freddie didn’t think it was a “good” thing that had happened. He thinks we need a new engine – however, we’re waiting on a phone call to see what the price is to replace parts vs. the $2,000 engine – in an old car and there’s no guarantee how old that engine will be or how many miles are on it.
Weds. is the day a guy is supposed to call and buy Ms. Smartie. Nothing has happened to Ms. Smartie yet, but with our road in the condition it’s in, it’s just a matter of time before something happens to her.
Now we have to go through the decision process of whether to fix ole Bessie or try and sell it for parts and just get a different vehicle altogether!
Mark has headed into San Jose with Ms. Smartie to attend the US Embassy soiree he was invited to….and I was not!
Most days are good in Costa Rica, yesterday was good until Terri and I headed home! Morale of the story – don’t go home! LOL
Met up with Pat and John this morning to go to a craft show in San Antonio de Escazu. What a bust! No more than 6 – 7 vendors and nothing out of the ordinary….disappointing to say the least. But it was up HIGH in the mountains. It’s always interesting to drive through different neighborhoods and see “how they live”.
Heading home, Pat thought we should go to this Mexican restaurant; but it wasn’t open yet….as we went past Multi Plaza, John made reference to buying a gun; we all agreed that he should turn around and go gun shopping! I guess you could say this was a “virgin shopping excursion” for me. I have never been in a gun store! It was pretty interesting!!! And the back wall was full of automatic weapons and short shotguns, all different sizes! And before we left the store, someone was looking at one of these! I’m not sure these are legal in the U.S.
John found his “gun of the day” and made a purchase. However, he did not buy the Magnum pellets and I told him that he should always buy anything that has Magnum in the name!!! He assured me he would go to Vargas, the local hardware store, and see if they had them! I certainly hope they do. Not sure what he’s going to shoot, but I know it won’t be Pat! She’s too good of a cook and he likes to eat.
Pat decided the Mexican restaurant would be open now, so that was the next stop. However, I cannot remember the name of it, I hope she’ll post the name. But, I know the way to get to it! It was so neat looking inside!!! Yep, I should have taken some pictures. Baskets wired together with lightbulbs in them for lights! Really clever! We will not be strangers at this restaurant!
Arrived home before the rains this afternoon.
The neighbor girls, Dylana and Nazareth came to see Mark and wish him Feliz Dias del Padre! Maricela had made some Picadilla and chicken for Mark. Picadilla is a potato-type hash that is so darn delish! It’s nice to have Tico neighbors!
Dropped the dogs, Sofi and Derby, off at the groomers. They needed to get beautiful for Amy and April’s visit this week!
Since they were occupied for a few hours, we decided to head to Alajuela to PriceSmart. And of course, we didn’t have the GPS with us; thought I might remember how to get there but after arriving in downtown Alajuela, we knew we were lost. So we called Pat, our personal, live GPS. She got us there in no time! LOL
Not sure I’ll head to that PriceSmart again….didn’t have the dog food we could get at the PriceSmart in Escazu, they had no, none, nada bleach….which is a staple in Costa Rica! But Mark did get a weed-whacker.
Friday, I headed to Grecia with Shirley because she said it was easier for her to show me where a reasonable framer had a shop then to try and give me directions. Directions here are almost an impossibility! No street names, no numbers, it’s just kinda hard to figure them out unless you have coordinates to put in the GPS.
It’s a joke around here because everything will be done or ready in “ocho dias”. (8 days) – Am having the burlap coffee bag framed and guess what, it will be ready in “ocho dias”. Intended to have a mat around it, but once I saw what it would look like with a double wooden frame, I readily chose that. The interior frame has a little burlap on it, so it “just goes together”. And in “ocho dias”, I will post a picture of it!
Then we went to the Farmer’s Market in Grecia, which starts at 2 p.m. WOW!!! Some super good stuff! Bought some fresh brussel sprouts and were they ever delish. Wish I had gotten more!
Saturday was just a day at home doing odd things.
We have these cute little birds with white chests that love using Sedona’s hair for nest building. They are hanging around the yard constantly. Looked out at the clothesline one time and there were 3 birds in Mark’s shorts. Yelled at them to go find someplace else to play, and the next thing I know, 2 birds popped out of his underwear! Really quite funny!
Into town this morning for a breakfast buffet at Kay’s. It’s always yummy.
Amy and April arrive on Thursday…..have some “adventures” planned while they are here.
Caio for now!
Now that we’ve been living in Costa Rica for almost a year, unbelievable that it’s been almost a year, I can say there are some things I miss from the old country. We’ve decided to refer to the U.S. as the old country.
I miss my magazines! Yep, can buy magazines in Costa Rica that are in Spanish….wonder if the day will ever come that I feel comfortable enough to do this?
I miss being able to shop in a real fabric store with all the necessary items you need to complete a project. There are many fabric stores in Costa Rica, however, they don’t carry thread (except for one in Grecia), and sewing notions. I have yet to find a pattern in Costa Rica and I definitely need a pattern for guidance! It is not fun running from store to store to find these items.
I miss my garbage disposal! Immensely!
I miss being able to go to a clothing store and having a wide variety to choose from. Can’t wait till October when I return to the old country. I’ll be a shopping fool! I’ll be first in the stores when they open, and last to leave when they close.
I miss my knitting group at Panera on Friday! Perhaps the week I’m in the old country, they’ll feel the need to meet more than just on Friday.
I miss that I still have to go on a search mission to find things that I KNOW were packed to be moved here. By the time I find what I’m searching for, the mood has left me to do whatever it is I wanted it for. But then again, somethings never change….I’m constantly searching for where I’ve put my coffee cup down. And this house isn’t that big to have spend time searching for it! LOL
I miss Barnes and Noble! A lot of times when I felt bored (meaning I don’t want to clean the house). I would go to B & N and just wander around amidst the books and magazines. Spent a lot of time doing that back in the old country! LOL
What don’t I miss?
I love that all gas stations in this country charge the same price for gas!
I love the happy, friendly people in this country.
I love the weather, the freakin’ great weather! I don’t ever want to be cold again! Hear that KY, no cold weather the week I’m back there!
I love the fact I wear flip flops EVERY DAY!!! I’ve dubbed the flip flops as the shoe of Costa Rica!
I love hearing the birds singing in the a.m. – however, the parrots could start their chattering a little later in the day. I love hearing the geckos chirp that are now living in the house. They eat bugs, they are our friends.
I love all the new friends we’ve met from all over…it truly is a small world! Met people that now live here from Nashville….how ironic is that?
I love that I have friends that are coming to visit us! I love sharing our new lifestyle with old friends. It’s not for everyone, but it really is a relaxing place.
I love the fresh fruit and veggies available year around. Coffee is pretty darn good here too!
I love the healthcare here! Drs. are willing to work with you and before sending you on to specialists, they make phone calls in your behalf and talk with specialists to how best treat your problem. (ie: thyroid, is now at a “normal” level and I only worked with 1 Dr.m but she called endocrinologists to inquire how best to treat it).
You know, I really feel we made the best move EVER! We have no A/C bills, no heating bills, economical healthcare, lots of friends, (you don’t have to look very hard to find someone to go out to eat with you), no one is in a hurry; everyone smiles. Have many friends that have visited the old country and they all say they couldn’t wait to get back to Costa Rica! They feel the old country is a “rat-race”, everyone is in a hurry.
If you are looking for a place to visit with happy people, check out Costa Rica. No, it’s not perfect, but it beats living in a “rat-race”.
Miguel, my pet Iguana, is sunning himself on the rock outside the bedroom doors. Guess the dogs are getting used to him because they don’t bark at him anymore.
Time to change colors of thread in the embroidery machine…so Adios and Pura Vida from the Happiest Country in the World! (Thanks, Beth, for reminding me of this!)
Yesterday, Friday, was the “Over 60′s Ladies Day Trip”. We were to take the bus to San Jose, visit the Artisan Market; and do LOTS of shopping! I knew this would be right up my alley!
Six of us met at the bus terminal about 8:40 a.m. We got in line to board the bus to San Jose. The last one of us to board, Rosemary, asked the driver if this was the correct bus to San Jose. Well, error number 1! LOL We were on the bus to Alajuela.
So the “gringo ladies” made their way to the front of the bus and got our refunds and quickly got in line for the correct bus! It was all of 800 colones for the ride to San Jose (about $1.50). Didn’t seem like a long trip at all even with the stops on the way there.
I was quite proud of the fact that when we were in San Jose, I recognized the corner where Mark and I caught the taxi to sign up for CAJA – it’s just a few blocks from ARCR.
Arrived at the bus station and the adventure began. Walked a block or so and then turned left and then we hiked down the pedestrian mall. The Artisan Market is at the “end” of the pedestrian mall. Shopping heaven! I cannot wait to go back!!! Terri, be prepared, we’re heading there when you come.
It reminded me of the old market place in downtown Cancun. Vendors greeting and asking you to come in with the line “for you today, 30% off”. I had a newly charged battery in my camera and was amazed at all the things to see, I didn’t take pictures! Saw lots of different things and some really unusually jewelry.
After we moseyed through the market, we then headed back down the pedestrian mall; stopping in various stores, etc. It was hot shopping in the stores and many times I just walked out to the “mall” area to partake of the wonderful breeze!
Headed to San Jose’s Central Market lunch. Ate at a small place with wonderful food! You know you are going to get great food when you are the only gringos in the place! It was fun!!!
Then back to a couple of other shops and on to the bus station for our return trip home.
Lots of fabric stores – Gayla, are you reading this?
On the trip home Mary and I sat in the front seat of the bus! This is not a seat for the faint of heart! The way those drivers maneuver those huge buses through the narrow city streets is amazing. At one point there were two lanes of traffic….we were passing a semi with the huge lug nuts that stick out of the wheel hub and I swear we were close enough to shear them off!!!
Arrived safe and sound back in Atenas!
No one bought a lot but everyone kept saying “I’m going to come back here”.
Got home around 3:30 p.m. and Pat had called and wanted us to go to Alida’s. We are not fond of their “regular food” but the pizza is pretty good. Arrived at Alida’s and they were closed for “remodeling”. This is the second time we’ve tried to meet people there and they have been unexpectedly closed. You know what they say “3 strikes and you’re out!”
So we drove down the road and ate at Bar Ril – home of the $6 lobster!
Fell into bed when we got home….exhausted, but what a great adventure.
I am beginning to feel more comfortable riding the buses here. In fact, Jonny and I are going to Orotina on Monday on the bus.
Life is good in Costa Rica!
Frances called and wanted me to go to Grecia to some fabric shops on Wednesday. Key words: go, fabric!
Little did I/we know that we would be without water sometime during Monday night; and this “water outtage” lasted 36 freakin’ hours.
I waited till Wednesday morning to call her; I asked if we could wait and go Thursday because we’ve been without water and I was quite aromatic! She said, “well, just come here and take a shower”. I knew I would feel better after taking a shower, so I took her up on it!
I didn’t want to put on clean clothes to go over there so I threw on a light zip-up sweatshirt over my nightgown, baseball cap on my head, and away I went. As I drove off Mark yells, “I hope you don’t have car trouble”. (I guess he didn’t approve of my get-up!)
Blasted the a/c on high and while driving into town, I realized I needed gas. There was a line-up at the gas station and while waiting, I remembered, they can never figure out how to open the “gas door” and I always hop out of the car (Oh, I was driving Ms. Smartie) and just push it up, and the guys at the gas station get all embarrassed. They stand around and wait for someone that’s not pumped gas for me to get a “newbie”, I think! Then they all laugh at him – yep, in Costa Rica, your gas is pumped for you!
So I backed out of line, thank heavens for the small car, and drove on. Frances was taking her car to get a muffler fixed and originally planned to ride to her house with me. However, they fixed it immediately! Try getting that done in the states like that!
Then she wanted to know if I wanted to go to Kay’s and get a cup of coffee…I politely declined and said, “I’m going no where till I get a shower.”
Drove out to her house, and when I got out of the car, she laughed! “Oh, I’ve got to get a picture of you!”
Her husband was in the garage and when he turned around he had put a clothespin on his nose. LOL
I immediately headed to the shower! It felt so good! Till I got ready to get dressed and realized I forgot to bring a bra! So as I’m gathering up my things, to head home, Frances says, “Let’s go to Grecia” – and I said I can’t go to Grecia, I forgot my bra, which was your fault because as I was going to get it to put in my bag, she called me and I laid it down and promptly forgot about it!
She convinced me it would be alright, so off we went!
Hit a couple of fabric shops and stopped to get something to drink. As we were finishing up, she says, “Let’s find the bedspread factory”. So we went next door to the fabric shop and inquired if they knew where it was. They just sent us to a “bed store”.
Then she says “Let’s go to Sarchi and find it.” Off we went…
I love Costa Rican adventures!!!
As we were heading into town, a guy was standing in front of his furniture store and she whipped the car in to see if he knew where it was….luck was with us, not only did he know where it was, he spoke English!
After making a wrong turn, we were on the right track again. This factory is located on some really gorgeous property along a rushing river.
A woman met us at the door and said she had received a phone call that we were coming. It truly is a small world! She took us in to see all the bedspreads they make and then took us back into the factory. WOW! All I could think of was “Gayla should see this!” They were making sheets, mattresses, etc. It was really quite interesting…..
Then Frances says “have you seen the huge oxcart in front of the church”, which I had. Then she said, have you been to the oxcart factory? So off we went to see that. Another WOW factor! They are using machinery from the early 1900′s to make these! And the machine is moved by a huge water wheel!!! There were signs above the pieces of machinery with what they were used for and the year – some of these machines were from the early 1900′s and are still in use! Then we traveled upstairs where they make smaller items. It was so cool!!! This will definitely be on my tour of things to take visitors to see. And a “to die” souvenir place and a restaurant. What more could you want….a little bit of education, shopping and eating. Can’t wait to go back!
Headed home after that.
Mark said the water came back on around 11:00 a.m. – this is the first time we’ve had this happen for the water to be out for so long….but you know what, we live here, we’ll deal with it!
Just looked out the window and Miguel, my new pet Iguana, is sunning himself on the rock again.
Yesterday, Jonny’s husband, Warren, headed back to Phoenix, via Charlotte. Gotta love those flights that go whichever direction is opposite of where you actually want to be! LOL
Jonny is staying for another month, WOO HOO!
Then we went shopping. Stopped at the new Wal-Mart near the airport – I am not a real fan of Wal-Mart because they prefer to purchase their goods out of the good ole USA! I’m becoming more selective in my old age of what I buy and where they are made. However, I did purchase 2 “camping type” chairs because we’re tired of standing and waiting on parades to start, etc. Now we can sit and watch!
Then we headed to Cemaco – I so love that store! And if we had a big house, I could buy something from every aisle in that store!!! I bought Mark a pineapple corer, thoughtful, aren’t I?
Then we decided it was time to eat lunch so we went to La Garita and I can’t remember the name of the restaurant! However, I’ve eaten there before with Pat. I like this restaurant because it’s huge – lots of places to sit, big take-out counter, and most of all — you must go past a little souvenir store to sit down and eat. Look what I immediately saw on the counter as we walked by…..
I’m sure I read a sign attached that said “Nancy, please take me home!” Well, I bought that darling little giraffe before I ever sat down and ordered lunch. No way, was someone else going home with it.
Then we stopped at the large nursery and I bought 2 Irwin Mango trees for $3 each and a pretty draping flowering plant to put in the “toucan tire”.
Headed to take Jonny home and their driveway in a short word is a “bitch” to back out of – and lucky me, knocked over one of the pretty lamp posts that line the drive way! Owner said it’s the second time that lamp post has been knocked over! Still made me feel bad….if I had been in Ms. Smartie instead of Old Bessie, it wouldn’t have happened. But then Warren would have had to ride to the airport in the back with his luggage!
Was a fun day till I hit the lamp post and then realized I hadn’t stopped at the drug store to get meds so I had to go back into town.
Mark’s first words were “Oh, I thought you’d bring home something for dinner!” Not exactly what I wanted to hear.
Big Oxcart parade in town on Sunday – can’t wait!!!
Gave Deloris a call and said “road trip” – her response, how much time do I have time to get ready? LOL
When we first were thinking about visiting Costa Rica, Mark found this place; we almost stayed there till we found Animal Lighthouse Rescue.
Check out http://www.costaricaquilts.com/villa.html; she has people come from all over to take classes – and I don’t just mean from Costa Rica! There are places to stay right on the grounds and it’s close to everything; restaurants, ZooAve, a winery, etc.
Since arriving here, I’ve noticed shopping for fabric in Costa Rica is frankly “a pain in the ass”. No patterns (except for some quilt patterns at Villa Rita’s); thread in different stores (altho’ there’s one fabric store in Grecia that does carry some notions); in other words, it’s not like saying “Hmmmm, I think I’ll sew today and you head to Joann’s, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby, etc.; you will head to many stores to collect everything you need to complete a project.
Villa Rita’s is not far at all from our house! If you get my drift, it could be a problem?! Gorgeous fabrics to choose from, gorgeous quilts already made up, etc. Rita even has her 6 year old granddaughter designing and making quilts!!!
Need to think about taking a class.
She had the neatest wall hanging in her home of a Costa Rican lady in a colorful costume; she made up the design from a wall hanging out of wood and silver! How cool is that!!! There are so many clever people in the world…..this was also entered in a quilt show that was in the U.S.
The creative juices are beginning to flow…..life is good!
As we were paying at a restaurant that we ate at earlier this week, La Trocha, the chef insisted we come back on Thursday a.m. at 9:30 for breakfast. When you are retired, you NEVER, EVER, turn down food! LOL
So we met Thursday morning for a most delicious breakfast! Tortillas, made in a Nicaragua style, had more flavor and were very good. I’m don’t care much for Costa Rican tortillas because they are way too thick for me! Then of course the ever delish Gallo Pinto, and then an omelet, not folded over, with everything you can imagine on it. I had mine on top of the tortilla – so good!!!
Then the women had an excursion planned. I wanted to go back to the quilt shop between Grecia and Sarchi and watch them put in grommets, it’s not the way I want them put in, but I guess that’s what I’ll have to do!
Then Delores says “would you be interested in going to a place that “makes souvenirs and is off the beaten path”. Well, duh, Yes I want to go there! And will return there too. Saw LOTS of wooden things I’ve seen in souvenir shops and this were just too good to pass up price-wise. Keep in mind it’s a woodworking shop and get this; the dust is free!
Heading back into Grecia I had found a fabric store that I hadn’t been in yet. So we stopped…..fabric stores here are just so different!!! Takes me forever to make up my mind, etc.; however, I did buy Gayla some fabric for a quilt back – and if she doesn’t like it, I’ll keep it!!!
There is a quilt retreat place not too far from our house and I finally contacted the woman and she said she’d love to have me come visit. That will be on next week’s agenda!!!
Friday was the first day that the “over 60 group of ladies” took an adventure. There were 7 of us. We took the bus from Atenas to Orotina. It was great! Can’t wait to take the bus again!!! However, I can assure you that the bus driver drove a lot faster than I would on that road! LOL
I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant we ate lunch at….but the important thing, is I can get to it. Told Mark that some day we should take the bus there for lunch. And just think, after my birthday this year, I can ride the bus FREE – altho’ it’s super cheap to ride it!
I think when Terri comes to visit, we just might take a day and do that.
Anxious to see the Central Market in San Jose too; altho’, we’ve been warned that we cannot stop and “window shop” on the way to the market; because we’ll do that on the way back! LOL
Lots of new experiences this week; love this country!
Adios for now!