Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category
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!
“Sung to the tune of ”Back Home Again in Indiana”)
What a whirlwind I had in the old country! My neck hurts from whiplash….going here and going there! BUT….I did not get all my shopping done, even after buying two more suitcases!
I had a WONDERFUL time and it was so fun to see all my friends!!!! I ended up subbing on Weds. morning for a friend in bowling and had the best fun!!! I do miss my my bowling, bowling friends, and all the fun we used to have!!!! I hope they are having a bewitching Halloween bowling day today!!!
Thursday morning, I was so sore! LOL Kept telling Terri that if my left side would have been that sore, I would be in the ER wondering if I was having a heart attack! Soreness was gone by Friday, tho’.
The wedding Saturday was absolutely beautiful!!! And to think the bride made all the floral arrangements – bouquets, etc. I wish KateLynn and Neal and wonderful and fun-filled marriage!
Monday, Velma and I headed to Atlanta to start the trek back to Costa Rica. Great time on the drive, stopping at Cracker Barrel restaurants and buying! LOL Never did eat there.
Returned the car to the rental lot at the Atlanta Airport. Then she and I had to drag the damn suitcases all over GA to get to where the hotel shuttles were. Apparently, this airport does not believe in Skycaps! We never did find one!!! And other’s were complaining about it too. And this airport also does not believe in hiring knowledgeable employees! Had trouble finding Zone 3 and the only directions we could get were – “hmm, there’s Zone 2, it must be somewhere over there!” Keep in mind, we are old ladies with too many suitcases to drag around! LOL I felt like we might have been on Candid Camera!
Finally got to the hotel…..took about 5 hours to drive to Atlanta and almost 3 hours to get to the hotel from the friggin’ airport!
When we arrived, I told Velma if we were going to eat dinner, it had to be now, because I was going to take a shower and put the “jammies” on and wasn’t going out again! So we headed to the most pathetic restaurant in Atlanta! LOL In the hotel!!!
Pretty much we both just picked at our meals and then headed back to the room. Turned on the debate and I said, I’ve had enough of this…so it was lights out!
At 11:30 p.m. I asked her if she was still awake, and she was. At 2:10 a.m., I asked her if she was awake, and she was….I said “let’s just get up and go to the airport”. She said, “let’s “sleep” till 2:30 a.m.!” LOL So we got up, packed up and headed to the airport. Actually, we were the only one’s on the shuttle!
Arrived at the airport and again “no skycaps” – the driver couldn’t believe it! So he and his friend helped us get all luggage to the counter…we were first in line. Glad they had left the scales “turned on”, because we did lots of shifting of luggage contents in order to be within the weight limit. Glad we had that time to do it….
Getting on the last flight from Fort Lauderdale to San Jose, Costa Rica….was another nightmare! While standing in the jet way to board the plane, I bent down to pick up my carry on suitcase, and the JERK in front of me swung around, hitting my frameless glasses and yep, you guessed it, broke them! I was genuinely PISSED! This is the second pair of glasses that have been broken on this trip….if you recall, I stepped on the transitional “lenses” glasses the first morning in the Old Country!
Arrived home and we were both exhausted! LOL
Saw Dra. Victoria and she “jury-rigged” my glasses to get me through a couple of days….will be heading into town shortly and take her the 1st broken pair and see if they can be fixed, I imagine I’ll need new frames! Hope she has some in stock that will fit the lenses! Then the wireless one’s will have to be sent to San Jose to be repaired.
All in all, my trip was great and I realize how many wonderful friends I have in the old country! But I do admit, I sure love being home!
While watching a little TV last night, the house started shaking! Mark yells “earthquake”….and Velma screamed!!! Joni has assured me that was her welcome to Velma! LOL Just a little 6.6 earthquake. Ah….Back Home Again in Costa Rica!
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.
Yesterday found the Over 60′s Ladies on a trek to the Orchid Garden in LaGarita. Nine of us boarded the bus around 9 a.m. and off we went. Nine of us also returned, and this is a good thing.
We exited the bus at the “Corn Restaurant” on a major corner before actually entering LaGarita and walked mostly down hill to the entrance – there was one hill we had to climb and it was quite interesting because going up that hill there was very little talking but a lot of huffing and puffing! Kudos to all of us for making it!
Entered the gardens and saw a huge grapefruit tree with lots and lots of grapefruit on the ground; around the corner was their avaiary….some very colorful birds, some were chatty and some were stand-offish.
Then we headed to see the absolutely most gorgeous orchids I have ever seen. One very small bloom gave off the most fragrant vanilla smell; I was told there’s one with a chocolate smell…yep, I’m on the quest for one of those! I’m posting some of the pictures that I thought were different in color than the ones normally seen.
After wandering through the gardens, we sat outside by the pool and had lunch; it was so serene….and the food was tasty too!
I’m also posting a short video of one of the talkative birds….if you listen closely, at the end of his performance, he says “Hola”…..
Tom, Lee, Mark and I have ventured on the quest to learn Spanish. Yesterday was our first class.
William, from La Garita, who is a linguist teacher, is assisting us….
OH MY! We have our work cut out for us!
But, there’s no pressure, he’s very patient, has a sense of humor and most of all, I felt like I have already learned something.
Yep, we’ve got homework – which is just practicing. If you don’t try to use it, you cannot learn it! Yep, we’ll make mistakes, laugh about it, and carry on.
If anyone is interested in joining us, that would be great. It’s $5/hr. – we meet for 2 hours weekly.
Tom and Lee have graciously offered to host it at their house. William will be more than happy to meet with you to bring you up to “snuff” with our first class…..or if you’d like to just sit in on the class, to see how it works and how he works, you’re more than willing to do this too. This is how we “found” him!
For the next 3 weeks, we’re meeting at 10 a.m. – noon.
Let me know if you’d like to join us or sit in on a class…..
Yep, we’re off and running with Spanish!
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?
Last week Mark and I decided we needed to get serious regarding learning the Spanish language. And the hunt was on for a Spanish instructor! We know words but getting them into sentences is just plain tough!
While reading one of the forums, David, posted an interesting tidbit regarding a mammogram. His wife walked into a radiologist office and inquired about getting a mammogram….you know the usual “old country” questions – Do I need a prescription from a physician?
Well, guess what friends! No order from a physician is required! So Marcia said “I’d like to make an appointment”…and the receptionist said “how about right now?” So in she went….afterwards, she inquired about getting the results and was informed “if you can wait 15 minutes, the test will be read right now.” She left that office with films in her hand! And for this wonderful experience she paid $40! Not bad, huh? I’ll be headed there and hope to have the same experience sometime in July.
Somewhere in the emails back and forth with David to figure out where the radiologist is located in Grecia, we began discussing the Spanish language. He and Marcia have a “teacher”, William, that comes to their house once a week. William arrives on Saturday around 9 a.m. and stays till 11 a.m. or so, or until their brains are fried!
David invited us to come to their house on Saturday morning to meet him and to sit in on their lesson. We really liked him! He had a sense of humor, which is extremely important to me, and even included us in their lesson. William is thinking about expanding into Atenas because of all the gringos in the area.
We’re in the process of trying to get him pinned down on price, time and place. And we have a total of 6 people that are now interested. It’s a very informal, relaxed atmosphere. He inquires what you have done the past week and will be doing the next week. He explained, he’s not trying to be prying, and frankly doesn’t care if you tell him the truth or embellish – the key is to engage you in conversation.
Keep your fingers crossed that this works out for us and the other 4 people!
On another note, Terri arrives at 5 a.m. on Saturday…..so excited! She’s told me she doesn’t care if we spend all the time hanging around the house, or site seeing. There are a few places I would like her to see and some restaurants we must go to….but we’ll play it by ear.
Pura Vida from the land of relaxation!
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.
A friend of ours, Jonny, offered to sit with the dogs while Mark and I took a little trip to Manuel Antonio – we were going to be gone two nights and three days!
Left a little before noon on Tuesday, which was a holiday here. Traffic was light and we were excited to finally get away for a bit.
Arrived in Manuel Antonio and found the Vela-Bar, where we had booked two nights. While the pictures on the internet looked great, it was a little disappointing. Especially, when the a/c didn’t work! It’s unbearably humid on the west coast, miserable, would probably be a better word.
After complaining to the front desk and being told someone would be there in 10 minutes to repair it, we were pleasantly surprised when, in fact, in 10 minutes someone was there. Ahhhh, relief, it worked – at least we would be able to sleep well.
Walked approximately 200 meters to the beach. During this time, sprinkles of rain started and by the time we got there, it was a real gully-washer. So we found a place to get something to drink and waited for the rain to pass.
Wasn’t too long and we were walking on the beach. Man, the sand here sticks to you! Walked a little in the very warm water – which is much warmer than our pool!!! Told Mark I wanted the pool to be this warm.
Had a nice dinner of sea bass next to the hotel. The hotel did have a restaurant but it was pretty expensive. In fact, we found the food in this area to be really expensive compared to our little town of Atenas! But it was very good and we were serenaded by tree frogs during the meal.
Next morning we got up and headed to the park. Holy crap, was it humid and hot! I know, it’s a rain forest and we’ve been in a rain forest before, but I guess we had forgotten about the miserable humidity. Mark was the big complainer of it – I just kept plugging along.
Saw lots and I mean lots of monkeys romping through the trees. Then we happened upon a tour group looking upward and discovered a mother toucan going into and out of a hole in the top of the tree feeding her babies. Too far away to get a decent picture.
After walking a little further, Mark said, I’ve had it. We’ve seen this stuff before so we headed back to the hotel. Went next door again for a breakfast that was super! Slice of fresh pineapple, watermelon, papaya, slices of banana and a pancake were served first; then we had scrambled eggs and bread with gallo pinto – all for $4/each. It was really good – especially the pineapple; you can’t beat fresh pineapple here.
Then back to the room to get on bathing suits and head to the beach. Much, much cooler at the beach because of the breezes; but it was still hot. Saw lots of surfers and really enjoyed watching them. How they keep from hitting each other or others romping in the surf is beyond me! Saw a really cute boy, long dark hair, about 5 years old walking to the water with his boogie board under his arms….the next generation of surfers is already in the works.
Started to drizzle a little and we headed back to the room for showers and to go dinner. Walked back down to the beach and hit a 2 for 1 happy hour (do we plan or what) and then ordered dinner. I had the most wonder huge shrimp and two pieces of mahi mahi and a baked potato with steamed veggies. Had a wonderful white sauce on it; it was very, very good and should have been for the price. Mark had burritos.
Got back to the room and was exhausted; it’s extremely exhausting doing what we did that day. LOL! You know walking, eating, drinking, and beaching it!
Mark watched some TV and I decided to head to bed and read. Fell asleep too quickly; no idea what time it was when I woke up to an really, really upset stomach. Just made it to the bathroom before the vomiting started. Mark heard me and got up – he’s such a good caretaker! He stood with his arms around me as I barfed in the sink, because I couldn’t make it to the toilet. Each time he made a comment: “Oh, my God!”, “you poor thing”, “how much more can there be”……I was up and down the whole night vomiting….it was horrible.
Hadn’t planned on heading for home so early but because of the night, we decided it was best. Going through Quepos, Mark pulled over at Linea Vitale (a clinic) because he wanted me looked at. I have a major history of dehydrating easily! Went in the office and was immediately taken to a cubicle.
As they were taking vitals, Dra. Candy walked in and said to Mark, I know you! And then she looked at me; her famous words to me are “steck out your tongue” (and yes, I meant to spell it that way because that’s how she says it!) You are dehydrated! But we will fix you up. Then she started to tell the Dr. treating me what meds I was on….is she good or what?
Then she wanted to know what I had eaten the night before….told her and she said “you had bad fish”….but it was sooo good! So after getting a bag of fluid, a shot to stop the queasiness on the ride home, off we went.
I slept off and on most of the way! It was a quick ride home for me….
It was so cute when we pulled up to our drive, there was Sofi waiting at the door of the gate, Sedona waiting a little behind Sofi, and Derby waiting behind Sedona. Missed that Kodak moment, because all I could think of was getting into my own bed.
Slept most of the afternoon. Mark fixed me a sandwich for dinner and it stayed down…and I actually felt a little better after eating something. Only residuals were my eyes were burning like they were on fire and a very sore throat.
But I’m pleased to say I was able to stay awake and watch Missing, Grey’s Anatomy, and Scandal.
Slept well, and feel like a new woman!
People that live on the coast can have it….to friggin’ hot, too expensive to run a/c, and the food is over-priced compared to Atenas.
Glad to be home and thanks to Jonny for taking such good care of the dogs!!!
Adios for now….
Abby, Gayla and I left the house about 8:45 a.m. and didn’t return until 7:00 p.m.! WHEW! What a fun day we had.
Started out the day with going to ZooAve. As soon as we entered two beautiful peacocks spread their tail feathers! What a site! Abby, 8 years old, was impressed. Saw lots of animals….she was most impressed with fawn that was in an enclosure with a huge turtle and an iguana! LOL, you know the animal she can see in Tennessee!
Saw lots of monkeys, emus, various sizes and kinds of turtles, crocodiles, you know lots of Central American animals.
Left the zoo about 11:30 a.m. and coming home we decided to take a detour to Grecia and Sarchi.
Had lunch in Grecia and then Gayla wanted to hit some fabric shops! And hit them, she did! As we would leave a shop, her words were, “we can come back, right?” Went to 2 fabric shops and then back to the car and we were on our way to Sarchi.
Let’s just say, Abby made out like a bandit today! She got some cute things, including a leather purse with a brightly colored parrot painted on it. She’s so proud of it!
On the drive back to Grecia, we stopped at a little quilt shop! Gayla got more fabric! And wanted to know if we could go back there too, because she couldn’t make up her mind about a bag!
Started to rain a little, which actually felt good!
We drove “on the good road from La Garita to Grecia” so of course, coming home we came the narrow, twisty road over the horrible bridge because I thought they should experience it. LOL
Abby kept insisting we were lost! Finally, I said “Abby, you might be lost, but I’m not!”
We went to a few shops in Atenas, again, Abby made out like a bandit….but I will say the shoes she got were so cute! If they had had them a little bigger, I would have gotten some too!!! Tomorrow, I’ll get a picture of them and put it on Facebook!
Hit Atenas and I knew there was no way I was cooking dinner tonight after the day we had had; called Mark and asked him if he wanted to come in to town and eat with us. Gayla felt like having some “good rice” so we went to La Troilla and had some “muy bueno” rice!
Adios for now……really tired!
Yep, going to bed and yes, it’s 7:35 p.m.