Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category


Yesterday, a friend, Jean Marie and I decided to go shopping and take a break from knitting.  I have finally found someone down here that loves Christmas and all the decor like I do.  So we decided this would be a “check out Christmas stuff shopping trip.”

Universal, which is a large department store in Alajuela, moved into the new City Mall, the largest mall in Costa Rica.  We decided to check out the old Universal because everything Navidad was discounted!  We had a ball.  Most things were 50% off and some were 30% off.  She shops like I do, check everything out and then make a decision!  By the time we were finished shopping there, it was noonish.

So we headed to  City Mall, with plans to hit every store with lots of Christmas decor.  Checked out the Universal store there, prices at the old store were much better.

Then we headed to Aliss; beautiful things there and we oohed and aahed!  By then we decided it was time to eat.  So we headed to Subway.  Finished eating and then we headed to Oxygen, we love their clothes and prices.  Tried on a few dresses but nothing hit me just right!  Then we headed to Cemaco, a department type store that doesn’t carry clothing.

O.M.G.  They have 4 different villages set up under glass in the front of the store!  I loved everyone of them.  One was like an amusement park with rides that we both used to ride at county fairs.  One was a village and I fell in love with the Pet Store and Shoe Cobbler store that was actually shaped like a shoe. The whole set up was beautiful!  Then there was a snow scene, and another scene with Santa flying around with the reindeer; ice skaters skating; let’s just say, we were both in “Christmas Heaven”.

Left there and decided to sit down and get our purchases arranged to head to the car.

I think my heart skipped a beat!  My phone was missing.  So Jean Marie stayed there trying to call it, and I tried to retrace my steps.  Maybe it fell out of my pocket in the rest room.  As I was headed down that hall I saw a female security person.  So in my best Spanglish, I tried to explain what happened.  She patted me on the back and said she would call her Jefe (boss).  So we stood there waiting for the Jefe of Security to show up.  They arrived shortly.  Kept asking me to describe it.  Kept saying is was “pink, cover was like a book with a giraffe on the front and a giraffe on the back.  Every time I said giraffe in Spanish, they smirked….I’m guessing they figured an old lady shouldn’t have a phone with a giraffe cover!  Then a guy came by and said do you need help?  So I said yes, that if I went home having lost my phone, I would probably be beheaded!  So he asked me the same questions that the security officers asked me.  The whole time the female security person was patting me on the back.

All of a sudden, one of the security guards pulled my phone out of his shirt pocket.  I got really excited and gave him a big hug (am sure he thought another loca gringa); so then he wanted some ID.  So I said we had to go where my amiga was sitting.  I pulled out my Cedula (national ID card) and he turned on my phone, laid it on the settee and took a picture.  Then gave it to me with a big grin.  I again hugged him and the female security person.  Keep in mine we’ve walked a five story mall and this was probably a 2 hour deal!

Took Jean Marie home; and since the story had a happy ending, I did end up telling Mark.  Who just stood there shaking his head! I found out he had turned on “Find My iPhone” since I had my iPad with me, I could have located it via the GPS.

Then off to Don YaYo’s for Huesos (Bones) Night with Mike and Karen Elder.  They kept us up way past bedtime! Huesos are the pork bones with hunks of meat still attached. Mike and Mark enjoy them from time to time. I had chifrio and Karen had fish and chips!

Early this morning, I’m guess it was early, Jean Marie called and woke me up and said I left my knitting in your car.  I said “no, you stuck it in one of your bags”.  She said OK, I’ll check.  Then I pleasantly went back to sleep and didn’t wake up till 11 a.m.

But I keep thinking about all the gorgeous Christmas things we saw, and the phone story ended up OK, so it was a great day!

Started out in Ft. Myers, FL because Todd, (SIL) had shoulder surgery at the VA hospital. I was impressed! Fairly new hospital. I was the runner to get stuff (ie: paperwork, medications, the sling for his arm). So I spent a lot of time in the lobby listening to the Vets talk about their experiences, etc.

One funny story. As I was sitting there waiting to get the sling to take up to Todd in the recovery room, a woman named Mary came out to give a man his c-pap mask. He kept saying over and over, thank you Jesus, I can sleep tonight. Then he said “I guess I should be thanking you Mary, for giving me the mask.” Her reply was “You know he’s not my son, right?” It appeared to be a “nice, fun, happy place to work.”

After 7 days there, I was off to Bowling Green. Gayla’s daughter, Megan, was planning a surprise birthday for her on Saturday. So, Pat, Velma and I headed to Nashville that morning to do a “little” shopping before hand. We arrived at Megan’s house and Gayla’s friend Patty, from Memphis, was shocked when I walked in! She said Gayla is going to be so surprised to see you! I never did count but I think there were 15-20 people there. It was a nice party and Megan and Rusy, Gayla’s son, did a great job!


Stayed with Julie and Norman this time. They sure have a beautiful house!!! And I thank them immensely for their hospitality. Was able to spend some time with Joanne, who is another “bestie”. Pat, Velma and I had a ball. Went to see the movie Jason Bourne….throughout the movie I kept thinking this is right up Mark’s alley. All the car chases, motorcycle chases, crashes, etc. So I imagine when it comes here, I’ll be seeing it again!

I flew Delta, and love they have screens on the back of the seats. Watched three movies in my travels….of course the only name I can imagine is My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Cute!

Most of the shopping was already done and sent to Velma’s. So it was like Christmas!!! Even brought a new sewing small sewing machine home. Plus various other things that are too darn difficult to find in CR.

Was really surprised at the prices in the grocery stores. Cheap! Compared to here. Eggs, 49 cents a dozen; milk 99 cents a gallon.

My trip to the states was eventful because of storms and we had to fly over and over Ft. Myers before we could land. Then the pilot informs us we can go around one more time but then we need to make a decision on what airport to land at because we were running out of fuel! It would have been much less nerve-wracking if he had said “we may have to land at another airport because of weather”! Trust me, no one wants to hear “we may run out of fuel!”

Then the flight to Nashville, we circled Nashville for a little over an hour because of storms before we were able to land.

The weather was so darned hot! Miserable…..I don’t know how people that work outside can stand it. The humdity was absolultely draining!

I was happy to return home and see Mark and the dogs! Julie has 4 dogs and boy did I get sniffed over by our three dogs.

It was a great time, but I am exhausted! Perhaps age has a little to do with that!

Yesterday, Wednesday, should have been sewing class day. However, we diverted it into a fabric field trip to Palmares. Alejandra has family there so she was the day’s guide.

First stop was at a warehouse of fabrics! Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! It was huge!!!! Lots of quilting fabric, which was nice to see. All kinds of ribbon and trims, thread, it was just unbelievable! No, I don’t remember the name of the place, but I do have it in the GPS.

From there we went to Metro-Kilo, and found more goodies.

And then we went to another store that had some fabric, but not as much as the other two.

Went to the Central Market, I like the way it’s set up there.

No Gringos there and I did feel like I got some looks as if to say “what are you doing with Tica’s” or maybe it was “Tica’s what are you doing with a Gringo”.

Much cooler there….

It was a fun day….and glad to have found some new places for fabric.

But any day spent shopping with friends, is a good day!

Thanks to Alejandra for showing us around and to Cristina for giving up a day of sewing!

I did see something I’ve never ever seen in my lifetime….a beach towel with Jesus on it!


I decided I needed a shopping trip to the U.S. and see some friends!  Ate too much, drank too much, laughed too much……but it was great!

Pat and Velma were going to pick me up at the airport.  Going south on I-65, you take Briley Parkway East.  However, they chose Briley Parkway West.  Pat said she soon realized it was wrong. Yes, there is a sign with an airplane on it indicating the way to the airport. (Last time they came to pick me up, they got lost too!)  I waited and waited……wandered in the baggage claim area and then finally sat outside.  Boingo is the WIFI at the airport, and that’s the most pathetic WIFI ever!  Takes forever to get on and IF you are lucky to get on you get 3 friggin’ minutes free.  Dear Nashville Airport – get free WIFI!

Finally heard my name being paged and we connected.  What is weird, they were parked outside where I was waiting and we never saw each other.  Is this what they call “getting old?”

So we get to Bowling Green and we’re going down Scottsville Rd.  Pat asked Velma if this was the turn to her house.  Velma says no and continues talking; as we are almost thru the intersection, Velma says “Oh yes, that’s the turn.” So we cut through the mall to get back on Cave Mill Road.

I’m sure all the neighbors were awakened when we arrived at Velma’s!  Dragged in the suitcases and immediately went to bed!

Wednesday we shopped, ate out and went to see the movie Ricki and the Flash. It was the movie with Meryl Streep – very cute; still not as good as Mama Mia!  Then we went to the grocery store!  I miss U.S. grocery stores!  Miss having a deli available.

Pat had already seen the movie so she didn’t go with us.  But she was coming over for a wine and cheese dinner; the liquor store had a sale 3 bottles for $12 – then the clerk said if you buy one more, it’s a 10% discount; we left with 8 bottles of wine – and there were still some bottles left when I headed for home.

Shopped some more on Thursday;

  • Kirklands,
  • Big Lots (LOL)
  • Walgreen’s,
  • Kroger’s,
  • Hobby Lobby,
  • Target,
  • TJ Maxx
  • and Barnes and Noble.  And of course, we ate out!

Friday was Knit Day at Corner Bakery – they quit going to Panera’s because the service was so slow.  This place was like a Panera’s wannabe – delish sandwiches, etc.   Fun to see the old knitting group!!!  And I got to meet up with 2 people I used to work with; had to deliver those Freak Flops!

After knitting we went to Panera’s to eat because I wanted one of their delicious salads – I didn’t care how slow it was!

Back to TJ Maxx because they get a new shipment on Thursday!  (and Tuesday)  A real shopper knows these things!

We went to the movies again to see “No Escape” with Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan.  It was a good movie but very intense!  And to think families are living like this every day.

Since it was Labor Day week-end, Kroger was grilling slabs of ribs for $10!  Yes, $10!!!  And along with other sides if you wanted them.  Delish!!!  Did I say, they were only $10?

Oh, I forgot, we went to Velma’s grandson’s (Eli) “baseball game”.  These are 4, 5, and 6 year olds.  Some of those 4 year olds are so tiny, they don’t look big enough to be potty trained!  It was hilarious!  They only play 2 innings, do not keep score and everyone gets to bat.  One kid was on third, the batter hit it down the third base line, the runner picks up the ball and runs to home!  Another kid crossed home and kept running to first base before going to the dugout.  It was funny!

Saw another movie “A Walk in the Woods” with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.  Robert Redford decided he needed to do something with his life besides being an author; he left messages for friends to see if they wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail.  The only one who would go with him was Nick Nolte, who he did not invite, but heard thru the grapevine he was going to do this.  Beautiful scenery and I admit, I missed Costa Rica .  It was funny!!!!

Coming home, when I would see older men with backpacks on, I just sort of giggled because of some of the antics in the movie!

My friend, Joanne, had a water skiing accident on Saturday!  Tore the tendon from the bone on the back of her thigh.  The ER of the hospital she works in, told her that she would be OK in a week or two! NOT!!!!  Her daughter, Brooke, finally got a surgeon that was in her network to see her.  She had surgery on Friday and is doing well.  Will be a recovery of 5-6 months and she said she’s never water skiing again!

Missed seeing some people and I hate that.  But there’s only so much time; besides, I’m guessing I’ve been gone long enough, some have forgotten me.

Was wonderful to get home and see Mark and of course the dogs went bonkers!

It was a great trip!  Lots of laughs, lots of food, a great time!  Did I say lots of laughs?  And lots and lots of shopping!

Pura Vida




Thursday is a Beach Day and I decided I needed to have a hat that would cover my face – more than a baseball cap would.

Asked Denise and Michele if they would like to go to MultiPlaza on Sunday; they agreed to go. Spent most of the day there….yes, during the World Cup, we were shopping!

I look stupid in hats; just plain stupid!!! Felt even more stupid when I tried on “visor-type” with the top of my head sticking out. We searched and searched; into any store that had hats. Most hats are too big for me unless I stick my ears inside the hat, which is uncomfortable. However, if I “sit” it on top of my head, one gust of wind and off it will go!

Tried many hats with various brims sizes; finally settled on one; has any one bought a hat for themselves they have to alter so it fits right! Well, I did!!! Need to sew a “sweat band” possibly inside the hat so it fits…..and I’m going to decorate the brim.

This would be a perfect hat for a Kentucky Derby party!!!!

Am going to work on “altering” it today; and when it’s done, there will be pictures.

I hope I’m not mistaken for Sofia Vergara on the beach!!!

Now the adventure begins! The drive home! Never thought about the Autopista being closed to west-bound traffic; which sometimes happens to allow all lanes into San Jose. Only one word for those trying to go west-bound, well, 3-words; It’s a bitch!

GPS kept wanting to make us turn around to get on the Autopista; however, the GPS doesn’t understand that on Sunday’s you sometimes can’t go west on the Autopista between 4-7; sometimes 2-7;

As we came up on the barriers, Denise wondered if we knew we couldn’t go west. Well, I never thought about it because I was desperately looking for a stupid hat! So we had no choice but to get off. Michele kept saying just follow the cars, they will take us someplace! DUH! LOL And she kept assuring me (us) that it was a good road because there were relectors down the center.

We would put different towns in the GPS that we knew how to get home from but the GPS kept wanting me to turn R onto gravel roads….Michele was against this, so we trudged on. Frankly, I wasn’t quite sure we should go down those roads either!

We kept climbing and climbing; into the clouds; went past a cute little shop full of baskets, etc. If I hadn’t been in a big line of traffic, we would have stopped. I kept thinking that the shop looked familiar and I had been there before….as we kept climbing, we started seeing signs for Purical; which is the town on the other mountain ridge that we can see from our house.

We drove and drove and drove and started seeing signs for Orotina, which we knew where that was…..then we saw a sign for Atenas; I heard sighs of relief from Denise and Michele; then we came down a road that was worse than the one we live on; but then the question came whether to get on the Autopista to Atenas or go all the way down my road and into town; everyone agreed that the Autopista would be faster…..till we reached the toll booth! I don’t understand why or how the traffic gets so backed up; but it does, just one of those Pura Vida things I guess!!!

Got off and took the radial into Atenas; was just beginning to get dark….as the driver, I was glad to be back in familiar territory.

Michele has accepted the task to find a different way home IF this happens again!!! Actually, we should have just turned around – gotten on the Autopista heading back towards the mall; only getting off at Santa Ana and heading to the airport.

But, living in Costa Rica is all about being adventurous!!! Yesterday was one of those days!

Pura Vida!

Woke up on July 1 with birthday greetings from my alma mater, Western Michigan University.  The football coach wished “me” birthday greetings even tho’ my birthday isn’t till July 31!  I’m figuring everyone from WKU with a birthday in July got the same greeting.  I am not a US football fan, so the “excitement” of him doing it was lost on me. Had it been the basketball coach, I would have been giddy with glee!!!

So I just decided at my age, I will celebrate ALL month!

I found some water fountains that I liked on Pinterest and Mark thought he could make one for me.  Off we went to Salitral (I think that’s spelled right), to the pottery place.  After looking around for awhile, Mark spotted this ready made fountain.  Then he said “do you like this ready made one? – not sure I can make it for less”.  So after much discussion he said “it’s your birthday present”.  And it was at that point that I decided, what the heck…..celebrate the month of July with a bang up deal on the 31st!

Had to include the video of Diva Sofi walking through, even tho’ you couldn’t hear the fountain; so another video up close (and yes, Bunky, the wrong way!) but you can hear the fountain.


So far, it has not made me want to go to the bathroom! It’s a soothing sound….maybe I need mosquito netting and I could sleep on the rancho listening to that instead of Dan Patrick radio on the internet!

Happy Birthday month to my friends, Dra. Victoria and Loretta Gooding!!! They also have a July 31 birthday. I would suggest you guys celebrate all month too….after all, they say life is short!

Feliz Cumpleanos!

Pura Vida!

Dear Paypal…..

I live in Costa Rica; it is in Central America; it is part of the real world!!!

I’m wondering how many merchants that use Paypal are aware that they may say “ship worldwide”; but when I try to purchase something and have it shipped to Costa Rica, I get a notice saying “Paypal doesn’t ship to this country”.

First of all Paypal, you aren’t shipping anything; you’re just collecting the money; but to top it off, I can’t even put it on a credit card because “Paypal doesn’t ship to this country”.

And yes, I have money in a Paypal account and would love to be able to spend it; but again, “Paypal doesn’t ship to this country.”

I’m going to start notifying the merchants that even tho’ they ship worldwide, Paypal won’t accept the order… saying “Paypal doesn’t ship to this country.”

Again, just what is Paypal shipping?

This has happened twice today….and yep, I notified both merchants!


I have spent at least 30 hours, yes, 30 hours looking for a pair of Hi-Tec sandals on the internet to replace the ones that are worn out!  Apparently, no one, at any website that carries these type of sandals had a size 6 in stock.

Went to town this morning and look what I found in the shoe store across from Casa Blanca!  Made me such a happy camper….so I’m absolutely positive, these are the only size 6’s  in the world!  And I found them in little ole Costa Rica!!!  And they were the same color as the old ones were…..Is this a great country or what?  Pura Vida!newshoes

Headed into town shortly after noon today to go to the Post Office and a few other places.

Stopped at the P.O. and voila!  I had a small package… exciting!  There were 4 males and one female in the P.O. laughing like crazy.  Two of the men were laughing so hard, their shoulders were shaking – you couldn’t help but giggle at them. I have no clue what they were laughing at; but, it was infectious!!!  Smiles were all over in the P.O. this afternoon.

Then I headed to Dra. Victoria’s to get my glasses adjusted. She was really busy!!!

Saw Julie and Norman next door at Dennis’ and Gerardo’s….said they had finally recovered from Bunky’s party on Monday.

Then on to Coope…as I was checking out, the checker grinned and acted like she was sniffing the air – you could hear raindrops on the roof; not enough to get anything wet, but they were raindrops.  She broke into a broad grin and explained that when she was pregnant, she loved smelling the rain because everything smelled fresh!  Yep, I understood what she was communicating!

When you go into town, everyone is happy!!!  I remember when Terri came with me to house hunt. We were sitting at Don Tadeo’s and watching people in the park.  She remarked “look everyone is happy, everyone is smiling, no one is walking hunched over” – Costa Rica, or at least Atenas is “home of the happy people.”

A Pura Vida day for sure!

Our 12 year old neighbor, Dylana, wanted only “ropa” (clothes) for Christmas.  Knowing how difficult it was to shop for our daughters back in the old country, I decided that she and I would go shopping together.  We would make an adventure of it!  She was excited when I asked if that would be OK, but she had to act surprised and pretend like she hadn’t seen any of the clothes when she opened the packages!  She readily agreed.

Today was the day that finally fit for both of our schedules to do the shopping.  She decided she would like to shop at Aliss, a department store down the way from Multi Plaza (in Escazu) or it’s also called “the Beverly Hills of Costa Rica”.  Keep in mind, this is a store she’s never been to but has heard me talk about it! LOL

Originally, just Dylana and I were going but Maricela (her mother) and Nazareth (her sister) decided they wanted to go too.  Again, neither had been there before!  I made sure that Maricela and Nazareth were aware that this day was for Dylana and they weren’t getting anything…..

I had been warned from various friends that the traffic is horrible, etc.; I found just the opposite!  In fact, I’ve been in worse traffic in that area when it wasn’t holiday time.  We arrived at Aliss about 10 a.m., so maybe that’s a little of the reason there wasn’t much traffic yet…and I noticed when driving past Multi Plaza there were still parking places available.

We walked in the store and I wish everyone could have seen the grin on Dylana’s face!  Maricela and Nazareth’s faces too for that matter.  I kept telling Dylana, venga….(come) to get her to the department where clothes were.  Keep in mind, she couldn’t quit smiling!  She picked out a few tops and pants; altho’, she had no clue what I meant about trying the clothes on to make sure they would fit.  I could tell that they shop by just holding up clothes to themselves. If only I could shop like that! LOL

All clothing was 20% off today – including the new summer clothing they were just putting out.  And 50% off Christmas things….

Maricela did buy Nazareth a pair of flip flops.

We were back in Atenas by 12:30 p.m.

Not sure if it’s wise of me to introduce them to stores like this but Maricela noted on the way home that the prices at Aliss didn’t seem to be too high.

All in all, it was a great morning, Dylana was still grinning when she got out of the car.  How fun it must have been for  her to go into a store that had a great quantity of things to choose from.

Made me happy that I did this….I know she enjoyed shopping and picking out fun stuff.

Pura Vida! and Feliz Navidad!

VOTE HERE! Bunco Women Gone Wild