Keeping You In Stitches

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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!

I don’t know what it is with men drivers! And it’s also motorcycle drivers! They drive with the turn signals on….makes me nervous because I’ve been behind drivers with a L turn signal flashing and they turn R. YIKES! Wonder how many accidents have been caused by that?

I’m guessing they can’t hear the clicking of the turn signal. I would like to propose that car manufacturers either turn up the sound of the turn signal or have it respond, you’ve have now turned, please turn off your turn signal!

Pura Vida….makes no difference what country you are driving in!


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




Many years ago when daughter #1, Amy, was about 2 and a half years old, we went to FL to escape the winter in Bay City, MI.

Because of her age, we also took the potty chair!  Mark got tired of driving and decided I should drive and he would get in the back of our Datsun station wagon and “entertain” her.  She loved her potty chair and used it frequently. I said we’ll never get to FL at the rate we’re going, stopping to empty it to what seemed all the time.  Therefore, I made the decision that Mark could just throw it out the window of the car….afterall, it was just pee!

By the time we got to FL, there was a streak of died pee all along the side of the car!  Mark is worried about the finish on the car, I’m laughing hysterically.

We were staying at a park that rented tents with beds, cooking facilities (oh joy), etc.  And we were right across the street from the park.  Amy loved playing there.  She always wanted to go there, but after dinner would look out the tent door and say “it’s dawk at the pawk”……(dark at the park).  She was not happy when it became dark because she knew she couldn’t go there to play.

One day we decided to go to a drive-thru zoo.  Amy is sitting in the back of the car…..we are pointing out animals left and right to her.  She wasn’t acknowledging anything.  I turned around and looked at her.  She had taken all her clothes off and was sitting there with her winter jacket on, hood up!  I asked her “what are you doing” – she calmly replied “I’m freezing hot.”  There was no explaining to a child that age you are either freezing or  hot, but you are not freezing hot.  So, she rode thru the drive thru zoo, naked as a jay-bird with her winter coat on.  And yes, sitting on her potty chair. We took that thing everywhere!  Even to the beach.

Fun times, funny memories!

Pura Vida for today.

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!

April 27th was a busy, busy day – picked up a friend from the U.S., Pat at 5 a.m.; finding nothing open for breakfast, we ended up coming home.  We really aren’t far from the airport, which is a good thing, because Mark was arriving home at 11:00 that same morning!

We certainly had three happy dogs; they were happy Mark was back home, and they remembered Pat!!!  Didn’t do much since Pat had an overnight flight and was exhausted.

But Friday morning we were up and at them!  Took her to the Feria first and she was flabbergasted at the size of some the veggies and fruits here.  Then we headed for massages…..and we were toTireParrottally wasted for the day!

Made a trip to Grecia and Sarchi…..I’m still in awe at watching the painters work on the souvenirs, etc.

Hooked up with Lee and went to Salitral to a great pottery place.  Oh, and Pat bought a Parrot made out of a tire – altho’, she really wanted a toucan!  When Mark took it out of the car, his immediate comment was “you’ll never get this in a suitcase!”  I was just positive it was the same size as my Toucan, however, it’s much bigger.

toucantireYep, it’s much much bigger and made out of a regular sized tire, I guess.  So, she left it here for me to sell, if anyone is interested in it…..

Then Tuesday morning, Pat, Michele (from from Costa Rica) and I went on a 3 day, 2 night adventure – and what an adventure it was!  We had reservations at  Hotel Verde Mar Del Pacific, which is basically on the beach!!!

There is an old airplane on the way to Manuel Antonio that has been turned into a really neat restaurant. And since it was lunch time, the car just stopped there!  There are tables and chairs in the actual airplane along with a couple of levels added on to the back of the airplane with lots of tables that have views of the Pacific.  I recommend it…..

The first full day we were there we spent on the beach on lounges under an umbrella.  Water was warm, like bath water.  I loved it because I like all the beach vendors coming up to sell stuff!!!  After awhile we took a walk and found a bunch of shops, which I’m sure is where the vendors get their things to sell, even though they all tell you that they made it!  We all bought a few things and headed back to the beach.

My favorite beach vendor of all was the massage lady!  For $30 I got a massage on the beach…..listening to the waves come in, it just doesn’t get much better than that!!!  And it was supposedly an $85 massage if you went to her studio!  So look at the money I saved.

Then we headed back to the room to get ready to head out to eat….and I can’t remember the name of the place, but it was really good.  Did I mention it was happy hour also?  After stuffing ourselves, we headed back to the room.

And then someone noticed it was about 7 p.m. and we were in jammies and in bed reading.  Cracked ourselves up till I got a notice on facebook/internet that a huge 8.0 earthquake hit Chile; and where we were in Costa Rica, we were in a tsunami watch area.

Mark had told me to not call unless there was an emergency so I messaged him instead of calling.  He hadn’t heard about the earthquake/tsunami stuff.  So he went on the internet and kept us informed; he wanted us to leave – remember we are staying right on the beach.  At one point he said, “it’s not that far, drive home and go back in the morning”, which wasn’t happening since I was the driver.  Another friend from the US suggested we take turns sleeping….ah, not a good idea with a possible tsunami on the horizon!

Pat and I headed to the front desk; the desk clerk might have been 14-15 yrs. old!  When I inquired about it, he had no clue what I was talking about; then he wanted to know how I knew it; duh! How does anyone know anything now, the internet!  So as he was trying to assure me that the large rocks in the water, would slow the tsunami down; and that if we needed to evacuate, the police would come with sirens.  Now I’m looking at the narrow road there and realizing that I would never get out in the traffic…..

so we decided to search out someplace that was higher…..yep, back to the airplane restaurant!  Only this time, two of the three of us had already taken sleeping pills, we were all still full from dinner; so we ordered dessert!  After sitting there an hour or so, we received an email saying the tsunami watch had been cancelled.  So we finished our “food” and jumped back in the car and went down the hill to our little hotel.

The next morning we got up, loaded the car and headed to Playa Dona Ana to feed the monkeys at the beach.  So fun!!!

Then on to Jaco and breakfast; can’t remember the name of the restaurant we had breakfast at, but next time in that area, I will be going there again.  Wonderful, wonderful food!

Shopped a little there but as you know, Jaco, is hot, hot, hot!  Back to the car and then on with our journey home.

Arrived home around mid-afternoon and I don’t know why, but we were exhausted!  Guess it’s the heat!

It was fun to get away for a couple of days – and going with girls and shopping, well, let’s just say, we all had a great time!

Pat enjoyed her time in Costa Rica and says she’ll be back!!!

Pura Vida!


Since we’ve lived here, WOW, almost three years ago, we’ve been getting emails about going to Beach Day.  Finally, we went to one that was held at Pelicano Resort in Esterillos Este; an hour and a half to a two hour drive because of Saturday traffic.

It was unbelievable!!!  There were about 30 people that ventured there from San Ramon, Grecia and Atenas; and some people even brought their 4 legged friends!

beachI love that the beaches are tree lined because believe me, that sun is HOT, HOT, HOT!!!

Mark and I  walked out to the water – it’s quite a ways because the tide was out. We were very happy we had on flip flops – the sand was unbelievably hot – as it came over the top of the flip flops, it burned your toes.

A lady from Canada decided to walk to the water with NOTHING on her feet.  As she got maybe 20 ft. from the shaded sand, she began to scream, it’s burning my feet, help me!  A friend threw her some flip flops as she was headed back to the shade and she ignored those. So she kept walking and screaming.

She kept screaming the skin is burning off my feet and was she ever right!!!  I’m wondering if maybe she had neuropathy and it took awhile for her to realize the sand was burning her feet.  She kept saying, “I’m from Canada and the sand doesn’t get that hot!”  She actually had black spots on the bottom of her feet.

The resort was bringing her bags of ice and cold water to hopefully help stop the pain….a worker there even picked an aloe plant, but she kept screaming, “it’s burning, it’s burning”.  Come to find out ice is the worst thing to use, just tap water or cool water.   The aloe didn’t even help her.

Finally the ambulance came, Cruz Roja, and they were going to take her to some clinic, not sure where.  There was also talk about taking her to the hospital in Grecia where she was either vacationing or living.  At any rate, her vacation, if it was a vacation is ruined….last I heard she was trying to find a wheel chair, poor lady.

Back to Beach Day…..they had a grill set up and cooked beach side or you could go to the restaurant and order lunch.

We had a great day – but you know after you’ve been to the beach, there’s just something that makes you exhausted!  I took a nap after we got home late afternoon!

I will also be shopping for beach chairs to take to the next one!!!

What’s really nice is there are people there if you want to talk, if you want to read everyone respects that… was just a nice day!!!

Can’t wait till the next one!

Pura Vida…..and remember, at least flip flops are needed when you’re walking at the beach!!!



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.

Liena had ceviche for lunch.

Liena had ceviche for lunch.

Shirley ordered the fish casado for meal.

Shirley ordered the fish casado for meal.

The expression on Barb's face after taking a sip of the creme milkshake, says it all!

The expression on Barb’s face after taking a sip of the creme milkshake, says it all!

This was the creme milkshake!  Looks more like butter, doesn't it.  She said it was awful and didn't drink it! LOL

This was the creme milkshake! Looks more like butter, doesn’t it. She said it was awful and didn’t drink it! LOL

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!!!

Pura Vida!

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!

This past Tuesday we took Maricela, Dylana, and Nazareth to the beach.  It was the first time they had been there…Maricela had been there before but it’s been a long time.

As we drove into the parking lot, there was a gorgeous iguana running across the road and climbed up a tree!  So pretty, even the girls were very excited.

This beach is a National Park so it’s very well kept.

We love this beach because there is a section with trees, picnic tables, grills, etc.  These trees are the ones the monkeys love scampering in….

We had no more than arrived in this particular area, and Nazareth and Dylana spotted monkeys frolicking in the trees! They were so excited!!!  It was so fun to see them get excited; their faces and grins told the whole story.

All the tables were full so we found a stretch that was still in the shade and settled down there.  In seconds the girls were in the water.

Nazareth has no fear of anything! Maricela kept telling her that this is not like a pool, and to not go out too far.  She minded most of the time and between Mark and Maricela, Nazareth stayed in pretty close to shore.

We had taken sandwiches and snack food; and stopped at a fruit vendor to purchase bananas for the monkeys.  They were so excited to feed them…..and as usual, we saw mama monkeys carrying their offspring and jumping from tree to tree.

On our way home, we saw a Granizado man and of course, we stopped; we all had “rojo” granizados, except Mark – he declined one. LOL  The rest of us just slurped ours down – yum!

I was very surprised the girls stayed awake on the ride home; it was obvious they were tired!

They had such a good time that they are going back next week with a friend that has never been there!

The girls start back to school on Feb. 4th and it will be quiet in the development! LOL

Please click on the link and view some photos that were taken.

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