Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas in San Jose, Costa Rica 2011

The sights of Christmas in downtown San Jose are quite beautiful this year!

The big constructed light tree is in the park in front of the National Museum of Costa Rica just down the hill from us.

The hanging lights line the streets in the downtown area.

The day we ventured downtown to do some shopping the weather was beautiful. The spirit of the holiday shopping crowds seem to be the same whether we are in San Jose or Charlotte or Denver. (not to mention the number of people!)

We are currently back in the US to spend Christmas with Colorado family and loving every minute of it.
We will return to CR New Years Eve...
We want to wish all of you a wonderful and blessed holiday season.
More from CR later.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Off To The Market

The Saturday Farmers Markets in Costa Rica are like a wonderful color wheel of exotic as well as more ordinary fruits and vegetables......

Families, couples, restaurants, locals and visitors bring bags, boxes and all sizes and configurations of carts to do the weekly shopping for quality fresh foods for the week from the huge number of vendors.

We were in great company yesterday with our Costa Rican friend Rafa.We headed out in the morning to catch the bus to Guadalupe, the closest market to where we are in San Jose.

While we are getting ever so slightly better with the whole money thing, the issue with us now is not in asking the price of something we wish to purchase.The big problem lies in understanding the answer.
Rafa was great helping us understand the prices of what we were buying not to mention explaining about some of the totally unfamiliar fruits and vegetables.

I asked him if he would mind asking the price of some avocados that I thought looked really good. The young man selling the produce kindly cut off a small sample of the avocado and gave it to him to try. He had a strange look on his face as he sampled the avocado...When I asked if it was good, he smiled and said, "I don't really care for avocado". What a nice friend...

On the way back to catch the bus, we stopped at a little cafe for the best yet (for me) Costa Rican tamale and coffee. Maybe we could find the little cafe again??

Though we were tempted to buy one of everything, we got home with pineapples, avocados, bananas, and cilantro... all the freshest you can imagine . Hard not to overdo with the amazing quality and very inexpensive prices.

Friday, December 2, 2011

One More Thing

Okay so..the monkey video of mommy and baby was so cute we really need to share it..

And The Rest Of The Story

Suffice it to say........ the rest of the time spent on vacation with our kids was memorable!
A few of the highlights were:
The educational and informative and really fun tour of the Cafe Britt Coffe Plantation--who knew coffee had such an interesting history!!!
The Lodge where we spent the night near the Poas Volcano. (the clouds prevented us from seeing the volcano, but the lodge (and great food) was worth the drive up the mountain.
Manuel Antonio...the hike in the jungle, the monkeys outside our balcony and the amazingly beautiful beach.
The resort in Punteranas (our Christmas present from our daughter and son in law)...lots of great food and  just some relaxing beach time! Melynda and Brent have already been missing the fresh fruit and breakfast beer.....
The wonderful boat trip to and from the beach on Tortuga Island (and the great food) .
Melynda and Brent reluctantly left Monday to go back home to Denver to their cats, their jobs and snow.
We are back in San Jose in our little apartment in the big city.
Back to learning more about life in Costa Rica and it's people.
Back to learning how to find our way around.
The language is beginning to sound a bit more familiar even if we still don't know what people are saying to us a good part of the time
.We both see beginning Spanish classes  in our not too distant future.
Last night was our first attempt at making  Gallo Pinto (the staple food for all Costa Ricans).
It was very good, but we are not quite ready to have our Costa Rican neighbor test it yet...
Tomorrow we are looking forward to attending (not yet participating) an art show in Escazu---will report on that later.
Following are some recent pictures.
Our friends outside our windows
A very slow moving sloth!
Connie & Michael on Torguga Island

Brent & Melynda out on the pier

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our trip with the kids

Hey Amigos!
Our plan was to wait to post again until we were back in San Jose after traveling to several different areas in CR with Brent and Melynda.
It seems, however, there are too many pictures and experiences to include in just one post.
We will start with our one day trip to San Gerardo De Dota with the intent to venture into the cloud forest in search of birds with Brents new binoculars.
To set the scene for the following videos, we were delighted that the GPS on Brent's phone could actually find where we were and keep us on course.........we thought.
It seems we got a little off course, but Google maps found us an alternate route.
I cannot even do justice trying to describe the road on which we found ourselves traveling but thank the Lord for 4 wheel drive! 
Meanwhile, the GPS continued to tell us we were right on the alternate course.
The following video clips that Melynda took do a better job telling the story of this trip.............
By the way, we did finally reach our destination, but the visit was cut short by the rains of the day.
And we are relieved to report that we did get back to San Jose by way of the "road more traveled."

more to come shortly.....................

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Buenas Dias from Costa Rica

We made a promise to family, friends and acquaintances that we would try to document and share our experiences for the six months we are in Costa Rica. goes. Hopefully we can keep some consistency.

We arrived in San Jose Costa Rica one week ago last night. After a wonderful going away party with friends including tearful and emotional goodbyes, we headed to the airport to begin our exciting and long awaited adventure. Thanks to our dear friends, we departed Salisbury feeling loved and appreciated.
We were thankful for an uneventful flight, no issues with customs and a fairly calm taxi ride to the Costa Rica Hotel for our first night here.

But the real fun began the next morning when Dick, a former Salisburian, (now Costa Rica resident)  and  Rafa, a native Costa Rican  (aka landlords, friends and guardian angels) walked from what was soon to be our new  temporary home in San Jose to meet us.
First order of the day was to a get our 4 large trunks back to our apartment. It was only 4 blocks away but involved  revolving taxi trips--we walked--the trunks rode in the taxi!

That day began the whirlwind of sights sounds and tastes of San Jose including bus trips (no car),a commuter train trip, many many walking tours through the downtown area of San Jose, lots of wonderful Costa Rica coffee (and food) and even attended  Rafas Tico family celebration.

It seems so far, every time we wonder out with out Dick and or Rafa we do spend a little of the time lost (shhhh don't tell Michael because he doesn't think we were lost!)

One of our favorite things so far is the fresh fruit and vegetables from the street vendors and markets...yesterday we found that prices can vary alot from place to place . For example a pineapple from under $1.00 to $2.50. And, by the way--the pineapple was really really good!

Tuesday we were downtown trying to prove we could do some stuff by ourselves. We were having a late lunch in a little bar/restaurant/cafe where a tv was showing the Costa Rica vs Spain futbol match (game?). Futbaol does happen to the passion of Costa Rica. All of a sudden, there was this kind of rumble (earthquake???) coming from out on the street and people began to stop and look in the windows and doors of the cafe... What had happened was Costa Rica had just scored the first goal of the game (match?) Horns were honking, people cheering..........our first experience with the passion of Costa Rica.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to our daughter and son in law from Denver coming to visit  for a bit then we will all spend Thanksgiving at the beach in Punarenus. More after that trip...