Thursday, April 5, 2012


We could not resist posting a few photos we took a week ago on yet another wonderful family beach trip...we are soooo lucky!
Jennifer, Doug and Brandon came to visit Costa Rica for the first time.

It was an amazing week at the Rui Resort in Guanacaste spent relaxing, and enjoying fun in the sun and water...oh, and great food every day and night.

There was also a zipline adventure....deep sea fishing....crocodile hunting....oh wait..maybe that is a slight exaggeration. Maybe it was really a ride through the backroads, then a relaxed riverboat trip in ..... yes, crocodile infested waters (also including viewing exotic birds, iguanas and howler monkeys--it was  Disneyland only real.

Michael and I skipped the zip line trip (too calm for us--ha ha) but we got a good account of the day from the brave ones who participated.

What I need to say about the fishing is that if you happen run into Michael this summer, be prepared for his deep sea fishing tales. Stories that most assuredly will grow and grow from the "for real" really big fish to who knows what.... Let's just say that his first deep sea fishing experience will be hard to ever top. ( Thanks Doug!) And dinner cooked by the resort chef that night was amazing. (too bad we didn't take pictures before we started eating!)

A really good time was had by all....

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day Three

Day three was a relaxing Sunday walk to get some sample pictures of the amazing doors in the city. These doors are right on the sidewalk, but sometimes if you are lucky a door might be open and you can catch a glimpse of the intriging living spaces. These might include modest to more elaborate family homes, but all have courtyards and gardens and outdoor living spaces "behind closed doors".

Misc. photos around the town.........
Art School

One of the many city parks

Need I say more....Pizza and beer

Next week we look forward to a visit with daughter, son-in-law and grandson at the beach.....yeahhhhhh

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nicaragua Adventure in Granada

Day 1  (click on photos to enlarge)
We left our place in San Jose to arrive at the fairly close by bus terminal at 5:00 am.
On time bus departure at 6:00 am began our 8 hour trip to Granada, Nicaragua.
We did enjoy the scenery.... between little naps. The border crossing out of Costa Rica into Nicaragua was uneventful...yeahhhhhh.
Our introduction to Granada was a short 5 block walk to our hotel. We are not quite sure of the significance of the purple flags but loved the effect.
Our small hotel was not fancy, but very pretty.....especially this lush courtyard complete with the wild parrots on a neighboring

Day 2 Highlights

Breakfast at the hotel after a refreshing nights sleep was typical fresh fruit, beans and rice, fresh juice and great coffee. There were 3 small groups of guests having breakfast at the same time with us.
One group asked one of the hotel employees about the starfruit tree in the courtyard. Next thing we knew, he was climbing the tree... and picking the ripe starfruit. He came down the same way and disappeared into the kitchen to return shortly with a plate of fresh...verrry fresh... starfruit for each table! Customer service at it's best, right? 

A good part of the rest of the day we spent on  an open air bus tour of the city of Granada which also included a boat tour of the Granada Islands located in the huge Lake of Nicaragua. It was totally worth the argument with Michael about taking a "tour" We BOTH loved it. The pictures say it all...

Of the 30 some beautiful islands, some were very small, some were larger...some were uninhabited and some were inhabited by by monkeys. The "island dwellings" ranged from local fisherman's modest homes to very luxurious international estates.......

A very good day ended with a very good pizza at a local restaurant in a festive downtown Saturday night setting.

The 3rd and final day tomorrow........

Monday, March 12, 2012

Catch Up Post

Our summer (December thru April) in Costa Rica has been, and is a time of discovery for us.
I have to admit that I now understand that it is somewhat difficult to keep up with blog posts as often as we intended.
Having an amazing time making new friends and  exploring  seems to have been top priority.

The beach......

In February, it was determined that we needed another trip to the beach. 
We asked expat friends and Tico friends which beach was their favorite. 
There were as many different answers as the number of people we asked. The only exception was one artist friend who declared she was not a beach person...???? 
It still is an amazement to us that we can get on a bus or rent a car and be on either coast in the matter of a just few hours.   
After we chose  Playas del Coco in Guanacaste for this trip,  we found a charming and reasonably priced small hotel with good customer reviews right across the street from the beach. (

The Theater......
One of the absolutely most delightful findings this summer has been our introduction to the Teatro al Mediodia. This is a series of performances at noon that runs February thru November each year.  It features 45 to 60 minute performances held in the beautiful historic Teatro Nacional ( in the middle of downtown San Jose. The cost is 1000 colones (about $2.00) So far we have seen wonderful top quality music groups and dance troupes.  It is an wonderful and delightful break in the middle of the day.
 The arts......
The many and diverse styles and mediums of sculpture  and the public mosaics have excited and fascinated us when we are out on our own “art discovery walks”. Sometimes we can find artist signatures or identification on the sculptures or mosaic—sometimes we can’t. At any rate, public artwork abounds in the city-- in parks--corporate settings-- on street corners, and of course on the sides of buildings, walls and fences. Here are just a few our favorites.

House sitting, Cuidad Colon.....

We are currently in the second week of house sitting for new friends. We are getting to experience typical life in a smaller community about 30 minutes outside San Jose. What comes to mind here first  is how friendly and welcoming the people are here, both the locals and the expats. It is a lovely Costa Rica style home with not only very  beautiful tropical gardens out front and back, but we also have our  very own temporary pets (3 dogs and a very elusive kitty). Avocado, mango, orange, and lime trees out back shade the more delicate tropical flowers, not to mention the strategically placed hammock.

And the rest......

Michael has been very pleased to find a great company to work with in helping him fabricate sculpture for art shows in the states this summer and for marketing here in Costa Rica. Of course, inspiration is never a problem for my paintings of tropical plants and flowers in black and white.
Check in on this blog again for reports on a trip to Guanacaste and also bus trip to Nicaragua and winding up our 6 month trial run in Costa Rica. Stay tuned for big decisions....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Weekend

Hola Amigos!
I was so excited to find all the ingredients here to make chili on Super Bowl day!
It has always been a tradition....
Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that one Super Bowl day we would be living in an amazingly beautiful tropical paradise .............. soooo, even if there are sunny skies, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and it is 80 degrees,the chili tradition goes on. (I can just think of our family in Colorado in 14 inches of snow)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Street Art

On our very first day in San Jose last November, we noticed a small group of street artists painting a mural of the face of Bob Marley on the corner not far from where we live. Since that day, we have both loved discovering the murals and creative graffiti all over the city.

I’ve wondered if permission must be obtained.  Is it legal or illegal….no one seems to know for sure?

Perhaps I haven’t yet met the right people to ask?? At any rate, the artwork does exist everywhere.

The styles, the themes, the colors are widely varied.

One might even speculate about how many pieces of street art could be self-portraits in addition to political and social statements.
I have read that one of the most rewarding factors of street art is the surface. Some may say the cold metal of train cars cannot be beat for a good surface. But then there is also shabby siding, dilapidated brick, heavily textured stucco and of course….concrete.

 The essence of street art is often anonymous to the casual passerby, unless you take the time to decipher it – when possible – and study it. How long did a piece take? How many artists worked on it? And when you see a pile of spray paint cans tossed to the side – next to a scribble which may or may not be the artist’s signature – why? Who paid for the cans?  In most cases, no money was to be made from this.
In researching the street artists work, my favorite quote I found was ….”Whatever their reasons – they’re just doing their job, after all.