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....