How can I tell you of ten days with friends in the tropical paradise that is Costa Rica?
I went to visit old friends, and met some new ones along the way. My airplane travel was uneventful, the weather cooperated fully so that all flights were on time and almost completely devoid of turbulence. Not only that, but the travel gods blessed me with flights that were lacking in fussy babies and obnoxious drunks.
Although the row behind me contained a two year old and a four year old on the six hour flight home, the parents that shared the row with them had adequate control and plenty of things to keep them both busy and happy, and the four year old only spent the first five minutes in the plane kicking the back of my seat. I reached around behind me and took his little foot in my hand for about 30 seconds, and not only did he notice it but so did his mother, who I heard explaining to him that he needed to be respectful of the other people on the plane. Amazingly enough, this little talk actually worked!!! And following the flight the father addressed me as we walked towards customs and thanked me for my patience. Honestly, other than the first few moments, a lot of patience was not required of me. So I am happy to report that there are apparently effective parents out there in the world raising happy and attentively respectful children.
Oh, how to describe the beauty that is Costa Rica? Since my last visit there a year ago some sort of educational program has been going on, apparently, for the litter that marred the countryside the last time I was there was wonderfully gone this time.
The gentlefolk of the country seemed uniformly happy and helpful. At the markets they were patient with my feeble Spanish, on the buses the drivers were courteous and helpful and patient with my fumbling with the coinage, which is almost uniform in size and look — the only real way to tell a 100 colone coin from a 50 is to inspect the number on it. Taxi drivers were friendly and drove carefully, and insisted on seat belts (they could lose their license if their passengers didn’t have them on). All in all, my experience with the people was truly wonderful. I don’t think I met a single surly Costa Rican, not even at the end of the work day during the bus commute.
This is the view from the front porch of my friend’s home.
At night, the cane fields in the distance were burned.
They had a resident wren. Not the same kind of wren we enjoy here, but a much larger bird. Perhaps larger, but with the same character and sassiness as the house wrens that lecture me from my porch here.
She thought that the cat food was actually wren food.
The cat wasn’t sure that that was true.
We took a series of three buses to Quepos from Atenas (where my friends live) to visit the Manuel Antonio National Park. Along the way we had to change buses in Jaco, and we had time to enjoy a wonderful lunch and a local soda and then walk down to the Pacific, where I finally got to put my feet into the ocean I was born by, after an absence of ten years. It felt great.
Yep, that’s really me with my feet in the Pacific.
I could go on and on, but I will save some for tomorrow, for right now I desperately need to vacuum this place. Jim did a great job keeping up with walking Ruby, making a demi glace reduction from the bones of the beef we had butchered, making his shift at work, keeping the house warm, himself and the dog fed, the dishes done and goodness knows what all else, including actually keeping the heating stove area vacuumed. Still, it needs to be done again, though; and the dust that I left behind when I went on vacation is still there, with friends it invited in to party along with it. I may or may not get to that.
I have five massages to do today, and there is one little chore I am not going to neglect. We discovered that the volunteer hive of honeybees that took up residence in our flicker box managed to survive the cold snap. But they are definitely hungry and we are giving them sugar water to tide them over to the flower season. I need to make that up and put it out for them. They are using about a pint a day. I’m not positive that the bees availing themselves of that food source are all from that box, but I don’t care. Keeping bees alive so they can pollinate our grapes is a priority!
And so, more beauty tomorrow.