Wednesday, October 26, 2011


There have been many moments in the past few weeks when I've been made all too aware that we sure as hell ain't in New York City anymore...but when I looked out our window yesterday, I was reminded again. Literally...our backyard is a jungle.
That's one bad mamma jamma.

I Can See Clearly Now...

...that the rain is gone! Now I have certainly made the most of this rainy season...and enjoyed every moment of calm that the cloudy days and rainy nights have brought along.
That said, when we woke up on Monday morning to a blue sky, I nearly jumped up and down. For real.

Having experienced SO much rain over the past few weeks, I'm able to really relish the glory of sunny skies. It 's a feeling quite similar to that of the first spring day in NYC -- where for the first time in months, you are just so damn thankful for warm sun on your face.

I'm quite certain that it will rain again soon enough (we live in a country of endless rain forests, after all), but the season of rain has come and gone.

I did love the rain...but so far, I don't miss it...

Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa!

It didn’t take long for us to decide that we need to spend more than just a few weeks here. Last week we began our search for a more permanent place to stay…and within the afternoon we ended that search, successfully! Before we up and moved to Costa Rica, everyone’s favorite question seemed to be: “Where are you going to live?” When we arrived here a little over four weeks ago (whoa! time flies), we had arranged places to stay for the first month. And now we have a more permanent answer to that question…at least for now. We’ve decided to try and spend a month or two in a few different places, so as to give us the opportunity to travel around and explore different locations in this fine country. We’ll move into our new place at the end of this month, and stay until we head back to the states on Christmas Eve. After that, we might live in a different part of the country for a change…but lucky for us, we don’t have to decide now!

The search for an apartment was like nothing I’ve ever experienced…certainly nothing like searching for a place to live in NYC! We were told that a fellow named Mauricio had rooms for rent. We asked a few folks where we could find him, and after knocking on two doors, we located Mauricio’s aunt. She said he lived nearby, so she offered to call him for us. He came right over. (It should be noted at this point that my Spanish is still, well, let’s say elementary…and thus, all of these discussions involve Julia speaking to these people and me standing by, smiling and saying “si” a lot, trying to understand.) Mauricio said that all of his rooms were currently being rented, but that he thought his aunt might have some places for rent. At this point, his aunt perked up, and offered over 2 sets of keys. Mauricio escorted us down the road and up a set of hidden stairs that led up the hillside. The first place we saw…let’s just say it left a lot to be desired. But the second place was quite nice. It’s a small house with a porch downstairs and a balcony upstairs, a kitchen, dining area, and a lofted bedroom. It is up high on the hill, and we have an awesome view of the ocean! You betta believe photos will follow soon…
After chatting it over, and discussing the safety of the place with some trusted locals, we decided to take it. Julia went back later that afternoon to reserve our stay with Mauricio’s aunt, Lilliana. There was no deposit, or lease, or contract. We shook hands, and she said she’s looking forward to seeing us at the end of the month. Just like that. (They discussed lots of other things too, but I only understood enough to know that we’ve got ourselves a deal.) Pretty cool, huh? 

On Sunday, we moved in. Already in just a few short days, it feels like home...and it's so wonderful to already feel like we're finally settled in. 

Feliz CumpleaƱos, Julia!!!

Happy Birthday, my love!

We've had a day full of celebration so far...complete with pancakes for breakfast...
Oh, happy day...I love you so, sweet Julia.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Un Chico y Un Pescado

Yesterday it rained. All day. Buckets and buckets of rain. I went on a walk during what seemed to be a lapse in the downpour, only to be rained upon. Walking home became quite an adventure, when my shoes quickly filled with water, squishing with each step. The gravel road was overcome with rivers of water and puddles the color of chocolate milk. By the time I made it home, I looked like I had spent the night in the ocean.

When we woke up this morning, the beaches were swarming with fisherman. Apparently all of yesterday's rain did wonders to the fishing conditions. I made a new friend...who was quick to show off his catch.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Inside Job

The other night we went to dinner and a movie...there's a little restaurant in town that shows a free movie every night at 7:30, and you can eat dinner while you watch. Admittedly, it's a funny little tourist ploy...but I guess you can call us suckers for it!

Have you seen this movie?
If you haven't yet seen Inside Job, you should. Regardless of your stance on finances, Wall Street, and/or really is so interesting. 

Rainy Mornin'

"The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we stayed in the house all that cold, cold wet day." This sums up my morning rather well. Although sometimes rainy days mean that you accomplish things. I now have a fancy-lookin' excel spreadsheet that organizes all the information for my graduate school applications. They sure don't make all those "application requirements" easy.

Something about this rainy day made me want to have...
banana pancakes! Actually, they're crepes, I suppose. But they were crispy on the edges and soft in the middle, as all good pancakes should be. They were so delicious that I might start hoping for more rainy an excuse to eat them again.
This is the most wonderful little pot of might not look like much, but it's the greatest marmalade I've ever encountered.
 Pina y coco (pineapple & coconut)...and I know, you're thinking, "Seriously? All that tropical air has gone to her head..." But really, it's so glorious that I eat it every morning with almost everything. It's just the right amount of sweet to start my day.

Hope you've a good start to your day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Pals

I've always loved making new a kid, I think that's why I always loved summer camp. It's just so much fun to meet new folks...when we lived in NYC, we sometimes made friends in the most unlikely places...(Patrick, Karen, and Evan...I think you know all about this!) We're the type of gals who like to find friends wherever we go...and in NYC, we were friends with the Dominican guys who sat on our stoop each evening, the baristas at our favorite espresso spot, and the sweet woman who made our favorite flower bouquets. Blame it on our Southern roots I suppose, but sometimes a little friendly goes a long way.

So I suppose it goes without saying that we've met the most wonderful people during our stay here. We've met people from Spain, Australia, South Africa, Holland, Argentina, Germany...oh, the list could go on. Of course, we've also had some wonderful conversations with locals...being in a small town means that we've gotten to know everyone rather quickly.

Last Friday night we went to dinner with some new pals, and spent a lovely evening drinking wine and telling stories together.
By the end of the evening, we all agreed that there's something quite glorious about dinner with friends. Don't you agree?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Good Mornin'!

Mornin'! Happy Monday...this morning, I was thinking about how different my mornings have become. Back in the city (as I always refer to NYC), mornings were a hurried and rushed experience. After hitting the snooze button way too many times, and jumping out of bed (because I slept too late, not because I was all that excited to be getting out of bed)...I'd tear through our apartment getting dressed and making breakfast and rushing off to school. Breakfast was always eaten en route to school...many a morning I would walk through the East Village streets carrying a bowl of blueberries and yogurt. And yes, I would walk to school even in the snow...
After the walk to school, there was no coffee in the morning for me...a small herd of 5 year olds provided all the energy I needed. It seems almost silly to compare life here to life in NYC...but it provides a relative comparison.

Here, as you can probably imagine, things move at a much different pace. We wake rather early...whoa, relative term. I should say that we naturally wake up at what feels like an early hour. Since we don't have an alarm clock, early usually means 7am or so. Breakfast has become a leisurely meal...we sit on the open-air terrace of our hotel and watch the waves crash and the rain fall.
We often sit for hours, long after the coffee grinds are all that is left in the bottom of each cup. Usually during breakfast, Julia writes or reads and I busy myself with blogging or e-mailing. It has been a rare pleasure to allow myself to peruse the internet in ways that previously felt like wasting time. It's quite lovely to be able to read articles and blogs online, and to simply enjoy them. I recognize in saying this that most of you will read this and think, 'oh, dear, what a lazy gal.' But it's taken me some practice to get good at relaxing into things. I've always been the type of vacationer that feels a need to 'go' and 'see' and 'do' it's been good for me to just 'be'. I think the yoga I've gotten into recently has helped me to 'be' in the present...lovin' that.
After breakfast, I go for a run. Or we go to a yoga class. Running has been a wonderful way to explore this rural town, and my regular route takes me down a gravel road next to farms and lush jungles -- with the sounds of the waves never too far.
When we announced our move to CR, the second most popular question was “What are you going to do all day?” The lovely aspect of this answer is that there is no one answer to this question. I'm keeping myself busy with graduate school applications and wedding planning...but also with reading and yoga and walking on the beach. It's often hard to believe that my days feel as full as they do...but it's nice to know that I truly feel like I'm enjoying every moment.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Have a Mighty Fine Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend?

Wherever you are, and whatever you plan on doing this weekend...have a good one.

Amor De Mar

When we visited Montezuma last year, we spent many a morning at a nearby hotel – Amor De Mar…we would wake up extra early so that we could eat breakfast and drink coffee before hitting the surf each day. It’s been such fun to come back to the same place and get to stay in that very hotel!

A lovely German woman owns the hotel, and everyone that works here treats us like family. From our first day here, they have gone out of their way to take care of us. The hotel has about a dozen rooms, and the most spectacularly relaxing open-air terrace that overlooks the ocean. On our first day here, it was particularly rainy and they offered for us to spend the afternoon in one of the houses on the property so we could have more space away from the rain. (Seriously?) So kind. We would have gladly spent the whole day right here...

A Three Hour Tour...

This whole shebang of an adventure all started with our trip to Costa Rica almost two years ago. We decided to learn to surf, and ended up at a surf school in Montezuma, Costa Rica. It was on this trip that Julia found some works of Costa Rican poets, and, well…I suppose the rest is history.

So it seemed only fitting that we would come back to Montezuma at the start of our year here.

We got up bright n’ early last Saturday morning, and traveled in a van from San Pedro to Puntarenas, where we boarded a ferry to cross the Nicoya Gulf. The ride was really quite glorious, and brought such an unexpected change of pace from the mild temperatures and cloudy days in San Pedro. 

After docking the ferry, we had quite the time unloading our I'm not the world's lightest packer. (Yes, ladies and gentlemen, those bags would be bigger than her...)