Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Now, I realize it was just yesterday that I was talking about Christmas and the fact that it's on its' way (yay!)...but, to be perfectly honest, were it not for the vast amounts of online shopping I've been doing, I'd probably have a difficult time believing that Christmas is almost here.

Especially due to the fact that we wake up every day to palm trees and sunshine. For me, Christmas has always involved freezing temperatures, fireplaces, and rooms smelling of pine. Not to mention Christmas carols...but don't worry, I've made up for that...
That would be me. Jamming out to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing!" Busted.

Christmas is Coming...

 I love me some Christmas.

Always have--I love the lights and the music and the carols. There's just something kinda glorious about this time of year...

Over the weekend, we started talking about how hard it is to believe that we have just six days left in our little home...because, we both agreed, it really feels like home here. Makes me thankful for the fact that 'home' can be created wherever we're together. I sure do love my girl...
As much change and transition as we've experienced over the past three months, we've really been blessed with a feeling of settling in here. There have been many days of unexpected adventure -- figuring out how to purchase a new propane tank and get it all the way up the hill to our house, and getting lost on hikes and finding our way hours later -- and there have been the daily challenges of adjusting to cold showers and dealing with bug bites (oh, the bug bites!)...but all in all, we've loved the new lives we've found for ourselves here. We've both grown to love this little town...and we've made some really amazing friends while we've been here.

As much as Christmas is about giving, it's also about slowing down to appreciate all that we've already been given. We sure do feel blessed.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Yeeeeee Haw.

Caroline and Robb are here to visit! Ahhhhh!
Nothin' better than a weekend here with damn good friends...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Come, Mr. Tallyman. Tally me bananas...

Look! This is how bananas grow!

I felt like a little kid when these banana flowers opened up outside our window. It’s amazing to see the details of creation right in front of you.

Merry, Merry...

I love Christmas. Everything about it. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

So last week at the farmer's market, you betta believe I bought us a wreath. It makes our house smell like evergreen all the time, and it's got me whistling Christmas tunes 'round the clock. Hark! The herald angels sing!

(It's only fitting, I think, that like all good Americans we follow a Thanksgiving post with a Christmas one. Please note the sarcasm in my tone. I will say that I've always hated the way Walgreens and Wal-Mart ganged up on Thanksgiving and started stocking their shelves with garland the day after Halloween.)

Live Simply.

I bought this hat a few years ago. At the time, I was living in the middle of nowhere Mississippi, teaching kindergarten in a low-income community, and feeling like I lived a pretty simple life.

Oh honey. The life I lived there is nothin’ compared to the simplicity of our lives here. And…I love it.

I get excited about the little things…like I thought I was going to flip when I found almond butter at the farmer’s market last week. 
And I miss the little things too. Things that I took for granted before. Like having a couch. (As our furniture options are limited to a high quality set of plastic outdoor furniture, and while these certainly get the job done, they ain’t the most comfortable things ever made.) 
(I know...this is not a photo of the two of us sitting in our fancy plastic chairs. I just couldn't bring myself to photograph our dining table made of lawn chairs. So instead, here's a moment of nostalgia from our former couch in NYC. Makes me miss ol' apartment 7...)

Oddly enough, I don’t miss our dishwasher. Or hot showers – for the record, our shower has only one handle, and you better believe that water is cold.
(Yes, Cathryn, that Bumble is in your honor...)

I know, you’re reading this and thinking, “Of course your life is simple – you don’t even have a job!” Let’s keep in mind that I (still) don’t speak Spanish…so I’m not exactly anyone’s idea of a strong hire in this tiny town. And I’ve decided that planning a wedding and applying to graduate school are both tasks that should be considered full-time jobs. (Guess that’s why they have wedding planners and college counselors…)

It took some adjusting for me to live a life without a regular 7 to 5 routine…as I’ve always been one of those ‘go-getter’ types that is accostomed to such scheduling. But I’ve learned to live in the moment, and it’s been pretty damn good for me. 

Turkey Day (Minus the Turkey...)

We really did have a wonderful Thanksgiving…we went to our very favorite restaurant in town (which also happens to be one of our very favorite restaurants period) and spent a few hours lingering over dinner. 

It’s probably high time I shared the glory of this place: Playa de los Artistas. The restaurant is right on the beach, surrounded by a grove of coconut trees, and is so tucked away that you’d miss it if you didn’t know where you were going. 
It’s the kind of place that you can’t believe is real. 

The family that runs the place is originally from Rome, but they’ve lived here for the past twenty-some years. Let me just tell ya, these folks can cook.

The menu changes everyday, based on what is fresh, and we’d gladly eat here every night of the week.

For Thanksgiving, we had mahi mahi carpaccio, Sicilian lasagna, and a pork chop cooked atop fresh herbs. Julia's family has a tradition with pumpkin pie which involves running around the house backwards...We tried our best to emulate tradition, using our chocolate tart during dessert...and yes, she made me run around the restaurant backwards...good thing we're regulars here!

So our Thanksgiving wasn't exactly traditional, but it left me feeling thankful, which is what it's all about.