A 5 Hour Tour!

I have lived in Costa Rica for over two years and have visited this lovely country since 2012. I have seen a LOT of phenomenal places, stayed in spectacular resorts and had the opportunity to do many tours and adventures. But what I got to experience yesterday with a couple of dear friends might have taken the cake!

There is a boutique hotel, El Castillo, located about 25 minutes from our house. We go there when we can, for special occasions, fundraisers or to bring visiting friends to share the magnificent view and property. The food at the Azul restaurant at the hotel is top-notch, always delicious, creative and beautifully served. We have gotten to know some of the management and staff members and we love it when we get to see them, kind of like family!

I have heard about a tour package El Castillo offers that involves a small boat ride to a private island, a personal chef who will prepare an elegant lunch and serve tropical beverages to you right on the beach. The meal will be cooked over an open wood grill, while you swing in the hammock, stroll the glorious beach and enjoy an afternoon of leisure time on the island. Later in the afternoon, the boat comes to pick you up and you find yourself back at the hotel.

Well, I have been wanting to do this luxury adventure for months now, but the time wasn’t right for one reason or another.

Until yesterday….

Here is a look at what it’s like to spend hours on your own private island, called Garza, with a few great friends. I have not been able to stop thinking about this place since we left the shores…. I absolutely cannot wait for the opportunity to do it again. Who’s in????

Garza Island, El Castillo

 

In A 5 Minute Walk

There are sooooo many flowers blooming and I just had to share what I found in a 5 minute walk from our house. Heavenly Hibiscus and a red Passion Flower. It seemed as though the bees are also attracted to these magnificent blossoms! Sending you wishes for a happy Saturday!

 

Monkey Month!

We went without seeing our beloved monkeys for pretty much the entire month of January. But, February has been Monkey Month and I couldn’t be happier! Between the white-faced and the howlers, we’ve been entertained most every day lately!

The howler monkeys seem to love the berries on this tree! What a treat for me, too!

Happy Howler!

Happy Howler!

Happy Howler!

 

Nature’s Gifts Of Love

Even though it is a day for love, I am feeling broken-hearted this Valentine’s Day. No matter what I try to do to make myself feel a little brighter, I find myself tearing up. I miss my Lola kitty so, sooo much. This is the first year she’s been gone and it would be her 16th birthday today. Here is a special story, from December, I forgot to write about.

We have had a Bleeding Heart plant for over a year and a half. Lola used to sit next to it on the deck most mornings. She liked to watch whoever was working down below or happened to be walking by. The plant seemed to grow OK but the only time it ever had flowers was when we got it from the nursery! I thought about moving it to another location or re-potting it into a bigger container. Then, the day after Lola left us, the plant began to come to life and started blooming beautiful bleeding hearts.

And it’s still blooming today.

I absolutely love it when nature shows and shares emotion with you. What a gift!

Especially today, I have to remind myself to pick my head up and look around. She is always here, everywhere and always will be. Lola sweet Lola….

 

 

¿Dos Años? ¡No Es Posible!

February 12th marked our 2-year anniversary of moving to Costa Rica! Two years ago I asked my husband if we could get packed up and ready to move out of California before Valentine’s Day and we made it!!! Sometimes it feels like that was just yesterday and sometimes it feels we’ve been here for a long, long time. Happy sigh.

So far, it’s been a fantastic and amazing journey. Where we are living now is not where we started our new life in CR. I remember back to those first 4 1/2 months of living in El Brujo. We received the very best in cultural immersion and unique learning experiences we could ever have asked for. Life was much harder in the middle of the rainforest, but I wouldn’t have changed our time there for anything. The folks that live in that small town are incredible, resilient, caring, hard-working, rugged and beautiful people. We were fortunate to make family-like friends there and we hold that part of Costa Rica as a very special and magical place.

But, it was just too far out and crazy difficult to manage living 14+ miles up a dirt road, with your nearest town being over an hour away. We realized we needed a few things to make our daily life a bit easier, like a paved road without river crossings for starters. Now, we have towns on both sides of us, just 10 minutes in either direction. We love this location, this area called Uvita, and our view of the glorious Pacific Ocean. I grew up around the water, the bay on one side, the ocean on the other. It is where my heart is its happiest and where I feel the most at home. Although the river and the mountains in the rainforest were majestic, I am an ocean girl forever.

Here it is, the second month of 2017. I don’t know how it happened, but 2 years have already passed since our arrival. You can read all the way back to my first blog, May 24, 2015, and learn about our days in El Brujo. A lot has changed since then, so please take a minute if you haven’t read my story from the beginning.

Life, what a marvelous thing to behold!

Pura vida.

Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle

 

Pretty But Don’t Touch!

Here in Costa Rica, there are many magnificent and unusually beautiful creatures that live all around us. As humans we are curious and often times touch things that look pretty and intriguing. Well, caterpillars are a classic example of something not to touch. I admired this beauty yesterday afternoon. It looked totally unreal, like a little Christmas tree walking on the chair.

So, when in Costa Rica, remember, if you don’t know what it is, it’s best to look and not touch!

Pura vida!

Crazy cool caterpillar!

Crazy cool caterpillar!

Crazy cool caterpillar!

What if Katy Didn’t?

I find this so hilarious that a leaf bug (Katydid) is a real thing. First, they just plain look fake, and often times they blend into the background of the jungle. They are such strange creatures and they are one of the many insects that blow my mind down here in the Southern Zone.

I headed out to town recently and I found this lil beauty waiting by the front door. It took me by surprise because Katydids are pretty big bugs! I wondered to myself who the person was that named this bug. And what happens if one Katydid and the other didn’t?

I love Costa Rica.

Pura vida.

Just The Normal Noises Around Here!

One would think there were dozens of birds in this video, but there are only 3. These chatty red-lored parrots have been around a lot lately and I keep trying to capture them in a photo or in a video. Their talkative squawking is so loud that I can hear them long before I can see them and then they’re gone!

The other morning I left my yummy cup of coffee and walked down to the parking lot to get this footage. The video is a little long, so please give it a few to upload. I really wanted you to feel like you were standing right there with me!

I wish I could have also recorded them as they flew directly over my head about 15 minutes after this. Next time…

Chatty Parrots!

 

 

Super Sloth Sunday

What a day!!! As if seeing a sloth (perezoso) in a tree in your yard isn’t enough, how about helping to save one from certain death!?

While taking a little drive with our friend Richard, I spotted something that looked unusual at the very edge of the road. We were traveling on a very windy, curvy, hilly road headed towards the town of San Isidro. Anyone of you that has been on this route knows it is quite the drive. We came around a big corner and I loudly stated that I was pretty sure there was a sloth at the edge of the road! Richard, who was driving, asked if I was sure, and I replied, “I really think so!!” He stopped the car, put the hazard lights on and we walked down the road to see a sweet sloth trying to get to the other side. I asked Richard what we were going to do.

Meanwhile, my husband went further down the road to stop traffic. I stood in amazement as Richard walked over to that good-sized sloth and grabbed it behind the neck, like a cat, and just above the tail. He picked that thing up and walked it across the street to safety. He placed it as far up the embankment as he could reach and made sure it was secure before letting it go.

A car full of tourists had stopped to see what was going on. Boy, did they get quite the show!!

Come to find out Richard has saved several sloths during his many years in Costa Rica! And now I know how to handle the situation if I ever come across a sloth trying to cross the road.

Pura Vida.

Saving Sloths!

 

 

 

 

It’s All About Transformation

Life these days is a lot about adaptation, re-evaluation, revelations and transformation. Living in another country has it’s moments of ups, downs and constant change. Most every day something comes along to challenge me, encourage me or teach me more about myself. Anyone who has done work on “who they really are and what their purpose is”  knows that on occasion you come up against some pretty hard realities. Every day cannot be a slice of perfect pineapple or backyard full of monkeys!

No, some days I find myself being very introspective and contemplative on why I am really here. Here in this paradise of a world, surrounded with non-stop beauty and all the things I deeply love. How did I get so fortunate to sit here and soak all this up? And why can’t everyone sit in their own personal place called heaven?

What I have come to understand is that it is my responsibility, my ultimate life’s work, to share this world, this magical, wonder-filled place I call home. But to do that I must be honest, to myself and to those of you I am reaching through my writings. And some days, when I am having moments of difficulty or doubt or heaviness, I am always given a gift to remind me of who I am. I am just a being on this glorious planet, trying to do my best to live my life to the fullest and to learn how to be the best “me” I can be.

On the last day of January, I was feeling a little blue, for reasons it is hard to explain. As I sat there pondering, a little surprise came along to brighten my spirits. A spectacular turquoise dragonfly flew in to visit me and help me through my darkness. In Buddhist beliefs the dragonfly represents so much about transformation, change and light. I was so taken by it’s beauty and how it danced around in the sunlight for me. It stayed around long enough for me to capture a few photos. I went inside the house for a minute, and when I returned to the deck, it was gone. As quickly as it appeared, it disappeared and so did my blues and my feelings of heaviness. It was as if that brilliant being took my worries away with it. I am humbled, profoundly blessed and grateful. Gracias, sweet dragonfly!

 

 

Monkeys Rock My World!

Please see the start of my morning in the previous blog, when it was still dark outside. Here is a great video of my noisy friend, the big daddy Howler. Now it is 6:50am and my monos are headed out to explore and enjoy their day. Isn’t he gorgeous? I sure hope they come back again this afternoon! Thanks for rocking my world!

Monkeys rock my world!

 

 

 

 

Monkey Love!

We haven’t had the pleasure of seeing our beloved Howler monkeys for over a month now. I have heard them off in the distance, but even that has been rare. I’ve missed them something fierce and have been wondering what happened to them?!

But today, my heart burst open because my dear monos are back! Apparently they love my magnificent tree that I’ve been writing about! Now that the tree is full of new, fresh leaves, the monkeys have returned! They feasted for over an hour as I watched and admired them. Now they are all settled in for the night, happy and fat. What a special and precious treat to have them sleeping nearby. It ought to be mighty noisy here in the early AM! But I will go to sleep knowing my favorite alarm clock will be waking me up!

If you listen closely at the very beginning of the video, you can hear the gecko laugh and the toucans talk in the background.

Ah, monkey love forever!

Howler Monkeys make my day!!

 

Jesus De Cristo!

Although I am a huge music fan, since we moved to Costa Rica, it is pretty rare for me to put on the radio in the truck or to play music at home. Occasionally, I will crave a treasured album or two, or a favorite artist, but generally speaking, the outside world is music to my ears!

What I listen to now comes in the form of toucans talking, the breeze blowing through the trees, parrots squawking, cicadas singing, frogs chirping and monkeys howling. We primarily live outdoors in this tropical paradise and there is always something making noise. The jungle begins to wake up very early in the morning and these incredible sounds are teaming with life, greeting the new day. Every morning I wake up grateful and excited for all the things I am able to hear.

Now I find when I have music playing I miss out on so much that is happening all around me. After nearly 2 years of living in Costa Rica, I have learned that it is important to listen closely if I want to experience the cool things that surround me. By listening for sounds like breaking branches or rustling leaves on the jungle floor, I have the opportunity to catch the wild nature that shares my world. I know the sounds of different birds and how to identify the type of monkey that’s swinging through my backyard. I know the distinct “ping” sound of the Glass Frog and the laugh of the Gecko. There is so much to be fascinated by and the longer we live here, the more I learn!

But, once in a while I do fancy to listen to a few songs. Recently I put on my absolute favorite artist, Paolo Nutini, and I happened upon a most unique and fabulous sight! A Lagarto de Jesus Cristo or Basilisk Lizard, that we have named Basil, was also enjoying my Paolo music! it must have jumped down from the tree and was rocking out on our deck! Check it out!!