Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Monster Bugs

     Costa Rica is an amazing and beautiful country.  I am constantly in awe at the diversity surrounding us.   Living in Costa Rica, we have the most breathtaking scenery.  We have endless rivers to frolic in.  The evenings are full of music from all the life surrounding us.  Oh, and these...

     Monday, while doing yard work, we ran across this snake worm.  He was actually longer than this, but unfortunately he was chopped while digging a ditch.

Now, that's what I call an earth worm.  Dinner anyone?
Thank goodness for the neighborhood kids who helped him out the door.

Sure little dude, you can just hang out with us...
I think he is from Panama, with the camouflage and all.
We actually had a pet beetle a little bigger than this.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture before she became one with the earth again.

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Instead of "Duck Crossing" signs, we have "Tarantula Crossing".

And this is actually a fairy.  If you don't believe me, watch Pan's Labyrinth.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Has It Really Been a Month Already?

The beginning of August officially marked one month we have been in Costa Rica.  Time flies when you're having fun!!!  I wish I could say we are fully adjusted and feel at home, but we aren't quite there... yet.

I know it has only been one month, but I can honestly say, I do not miss Florida at all.  However, I greatly miss my family and friends, and I especially miss my older kiddos who felt they were too cool to come with us (insert winky face).  On occasion, I will see a picture of the beaches posted online and I'll feel nostalgic, but let's be realistic... bathing suit days are gone for this gal.

Also, I am still trying to get used to not having the varieties of EVERYTHING within an arm's reach.  I hated Walmart and every other corporate chain whatever; but I won't lie, I'm having corporate chain withdraws.  I do not doubt that I will get through this (I have no choice) and carry a more simplistic life with me when I return to the U.S., but some whining will take place before reaching that point.

I am amazed at the reduction in waste we go through here.  In Florida, we had a huge green trashcan to fill up, and it was emptied twice a week.  We didn't necessarily fill that thing up all the time, though apparently, our society has so much waste the trucks have to come through twice a week... I suppose, just in case.

Here we have a metal box that we share with neighbors, and it is emptied once a week.  Even with sharing, we never have that thing full.
Can you guess which one is from back home?

Most houses just have the basket like the one seen here.
I know, why am I writing about our garbage?!!! I guess I am just realizing how wasteful our society is.  Hopefully, that is a thing of the past for me as well.

While we are still adjusting to our new lives, we will just continue to bask in the beauty that surrounds us.

Lovely scenery on a clear day!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Trip To Some Waterfalls

Not too far up the mountain is a little piece of Heaven, and we were able to touch it this week. Hopefully, not for the only time.  We drove up the mountain, and then climbed down the trail to the first waterfall.  The trail was cut and there were "steps" for us, but it had rained a lot the day before so the ground was very slippery.  I was just a little bit nervous of sliding off the edge and tumbling onto the rocks below.  Thankfully, we "city gals" had a helping hand when we felt we needed it.  Next time, I am determined to make the descent on my own, even if I must get on my butt and scoot down.

My rock climbing skills are pretty much a thing of the past, so the girls and I stuck to walking along the edges to the waterfall.  However, I was quite envious of our friends as they went up and down the rocks with such ease.

 The waterfall was so peaceful.  I did brave sitting on the rocks and sticking my head into the water as it poured from above.  My ears stung a bit, but that was one of the most amazing massages I have ever had.

Yep, that's me with my head in the water... I may look the fool, but it was amazing!
Kayla would get close, but refused to put her head in.
Poor Tony had to wear Donato the entire time and just watch us enjoy his piece of paradise.  Hopefully, our happiness and amazement brought him joy... YEAH RIGHT!!!

After spending some time at the waterfall, we followed the path of the cows (and carefully watched our steps) down the river to a spot where we could sit and let Donato play.  After failing in his attempts to rearrange the large rocks, he finally settled on throwing pebbles down the river and dunking his head in the water.  And yes, that is his wool cover that Mama allowed him to get wet and dirty... without having a anxiety attack.

There was another waterfall, but I stayed behind with Donato so Tony could go with everyone to enjoy.  Sadly, one of our friends got stung on the foot by an African bee (not sure what he was doing in Costa Rica), and I think that made the remainder of the time painful for her.

Shortly thereafter, we turned around to head back the same way in which we came.  Fortunately, climbing steep hills and paths is much easier than descending them; although, I'm not sure my muscles would agree.  And, of course, our excursion would not have been complete without a snake.  Fret not Mom, someone found it before us and cut his head off so this is just his body.

Yes, that is Tony wayyyyy up the hill.  Now we know where Donato gets his climbing skill from

We were told this snake wasn't venomous

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Learning Spanish... oh wait, Better Get English Down First

       A part of being in our new land is that I am going to homeschool the girls.  For the past year, I have anticipated this, mostly due to fear that I will not be a proper teacher for them.  Well, those fears were confirmed the other night.

     We had some friends come over so that I could help with their English test coming up.  Speaking English is one thing.  Having to further explain the rules of our complicated language is quite another.  All I have to say is thank goodness for the internet and Google.

     I suppose that another way to look at the experience is that it gave me a heads up that I clearly need to freshen up on some things before the school year begins for the girls.  But how emabarrassing ... or rather, humbling ... was that.

     So far, I know that one of them passed their test.  Hopefully, I will know the results of the other soon.

     While I do not think I helped in the least, it is a tiny bit comforting to know that I did not confuse them so much that they bombed the test ... well, at least one, but I have confidence the other will do just as well.

     Soon, our Spanish lessons will begin.  Hopefully, I prove to be a better student than I was the teacher.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ants... Spiders... and Wasps... OH MY!!!!

     I am not ready to say that I  "dig" yard work just yet, but it was nice to be productive outside today.  I know it doesn't look like much, but there were a ton of weeds... and I still have a bit to go.  We want to get the beds cleared out so we can plant some vegetables.

     This little area took forever to clear, and I only ran into two ant beds and one wasp nest... or maybe it was one ant bed and two wasp nests since one of the types of ants were as big as the wasps!  Fortunately, I only got bitten by the smaller ants.

     I'm still amazed by all the different colored insects around here.  I mean, doesn't that make them easier for the birds to see so they can eat them more?!!!!  Surprisingly, I didn't see any snakes, but the afternoon rain cut it short, so I suppose there is always tomorrow.

     Oh, and that's Azula in the picture too.  I'm pretty sure she's upset that I am tearing down her nap bed.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Catching the bus... FAIL!

This was the first time to ride the bus on our own.  We were going to Sereno to have lunch with Tony and do some shopping in Panama, but we failed miserably at catching the bus... it drove right past us.

I know there are places in the U.S. that have great public transportation, but this isn't the case in my neck of the woods.  So, when Tony told me to wait at the end of the street for the bus, I didn't know I had to flag the bus down as well.  Needless to say, we were passed by.  (Where we were isn't one of the designated bus stops, but I wasn't aware of this at the time.)

Thank goodness for taxis.  Although, the bus still made it there before we did since there was a lot of back and forth with Tony and the taxi driver... given we don't know Spanish, YET.

Heading back to Sabalito on the bus was much easier.  The stop is right beside the restaurant, so no "waving down" necessary. 

Tip for riding the buses on the unpaved roads in Central America... do NOT ride in the section behind the back tires.  Your spine will be so misaligned from all the jumping and bouncing in your seat, you'll be begging for a chiropractor.  Ha! Ha!

We did make it in time for lunch with Tony and some shopping in Panama, so the only failure of the day was the initial form of transportation... all the rest... complete success!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Trip Time

            In order to get it all down while still fairly fresh on the brain, I am going to write about our trip.  I will explain other things in different posts later down the road.

            I did not go to sleep at all the night of July 1st until about 4:00 a.m.  I had so many last minute things to finish, and I still didn’t get them all accomplished.  It wasn’t as big of a deal that I couldn’t sleep since my parents were the ones who were driving us to Orlando July 2 to catch our evening flight.

            It rained and rained the whole way there, and when we arrived, after a 6+ hour drive, I was told there was a flight delay.  In order to make our connect flight in Ft. Lauderdale, we would have to take a bus.  Ugh… more driving in more rain with a toddler and tons of luggages.  

            We made it to Ft. Lauderdale about 11:00 p.m. EST.  That flight was scheduled to depart about 11:30 p.m., but obviously was delayed while waiting for some of us to get there.  I believe we boarded about 12:30 a.m.  After sitting on the plane for a bit, they tell us it was time to take off… finally!  Suddenly, there was a strange noise on the right side of the plane.  It sounded like when a car battery is dying.  The flight attendant comes back on saying they were having mechanical issues, but the mechanics were working on it so we’d take off shortly.  I won’t lie, I was praying the entire time I was awake. 

            We finally made it to Costa Rica about 2:00-2:30 a.m.  Definitely one of the longest trips I have ever been on. 

            Wednesday morning we woke up and started on our way from San Jose to Sabalito.  At first, I was a little frustrated to be getting back on the road so soon since that is a 6-7 hour trip.  However, after it was all said and done, I was glad we went ahead and got it over with. 

            So, here we are in Costa Rica.  Our journey into our new life begins!

                      Eating at Cracker Barrel one last time

       One last picture before boarding the bus for Ft. Lauderdale.  Thank God   for baby carriers!