We just got back from an incredible 3-day trip to Cachí, Costa Rica. Cachí is part of the Orosi Valley and is close to Cartago (which used to be the capital of Costa Rica), and is on the southeastern side of San José.
I feel like I say this a lot, but it’s true – we have some really cool friends. Marti & Clint, friends who live here in Grecia, wanted to check out the Orosí Valley, and our friends “The Mike’s” (Mike & Michael) who live in Cachí, had been asking us to come visit. So we coordinated our trips and it worked out perfectly!
The Mike’s live on the most amazing piece of property. They bought this huge hollowed out building that was built to be a B&B, but was never used as such. Mike is talented in many areas, one of them being construction/designing houses (ok, let’s just get all his talents out of the way here: besides remodeling their house; he’s also a doctor, a chef and proficient at the piano!). Mike and Michael bought this place with the intention of totally gutting and redesigning it. Mike has been working his butt off (literally, he’s lost quite a bit of weight) and the first part is finished already. It takes up one end of the building, and has been redesigned into an “apartment”, which will eventually be available for people to lease (hint: you can stay here in the future!). It’s beautiful; I could live in just the apartment alone. It has a bedroom, a small study or 2nd bedroom, a glorious bathroom, a cool kitchen with dining area and a “gallery” sitting area with huge windows that open to the roaring river below. Yes – a river runs through their property, along the whole length of the house. There is no where in the house where you do not hear the river, it is a completely soothing and comforting sound, like living in a spa. Here’s a few pic’s from the apartment (the floral arrangement is with flowers from their property, arranged by Mike):
Their whole property is spread out in a long strip over 3 acres. It took us a while to walk the whole thing. It is FILLED with plants and fruit trees of every kind – and both Michael and Mike were continually pointing out plants and flowers and tree they had either planted or were already there on the property. It was amazing to me that they both know so much about all the plants! They also have chickens and ducks, and Mike is currently building a goat house (trust me, I’ll be back to try the goat cheese).
They have a cool outdoor Rancho, right on the river – fully equipped with a cob oven they just had made (we made pizza and bread in it while we were there!):
The river that runs through their property really makes the whole place, that along with the jungle of flowers and plants:
Their future plan is to go off grid completely, and get their power solely from the river. They have done tons of research on this, and told us all about their plans – which basically involves taking a small part of river water from the “top” of their property, funneling it through some contraption to make power (I can see Michael cringing at my “technical” terms here), and then give it back to the river at the “bottom” of their property. So they are not harming the river at all – just borrowing from it, and then giving back, and in the process making their very own power for electricity – how SUPER COOL is that?? I love how much time and energy (ha) they have put into researching this already and it was fascinating to hear about.
The Mike’s also have a Steinway piano, which of course I was just itching to get my fingers on… It was beautiful and I had a good time playing it. Mike is having some slight tuning and action issues with it, but hopes to get that worked out later with more humidity control. Look at this sweet thing:
Eventhough the apartment was the only part of the house that was really done and livable, they “threw together” this awesome bedroom for us in the main open area, in one corner (with views of the river!). All these flowers were from their gardens.
They even installed a bathroom door on the bathroom outside of the apartment, as I was the first “girl in the house” and they wanted to make sure I had my privacy. So sweet.
Our last morning we met back up with Marti & Clint, and all went to the feria in Paraíso, which was lots smaller than Grecia, but very quaint and had most everything one would need. These emapandas we tried were fabulous! Café Cristina is what Mike & Michael drink, which we had already tried at their house and was really good, so we bought some.
We then visited the Parque De Las Ruinas De Ujarrás. The original building in this spot was a little chapel built around 1561 and was dedicated to the “Most Blessed Virgin Mary”, which was one of the first edifices constructed in Costa Rica in honor of Mary. Later, around 1681-1693 this actual temple was constructed of masonry. It was damaged severely by an earthquake in 1822, and what you see here is what remains of it. The Ujarrás Ruins were declared a National Monument on December 11, 1985.
Then we all came back to Mike & Michael’s house, and while Chef Mike made stuff happen in the kitchen…
… everyone else played around and relaxed:
After we left The Mike’s – Marti, Clint, Greg & I stopped at this cool mirador (view) that had an overlook of the Ruins we were at earlier, as well as the Orosí Valley:
What… ? Are you wondering what we ate the whole time we were there?
How unusual for me to do a blog post with no FOOD pictures, right?
Stay tuned my friends, tomorrow is Part II – ALL THINGS FOOD…
Trust me, you do not want to miss this (do not read with an empty stomach). Here’s a little ice cream teaser for you.
Ciao for today, and see you back here mañana! — Jen