I Love You, Costa Rica

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I think it’s no secret that I love Costa Rica.  Here are just a handful of things I love about this great country: 

The gorgeous central valley, as viewed from my patio (and yes, this is a Poinsettia TREE)!
Coffee fields everywhere!

How friendly the ticos are!

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Grecia, Costa Rica – the book

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Have you ever wondered about the little coffee-farming town I live in, here in the Central Valley of Costa Rica? Well – wonder no more!  I’ve written a little guidebook to help you navigate around Grecia.

After living here for over 3 years, I discuss what you need to know if you are visiting Grecia – either on vacation, or even if you are thinking about living here one day. 

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Costa Rican Arroz con Pollo

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One of my favorite things to order in restaurants here in Costa Rica, is Arroz con Pollo (in English means “rice with chicken”). So, if you know me at all, you’ll know that I’ve been dreaming of making this from scratch for some time now. When we go out to eat here, we will order Costa Rican food, but when we are home I tend to make our USA favorites (which you know if you’ve read my Costa Rica Chica Cookbook; if not, please check it out – it’s my favorite US recipes, but also how to make them here in Costa Rica with some differences in ingredients). I think this Arroz con Pollo might actually be my first authentic Costa Rican dish I’ve made at home! 

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A Day in the Life of Living in Grecia, Costa Rica

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So you’ve heard that living in Costa Rica is perfect, like being on a permanent vacation? Well, I’m here to keep it real. Here’s an example of what it takes to live here – or of what can happen occasionally. Sometimes every day.

This is a true story, and is pretty much a combo of “tico time” + “pura vida” + just plain real living in Costa Rica.

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Crema Dulce – a little box with big uses.

Crema Cover

So, when I first moved to Costa Rica, I was surprised that I couldn’t find cream in the refrigerated section of the grocery stores. I searched and searched – several different grocery stores – all to no avail. And I’m talking about any kind of cream: half and half, light cream, whipping cream or heavy cream.

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Costa Rican Food

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What is typical food like in Costa Rica?  One of my friend’s from the States was asking me this the other day, and I’d been wanting to do a post on this for some time.  Rice and beans are plentiful here and used in a lot of dishes.  Though we do not dine out frequently, here are some of our favorite things we order when we do go out.

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Expat Extra – THE MIKES

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Please welcome Mike and Michael, otherwise known as “The Mikes”, to my Expat Extra series. Originally from Dallas, they now call Costa Rica home, and have been here for 2 years.

These guys are amazing – they bought a dilapidated old B&B property with a river running through it (seriously), and are in the process of totally revamping it into the coolest house and farm, which they have named “San Miguel del Rio Oro”.

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CONFUSING THINGS: Costa Rica vs. USA

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Here’s a few things in Costa Rica that may at first be confusing or surprising to Expats/Gringos:

Various uses of ladders without a second thought (Costa Rica is not a litigious country):

Signs as a whole are not prevalent in Costa Rica, but when you do see them, there may be some confusion:

This bridge is heavily traveled every day, and has a sign on either side of it telling you basically that the bridge is in very bad condition.  But, interestingly enough, not preventing you from crossing it – so basically it means “go over this bridge at your own risk”:

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Dancing!

Greg and I do not dance… at all. But we were told about this dancing place by a couple of people, and definitely wanted to check it out (or at least I did) – just to people watch and have a good time. So, we went on Sunday with our friends Beverly & Ed.

What a blast! The place is locally referred to as “La Piscina” (meaning “the pool” – which is next to it and has been empty for years).  It was almost all Ticos (we were 4 of the 5 Gringos there), it was outdoors but covered, a live band, all Latin music, smiles everywhere. The band was really good – both music and singing wise. There was a huge space for dancing in front of the band, and then tons of tables beyond the dance floor.

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10 Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Move To Costa Rica

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I keep seeing articles that say Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries to live in.  And while that can be true for some, I wanted to point out various reasons why someone may not want to move here.

1. You don’t want to move to Costa Rica if… you really like the four seasons.

Well, there IS a “Four Seasons” hotel in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, but there is definitely not four seasons of the year here (it should really be called the “Two Seasons Hotel”). No changing of the leaves. No crisp season when the snow melts and it’s that “light jacket” weather. No snow or ice or sleet or slush.

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