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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Ode To Costa Rican Sidewalks

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Jen be nimble
Jen be quick
Jen jump over
The pothole pit

The above picture is not doctored – it is really me, jumping over a very real pothole on a sidewalk in the town of Grecia, just yesterday.  

I know I look quite agile here, but I was really pretty cautious (and perhaps just a wee bit scared).  Look how deep this hole is, you could seriously hurt yourself if you weren’t looking where you were going:

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Bus from San Jose to Tamarindo

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Last week we traveled from Grecia to Tamarindo by bus.  We heard from our friends about this direct bus from San Jose to Tamarindo called “Empresa Alfaro“.

Empresa’s station in San Jose is in the Coca Cola area, just one block from the Grecia Bus Station:

To Tamarindo there are two departure times:  11:30 which we took, that goes through Liberia first, and 3:30 with goes “straight” to Tamarindo.  We wanted to get there as early in the day as possible, so we took the 11:30 (note:  these prices are out of date):

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

10 reasons

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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Grecia to Alajuela Bus Trip

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This bus trip is SOOO easy, I feel almost foolish that I haven’t done it before! I tagged along with my pal Debbie (who is also car-less and knows the bus system well).

Purpose for our trip? Well, to go to Pequeño Mundo, of course! Pequeño Mundo is a like a dollar store on steroids. It’s a big warehouse, filled with lots of great deals (ok, most are more than $1, but still). Anything from kitchenware to clothes to candles to to food to lawn equipment and light bulbs. I love Pequeño Mundo, but have only driven there with friends before. I wanted to know how to get there on my own via the bus.

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We got hitched!

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We got hitched!

Yes – we got married. Again!! Greg and I celebrated 20 years of being married to each other by taking a little trip to Manuel Antonio and doing our own vow renewal. It was lovely, and perfect in every way.  More on the vow renewal in a bit…  Here’s a recap of our trip.

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Hiking for FUN

Greg & I had been wanting to get back to hiking ever since he got rid of his cold (he had lots of lingering coughing, so it had been WEEKS since we had last hiked together!). So we had planned on this morning, finally.

We were dressed and ready, water bottle chilling with ice in the freezer, when it start drizzling outside. Oh no. We’re transitioning out of rainy season right now, but we had some hard all-night rains just a couple of nights ago – so you never know – it could start pouring at any moment.  But we decided to go for it. Sun was out, with a few clouds, and it was still lightly misting, but we figured we wouldn’t melt.

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My first hair cut in Costa Rica

After living in Costa Rica for over 14 months now, and having trimmed my hair twice myself (yikes!) –  it was time to get a professional hair cut.   My hair needed it and deserved it.  I dearly miss my hair dresser in Dallas – KYLE!!  But since I won’t be going back to the States till at least the Spring of next year, something needed to be done in the interim.

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Life’s a beach!

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Last week we took a trip to the beach.  The far-away beach.  We went to the Guanacaste Region, Pacific Ocean, along the western coast of Costa Rica:

The best part was, our transportation there (one-way) cost only $8 (5 ½ hour trip)! We took the Pulmitan Bus, which is a step above the public bus, and only makes a few stops between San Jose and Playas del Coco, Guanacaste. The 5 ½ hour trip was broken up in the middle with a 20 minute rest stop. It was a lovely double decker bus, air conditioned, comfy seats and lots of leg room for Greg. It also had a shelf above us for storage items, plus they loaded up larger items (suitcases) below the bus before we left. We were on the top level, 2nd row, so were up high and had an excellent view.

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Yes, there are Malls in Costa Rica… Plaza Real Cariari

Yes, there are malls here in Costa Rica.  The Multiplaza in Escazu is supposedly the nicest, but I have not been there yet (it is the “Rodeo Drive” of Costa Rica) .

The other day, me and my love hopped on the bus and went to the Plaza Real Cariari (you can find their website here, and their Facebook page here).  I have been there before with my awesome friend Lucy, who showed me the way, but this was the first time for Greg.  He was pretty excited about it.

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Taking care of “business”… in San Jose

So, little road trip to San Jose yesterday.  San Jose is the capital, about a 45 minute drive from Grecia, and also where we fly in and out – SJO – San Jose International Airport (not sure what the “O” stands for).  Our intention was to meet with an attorney who works with the ARCR (Association of Residents of Costa Rica) about starting our residency process.  We had been referred to an attorney by some friends of ours, who said this guy was very efficient and did a good job handling their paperwork.  Expediency is a good thing IF you can get it here in Costa Rica….  as most things are on “tico time” – which means – well, maybe today, maybe mañana (tomorrow)…  they take their sweet time in doing things – all with good intentions – it’s just the “laid back” way here…  Pura Vida.

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