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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Costa Rica Chica – THE BOOK

THIS IS FINAL

Just a note to tell you guys my biggest news ever – MY BOOK IS PUBLISHED!

I would be totally honored if you bought a copy (just $3.95!) and read it.

<<– Just click on this cover picture (or HERE) to purchase!

What is it about?  Well, have you ever wanted to quit your job and “retire early”?  We did it!  My husband and I were fed up with the “more, more, more” mentality of North America,  and decided to quit our jobs, sell everything and move to Costa Rica with just 9 suitcases.  Why Costa Rica?  Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out exactly why – but overall we wanted to downsize and simplify our lives and get by on less money. 

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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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Battle of the Boxes – a RED wine review

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Due to popular demand, here is the boxed wine review for red wine (vino tinto)!

I got my hubby (a red wine connoisseur) to help with this one, here he is, in all his blind-folded glory:

Presenting – the Battle of the Red Boxes – Greggorio style:

PEÑASOL Vino Tinto Made in: Spain Cost (1 L box): c2,928 ($5.85) Alcohol: 12% Smell: “No smell. Maybe I’m stopped up or something? I don’t smell anything.” Taste: “Not really a taste to this. I must say I kind of like it though.”         UVITA Vino Tinto Made in: Argentina Cost (1 L box): c2,000 ($4.00) Alcohol: 12.2% Smell: “None. There’s no smell.” Taste: “I like it.” CLOS Cabernet Sauvignon Made in: Chile Cost (1 L box): c2,790 ($5.58) Alcohol: 12% Smell: “Doesn’t really smell like much. Maybe rotten grapes.” Taste: “Don’t like too much (makes a grimace), but it’s OK. Not very flavorful. Un-describable.”   DON SIMON Vino Tino Made in: Spain Alcohol: 11% Cost (1 L box): c1,500 ($3.00) Smell: “Now, this one has a good smell!” Taste: “Ew, has a bit of a bad after taste. But it’s ok, I could drink this.”

Greg’s conclusions:

httpv://youtu.be/lAZDmuIBF38

Well, I wasn’t going to partake in the red wine taste testing, but after Greg’s review, I felt I must step in.

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Battle of the Boxes – a boxed wine review

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Well, this is one thing I thought I’d never do. A BOXED wine tasting/review (and a blind tasting at that)! Oh how my life has changed… but in a good way (the way I always finish this sentence since moving to Costa Rica, because it’s true).

When we first moved here, well even BEFORE we moved here, we had entertained the idea of cutting out all wine, beer, liquor from our diet completely. One of the reasons we were moving to Costa Rica in the first place was to live a healthier life style, and with our new frugal budget in mind (after we had both quit our jobs), this just made sense. The day after we had moved to Costa Rica, we were in the grocery store – picking out items to start stocking our kitchen with. We found ourselves in the wine/liquor aisle (hey, the paper towel was in that aisle as well!), and Greg mentioned that we should buy some wine and celebrate making the move to Costa Rica!

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Dentist in Costa Rica

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What is it like to go to the dentist in Grecia, Costa Rica?

Well… it’s actually all smiles.

Our friend Debbie recommended and gave us a business card for a dentist in Grecia, when we first moved here back in June, 2013. We didn’t have a need for a dentist right then, but kept her card for future use. Several weeks later, a woman who was staying at the property we were at came down with severe pain in her mouth. I promptly handed her the business card I had for Dr. Rebeca Perez of SMILES Dentistry, she called to schedule an appointment, and Dr. Rebeca spoke with her and told her to come in later that day.

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1 year anniversary of living Pura Vida

Wow, it’s official – we have been here 1 year now!  June 17, 2013 was our “landing date” here in Costa Rica, from little ‘ole Dallas, Texas, USA.  The odd thing is – in some ways, it doesn’t seem like a year has passed.   But in many more ways – I feel like we’ve been here a while now – we have changed, grown, and become very comfortable and settled here.  Life is good, my friends!

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Where to get FREE e-books!

So, have y’all heard of something called a Library?  This answer was so blatant and staring me in the face, I never even thought of it.

Right before our big move to Costa Rica, I went to visit my Mom in my teeny tiny hometown in Wisconsin. She had recently gotten an iPad, and asked me to help her with “reading books from her library”, among other things.

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Baby, it’s warm outside! My first Costa Rican Christmas.

I must say I was really looking forward to my first Christmas in Costa Rica.  I’ve always liked Christmas while growing up in the states – the music, the lights, the shopping….  But I didn’t like how stressful and commercialized it had all seemed to become for me, the last several years living in Dallas.

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Bartering… the coolest form of currency.

Bartering – seems like something from the “olden days”, as my Grandmother would say.  Before I moved here, I had read a snippet about it somewhere…  and I thought, man – that would be so cool to barter one of my “talents” for something I wanted in return.

Well, I’m happy to report bartering is alive and well, here in Costa Rica!   I love bartering – especially because we are on a pretty tight budget now.  It is so cool, y’all!  You just exchange something that you can provide that another person wants, for something that you want that the other person can provide.  Sounds easy, right? Here’s an example:

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Costa Rica’s unusual bonus deals!

So, in the US, you know how stores sometimes have “special bonus” deals with certain products?…  like:

–Buy a can of shaving cream and get a FREE RAZOR to go with it!

–Buy a bottle of Shampoo, and get a bottle of Conditioner for FREE (savings of $6!!)!

–Buy bottle of Sunscreen and get a FREE lipgloss tube (with SPF 15) to go with it!

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What a difference 6 months makes…

6 months ago Greg & I were living and working in Dallas, Texas.  Here’s a handful of ways our lives have changed since then.

1.  Same sound, different Pavlovian response…

6 months ago when Greg’s phone would go off with his “ting, ting” sound, it would almost ALWAYS mean bad news, stress, long dicussions, and a lot of times end with him going into work (inevitably on a Friday or Saturday night)…  And trust me that “ting, ting” went off ALL the time.  Greg & I BOTH got to the point were we truly dreaded it.  All we had to hear was that first “ting” and we both stiffened and braced ourselves for the worst.

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Junk Mail

I remember seeing “Costa Rica directions” for the first time, on our trip here in early 2012.  We were driving a rental car and I had requested the address for a certain hotel we had reservations at.  This was what was sent to me:

“From the catholic church in La Fortuna, we are located 6 km west of Arenal volcano.” 

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