Hi friends! Someone asked me the other day what our next adventure was going to be, and it stopped me in my tracks. Even now; after quitting our corporate jobs, selling almost everything we owned, moving and living in Costa Rica, and most recently hiking the Appalachian Trail; it still knocks me off guard to think that people believe me to be adventurous.
Well, we just got back from a little trip to Wisconsin. We went to see my sweet mom, and as a plus got to see all three of my brothers and their families. Initially my mom was going to have knee surgery, and we were going to help her with recovery, but her knee got better so it was not needed (yet, anyway), so we got to just hang out and have a good time.
Hello friends and HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!!
I was just looking at all my pictures from this past year, 2015, and realized it was a pretty darn good year, with a bit of heart ache as well… Here’s a little recap for you:
January marked our 20th anniversary, and we celebrated it in a big way by renewing our wedding vows in Manuel Antonio:
Hello friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and spent time with family and loved ones.
For me, there’s no better way to spend Christmas than with the one I love, having a Christmas movie marathon, while eating tasty treats! We watched 7 movies over 2 days. We even got a small 3-mile hike in on Christmas morning, which was lovely (and much needed after all the treats we’d been eating the day before).
OK, by now – a lot of you know I’m not normal. I’d even go so far as to sometimes say I’m crazy. Or unique. Whatever. No label necessary. I’m cool with how I am and love myself, so that’s all I have to say.
After quitting my job in the States, and moving to Costa Rica to live a more simple life, there were other changes I knew I wanted to make as well. This was the time to do it, right? Some changes were made with a conscious effort, others seemed to happen naturally. And yes – Costa Rica has helped with almost all of these things; however, that’s not to say that moving somewhere else (or staying put) couldn’t help with these things too.
Lately, Greg & I have seemingly been so busy, we were having trouble finding time to just sit down and work on projects that we wanted to focus on. Don’t get me wrong – retirement has been great – but we are still young(ish) and our minds are always going with ideas of things we want to do, work on, or accomplish still.
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!
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.
I’ve already told you guys I have some pretty awesome friends, right? Well, two of them threw me a BOOK SIGNING PARTY! How cool is that? I’m so lucky to have friends that even THINK of these things.
Here’s Marti and Irina – who hosted my party for me
(they are both so cute and petite, I just want to pick them up!):
Hello my fellow blog readers! I feel like I’ve been living under a rock lately. Sure, it’s a Costa Rican rock, but none the less… So, I’m just stopping by to say “HI” and keep it real. I’ve been super busy lately, but I have been getting a lot done.
For one, I finally got my book published (what? you didn’t know I wrote a book? CLICK HERE POSTHASTE and buy it now(!); at only $3.95, it’s cheaper than a Starbucks drink!). Also, whoever tells you writing is easy – don’t believe them. And going through an edited book is even HARDER (especially when I kept having to interrupt Greg with whatever he was doing and ask him his opinion on something because I couldn’t seem to make up my mind on little tweaky things).
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.
We have moved! Into an amazing new chalet-style house! I’d send you our address, but we still won’t have one. The new casa is:
- Bigger (3 bedrooms – come visit!)!
- More comfy and rustic (lots of wood; think “ski resort” – which I know doesn’t fit with Costa Rica, but it is still super cute looking)!
- More private (behind a huge privacy fence and gate)!
- Has a yard (our last house did not)!
- Has an enclosed garden (I think it was an aviary… but as my landlord pointed out, now it works to keep birds out)!
- The views are even more amazing than our last house (I know, how could they get much better?)!
And for all this, we only had to move 50 meters down the road. (Meters you say? I know you’re impressed that I know what a meter is. But really – Greg told me. FYI 50 meters = 164 feet. Which I wouldn’t know either, I had to look it up.)
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!
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!
Greg and I had gotten in the habit of watching “The Good Wife” TV series in bed at night before going to sleep. We are NOT caught up yet to the current showings, so please no spoilers. It’s comfy in bed, we can snuggle, and at the end of our TV viewing, I love just slump down and go to sleep (teeth having been previously brushed and PJ’s already on!).
My sweet Momma came and visited us! All the way from Wisconsin! She had been to Costa Rica once before – in early 2012 she was with us on our due diligence trip, so she had been a part of our decision process from early on. For her, it was great to visit us this time and see where we lived, friends we’ve made, and how we live our daily lives here. She was constantly awed by the natural beauty of Costa Rica and inquisitive about everything – the plants, flowers, birds, trees, people and customs. I must say, it is so fun to have someone who is so thrilled by her surroundings (future visitors, please keep this in mind! We don’t take on unenthused or unappreciative people for boarders!).
…CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY’S POST (Part I)….
Well, suffice it to say, I was pretty upset that Greg stood me up for our first official date! More upset than I thought I’d be, actually.
Greg’s story? Our date happened to be scheduled for the July 4th holiday, and earlier that day when Greg realized this, he wanted to confirm we were still on for that evening. When he called, and I wasn’t home to answer my phone (these were the days before mobile phones and even caller-ID on regular phones) – he freaked out, didn’t leave a message, and somehow convinced himself that I had forgotten our “date.” He never tried calling later that night, either.
Today is our 19th (NINETEENTH!!) wedding anniversary. We’ve been married for 19 full years. Amazing. Sounds like a long time, huh? Here’s what 19 years of us looks like:
The story of us? Well, obviously, you all know that Greg and I got married…. But what you may not know, is that we almost didn’t happen at all.
Every year, this time of year – I get tired of hearing everyone’s “new year resolutions” and having people ask me what mine are. Why? Because if you ask almost ANYONE what their resolutions were last year at this time – they wouldn’t be able to answer you! Resolutions seem to be a high priority at the end of December and throughout January, but then…. are quickly forgotten (OK – not everyone… I know I have a few friends out there that are the exception to this rule). I feel this is something people love to talk about, and yes – have good intentions (which are always good, don’t get me wrong). But how many people really carry through with them – for the whole year?