The other night we visited a cozy little restaurant up on the San Miguel Ridge, one ridge over from where we live. We went with our good friends Lucy (Justa) and Steve, who had been wanting to take us there for a while. The place is called Mirador Brisas del Monte, and really the best thing about it is the gorgeous views you can see from anywhere you sit inside the soda.
When my Mom was here visiting, we did a day trip to Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens one day. First thing in the morning, we headed out to Poas (got there about 9 am) – and WOW – it was a perfect morning! Absolutely crystal clear sky – I mean, seriously – not ONE CLOUD in the sky. I think Mom was our lucky charm. Wilson, our driver/friend of Coati Tours said he’s been to Poas over 600 times, and the day with us was the MOST CLEAR, perfect-visibility-day he’s ever seen at Poas!
2013 was a year bookended by a beginning and an end for Greg and I. Beginning of our new life in Costa Rica, and the end to Greg’s Dad’s wonderful life. The year began with both of us leaving our jobs in May. We then moved to Costa Rica in June, and attended Dad’s funeral shortly thereafter – he died 3 days after we had arrived in Costa Rica.
Ok, this post is a PICTURES-OVERLOAD-POST, just so you know. You’ve been warned. We had a completely awesome and amazing time in Manuel Antonio. We went with our good friends Justa & Steve, and had a short but FULL weekend. I’ll let my pictures tell the story.
First stop on the drive down, Esterillos Oeste – this was a beautiful, virtually uninhabited beach. The road to the beach had several shops and soda’s that were boarded up, so I guess it was more popular at one time… It was serene and gorgeous, and very sparse with people. One of the land marks of this beach is this beautiful mermaid statue:
Wow – what an AHHHH-MAZING day we had at Catarata Del Toro (translated: “Waterfall of the Bull”). This was a spur of the moment, day-before decision. Our friends told us about it, and asked if we wanted to go. It was supposedly not too far away – in the mountains of Bajos Del Toro Amarillo, Sarchi, Alajuela, and evidently the biggest waterfall in Costa Rica, but not known to many (we had never heard of it). We had no plans for that day, and when you don’t have a car, you can’t hesitate too long on an opportunity like this – so of course we said YES!
People have told me that I’m brave and that they admire me. Venturing out and doing this crazy thing – quitting my job in my early 40’s, giving up my income, and moving to and living in a foreign country. And I think some of my friends and family secretly think I’m crazy (they’re just too polite or nice to say it). It’s true – it IS weird. It IS crazy. This is NOT the norm! When Greg & I first started talking about it, I was like, well this is nice & fun to talk about, but there’s NO WAY we’ll ever really do it. I mean – who really up and quits their job and moves to a foreign country with no plan of working before retirement age? Well, it turns out, I do. We do.
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.
Finally – the day had arrived for us to visit and shop at the Feria (the local weekend farmer’s market). When we were here the first week we only had time to pop in and pop back out. The Feria is here in town on Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning. IT IS FABULOUS. They have rows and rows of fresh fruits, veggies, meat, organic coffee, bakery items, clothes, shoes, flowers – almost anything you want! Plus a couple of places to eat lunch and have awesome fresh fruit smoothies. YUM. Of course, there’s little fruit/veggie stands everywhere around Grecia, but this is the “king of all farmer’s market’s” on the weekend which everyone waits for. This time we went with our new friend Jim (lives by us) who has a car (woo hoo!). He hadn’t been, and wanted us to “show him the ropes” (which is funny – someone wants US to show them around??).