Monthly Archives: February 2011

What a GREAT week!!!

Tom and Kaya on beachIt has been so beautiful here the last week or so.  We have had rain at night on occasion but the days have been sunny and not too hot for the most part.  I went to the Punta Uva beach with Rene and Sarah on Sunday and Sarah and I snorkled which was a blast once again!!  We also watched a pelican Pelican in a treewho would dive into the sea and catch fish and then fly back up and perch on a tree over the beach just a few steps away from where we were.  The pelicans Pelicansand other shore birds were all over that day.  Fun at Punta UvaThere were also lots of people out enjoying the day but not so many not it felt crowded.  Just one more reason it is so nice to be here – there is always room on the beach Smile

Clearing the lotOn Sunday, our gardener started clearing the lot adjacent to us that we had purchased when we moved down.  It had been full of cacao trees that were diseased and could not produce good fruit so he cut the majority of those down leaving us with some gorgeous trees that we had not really been able to see before.  One of them had a sloth that was just hanging out like it owned the place.  We also found that one of our banana plants has bananas that are almost ready to harvest – probably on Monday. Our bananas So our guests – Lori and Clive – who are arriving tomorrow will have fresh bananas from our yard to enjoy all week. 

Sarah and all her monkeysSarah and six (or seven) baby monkeys!!

Yesterday I went back to the Jaguar Rescue Center to volunteer once again.  We started our day cleaning out the cages that hold theBaby sloth on hanging bed sloths, Hawk at centera hawk, and an iguana and then worked on the grounds raking and cleaning up.  After a couple of hours of that, it was time to babysit the baby sloths who are brought out to show the tours that come through twice a day.  Visitors at rescue centerThe people on the tours learn all about the lives of all of the animals at the rescue and everyone walks away knowing something they didn’t when they arrived.  I spent a lot of time with Chocolate ChipChocolate Chip with favorite bear, a five month old two toed sloth, and DJ, DJ eatinga two toed sloth who is about a year, in the morning and then watched Bella, a three toed, who came in not too long ago with a fungus infection and can’t hang out with the other sloths, in the afternoon.  She climbed around a bush for about two hours and ate a bunch of leaves and had a great time. 

Now I have to get going – my therapeutic masseuse is about to arrive – he comes to my house!!  If you have anything at all wrong with your body that causes pain then come on down to Costa Rica and have a few sessions with him.  He is a miracle worker!!  I have not felt this good in thirty years!!  Of course I’m sure the environment and lack of stress helps too Smile 

Tom Rene Sarah enjoying a brewBuddies  Enjoying the day

Dog Dog on the beach

Rene and LenoRene and Leno the squirrel

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I admit it…….

I’m obsessed with sloths!!  Today Sarah and Rene took me with them as a volunteer at the Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo and I took this video of a tiny two month old baby sloth. 

Baby Sloth at Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo

Baby two toed sloth and me

Me and Al PacinoMy job today started with cleaning the outside glass in the snake area and then raking the grounds for what seemed forever.  When I was done with that I spent most of the rest of the day with the animals – primarily the sloths.  Three of the sloths were old enough to be out climbing on the tree where we were but two were too little.  I fed one for about an hour and then they brought out this tiny one so it could have some sun. 

I also got to have Al Pacino – a baby howler monkey – crawl around on me for awhile.  That is until he tried to get away and climb a tree and then one of the more experienced volunteers took over. 

All in all it was just a great day but I am totally exhausted tonight.  Definitely an early bed Smile

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Six months and holding!!!

YardSix months ago today on August 13th, we arrived in Costa Rica with our wonderful friends Susan and Rex who helped us with the move, and our dogs Wiley and Kaya, to begin our new life.  Right about now we were pulling into the gate of our new house after a gorgeous drive through the mountains and valleys of the country.  We decided that we would make our permanent move to the Caribbean coast after visiting almost every part of Costa Rica over the last twelve years.  The affordability of a house near the ocean in the middle of the rain forest could not be matched anywhere else that we had visited.  We also fell in love with the town of Puerto Viejo and the small coastal towns all the way to Manzanillo almost immediately.

In these last six months we have adapted quite well to our new home.  The first couple of months, we spent most mornings drinking coffee in the living room and finding new birds every day that were coming in to our yard to feed on the different fruits and seeds in the bushes, flowers and trees on our property. White tailed hummingbird


In the succeeding months, we have broadened our horizons and have left the outdoor living room and started getting to know the Log on beachtowns nearby and areas nearby.  We attended a Christmas festival in Bri Bri, a surfing competition on a beach in Puerto Viejo, went snorkeling at Playa Punta Uva for the very first time, hiked in Cahuita National Park, and sang in a choir in the gorgeous cathedral in Limon. 

Shortly after we arrived we decided to buy the lot right next to our house which effectively doubled our property.  Our plans are to plant fruit trees and more flowers as well as build a small cabina that can be used by our friends and family when they come to visit.  We will be getting started on the planting in the next month but the cabina will have to wait a year or so.  But that is the wonderful thing about Costa Rica – we are on Tico time!!!

Wiley and KayaWiley and Kaya are acclimating very well.  I think we were all concerned about how they would take the change in climate but so Kaya in treefar they have held up well.  They have had minor problems but nothing that wasn’t cleared up immediately with a quick visit to the vet (which, by the way, is amazingly affordable).  Kaya has decided that laying in the leaves at the base of the giant trees is just the ticket to a relaxing day.  Wiley likes hanging out in the family room when he is not getting his twice daily walk on the beach – he has decided inside is better with no flies buzzing around Smile

I was telling a friend this morning that our expectations of what our life would be like here have so far matched the reality.  Now I can’t wait to see what the next six months will bring!!!

Pictures from our first months:

Rex and SusanSusan and Rex – our #1 moving helpers!!


Banana flowerBananas in our yard

Cacao fruit 2Cacao fruit in our yard

Snowy Egret FlyingSnowy Egret on the ocean

Orange treesTrees with oranges flowers blooming now


Another churchChurch in Cartago

TrogonMale Trogon right outside our living room

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Movies in the Jungle

Pretty much everyone who knows us knows that we love watching movies.  One of the things we left behind in the U.S. was a theater set up with a 110” screen.  We sold the theater with the house and sold all of our DVD’s in our moving sale.  We did, however, bring along an older projector that we had bought a few years ago on the off chance that we might be able to figure out a way to watch movies on the “big screen” once in a while.  Last night we did just that.  Tom put a sheet up in the living room, hooked up the projector and we watched True Grit with our neighbors Sarah and Rene.  MovieThe photograph doesn’t do the experience justice – it was really quite nice.  Once we work out the kinks, you won’t even know that we are watching movies on a sheet Smile

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Time Flies (and you know the rest……..)

Bill and Betty at Flip FlopsOur first visitors left yesterday to finBetty on the horseish up their Costa Rican adventure and I have to say we had a wonderful time.  We have had a couple of other people come down but they came specifically to help us move rather than just vacation.  Betty and Bill live in Spokane, Washington and have known Tom for over 20 years.  I just met them when we moved to Moscow, Idaho and we discovered we were only an hour and a half a way.  When they heard we were moving to Costa Rica and that we had set a move date, Betty booked their flight.  And I’m glad she did!!

They arrived here a week ago and we spent the ensuing week relaxing and seeing the sites.  We went snorkeling at Playa Punta Uva, even though it was way too rough to see anything; had lunch in Manzanillo and people watched; attended the annual surfing competition and watched some great dancing uSurf competition dancersp on stage; Surf competition surfertook a hike thSurf competition people on beachrough the Cahuita National Park and saw howler and capuchin monkeys, sloths, raccoons, lizards, and gorgeous coral reefs; toured the Jaguar Rescue Center Two toed sloth looking at mewhere they take in orphaned and injured animals of all kinds and then release them to the wild when they are rehabilitated; ate wonderful food – both at restaurants and at home; went shopping at the funky stores in Puerto ViejoBetty in muebles store; and talked and talked and talked.

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