Monthly Archives: July 2011

Now THIS is a Day to Celebrate!

It was one year ago today that Tom and I retired and said goodbye to our friends and jobs at the University of Idaho.  We left at noon (him hurrying me along as I just HAD to finish that last spreadsheet) and headed home to the refurbished barn we were renting to finish packing and loading up the U-Haul for our trip through Wyoming and Colorado before making our move to Costa Rica. 

Packed and readyI remember so well how excited we were when Luke came by to pick up the last of our furniture – our bedroom set and couches – and we settled in with the dogs for our last night in Idaho.  The next morning we were up at 4:00 a.m. and took off with the small U-Haul behind us and the dogs in the back of the truck.  We had one scary moment when we stopped off the highway to let the dogs out and Kaya got off the leash and ran towards the highway.  I got her back by squeezing one of her squeaky toys but it was a scary moment.  Other than that it was clear sailing for the next thirteen hours to Casper where we spent five days with mom and my brother Tom and sister in law Shirley Mom Tom Shirley and had a really wonderful visit. 

Then on to Colorado where we spent a few days visiting my aunt and her partner Frank, Me Bubbles Frank Jason, Shanti,Shanti Tyvon, Tyvon and Ryleeand grandkids in Denver before heading over the mountain to spend a few days with Jordan and Sonya and the grandkids in Gunnison. Family in Lake City I remember most poignantly burying the ashes of two Pet treeof our dogs – Neo and Bentley – at the pet tree on the ranch outside of Lake City that Sonya and Jordan own.  I was so glad to leave them there in that amazingly beautiful country.

The day of our flight, Sonya drove us to Denver where she dropped us off so Shanti and Tyvon could take us to meet our 12:10 a.m. flight.  Our friends Rex and Susan IMG_7918were already there and once we got the dogs loaded in the hands of the TSA IMG_7917we went to meet them and with just a bit of a delay off we flew to our new home!

I have to say that there has not been a day that we have regretted either retiring early or moving to Costa Rica.  People at work used to say that I would never be able to retire – that I would get bored.  It has turned out that nothing is further from the truth.  There are days when I have no idea where the time went.  Between bird watching, sloth spying, and monkey maneuvering, as well as yoga and Spanish classes, there just isn’t enough time in the day.  I have to work to find that hour or so to hang out in the hammock Smile 

All I can say is Pura Vida!!!

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Finally–Rain in the Caribbean!!!

ToucanIt has been raining off and on for the last few days here in Puerto Viejo and it feels great!  June and the first half of July were so dry that we were beginning to get worried.  This is the rain forest after all, and the plants and animals need the rain for nourishment.  The days are still very nice and the rain normally doesn’t start until late afternoon so we can get out and enjoy the day and then kick back and relax to the sounds of the rainfall in the evening. 

One thing that we have noticed since the rain is back is that the birds and sloths are too.  We had been commenting that the last couple of months we just were not seeing any wildlife at all but didn’t realize that it had to do with the lack of rain.  We have spotted a couple of Oriole 2new birds and are welcoming our regular visitors back.  Female Masked Tityra (2)Female white collared manakinYesterday was a particularly abundant wildlife day.  We started out listening to the clucking of the toucan perching on the trees around the house and then were surprised by the momma sloth Sloth and babyand baby that we had seen a couple of months ago.  The baby is getting bigger and more bold!  It was hanging upside down trying to grab leaves while still keeping a tight hold on mom.  Sloth eatingWe also saw another sloth chomping away on the vines that come off the cecropia tree – it was having a great time!! 

We also were visited by an Iguana in a nearby tree.  It was laying on it’s back sunning itself – catching a few rays Smile  It was also keeping an eye out on the hawk that was circling around.  lounge lizardWe think we have heard some baby hawks in the nearby trees so the hawk is out looking for food for them. 

Time to get back out and check out what today brings………….

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New creatures in our yard

IMG_0358A few days ago the weather was so gorgeous we just had to IMG_0363go to the beach Smile  We hung out for a while at Playa Punta Uva and snorkeled and watched people come and go.IMG_0368  It was a wonderful afternoon. 

Shortly after we got home, Tom called to me to come outside.  In his hands was a tiny, tiny two toedBaby two toe sloth in our yard (2) sloth that he had found at the base of the giant tree in our yard.  It broke our hearts to see the little thing which was clearly not even a month old.  We immediately called the Jaguar Rescue and they said to wrap it in a warm blanket and bring it in to them.  When Tom got out there they explained that sometimes the babies lose their grip and fall to the ground – clearly that is what happened in this case.  We will check up on it in a few days to see if it is doing okay.

We also saw a baby iguana hanging out on the side of our bodega yesterday.  Iguana are endangered because they evidently taste good and people eat them.  There are several initiatives in the country to save the Baby Iguanaiguana which we hope will be successful as they are amazing creatures.  We have a male and female living in a huge tree right over our fence and we often catch sight of them lying on the branches of the tree or when they come to the ground for food.  We are thinking that this baby is the offspring of the pair in the tree. 

There honestly is just not enough time in the day to experience all there is to experience in our little corner of the world.  And we haven’t even left the Caribbean side of the country since we moved here!!!!!  We plan to change that in the coming months and go back to visit places that originally stole our hearts in the little country as well as visit those areas we have not yet seen…………….

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“Costa Rica Dog Lover” meets “A Dull Roar”!!!

It has been a really fun and interesting few days here in Puerto Viejo for us.  A couple of nights ago Tamara Casey Tom Jana Seanwe met Casey Bahr, his wife Tamara, and son Sean.  Casey writes a blog called A Dull Roar which has chronicled his move to Perez Zeledon in Costa Rica and does chronicle his life since he got here.  I have read his blog for a little over a year now and so was delighted when he emailed and said that they would be coming to Puerto Viejo for a quick trip.  We met for dinner at The Flip Flop Restaurant in downtown PV and had just a great time!  They are all so interesting and engaged in their lives.  Sean, who is twelve, goes to school in the town they live in and seems to have assimilated very well.  And – he is a very tolerant twelve year old – very patient with the older crew as we talked on and on Smile  He wasn’t sure that he liked the sour taste of the starfruit though…………  Sean eating starfruitTamara is an artist who does beautiful mosaic tile work – you can find examples of her work on Casey’s blog.   And Casey is just as entertaining in real life as he is on his blog.  All in all it was a great night.  We will definitely plan on going to their part of the world for a visit in a few months.

Last night we went to the newly remodeled Bar Penn – soon to be renamed “The Point”.  Bar Pen BarAn expat from the U.S. – actually Colorado to be exact – has Bar Pen band with Cartertaken over running a long lived establishment just down the road from us and has turned it into a sports bar/restaurant.  It looks great, the beer is cheap, and the people we have met there are fun.  Last night there was a band  that had our neighbor Carter playing drums with them.  The singer had a terrific voice and played a variety of songs.  His name is Joaquin Teran and he and his bass player evidently play all over the world.  We really enjoyed ourselves immensely. I also was able to meet some of our other neighbors so that made it doubly enjoyable.

Earlier in the week we had a couple over for dinner who have just moved into the neighborhood named Rick and Kathleen.Tom Rick Kathleen  They are from South Carolina and are as crazy about their dog Tassle as we are about our dogs.  We had a fun night getting to know each other and talking about our wonderful four legged friends.  Tom once again made a wonderful dinner – Beer Can Chicken and salad and we were all stuffed.  Tassle and KayaTassle and Kaya fell in love so we expect to be seeing a lot more of him Smile 

The weather here has been absolutely stunning the last few weeks.  We actually need some rain and hope to get some in the next few days.  In the meantime though, I am just going to enjoy this time, Sofi Kaya Wileykick back, and RELAX (just like these dogs)!!!

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Happy birthday Kaya and Wiley!!!! (Oh–and the United States :-) )

Kaya Sofi WileyToday Kaya is four and Wiley is eight.  We got Wiley in March of 2004 when he was eight months old and Kaya in May of 2008 when she was ten months old.  We decided to give them July 4th birthdays so we would never forget to celebrate and so far it has worked.  They both were rescue dogs – WileyWiley from Fort Collins, Colorado and KayaKaya from Spokane, Washington – and now they are living the good life here in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica.  Twice a day they head down to the beach with dad for long walks and exploring.  The rest of the day they relax and play in the garden – which explains why we really have no producing plants Smile 

We got them their present a couple of months early when we discovered SOFI!!!  She was dumped in a ditch to die but we heard her and brought her into the household.  So now we are owned by three of these wonderful creatures.  I’m not sure Kaya is so thrilled since Sofi will not let her out of her sight. Kaya and Sofi in the garden But at least she has someone to play with now since Wiley is a bit too old now to run around as much as Kaya wants to.

Also – Kaya has a boyfriend named Tassle!!  We had some new neighbors over for dinner last night and they brought theirTassle and Kayabeautiful German Shepherd.  He and Kaya had a great time and even Wiley didn’t eat him.  Only Sofi tried to cause commotion by thinking she was a tough (and much bigger) dog.  However, it all worked out and they had a great time. 

So I’m thinking this first birthday for them in Costa Rica is one for which they (and we) are most grateful.

Happy 4th of July!!!

Wiley the vulture

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