Layne's and my last suitcase is unpacked and (mostly) put away and I finally have some time to update my blog. It sure feels good to be back in beautiful Costa Rica! Our time in the USA was successful in re-financing and fixing up the house and included some fun times with friends and family but overall was pretty stressful. If you saw my blogs from there, you know how much physical labor we faced. Not only the mere unpacking of the barn, moving boxes and furniture, but also the extensive yard work required to get things back in order.
|Mexico City airport|
Our return trip went smoothly enough but was incredibly lengthy. Aeromexico decided to cancel our original flight connecting from Mexico City to San Jose, Costa Rica. With that itinerary we would have arrived in Costa Rica about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening. As it was, we endured a 14-hour layover in Mexico City following our red-eye from San Francisco. Fortunately, we had learned that the Hilton located right inside the airport offered a "day rate" for us weary travelers so we were able to crash on comfortable beds and sleep for much of the day. Still it was 11:30 p.m. that night before we finally landed in San Jose, another hour before we were home and about 2:00 a.m. when we hit the bed, exhausted.
Our wonderful landlords here, Isaac and Sonia, had done some significant improvements, making this home even more comfortable and attractive.
|Shrubs along the walkway to the rancho|
|New shading for the plants|
|New guest bed|
|Happy bamboo orchids|
New shrubs along the back walkway, a green shading material over a garden area to protect my orchids and herbs from the sun, a new larger ceiling fan in our bedroom and the smaller one from there installed in my office and finally a grand new queen-sized bed in the guest room. The gardener had been busy pruning and planting and the maid had the whole house spic and span.
|Darlene (on sidewalk), Glenn, Marcial, Seidy & Layne|
So with Thursday to chill out and begin unpacking, we were ready for the feria on Friday to pick up a few groceries and where we were sure we'd see many of our local friends. We were not disappointed! It was as colorful and festive as we remembered with Jan selling bread in her booth, Gabriel with his organic local coffee, Marcial and Seidy standing by with Italian sausage for their customers and lots of our friends, Tico and Gringo, strolling along the sidewalk. We were royally welcomed by all.
As we later walked around town running errands, we were reminded of one of the reasons we love this place so much: without fail, virtually everyone we met - whether we knew them or not - greeted us with "Buenos dias," direct eye contact and a big smile. What a friendly country.
|"Corn as high as an elephant's eye!"|
It's the early rainy season here and the plants and flowers love it. They are absolutely springing up by inches each day. In what was a cornfield next to us there is now a thriving sugar cane field, with red beans and corn where the sugar cane was last year, a form of crop rotation we assume. As the old song says, "the corn is as high as an elephant's eye!" Our neighbor Rosa has promised us some fresh red beans when they ripen in just a few days.
On Saturday, however, we had an awkward, if humorous, incident when we went to pick up our organic veggie order. While we were still in the States, I had contacted the organic sellers by email but learned that Melissa, the coordinator who speaks English and several other languages, was in Mexico so I had to communicate with Iris, who speaks no English. My Spanish being what it is, I attempted to send in our order only to find that my instruction for .5 or ½ kilo of carrots and .5 or ½ liter of goat's milk had been interpreted by Iris as 5 kilos of carrots and 5 liters of the milk. That's a lot of carrots! Fortunately, Melissa was back from her trip and very graciously worked things out so that we were not stuck with such huge quantities. As it turns out, we quite like the goat's milk and have almost gone through the two or three liters that we took.
|Felipe at work|
|Bonnie and Layne|
With our energy somewhat restored by Monday, we took a walk over to Bonnie and Stephen's, where I had left some of my herbs in Bonnie's care. Sadly, most hadn't survived and I left the one remaining basil with her. Stephen was away in his new position teaching photography at a local school but it was fun to visit with Bonnie while Marcial's son Felipe was painting some trim in their cute Tico cottage. Their big news was that Stephen and Bonnie had just gotten married on Friday after some years of living happily together. But for residency and Social Security reasons, they had decided to tie that knot. Apparently all that was required was for them to sign a book with Marcial and Seidy standing by at witnesses. Muy facil! (Very easy!)
So all is well in the land of Pura Vida and we are so happy to be here. It may be quite awhile before we feel the need to wander again.