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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Turkey and Tequila with The 10:27 Club

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is having a joyful observance of whatever you celebrate during this season with family, friends, pets and any others near and dear to you. After a party-filled weekend, Layne and I have chosen to spend today muy tranquilo. We took a nice walk this morning but otherwise, it's all quiet on the home front.

Our big celebration was Friday night when we hosted a holiday dinner with turkey, cornbread dressing and all the trimmings. And just to be sure we had enough food for the crowd of 14 or so that we expected, Marc and Eroca added a ham and sweet potatoes, plus gift cookies for all. 
Marc strings lights with "supervision" from Layne 
Merry Christmas to the Santa Eulalia "gang"

"Very successful!"

With the holiday lights up in our mandarin orange tree, the back patio was quite festive. We can't get the wonderful free-range turkeys here as we did in California, but the Butterball we had bought (actually, for Thanksgiving, but that's another story) turned out quite good. As our good friend Joel might have said, "Very successful."

After the pumpkin pie and eggnog, the last of us sat around and listened as Daniel serenaded us on Layne's Martin backpacker guitar. It was so wonderful to hear such magical sounds coming out of that miniature guitar with the full-size quality. Daniel has been taking lessons and it showed as he strummed some beautiful classical songs. He has improved so much, it was truly a joy to listen to him.
Enjoying the music and the festive lights 
Daniel serenades
 After a recuperative day on Saturday, we were back to our old tricks on Sunday morning with a hike down to the small rushing stream that runs below the ridge we all live on, then a strenuous climb back up on the other side. It was a beautiful setting but a bit treacherous as Bonnie took a fall while crossing the slippery rocks. But her skill in falling "correctly" (tuck and roll) is phenomenal and she hopped back up with no damage done. Marcial showed his bravado by standing on the edge of the waterfall, Stephen and I cringing at the danger.
A beautiful day for a hike!
Seidy ready to cross the creek
Marcial gives us a heart attack!

With Marcial leading the way, we proceeded along side roads then cut through a sugarcane field, exiting on the other side at a hillside simply bursting with stunning yellow flowers. 

Our Tico guides pointed out Vanilla trees, which also sported yellow blossoms and for which the small Calle Vanilla (Vanilla Road) is named. Although not what vanilla flavoring is made from, the long seedpod is reminiscent of that plant and thus the name.

Vanilla Tree
As a little energy boost, Marcial cut down a stalk of sugarcane, stripped the skin with his machete and gave us each a piece of the sweet, juicy fibrous cane to chew on. Boy, was it delicious! 

"Costa Rica Dundee" and his machete
And as it turned out, we soon needed the extra energy when we realized we were a tad lost. We climbed through a barbed wire fence and while Seidy reconnoitered ahead, Marcial located some cherry tomatoes as another treat. 

A long trek up through the grasses
Seidy's report: dead-end. So it was back through the fence, then through another one at which point Stephen boldly struck out leading the way up a steep hill across a thick cushiony layer of tall grasses. At the top we could see there was a road, but no houses. Where are we? Who knows? It's an adventure!

Undaunted by our momentary confusion and Pura Vida being our motto (plus Marcial and Seidy coming well prepared with a whole pineapple), we stopped for a picnic and the machete again came into play. That thing sure is handy. In fact, we christened Marcial "Costa Rica Dundee," the hero always ready with the right weapon to turn a "crocodile crisis" into a pineapple picnic!

Soon we "found" ourselves again - there was never any doubt! -- and hiked our way on up the main road to Marcial's favorite hangout, Yeyo's Bar, where we arrived at exactly 10:27 a.m. Perfect timing! Well, almost. Cantinas here technically don't open until 11:00 a.m. but Yeyo was willing to make an exception for us, keeping the doors closed and the bottles open. You may recall it was 10:27 a.m. on a Sunday some weeks back when we had our first tequila shots on our trip to Zarcero, thus launching "The 10:27 Club." 

Bonnie & her "new best friend" Tomas
So in keeping with tradition, a few shots of tequila had us dancing behind the bar and laughing with local Ticos as they joined in our antics. Everyone here becomes your friend -- indeed family! -- at the slightest provocation.

Just another fabulous fun day in Pura Vida-land! We count ourselves enormously lucky to have such friends, to be healthy enough to take such hikes and fortunate to be able to enjoy this life in Costa Rica. On this Christmas Day, I feel blessed indeed.

(PS - As a holiday gift to my readers, Layne's novel MORAL TURPITUDE is available for FREE through January 31st. (NC-17 but not erotica.) To download it, click HERE to go directly to the book page; then click Add to Cart. You will have to register but it's very simple and you will get no spam. At the Cart page, enter Coupon Code QN77G, then click Update. The price will change to $0.00. Enjoy!)

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