Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 4

I forgot to take my pills the morning - nothing serious just blood pressure and vitamins - but that is a sure sign that the routines of Toronto life are fading fast.

Keith and Karen dropped by just as we were finishing breakfast to make sure we were settled and all was good with the world.  Karen sent a note on Monday that Keith and Jan were setting up the house - not really a guy thing.  I meant to note yesterday that while it wasn't as well staged as Sheila had arranged it was a very respectable job.  Good thing I didn't, as Karen noted that she and Sonya came by later and everything was wrong, and they had to rearrange the furniture. oh well I guess decorating isn't a guy thing here!

Condo gossip and local stories - a quick visit!

The setting up of the house continues - today is the alarm system. The suggestion was something to scare people away when the house isn't occupied - largely motion detectors to cover the obvious entry points and the back staircase.  Lisle ordered it online and we trucked the various bits and pieces down in our luggage.  very basic instructions - plug in the control panel - but batteries in the alarm sensors - and VOILA an alarm system - not quite - motion detectors dont seem to detect motion, Door sensors dont squak when opened - hmmm!  batteries in and out - replaced with new ones - shake it to see if that helps - - oh look, another piece of paper  "How to initialize the sensors with the control unit" - just like men - dont read the instructions!! Works like a charm - guess I feel safe now!

Lunch - email - some work stuff - a trip to Uvita for groceries - home just in time for the rain.

So says Lisle about 5:00pm - "Where's my iPhone?"  oh shit - not again!  Cupboards, drawers, pants, knapsacks, the car, the garbage, the car again - "I am sure you had it since we got home - what did you do?" - no help - 30 minutes later - "Oh here it is - I put it in the iPod dock on the stereo so I could listen to music and then got busy with the juice"   AAARRRGGG!!   at least it wasn't lost!

Just another day in paradise!

Tropical Thunderstorm

While it is just getting dark, the sky is lit with amazing streaks of lightning and the air is filled with the sound of rain and cracks of thunder.

There is something awesome about a tropical thunderstorm - the air is warm - very little breeze, but you can feel the movement of the rain - the force of it.

This one started about 30 minutes ago - you could see the sky darken around us, but mostly you could hear it coming.  The sound of a waterfall getting closer, then you can see it in the air, like a wall moving in - then the first few gentle drops - and within seconds a powerful downpour - lightning, thunder - the whole show.

Seems like it is all done now - just some rain - more like a drizzle, but you can hear the river rushing in the distance.

I like thunderstorms!

Day 3

Drive - Unpack - Home!

I am writing this on the sunny morning of Day 4 - the mountains were very misty when we awoke at 6:30, but the sun arrived and it feels like a beautiful day.

Day 3 was busy.  Up and packing at 8 - we needed to reorganize some of the stuff that was packed for airline travel (weight and safety) to make it fit in the SUV.  After the shower, shave, breakfast routine, we managed to organize 7 suitcases, 2 picnic coolers, a printer, two 25# dumbbells, two yoga mats, an electric drill, a hand saw, 12 bottles of wine and groceries into the cube of a vehicle and still be able to see out the rear window.  So we were off - 10:20 am.

The drive was good - the Caldera (toll road) was fairly quiet and without much construction - they appear to have raised the tolls - what was 480 colones is now 510! Not to panic - that's about 6 cents.

Off the Caldera and onto Route 34 - 175km straight to Ojochal.  About 10 km down the road a police check point - - and us with the car packed to the roof!  "Buenas"  "Armes?" "Drogues?" - well at least he said good morning!  Guns and Drugs - what is he thinking! Of course not!  That is followed by two of them peering in the rear windows - he comes to my window and asked to see in the glove box and my knapsack - then he asks for passports.  "Jaco?"  no - Ojochal - that brings a lost look - Uvita?  he nods - "por las mujeres?"  NO!  "Hombres?"  Si.  He hands back my passport - Lisle's is being recorded by the other guy who returns it a few minutes later - "Gracias.  Buenas Dias" - Hopefully that is our police encounter for this trip!

A quick stop in Uvita for food and Jucaloa for vegetables and then home - record time - it is only 2:10.

We turn the corner at the top of the road and there is the house - what an amazing difference the landscaping makes - more on that later!

3 hours later we are unpacked (more like uncrated) - only damage - a dint in the bread maker, and the food processor bowl is cracked - plus the 3 new suitcases that are missing pieces or cracked (so much for the indestructibility of Heys!).

A dip in the pool, dinner, (including the howlers calling) a glass of scotch and a movie - bed at 11 (late by Costa Rican standards).

It was very dark and very quiet - our first night alone in the house - peaceful but a little spooky knowing there were very few folks around - only a few noises in for jungle behind.  Good to be home!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 2

A beautiful sunny day greeted us - barely a cloud in the sky.  Unfortunately it also started with the "San Jose Howler Monkey" (otherwise known as the engine brakes of the transport trucks on the exit ramp outside our window) - oh well it was already 7:00!

Breakfast - back to the stores - today is EPA (Costa Rica's Home Depot), a housewares store, Multiplaza Escazu and back to Price Smart - - a drill, saw, hooks for the bathrooms, candles, clocks, UPS, coasters, wine, wine, and more wine (Pricemart sells wine cheaper than we can get it at home).

So we are wandering through the Multiplaza, and Lisle starts waving - who the hell could he possibly be waving at - well there is Wendy running towards us across the mall - she and Dwight stopped for some last minute retail therapy before driving back to Ojochal after a weekend wedding.  It really does feel like home when you run into friends in the mall!!

So got back to the hotel, grabbed lunch across the road at Las Cebollinas - mexican sandwiches and beer - then an afternoon by the pool - unfortunately it was overcast by then

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 1

We were exhausted last night - 14 hours door to door.  Got into the hotel at 9:30 - grabbed dinner, and I fell asleep in seconds.

This morning we were up at 8, breakfasted and headed out shopping.

A grey day - but no rain - the stores were packed.

Pricemart is the Costa Rican version of Costco - we got our membership and started shopping - then Office Depot - the Walmart - - a printer, coleman coolers, food, weights, yoga mats, candles, flashlights.

Back to the hotel by 3 and lunch at the "Rusty Chicken" (Rosti Pollo).

Some relaxation - almost dark now - then a drink and dinner.

Tomorrow - more shopping!


$125 for the 5th checked bag

4 hour flight delay due to weather in San Salvador

2 pieces of new luggage damaged

Arriving in Costa Rica - PRICELESS

Sneak Peak

Hours before our departure, Christian sent photos!
We actually let him create a water feature - a fountain of youth?!

 Great river rock and stepping stones
A nice quiet place to enjoy the sounds of nature

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunny Fathers' Day

So to all the Fathers - Happy Fathers' Day.

It is a sunny and warm one here in Toronto - the kind of day you want it to be all year long - the reason you move to Costa Rica!!

We are a week from heading south, and I think all is packed - 5 heavy suitcases and two full carry-ons.  Expect it will have doubled by the time we finish shopping in San Jose!

Not sure what to expect on our arrival - planting and other work has been continuing - looking forward to the surprise!  And to settling in for a long stay - 5 weeks.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shopping Spree

When you have moved into a fully outfitted house, you think there can't be anything you could possibly need.

When you are married to Lisle - think again!

The juicer and ice cream maker at least aren't new purchases - but the non-stick pans, the pineapple slicer, the dehumidifiers (yes 2!) and new wardrobe certainly are.  Plus the tupperware and the new Heys luggage to tote it all south in.

And of course there will be shopping in San Jose before going to the house - a printer, exercise stuff, rubbermaid containers, a cooler chest - - the list is growing by the day.

Oh well, someone needs to keep the economy (here and there) booming.

Reality Bites

Just when you are enjoying the dream, reality steps in.

So, apparently the salt water chlorinator on the pool isn't working right - us here, it there, warranty, troubleshooting - - lots of fun - doubt this will be a simple solution!

Then there is the issue of security system - with the house vacant, some deterrent is useful - can't be monitored, so leaves few choices.

A tree came down in the back of the house during one of the storms - had to be cleared to let Christian continue with landscaping work.

Not all is gloomy though - the furniture that was still in production when we were there in April has arrived - to glowing reviews by the neighbours - the planting has commenced, which means that the structural work is done - and the deficiencies are slowly being corrected - hopefully all will be complete when we arrive in Ojochal June 28

5 weeks in paradise - can't wait!