Thursday, January 26, 2012

sand in my shorts

Have you ever tried to get those "beach babe lying on the sand" photos?  Well.....Ron tried capturing those shots in Costa Rica of Heather & I one day.  You can only imagine what happened when the tide would roll in and out while we were on our tummies.

We finally nailed it and got a good one.
Then..............we had to empty our shorts.

We had such an enjoyable time in Costa Rica.  So many great memories and time spent with Matt & Heather.  I'm sure you will see many more photos in the layouts that I'll be creating.

trying to keep my tan {from the farm},

Friday, January 20, 2012

The boat that "Jack" built

We spent the day on the water today on a 42 foot sailboat called the Surfari.  Jack, long with his right-hand-man Bismark (a native to Costa Rica) brought us out on his boat.  We had the whole thing to ourselves.  We snorkelled at this beautiful beach, had a wonderful afternoon snack that Jack made, looked for dolphins and whales (but, unfortunately, didn't see any) and then we watched the sunset from on the boat (hence seeing the sunset from a different location ........ again).  Too cool.  It was such a fantastic day on the water, but we are all feeling a bit wind blown and sunkisses a little more than we already were.

Only 2 days left here in Costa Rica.  We plan to do a little more shopping in Tamarindo, go over to the beach at Conchal again & ride the waves A LOT more.

Tonight, pretty sure, we will sleep sooooooooo well.

{from the heat & sun},

Thursday, January 19, 2012

to market, to market

We took a small boat across the estuary today into the town of Tamarindo.  We were immediately bombarded by street vendors that were all trying to sell jewellery, pottery or clay whistles.  This man stopped us outside the back machine (what a coincident) and started showing us his pottery.  He continued to unpack almost every piece from his heavy backpack.  We ended up purchases a few pieces from him (I don't know if it was because of guilt, or if it was because they were all so unique or beautiful).  We each ended up with a sugar bowl with lid, plus Heather bought a candle holder and I bought a beautiful bowl.  I purchased a few more things that I will have to leave a secret (my kids will be reading this).
Many other adventures today.
We did manage to get down to the beach again to ride the waves on the boogie boards.  I don't think we'll get sick of this.  The challenge always is to find the "mother load wave" and ride it all the way to the shore.  We found a few of those today.

We watched the sunset tonight from the Big Rock in Playa Grande and ate supper tonight in town, at Kiki's.  Then we ordered take-out cheesecake from another restaurant and played some cards tonight.

Tomorrow we head off shore on a private sailboat to snorkel, fish & bask in the sunshine.  We hooked up with a great man from Potrero who owns the boat and is very willing to take us out on it.  We are looking forward to the dolphins we will most likely see -- and a large potential for whales.

sun-kissed {from the beach},

cheater, cheater

Apparently, while drinking our morning cup of coffee, I learned that Heather actually took this photo yesterday of Ron & I (not Matt).  Love this one.  I guess Matt & Ron are still in competition to see whose photo will make the blog first.  To tell you the truth, I don't think they really care........but Heather & I are enjoying being in a few photos.

We're off to catch a boat to Tamarindo this morning to go to the market and see a few shops.  We'll probably spend the afternoon at the beach or by the pool in our front yard.  Looks like another gorgeous sunny day here.  It's been about 32 degrees everyday and sunny.

relaxing {from Playa Grande},

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

one photo....and a little good-night

Before we left our house in Playa Potrero this morning, we took a little walk to the beach one last time.  We met two gentlemen who were fishing from the shore.  They were casting their net and fishing line into the water.  We watched them for a while until there was excitement as they pulled their line in. 

All four of us went running over to see what they caught.  As we neared them, they were laughing at the little puffer fish that was on their line.  They continued to try to get it off their line by jabbing a knife, a pair of scissors & a jack-knife down its throat.  Needless to say, the little guy didn't make it, but it did look really cool with all its spikes & buggy eyes.  I have a great photo of him, but I'll have to show you another time, as the internet connection here to upload photos is quite slow and frustrating.  I don't remember this from last time we were here.
This afternoon we moved over to our new house in Playa Grande.  It's exactly how I remembered's so beautiful here.  We walked down to the beach to show Matt & Heather and did a little boogie boarding too.  Ludo & Natalie (the property managers) lent us their boards for the week, so we don't have to go rent some.  So nice of them.  We also walked down the road to a restaurant tonight and Ron had the most delicious swordfish.  And I had the most delicious Strawberry Colada drink.
I'll say "good-night" to you wanting desperately to show you this last photo of Ron & I coming out of the water at Playa Grande this evening, just as the sun was setting.  (Photo submitted by Matt -- prizes for him later).  Alas.....the photo will not load tonight, so I will sleep, hopefully gain some more patience for this computer (I don't enjoy stress on my vacations) and maybe....just maybe the photos will upload faster tomorrow morningm, drinking my coffee and watching the pool boy do some yard work.  What a tough life we have, eh?
 By the way.......we are not forgetting about you back at home.  We heard that's it has been bitter cold there.  Maybe school will be cancelled and you can all stay at home too.  A little vaca for you would be nice as well.

sleepy {from the beach},

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

i think we've reached our limit

Pretty sure we are completely relaxed -- we've reached our limit of laziness.

Today we didn't go very far.  A little drive to discover Playa Dante beach.  Nice beach to find some awesome pieces of Mother of Pearl.  Heather & I had fun digging by the rocky parts of the beach to find the best pieces.  So happy Heather is also a "picker" (that's for you, Lisa)!!!!  We love taking walks to find cool shells on the sand.  We both think the guys have bets going to see how far we actually get before we both look down, reach over & pick up another shell.

 Thought I'd show you this cool shot of the house we are staying in.  There are 3 different condos all under one big roof.  We are in the middle one (3 levels) and there is nobody else in the other 2 units.  Sweeeeeet!!!  We've had the pool and everything all to ourselves.  We actually check out of it tomorrow at noon and will travel the 30 minutes or so to Playa Grande to our next home.
 This is one of our favourite places to eat in Portrero -- Sol y Mar.  We ate there last night for supper and then we went back today for burgers and fries & drinks.  It doesn't look like much when you drive by, but the food is amazing and it's quite busy every evening.
As we were sitting eating lunch, we spotted some lizards up in the trees.  Heather took this fantastic photo of this big guy. 
And then later in the afternoon, walking to the beach, we spotted this little critter up in the trees.  It's a squirrel-like animal (quite a bit larger though), striped in white, black & orange.  This guy was hanging in the trees eating the little nuts or berries or whatever was up there.
Before supper tonight, we took our last walk on Playa Potrero beach and snapped a few sentimental photos of us as couples.  There was a good one of Ron & I too, but I'm having difficulty loading it on the blog tonight. 
Tonight we cooked a delicious supper at home -- the most tender steaks we've ever eaten; beef shishkabobs, fresh potatoes & carrots, fried onions & ice cream for dessert.  We purchased a big slab of fresh beef from the local butcher shop and cut it up at home.  The woman from the fruit stand came with us as an interpretor for us.  The meat was so reasonably priced that we will probably take the 30 minute drive later this week to purchase some fresh chicken from the shop.  We put our table out on the balcony and enjoyed each other's company and the beautiful breeze in the night air.
We're relaxing now and will enjoy some more card games later on before bed.
Tomorrow we're off to Playa Grande to continue our Costa Rican adventure.  But before we leave Playa Potrero, we'll visit the fruit stand to load up for the next few days.  We can't chance being out of fruit for too long.

Relaxed & Rested {from the shore},

Monday, January 16, 2012

we scored with the fruit stand

Here's a photo of Playa Penca Beach that we have been having fun on.
Today, Heather & I walked down the beach a bit to look at some of the more rocky areas and take photos of the tide pools.  There are so many cool things that we discovered in them and around them.  We took some great photos of so many things -- too many to show right now.

This tide pool was neat because it had a little "bridge" part that connected two of them.  Little fish were swimming in these.

We scored big time this morning, discovering the fruit stand just down the road.  We bought so much (we're preferred customers now, I'm sure).......that the man that works there gave us our cilantro and hot peppers for FREE.  We ended up with two huge bags of fruit and veggies for about $16 USD.  We thought we won the lottery.  Probably going back tomorrow.  They get everything fresh on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays.  I think the days inbetween will taste just fine as well.  Mmmmmmmm, fresh fruit!!!!

We immediately went home and mixed up some fruity drinks.  Ron played the part of "Tom Cruise" and Matt, Heather & I played our part as well.
This is the fruit stand. "Cliff Diver" (the name of our car, thanks to our daughter, Daria) had a little accident!!!!!
Actually..........there's a vehicle graveyard right down the lane from us and I thought it would be funny to take a photo of Ron beside what could happen to the vehicle if he continues to drive the way he is.  I'm just kidding -- he's driving great (& wild at times) and he's finding new thrills, like driving on the beach to get to Conchal and almost getting run over by BIG buses (that was on a little adventure that him & Matt took this morning).
 Later this afternoon, we drove back to one of our favourite beaches -- Conchal.  It is covered with tiny crushed shells -- it's amazing.  We watched an amazing sunset (again) and walked through some little stands that were selling stuff.  In the trees above us were some monkeys....about 6 of them....even a baby one, I think.  It was hard to photograph them; they were so high in the trees and always moving.  But I did manage to get a few good ones.
Tonight we ate at a local restaurant -- "Sol y Mar".  We ate the most delicious seafood, tenderloin & chicken.  Then we topped off the meal with ice cream and Flan de Coco (a light coconut jello cake).  Everything was so good that we all think a burger and fries for lunch tomorrow will suit us all just fine........maybe topped off with more ice cream.

After our late night swim tonight we are relaxing in our jammies with a glass of watermelon smoothie (sorry, Daria)!!!!!  I'll make them at home for you too.  Good night to all and chat with you tomorrow.

{from the.........beach},

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 1 // beaches, drives & a sunset

Well....we made it all the way to Playa Potrero, Costa Rica.  We arrived at the newly constructed Airport Terminal (yeah......its been open a whoppin' 3 days) and were whisked away to the Alamo Car Rental place.  It was dark already, and we were tired, so Ron got an "upgrade" in the car department (of course) and we were off to our house.  Matt navigated in the front seat, while Heather & I hung on to the door handles and prayed (just kidding).  After countless corners, stray dogs & lots of dust, we reached our house.  The property manger was waiting for us and let us in, showed us around and answered all our questions.
Soon after she was bedtime.  Long day.

The next morning it was so much easier to see exactly what our place looks like.  It's beautiful, sitting high on a hill, surrounded by trees and other vegetation.
I won't show you all the photos, but just some of my faves.
Here's the view of the pool area from the upper (2nd level) balcony. 
This is the view of the ocean from the same balcony.  It's a beautiful view.
 Today we walked down to Playa Penca Beach....a bit of a walk down the road, but not bad.  We didn't bring much with us because we didn't know how long we would be there.  It's a gray-sand beach with not many shells.  It's not huge, but there were not many people there.
 We ended up playing in the waves for about an hour and a half.  It was fun to try to "ride the waves" and time it just right to "catch a wave".  Sometimes our timing was right.........many times we ate water & sand.  Lots of laughs, screams & sand in our suits.

 This is the vehicle that we are driving for the week.  Ron said we should think of a name for if you have any ideas, just email us with them.
 We took a drive this afternoon and took in breath-taking views like this.  The roads are incredibly winding and steep.  Don't tell anyone........but I'm glad I'm sitting in the backseat this week.  At one point I actually Ron was intentionally driving off this cliff on the side of the road....but I couldn't see the dirt road he was actually turning on to.  I couldn't believe he was actually taking "the road less travelled".  Heather has a photo of it on her camera that I'll maybe show you another time.  Unbelieveable!!!  Who let this guy drive anyway?

We finished our drive at Playa Flamingo watching the sunset on the beach.  We ate at a little restaurant right in town.......Mauhi Mauhi, shrimp skewers, guacamole & chips, etc.  Soooooo good!!

We've had a long & busy day.  We are already feeling relaxed and ........... warmer than you are right now in Manitoba.  Sorry.

Check back tomorrow to see what we're up to.
{from the farm},

Monday, January 9, 2012

must haves

Kids are back to school this morning and I'm still in my fuschia pj's.  Love it!!!  Been doing a little "homework" myself this morning; catching up on some blogs and finishing some deadlines that are sneaking up on me. have GOT to see this. 

Nikki Sivils, Scrapbooker has been busy creating her latest paper lines and they are definitely going to be your next purchases!!!  I can't believe what this incredibly talented woman comes up with when she's designing.  She's amazing!!! 

Here's a little sneak peek at one of my new faves:

 The collection kit cover
(with a look at all the papers)
 there are so many ways that you could use these little telephones.
 kay.......hello........this one rocks!!!  love florals.  How did she know??
 ledger paper is definitely one of my faves for a background paper.
 always love the houndstooth!!!
 ... and check out these adoreable library cards.  So many possibilities!!!

Nikki's got other new lines just waiting to be shared.  I'll debut them in the next little while.  They are also announcing their latest Design Team in the next week or so.  Can't wait to see what talent they have lined up for this season!!!

Check back here next week when I start blogging from Costa Rica.......heading there this coming weekend.  Can't wait to start another adventure.
{from the farm},

Monday, January 2, 2012

eleven things

My boy turns eleven today.

11 things we love about him:
1. definitely his quirky personality.
2. his maturity
3. his ability to speak to adults & complete strangers; they are always so impressed.
4. his sarcasm -- he always "gets it".
5. his genuine smile
6. we are so proud of the fact that Carter was able to be challenged in school and be moved up to grade 5 after the new year this past year.
7. his athletic ability -- basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, track, etc.
8. his determination -- in everything he does.
 9. his imagination
10. his creativity & problem solving skills
11. the way he makes us feel important as a family -- I don't know another kid who will do this to the extent that Carter does. 
We love you so much, Carter.
Have a great day!!!

{from the farm},