10 September 2013

The Little Rascals Start Again

Jane, 2nd grade

 Lucette, 5th grade
Peter, 7th grade

Another new year ...

... but they are still my same little rascals.

Through the years:

08 September 2013

How to Turn Eight, Jane Style

 Start with some Grandma time on a blanket in the sun.

 She'll listen to everything you have to say.

Since you love rocks, use them as decorations and weights for a stack of napkins or fly-away tablecloths.

 Make sure you serve angel food cake with peach sauce. Everyone will come to the party, for sure.

Speaking of cakes. Hydrangea make the perfect cake topper.

 Sometimes it's too windy and the candles won't stay lit. It's okay if your mom just lights one candle and you blow it out very quickly.

The last step is to enjoy your cake and be loved by those that love.

07 September 2013

Jane Turns Eight

Jane's Birthday in Pictures



All she wanted for her birthday was a trip to the coast with some of her most favorite people on earth. Happy days.

31 August 2013

Rahr-Rahr and Miss Flocon de Neige stay for Dinner

As of late, we often had dinner guests.

They dress up in their finery and practice quiet and refined manners.
 They often require Jane to taste their food for them, being high-class an all, but she is a gracious host and willing to oblige.

While there is an obvious class distinction ... an us/them, upstairs/downstairs element to it all ... they do elevate our dining experience and we are better for it.

11 June 2013

How to Spend a Day in Quepos

First things first.  The coffee. Costa Rican coffee in a Costa Rican tree house? About as ideal as a morning can be.

 Your java stupor might even make you willing to let Pops take a bunch of photos. 

Until he persists and you must persist in making the photo session difficult.

But it's all so nice out, you forgive him.
  Since he knows how difficult he's been, he packs you on a rackety bus that costs two Colones each (about 75 cents) to go to the beach in Manuel Antonio. You hurkety-jerk along, but you don't mind because this is the bus the locals take and far more interesting than the tidy, tourist options.
  The bus lets you off at a road-side market full of colors and happy expectations. Suddenly, you don't mind being a tourist. You buy a sarong for the beach and walk down the way to the sandy shore.
 Where Pops is determined in how he will spend his time.
  And I cheer and applaud him from my chair in the sand. I wave and smile and then go back to reading a book and drinking coconut water from a old man who walks the beaches calling, "Frush-a Cocanuta Wata." If you give him a little nod, he'll pull the cooler off of his shoulder, pull out a shaved coconut, give a hack or two with his startlingly large machete, and pop in a straw.
  When your hair is matted with sea water and you are sticky with sand and sunscreen, you find a little place to eat and remark over how tiring doing very little can be.
  And then Pops remembers how magnificent he was on the surf board and exults from his chair.
  And you laugh.

And are grateful once again.

16 May 2013

Costa Rican Tree-house Visitors

The Tree-House, in Pictures

If you follow this road in Quepos, you find the most extraordinary thing ...

A tree-house nestled in the rainforest of monkeys and sloths and all measures of winged-creatures. 
And you might find my husband there drinking a cup of coffee, pondering  the events of the day ... or lack thereof.
The interior is lovely and even has a little kitchenette with a camp stove and sink. Just be sure to manage the garbage well. Ants inside and monkeys out. An ever-existing dilemma.

 It's not often one finds themselves in a tree-house with wi-fi. You can skype with your kids while keeping an eye on those monkeys.
It's humid, here at the tree-house, but a quick hop in the shower is most refreshing. Just don't get too close to the tree ... the ants are awfully fond of using it as their highway.

It's fun to do things with my husband ... they don't always have to be fancy. But when given a chance to camp in a tree-house in the Costa Rican jungle? It's worth every single gecko on the walls.

Lovey Howell Takes to the Sea

 On one of our evenings, we went on a romantic sunset snorkel cruise. That was the intent at least. The cruise turned out to be a hysterically bizarre monsoon/thunderstorm, ocean-trek that prompted the Gilligan's Island theme song to continually run through my mind. Ryan asked if I wanted to be Ginger or Mary Ann, but I opted for Lovey Howell. Who wouldn't?

It started off idyllic (see photo) and very gradually progressed into a quease-inducing water gallop underneath blackening skies. The captain was determined for us to stalk dolphins and once we caught the briefest of glimpses, we spun a maritime u-ie and halted at cove where the instructions were to strap a life-jacket to your waist and bail into the darkly opaque waters to snorkel amidst the colossal downpour the skies were raining out. Pops had about 5 minutes in the water before the lightening began and frantic waves to return to ship began. I was too busy minding my mouth-a-gape position to ever make it into the water. I think Lovey Howell would have done the same.

But that's the thing about travel, I am learning. It's hard not to have imaginings and expectations ... and many of them come true. But when they turn south, you end up with an entirely new experience and memory that you couldn't have dreamt up. And often, once you survive it, it becomes the stuff good stories are made of.