Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tribal bug

We find these creatures in and around our house and can’t even identify them. I have asked 3 locals if they can tell me the name of this huge insect with tribal tattoos; 2 shrugged their shoulders and one thought that it might be a large “chincha”.



At the end of November 2009, we packed up our stuff, moved out of the house that we were in before, put our stuff in storage, and until mid-January 2010, we were wandering nomads without a home. Homeless in Costa Rica and the kids being out of school until February (it is summer break in Costa Rica now), we made our way up to Montréal for 5 weeks and had a detour in Arizona on the way back down to visit my parents.

For the last year, we feel that our life has revolved around packing, unpacking, packing, unpacking…

In seemingly constant moving mode, the kids have found a way to entertain themselves with the boxes that are ubiquitous in their lives.

Transforming (pun intended) a box into an Optimus Prime CostumeDSC_0003[1]DSC_0011[3]Decorating the boxesDSC_0002[1]

Monday, January 25, 2010

Muy Calor

It has been very hot this last week in Atenas and it is our understanding that it will only get hotter from now until March.


(For our readers in the United States, that’s 102 degrees Fahrenheit outside the car and almost 106 degrees Fahrenheit inside the car.)

To cool off, the kids washed the car (soaking each other in the process, of course).



The nights are very warm as well (the low for the days is around 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit)) so dinner is best served outside.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Focus on the journey, not the destination

We finally made it to Costa Rica. Here is a summary of our journey.

From To Distance
Flight Time
Montreal, Quebec Fort Lauderdale, Florida 2,230 3.25
Fort Lauderdale, Florida Atlanta, Georgia 939 1.5
Atlanta, Georgia Phoenix, Arizona 2,550 3.75
Phoenix, Arizona Houston, Texas 1,630 2.5
Houston, Texas San José, Costa Rica 2,490 3.5
  Total 9,839 14.5

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

Greg Anderson (American best-selling author and founder of the American Wellness Project)

(However, not much joy in going through airport security so many times.)

When we got here, some old friends were waiting in the house for us.



Friday, January 15, 2010

Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix, Arizona has an amazing zoo and it is often rated one of the top zoos in North America. We spent a wonderful day there yesterday.

The largest non-profit zoo in the United States, the Phoenix Zoo is a must for family vacations in Phoenix or pretty much anyone who likes to enjoy a laidback afternoon. This massive 125-acre complex differs from most modern zoos in how it structures its 1,200+ animals into four long trails covering the native wildlife of Arizona, Africa, and others. There’s also a large “touch” tank called Stingray Bay.

The Phoenix Zoo garnered worldwide attention for one of its animals, an Asian Elephant named Ruby. Ruby came to the zoo in 1973, just months after being born in Thailand. After noticing Ruby doodling in the sand with sticks, her keeper decided to give her a brush and paint. Ruby quickly became famous for her paintings, whose sales raised over US $200,000 for the zoo. Art collectors all over the world joined 18-month waiting lists and paid hundreds of dollars for original prints.

More pictures here.









Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where in the World?

We tried to make our way from Montréal to San José on Sunday, January 10, 2010. We took a flight from Montréal to Fort Lauderdale, Florida first thing in the morning (we were at the airport at 4:00am) and then had to deal with the nightmare of the heightened security at the airport. We were already exhausted when we arrived at the American Airlines counter in Fort Lauderdale for baggage drop-off with our boarding passes in hand to continue to San José. Unfortunately, we were denied boarding due to the fact that we did not have an onward ticket to prove that we would be leaving Costa Rica within 90 days (we only had a one-way ticket). After the shock wore off, we quickly organized a one-day rental car and overnight in a cheap hotel, and put our thinking caps on. So what do you do if you are a young family of 5 stuck in Southern Florida? You head to Arizona, of course. ^_^

We are in Scottsdale, Arizona for the week and plan to be back in Costa Rica next week.

An aside

Since July, 2009, I have flown to San José through Toronto, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, and Charlotte, and I have never been asked to show a return ticket before boarding the plane. Plus, they have never asked for an onward ticket when going through customs in Costa Rica. In addition, I could only find one page on any official government site on the Internet that mentions this being a requirement and it is on the site for the Costa Rican Embassy in Washington, DC (being Canadian, this is not a site that I would visit). So, is this a restriction that is applicable to US citizens only? Or, does it apply to everybody who passes through the United States to get to Costa Rica?






Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vive le vent

We have been in Québec for most of December and we are only heading back to Costa Rica next week.

We have been busy:

- Building snowmen




- Sliding






- Snowshoeing


- Building fires



- And not sure how you would label this sport