Saturday, June 28, 2014

Return To Paradise

So, I went back to the States for a short time to attend the wedding of two of my favorite people, Ron and Erika.  Flew Delta Thursday night and returned Spirit the following Tuesday night  All flights were easy and no delays.  Yay.

Got into Michigan late Thursday night and Ron and Meghan picked me up from the Erika.  Stayed at Ron's Thursday and Friday night.  Friday I went to the office and had lunch with everyone and picked up all the random stuff I had sent to the office to bring back to Costa Rica with me.  Packed it all in the extra suitcase I brought with me.  Friday night was the wedding rehearsal and dinner.  Rehearsal was at The Dearborn Inn and dinner at Andiamo's in Dearborn.  Dinner was awesome, app was calamari, caprese salad, sea scallops for dinner, and hot fudge sundaes for dessert.  All good.  And drinks of course.  Had an amazing time.

Saturday, got up and went for a run at Ron's, then hung out for a while talking.  Headed out to get a massage and go to Kohl's for an errand, then headed to the hotel to take pics and hang with Erika and company before the wedding.  Got to help out with some outside pics with the photographer, which was fun.  Then went to the room to get ready with my date, Ashleigh, who was nice enough to attend the wedding with me.  Wedding was at 600 in the gazebo outside the hotel and the weather was PERFECT.  Sunny, and not too hot.  Judge Weipert, who I practiced in front of in Monroe County, performed the ceremony and was hilarious.  Great wedding, not a boring moment.  After that, apps and drinks were served in the garden area while the wedding party had pics taken.  The food was AWESOME.  They had sesame chicken (which I did not try), as well as lobster pot pies, crab cakes and spring rolls. Our group made sure to stand by the door the waiters came out of, so we ate a lot, LOL.  Headed in to the wedding next.  Dinner was a choice of salmon, beef or chicken.  I had the salmon and it was awesome.  Dessert was great too and the there was a nacho bar at the end of the night.  Reception was fun, everyone danced all night, def not a boring crowd.  Had a blast hanging out with Meghan and all my friends.  Erika looked stunning as a bride.........

Next morning, I woke up and checked out of the hotel and headed to have dinner with my two Aunts and Dad at Pete's Place in Brownstown.  My Mom met up with me there and we went back to Ron's to drop his car off and pick up the last of my stuff.  Headed to my Aunt's house next and hung out there.  Went to Kohls and then to dinner at an awesome Italian place.  I had an amazing marinara angel hair pasta dish.  I never have pasta, so I loved that.  Monday, my Mom and I did some shopping and I went for a run before dinner.  My Aunt made salmon for dinner with couscous and corn, which was super yummy.  Watched two movies with my cousin and then off to bed.

And Tuesday, flight home!

Was a short trip, but about all I can stand being away from Costa Rica.  Nice to get to go to the wedding and see my friends and family.

Back in Paradise now, was kinda jet lagged on day one.  Got back into my daily running and workout routine, and back to not overeating and eating healthy.  Looking forward to the fruit and veggie market tomorrow morning as we are out of everything since I missed last Friday!

Bought a toaster and slow cooker today, and I think that's all I need for the kitchen.  Stopped at the fish market and bought marlin and tuna, which should last a while too. 

While I was gone, Kurt had an iguana get into the house, and saw a scorpion near the door! I guess Midas found the scorpion and just stared at it.  The iguana was under the couch I normally sit at.  Kurt had moved the couch to sweep and thought it was a snake at first, but then realized it was just an iguana.  He got it out of the house.  The cats I guess were terrified, LOL.

The yard guys have started work on the pool area.  We are building an area around the pool that is covered so you can sit out there not directly in the sun.  Should be super nice when done.

Kurt painted our bedroom while I was gone, so I did not have to sleep in paint fumes.  It is jade green and looks amazing.  He is working on finishing the master bath.  He has to paint the ceiling white as the previous owner had some odd cloud mural painted in there. Need to get rid of it.

I got a FitBit while in Michigan.  I am loving it!  You can link to other friends who have a FitBit too, so if you have one, add me at email

Off to run errands soon!  Pura Vida.






Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Weekend in Paradise

**Midas is a handsome boy.  He followed me around the yard while I took pics, so I of course, had to take pics of him.

Friday is Farmer's Market Day, yay!  They were out of Kurt's blackberry pie, so this time, he bought an apple which he says was BETTER. I tried a piece of the crust, and WOW.  Awesome.  Bought the other standard stuff.  Nice that even in the rain, the outdoor market is open, with tarp covering!

Friday was Gretel's Day to go to the beach!  She was not as excited about the water as Midas.  She was more smart too, quickly figuring out the tide going in and out.  She only got wet a couple times.  She had a really nice time watching 4 dogs with their owner play catch.  She did not want to play fetch though, as that would require going in the water. 

Took her for ice cream after, but she did not want any.  Weird.   So, I helped her out and ate her vanilla gelato.  It was yummy.  Gretel fell asleep on the way home.

While on the beach, took some pics of the new casino/resort going in.  Jaco has casinos, but they are all pretty small and kind of lame (compared to Vegas anyway).  Croc's is going to be, supposedly, Vegas caliber.  We will see. They are supposed to be complete by December 2014, so we will have to check it out then and see what kind of games and amenities they have.

Finally got out my DSLR and went for a walk around my yard and neighborhood.  While out with the camera, I met another neighbor, Chris, from Toronto.  She has a business in town and lives here full time.  Very nice.  She lives up the hill from us.  I played around some with my new fish eye lens, which is pretty sweet.  Takes kind of distorted view pics of the landscape. Love it.




On Saturday, Costa Rica played in the World Cup against Uruguay.  A lot of sports books and TV stations were predicting not only would Costa Rica lose all its games, it would score zero points.  Well, not only did they win, they scored THREE goals.  It was awesome.  We watched at home, but afterwards headed downtown to go to the hardware store and it was CRAZY downtown.  It was like a self-made parade.  People were partying everywhere and the fans were ecstatic!  It was very kewl to be part of.  We took some video and stayed there a while.

Saturday was date night, and we chose Los Amigos.  Had amazing shrimp pad thai and a guac appetizer.  It was a really nice night out, but we ate way too much food, I was stuffed.

The wiring around the bottom of our fence started to be installed today.  This will keep the snakes and toads out of the yard to keep the pugs and cats safe.  Also went today and bought paint for our bedroom.  We are slightly modifying what we are doing with the bedrooms.  We were going to make one bedroom a closet, but we are not making it a bedroom (so we have two spare bedrooms) and making a closer in our bedroom.  We have a HUGE master bedroom, and without a closet or something in there, it is just kinda wasted space.  And, I would rather have two guest beds, in case we have families come and stay. So, we are painting our bedroom and then starting the closet.  I bought a jade green color for the bedroom.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Adventures With Midas at Jaco Beach

We decided to take baby Midas to the beach so he could check out the ocean for the first time.  Super fun.  We chose Jaco Beach since it is closest to the house.  Midas is a pro at car rides since he was in a car from Michigan to Herradura just recently!  :).

Took his collar and leash since we really had no idea how he would react to everything going on at the beach.  It was slightly overcast when we took him, so there were not a ton of people out, which is good, since Midas likes people and likes to bark at them too.  Parked and went down near the water.  Midas had no idea what the ocean was.  He walked right up to it, and when a wave crashed and hit him he jumped a MILE. 

Soon though, he figured out how to run away from the waves or stand there and get wet.  Some big waves came and he got pretty covered when he could not get away fast enough, but he really seemed to like it.  We stayed down there quite a bit walking. 

Then, Kurt decided Midas needed some gelato/ice cream, so we headed into Jaco to the ice cream place that has outdoor seating.  Kurt went in and got the ice cream.  Midas got a small scoop in a dish.  Midas had no idea what ice cream was either, but he quickly learned he liked it.  Took him a while of licking, but he ate the entire container. Lots of people stopped by to pet Midas and ask about him.  pugs are not common in Jaco, in fact, I don't think I have ever seen a pug in all our travels of Central America.  We were going to walk in downtown Jaco with Midas, but I could tell he was getting tired, so we came home.  It was a very exciting day for him!  Next up is Gretel Olivia.  She gets to explore!  I don't think she will like the water as much as Midas though.......We will see.

When we first moved into the house, we did not have all the kitchen cabinets.  For some reason, the previous owner only put a couple in and left the rest open covered with curtains.  I removed those right away.  We got a referral to a guy in the area who makes cabinets and hired him.  He came and took measurements before I even came here, and today, the cabinets were delivered.  It took a long time to put them in!  They are super nice.

Also, yesterday, the guys came to clear out the massive pile of branches and debris from the yard.  They were here a long time as well, but now, no pile at all!  It is the future home of my gym.









Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Natural Bug Spray--Tested and Approved by Me!

So, bug spray costs a ton here for some reason, and I have never liked the idea of spraying chemicals all over my body anyway.  After dark, if you are sitting on our awesome front porch, you cannot escape the mosquitos.  So, we needed to do something.

So, I researched online and found that a lot of people think the same way I do. I decided to go with this website: Click here. 

It was supppppppppper easy.  Basically, I took an empty 8 oz Victoria's Secret body spray bottle, a bottle of lavender essential oil I bought in Jaco, and rubbing alcohol at the grocery store. Fill the bottle with 4 oz of water (half way).  Fill with 3 oz of rubbing alcohol, then put in 50 drops of the essential oil.  Pour in more rubbing alcohol so the bottle is full.  Shake.

I decided to test it out.  Sprayed it all over my skin and clothing and went outside after dark to sit on the porch.  I soon noticed that even though I could *see* mosquitos, they were not coming near me.  Now, I don't know if it's 100% foolproof, but I do not think one mosquito landed on me or snacked on me, when normally, I would be getting eaten alive.  I then put some on Kurt and he said it was incredible that the mosquitos stayed away!  Another positive for this stuff is that it does not smell horrible like bug spray does.  Lavender smells amazing. 


So, it works!  I have been researching online making my own cleaning products and soaps as well.  I would love to get away from buying anything with chemicals.  Better for us, and better for the pets as well.

On a side note, our former realtor stopped by today to check out how we were doing at the house and to take our pic.  He is taking me out soon to look at condos, but ended up not being able to do it today.

Guys with a truck were here today starting to haul out the garbage in the yard from clearing all the bushes and the like.  Hopefully, that's all gone soon. Kurt also went this morning and ordered the stuff to make the fence snake and toad proof.  That is being delivered sometime tomorrow as well. 

Monday, June 09, 2014

Just Another "nonmanic" Monday,

Not one day in Costa Rica is manic!  But I do like that song.........

Today, I slept in a little and then went on our run.  I lucked out and did not have the sun beating on me even though I ran later than usual.  Whoot.  It is a lot easier running in the heat with no sun.  The sun kicks my ass in the runs. 

Made Kurt French toast today with homemade vanilla honey syrup and bananas.  Him and the pugs enjoyed it.  I think him and the pugs are enjoying all the homemade food!  Trying to buy nothing packaged, which is why I made my own syrup today.

Went into town to get paint today. We are turning one of the bedrooms into a closet, since this house is really lacking in closet space.  The room I wanted to use was a kid's room and really needed changes.  It was painted a non-pretty purple/pink, and had one entire wall that was a mural of Winnie the Pooh.  Just why. 

Anyway, I wanted a bright, Costa Rican color for the walls, since it is going to have shelving and rods in front of it and the paint would shine through from the back.  We bought a color at Sherman Williams in town called "Blue Mosque". 

Kurt had to buy painting supplies as well, rollers, etc.  Got all that and he started filling nail holes and taping the room.  Started painting, but it is going to need more than one coat because of that dang mural.  Anyway, I am loving it so far, but will post more of the finished product once complete.  My guess is he will finish tomorrow.  Then, I will have to design what I want for the closet of clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry.

I discovered the Bosu ball at the gym yesterday and googled exercises for it.  I love it!  It makes things harder by requiring you to balance while exercising.  Anyway, great tool.

Tomorrow, we are meeting up with our realtor.  He wants to take a picture of Kurt and I in front of the house for his website, and he is taking me out to look at condos for a friend of mine who is looking for a possible investment property/vacation home in Costa Rica.  She wants it to be near us so I can possibly manage the property.

Pura Vida!




Sunday, June 08, 2014

Weekend in Paradise

Had a nice, relaxing weekend.

My fav costa rica shirt and my fav 9 month old boy**

Saturday, our plates were delivered for the bikes (temporary plates), so we can legally drive them now. Yay!  Weirdly, we had to pick them up from the bus station window in Jaco, but that was easy.  Had date night on Saturday and went to Caliche's Wishbone.  I had the mahi burrito again, which is amazing.  Walked around Jaco for a bit and then home for the night.

Today was nice as well.  Slept in (for us anyway) then went on our morning run (which was hot today).  Hung out in the pool for a while and then I made breakfast.  I love making breakfast as it is a meal I never made in Michigan as we were up too early and busy all the time.  Kurt built a doggy door for the pugs and kitties today.  They could not figure it out at first, but are already pros.  I made fresh guac today and homemade tartar sauce, and we had an amazing dinner.  Fresh Blue Marlin grilled with black beans and rice and baked zucchini.   I wrapped Kurt's fish, rice and beans in a lawash roll, and added a mixture of diced carrots, tomatoes and corn, with guac.  Everything was awesome, marlin is now on my list of fish I like a lot.  It is as good as ahi tuna, maybe better.  Am slowly starting to use homemade for everything and only use fresh, local ingredients.  Better every week.

Next up with making my own stuff, bug repellant!

Friday, June 06, 2014

Snakes, Toads and Fruit, Oh My!

Farmer's Market Friday!  Yay!  One of my fav events of the week.  When we go now, we pretty much know what we need.  Today, we got Kurt's blackberry pie, potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, bananas, pineapple, kiwi, some fruit we have no idea what it was (LOL) but Kurt ate it today and liked it, corn, passion fruit and some bread.  Came back and went running and swimming.  Kurt was napping, but when he got up, we went into town to the Fish market where I got tuna and marlin, stopped to buy the stuff for the yard to kill bugs that is pet friendly, and the hardware store to get things Kurt needed for projects at the house he is working on.

Came home and I made Kurt some lunch and myself a fruit smoothie.  I was kinda having an off day with not feeling well.  Kinda just tired.  So, I relaxed a little while Kurt hung my new hammock.  We had an awesome rainstorm, so I relaxed in my hammock and listened.  I love the rain.  Perfect napping conditions.

We were relaxing and I kept calling Gretel because I wanted her to try out the hammock.  She kept not coming, so we assumed she was chilling in the house. Kurt got up at one point to go inside and came out saying Gretel was not in the house.  He went in the backyard, and came back, kind of freaking out, as he saw a HUGE snake in the backyard and still no Gretel.  I started to freak out then.  Kurt went walking around the yard calling her, and found her in the storage shed in the yard.  She somehow got stuck in there when Kurt went out to get his step ladder.  I almost started crying I was so relieved.  Then, of course, I had to go in the backyard to see the snake.  We carefully went back there and I took some pics and then he slithered away.  Around 6 feet long and FREAKY.  Then, as we were on the front porch researching this snake from my pictures, I looked in the pool and saw something swimming.  I was like, WTH is that?  Walked over to the pond and it was a HUGE toad swimming.  I did not want him to be stuck in there, so Kurt rescued him with our pool cleaner and let him go in the yard.  Such an odd night.  Found the snake online and it was a nonpoisonous one called a Bird Eating Snake.  Thank God on the nonpoisonous.  Still, we don't want the pugs around snakes of any kind so we are going to take some measures to discourage them from coming in the yard by putting wire around the bottom of our fence.

Went to the gym and then stopped for ice cream in Jaco since I was still feeling kinda under the weather.  The ice cream, oddly, kinda made me feel a little better.

I will say the one thing that REALLY annoys me about Jaco is these parking people.  They are NOT employees of the city.  They basically act like they are helping you park, and then want a tip. I do not need help parking a car.  I do not need directions.  I do not need an umbrella if it's raining.  If I don't ask for your help, please don't give it to me.  It's super obnoxious.  I make Kurt go park in alternate places just to avoid these people.  And of course, they are right near the normal places we park to hang out in downtown.  UGH.  But, if that's the worst thing about Jaco, I can live with it, LOL.




Thursday, June 05, 2014

Scooters, Trees, and More!

Scooters delivered today!  Of course, they forgot the temp plates, so we cannot really drive them yet, but that did not stop us from test driving them in the yard and the private streets of our little neighborhood.  They are not as easy as they look.  I am great at driving in a straight line, but turns kinda scare me.  I am getting better though.  Wore helmets and did all the right safety things.  :).  I think we are really going to like them.  Temp plates getting delivered tomorrow.

More trees have been going into the yard.  We went to a nursery yesterday and got some fan palms, a lady palm and a ficus for the pool area.  Cocha (the yard person) brought more trees today, some coconut palms, banana trees and some other odds and ends.  All planted.  It will be a rain forest soon.  We love it.

Got two new pieces of art work which we hung as well.

My friend RJ gave me a really kewl wood piece for the house today.  Someone gave it to him when he moved in, and he was passing it on.  I love it.  Hung in my kitchen above the sink. 

The dryer got hooked up today. I plan on still drying a lot outside, but it's nice to have the option when it's raining.  I did a load of towels and blankets with it and it works great.  Will be great in super rainy season.  Cocha helped Kurt hook that up to since it required some electrical.  It took Cocha maybe 2 minutes.

I made another batch of fresh black beans on the stove today.  They simmered all day.  Since the first batch lasted a long time, I made half as much this time.

Can't wait for the Farmer's Market tomorrow.  Out of some things, so need to stock up.  We are doing pretty well with not wasting anything or overbuying.

We are also going at noon to look at an armoire a lady has for sale in Los Suenos.  Hopefully, we like it as we need one for the bedroom.








Monday, June 02, 2014

Sunday and Monday

Sunday, we were pretty lazy. I went for a run in the morning and came back to Kurt sitting by the pool with the pugs.  I went for a swim to cool down, then decided to join Kurt on the pool chairs and we both kinda dozed asleep on and off for a while until it was lunch time. 

Decided, after making Kurt lunch, to head into town to see if we could find any trees/plants at any nurseries. Found a nursery, but could not find any employees to ask questions to, such is Costa Rica, LOL.  Anyway, found some stuff we really liked, so we will go back when somebody is working.

Decided to take a drive up the coast towards Hermosa and take some pics of the stunning views and beaches.  Hermosa Beach is so gorgeous and almost nobody is ever there, it's like a deserted area almost.  We will def be back to hang at that beach soon.

I decided to, instead of doing an entire gym workout, take a run thru downtown Jaco, since the weather was insanely perfect. It was 72 degrees out and getting dark, so no sun hitting down on me like during my morning runs.  Ran from the gym to the Best Western and back, which was exactly 2 miles.  Awesome run.  Went in the gym after and did some light weights and biking.

 Today, we decided to, after the morning run, go to San Jose to shop for scooters.  We have looked online for some around here, but were not really having any luck.  Also, it seems easier to get the proper paperwork and plates, etc. if you get them from a dealer.  We went to Honda, Vespa, Yamaha and Suzuki and ended up with 2 Suzukis, one white, one blue.  They are being delivered on Thursday.  We really liked the Vespas, but they were three times the cost of the others and I could just not do it based solely on the *look* of the Vespa. I think the Suzukis will be cheaper to have serviced as well.  They came with helmets, so we got to bring those home at least.  Yay!  Stopped at EPA and Walmart after that to pick up some odds and ends since we were in town.  Got a water dispenser that infuses fruit, which I have been wanting.  Finally found one after looking for a while.  Also, bought some flowers for the front porch windows.  Bugsy is enjoying those, already lying by them.  :).

On a funny side note, Midas is terrified of the jump rope.  Whenever I jump rope, he hides and runs away and barks.  It's hilarious.