Thursday, September 24, 2015

SUP, Surfing, Spanish Classes and a Visit from Lisa!

OK, I admit, my blog updates have been pathetically few and far between.  Going to try and do better with them.  It truly makes no sense that when I worked 80 hours a week I kept up better with this blog than I do now not working at all.  Pura Vida!

Sooooo, my friend, Lisa, came to visit over Labor Day for the second year in a row, this time without her hubby as he did not have the vacation time.  She opted to stay with us, which was fun!  We had an absolute blast, and Lisa got me to do some things I have been wanting to do since I moved here but have not.

First, stand up paddle boarding!  Lisa had done this before, but only on lakes in Michigan.  We decided to head over to the Playa Aguajas area as the waves are smaller there and you can find some calm ocean.  The beach is near Punta Leona, but easier to get to.  We stopped at a place called Kayak Jaco, which had been recommended.  They appeared to be closed (rainy season many places are not open as much).  We called the number on the building and the man who answered seemed annoyed I was calling.  He asked how many of us there were and when I told him only two, he said he could be there in two hours to help.  Or, we could do it tomorrow.  So, I said ten am.  To which he said, are you really going to show up?  Total sour taste in my mouth from the treatment to potential customers, but I made the appointment anyway.  Then, Lisa and I decided to walk the beach.  Playa Agujuas is simply stunning.  So many rock formations and literally nobody there.  I think we only saw two people and a dog our entire walk.  We walked back to the car and decided to drive into Herradura or Jaco to look for a place to SUP that day, not wanting to wait until morning.  Could not find anywhere in Herradura, so we headed to Morgan's Cove, where I heard there was a place on the beach.  Headed down to the beach and there were no times available until later so we headed into Jaco to The Surfer Factory.  Total different experience here than Kayak Jaco.  The employee there got the owner on the phone for me and he showed up ten minutes later to help out.  He suggested going out around sunset, so we made a time to meet  up with them at 330 PM at Herradura Beach. 

Showed up at 330 PM at Playa Herradura and soon, Andres, pulled up with our boards.  He showed us what to so while on the beach.  Then we got in the water and he pushed us each past the waves.  We got to calmer waters (which were a little choppy that day) and practiced standing up.  I fell a few times getting the hang of it, but once I got up and got the balance, I did great!  Lisa was a pro from having already done it before.  It is a very relaxing sport and great for your core and arms.  We stayed out about two hours.  One weird thing, I started to feel seasick!  I think the balancing and the choppy waters combined and having eaten some cereal right before. I never get seasick so that was kind of weird, but I was fine.  We got to see the sun set and it was a wonderful afternoon.  Was so happy I finally did this.  Not sure if I will buy a board or not as they are pretty cheap to rent and very pricey to buy.  I since have gone SUPing one other time with my friend Linda and borrowed one of her boards.

Two days later, Lisa and I decided to try surfing.  Again, Lisa had done this before twice, but many years back.  I have always wanted to surf, but you hear a lot of horror stories here of people drowning and getting hurt, so I have kind of stayed away from it.  So glad I changed that too!  I was nervous I would not get up at all.  A friend of mine told me she went and never stood up once.  Anyway, I got up pretty much every single time!  The first time, I got part way up and got scared and purposefully fell over.  After that, I stood up on time two and was hooked!  AWESOME sport and we had an amazing instructor, Andres.  At the end of our time, the sky opened up to a huge thunderstorm and I stayed out a little bit longer.  How cool to surf in the pouring rain.  Lisa and I went surfing one more time the day before she left and we both improved a lot.  I plan on going out again next week with Andres and want to take weekly lessons until I am ok going out alone.  I will most likely have a board custom made for myself at some point once I figure out what size board I want.

While Lisa was here, we also went to Rainmaker Park and to the Monkey Tour in Caldera.  At Rainmaker, it started to pour once we got there, but we went anyway.  We saw a TON of poison dart frogs, which was so fun.  I love the colors.  It was so different seeing this park in rainy season.  We went once in dry season, and in rainy season, its even more beautiful (but a harder hike since things are super wet).  The waterfalls and rivers have even more water and its just spectacular.

After Lisa left, Kurt and I started taking Spanish classes the next Monday.  We will be done with Week Two tomorrow.  Classes are two hours a day Monday through Friday and since its rainy season here, Kurt and I are the only ones in class.  We are learning a TON.  Classes are pretty advanced since Kurt already knew a lot of Spanish going in, which is forcing me to learn twice as fast, but that's ok with me.  I cannot believe how may verb conjugations there are in Spanish, its insane.  I am getting super good at reading Spanish, and am slowing starting to understand more.  My speaking is kinda slow, but you have to start somewhere, right?

Projects at the house are winding down as well.  We would like to have some time without people working here though, so we are going to hold off on other projects for a while.  Coming up next will be building a gym, turning the bodega/car port into an apartment, putting glass block up in both bathrooms for the showers, and putting in a pool side shower.

I think that's enough of an update!  I am going to try to update more often!  Pura Vida!




1 comment:

Thomas Partner said...

Just dropped by to see how things are going for you two. Nice to see you are working on your Spanish. It's not all that much fun learning, but fun to use the stuff you have learned later to connect with your Spanish speaking neighbors and those you come in contact with in daily life. Do you two do much traveling around your current area..?? Two places I have been and enjoyed: San Andreas and Cartegena. I myself have never been to Nicaragua, but sure would like to see Managua. Again as in Cartegena, it's the the old Spanish haciendas that I love.. and I'love to see Daniel, another survivor like you.... of the great game ugliness. Maybe our last winter here on the Vineyard... Thinking about selling our restaurant and going back, not to Detroit though, but to NYC. My wife is counting the days.. in spite of my recent infatuation with the boat club back there in D where my grandfather (I believe) was a long ago member.. Keep up your amazing adventure.. we will never forget your steel and resolve in the face of overwhelming force. All the best to you. Fans Tom & Carol MVI...