Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Trip to Jaco.

Sunday morning Roberta and I woke up and decided to take a trip to Jaco. Jaco is the closest beach to San Jose and is an easy tourist destination. I guess that was the reason that it was packed with tourists. Most of the signs in the town were in English. We ate at a restaurant on the beach and our waiter talked with us in English. I felt like I was being cheated. It took all the fun out of ordering food, I knew what I was going to get.

We had a good time though. We went to a beach down the road from Jaco and hopped in the water. The weather was perfect and the water felt great. The Pacific side has the big waves around this area. I liked the Caribbean beach vibe a little better cuz it was more chill.

On the drive back over the mountains it started torrentially downpouring. Streams of water were running through the road in places. Made for an exciting trip back.

Roberta is starting work this week so we went to Office Depot to get her a keyboard. They had a nice wireless keyboard and mouse combo thing that would do the trick. We got home and opened it up and it was a Spanish keyboard. Duh. Things were all moved around and there was an upsidedown question mark. We couldn't find the @ key either.

Pictures Of Jaco Here

Thursday, June 23, 2005

We didn't screw up!!!!

We finally had our show in the park. Mauricio on guitarra(guitar), Master Lucas on Tumbadora(Large Conga), and me on Bajo(bass). We have been practicing for the past few weeks getting ready for the show. Really fun music which I call Funky Latin Jam Folk. Soon I will have recordings and I will post them up here.

The show went perfectly. We were there on time and got set up without any technical problems. About ten minutes before we were supposed to play it started pouring down rain but quickly stopped. All the people came back out from hiding so we had a decent audience. We were all a little nervous but we nailed the show. Super fun time.

The weekend prior Roberta and I went to an open air produce/flea market near downtown. Piles of junk for sale. If ever I needed an old VCR that looked like it got hit by a hammer I would definately go back there. There were a lot of very expensive looking digital cameras without accesories or cables. Hmmm... Let me see.... STOLEN. They actually had the new camera that I was looking at getting there but my guilt got the better of me.

We actually went to the market to get produce which there was a ton of. An cheap too. Payin about .20c for a white pineapple. Most produce you could get a bag of for about .20c.

We also bought some Churros from this guy who was wheeling around this cooler. For .20c each we got a large stick of deep fried goodness filled with semi-sugary goo coated with cinnamon sugar. Mmmm.... That is the reason that I will go back to that market.

We are also very excited because my mom is coming down in August to stay for a while. Maybe we will go to Bogota Columbia. There is a 4 night trip deal with airfair and lodging and breakfast for $200 each person. There is the little problem with abductions in Columbia that we need to look into though.

Click here for pictures

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Caribbean Coast

So this last weekend Adam and I drove to the Caribbean Coast. It took about 4 hours to get there and the road was through some really intense mountain, jungle areas. The road was good for part of the way, but than turned to dirt towards the last stretch.

We had received a few recomendations for places to stay but we didn't make any reservations because we were hoping to bargain with people since it is the low season. We ended up at Kasha were the owner was the dad of a friend of a friend. Needless to say he didn't give us a deal. Furthermore he was charging for an all inclusive stay ($75 a night which is spendy here). All inclusive means all of your meals and drinks are included. But here is the ridiculous part, nothing was included, not even breakfast. We stayed there one night and than moved next door to MiraFlora where the lady was super nice. She's been in C.R. for 17 years and was a very nice hostess with fair prices.

We had a great time after we got over getting ripped off. First we went to Playa Chiquita which is north of Punta Uva. This beach is very tranquilo, with very very small waves so you can just hang out in the water for hours, you didn't want to hang on the beach because the sand fleas were horrible. The next beach we went to was in Manzanillo. Manzanillo is at the end of the road travelling south. Here we snorkelled and swam. Snorkelling was really good here. Than we had lunch at Maxi's and started drinking and hung out on the beach some more and than drove to Puerto Viejo. Drinking was a treat because Adam and I have virtually stopped drinking except for special occasions. You have to drink pina coladas on the beach, no way around that!

Puerto Viejo is a surf, party, reggae town. Not much else to add, except very touristy. I'm glad we didn't stay there, but they did have a few good restaurants. We drove back on Sunday. Hopefully we will get back there soon, we had a really good time.

And here are the pictures

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Rainy What?

Wow, I guess it is the rainy season here. This is not like Oregon rain, it is a hard downpour that has been going on since mid morning. There are rivers in the streets and the drivers here who constantly have the “Pedal to the Metal” have learned that the accelerator is a variable input device.

This morning when it was sunny and perfect out I planted a bunch of plants that I scored from our friend Claire. We walked around her house and just pulled things out of the ground and tossed them in a bag. I will most likely have to replant them after the rain stops. I am going to take weekly pictures or so of the garden so that everyone can see how fast things grow here. I planted a basil plant in a pot on the roof and within’ a week it had doubled in size. Roberta has said that if you put a stick in the ground here it will grow into a tree.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Travel Companions Wanted

Hello All
As Adam has mentioned, we have prioritized some travel destinations in Central America that we hope to see during our stay in C.R, not in any particular order.

Guanacaste is a northern pacific province of Costa Rica. Think beaches, oh yeah. Our friends have undeveloped beach front property there were we can either do some rustic camping or get some near by cabinas. This is about a 4-5 hour drive from San Jose

Lake Nica
There are two islands in the middle of Lake Nica which were formed by volcanos. Think isolated beaches of fresh water, home of the only freshwater sharks. This lake is in Nicaraugua so would require a bit of travelling from San Jose.

San Andres, Columbia
This little island is very close to Costa Rica but is Columbian on the Caribean side. Think snorkeling in coral reefs.

Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo is a Caribean town which has a strong 'rasta' culture and beautiful Caribeean beaches.

Granada Nicaragua
Granada is an old Spanish colonial town famed for it's spanish style architecture.

Come join us and break some laws by visiting Cuba. Americans aren't suppose to go to Cuba but lot's do. Which also means that it won't inundated by tacky tourist traps. We've seen some fairly reasonable packages from Costa Rica.

Volcano Arenal
This volcano is famed for erupting when president Kennedy visited. I've heard there are smaller eruptions that are neato to see. This could be a day trip from San Jose.

Yep, this is a turtle-like destination. I need to do some more research so we can hit this location when the turtles are migrating. I've heard that you can volunteer there to heard the turtles or transport eggs. Sounds like a good excuse to see some wildlife. My mother has some funny stories about herding tarantulas and turtles in the Mojave Desert when she was a little girl. Adam and I are activley avoiding jumping trantulas but big slow moving turtles are more reasonable. My mom's brave like that.

Panama Canal
I've heard that Pananma Canal is nothing special, but it would be interesting to see it and use this as an excuse to explore Panama.

So, if any of these destinations perk your interests or if you have any that you want to add let us know. It's a lot more fun to travel with companions and it cuts down on costs.

Martha's Vineyard

What... I thought this blog was about Costa Rica. Well I, Roberta, attended a friend's wedding at Martha's Vineyard. I met Sonia at Cornell and she was recently married to Brook, who she also met at Cornell. They went thru some 'relationship growing pains' but they are now married. Which is great they are definately meant for each other on a lot of levels.

The wedding was really fun. My Cornell friends and I met up in Boston for an evening of beer drinking and catching up. Boston is a beautiful city. I would consider an urban living situation in Boston for a few years, unfortunately it's about as expensive as Manhatten in the nice areas.

The next day we head off to the Wood's Hull port where we caught a ferry to the island. My southern friends and I (from San Diego and Florida) brought the sun because it was beautiful weather. Almost as hot as C.R.

As soon as we get to our hotel we have 45 minutes to catch a bus to the clam bake. This clam bake had awesome food, including yummy lobster and wine. I've been missing good wine and beer - Costa Rica doesn't have too many options on that front except if you want to pay too much.

The next day is the wedding a short walk from our hotel at another hotel with a great view. It reminded me of Florence and growing up on the Oregon Coast except Martha's Vineyard was much much nicer and had a lot more yachts.

You can check out the pictures here:
Wedding pictures

Saturday, June 04, 2005

New movements

Roberta and I are getting excited because we started looking into all of the vacations that we are going to need to take from this vacation. Cuba is probably tops on my list, then there is this little island called San Andres which is a Columbian island off the coast of Costa Rica, then there are these two volcanoes in the middle of Lake Nicaragua call Ometepe. Next weekend we are spending three days in Puerto Viejo which is on the Carribean coast. We promise that we will post more pictures then.

I have been practicing with this band three times per week getting ready for the show. The music is going very well. Supposedly the Mayor will be giving a speech right before we go on. No stress or anything. Oh well, they rarely blame the bass player.