K is making me write a blog post. She is literally not letting me do anything fun until I write one. She’s the worst.
I love sharing our story with you, and we’re flattered that you follow it, but trying to capture all the twists and turns is a little daunting. (Kind of reminds me of all those journals I started as a kid only to drop them three entries in.) So, in order to appease her and make this a manageable task, I’ve decided to break out the good old fashioned top ten list. A top ten list of the best things that happened to us this week.
10. Culinary investigation
Alright, this one is admittedly a little bogus. We have a long way to go with stretching our wings on this front, rice and beans are hardly adventurous. BUT, I feel proud to say that we both tried mamon chinos this week at the mercado central in San Jose. Apparently, this is not as big a deal as I thought it was as the group of teachers we were with met my declaration that this was a first for me with “Wait..really??” It appears I’ve got a ways to go, but for me this still makes the list. Also, I forgot to snap a pic, so here’s one I stole off the inter web. Whatever, this is number ten. Who cares. 9. Trying new words
This will clearly be an element of every week we spend here, but this week it makes the list because we are pretty diligent about trying to speak and we’ve learned (or re-learned in many cases) a lot on the fly this week. We’ve also been having fun with the Spanish books we’ve found in out apartment. Let’s just say this chica is getting pretty savvy when it comes to ordering a té con límon (in the event I start liking tea), declaring that we have no sons – no tenemos hijos, and good afternoon: buenas tardes, which is something I am saying pretty much 50% of the time I speak and – it turns out you really only have to say half of it and the rest is assumed. Buenas.
8. Waxed American
Two nights ago we went to the Tap House in Santa Ana, which is one of the only places with a variety of beers that are not Imperial (which is kind of…bud lighty?). We’ve become a little snooty living next to the Craft Beer Cellar the last five years and are already missing good beers; it’s going to be a long two years. I got a pineapple beer on tap called Piña which was amazing… Also got a cheese burger. There aren’t many of those here, so I went for it despite feeling a little lame doing so.
I regret nothing.
7. Visiting my first chiropractor
This one’s a bit of a bummer. I’ve apparently dislocated something in my lower back (I’m fine, mom). Not sure how I did it – moving, running, sneezing…who knows – but I’ve been in a bad way pretty much since we got here. In tears on Friday night, I caved and made (let K make) an appointment with a chiropractor in San José. Saturday morning at 9 I was in there getting my back realigned. After some intense back cracking I went into this room and lay down face down on a paper towel on a snake skin table, listened to exotic caged birds chirping and got some stim. Heading back next week…hopefully I’ll be on the mend soon.
6. Discovering Life Story on Netflix
This has nothing to do with Costa Rica, but we found this six episode series this week and have been utterly captivated. It’s in the same vein as the Plant Earth series. Watching an episode of it after a long, busy day has been amazing. All I have to say is the barnacle goslings are some of the most badass babies out there. You should stop everything and watch it. Seriously, don’t even bother with the rest of this post. Spoiler: we ate some food, we did some walking. NOW GO WATCH!
5. Getting a car
Freedom!! We upgraded from our pristine 2016 Nissan Ultima rental to our 2004 Nissan X-trail with a faulty fuel gage monitor, a broken passenger window controller and no cup holders. We. Could. Not. Be. Happier. Seriously, having a 4×4 that we can adventure with and feel safe on some treacherous small town roads is a big deal. K is a little obsessed with it and still trying to find the best angle for its picture.
4. Exploring the farmer’s market in San José
Ah, come visit us and we’ll take you here! Every Saturday there are farmers’ markets all over. We went to two markets, the San José farmers market (where I could have spent all day) called Feria Verde and the San José covered market called Mercado Central (a bustling, crowed, fishy, hand made goods, kind of market that really demands patrons turn sideways and walk with purpose – an experience and a place for deals, but maybe not somewhere we return until our Spanish is a bit stronger). The farmer’s market was lovely. Live music, crafts and beautiful handmade goods,freshfreshfresh produce, COFFEE, and artisanal treats all around.
3. Going to Playa Hermosa
My back’s been hurting, K’s been super busy with new teacher orientation, and we got home after the market yesterday and decided we just needed to go explore some of this country we’ve been itching to see. It was a little impulsive, but we ended up heading to Hermosa Beach, about and hour and 45 minutes from where we live. The drive was gorgeous, and though we didn’t spot any wildlife per se, we saw plenty of signs for sloths, monkeys and crocs — and just the promise of getting to see those creatures soon made us so excited. We arrived at the black sand beach around 3pm, just in time to watch the clouds roll in and ultimately bring a down pour. We didn’t go to the beach, or to Costa Rica, to sit in our cars though, so the two of us just sat on the hood of the car as the skies opened up, sipping our tall boys, laughing and feeling giddy with how lucky we are to be here.
…and then we drove home. absolutely soaked.
2. Going on a hike
This morning we woke up bright and early (which often happens anyway because it gets light so early) and headed to Ciudad Colón to meet up with some of K’s colleagues for a pre-hike breakfast. The variety and freshness of fruit and produce here continues to amaze me. After filling up, we drove 20 minutes further to a hike near the University for Peace (which is a whole other thing you should check out) and began our hike. We walked out of this one, untagged by slips or falls, and with an exhausted, dirty, happy dog. A huge success. Also, we waded through some pretty mysterious looking water. All in all it counts as a big stretch day.
Man, it is hard to pick a number one, but this experience still has me savoring it almost a week later. One of the new teacher events earlier this week was to go to a restaurant called Tiquicia in San Antonio, the highest of the three divisions of Escazú. The drive up was absurd (and we were still in the rental, terrified we were going to scratch it) but the view, the ambiance, the food and the company was out of this world. I can’t wait to go back.
Also, and this was hard to place on the list as a Costa Rican thing, but connecting with friends and family this week has been a major highlight. Thank you for Skyping with us, adding WhatsApp to your phone, sending us texts and emails. It makes a huge difference. It’s so lovely to see all of your shining faces, feel the love from a text or even a little love on Instagram…whatever it is, it makes us feel more connected and like this big move isn’t such a big deal after all.
Holy cow. Look at the length of this thing. Got carried away…next time I’m aiming for a paragraph.