Friday, December 25, 2015

Costa Rica (Day 2 Recap)

Feliz Navidad. Happy Kwanza. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Or Happy/ Merry whatever it is you celebrate this season. We celebrated Thankful Gift Day a couple of days ago so there is no real excitement buzzing around the apartment right now. It’s 2:43a here in Costa Rica (3:43a eastern). I finally got the kids to bed and I’m sitting in the living room with the front door wide open listening to the neighbors party and smelling their yummy cooking. It is lively in the corner of the apartment complex compared to my quiet end and I am enjoying both aspects immensely. I love that I can be apart of their festive celebrations tucked away without being noticed and I love even more that once I tire from it all I can close my front door and sleep peacefully in my quiet and dark room. Sleep probably isn’t all that far off. The cream brandy that I’m sipping will assure that. I’m browsing the internet waiting on some travel deals to come through but nothing yet. What better time to write a blog post to reflect on yesterday’s activities?

We had another wonderful day. After my last entry I considered leaving the patio to go for a morning walk but the kids woke up and things started moving. I fixed them a very random breakfast of pan de pina (a bread loaf with pineapple in some type of syrup in the middle) and some type of sausagy hot doggy thing that they loved (they looked like hot dogs but were in a casing that had to be removed and they didn’t really taste like hot dogs). After breakfast my oldest Jr Nomad took my youngest down to the pool which we can actually see from our front door. My middle Jr Nomad decided to walk with me to the reception area (about a half mile away… or maybe less but in 80 degree head at 9a it felt like two miles). I was a bit disappointed to learn that the person who books tours was not in but decided to have the resort call us a taxi while we were there. I scheduled the taxi for 1p to go explore the nearby town of Jaco. Back at the apartment I packed us a bag of snacks, frozen water, our cameras and a change of clothes while all the kids swam at the pool.
View from the front door
The kids in the pool before we head to town
Kids in the pool before we head to town
Our driver picked us up at the reception office after a bit of confusion but he was really apologetic. His name was Alex and I was so relieved when he utter his greeting in english. The spanish immersion has been great but it was nice to have a break, especially as we traveled outside of our neighborhood into town.

Spotted some scarlett macaws on our walk to meet our taxi... can you see them?
Headed into town
Jaco just ahead

Some shots of the area while driving down the road
Some shots of the area while driving down the road
Some shots of the area while driving down the road
Some shots of the area while driving down the road
Some shots of the area while driving down the road

The kids and I found our way to the ocean as our first stop after being dropped of on the main shopping strip. The ocean was beautiful but the kids commented that they liked “our beach better”. The one at near our apartment is nice.
Jaco Beach
Rolling waves
Some more rolling waves

Waves washing across my and baby girl's feet
My teenager being a... teenager
 After seeing the ocean we walked the two blocks back to the main shopping strip. We zipped in and out of shops picking up little trinkets here and there. We ended our visit to Jaco at Gelato Italiano, a cut little gelato shop in the middle of the strip. We ordered two trip scoops to share, so we could all try the many flavors (we got coconut, mango, strawberry, lemon, pistachio, and peach). It was yummy although it was nothing like Devon House… still the best ice cream I’ve ever put in my mouth to date (I know, I know. I have to stop comparing everything to Jamaica). We called Alex while we ate and he was there by the time we took our last bites. 

A hard but brief rain on our way back from Jaco
On the way back Alex asked if we wanted to stop at the supermarket and I took advantage of that opportunity. I got food for dinner and breakfast and some snacks for us to munch on.

We had Alex drop us off right at the beach, bags and all. The two younger Jr Nomads swam in the pool while my and my oldest Jr Nomad sipped on pina coladas and virgin pina coladas again. As the sun went down we finally decided to make our way back to the apartment. Once home all three kids went out for a night swim while I prepared dinner. That was an interesting experience. There is no stove in the apartment but there is an electric skillet, a microwave, and a rice cooker. Seeing as those were my only options I boiled some pasta in the rice cooker. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it was actually pretty perfect. The kids gobbled down the rotisserie  chicken, buttered pasta, and grapes whiled we snuggled on the couch and watched disney channel in spanish.

Tired and grumpy but always ready to pose for the camera..
After a brief nap, because I could barely keep my eyes open after dinner and I knew I had a long night ahead of me waiting on some travel deals, I was up being entertained by my crazy kids. We laughed and played and enjoyed each others company until I got up to close the back window. Splash! I stepped in a giant puddle of water. I flipped on the light to see that water was leaking from under the sink in the back room (a space to fit a washing machine that just has a sink and some pipes and where the broom and mop are stored). A few minutes later there is a loud whizzing noise followed by a large puff of steam. That sound was soon followed with a gush of water. Oops and Uh Oh! More and more water gushed on the floor. I called the front desk and explained what was happened. They assured me they would send someone. A knock on the door and to my surprise it was not maintenance people but two women dressed as if ready to party or just coming back from on. I smiled and said “hola buenas noches” at which they began speaking frantically at the same time. I gathered from the bits and pieces I understood that water was gushing down from my place into theirs. I apologized and could only muster “caliente aqua” and made an explosion sound and gesture with my hands. They seemed to understand as they both said “ahhhh caliente aqua”. I told them I called by holding my fingers like a phone to my ear and said “I called for ayudar (help)” at which they both said “ahhh” again. I apologized again and they seemed to understand as they walked away. The maintenance man showed up about 40 minutes after that. I used the same expression and gesture to him “caliente aqua” and pointed. He assessed the situation and then set to work. After he had fixed the problem and cleaned up all of the water he came to talk to me. To my surprise I understood him when he asked in spanish if I had any problems with the bathroom. Once I told him know he told me that tomorrow not to use the hot water. I said ok and he seemed satisfied that I understood his instructions. I was quite impressed with myself actually. While I couldn’t muster a response I actually understood that whole conversation and a lot of the one with the ladies before him.

I’m starting to understand why complete immersion is the best method of learning a new language. I hate that we have to leave in a few days. I need about two more weeks here I think I could be speaking and understanding spanish a lot better then when I got on the plane to come here.

So that was our day. Another fun and exciting day in Costa Rica :-)

So until I see you somewhere around the globe or speak to you again… Pura Vida!

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