Friday, March 29, 2013

Video Posted!

I got the video to work!  The one from my bedroom to the beach!
Click the link
and it's at the top.

Classes in Samara

I have now tried out a several fitness classes in town.
This was my first yoga class, which was extremely difficult for me, but very rewarding.

The teacher Karina had high expectations for the class and a very soothing, yet vibrant personality.  After leaving this class I was tired, sore and sweaty.  Karina advertises as "dynamic yoga" and she certainly gets your heart rate up and I'd be lost without a towel to wipe away the sweat.  

A few days later I went to Jill's yoga class at the gym in town.  She was nice and very into the chanting/connection aspect of yoga, and less into the stretching and core work.  I still enjoyed it, but I surprised myself in my desire to return to Karina's class!

I went to a belly dancing class a few nights ago.  It was REALLY interesting. I somehow ended up in the advanced class on my first time, so the teacher wasn't really breaking down the movements and teaching technique, only running through the dance the other students already knew from weeks prior.  Not going back to this one, but it was fun to go once and see what goes into belly dance that you don't necessarily notice from your ground-seat at an Indian restaurant.

Last but not least, ZUMBA!  The teacher here was extremely engaging and the class was full!  I took a lot of energy from the other participants, and had a lot of fun dancing the night away to Latin music!  Now when I hear music going on around town I can sometimes identify the songs and tell Scott "this is one of my Zumba songs!"  I can't wait to go back!  In fact, I think I'll go tonight!  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fun Times with the Fam

Just reminiscing about our fun times with the fam a few weeks ago.  
We raced to the beach in Mal Pais for sunset and kind of made it :)

Look at those crashing waves!

 We are so glad the Hathaways came to visit!! 

And this is the day Scott dressed T up.  Those two are always up to something.

Not sure the name of this beach, but it's between Samara and Mal Pais!

 Just lovin my little baby!  

These elastic rocking chairs are everywhere!  It's just rebar and elastics.  And soooo comfortable!  They fit exactly to your body and are just really great.  We should get on board with these in America!

This beach was one of my highlights of the trip!
 Playa San Miguel!

 Iguanas everywhere

 Love this little lady so much.  She is so funny, if we let her be free at the beach, she just takes off crawling as fast as she can for the water.  She does not slow down as the waves come toward her and even hit her, she just laughs and goes further.  Not timid, this one!  

 And not too clean either :)
There is a group of horses that pass the beach several times a day and every time, T starts flailing her arms and yelping.  She LOVES los cabillos!

And clearly, she loves being the center of attention.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Casa Central, Samara

When we first learned about our house, it was called "Casa Central."
Now the rental company lists it as "Casa Paradiso."
We think Casa Central is a better name since the very best thing it offers is it's central location.
I worked pretty hard to get a video posted of the walk from our house to the beach... but naturally, it won't publish now.  So I guess I saved you 1:02 minutes of your life because that's how long it takes me to get from my bedroom to laying position in the sand :)

And here is the house in all it's glory
Pretty quaint, huh?

And for my dad, who really wants us to have a gate, a photo of the gate :)
Even though the gate is really simple to hop in about 5 seconds flat.
When you enter the house: 
(T photobombs quite a few of these pics!)

 We have about 2 pieces of furniture too many in this room.  Turns out we like simple in terms of furniture...

Although, we really do like this cabinetry (what are these pieced called again?).  We have no cabinets in the kitchen, so anything we need out of reach from little manos goes up there!
 T's room/ Guest Room:

 Our bedroom:
Do you like the headlamp above the bed?  It's perfect.
 Here is the shelving in the kitchen.  This place came equipped with lots more dishes and kitchen tools than our apartment in La Fortuna.  But, everything here is subject to T's curiosity.

 This gas stove was a struggle for me at first as I was trying to use a lighter to light it.  I could barely get the lighter going, and then I had to put my finger so close to the gas/bursting flame that it really freaked me out.  Cooking has gotten tons better since I bought matches!
 The sink was originally outside the home, but they just kind of built this wood around it and knocked out a wall so now the sink is inside!  There is no hot water and when we first moved in, the drain (That little hole in the bottom center) was jammed full of tiles preventing it from draining.

I am learning the ways of this washing machine.  The trick is to fill it realllly full of water so your clothes don't get thrashed too badly.  Then you drain it and refill it without soap for the rinse cycle.  You can barely see the hose on top.  Then in batches, you move it to the right side where you can spin the clothes.  Not that you really need to... everything dries in about .25 seconds here.  Have I mentioned it is really hot?

 Here is the shower.  Have you used an electric shower before?  When we moved in, no hot water like I said.  But while we were on vacay down to Mal Pais with the family, they came in to fix it per Scott's request.  Just be sure you adjust the heat setting before your shower or you will be electrocuted.     
 And, our absolute favorite part of the house?
We have seven.
I always sit out front from about 5-7am depending on T's sleeping situation.
It is the perfect place to sit and enjoy.

And just to give you a flavor of the culture,
I am here blogging while
 Semana Santa parties are raging with non-professional karaoke singers,
there is a cat fight going on in our front yard.  The cat we affectionately call "broke-tail" is always involved.
And the cicada's are buzzing the night away.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pros and Cons of Costa Rica

Tonight I took T to the beach while Scott did some work at home.  As usual, T stared down the lady sun-bathing beside us, insisting that she return the admiration.  It sometimes gets embarrassing as T will not let up!!  On the bus, at the beach, in line at the grocery store... she just stares, waves, lurches forward... whatever it takes to get the strangers' attention.  ANYWAY
Lots of you have been asking how my Spanish is coming.  The thought of teaching a lesson in church terrifies me, so I'm definitely not fluent, but I would say I am "conversant."

Tonight at the beach, I was on my own as far as Spanish goes.  
I was able to ask and answer:

Where are you from?
How long are you here?
Only 45 minutes away?  My husband grew up 45 minutes from the beach as well!  Do you work during the week and then come here to Samara on the weekends?
Your daughter and husband are very cute out in the waves.
Yes, T can walk, she just started this week.
Here, lay out your towel and see if she will walk to you!
She does better on the harder, more even sand.
We are staying here in Samara for about 1 month.
Before this, we stayed in La Fortuna for 1.5 months.
We really love Costa Rica
I don't really wear sunscreen too much, but for her, YES!  We re-apply very often!
She has red hair like her dad.
My husband usually comes to the beach with us, but today he needs a break from the baby so he can get some work done.  She is very needy!
She is 10 months old.
(p.s. 2 weeks ago, people guessed T was 8 months, now that she's walking people start guessing 1 year old.)

Sometimes I get typing and then think, "Wow.  I'm about 99.8% sure none of my readers care what I said to the lady next to me."  But, oh well, you don't have to read if you don't want to ;)  

Let's cut to the pictures, always the best part!
 If you follow me on Instagram, there's a few repeats here!  Our fam loves an evening walk on the beach!  This was a few nights ago, now that we are in the week of Semana Santa the beach is much busier with lots of Ticos!

My little lady.  We really have a lot of fun together.
And this is simply too funny not to share.  We have a lot of fun most of the time.  As long as she isn't ripping my hair out :)
T is the queen of finding and eating rocks.  (Although it sounds like her cousin Autumn rivals her...)  She has taken a special liking to coral and swirled, pointy shells.
I call this her "china man" pose. She would do really well in Asia. 
 We have a really great life here.  
 But, I must say, before you all just get really jealous... it's not all sunsets and sandy beaches. 
We live in a red-ant riddled house where we have all been getting bitten this week.  Doing laundry and dishes without hot water is a challenge.  It is so hot during the day that we generally don't leave the house between 10am-3pm.  Our internet only works intermittently which prevents us from calling family and friends in America (via Google) and prevents us from accomplishing some of the internet-based goals we had for our time in Costa Rica.  

I don't say these things to complain, but just to bust the myth that we have a perfect, dreamy life.  Yes, we do our best each day to be positive and recognize the perfect moments and amazing lifestyle we are living.  Each day we are doing better at focusing on our most important priorities and spending our time becoming the people we want to be.

T and I head out to the beach for walking practice almost every day.  She has the best laugh and is always so eager to jump up again when she falls.  Look at that wrist... she kills me!

This dad loves his little girl.  

P.S. Church on Sunday was so so awesome.  The members were so friendly and made us feel really welcome.  And... I'm teaching primary next week.  Everybody fast and pray.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

If you've followed my blog for at least a year, you already know that I LOVE Palm Sunday!  This is the celebration of Jesus Christ's triumphal entry and the beginning of the last week of our Savior's life.  My thoughts immediately turn to my experiences 4 years ago (WOW) when I participated in the festivities of Palm Sunday along the Via Dolorosa in Israel. 

Look how PACKED the streets are with people paying respect to Jesus Christ!

 Let's celebrate His triumphant entry to Jerusalem today and truly repent for the sins He has already vicariously suffered for us.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rio Celeste Hike, Costa Rica

This hike is about a 3 hour drive from our home in La Fortuna.  We rented a car (that was not prepared for the bumpy roads) and made our way out there.  Unfortunately it was raining all day, but we are still glad we got to see it and get out of the house!

My spirits were kind of low when I was greeted at the entrance station with all these lovelies which have been captured along the trail.  Uhm.  Wow. (Be happy I didn't post more close ups...)

 We set out with our raincoats and a rain roof for T.  Anybody know of where to get a shell for babies?  
On a clear day, the water here is a brilliant turquoise  The sulphur emitted from the volcano mixes with the calcium carbonate to make a one-of-a-kind blue color.  Pretty epic. 

Rumor has it there is a 50/50 chance of seeing the brilliant blue or this muddier, normal looking water.  It rains a lot in this Guatuso area, and if it has rained within the past few days, you're looking at a nice waterfall, but nothing earth-shattering.  
Here is a photo of what it looks like during a sunny week!

 T was a good sport through it all.  She never cried, but you could tell this wasn't really her cup of tea.  We got mixed reactions from passing hikers "Wow, what a good baby! Great job bringing her/him along!" and an equal number of glares / stink eyes from people who obviously believe we shouldn't have been out exposing her to the elements.  
 This photo does not to justice to the length and incline of this staircase.  I know because I carried her up.  Scott almost always wears the backpack, and whenever I give him a break I recommit myself to giving him back rubs :)
 Pretty trecherous terrain!

Obviously, we wish we had gone on a sunny day... but ya can't have it all!  We had a wonderful time out hiking and were very much reminded of the Malaysian jungle here in Costa Rica.  

And can I get a "What What" for Chacos?  They were the perfect footwear for this activity!