February 13, 2012: A New Day Dawning

Today was all about relaxation and little else. Surprisingly, the boys were up early (Zach at 6:00 & Kyle at 7:00) and Kyle had his first cup of coffee down before I made my way up to the lodge. We had no set plans for the day and the boys wanted some pool time, I wanted some book time, and Jackie wanted some tan time, so we were lodge bound for the morning and afternoon. The sun was intense today and the temps were clearly into the mid to upper 90’s, but a moderate trade wind made it seem not so hot.

Kyle, in his normal Tican fashion was chatting up all of the residents. One of the couples here, ironically, is from the Minneapolis area where I will be heading after this respite. Brad and Sherry are a fun couple who just have a life of fun. They traveled here for the week with everything they need for the week in two backpacks. I asked Bad to hold a seminar for Jackie on the art of packing light. We have been swapping dining recommendations but you cannot go wrong with any place in the area. Brad, Sherry and I will be vodka partners for the week since that is their drink of choice, also. Jackie will just have to keep up with her wine, but I have a feeling the Long Island Ice Tea is not too far from being opened.

Mike and Kim are from the Allentown area and both are full of energy. Both are in the pharmaceutical field and some of our conversations have revolved around their industry, which, after talking to them, is more convoluted that I had originally thought. Sadly, they leave on Sunday, so they will not be a part of the evening lodge festivities. Mike gets home and has to repack for a business trip to Ireland, so he will be racking up some frequent flyer miles.

Andre is back from Canada, but he is quiet and reserved. He spends much of his time here in a hammock, not that there is anything wrong with that. Anna, the masseuse par excellence was up here and I made arrangements to have another hour massage on Tuesday and since that is Valentine’s Day, I persuaded Jackie to join me in a couples massage, which will be her first. She is wary of having one, but I will guarantee after an hour under Anna’s hands she will be jelly. Jean Michel was up, also, and engaged in a lively discussion with Kurt.

So back to our day: Zach and Kyle are part water-rat and part lounge lizard. Between jumping into the pool at random and then sacking out in a hammock, I think they are adapting to the lifestyle here very well. Zach, who now has a nickname “Nut Shot” (he will have to explain that name) is starting to break out of the shell.

Nut Shot and Grandpa in the pool

. I think at first Zach did not know what to expect from this trip and he has gotten accustomed to the culture and is starting to ask a lot of “How Come” questions. Kyle wanted to get a new pair of board shorts, so after lunch he, Zach and I left Jackie to sunbathe and drove to Santa Cruz for fuel and a stop at the Ekono Department Store. Kyle was a dart to the section with all the surfer wear, and found a cool pair of shorts that he had to go and try on for size. Zach was just wandering looking at clothes and then switching to his IPod. After a couple of tours watching this, I asked him what he was doing. The little sucker had the currency conversion from Colones to Dollars programmed into his IPod. He needed socks and found a three-pack that he wanted to spend his money on. Now Jackie and I had converted his savings onto a travel debit card, so he was jazzed about buying something on his new “credit card”. After Kyle paid for his shorts (on sale for 7,000 Colones… $14.00 American) Zach struts up to the counter with his socks and plops down his “credit card” looking all big and important. The clerk said in Spanish she could not take it, and my first thought was that the stores in Costa Rica did not honor this card. I asked the clerk, “porque?” and she turned her terminal to show me that his socks only cost 980 Colones ($1.86) and they have a 5,000 Colone ($10.00) minimum on debit purchases. So Zach is still credit worthy in Costa Rica. We drove around the town for a bit, but being Sunday, most of the smaller stores were closed, so we headed back to El Sabanero.

On our way back, we encountered a small village fiesta which included a horse show and parade, looked at wildfires up in the hills, and saw a bull who broke out of his corral to nuzzle through the fence at his calves with Mama cow right there with them. It was oddly touching and the boys got a kick out of it. Back at the lodge it was more pool time, more conversation with Bret and Sherry and plans were made to go to Witch’ Rock for dinner with a dessert of pie at Nogui’s. Dinner was, as usual, awesome with Jackie getting a shrimp sushi roll with a plantain wrap, I had the grilled Ahi tuna (2 large steaks), Zach had the Heavy Eddie Burrito (obviously named after me) and  Zach had the large nacho plate (advertised as Nachos as big as your ass…and he wore the hat to prove it). But before dinner was served, we were treated to a spectacular sunset off the Pacific with sailboats dotting the horizon. Zach showed his first excited expression after seeing the color show of the sunset and was zapping pictures on his camera as fast as the sun was setting.

We strolled the streets of Tamarindo (watching another fire in the hills) stopping into the souvenir shops (where I purchased some Cuban Cohibas) ending at Nogui’s  for the customary crème pies and coffee. Arriving back at El Sabanero found us without Internet or phone lines (probably from the fires in the hills), so it was conversation and cocktails and now it is time for bed.

Dinner at Witch’s Rock
Sunset at Witch’s Rock

And by the way, Kyle’s dinner was “Nachos as Big as your Ass”:

Nachos as Big as your Ass

And now a word from our sponsors: JTM says, “When you are tired as a dog, Altoids Smalls in the mouth is the perfect pick-me-up.”

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