April 12, 2014: Shake, Rattle and Roll

It has been a couple of weeks since my last blog, but it has not been an uneventful time. For the past week and a half, I have been living the bachelor life while Jackie is back in the States for her visa run, family visit, and shopping for boutique stock. I guess that our friends, Bob and Sheila thought I would not eat well as a bachelor and invited me for a wonderful dinner on their patio, and a pleasant evening of conversation. Our 6:00 Board of Directors (AKA the Motley Crew) is dwindling as more of our group are heading back north for the spring and summer. Don and Diana left this past week, and Bob and Sheila are leaving next Tuesday. Barry and Jill are still in California trying to find a diagnosis and treatment for Barry’s illness, so that leaves our crew down to 6.

We have been experiencing some extreme temperatures lately, with the afternoon temps hitting 102 with only slight breezes. The pool has  proven to be some relief, but the intense sun leave the water feeling much like a warm bath. We had one day where the electricity was out for over 3 hours, so there was no A/C or even fans in the condo and I ended up spending the time on the balcony with the dogs capturing what breezes there were. Such is life in Costa Rica…you just get used to it.

Yesterday proved to be an eventful day. To begin, it was a national holiday called Juan Santamaria Day, celebrating the national hero from the 1800’s who was instrumental in defeating northern forces trying to take over Costa Rica as a slave nation. Virtually everything was closed for the day except markets and tourist attractions. Bob and I had made arrangements for a round of golf at Hacienda Panilla early in the morning, so we took off at 7:00 for the course. Despite to low winds of the past week, Mother Nature decided to make our round of golf an adventure by whipping up some strong ocean winds. Since it was my first round of golf in almost a year, my goal was simply to not embarrass myself, which I accomplished, hitting some good shots and bad. But as they say, my worst day on the golf course is better than my best day at work. After a post-round beer, we headed back to the condo with plans to have a “Board Meeting” at 6:00.

In addition to yesterday being Juan Santamaria Day, tomorrow begins Samana Santa (Holy Week) which is a major holiday time here. So the rental people started arriving at about noon filling up the parking lot and the lobbies with their bikes and kids’ toys. It was a flurry of activity, and then at 2:30, the real fun began. Sitting on the couch watching the Masters Tournament on TV, I felt the earth moving under my feet, accompanied by some booming sounds. The glasses and plates in the cabinet started shaking, and something fell on the kitchen counter knocking a bowl and tumbler onto the floor. Yes, folks, we were having an earthquake. I see everyone in our building rushing down the stairs to the pool area, which seemed like a sane thing to do. It seems that there was a 6.6 magnitude earthquake centered in Granada, Nicaragua, which is about 75 miles north of us and that is what rattled us.

The interesting observation about this earthquake was that I always thought that animals were hypersensitive to oncoming tremors. Obviously our dogs lack this trait as they slept through the entire thing:

sleepy dogs
Reenactment of the dogs’ reaction to the earthquake.


The cats, on the other hand, scattered in every direction to find shelter under the beds. So much for our guard dogs.

I have a visa run planned for next Thursday – Saturday to Granada, but I will have to wait and see what damage was done by the earthquake to possibly make a detour. I also have a golfing rematch with Bob tomorrow morning before he leaves for Canada.  Jackie returns on Tuesday, so things will probably get back to normal after next week.

Pura Vida.

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