Getting up off the lap of luxury

My father is so wonderful to us.  For thirteen years now, he has given us a family vacation as a Christmas present to himself.  At least, that is what he said the first couple of years, and now we all look forward to it so much that his hands are tied…

We all talk about where we would like to go and what would be good for the ages of the kids.  We spend hours poring over places at VRBO.com (that’s vacation rentals by owner) for a house big enough to contain our growing family.  This year my family graciously agreed to come to Costa Rica for the vacation.  We met in the north and went to the beach town of Tamarindo.  We stayed just outside of town and mostly went to Playa Avellanas.  We had the good fortune to have Will’s brother Sam with us for a few days too.  We had a gigantic house on a golf course.  Because of room configuration and family size, we ended up with the master suite and the bedroom next door with a double bed and two bunk beds.  The furniture was comfortable.  The bedding was luxe.  We had a memory foam pad on our bed that we gave thanks for nightly.  The kitchen was ready for cooking, with a six-burner gas range and a dishwasher! and a huge fridge which we quickly stocked– we drove our car to the grocery store when we wanted to go!  The outside was landscaped.  The air conditioning was blowing.  It felt so American.  It was an escape.  I kept fretting about bugs getting into the food or the trash until I realized, “This house is sealed!  The windows are not open!”  The pile of dishes after eleven people had eaten looked intimidating until my sister-in-law simply loaded the dishwasher.  I sat down on the couch and did not want to get up.  I ran my hands along the plush towels in the bathrooms.  I flushed my toilet paper down the toilet.

But (you knew there was a “but” coming didn’t you?) Continue reading

Sights along the Highway in Costa Rica

We are currently on vacation.  My brother is in the country, and Allison’s father, brother, and his family are with us as well.  We have travelled to the beach in Tamarindo to celebrate our time together.  Everyone actually flew into Liberia which is around 5 hours from San Jose, Costa Rica.  The distance is not far, but the road is narrow and curvy.  It takes longer than it seems it should take.  We made the trip without any problem, and we were surprised at a local truck stop to see howler monkeys and scarlet macaws in the trees.  We stopped at a church in Cañas to admire the mosaic tile work on the church done by the artist Otto Apuy.  Apparently Otto Apuy was a young man who could not stop himself from doing art with bright colors and shapes wherever there was space available.  Some thought he was rebellious, others just noted he had a lot of artistic energy.  A local Peace Corp worker introduced him to the greater world of art, and his talent took off.  He went to Spain where his work was featured, and now I believe he lives in Costa Rica and continues to do his work.  I cannot find a lot about him on the internet, but I loved the look of the church he has beautified.  While we were taking pictures of the church, we were suprised to watch a 3 foot iguana walk by.  We were in the middle of town, and this big lizard looked completely at home.  Pura vida, Costa Rica!