Our last weekend away

Well, Monkey, we’re down to less than a month before we’re back home again. In fact, a month today you’ll (hopefully) be sound asleep in a bed in our home in Calgary. It’s hard to believe that this is actually ending. It seems to odd to think that after all that we’ve been through, that this isn’t more permanent. Such are the joys of life…

Thankfully, one of the other joys of life are grandparents. You’re lucky — you’ve got four of them. And you were very excited when Grandpa and Granny came down on Wednesday. It’s Grandpa’s third visit since we came to Costa Rica, and Granny’s second. You might see them nearly every day on Skype, but there’s just nothing like seeing them in person.

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A trip to La Paz

Our time is dwindling in Costa Rica, Monkey. Our little experiment draws to a close in just over a month. That’s five weekends (not counting the one we just had — that would have made it six). Our Costa Rica “bucket list” is a little longer than we’d like, and there are just things we are not going to get to see. It’s a little tragic, considering how long we’ve been here, but I guess this is what happens when the joys of life sometimes hold on a little harder than with others.

Being in good shape (namely, none of us was sick), we decided to take a little journey north to La Paz Waterfall Gardens. It’s listed in all the tour books as one of the places “you must visit”, and we’d waited more than long enough to go.

We kinda had to wait, though. It took them a while to rebuild…

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Visiting Villa Blanca

Alex’s birthday was yesterday (she just turned 29, in case you’re keeping track … ‘cuz we’re not), and as tradition holds, she got to choose where we went to celebrate.  

Well, at least it’s a tradition we’re going to try to restart and keep going, anyway.  

She did some reasearch and chose a place up in the cloud forest called Villa Blanca. The pictures we saw online of the place looked nice, but as we’ve found a few times — the pictures often look better than the real thing.  

It was nice to find an exception to the rule.  

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U-turns are illegal in Costa Rica

Yesterday, just after noon, I went into the nearby ATH (A Todo Hora, which is the Costa Rican version of “ATM”) to check my Scotiabank balance. Lo and behold, after two weeks of wrangling account, Swift, IBAN, and beneficiary numbers back and forth with the Bank of Montreal, my money finally arrived! I danced a little jig.

That led to a few furiously-dialled phone calls to arrange for another trip out to Grecia to finally pick up the car. This, I should add, ended up being yet another interesting chapter in my life living here in Costa Rica. ‘Cuz this is how I found out that u-turns are illegal here.

Trust me, this is a good one…

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Buying a car in Costa Rica

We tried to survive without cars. Really. We took taxis everywhere, and suffered due to the language barrier and an unfamiliar taxi system. (We’ve been unable to get taxis when we need them — baffling, when you see them driving around — and gouged when meters have been turned on.) We could try the bus system, but so far we’ve been utterly unable to understand them. We don’t know what the routes or schedules are.

So we went to renting a car — an infinitely better improvement, as we can go where we need to go when we want to. And if we feel the urge to take a detour to explore a bit, it’s not a problem. But rental cars aren’t cheap — it costs a few hundred dollars a week.

The natural conclusion, and something we’d planned all along, is to buy a car. But it’s harder than it sounds.

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