Spaghetti with Santa

We’re a little slow on the draw ’round here, folks — sorry about that! It’s been a little busy as of late, and trying to stay on top of news is more than a little challenging.

Needless to say, gonna keep this one short.

On Saturday, we went off to have Spaghetti with Santa. This was a charity event that was held at Big Mike’s, a guest house operation over in Escazu. The idea was to come out, have a simple lunch, take a photo of your kids sitting with Santa, with all the proceeds going to a local children’s fund.

Despite the fact that this event seemed to be set up by gringos for gringos, the directions were in Spanish. Not being particularly familiar with the area, it took us a while to realise that Big Mike’s was actually inside a guarded neighbourhood. Our suspicions were confirmed when we saw actual signs that read “Spaghetti with Santa”.

And this, dear reader, is where we hit the stereotypical part of parenting: Wanting to have a photo of your child with Santa, but only to have your child emit sounds of pure terror and desperately wanting to run away screaming from the big, creepy guy in the red suit. First attempt: Total wash.

It wasn’t until after lunch that we tried again, which was met with inventiveness from Alex, myself, and Santa as we jostled to keep Mi Pequeña Niña calm long enough to take the picture. As it stands, the picture was hurried, Alex was cut partially out, and MPN looks towards Santa with a sort of “WHO THE HELL IS THIS GUY?!” kind of look.

Success comes in small amounts.

That evening, we had a second Christmas event. Though this one would be sans bebe, as we left our darling wonder in the hands of Mark, my co-worker and commuting buddy. Mark is still gloriously single, but shows an adeptness to children that I wish I had. MPN laughs constantly around Mark, because Mark has no compunction about being silly around children. It was only on (American) Thanksgiving a mere two weeks ago that he held his first baby — ours.

That said, we loaded him up with pizza, Coca Lite, while Alex and I went off in search of the annual Canadian Club Christmas party, held this year at the Crowne Plaza to the north of La Sabana. Believe me, a far harder task than it sounds, as we found out (while driving) that the roads were diverted due to Christmas decoration, and that the entrance to the Crowne Plaza is anything but obvious. Such is life.

There we met up with Meranda, one of Alex’s new friends, whom she met through the Costa Rica Parents website. Meranda seems to know everyone and everything, and is one of those people you keep on speed dial ‘cuz chances are she knows how to get you out of a tight spot. Or at least tell you what store to go to when you need molasses. (And no, I’m not kidding about the molasses.)

The party was a dressier (and larger) version of the Thanksgiving dinner the Canadian Club held back in October. It was a chance to meet a few new people. Most of the people at our table were French Canadian (or at least were fluent in French). Alex and I were by far the newest arrivals to Costa Rica.

Dinner was regrettably a dip from the October meal. By the time we finally got to approach the buffet, the turkey had been wiped out. The single slice of pork was okay, but far from completed my desire for turkey. I knew we should have bought one in the stores when we had the chance. Butterball or not, I’m having some issues not having turkey…

There was a power outage while we were gone. It was obvious to us as we approached our complex, and we were met with an enveloping blackness that surrounded everything. It was more than a little creepy. The gate was wide open, and the magnetic locks on the building doors were not working. Poor Mark was left in a pitch-black room, with only his cell phone for light. (We hadn’t figured on a blackout, so had neglected to tell him where the candles are.)

We might yet have more Christmas activities, but for now we’re mostly aiming towards New York City, which we fly to in under two weeks’ time. It should be fun.

And it better have turkey!