Diversions at Parque Diversiones

Well, Kiddo, today was a really fun day!
Plans don’t always go according to plan, but there are those times when one plan ends up giving who new plans that are possibly even more fun than the original ones. I’d like to think today was like that, largely because we got to go somewhere fun, and I got to spend nearly the whole day with you! (Except for, y’know, when you were sleeping.)
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Día del Padre en Costa Rica

Hey kiddo,
Today was Father’s Day. Not just here in Costa Rica, but in many other places around the world. Today was a special day in many ways, notably in that you and I got to spend a lot of time together (sadly, something we don’t get most days), and that you gave me a wonderful present: a photo of you, and a nicely-coloured picture of your favourite Sesame Street character — Elmo! (Even if Mommy had to help you. A lot.)
You also gave me another wonderful gift: sleep. You let us sleep in a bit instead of getting us all up for 6:00 (or earlier).
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Butterflies and getting lost

You can only stay around Santa Ana for so long before you start to feel a little caged in. And given that Alex and Mi Pequeña Niña are here all day, every day, there was a distinct need to explore a bit beyond our bounds. So Saturday morning (yes, I know this is a little late, I’ve intentionally been keeping away from my computer this weekend) we went off in search of adventure.  
And butterflies.  
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Second weekend in Costa Rica

You might be wondering: Gee, Geoff, where are all the posts you had for Costa Rica? Well, it’s not that I don’t want them up, it’s an issue of timing. I can’t really go into that right now, but let’s just say that this is the best way to have it for now.
But on the bright side, there is more stuff to come shortly. Our month o’ meetings continues as we head down to Panama [insert Van Halen here] tomorrow for a client kick-off. This should be fun.
First, though, let me recap our weekend just past.
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First weekend in Costa Rica

Last week was a rough one. It’s almost hard to believe we’ve only been here a week now. (A week ago right now, I was in the lobby of our hotel, chatting with Jason and Javier, waiting for our realtors to come and whisk us away to our condos.) Since then we’ve gotten our places, bought the things we need to make life reasonable (note: not “comfortable” — we’re still working on that), moved into a temporary office, got connected (still need cell phones), started working on new work, and had a surprising number of meetings given that there’s only four of us.
So when we got to the end of the week, we had pretty much declared ourselves “beat”. Had we been a lot more set up than we are now, we’d probably have just gone home to our respective places, kicked back, and relaxed. But it’s hard to do that when you have to flag down a cab. Which you can’t here, for some reason.
We rented a car instead.
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Costa Rican Interviews, Day 1

A tropical depression in the north of the country has created our weather woes of the last few days, and a heck of a downpour this morning.
Following our usual breakfast run, Joaquin arrived to pick the three of us up at 8:30 to take us downtown to the CIS / Rapp Collins office to interview candidates for our new office. We had a lot of people on the list, and we all knew it was going to be a long day.
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Finding a Costa Rican Casa, Day 2

I knew today was going to be awkward when I woke up. Based on the conversation I’d had with Alex last night, none of the houses we’d seen on Day 1 were at all suitable. Either way too large, in not-so-nice areas (e.g. you’d feel like you couldn’t go anywhere), or had stairs (which we’re trying to avoid with our almost-walking infant).
When Luz Elena and Lina Maria arrived this morning, I took their carefully crafted plan, opened the window, and tossed it out. (Figuratively speaking, of course.)
It was time to get a little more serious.
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Finding a Costa Rican Casa, Day 1

Oy.
It’s been a really long day. Didn’t sleep great last night (long travels tend to do that to me if I’m not traversing a dozen or so timezones, in which case passing out is a snap). Got up early thanks to the engine retarders on passing trucks (there is no bylaw against them here, and truckers seem to use them to slow down, say “hello”, accelerate, turn right or left, order coffee, etc.) and a bit of excitement.
Did a couple of Spanish lessons on Rosetta Stone before and after breakfast, when we met with our Crown Relocations team. One for each of Mark and Jason, but I scored a mother/daughter team (Luz Elena and Lina Maria) to help me find a house for my family.
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Back in Costa Rica

Years ago, I used to think business travel was glamourous. You got to go to far-flung places, see different things, and engage in activities you just don’t do at home. Then I started going on business trips. I learned fast that the enjoyment is only so deep.
Worst experience was [[Live from Cincinnati|Cincinnati in 2000]]. Second, and only because I was utterly exhausted by the end (the trip itself was very helpful) was [[Je suis en Paris!|Paris in 2006]]. (As I learned, when you travel to Europe, you end up with 18-20 hour days, because you’re trying to stay sync’d with the home office.)
But today hasn’t exactly been a slice, either. And just because I’m currently in Costa Rica doesn’t mean I’m sitting on a beach.
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No, I'm not going to be working on a beach

It’s funny the number of people who now ask me if they can come with us to Costa Rica. They congratulate me and make it sound like it’s going to be fun, sand, and cervesa all the time.
News flash, folks — we ain’t working on a beach. We’re not even close. This is where our office is/will be. Note the extreme lack of nearby sand and water.
It’s the Metro Free Trade Zone Business Park, a mere 5 minutes from the airport. The nearest (decent) beach is 5 hours away over very bad roads (and drivers that would scare the pants of 99% of North American drivers). Yes, we’re closer than Calgary.
But not that close.

Troubles trying to get home

Travelling is never easy. Especially when my best friend Murphy is along for the ride.
I rose late (catching up with sleep lost the night before), and met up with Craig, Jill, and her daughter Jamie in the concierge level for breakfast. Craig did a short presentation on the tools he has for managing the pay-per-click materials for the Hyatt programme. I hadn’t seen it before, so watched with interest. I realized that like with everything else we have, Craig has a great deal to offer for SEM presentations and theory, and that the two of us really need to get ourselves organized within Critical Mass.
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Search Engine Strategies Conference 2004 San Jose, Last day

Search Engine Strategies 2004, San Jose, California, Day 4
I should have woken with another hangover. Especially since I had slept only about three hours. It was the last of the seminar, and I didn’t want to miss anything.
I called Craig’s room once to see if they were going for breakfast. There was no answer. I wasn’t surprised.
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