Monday, July 19, 2010

It's time =(

Our last day =(

We had the rental car for our last full day in Samara before driving ourselves to the airport the next day.  Luke had made an acquaintance in town who hooked us up with somebody else who led us to a semi-private beach.  It was a a beautiful (albeit muddy) hike to get to it, but worth it. 

This little parade filled with ox carts came through the center of town in the afternoon.  I tried asking the significance, but I'm still not sure why it happens.  Apparently it is an annual event though.

One last ice cream at Coco's.  Can you imagine a more perfect setting for an ice cream shop?  Nothing better than enjoying a scoop under a thatched umbrella and log stools.

We took a drive through through Playa Carillo and beyond.  We found the monkeys in the same spot we saw them before, only more of them this time.  They were really fun to watch in their natural environment.

The Last Supper.
We had pizza at our friend Daniela's boyfriends restaurant.  Super yummy pizza that I wish we had discovered earlier.  A cRaZy storm came in while we were there and the water was coming in through the roof like mad (you can see how wet the ground is around us).  It was literally pouring in sheets all around where we sat.  I was getting splashed a bit, but it was refreshing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What I will miss

It's actually been raining here ALL DAY.  I'm not gonna miss that.

What I will miss are these little restaurants on the beach. I love grabbing lunch or dinner with my toes in the sand.  The kids have the freedom to play while we wait on food, which makes eating out sooo much easier than regular restaurants.  And the view can't be beat!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Before and After



After I watched my child dangling in the air by his ankle as my husband held on for dear life to his bucking spooked horse.  

I wish I was lying.

I don't have the best track record with horses.  Unfortunately I have a growing list of bad experiences on rented horses, but I keep trying (what's that saying about getting back on the horse?)  Part of it is not giving into my own fear, and part of it is not putting my fears on my kids.

I have been watching these horses every day for almost 6 weeks.  I didn't see one sketchy event in all that time, so when the kids asked if we could ride, I felt pretty good about it.  

Right away my fears were back when my horse was acting a little skittish.  Still, I was glad I was on the sketchy horse since my 3 kids were on the other horses.  Once we got a ways down the beach my horse calmed down and seemed to mellow out.  

The guide was going to send us on our own, but decided to walk with us when my horse was acting up.  I was glad.  Another guide rode with us until my horse calmed down, then he turned to head back to his spot on the beach.  I called back and asked him to stay with us.  He obliged and I'm glad I did. 

We got to the far end of the beach and made the turn around.  The guide said this would be a good time for pictures as the horses were relaxed.  So we took a couple pictures and headed back.  Just a couple minutes later and I hear a commotion behind me.  I turn back and see Luke's horse going bizerk, bucking and spinning in circles and going down on one leg.  Luke is holding the reins with one hand and holding Zeke (who is flying through the air) with his other hand.   Luke is being thrown like a rag doll and Zeke is flung around upside down as Luke holds on to his leg.  His grip was slipping and it appeared like he only had him by his swimsuit which he was slipping out of.   I was helpless on my horse, and couldn't react fast enough.  The guide on the horse rode around to catch Zeke, but he was too low to the ground and he couldn't reach him.  One of the reins in Luke's hand breaks, throwing Luke off the horse the opposite side of Zeke, and Zeke who is now close to the ground, is dropped.  The guide who was walking the horses runs and rescues Zeke before the horse steps on him or kicks him, and Luke scrambles out of the way before getting hurt (he did feel the horses hoof graze him).  

Luke was getting his berrings while the guide was holding Zeke as if it was his own child.  He had the bear grip on him and was comforting him.  I, of course, was crying and processing what had just happened.   G & D were nervous about the horses they were sitting on.  The guide was apologizing over and over and kept saying he needed a double scotch.  You could tell he felt really bad.

Luke, Zeke and I walked back, while G & D rode their horses which were on a lead.  The other guide led our horses back.  

I have had a pit in my stomach replaying what happened in my head over and over.  So thankful everyone is okay, but also can't help the "what ifs" from entering my head.  

I'm so glad Zeke is young enough he will not likely remember this event.  I'm also glad that G & D did not totally freak out (like I did).  While it was scary to watch, I don't think they realized how dangerous the situation really was.

Of all the things you think that can go wrong traveling with kids in a 3rd world country, being trampled by a horse didn't cross my radar.

And by the way.  I think I'm done with horses for a while.  Maybe forever.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daddy rides the waves

We were trying to figure out the last time Luke surfed.  We couldn't remember...that's how long it's been.

But it looks like he's still got it!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A vacation day

For the most part, while our time in CR has been fun, it hasn't exactly been like a vacation.  I have tried to cook a lot of our meals, walk instead of take taxi's, and just be frugal in general.  But now that we are in our last week (boo hoo) and Luke is back (yay!), we are "vacationing" a bit.

Today we went to Hotel Leyenda.  It is located on the outskirts of Carillo, and is a little bit isolated.  Because of this they offer free shuttle transfers for parties of 4 or more.  They came and picked us up from our villa and brought us back.

Once there, we were able to enjoy the large pool....

Have what Luke deemed the best guacamole he's ever had (it had hard boiled egg in it)

Order too much delicious food (at really reasonable prices)

Play fuzball (sp?), ping-pong, and pool.

Zeke enjoyed the playground

And we adopted a little tica.  =)
Okay,  not really.
Actually this little girl was playing with my kids and just plopped herself right beside me for the family picture.
She's pretty cute though!

Of course the other picture (with the bonus child) was better

We just made a day of it and it was really fun.  There were a few tico families vacationing there and our kids all played together.  G is doing great with her spanish.  She seems really comfortable when talking with other kids.

Dane is still taking in the spanish, but still manages to play fine with the ticos.  He slipped and fell on the wet tile today, knocking his 2 top front teeth loose, and chipping the one next to them.  Looks like he might be losing them early.

Zeke pooped 6 (or was it 7?) times today.  Not once in the toilet.  We'll just leave it at that. 

The days are ticking away and I don't know how I'm going to say goodbye to this place.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A little of this, and a little of that


We started off the morning watching a surf competition.  

Zeke has been fascinated with the "caballos" on the beach since we got here.  He finally decided he wanted to sit on one.  Don't let this picture fool you.  He loved sitting on the horse, he did not love having his picture taken.

The kids enjoyed going to a birthday party of one of their friends from school.

They played games like musical chairs, jump rope, hot potato (with a futbol)...

cracked open a piñata

Genevieve & Dane with Dario - the birthday boy.

Right after the party we went home to find that daddy had just arrived!  He braved the local busses and saved about $90 getting here.  I think Dane's face says it all.

Today was a leisure day of beach, pool, eating, repeat.  I was happy to share the parenting duties privileges once again.

Tonight there was so much rain the streets were literally flooded.  The gutters had white water rapids. We walked home with water above our ankles in some parts. Ahhhhh the joys of the rainy season.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

7-9 hours

That's how much longer until Luke gets here!!!!!  Can I get a woo-hoo and an amen????

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another rainy day in paradise

It has pretty much been raining for 2 days straight.

Yesterday, I took the kids to the neighboring village of El Torito where CREAR was putting on a day camp this week.  The kids did crafts and stuff.  One of the volunteers was a mom from Florida, and she is here with her 2 sons about G & D's ages.  She is putting on a computer class for the local kids (through CREAR), and invited us to join them that afternoon.

Today we met with them again.  The kids swam at the beach in the rain, then swam in the pool in the rain, then had lunch and ice cream at Coco's in a torrential downpour.

At Coco's we were spotted by a friend of a friend from Pleasanton.  We had e-mailed one another once we found out each other was here, and had planned to get together but hadn't yet.  Keira recognized us from this here blog and came up to say hi.  We got to talking and found out her host brother was in Dane's class in school, and was in the computer class with the kids the day before (there were only 2 ticos in the class).  This town is so stinkin small!

I finished off the day with getting asked out on a date.  I had gotten the kids settled to watch a show before bed and ran to the store with my giant umbrella (just 2 doors down) to pick up a few groceries for the morning.  One of the tico surfers I have seen around town stopped me and started talking in a spanish.  When I asked him "que?" he reverted to broken english and started describing some pasta dish with a red cream sauce.  I had no idea where this was going until he said he would like to make it for me, and would I join him for dinner.  Ha!  I then had to tell him that I was married, to which he looked surprised.  He apologized, said he hoped he didn't offend, but then asked for a hug.  I politely declined and put my hand out for a handshake.  It was about that time I caught the big whiff of alcohol wafting from him.  Nice.

So the crazy thing is, EVERYBODY in this town has seen me traipsing around with 3 kids.  How is that not a deterrent?  I don't know.  But in hindsight I wish I had accepted the offer....and then shown up with 3 kids!

A free dinner is a free dinner, right?

PS - The kids got invited to a birthday party this coming Saturday.  They are pretty excited. =)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A little bit of Sámara....

This is on my walk back from Zeke's preschool.  I think it's about a mile (that feels like 5) from door to door.  Some days I walk to take him and pick him up.  Some days I feel like I am going to pass out from the heat & humidity on this mile walk, especially when pushing the 30 lbs in the stroller.

And this is Zeke's favorite spot to stop and look at the crabs down below.  You know, right at the edge of the rusty rebar and broken chain link fence.

This is the long hot stretch of the walk.  One day we saw a monkey in the trees on the right. 

The Catholic Church. I have yet to see anybody coming or going from it.  But I have never been over there on a Sunday.

The town's soccer field.  I have not seen anybody on this field.  It's pretty wet and muddy.  I'm thinking they don't use it during the rainy season.  We do see informal games going on at the beach when the tide it out.

The view of the main drag with the beach at the end.  It looks like a pretty good hill, but it's not much of an incline at all.

Dr Freddy's medical office.  Knock on wood we have not had to go there (yet).

Here is one of the two pharmacies in town.  I have been in there plenty.  This is the place to go for anything you would pick up at Longs or Walgreens.

And here's the butcher.  You'll thank me for no indoor pictures.  Actually it's not that bad.  I've seen worse.  Much worse.  In fact, I thought I was going to vomit at the one in Kenya.

And here is the "big" supermarket.
 The food is on the bottom level, and the top level has non-food items (bed nets, clothes, and other random things).

It is not unusual to find outdated food, moldy bread, ants crawling on everything, and stray dogs and cats wandering the isles