First night - "Life" in a meal :)

Trip Start Oct 18, 2013
Trip End Nov 04, 2013

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of San Jose,
Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sitting in our precious tropical garden patio, sipping green tea and Rich his Costa Rican yummy coffee (called Britt) after over 12 hours of sleep! First morning of no schedule, no plan, pure and utter pura vida!! Relaxation. Mmmm feels pretty wonderful.

Arrived last eve in a tropical afternoon rainstorm – reminded me of Africa – and will likely be the norm for the next days – sunny mornings until 1 or 2 and then warm heavenly rain.  

Rain never seems to interfere in the tropics – maybe because it's so warm? Take for example our dining venue last eve.  FABULOUS, wonderful food and location and everything!  It is in our hotel – the Grano De Oro – the tables ring an outdoor patio where you can sit when it’s not raining.  But the windows are all open, the vegetation – beautiful palms and bonsai like trees – protect you from any rain – the air smells rich and full of mysterious scents. 

The chef is French so the overtones of his expertise is in every bite from the amuse bouche – presented on individual scoop spoons, flavoured goat cheese on a herb crostini with a fried mint leaf on top!  My appy of a scallop on top of crispy lemon risotto swimming in a green sauce with fennel accents competed handsomely with Rich’s 3 small dish presentations: a procini mushroom mouse, a gorgonzola cheese somehow made light and divine, and a goat cheese that melted in your mouth – both cheeses were covered with a very light caramelized crunch. And that was just the beginning!

Rich’s main was Costa Rican sea bass with a tiger prawn waiting for a couple of nibbles, veggies lightly steamed – broccoli never tasted so good!  Mine was Costa Rican tilapia in a very light fennel sauce with a small stack of ratatouille and another small stack of maybe jicama with a very thin fennel bread stick balancing between the two.  Presentation is Everything in a meal and this meal was a five star presentation!  

We were convinced to taste one of a dozen desserts that demanded attention!  I could have had a meal of the desserts – they were so unique and divine sounding.  Settled on sharing a Pavlova.  Now that might sound rather tame BUT not this one!  The meringue was a cookie like configuration alongside a tulle wrapped cream topped with a small scoop of passion fruit sorbet! And that’s not all as alongside were razor thin slices of fruits I doubt I’ve ever tasted before – one was citrusy, another maybe passion fruit, a plum I did know but not the others.  Every bite was a circus of flavour in your mouth.  Yes, I did share, albeit reluctantly!  

Rich enjoyed a glass of Argentinian Pinot Noir – the great Argentinian wines extensive on the menu and mine – a Masi (Mike)Pinot Grigio.  A glass sufficed for this weary pair of travellers. 

Such a funny feeling of tiredness – kept expecting that heavy jet lag feeling but because there is only an hour difference from Vancouver – it was simply the old "busyness" tired – such a busy 2013 – a rest for 16 days well deserved and very needed.

The meal ended with a chocolate truffle for each of us – I must have made it last 2 minutes as it absolutely melted in my mouth, filling every crevice with thick, melt away dark chocolate yumminess. 

The meal demands a reflective comment – it was like life – cherishing and tasting a full appreciation for every sight, every smell, every teeny tiny morsel of a bite – that’s when life is the best, yumminess in every second, taking the time to appreciate in huge gratitude every single precious second.  To concentrate and take the time to pause and engage every sense given to us – that’s what this holiday will pull us back to, helping us practice so that “ordinary” daily living becomes richer and fuller once we return to reality.  Mmmmmm, yummy happy-ness. 

Strolled back to a bed that wrapped you up in comfort and off to Dreamland – it was 9:30 pm. 
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