Settling In.

Trip Start Oct 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 12, 2011

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Where I stayed
Saramandaia Farm

Flag of Costa Rica  , Heredia,
Thursday, October 28, 2010

We wrapped up our stay at the Casa Alegre Hotel in Santa Ana.  We really enjoyed walking around this quaint old downtown.  While Santa Ana is now surrounded by the encroaching suburbs and commercialism of Escazu, the town center still has a great community feel.  We really enjoyed the hotel and getting to know the staff and other guests.  Pictured you'll see Alba, who kept us well-fed at breakfast.  We met both her son and daughter.. very nice family.  You'll also see Juan Carlos, who was very patient with me as I tried to improve my Spanish.  In addition to his hotel gig, he makes and sells hand-crafted bracelets.  He made the flower special for Sydney who kept running downstairs to check on the progress of its creation.

After spending the first 4 days trying to find a place to live, we finally landed at Sharon and Dick's Saramandaia Farm just outside the small town of Colón.  Colón is located about 15 mins away from Santa Ana and 30 mins from the main city of San José.   We found this place via some friends in Seattle who will be doing a home exhange in December.  The couple that owns the farm offered us a small apt in their basement for a few weeks and then the entire house for a couple weeks when they travel to the exotic city of Seattle to visit family.  They have been extremely helpful orienting us to this small rural town, supplying us with extra toys for the girls (the legos were a big hit) and even feeding us with some of their homegrown over-stocked supplies of beans, eggs, spices, etc...

Sydney has become a bit too comfortable and has figured out how to escape her parents gaze long enough to procure a freshly baked muffin, fruit, cookie, or brownie from Sharon's ever productive kitchen. Miranda has tested her parents patience by becoming the ever expanding girl during the night... we opted not to bring down her travel crib and she has learned to take full advantage of all the queen-sized bed real estate that she has shared (or conquered) with her parents the past few nights.  One of today's activities included procurement of a big-kid bed for her, graciously provided by our hosts.  We hope this will allow for a full night sleep absent of her howler monkey routine that she performed last eve.

Speaking of monkeys, during a web-conference with my colleague Roger yesterday, I was gazing outside the window and spotted a monkey.  Christi tried to get a few shots.. you can see a fairly fuzzy picture here... We think they are white faced capuchins and they've been making quite the racket the past few days.  Sharon described the sound as an "obscene phone call" and it was only after Dick spotted one of these furry creatures making the sound that we were sure they were the source.

The farm itself is quite the place, 38 acres, complete with loads of bean plants, chickens, 3 other rental houses, hiking trails to the river... all within walking distance to town.  Christi took the girls into town today to the local, small-town swimming pool while I got caught up on work. We are able to cook here which should help keep our budget in check.  It's been a bit of an adjustment living without a car, but we've managed so far... we use taxis sometimes and have logged a lot of kilometers walking (and often girl-hauling) since arriving.

The girls have been playing games and interacting really well with each other (helps when your sister is the only available playmate.)  They seem to find things to do with what's around and have a ball in the process. The back porch here has an amazing view (see pictures) and doubles as a great playroom and outdoor snack spot.

We celebrated Christ's birthday yesterday. We didn't have any candles so she had to blow out her wooden match alternative quickly before it melted her birthday ice cream.  She looks younger everyday as we adjust to the Tico lifestyle. :) 

Stay tuned for more adventures.
Dave, Christi, Sydney, Miranda, and the monkeys.


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Aaron Longnion on

loving the blog updates and pics! Keep 'em comin'... Your girls are so beautiful, and it's cool to see them enjoying another culture and way of life (no car and lot's of walking, etc.)

How's everyone sleeping?

Carrol J. Karlsgodt on

Great pictures. I wonder how Miranda did in her big gorl bed last night? Hope that you all got a better nights sleep. Thanks for the skype call. Lots of Love.

Grandma Kirby on

There was "frost on the punkins" this morning in Minnesota--do they have pumpkins on the farm where you're staying? I love the pictures you send--it's ALMOST like being here. Happy Birthday David! Do they trick-or-treat in CR?I'll eat a Snicker in your honor. Love to all Grandma Kirby

Tabitha Charles on

Just catching up on your blog. How wonderful! Belated Happy Birtthday Christi! What a wonderful way to spend your bday! With your family on an adventure! How cool. Enjoy and I am glad you are taking lots of pictures. Jerome and I just had our 14th wedding anniversary! It was wonderful. We took the day off and had a blast together. We had a great Halloween (annual for us) party. Will send you some pictures to your email. I will show the kids your pictures! Cheers and have fun. Tabitha

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