Costa Rica Day 1 – San Jose

Our first day Ben came and picked us up at 5:00 am to head to the airport for our flight. We were both in a daze this morning (I couldn’t sleep and only slept for an hour and well, David needs his 9 hours of sleep). Pretty much as soon as we got through security and ate breakfast it was time to board our plane. Off to Houston. Were we had a very short lay over at gate E7.

Despite the shortness of our layover we we still fairly board/interested in learning things about our new camera.

This is what happens when David gets ahold of the camera….lots and lots of random people pictures. And generally I begin to just shake my head at him, like above as he continues to do it for what seems like hours.

And this is what I do. I try out all the camera settings on inanimate objects and see what cool effects I can get. Yes, this photo was not edited at all. It was done completely by the camera.

Off the San Jose we flew. As soon as we got into town we followed the sketchy directions to the hotel. Yes, sketchy. You’ll see the museum and keep going 300 meters, then you’ll see the compound looking building and take a left right after that, then take a left at the big red building Inataco, and then you’ll turn right at the Nicaraguan embassy and the Pizza Hut. The hotel is on the right; it’s the yellow building with a blue door.

That is exactly how you get around Costa Rica. They lack street signs compared to America. If you miss the sign on the highway that tells you what all the various intersections are you miss it and you have no idea if you took the correct high way. There are no signs on the highway that tell you you are on highway 2 headed west. It was an adventure, but we made it and had a blast.

Now back on topic here. We made it to our hotel. It was really quant.

This was our side of Casa 69. The main side was across the street. You had to exit out of the walls, cross the street, and re-enter walls on this side. It was a rather different hotel experience than we are use to and I thought it was great. Look at that amazing porch, which had chairs and benches.

I attempted to take a little nap while David explored our hotel and found Tom and Sarah. Then I woke up and David and I explored the near by areas.

The top of the main hotel sections had this great roof top patio along with the ridiculous amount of barbed wire. I guess no one will ever be able to leave…

Despite the commercial nature of San Jose, it is a big city after all, there were some very rustic aspects of it as well. I did find the color of the roofs to be very pretty. Along with the couple parks that we saw. Unfortunately we only have pictures from one of the parks.

We continued on our way down the street and found a little park with lots of art. There is art everywhere in Costa Rica. David loved this piece. It is old computer casings recycled into an archway sculpture. Yes that is a Dell mixed in there. Sorry David looks funny it was the setting on the camera. He was turned orangey-pink.

Personally I liked the beer crates turned into a stairway. As a kid I would of loved to climb across this thing. Yes, I know it’s blocked off, but I don’t think that would have stopped me in my monkey phase days.

As we continued to walk around we saw the Costa Rican round stones.

They were everywhere. Also, they are monolithic sculptures made by human hands. The stones were found in a river bed. Over 300 stones have been found, none incomplete. I was slightly fascinated by them, so I did a little research upon returning home.

We took our picture next to the round stone, but it’s beside us so you cannot see it. Unfortunately we were by ourselves and there was not anyone near us to take our photo. So photo shout out to the Nathan pose.

Shortly after our walk we met up with Tom and Sarah and headed out to dinner. We took a taxi across town and ended up at an Italian restaurant. They had fabulous gnocchi. I do wish I had chosen the pesto sauce, but it was still tasty.

My sweet husband tried to take a picture of the restaurant…That’s all I need to say.

The red taxis are the legitimate taxis. Make sure not to take the sketchy ones…One of our drives did take us through the “ghetto” of San Jose and pointed out the places where sketchiness takes place. How many times can I say sketch in this post??

The lovely blue door let us know that we were home for the evening. Along with the wall and the barbed wire to keep the sketchiness out. Sigh…That was one long day.

Thirty for 30

I saw this a while back on a friends blog and thought it was great fun, so I had to try. It’s a list of thirty things that I hope to have accomplished by the time I am 30. They are placed in no particular order of priority, just in the order of my brain thoughts (yes, brain thoughts in case you were confused on where thoughts come from :-)). Here goes…

1. run a half marathon
2. paint stripes somewhere in my house
3. actually plan out meals and stick to them
4. travel to Costa Rica (I’ve wanted to do this since I was a kid)
5. travel to Europe, Australia, Africa or the Great Wall of China (hopefully I can do all of these at some point)
6. travel with friends
7. try an exotic food
8. make a new friend
9. be an aunt
10. attend a U2 concert
11. fit back into my early college shorts
12. take a bike tour in a foreign country
13. participate in a triathlon (like a sprint or shorter)
14. learn another language
15. buy nice, dressier work clothing
16. get my masters degree (educational leadership)
17. attend a 10 year reunion
18. read 10 books off of my book for fun book list (I tend to not read for fun as much as for educational purposes…)
19. plant shrubs on our fence line
20. start and utilize a garden
21. keep our garage clean
22. hold a multi-course dinner party
23. own our two cars out right
24. add a ridiculous amount to our savings
25. volunteer somewhere regularly
26. learn to play guitar
27. use a slot machine in Vegas
28. hike the Grand Canyon
29. go skiing/snowboarding
30. take a dance or cooking class with David (if I get one in I’ll be pretty impressed)

That was a little more difficult than I thought it would be to make. I better get cracking on some of these or I’ll be out of time soon. Five years really does not give that much time for all of this. Anyone else have 30 things they’d like to accomplish before their 30? Maybe even some yearly goals (10 a year)? Or even 5 goals for 5 years?

The Buffet

The buffet is FINALLY fini! It was not that time consuming to finish, minus the crazy 1 hours turned 5 in reassembling it…

Here is the wonderful oak buffert before it’s makeover. Unfortunately I forgot to take true before pictures, so this one with the missing drawers and door will have to do. Yes, it took up my garage parking spot for a while…I don’t think I’ll have that spot back until all my crazy furniture pieces are finished, sniff, sniff…Back to the point, the dresser before:

BEFORE

PROGRESS - stained, still has a green bottom and no back

I’m very professional with my work you see, I use leftover cardboard to hold my dresser, drawers, and doors, see:

aw the wonders of using cardboard to better the world...uhh...furniture....

Alright, so here is what you have all been waiting for. Drum roll please…(thank you for all of those who banged there desks (banged, that sounds funny, maybe bunged sounds better??)).

AFTER - buffet

The colors are a little off in the picture above, so here’s a picture that better shows the colors, but it is kind of blurry.

AFTER - buffet

I really need to work on my shaky (non-flash) picture taking hands. Here’s a close up on the hardware. I LOVE these knobs.

AFTER - new knobs

Here’s a little side by side before and after picture for those who don’t like to scroll.

BEFORE - buffet

AFTER - buffet

Just a little improvement. Hopefully sometime soon I’ll have the shelves finished and mounted above the buffet to share. Progress, small or large is always nice.

So Long, Farewell…

auf Wiedersehen, goodbye…I know you are all so sad you did not get to hear that in person. I must say, I have an amazing wonderfully out of tune voice.

Anyway, on to the good stuff reason for this post. David and I have talked on and off about getting a new camera (David wants one that will shoot HD video, which I am not apposed to, because that would mean we would only need one camera instead of two). Needless to say we went ahead and did it, woohoo! We decided that since we had credit card points we might as well use them (especially when you can get 20% more for your points by using them at certain stores). Needless to say, David didn’t have to do THAT much convincing after that.

I purchased our camera exactly three years ago before we were married.

photo from Canon

It is a little sad to say goodbye, especially since it is still a great camera, but we really do not need two cameras and the new one shoots great videos and pictures.

Here is the beautiful new camera a Canon S95.

photo from Canon

Picture without the flash up.

photo from Canon

Back of the camera.

photo from Canon

And to go with our beautiful new camera we purchased the waterproof case so it can go to the beach, pool and lake with us.

Waterproof Case

The wonderful thing about the camera is it’s ability to take awesome low light pictures and videos, yea! I cannot wait to start sharing pictures from this beauty. Hopefully I won’t have such a shaky hand with it as I do with my current camera. One can only hope.

Anyone have a hint how to keep the pictures nice and steady without a flash?

Dallas

This past week my mom came in town to help me in my classroom, WOOHOO! She had to help me go through the millions of books she gave me from her lovely collection. Anyway, that’s a different post. After she helped me in my classroom we went to Dallas to visit my Granny (mother’s mom).

mom, Granny, and Erma

We arrived Thursday early afternoon and took Granny out to lunch, shopping, and to dinner. Oh the fun. That night we introduced her to Gilmore Girls; such a fabulous show. Granny was thoroughly enjoying the show; it was fun to listen to her laugh at it so much (I don’t think I’ve seen her laugh that much in a long time).

me, Granny, and Erma

Anyway, on to the main event. Friday night Granny had her annual Mary Kay seminar she attends with her good friend Erma. They were too cute getting all gussied up and riding in a limo. We spend most of the day getting Granny ready (picking out clothing, trying on make-up, and fluffing hair). It was all kinds of fun. They had the same limo driver, Enrique, they had last year. Okay, I really don’t remember his name, but Enrique sounds like a fabulous limo driver, so I’ll go with it. Enrique could not have been happier to jump into the picture with those two.

Erma, Enrique, Granny

While the “Cinderellas” were at the ball mi madre and I went to The Dump (it’s a furniture store) and it was way fun.

A few days filled of eating, shopping, Gilmore Girls, and balls what more could one want on a trip. Mini vacations are fun. I will miss being able to do this when school starts back, sadness.