Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Sorry to have skipped straight past Monteverde (the rainiest, windiest, awesomest green place we´ve ever been), but we were out in the boonies of the boonies! Pictures and videos will be forthcoming once we get back to the States, but the short version is that we are now in a beach paradise and are never coming back. Please tell Franklin and Stanley that we love them very much, as will their new owners, whoever they might be.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Leaving Arenal

We´re packed up and ready to get going toward Monteverde, where we´re staying at the Trapp Family Lodge. It´s pretty remote (it´s the closest hotel to the biological reserve!) so we don´t know if we´ll be able to get on the internet from the hotel again. Just wanted everyone to know that we´re safe and having an amazing time!

More later!

Friday, February 20, 2009

We´re Here!

Just wanted to let everyone know that we made it here safely. We´re just waiting for our car, then we´re off to La Fortuna!

We´ve written a couple quick entries in the travel journal, and we´ll post once Beth actually wants me to spend some time on the internet. Ow, honey, let me finish the post before you pull me away from la computadora...ENDOFPOST

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Costa Rica Itinerary!!

In case you wonder about what we're doing when - or - something crazy happens and someone needs to get a hold of us I figure it'd be nice to have it written down somewhere, hopefully only for prosperity!

My brother has graciously volunteered to drive us to the airport this morning so that we won’t have to pay for parking. The problem with that is he’s working on the 27th – I hope my parents are available to pick us up! :)

OK, so here’s the plan:

Thursday February 19th
Our flight leaves Detroit Metro at 2:25 pm, we have a layover in Dallas and are due to arrive in San Jose at 10:15 pm.
The plan is for a representative to meet us and exchange our paper vouchers for the hotels, etc. for the actual ones. Hopefully they can actually help us with a cab to the Britannia as well.

Friday February 20th – Sunday February 22nd
Adobe car rental is supposed to meet us at the hotel in the morning to drop off our rental car.
Then, it’s off to Arenal, La Fortuna to stay at the Arenal Paraiso for two nights. We plan to visit the hot springs for sure, maybe ride horseback to the Volcano, definitely do some exploring – I hope to get to the La Fortuna waterfall too.

Sunday February 22nd – Tuesday February 24th
We’ll leave sometime in the morning to drive around Lake Arenal to Monteverde to stay at the Trapp Family Lodge for two nights. There’s a cheese factory and Orchid garden in the vicinity that are on the list of things to do. We scheduled one activity through Latin Destinations ahead of time, and on Monday we’re going to zip line through the cloud/rain forest with Sky Trek!! This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and am most nervous about!

Tuesday February 24th – Friday February 27th
Our last destination is in Tamarindo, on the Pacific Coast on the Playa Grande (Grand Beach?). We’re staying at Tamarindo Diria and upgraded to an ocean view room. Our plan is to do nothing, on the beach, for three days! The leatherback turtle nests on this beach, but only until mid February, so we may miss them. Other than that we might check out a boat tour, but not much else… (there’s a swim up bar!!)
Our flight leaves Liberia, a good hour’s drive, at 2:00pm and we get into Detroit at 11:10pm, after a layover in Miami.

I’m exhausted already! ;) And can’t wait! I feel a little bad about leaving the cats for so long, but I'm sure they'll manage, especially since someone will be at the house with them most of the time we're gone!

We’ll let you know what actually happened when (if!) we come back! :D

Monday, February 16, 2009

4 year olds and bowling

It seems hard to believe, but our nephew, Jackson, turned 4 yesterday. We all celebrated at the bowling alley, with immediate family and several of his “best friends” from pre-school. I was actually quite amazed at how well behaved and respectful the kids were. They took turns fairly well and caught on rather quickly to what must have seemed absurd to most of them. Pick up 6-7 lb bowling ball that has holes in it in the most peculiar places and try to make it go ALLLL the way down the lane that you’re not supposed to walk on or else you fall down, which we witnessed more than once. They didn’t make it ten frames before running around was more fun, but it was a good time. His parents work together pretty well, especially where he’s concerned, to throw a great party.

It’s so much fun to be able to spend enough time with Jackson that we get to watch him grow up and learn more and more. With that, comes more conversation and awareness. He’s always been good at entertaining an audience, but his banter is more and more – well, hilarious! The theme of the party was Disney’s Little Einstein’s (which someday we’ll have to record him (this is what we ended up with BTW) dancing to the theme song – it’s a striking resemblance to Party Boy, from the show Jackass, it’s quite funny). Cindy made a really cute rocket ship cake and when she unveiled it I told him what a cool cake it was. His response – “Thanks! I did it myself!” He was very serious ;)

Happy Birthday Jackson! Auntie Beff and Uncle Bear love you very much!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm so excited, and starting to get a bit nervous...

So, we leave for Costa Rica a week from tomorrow. We’ll BE IN Costa Rica a week from tomorrow!! But my brain can’t stop worrying about all the things that might go wrong!! Isn’t that ridiculous? We’re going to this amazing place and I’m worried that we’re going to get lost, if we actually have a rental car, and we have hotel reservations… etc. Why wouldn’t we? That’s a great question! I have no idea… but I automatically think the worst… one of the many reasons I’m a work in progress… always.

I think it’s mostly because this is the first time Barry’s traveled internationally, and the first time I’ve traveled internationally on my (our) own. I’ve always been with a chaperone or a parent or someone from that place… never on my own – meant to be the adult. (What?! Am I one of THOSE?!) It’s a little scary, but I’m totally looking forward to it! :)

I think I’m much more confidant in the whole rental car thing too… they are going to make sure we get a taxi to the hotel (and were honest about it being our expense so there's no surprise or wrong assumptions when we get there) and then deliver the car to the hotel in the morning, at no additional cost. I actually feel much better about that then having to navigate ourselves to the hotel in the dark!

Oh man! :D

***Also - Happy Birthday Brudder!!! I told someone I felt old because you were turning 29 - they said, "wait till you have kids that are that old!"... oh boy! Hope the day brings you all that you want, you deserve lots! :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I think my husband is funny...

So we leave on our trip in 2 weeks from today!! We're trying to finalize and figure out how much money to take, routes to take, analyze the itinerary, etc. Well, our flight gets into San Jose at 10:15 pm, barring any delays. We're renting a car. The contract says that the rental agencies open at 6 am so if you have an early DEPARTURE flight make sure you make arrangements with the rental company to drop it off. Also, there is no mention of the name of the rental company. So, we called Latin Destinations (which is who we booked our trip through) to find out how we were supposed to get our car and/or get the hotel the first night. We ended having to respond to our booking confirmation email, so Barry replied, and got the answer... his relay of the answer to me is below... and maybe I'm the only one that thinks this is funny, but I do, I think it's hilarious! :)

in an email to me from my husband...
"I just talked with Gisele on the phone and she said that the rep from Swiss Travel Services who is handling our document exchange at the airport will also be giving us the car at the same time, so we're basically on the amazing race as soon as we get on the plane! I specifically asked about the lateness of our arrival and she said that the rep would be handling everything when we meet him at the airport."

It may only be funny because I've always wanted to be on the Amazing Race - so Barry and I have joked that this trip may be the closest to it than I could handle... it'll be a great test, that's for sure!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Oh the guilt...

One of the reasons I wasn’t sure about starting a blog, was because I guilt myself about everything. If I start something for the people to read, I shouldn’t disappoint. Well, I suppose it won’t matter too much if no one is reading, but I’m going to assume a few people care if we produce – so I have guilt. Anyway – it’s been a few days since I last posted, and there just hasn’t been a lot that I feel like I needed to say, publicly. There have been a few things going on though I suppose. For starters, my mother-in-law broke her foot! She was doing some sort of balancing act while cleaning, that didn’t go so well and she broke her foot (her 5th metatarsal – end to end basically) and is going to have surgery on Wednesday. For anyone - I can only imagine this would be agony. But she’s not just anyone, she’s ALWAYS going, doing, etc. She’s an exercise inspiration and has more things organized than I thought were possible to organize. She’s just one of those people that actually do, instead of talk about doing. I have no doubt that she’ll have a fast recovery, but maybe we ought to pack up some books or something when we go visit Saturday? After surgery she isn’t supposed to bear weight on her foot for 2 -4 weeks after. Yikes! She’s going to need something to do! I plan to post a picture of the wheeling cart she’s supposed to get for her foot though! ;) That will probably take at least a day or two to get used to :(

Other than that, there hasn’t been much news. Barry and I had a busy day on Saturday, seemed like anyway, but probably because most of the time we don’t start Saturday’s so early. The Holt high school hockey team hosted an all you can eat pancake breakfast from 8-10. We made by about ten minutes after 9, which is when I guess most other people did. We didn’t mind waiting since we knew it was for a good cause - and reason, most of the boys had no experience in doing anything like it before. Apparently, according to Kevin and Adam, some other people weren’t so understanding - "... this is awful!" groaned Adam. There was only one cook, and the restaurant was actually pretty full. At least they had a good lesson in what they don’t particularly want to be doing. Anyway, friends of ours made it over with their 6 month old son. Jackson was also there with Grandma and Papa and thought Aiden was pretty neat. He wanted to hold him so he sat down on a chair and I balanced Aiden on his lap. He thought that was pretty cool, and then decided that the baby might be a little too big and said his leg was hurting because the he was too heavy… lol. Aiden’s mom just got back from his 6 month check-up – he weighs 22 lbs., so I suppose it’s no wonder it was a little much for Jackson’s leg, it was pretty cute. Later on in the day, out of no where, Jackson warmed my heart a little, and gave me some encouragement – he said – “I LIKE that baby you had! Where is he?!” I'm hoping that means things will go smoothly when someday he’s not ALWAYS the center of attention with Auntie Beff, Uncle Bear, Grandma and Papa – someday :) For now though – the lot of us are wrapped around (all of) his fingers!

After the breakfast we had another nice visit with Grandpa – he was on the edge of the bed when we got there as if waiting for our visit. He put up with us videotaping (see just below) a couple of conversations and told a couple of pretty good jokes; I only wish I had a better memory to share them here! We headed home for a while and then back out for the high school hockey game, which turned out a win, and quite a bit of excitement; it was a really fun game to watch. It helps when Jackson is there too, he’s entertaining. Plus we got to hang out with Jonathan, who’s moved back home from Florida! Everyone but him is thrilled about that! (It makes me feel so old that I feel old because he’s turning 21 tomorrow!) Barry played around with the Kodak HD video camera he checked out from work – yet another perk of being employed by CMU Tech Ops! He was able to tape almost the entire game on one set of batteries and a 4GB SDHC. It’s such a neat little thing… and I mean little! We’re thinking of a purchase before our trip… anybody have pros/cons? Also – we leave on our trip in 17 days!!!!! :D (wowzer! I have a lot to do before then!)

Yesterday we didn’t leave the house all day! Of course we watched the game and neither of us had a team we were REALLY routing for, and it was a great football game, so that was fun. I did a little research on something I’m not sure I’m ready to blog about yet, but it just might make for a good post later down the line ;)

That's about it - if you're interested, and have been waiting, there you go ;) If not, no harm done!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I read something disheartening on Twitter yesterday:

Jesse Thorn tells me I'm bad and I should feel bad
My long-term attention span in collegiate and professional sports has always been capable of following one team per sport, and beyond that, the games might as well not even be played. Sure, I've been involved in an EA Sports franchise or two in my day, but I lack the time and interest to do anything like get involved in a fantasy football league or gamble on sports. My investment in NFL fandom is limited to the Detroit Lions, and in recent years, I've barely been able to bring myself to watch more than half the season. I think I watched more games this season than I have since 2003, and you can tell where that got me.

So, "fans" of the game such as myself really only have a few overlapping options when it comes to the Super Bowl:
  • Watch what amounts to an overblown regular season game that happens to be the last of the year (that also determines who gets the last pick in the draft)
  • Pick one of the two teams to root for by some arbitrary criteria
  • Watch for the commercials like a good American!
So, for tonight's game, I'm accepting suggestions on who (or what) to root for. Extra weight will be given to scenarios involving statistical improbabilities or anomalies. Comment here or send me a message on Twitter!


While I'm on the subject of sports, I have to bring up my favorite flash game: QWOP. It's a game about running and failure. I love QWOP for the same reason I love the Lions - just when you think you've got it under control, you find a new way to foul it up. Go play it.