60. Bringing in the New Year with a BANG

Monday 12/27- It’s been a little bit over a week since we spoke to Jose, our cabinet maker. He has had a chance to draw up plans and we’ve had a chance to think more in detail about what exactly it is that we want. We met with him at the house today to take some more measurements and finalize the plans. Once it was all discussed and agreed upon, Jose asked when we needed it ready by? We told him that Geiner said the house would be ready for the cabinets at the end of January. This would give him a month to get everything built. He looked kind of nervous, and said he would do everything he can to get it done by then, but with New Years in there and the possibility that he wouldn’t be able to get his supplies as quickly as he sometimes does, he said he might need until the first week in February. We told him that we could work with that. Since he was doing everything from cabinets and closets, to doors, beds, night stands, tables, and chairs, we asked him to focus first on the

34. Another Shopping Excursion and A Breeze at the Beach

Thursday 7/29- It’s been a few weeks since we did our big shopping trip to the city and I have used up all of the veggies from when we were there last, so we decided that we would head to San Isidro again. Not only did I want to go to the farmers market again, but I wanted to look at some furniture and other house things for when we will eventually need to start picking these out.

We started at the feria like we always do and discovered that they re-arranged all of the vendors. Just when we were finally getting used to where to find the things that we typically buy (and the same stalls we have been buying those things from) they change it all up on us. We walked the aisles, but now that we know what we are looking for, we got in and out so much quicker this time, despite the re-arranging, it must mean that we are finally learning how to do this.

Then we decided to head to one of the furniture stores we had stopped at last time we were here. This place makes beautiful hand crafted wood furniture, bedroom sets, dining room sets, desks, you name it. As we were walking through the store looking at everything, the adult daughter of the owner came to talk to us and see if we had any questions. We told her that we were just looking for now, and that we would have to furnish a home at some point, the house is not built yet though. This spurred her to talk a whole lot more. I guess her mom is an architect/designer and in addition to all of the furniture they sell in the store, they also custom build cabinets, desks, built in closets, etc. for homes. They will also build custom versions of the stand alone furniture depending on what a customer is looking for as well. After talking with her for quite a while, we heard what we needed to and decided to move on to the next store.

We ended up at the building materials type store/showroom where they sell things like tile, sinks, faucets, toilets, lights, and all of those finishing detail type things. We started walking through the store and I can tell already that I will be so overwhelmed when it comes to choosing all of these details. There are just so many bits and pieces that go into building a house that I guess you don’t realize when you’ve never built one before. While we have done smaller remodeling projects like finishing our basement, I didn’t have to pick all of the tile, carpet, lights and fixtures at the same time. We did those things in stages and it wasn’t as overwhelming. I don’t know how I will be able to pick all of these things at the same time!



My goal going into this store was to check out prices and get an idea of how much these types of things cost down here compared to in the US. It is possible that we can buy some of these things (not the tile for obvious reasons, but things like lights and faucets) back in the US and have them shipped down, both because you can find better prices in the US and better quality. I don’t think I got a very good idea of anything while we were in the store today, other than that there will be a lot of things to choose, and there are a lot of options here in Costa Rica. In addition to that, if we do decide to shop for these things in the US, I imagine there will be so many more choices that I just won’t know what to do.

Of course, since we were in San Isidro, we made our customary stop at Walmart for all of the rest of our supplies. We always spend a lot of time and money in Walmart, but I think that just like the feria, we are getting used to where things are and what we need, so I don’t think we spent nearly as long there this time as we have in the past. That really is a good feeling, it makes me realize that we are starting to get used to it here.

Later on in the day we got a message from Diego that he has finally gotten all 3 pieces of information from the seller that are needed before we can go to closing. Here in Costa Rica, the seller must provide a letter from the municipality called a Uso de Suelo (kind of like a zoning certificate, Asada (water department) and ICE (pronounced E-Say)(electric company) stating that both water and electricity are available at the property and that the property is legal to have a home or business built on it. In the last few years a new law came into effect that new homes cannot be built anywhere that doesn’t have “legal” water plumbed in from the municipality. Private wells are only ok if they have been grandfathered in, but no new homes can legally be built in a community that has a private well, and no new private wells can be drilled here. Also, it is the sellers responsibility to make sure that there is electric available at the property as well. It has been a little bit of a struggle for us to get all of the correct documents from the seller, and she waited until almost the very last minute to provide them. Since our closing is scheduled for next Friday, we legally (by the Sales & Purchase Agreement) had until next Tuesday to retract our offer based on the seller not providing the necessary documentation. Today is Thursday, nothing like waiting until the last minute to get it all together! But now that Diego had the 3 letters in hand (or at least by email) we were all happy and could continue on toward closing next week.

Wednesday 8/4- After over 2 months in Costa Rica we finally took some time to go to the beach. Well, we didn’t really go to the beach like you would expect or like we always had on vacations. You know, bring some drinks, a beach blanket to sit on, and expect to spend a morning or half a day relaxing by the ocean. Instead, we decided to bring Breeze to the see ocean for the first time. Breeze always loves going for rides in the car, but lately since we haven’t been going down to the mini golf for internet, we haven’t really brought her anywhere. She always knows when we are getting ready to go somewhere, and she usually sulks and looks all sad when we leave. This time was no different, she knew we were getting ready to go somewhere, but was super excited when we told her to get into the car.

We drove to a quiet beach North of town where we didn’t expect there to be a lot of people. One where they didn’t have all of the stands with things for sale that attract tourists. We had never been to this particular beach, but we had drove by several times and knew it was there. Breeze enjoyed the car ride like she always does, and we were probably almost just as excited as she was when we got there. Since we had her with, we didn’t figure we would be there long, and didn’t bother bringing anything with to set up a “spot” on the beach. Instead, we left everything (towels, clothes, shoes) in the car and just went down to the water with our bathing suits and waterproof camera. 

Breeze was a little bit nervous at first but enjoyed running around in the sand. We had to go down into the water ourselves and coax her to come down and join us. The first few times the water touched her paws she was jumpy, but when she realized it was very shallow and barely reached the top of her feet she got a little bit braver. 
 

She walked in just a little bit farther and tried drinking the water. She didn’t like it of course because it’s salt water, but tried a couple times to drink it. She didn’t drink enough of it to get sick, which is a good thing (we were actually expecting her to drink to much and puke her first time at the beach). After a little while longer a big wave (not really big, just enough to come up to her belly or so) came and got her and she didn’t know what to think. It was so funny to watch!! She splashed and played in the water for a few minutes before running back up into the sand. There was a little bit of back and forth into and out of the water, and she quickly got tired of the whole experience.



 
 

Once we couldn’t convince her to swim any more, we let her run around a little bit to dry off, and then headed back for another ride in the car. Since she was full of salty ocean water, there is no doubt that she would either start to stink or start to get really itchy before long.

She needed a fresh water bath. We decided that since we would be driving right past the river on the way home, we could give her a fresh water pre-bath rinse there. It would be another new experience for her (at least here in Costa Rica) and she might be less freaked out by the river than she was by the big waves in the ocean. We had driven past this spot in the river many times and seen many locals stopped here to go swimming, but had never actually stopped here before. There is an entrance from the road to the river that is just wide enough for 2 vehicles, and it goes straight into the river. At this part it was very rocky and shallow for quite a ways from the edge out to nearly the middle of the river. You could easily walk along the rocks and step in up to your ankles. Beyond these rocks, the water was moving very fast, most likely because it is green season and we have been getting a decent amount of rain lately. We definitely didn’t want either Breeze our ourselves near the fast flowing river, but we did want her to go in and splash in the fresh water for a while. Unfortunately, she wasn’t impressed with the river at all. We had to more or less drag her to the edge of the water so we could splash some water on her to get the salty ocean off of her fur. There was another family sitting out in the rocks with a small dog, and Breeze wasn’t even interested in the other dog, which is kind of unlike her. We didn’t stay here more than about 15 minutes or so before we decided to head home and give her a good wash-down with the hose. 

Overall, I think she had a little bit of fun at the beach, but probably not enough to bring her there often. After over 2 months in Uvita and being able to see the ocean from our balcony, this was our first actual trip to the beach!


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