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

49. Seriously....AGAIN!?!

Friday 10/29- Our time is getting short before we head back to MN to gather, pack, and ship all of the items we want to send down to Costa Rica (along with visiting family, which is great, but the main goal is the packing & shipping). We know we have to pick some tile for the house and deck and Ramie is still torn on whether he is going to buy a weed whacker in MN and ship it down here or if we’re just going to suck it up and buy a knock-off brand down here. The dilemma is that he knows the good quality of a Stihl or Husquavarna and the price of one in the US, then here in CR the price of one of these brands is about double OR you can find the knock-off one that you aren’t sure of the quality for the same price as the real one in the US. We’ve looked at the ones that they sell in Uvita, and as we’ve mentioned a couple of times, Uvita tends to be more expensive than shopping in San Isidro or San Jose. We decided to make one more trip to San Isidro to do some price comparison shopping, look at tile again, and see if another trip helps us make any further decisions on anything.

Just like we always do when we go to San Isidro, we left early to hopefully beat some of the traffic, and so that we could get back home at a reasonable time after shopping all day. We left the house at around 7am figuring that after our hour drive we would get to the first store just about the time it opened around 8am. Mornings like this Breeze always looks so sad because we don’t go for our walk. Even though she gets so tired out when we go for our daily walk, we can tell that she absolutely loves it. Ramie and I start our morning by drinking our coffee and either playing on our electronics or if I have work to do I’ll get on my computer and knock out an hour of work. Breeze must be able to tell time or something, because most mornings at about the same time she’ll start getting antsy and then start barking at Ramie and I telling us that it’s time to get going (our very own furry personal trainer? Hahahah). She gets very hyper and excited until we finally put on our shoes and go. 

Obviously, on San Isidro days she doesn’t get to go on this walk and gets really bummed out.

  So, on we go. We got to the first store. This is one that we have driven by before and sells the good Stihl and Husquavarna brands that Ramie has his heart set on. We have driven through this area of town a few times, and here the streets are pretty narrow, the stores are very close together, and there are no parking lots. We also know that you have to be very careful where you park in some areas, as it might be a no-parking-zone but you can barely see the yellow marking on the curb. So, rather than take too much of a risk in parking and leaving our car here to maybe have the license plates removed, (that’s what the police will do for illegal parking instead of just giving you a ticket or towing the vehicle) Ramie parked at the curb and gave me the keys. I stayed in the truck, and he went to the store on his own. I just hung out in the car for about 10 minutes while he was in the store and looked around at what I could see from where we were parked. After a little while the car that was parked in front of us left and I had a clearer view of the stores that were farther up the street. I saw that walking distance from the store he was in was another store selling the same types of things, weed whackers, power washers, and all of that kind of stuff. When Ramie came back out to the truck he told me what they had at this store and what price the guy had quoted him. Then I told him to go check out the other store, and I would continue to stay here and guard the car from any transito police who might want to take our plates. (If they tried, I would just hop over to the driver's side, start it up, and start driving… which would be the first time I would have ever driven in CR!) Well, Ramie went to the next store and he was in there for a long time, way longer than I would have expected. I began to wonder if there was a long line of other customers or what the heck was going on, but I just continued to wait. Finally, after what was probably over 30 minutes he came back out kind of laughing. Well, this store sold the knock-off brands and the sales-person was REALLY trying to make a sale! I guess he started up and demonstrated several different models for Ramie as they were looking at them. Then another customer showed up who was kind of interested in something similar and the sales guy started all over with his pitch and had to demonstrate some more. Ramie got the pricing on these as well, and decided that we would keep on looking.

We made stops at a few more hardware/Home Depot type stores comparing the weed whackers we found there as well as looking for any different tile options we hadn’t seen before. We also stopped at a few tile stores again to see if there were any new choices, to see if there was anything that really stood out to us, and to make sure the ones that we liked had enough in-stock or available to cover our area. Unfortunately, our favorite styles didn’t have enough left for what we needed and there was none left to order. We found a few others that we liked that had enough in stock, but the last store that we went to told us that next week they would be getting their all-new shipments in. We told him that we would not be able to come and look in person, and he agreed that if there were any that met our criteria (were non-slip and were gray in color) that he could send pictures to us. Ramie gave him our number and we hope for the best. We do have some picked out just in case that doesn’t come through though, so we do have  somewhat of a plan.


After we had stopped at enough stores and were thoroughly exhausted from a long day of shopping again, we headed for home. As we were starting to head toward home we could tell there was some heavy rain moving in and the closer to the coast that we got the more it started raining. As we were coming back down the mountain towards Uvita it started raining even harder and it was pouring pretty good by the time we got back to town. We turned onto the road to our house about halfway to the first bridge, we were flashed by a person heading back towards the main highway. The guy in an older pickup truck had his window rolled all the way down and stopped in the road and waved us down. He didn’t speak English, but Ramie knew right away why he was waving us to stop. He let us know in a way that we could understand that the road was not passable up the mountain, the bridge was flooded. We waved and thanked him and continued on to the bridge. The river flows along the side of the road and is visible through the jungle in a few spots. Ramie pointed to it as we passed it and it looked like a raging river (white water rapids and everything)! Now, there have been a couple of times that we have seen the water coming up to the top of and flowing over the bridge a little bit, but today we ran across something that I believe is quite rare. The low, rail-less bridge that we have to cross was completely flooded by about 2 feet of very fast flowing water. This was definitely the highest we’ve ever seen it and there is no way that we were going to try to pass through this! 




 

 

Fortunately, we have a couple of favorite places in town where we could stop for a drink, and if needed, even stop for dinner! We turned around and headed back toward the other side of Uvita and stopped at Whale’s Tail Brewery. They recently were closed for a few weeks while they did a big remodel and we hadn’t had a chance to stop and check them out yet since they reopened. We enjoyed a beverage here while we continued watching the rain. It had let up some, but we weren’t sure if it let up enough that the bridge would be passable yet. We figured that waiting a little bit longer was probably a good idea, so we would have dinner in town. The Brewery didn’t have any food that we wanted to eat, so we moved on to the Uvita Beer Garden. We know that they have good food and good beer, so it would be just as good of a place to hang out for a little while. It was an odd time of day to be eating, too late for lunch and too early for dinner, so we had the whole place to ourselves. The same waiter/bartender that we have had several times was working today too (I’m fairly certain he’s the main guy here) and he recognizes us when we come in. We ordered our food and drinks and we chatted with him about life here in Costa Rica. We learned that he spent a few years in the US but moved back to CR because he likes the lifestyle here better. As we chatted with him, drank our beers, and waited for our food the rain tapered off. We figured that by the time we finished eating we wouldn’t have any trouble crossing our bridge and getting back home.

We spent about an hour at the Beer Garden, and then headed home. We were happy to see that the water level had dropped to about 1 foot below the bridge now and we were now easily able to cross it. Thankfully because it's so mountainous here the runoff happens fairly quickly and if its flooded now, give it a couple hours… We made it home to a very excited doggy who had a very long day of being home by herself, but she survived! 

Pura Vida!


 

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