88. We've Been Invaded!!

Mothra Queen Mothra GIF from Mothra GIFs Friday 7/8- Have you ever heard of pantry moths? If you haven’t, count yourself VERY lucky! If you have heard of them, I sure hope that it wasn’t because you had to deal with them, because we’re here to tell you THEY SUCK!! Pantry moths are something completely different from the moths that you see outside at night and are attracted to the light, or even the ones that can eat your clothes. Pantry moths are attracted to your food instead, namely grains like flour, pasta, and things like that. BUT we also learned that once they have taken up residence in your cupboard, they aren’t picky and will get into anything that they can. We also learned that these nasty things can get into things that you wouldn’t think they should be able to. Let’s go back to the beginning for a second, though. Way back in March when we first moved in and Taylor & Dylan were here visiting, we noticed these little moths all over in our kitchen. There would al

83. We Have Visitors, again!!! Part 1

Friday 6/3- This morning I got up early to put in the rest of my hours for this week so that at around 2:00 I could go with Ramie to pick up our next guests. Today, Taryn, Ramie’s sister, Steven, her husband, and Will, their almost 6 year old son were arriving at Casa Costa Breeze. They were up at 2am MN time in order to catch their flights to make it down here to visit us. We had been in contact with them via text all day to keep track of their travel progress, and it looked like they would be very close to on-time. They had a little bit of a delay on their layover, but they wouldn’t be significantly later than planned. They would be catching a shuttle at the airport that would bring them about halfway to us, and we’d drive the other half to go pick them up. As we mentioned in a prior post, the shuttle is the way to go for you and for us. The shuttle people meet you with a sign at the airport and drive you to our agreed upon meeting point, or all the way here depending on what you decide, which is very helpful for us and saves us 4 hours or more of drive time. 

As soon as we heard that they had landed we got in our car to start driving. They got lucky and there was no long line at immigration and customs like we have encountered before, and it was a breeze to get their passport stamped, get their luggage, and find their driver. We stayed in contact with them throughout the drive, and we got to the pick-up point about a half hour before they did so we enjoyed the scenery while we waited. 

When they finally made it to us at about 4:30pm they were hungry and exhausted from the long travel day, and we still had a 2-hour drive home. Time to find some food!

Buckled in and excited for a fun week!

We picked a beach side restaurant nearby to grab some dinner, and as I’ve mentioned in the past, eating in a restaurant here is not fast. Of course, we all celebrated being back together with a drink and we watched Will experience the ocean for his very first time while we waited for our food. 

Will was a little scared of the waves, but yet very excited!

It took nearly 2 hours from the time we got to the restaurant to the time we left (I told you restaurant experiences aren’t quick!). It was now dark, and it had started raining, so the drive back wouldn’t be exceptionally fast either. By this time you could tell Will was exhausted! Not only was it a long day, but he was so excited this morning just to be on the airplane, and about the entire trip that he only slept a short time during the flights.

It didn’t take long after we got back on the road that Will fell fast asleep but that was ok, he was a trooper and had barely napped at all since he woke up this morning. Us adults used the next couple of hours to catch up on how their travel day went and had many other conversations about how life was going for all of us. We finally made it to the house at about 8pm and gave Taryn, Steven & Will a quick tour. Will was off to sleep right away, and Taryn and Steven worked on unpacking a few of their things.

Suddenly, it was like Christmas for Ramie & I again, since they had been so kind to mule down a suitcase of things for us. Last November when we were back in MN, we had left one of our extra suitcases at their house that was about ½ full of things that we wanted here eventually. Over the last few months, we ordered more things online to be delivered to their house, and they packed it all up and brought it down for us. We had even forgotten that we asked them to bring some of these things, so we were excited to finally have everything that we were wanting. Taryn and Steven were tired too after their long travel day, so after unpacking a few of our things and the things they would need for the night, we all went to bed.

Saturday 6/4- After a long travel day from MN, the first day in Costa Rica, if possible, should always be somewhat relaxing. Ramie was woken up with a shake, some whispering and little boy's face staring at him... It was between 4 and 4:30am and Will was wide awake and wanted to play. Ramie got out of bed, made coffee, and played with Will while letting mom and dad get their beauty rest. 

Will and Ramie building Lego's before mom and dad woke up!

Soon enough we were all up. What is the best way to relax here at Casa Costa Breeze? A day by the pool is perfect for the first day here, and that’s exactly how our guests started today. Right away in the morning the 3 vacationers didn’t waste any time and jumped in the pool. I think Will especially loved it, but you could tell that Taryn & Steven were also enjoying the relaxation time too. 

Mom, I think there is still room for more toys!

Around lunch time they got out of the pool, ate some quick lunch, and then we brought them on their first mini-adventure: The Grocery store. You wouldn’t normally think that the grocery store is an adventure, but it isn’t quite the same as you are used to in the US. The food here is much simpler with fewer choices as well as focusing more on “ingredients” as opposed to pre-packaged meals. Even though this is one of the largest grocery stores nearby, unless you want to drive an hour to somewhere like Walmart your choices are somewhat limited and you’ll do more cooking from scratch than just throwing things in the oven or microwave. We spent some time walking the aisles with them, trying to decide on meals to make while they were here this week so we could be sure that we had the ingredients that we needed. They got to pick their own snacks for the week and discover all the new & interesting food while still finding enough similar to their regular favorites back home. It is always a learning experience when shopping in a new place, and I think a trip to the grocery store is a good way for anyone to start their discovery of Costa Rica. We made a few other stops around town just to give them a bit of a tour and let them see the sights, and then headed back home for some more relaxation time.

But first a shot to celebrate. This is a little bottle of liquor that Taylor bought for Ramie when she went to Germany. Its quite strong and your actually supposed to light it on fire first.  This has been saved for special occasions, and clearly, is quite well traveled!

This is the best!
Sunday 6/5- Since it was a Sunday, most things tend to be closed so options for today were limited, however the coffee plantation that is nearest to Uvita is open and does tours on Sundays which Ramie set up a couple weeks earlier. This was the plan for today but Taryn was not excited about this tour at all! Ramie’s take on the conversation between him & Taryn went something like this...

Taryn: “I don’t drink or like coffee, Will & I will stay here and swim”


Ramie: “You are going, and you will have fun!”


Steven: “I like coffee”


Taryn: “Ugh, fine!” and probably stuck out her tongue at Ramie or hit him


(Dana: Took Will out of the house, so he didn't have to witness the bickering and sibling violence)


Ramie: Probably stuck his tongue back out at Taryn


Steven: “Anyone hungry”


Will from outside: “I’m hungry”


Some of this may or may not have actually happened!! Ohh the joy of siblings!!!

Anyway, this is the same coffee tour that Ramie, Taylor, and Dylan went on back in March, but I had to miss out on because I was just getting over being sick and also had to work. I was very excited to get to see this place, and Ramie was excited to bring our guests to see it. While Google Maps shows us that the plantation is only about 5 miles away, it is about a 50-minute drive. “That can’t be right” you say, but oh yes, it is! The plantation is up the mountain and the roads to this area are comparable to what Ramie remembers the old logging roads to be like. You need a 4 wheel-drive vehicle to travel these roads, and you definitely need to pay attention because there are narrow areas, steep drop-offs, and possible landslides. Trying to explain this to people who haven’t seen the adventurous mountain roads of Costa Rica is sometimes difficult, and you just tell them that they have to take your word for it Here’s how today’s adventure went. 

The tour was scheduled for 10:00 today and they typically figure it will take about 3 hours. We packed a picnic lunch, which was for after we were done with the tour, then got on our way by about 8:40. The first few miles went quickly, a newly paved road that twists and turns up for a while and then back down the mountain. Before too long they realized that Google Maps wasn’t wrong. But no one minded because it was a clear morning and the views overlooking the ocean were fantastic. We heard “oohh's and aahh's” quite a bit as we drove through the valleys and up the mountain. 

We told them that we would stop at some scenic overlooks on the way back down the mountain since it’s easier to stop when you’re going in that direction. Wouldn’t you know it, once we got to the more treacherous part of the road, we discovered that there had been a big landslide in the last few days. Luckily, the road workers were already here with their equipment making the road passable again. There was a lot of deep, un-packed dirt in the road and instead of waiting for the road grader to come through and fix it, we decided to put the truck in 4-wheel/low and go for it (and hope we didn’t get stuck). We made it through, but if we had a lower clearance or less powerful vehicle, we may not have been so lucky. The rest of the drive up the mountain was slow, but uneventful, and we got to the coffee plantation just as the earlier tour was wrapping up. Just for reference, our truck has an altimeter in it, Ramie had turned it on, we went from sea level (0) to almost 2,900ft by the time we reached the plantation that was only 5 miles away. 

You can just make out the ocean and the horizon 5 miles away. This is the view from the coffee plantation

When Taylor and Dylan were here you got Ramie’s version, this time you get to read my quick version of the coffee plantation. We got to start the tour off with a cup of freshly ground and brewed coffee (or fresh hot chocolate for those crazy non-coffee drinkers) and waited around for another group of people that was going to be joining us for the tour. I think Taryn was enjoying the hot chocolate, I know for sure Will was!

Getting every last drop of hot chocolate
Ramie and Deiner (the owners’ son and our guide) chatted like they knew each other for a while. I see why Ramie said in the earlier post he was like family now. The other group was running late (presumably because of the bad condition of the road) but they eventually showed up and we were able to start the tour.

We started the tour by meeting Mr. Coffee, the resident sloth in the area.

Mr. Coffee himself

This morning he was hanging out on a nearby tree where we could see him well. So close actually that we could almost reach and touch him.  I guess sometimes he hides or is farther away where you can’t see him as well, so we got lucky. He is a wild animal, after all, and can go wherever he pleases. We also got a fantastic view of the ocean from up here. After seeing the view and saying good morning to Mr. Coffee, we started the actual tour of the plantation to learn the process of coffee from planting the seed, all the way through to brewing the finished coffee. (If you haven’t already, you can read blog #71 when Ramie, Taylor & Dylan came on this tour and read all about the specifics). 

Standing in the coffee field and Will wondering when we get to go drink more hot chocolate

After we learned all there is to know about how the process of growing, picking, and processing coffee works, you really appreciate that hot cup of caffeinated deliciousness so much more! It really is a labor-intensive operation! At the end of the tour, we got another cup of coffee or cocoa, a taste of homemade moonshine and homemade baileys, some fresh pineapple including a white pineapple that we had never heard of or tried before (it had a slightly different taste and was equally delicious to a good ripe regular Costa Rican pineapple). We bought some freshly roasted coffee to bring home and Taryn and Steven bought fresh coffee and 100% pure homemade chocolate to bring home. The other group of people left before us, so we chatted with Deiner, took some photos with his mom and dad and then were ready to head out. 

Yes, that is the container for the moonshine

 
Ramie is wondering, who do you think is the prettiest Maccaw? Leave your comment and let us know. Steven or Dana?

Denier was walking out to our truck with us and told us about a very cool waterfall that is nearby, just another 10 minutes up the mountain from here. He said that since we've made it this far, it is definitely worth our while to go check it out if we had time. So, not having any other plans for today, that’s exactly what we decided to do. We ate our picnic lunch in the car while we drove, and before too long, we made it to the waterfall.

Our initial reactions were something like: Holy S**t, WOW, OMG! (I really cant believe all those words came out of Wills mouth, parents these days!)

Ramie and I have seen this one from a few miles away several times, and you can see it on the drive up to the coffee plantation (it was all dried up in March the last time he was up this direction), but to see it up close was amazing. Well, to say “see it up close” isn’t really how it works. You can’t see this waterfall from up close, you can see sections of it. It is so tall and so surrounded by the jungle, that you can only see a portion of it at a time. We decided that we would put away what was left of our lunches and go climb the path Deiner told us about. 

The hike up the side of this waterfall is not for the faint of heart. It wasn’t mountain climbing, but it sure was a very rugged “trail”, and I use the word trail loosely. You can see that people climb this, so we knew we were in the right place, but you are climbing rocks and stepping between exposed tree roots the entire way. Not to mention, it has been fairly rainy lately, and that combined with the spray from the waterfall made it very muddy and slippery! But we climbed anyway (we have done hikes like this camping with Taryn & Steven before, maybe not quite this intense, but kind of similar). By the time we made it to the top we were drenched and muddy, but so glad that we had made the hike! I think Will had a blast! He was laughing and giggling the entire way up, sticking by Uncle Ramie’s side. We snapped some photos and videos, took in this amazing sight and then turned around to go back down.

Slowly making our way up
Capturing a glimpse on the hike up

Slowly making our way up
Capturing the moments
Steven conquered the waterfall
Soaking wet but having so much fun!

Going down is always more difficult than going up, mostly because gravity tends to try to bring you down quicker than you may want to go. We all made it to the bottom without any trips and falls, so that’s really what was important. We were muddy, though (and we were all very glad that we didn’t wear flip-flops today like we had originally wanted to), so we waded in the pool of water at the base of the waterfall to clean off as much of the mud as we could. We then grabbed the rest of our lunch and finished our picnic by the waterfall. Today was a huge adventure day!!

Monday 6/6- Unfortunately, even though we have guests down here again, I will have to continue to work. Luckily, Ramie hasn’t found employment yet. If you're wondering why, it's illegal for him to get a job here so his only option is remote online work for a company in the US and that really isn't his thing nor does he really have any marketable skills for jobs like that. Fortunately, this makes him available to show our guests around the area while I’m tied to my computer. Since we still don’t have internet at home, Ramie brings me to work in the morning (at Geiner’s old home office), comes back home, starts the morning with the vacationers, and then they figure out what they are going to do for the day. Today, they were going to our favorite beach- our secret beach! After hearing us talk about this beach and reading our past blog posts about it, this was one of the places that they knew they wanted to go, so today that is where they went.  

Ramie cut open a fresh coconut so everyone had to try it

After they were done at the beach and I was done working for the day, they all came to pick me up and then head straight to one of our favorite hang outs- the Beer Garden. We had a couple of drinks, ordered some appetizers, and enjoyed the atmosphere for a while before heading home to make dinner. 

You may be laughing at the faces but this is pretty normal with this family!

During dinner Uncle Ramie had to show Uncle Will how to slurp Jello through a straw (to make farting noises).

You have to try it at least once

Tuesday 6/7- Ramie hopes to go deep sea fishing at any opportunity that he can, and after hearing about our fishing adventure last February, Steven wanted to go deep sea fishing too. Of course, being on our limited, 1-income budget, we wouldn’t be able to pay for an adventure like the one that we went on previously. A while back, Geiner had told Ramie about a local guy here in Uvita that offered fishing charters for a much lower rate than the charters up in Quepos, plus, he was local and left from right here in Uvita. Ramie contacted this guy a few weeks ago to get price quotes, discussed it with Steven, and scheduled a fishing charter for just the 2 of them. The boat is not a big fancy offshore fishing boat like you might be thinking, what we would be fishing out of they call Pangas. They range from about 26' to 31' in length and can be inboard or outboards

photo courtesy of https://www.jacovip.com/CostaRicaFishingCharters.html

I of course had to work so I wouldn’t be going on this adventure and we didn’t think it would be a fantastic idea to put a 6 year old out on a deep sea fishing boat where he would be cooped up all day, so Taryn planned to stay back and enjoy a pool day with Will finally, since she forced to go on the coffee tour.

Unfortunately, upon waking up this morning it was raining pretty hard. Ramie brought me to work and then came back home with hopes that the rain would taper off quickly. They were scheduled to leave fairly early today, but they found out shortly after I left that the captain made the decision that the weather was too bad to go offshore today. They agreed that they would reschedule for tomorrow, and then started making alternate plans for today.

Last week when Ramie worked at the Animal Sanctuary he had asked how it works if he wants to bring guests for a tour. They told him that as long as he gave them advance warning, he could bring people for a tour any time that they are open. They decided that is what they were going to do this morning, so Ramie contacted the staff at the animal sanctuary to let them know, and then a little while later they went up to hang out with the animals.

Hey everyone, its Ramie. I have just a short story today. Since Dana had to work, the 4 of us left for the Sanctuary. It was fun bringing them around and showing them all the animals on their own personal tour. Will however seemed to be fascinated with the ants and spiders on the ground instead of the parrots and monkeys. That's ok, he loves his bugs and if he was happy then we all were. We spent about an hour or so at the sanctuary. Once done there I wanted to take them to Dominical to check out Fuego Brewing and to see all of the vendors selling crafts. We decided to start our little tour first with the beach vendors. 

Sadly, today there were not many vendors along the beach and we made a quick walk of the area. We checked out the few that were there and decided after walking to the end of the street that a cup of coffee sounded good so we went into One Love Cafe. We ordered our delicious coffee and some cinnamon rolls, however Taryn and Will would advise not to get the smoothies. 

Now we were hungry and it was time to head to Fuego Brewing for lunch and drinks.

Will enjoying his ice cream drink at Fuego

Steven and I like hot sauces and the staff brought some really good and interesting sauces out with our food. We found out that we could buy these bottles too, so we each bought what we liked, so we could bring some of the flavor home. After a couple hours it was about time to head back and pick Dana up from work. Once we were all home we had to spend some quality time in the pool before dinner even though it started to rain again.

We rain was diluting our drinks, we had to improvise
More improvising hahaha!

To Be Continued.... 

Come back next week to find out what other adventures the guests of Casa Costa Breeze got to experience!  

Pura Vida








Comments

  1. More adventure than you could shake a stick at. Our idea of an adventure is driving up to the cabin on Lake Miltona hoping the roof has not leaked, the furnace or AC is working and the boat has not sunk. Keep up the commentary, Edie and I enjoy the adventures of Dana and Ramie!

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  2. Its always so much fun to have visitors and showing them around this beautiful country. Its also exhausting at the same time, but we really do enjoy every bit of it! We both hope that you are doing well and enjoying your time at the cabin, although that is quickly coming to an end if you winterize it.

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