106. Happy New Year

Saturday 12/31- New Years Eve, always a great time to reflect on what has happened in the past 12 months, and boy has a lot happened! (45 blog posts worth of things to be exact! Hahaha)

We didn’t really have plans today to start out with, but by the end of the day we made the rounds to all of the people here in Costa Rica that we’re closest to. We spent the morning visiting with Loren and Nancy, catching up on everything that has been happening in all of our lives recently. Back at home, Genier, our builder and friend who we don’t get to see nearly as often as we’d like (he’s been a very busy man with all of the construction projects he has going on) stopped over for a little while. He’s stopped by a few times over the last few months for various things, but I always seem to be in the middle of work when he does, so it’s been quite some time since I got to chat with him. Today I got to say hi and catch up with him for a little while. And finally, for the afternoon, we headed up to Geoff & Tracy’s for a little while. Of course we didn’t make it to midnight, it’s been years since I’ve stayed up until midnight on New Years Eve! We expected to be woken up by lots of fireworks like we were last year, but surprisingly here at our house we didn’t have a lot being fired off nearby. We were woke up by some fireworks and we could see them off in the distance, but it definitely wasn’t a show right outside of our yard like we experienced at our rental house last year. We rang in the new year quieter this year than we did last year, but it will hopefully be the beginning of another great year here at Casa Costa Breeze.

The Official Casa Costa Breeze end of December rainfall total was 3.75 inches

(Extremely Dry compared to the last 6 months when we’ve had 30+ inches per month. This is expected, though, because now the Costa Rican summer is beginning!)

The Official Casa Costa Breeze end of year rainfall for the period of May-December

243.48 inches or 20 feet 3 inches. 

(And this was only May-Dec, because May was when we got our rain gauge, what will next year bring!?!)

Monday 1/2- Now that we are in the new year, this means that I have a whole new set of work things to add to my agenda, one of them being working on Continuing Education to keep my credentials valid for my job. Since today was another “day off” because the holiday fell on a weekend, I started the year off right by working on some of this education and preparing to start my seasonal side-hustle job. A little over a month from now I’ll be busier than I care to think about, so if I can learn all of the new tax rules now, it’ll make my life during tax season just a little bit easier. Wish me luck! lol

Thursday 1/5- Happy Birthday Taylor!!!!

Today is a day that we have been planning and waiting for a long time! It’s TATTOO day! What?! Yes- Ramie and I are both getting some ink. It’s been years since either of us got a tattoo and we’ve been talking about getting one for quite a long time but we had never decided on what or where. Even recently we were still kind of torn on what we wanted to get until Ramie found a design idea that he really liked.

Once he had a good idea of what he wanted, I had to narrow down what I wanted as well. I spent a couple of months looking at different ideas online and getting a feel for what would fit me. When we both had ideas of what we had in mind, we set up a preliminary meeting with a local Tattoo artist that had been recommended, to work through some ideas. That meeting happened back in October! We had originally planned to get these done in November, but ended up postponing it because we didn’t want to worry about them not being healed up enough yet to go swimming when we went to Cancun right before Thanksgiving. Well, today was the day when it was finally going to happen!

Our appointment was scheduled to start at noon, and he said he’d keep working on us until we were finished. When we got there, the first thing we started to discuss was how big & where Ramie’s was going to be. He was torn on whether he should do a piece on his back or a smaller version of the same tattoo on his arm. It was decided that it would look better as a larger version on his back. Pip (the tattoo artist) printed out the template in a couple of sizes and Ramie decided just how big he wanted this piece, and then they spent the next 20 minutes or so getting the stencil placed exactly perfect, straight, and symmetrical on Ramie’s back. We were about 1 hour into the beginning of the appointment before the ink even started flowing (well, other than the ink from the printer, that is!) 

Final Placement
The start of a long session
Taking a break before the final stretch


Ramie was in the chair for over 3.5 hours. In the end, he was very happy with his newest piece of art (that he will almost never get to see himself.)

When Ramie was finished and after Pip took a lunch break, it was my turn to start. Fortunately, mine didn’t have to be quite so precise in placement, straight, or symmetrical so placing the stencil didn’t take nearly as long. 

By the time we got started on mine it was around 5pm (did I mention we got here at noon?). We didn’t really expect this whole process to take quite so long today, and our original plan was to grab some dinner on the way home after we were done. Since it was 5 and we were just getting started on mine, we knew that plan wasn’t going to work, so Ramie, with his fresh tattoo and his entire upper body wrapped up in saran wrap, walked down the street to a restaurant that we’ve been meaning to try for quite a while, and ordered some dinner for us. It just so happened that at about the time Ramie got back with the food, Pip had to take an important phone call so I took a break from the tattooing and got to eat some delicious tacos (I think we’ll be going back to this restaurant, it was delicious). When Pip was finished with his call, I was ready to hop back into the chair and finish up with the tattoo. By the time all was said and done, I had spent about 3.5 hours being tattooed as well. By the 2nd half of the tattoo I was so exhausted both from being here in this shop all day and from it naturally being time for me to start winding down and thinking about going to bed. Sorry we were so exhausted that we totally forgot to get pics of my process. Here is the end result. 

It was well after 8 by the time we were all finished, photographed, wrapped up and sent home. We were both glad that we finally got the tattoos that we’ve been waiting for.

Ramie’s decision for the wolf/scorpion tattoo is for a couple reasons of course. The first being his zodiac sign is Scorpio. Honestly, he really dislikes actual scorpions but thinks that they are cool looking creatures. The Wolf is because Ramie says his spirit animal is a wolf and has always loved them. He wanted a tattoo of each for a while, but never found a design for either that he really liked. When he saw an idea online about combining the two of them he knew right away that is what he wanted. Pip and Ramie talked about some ideas and eventually Pip came up with the final drawing that is now on Ramie's back. 


For those that have a hard time seeing both, the red is the scorpion and the pincers go up into the ears of the wolf

As for mine, I went into it knowing that I wanted something tropical and kind of “Costa Rican”. We talked about a lot of tropical flowers, butterflies, hummingbirds, and all sorts of things, and then Pip asked me about the national flower, Guaria Morada. I hadn’t heard that particular name before, but my trusty friend Google never lets me down. I learned that Guaria Morada is a purple orchid and that the translated meaning is “purple country girl”. Well… I think this was a match made in heaven! Those of you who know me well already know why it’s a match, but for the rest of you, my favorite color is purple and, well, I would describe myself as a country girl. Here it is, tropical, Costa Rican, flowery, and most of all, very “me”. Plus, I had to add a couple of little plumerias in there as well, those have been my favorite flower since my trip to Hawaii back in 2008 and we have several plumeria trees growing here in our yard.

So, there you have it, the first big thing that we did in 2023 and it’ll be permanent for the rest of our lives!

Pura Vida!