Old Man Hat Required Now

My dermatologist (after 2 skin cancers) says I have to wear a wide-brim hat everytime I go out along with sunscreen. Bummer – but here’s my first one (a Dorfman Pacific Safari Hat) which is like what a neighbor wears everyday, so I won’t be alone!   🙂   Then with a Christmas gift certificate I ordered a Panama Jack Safari Hat which might be more stylish. The price you pay living close to the equator!   ¡Pura Vida!

Christmas Celebrations in Atenas 2018

Here is the schedule of Christmas Festivities at Central Park Atenas with the stage being on government property across the street this year with park being remodeled. Lots of music and a lanterns parade at night plus more with vendor booths set up on the outer edges of the park  — remodeling not stopping the Christmas Spirit in Atenas! It will be HAPPY, HAPPY as always and I’m sorry I will miss it this year again as I am traveling for Christmas (Which is a very Tico thing to do!).     🙂

And they just added some more activities for Christmas:

If you click the above image it is larger in its original location

And that is the official Atenas Community fiestas. Many Tico families have 1 to 2 weeks vacation and travel to a beach, usually the week between Christmas and New Years (when most businesses are closed).

Expats vary a lot in what they do. Several always go home to the States, Canada or Europe for Christmas with family. Some have family come here. And the “Snow Birds” came here for  their Christmas or multi-months escape from snow and cold weather. Our Expat “Men’s Club” (misnamed) is went yesterday (the 16th) to San Ramon for a Dinner Theatre Christmas Madrigal Old English Show or something like that. I went this year and reported yesterday.

Then there’s me – like a real Tico now, I’m going to the beach again but will spend most of my time in the forest at and near Manuel Antonio National Park in a private wildlife refuge and resort called Si Como No, which in español literally means “Yes, of course,” or “Yes, why not?”  indicative of the positive spirit of life here in Costa Rica! And I will photograph birds of course!   ¡Pura Vida!

¡Feliz Navidad!

 

Considering a move to Costa Rica? If so, and you find online research confusing or overwhelming, then read this Christopher Howard article on  All Over the Map Syndrome Although he is a little arrogant, he still has the best relocation tour of Costa Rica and his tour combined with the ARCR Seminar is one of the best ways to filter through the onslaught of information you may be finding. I credit those two events with properly preparing me for my successful move here along with a positive attitude and an already established love of the Costa Rica Culture and nature places. Before you move here, visit several times (consider the fun Caravan.com Costa Rica tour) and then go on his “Live In Costa Rica Combination Tour” coupled with the ARCR Seminar and you will be much better prepared. People who just come and try to figure it all out when they get here are usually in the 40% who end up going back to the states, Canada or wherever “home” was before. “Be Prepared!”

Madrigal Renaissance Christmas Banquet

About 30 of us expat retirees in Atenas went north of here by charter bus to San Ramon (hour drive) where we were fed and entertained by a group of expat retirees in San Ramon. We had a very interesting experience of a 14th Century Madrigal Christmas Banquet with all our hosts in period costumes and a wide variety of entertainment with the excellent meal! There was chamber music while we ate plus afterwards period ceremony, stories, singing by our hosts and group singing of Christmas Carols (in English & Spanish!) by all making it a very special Christmas Dinner. THANKS TO THE EXPATS OF SAN RAMON! And to Tony & Rose Mary for putting it together! Gracias!   🙂

Madrigal Dinner Slideshow

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Or to see each of the photos individually and larger, go to my 2018 Madrigal Banquet Photo Gallery where you can also download photos if you wish.

¡Feliz Navidad!

Supermarket at Night

I rarely go at night, but did one night this week and saw their big tree which is mostly lights, plus lights on everything else including the manger scene, which is a little much for me. Oh well, Christmas is really BIG here! I mean really big! Gobs of celebrations and fiestas and music and church services and most get a whole week off from work and all employers are required by law to give a Christmas Bonus (for me to a maid and gardeners). Then everything is closed Christmas week and people travel, for some, their only vacation. Cultures are so interesting! Everywhere!   🙂    I’ll post a schedule of public celebrations tomorrow.

 

¡Feliz Navidad!

Second Guessing the Builders

Armchair Building Contractors:   Everyone who walks through Central Park Atenas regularly simply must try to figure out what the builders are doing now and what will come next. In the first photo I thought they were ready to start the construction of the “Kiosk” or Band Shelter – the center area was level and looked good to me, Then the next day heavy equipment is in there removing more dirt! So the contractor or architect had other ideas and they are now going deeper it seems. Us “sidewalk contractors” will probably stay entertained for most of a year as we continue to “Second Guess” what is really happening. Fun!  🙂

Now, really, doesn’t that look level and ready for a bandshell?

 

But the next day they were in there digging out more dirt with more dump trucks to haul it off!

 

Constructiveness is the human way.  

Dalai Lama

¡Pura Vida!

Is the Color of Christmas Red?

Last year after Christmas I took the potted Poinsettia I had had inside and planted it in my garden. When I recently asked my gardeners to “thin out” my garden, well . . . they really thinned it out including the removal of my poinsettia which was not doing well anyway.

So today I looked for another poinsettia in town and found only one little plant store that had any and they were expensive, but I got two anyway. They add to the “Christmas Spirit” around my house and I already had in mind putting them immediately in my garden, which I did. Well, the rain seems to have stopped (we might get 1 or 2 more) and the wind has started blowing (think March in the states). The petals or really leaves on the poinsettia are be thrashed by the wind and already look weathered.

Oh well, I meant well and in my thinned out garden there is not much color now, so they have been added to my two other now-blooming red flowers: Red Ginger and Torch Ginger or in Costa Rica El bastón de emperador. So maybe all this red in my gardens is my Christmas color for this year!   🙂

 

See the Photo Gallery of My Home Gardens for more of my flowers and they’re not all red!   🙂

 

“What is the colour of Christmas?  Red? 

The red of the toyshops on a dark winter’s afternoon,
Of Father Christmas and the robin’s breast?
Or green?
Green of holly and spruce and mistletoe in the house,
dark shadow of summer in leafless winter?
One might plainly add a romance of white,
fields of frost and snow;
thus white, green, red- reducing the event to the level of a Chianti bottle. 
But many will say that the significant colour is gold,
gold of fire and treasure, of light in the winter dark; and this gets closer, 
For the true colour of Christmas is Black.
Black of winter, black of night, black of frost and of the east wind,
black of dangerous shadows beyond the firelight.

― William Sansom

¡Feliz Navidad!

The Gringo’s Hawk

Excellent first person account of living in the earlier, wilder Costa Rica as a twenty-something, then adapting and growing older here. Especially good for nature-lovers like me as a “Retired in Costa Rica” senior adult blogging about it at charliedoggett dot net. ¡Pura Vida!

—      Goodreads Review by Charlie Doggett

And I read the real book on paper! It is not available digitally for my Kindle. Thanks to a friend here in Atenas who loaned the book!

Supermercado Adds New Giant “Tree”

La Coope Supermercado built this giant tree which is really to enjoy only at night and I don’t go out at night – but interesting! 🙂
This is their standard entrance tree, possibly a repeat from last year. Plus they have smaller Christmas ribbons, bows and signs all over the store!
And the same nativity each year in the parking lot.

Christmas is a really big deal here in Costa Rica! And the week between Christmas is like a week-long holiday with most businesses closed and many Ticos on vacation at the beach. ¡Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad de Supermercado La Coope

 

Income Idea for My Fellow-Retirees

Someone just wrote me asking that I share this link with you in case you are interested in renting out a room in your house while at home or renting out your whole house while traveling or otherwise away, using AirbNB. It might be a good idea for you wherever you live as tourists visit all parts of the world now. (NOTE that I am not doing this nor recommending it.)  Here’s how:

https://www.bankrate.com/retirement/retiree-guide-to-hosting-airbnb/

City Hall’s Christmas Decor Features Famous RR Bridge

The new Christmas Tree at Atenas City Hall this year features our famous Railroad Bridge over the Rio Grande River  complete with a little model train going over it! Very Christmasy and Very Atenas! Link above is to a Google search of photos of the real bridge, no longer in service.

2018 Christmas Decorations at City Hall, Atenas, Costa Rica featuring  our famous bridge:   Puente Ferrocarril Rio Grande Atenas

 

Photo copied from TripAdvisor of our famous   Puente Ferrocarril Rio Grande Atenas       

Bridge is also featured in our Atenas chamber of commerce video:

“Atenas: Best Weather in the World.”  

¡Pura Vida!

 

Merry Christmas!

Keel-billed Toucan visiting for breakfast – my home terrace one morning.

HAPPY, HAPPY – – – to you and your family, friends, and communities this Christmas! While some of you enjoy a White Christmas, I will be enjoying the beaches and rainforests of Manuel Antonio National Park and the private Wildlife Refuge of Si Como No Resort there.   – – – HAPPY, HAPPY!    🙂

¡Pura Vida!