Before I left on my Christmas trip to Uvita, I planted this year’s Poinsettia in my garden to possibly give it a longer life outdoors! As a specially created with light/darkness houseplant it will not continue to grow in the garden but is a nice temporary addition of color! Just one more joy of living in the tropics! 🙂
Tomorrow morning early I fly Sansa south to the Palmar Sur Airport south of Uvita and then back north by car to Uvita where I’m doing a repeat visit to the Hotel Cristal Ballena (Hotel site link) on a hill overlooking Uvita’s Whale-watching bay on the Pacific Coast (feature photo & one below). I will not be quite as active as I was on my last trip there: 2019-September 13-21–Cristal Ballena, Uvita (link to my trip gallery). The photos from then will show you what a wonderful place it is to just hang out at the hotel and hike in their private rainforest not to mention all the nearby sights! December-February is the time for Humpback Whales from South America to be there, so I might get to see & photo one! 🙂
And here’s just two of the wildlife I photographed from my room terrace last time . . .
The family that does “Two Weeks in Costa Rica” blog/newsletter has an article about what Ticos do during the holidays which is also “Summer Vacation” from school for all ages with graduations the middle of December and the start of new school year in February. Thus lots of “family vacations” during this time, especially the week between Christmas and New Years when many businesses and factories, etc are closed. The beaches and mountain lodges are full of Ticos that week! Everything is already festive by December 1 with many decorations up and special meal preparations started. Read about it in the Two Weeks guy’s article:
2020 Monkeying Around on Christmas Eve at Arenal Observatory where I will be again next Christmas or 2022. Good lodges like this one are booked solid for Christmas a year ahead. I just made my ’22 reservations.
Or Palm Berries? The row of various little palms I planted nearly 7 years ago as a privacy shield by my bedroom & office windows have created their own Christmas Ornaments just in time for the holidays! 🙂
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
~Will Ferrell, ‘Elf’
And that is what they do in the annual Christmas Lights Night Parade in Atenaswith participants and viewers coming from other “pueblos” (towns) surrounding Atenas including the large Zarcero Community Band which marched in the Rose Parade earlier as well as smaller, rural bands and dance groups. Colorful, long, and loud!
A terrific Christmas Fiesta that continued after the parade with live music & food in the partly remodeled Central Park Atenas until midnight! Since I can hear the sound system from my house, it meant I was delayed going to bed last night! 🙂 And for some of us . . .
“The world has grown weary through the years, but at Christmas, it is young.” ~Phillips Brooks
“And we are better throughout the year for having in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder
And that is what I am doing again for this Christmas! Tonight (Friday) I watch the Christmas Lights Parade in Atenas which is always beautiful and colorful. (Feature Photo is 2017 Atenas Parade) I missed the parade last year while on a trip. That means that tomorrow, Saturday, I hope to report on the parade with photos, though it could be mid-day before I can get that many photos processed! 🙂
Then Sunday morning I leave for the mountains where I will be spending the week at Braulio Carrillo, our second largest national park in Costa Rica at the Tapirus Lodgewhich I’m hoping was a good choice since my first choice (Arenal Observatory) had no vacancies a year ahead of this Christmas Week! (I now have them scheduled for Christmas 2020! Tapirus is operated by Rainforest Adventures which seems to emphasize the young with zip-lining and white-water rafting much more than bird-watching (but I am becoming a child again!) – so we will see! But at least I will be in the forest – me gusta mucho! 🙂
I know, the Spanish dictionaries will say “tortas de Navidad” or “los pasteles de Navidad” but Costa Rica has its own Spanish and we call cake “queque”here! 🙂
My favorite bakery here is Crema y Nata and they got an order this year for 40 Christmas Cakes for a corporate Office Christmas Party in San Jose. I snapped a few shots of my friends there preparing some of the 40 cakes. Also there are some shots of the patio dining area where I have coffee and sometime breakfast at least twice a week. In addition to their Christmas Cake which is okay (like a spice cake with icing, fruit on top & nuts inside–not as good as Corsicana TX fruit cake in my opinion) they have the best eggnog I have ever tasted in my life – very rich! Called el rompopehere!
Queques de Navidad
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” ~Norman Vincent Peale