The Hobbit Re-read

“I’m going on an adventure!”  said Bilbo Baggins

~JRR Tolkien in The Hobbit

Only great books deserve “re-reading” and The Hobbit (Wikipedia link), the 1937 published book by JRR Tolkien, is certainly one of those! I just finished reading it again on my Kindle and of course discovered “new stuff” not in my memory! He pretty much introduces a new character or creature in every chapter and then brings them all back together for the epic “Battle of Five Armies” at the end of the story.

Cover of The Hobbit on Kindle.

I will not write a full or formal review but just share some first impressions and personal feelings on the re-read of a favorite book, which I followed by a re-watch of the 3-movies version of the book . . .

Continue reading “The Hobbit Re-read”

Balcony Concert Tonight

I am missing the final concert for the Summer (May begins Winter here). It is the last in a series of hotel concerts called “Summer in the city – From your balcony” or really “Verano en la ciudad – Desde tu balcón” with a Covid-safe Rock Concert at my Best Western San Jose Hotel and they’ve been doing it once a month since January or December. See the hotel’s website photos & videos of the concerts.

The only way you can see/hear the concert is to rent one of the 150 upstairs rooms with balconies overlooking the pool and watch the concert live from your balcony! Pretty cool ideal that helps both young adults have fun during the pandemic and a struggling hotel with no tourists and almost no customers fill several rooms at an advertised “special price” of $61 USD (more than I’m paying) with a limit to 4 per room/balcony. Tonight, Saturday, May 8 is this month’s concert and the final one in this summer series.

Friday before I left I snapped these cellphone shots of them setting up the stage over one end of the pool. This month American Express is the sponsor.

The stage under construction Friday.

And more photos . . .

Continue reading “Balcony Concert Tonight”

People Reasons for Living in Costa Rica!

Both photos from Oxcart Parades in Atenas

Here are just some of the many reasons I love being “Retired in Costa Rica” and I thank Christopher Howard for first printing this “song” in his Live in Costa Rica Blog & Website. It was written by the late Lair Davis to express his love for this wonderful country. It lists many of the reasons that I live here and will continue to until I die. Though he does not emphasize my primary love of the country – NATURE – and all of the natural beauty found here, it expresses many of the “people reasons” for living here:

Continue reading “People Reasons for Living in Costa Rica!”

“Costa Rica Culture” by 7 “Kids”

Back in May 2018 I reviewed here and told about the Costa Rica made movie “Güilas” the title of which is the Costa Rican slang word for children like American English “Kids.” The movie is actually seven short stories about seven different kids, each in a different one of the seven provinces of Costa Rica thus visually showing many parts of this beautiful country and its varied cultures by my favorite Costa Rica Photographer, Sergio Pucci (I use one of his CR Calendars every year for his beautiful photography!). This is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen anywhere and is definitely the best one on the culture of Costa Rica! Well worth $10 USD from Vimeo!

One of the 7 Stories:

One of the seven short stories – this in the Caribe, Limon Province.
Continue reading ““Costa Rica Culture” by 7 “Kids””

Central Park Renovation Update

It’s been awhile since I’ve reported since not much obvious work has been going on except for 2 to 4 men most days working on this one radial sidewalk from the central kiosk to the northeast corner of the park since January. It has taken much of 5 months with 7 more sidewalks to go, it may be awhile before the renovation is complete!    🙂

At least I’ve learned that the sidewalks will be concrete rather than the old brick sidewalks, which at first was disappointing for the historical look, but they are definitely going for a modern look and concrete will also be more practical and cost less I would imagine and the younger generations everywhere definitely prefer modern. There is a trough down the center of the sidewalk which will probably be used to hide electrical wires, since the storm drain is a bigger pipe already buried under all this.

I like the two half circles off this walk with built-in seating for groups to assemble or people in general to visit. And not only are there built-in seats in the circle, but all the sidewalk walls are at sitting level, meaning there will be a lot more seating than the old park benches have provided. And that fits the purpose of bringing people together and the new modern look of the park too! I like it! When finished, the Central Park will really be the center of life in Atenas!

20200330_103218_001-WEB
My date on this is March 30, so from this point to below in 2+ months, though they really started here in January of 2020. A long time for one sidewalk with 2 seating areas!
20200602_104801_001-WEB
Entrance from the NE corner of park across from POP’s Ice Cream. Brick is city sidewalk.
20200602_104901_001-WEB
There are two of these sitting areas off this radial walk.
20200602_104944_001-WEB
This is same as above seen from the other direction.
20200602_104925_001-WEB
The other sitting area is closer to center of park and has steps & wheelchair ramp. Tarp is workers’ for rain and sun during this construction.

 

“Parks and playgrounds are the soul of a city.”
― Marty Rubin

 

The Architect Plans Facebook Page has been taken down or the old link doesn’t work now. Sorry.

See my Central Park Renovation Photo Gallery  with chronological photos of the progress.

¡Pura Vida!

Firsts of 2020

IMG_8305-A-WEB
Tropical Kingbird

This bird (above & at right) is a Tropical Kingbird (click name for more about him).   He is the first one photographed on my terrace this year,  at breakfast, January 1, 2020.

-o-

Just three weeks before I visited Tapirus Lodge in Braulio Carrillo National Park Christmas Week, David Attenborough and a BBC film crew visited the same lodge and park! I have trouble keeping up with all his documentaries, but hope I see whatever he filmed there!   🙂   Maybe it is part of his new “Green Planet” Series which is being filmed all over Costa Rica?

-o-

Zarcero Community Band was the first & biggest band in the Atenas Christmas Parade I featured in a December 21 Post and was one of the featured bands in the Rose Parade January 1, 2020!  In different costumes of course! See also my Christmas Parade gallery.

Zarcero-Band-A-WEB
Zarcero Costa Rica Community Band & Dancers performing here in Atenas Christmas Parade, also performed in The Rose Parade, Pasadena, California.

 

And a video of the band in Pasadena’s Rose Parade:

 

Costa Rica – The Happiest People on Earth!

¡Pura Vida!

 

 

Christmas Parade!

“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 Atenas with 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

Atenas Christmas Parade 2019

 

For more photos see my Christmas Parade 2019 Photo Gallery!

¡Pura Vida!

Oktoberfest

“Willkommen zum Oktoberfest.”

Yesterday a bus of load of about 30 persons “Retired in Costa Rica” boarded a charter bus in Atenas for a German Restaurant in downtown San Jose, Paulaner München, for a great German meal including roast chicken, knockwurst, kraut and my favorite – apple strudel! We were also entertained by a Latin-flavored Costa Rican “German Band” complete with fake leder hosen!   🙂   And many of our group of retirees danced with the band, especially one couple who really know how to dance as shown in the feature photo. She even tried to teach the group to dance the polka with moderate success!   🙂    And who says old people don’t have fun?

Oktoberfest Costa Rica

 

oktoberfest
. . . .   AND the beer for many in our gang! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Baile folklórico – Historical village dancing

Independence Day activities sometimes start early and they did today in front of the city hall across the corner from my bank which had 20+ people waiting for only one working ATM. Pura vida! I got to watch the dancing while I waited and make a few cell phone photos, though lower quality, zoomed in from a half block away. The people are always as interesting as “the show,” thus two little slideshows which is my substitute for the parade I will miss tomorrow.

See my photos of previous parades in  People, Fiestas & Arts Gallery.

Waiting & Watching

 

Dancing

Happy Independence Day Costa Rica!

¡Pura Vida!

 

Senior Adults Dancing, Alajuela

That’s Costa Rican Senior Adults! And most love to dance, but to “their kind of music” and not what the young people have today.

So . . . on my way to pick up a package at Aeropost in Alajuela today I walk by a happy and lively Central Park Alajuela with a Marimba Band playing “their kind of music!” A few cell phone snapshots and I move on for my package and a Tex Mex lunch at Jalopeños Central. As I rushed by the park at 2:20 for my 2:30 bus the music and dancing was still going on! Pura Vida!

It is at the same place I photographed some young people break dancing a month or two ago.    🙂

20190824_130652[1]-A-WEB
Marimba Music is common and popular here among older people.
 

20190824_130637[1]-A-WEB
You don’t have to have a partner to dance!
 

20190824_130628[1]-A-WEB
We have this in Atenas too, I just haven’t been looking for it lately.
For more culture photos see my photo gallery PEOPLE, FIESTAS & ARTS CR.

 

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”
~Martha Graham

 

¡Pura vida!