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”

Extraordinary Moments from My Past

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.

~Aaron Rose

🙂

When I searched my old photos, all made before moving to Costa Rica in 2014, I quickly chose 125 photos without even going through all and decided to stop looking. Then I made cuts down to 40 photos that had “the right light” and I considered “extraordinary” and still too many! 🙂 I arbitrarily told myself “No more than 20!” (hopefully fewer) and the last cuts were the most difficult! 🙂 So forgive me for doing a post with 20 photos, but the chosen ones are all below in a gallery where you can click an image to see it larger. The feature photo in the header is my favorite Clouded Leopard shot from Nashville Zoo and this sample below for the email recipients (who have to click “Read More” to continue) is one of many extraordinary shots from 2 safaris in the Masai Mara . And these are not necessarily favorites but seem to fit in these two locations. 🙂

African Elephants taking their Children to bed for the night, Masai Mara Reserve, Kenya.
Continue reading “Extraordinary Moments from My Past”

Getting Social at Dinner

Some of you know that I prefer traveling solo; maybe it’s selfish or maybe it’s the results of 20 years of marriage. 🙂 I also enjoy eating solo, reading my Kindle or just observing what surrounds me. Occasionally in the informal lodges people invite me to join them at their table and never wanting to offend, I often accept. This group from Florida asked me to join them on the second night and I think I told them I would, but for dinner only, since I liked to read at breakfast and lunch. They have also invited others to their table like this couple from St. Thomas with a teen son. It’s been interesting as long as I ignore political statements! 🙂 Our waitress made this image on a couple of our cellphones for us last night.

Like pretty much everywhere in Costa Rica (except San Jose) all our meals here are open air, just under a roof because of mucho rain! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Butterfly & Holiday/Health Report

Like me recovering from cancer and the just-as-bad cancer treatment, this pitiful-looking damaged butterfly is still flying and eating! 🙂 He is a Ilus swallowtail or Dual-spotted swallowtail, Mimoides ilus (Wikipedia link) and note that it is very similar to another butterfly that I originally labeled this as, the Emerald-patched Cattleheart. The main difference is the Cattleheart has emerald or light-green spots on the upper wings instead of white as this Swallowtail has. (And by the way, Cattlehearts are in the Swallowtail family!) See my Dual-spotted Swallowtail Gallery or all of my CR Butterflies. Note that in the additional photos below this feature image there is one of a non-damaged Dual-spotted that got in my house on the window screen before I opened it and let him fly out.

Damaged Dual-spotted Swallowtail, Atenas, Costa Rica

And some more shots including of one not damaged (+ health update) . . .

Continue reading “Butterfly & Holiday/Health Report”

Another Summer Concert & Health Notes

Friday and Saturday (after I’ve gone back to Atenas) the hotel is hosting another concert weekend featuring Debi Nova singing on Friday night from the stage in the swimming pool! Since the Ministry of health is not allowing public venue concerts because of Covid, the hotel gets around that by renting rooms with balconies overlooking the swimming pool, priced by quality of view! 🙂 And a max of 4 to a room. The above link on hotel’s site has photos of earlier concerts with people watching from balconies and below is this Friday’s singer Debi Nova . . .

Debi Nova

There won’t be a crowd of thousands but a fun experience for a lot of young adults I’m sure and a tiny boost to one of the many hotels suffering from the Pandemic lack of tourists. Below are my photos of the setup as it looked on Thursday and I won’t be here to photograph the concert. 🙂 . . .

Continue reading “Another Summer Concert & Health Notes”

Empty Nest

It could be either good news or bad news, and I hope good news! I just read that a baby Yigüirro can fly at one week of age (they were older) and are usually independent by three weeks old, thus, even if motivated a little early by the noise and lights of a rock concert Saturday night, I think they flew away and are safe somewhere.

Below is what the nest looks like mid-day Monday from Room 407 and the second photo what it looked like mid-day Friday from the same Room 407. The concert was Saturday night with the band only 30 meters away. so if the birds were still there then, the band could certainly have been their motivation to “grow up” and fly away. 🙂 I hope so! We will probably never know. But still glad I left my “nest” before the concert! Or I might have tried to fly away too. 🙂

Empty Nest Monday Mid-day
Full Nest Friday Mid-day

Other Birds at Best Western San Jose

¡Pura Vida!

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!”

Happy Easter!

Its a beautiful sunny day in Atenas, Costa Rica for Easter Morning with the Yigüirro singing his heart out for the rains to come (any day now) though I cannot photograph him or any birds for several weeks now because of the high winds. The birds are hiding in the thick trees for protection from the wind. Thus I resort to Easter Flower Photos! 🙂

And our online English language newspaper Tico Times also wishes you a Happy Easter with a photo of the oldest church in Costa Rica. It is a beautiful historical place that I have visited once (my gallery link) in the Orosi Valley. The Ruins of Ujarras (Wikipedia link) is the site of Costa Rica’s oldest church, the Spanish colonial church built between 1575 and 1580 . . .

One of my photos of The Ruins of Ujarras in Orosi Valley

Happy Easter!

He Arose!

¡Pura Vida!

Puntarenas Makeover & Train Return

Puntarenas is Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast Port and the closest port city & beaches to Atenas where I live. Christopher Howard has a nice little article on his blog/website that tells all about the coming changes:

PUNTARENAS GETTING A MAKEOVER FOR COSTA RICANS, TOURISTS AND EXPATS TO ENJOY THEMSELVES. I’m especially excited about the return of the train from San Jose to Puntarenas which will probably again make a stop in Atenas. Another way to travel to the coast! But there is no way the train tracks will be ready by 2022, especially if they have to rebuild that Rio Grande Bridge in Atenas!

My first experience with Puntarenas was from a 2011 Tampa to San Diego Panama Canal Cruise when the cruise ship stopped for a day in the port of Puntarenas. The Feature Photo at Top and the one below are from that trip as well as the following slide show:

Continue reading “Puntarenas Makeover & Train Return”