In Alajuela a couple of weeks ago while waiting on my bus I snapped this statue of dancers in a neighborhood city park where I temporarily catch my bus back to Atenas. Ticos love dancing and do in the parks a lot when bands perform, but it is rare to see any Tico this overweight! Maybe the couple is suppose to be tourists? 🙂
I went early at 8:30 for what I understood would be an “unveiling” of the new ATENAS park sign and what they were calling a “dedication ceremony.” Nada! After nearly 2 hours downtown I picked up my photos I had left earlier to be printed across from the park and Sr. Chacón there told me that they would not unveil the ATENAS letters until 7 pm tonight (probably in the rain) and I will not go back! I was there mainly to get a photo of the Atenas sign, so I was disappointed! I walked home with my new photos and will maybe go tomorrow to photograph the sign.
!Then the only programming on the stage for the first two hours was the main Evangelical church here in town performing charismatic music like in a charismatic worship service and a hand full of vendors (more like a flea market) – both also disappointing to me. The stage will have more and different kinds of music throughout the day, which is what the city does with all of these all-day fiestas they sponsor, but after I learned the sign would not be un-covered, I got my photos and walked home. 🙂 I will photograph it tomorrow and post just that photo. 🙂
At 9 am tomorrow (Saturday 30 May 2022) the city is unveiling and “dedicating” the new entrance to Central Park Atenas, even though the renovations are not nearly complete nor will be for some time. They will remove the black plastic from the ATENAS sign and the park workers have been busy trying to get ready! They’ve laid some new grass in that area and have flower there to plant before tomorrow, plus they are taking down that ugly tin construction fence and are re-painting the white skirts around all the trees in the whole park. Plus tents are going up for the typical fiesta day vendors and when I asked at city hall the time of the ceremony (9am) they made sure I knew that there would be live music Saturday night! 🙂 Maybe we really are getting over Covid! Though masks are still required in all public places – even tomorrow! 🙂 And we still have to wash our hands upon entry to all businesses.
Here’s 5 shots made yesterday (Thursday) that indicate they are preparing for tomorrow!
A quiet morning walk, a special breakfast, the songs of birds in my trees, and a bouquet of lilies in my house replace my old traditions of Easter Eggs for the children and a “dressed up” Easter Worship in a Baptist Church for most of my life. That old tradition is not me now.
This majority Catholic country has both traditions and superstitions that I explored those first few years here. This week’s Tico Times online article Processions and Superstition Mark Easter Week in Costa Rica describe only some of those and my blog posts & galleries linked below describe even more.
One is a butterfly and the other maybe the busiest week in Costa Rica.
Crimson Patch Butterfly
This butterfly is one I photographed at Guayabo Lodge last week and my first time for it! I had earlier mistaken a Bordered Patch for this species, but the big difference is the two-toned orange on the underside of wing. 🙂 See my new Crimson Patched Gallery and to compare the two, my older Bordered Patch Gallery. Even though the photo above is of a damaged butterfly, I like that photo better than the next one below because of the better soft background which I just learned yesterday from another blog is called a “Bokeh” photo – “. . . defined as ‘the effect of a soft out-of-focus background that you get when shooting a subject, using a fast lens, at the widest aperture, such as f/2.8 or wider.’ Simply put, bokeh is the pleasing or aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph.” ~nikonusa.com
I think it was the same day I posted the recent park update that they added an electrified SUN sculpture to their concrete structure. I know it is electric because my taxi drove by it on the way home from dinner Saturday night and it was lit up a bright yellow! 🙂 Kind of shocking in a small country town, like a gas station sign downtown! 🙂
I got some daytime photos this morning and I plan to go back tonight to get a night photo before posting this, if still lit behind the construction fence. I hope they don’t cheapen the park with too much “neon” color and lights. I suspect now that the ATENAS letters will be lit up also, in their bright red color. I guess it will add to the party spirit of the many fiestas, concerts, festivals, dances, etc. that will take place in the park after Covid! I just hope the new, very modern park does not eliminate all of the quiet, sophisticated places in nature that it has had. We will see! Maybe a little of both! 🙂 If it helps people interact, then that is good! 🙂 And recently lots of people are using the park as it is while still wearing their masks! There’s always a group of old men talking and after school a lot of both children and teenagers.
For the last year or two I’ve worked hard a preparing good, healthy meals at home from making 8-servings of spaghetti with meat (eating 1 & freezing 7 for future meals) to multiple recipes of homemade vegetable soup to help me eat more veggies, last week a yummy Chick Peas Salad from a Washington Post Recipe and also last week a 7-layer dip (mostly veggies). And I do breakfast at home all but one morning a week with 3 or 4 fruits, nuts, whole grains in either bread, hot or cold cereal or French Toast, saving my omelets for some dinners! 🙂
But living solo, I still like to eat out and I’m now trying to find more restaurants that I like while some I liked closed during Covid. So I was a little surprised to see two new ones open in the last few weeks, one serving everything from pizza & burgers to steaks & seafood and the other one our first “genuine” Mexican Restaurant:
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.
Costa Rica’s answer to the American Halloween tradition is “Day of the Masquerade” or Dia de la Mascarada (Wikipedia article) and today I experienced a tiny fringe of it at my favorite Supermarket . . .
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.
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 . . .