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! 🙂
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.
And some more shots including of one not damaged (+ health update) . . .
Some have written to see how I am since I’ve only posted twice since completing my radiation treatments (radiotherapy). Simply put . . .
I haven’t felt like writing!
Tomorrow will be two weeks since they rang a bell and showered me with gifts and a certificate and even my mask to take home after the last session of radiotherapy. Now here’s my update on the last two weeks . . .
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 & videosof 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.
If one must stay at a hotel for a long period of time, it helps to have several dining options. And that is one of the reasons I chose this over 2 other hotels within walking distance of radiotherapy. There are 3 restaurants within the hotel or attached and up to 4 more within walking distance. Read on for my comments & photos of the 4 I’ve experienced so far . . .
A lot of you asked that question, and the answer is sort of a “figure of speech” or a euphemism for an asymmetrical smile or lopsided smile or even a sneer or smirk. 🙂 Possibly the name “Texas smile” came from one of those old cowboy movies my doctor saw, who knows? But that’s what my Costa Rican surgeon called it when, because of the cut nerve, I cannot lift the left side of my lips when I smile. But I’m not sneering! 🙂 Just not functioning normally and hopefully with some exercise we can call up some other nerves to help left that side a little more than now, but no promises. Same hope for blinking and closing my left eye which is burning most of the time now because I cannot blink or close it. In fact that is even more important to me! At night I now use an eye patch and put an ointment in my eye. My two big challenges before we even find out if the tumor was a cancer. Hopefully I will not permanently be “the sneering, one-eyed Charlie!” But if so, I’ll make the best of it! 🙂
The scabs on my lip are where the dermatologist removed growths earlier and they are just slow to heal. And of course I can’t shave on my left side with cheek and neck swollen and sore, so I’m an ugly mess! Like an old house or old car, everything breaking down at once! 🙂
Drainage Tube Removed Tomorrow
At least I have that to look forward to! Tomorrow afternoon the doctor sees me again and says he will remove the drainage tube which is a real bother. Then I think I will have one other post-op visit in another week when I will learn if cancer or not and what else we need to do. So seemingly always something else, but we are getting there – step by step.
Dinner Delivered to My House Every Afternoon
The ladies of Roca Verde have been wonderful! Delivering a “soft” food dinner each evening that will continue into next week. I’m really getting the “royal treatment” from my neighbors! And its looking like enough leftovers for more extra meals than I will likely need. This is the life of being “Retired in Costa Rica!”
Plus Prayers from Around the World!
I’m so thankful to have so many friends and family around the world who believe in prayer and have assured me they are praying for no cancer and a quick and complete recovery. Wow! I’m a fortunate person in so many ways! 🙂
Members of the ARCR (Association of Residents of Costa Rica), an organization formed to help expats get to and live better in Costa Rica get a subscription to the bimonthly magazine El Residente and I hope this link to the March/April 21 issue works for non-members! 🙂
The first main article in this issue is titled “Adventure by Chicken Bus” which is actually one chapter of a book by the same title, this chapter about the Canadian family traveling Central America while homeschooling is specifically about their efforts at helping Costa Rica save the endangered sea turtles on our east coast. A great story for nature lovers and wildlife preservers that will make you want to visit Costa Rica.
And in case you don’t know, “Chicken Bus” is the nickname for the small, rural, cheap buses (Used U.S. school buses painted bright colors) found all over Central America for cheap rural or out of the way places of travel. We do have big, modern buses in Costa Rica between major cities and towns and major tourist attractions, but these are common all over rural Central America and yes, they do carry their chickens on these buses. 🙂
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!
The El Silencio Lodge & Reserve is a very special and unique place! And I say that having spent nights in more than 45 lodges & hotels in Costa Rica. For service, food, room quality, and the natural surroundings it is definitely now in my top 3 favorite lodges and maybe even my #1 favorite! (Remember – different lodges have different priorities!) And also it is my most expensive! 🙂 But with waterfalls like La Promesa at right near your cabin, it is worth almost any price! 🙂 And of course nothing is perfect . . .
My only two complaints at checkout were that the bathroom sink drained slowly because the stopper was installed incorrectly (CR is not famous for great plumbers) and the gourmet chef who served great food served me limp, lightly cooked bacon. Bacon must be crisp in my book! 🙂 Though, in his defense, the night I asked for a well-done steak, he did that very well! 🙂 And I had not specifically asked for the bacon to be crispy! (Had I, it probably would have been! Never assume nothin’!))
I mainly walked, but they have golf carts and drivers who will pick you up anytime, day or night and take you anywhere on campus free of charge! They also have two fleets of bicycles you can use for free, with a handful actually electric! Then they have several vans to take you off-campus to outside waterfalls or other attractions like Poas Volcano, two national parks, birding trips as far as Cañon Negro included with the cost of a guide for the trip. But believe me – there’s enough to do on campus to fill a week easily and their 3 beautiful waterfalls are as good or better than the two outside ones I paid extra to see! But still glad I saw them!
With nature my focus, I don’t get a lot of hotel shots, but here are a few with a separate gallery for my room or villa shots . . .
I do not know a single person here in Costa Rica who has or has had the Coronavirus or died of it, but I keep seeing death of small businesses. The featured photo is of small shops closed in Alajuela on my trip there today. Typical of all over the country.
And this week I sadly report the permanent closing of one of my two favorite restaurants, Poco Loco (“A Little Crazy” in Spanish). He seldom had big crowds, but steady customers until the pandemic came and now there simply is not enough business (even with home delivery & “take-out” orders) to pay the expenses and he has permanently closed much to my dismay.
It was my favorite place for soup and salad (fabulous!) or almost any kind of sandwich as the best in town and he made the best Sangria in Atenas! But no more. Poco Loco is gone due people being afraid to get out of their houses now. My other favorite, Parillada Androvetto (my Friday night steak place), is still hanging on but just barely with one brother supplementing their income driving a taxi. Likewise an old favorite, Donde Bocha, is hanging on and I ate there yesterday. It’s hard for a lot of people right now. But they all keep their spirits high here and continue to say . . .
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”