The Happy Wanderer

It was my favorite song growing up, or at least while in Boy Scouts and hiking a lot, which we sang as a group then (Boy Scouts love the “Ha, ha, ha, ha” part), now I only sing when alone. 🙂

“The Happy Wanderer” (“Der fröhliche Wanderer” or “Mein Vater war ein Wandersmann”) is a popular song. The original text was written (in German of course) by Florenz Friedrich Sigismund (1791–1877). It was made famous by the Obernkirchen Children’s Choir, in Germany named Schaumburger Märchensänger. ~Wikipedia (for more info) + Lyrics below.

Off and on I threaten to write a biography of just words – stories, feelings, and challenges (unlike my current photo biographies of mostly pictures) and when done I hope to call it “The Happy Wander” which describes much of my life (even during the difficulties) and especially now being Retired in Costa Rica! Tomorrow I will tell you about my next planned wandering – it’s to a new place for me next week, but for now enjoy the lyrics of my favorite song, then go hiking! 🙂

The Happy Wanderer

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun,
So joyously it calls to me,
“Come! Join my happy song!”

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

I wave my hat to all I meet,
And they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From ev’ry green-wood tree.

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

High overhead, the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home,
But just like me, they love to sing,
As o’er the world we roam.

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back.

Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh may I always laugh and sing
Beneath God’s clear blue sky!

Chorus:
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra-
Val-de-ri–Val-de ha ha ha ha ha ha
Val-de-ri–Val-de-ra.
My knapsack on my back

Photo Galleries of my Costa Rica TRIPS (6 years of wanderings here)

Photo Galleries of Pre-Costa Rica TENNESSEE Travel (Every state park & lots more)

Photo Galleries of my Pre-Costa Rica WORLDWIDE Travel (17 countries & most U.S. states)

“Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh may I always laugh and sing
Beneath God’s clear blue sky!”

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

And a Birthday Dinner!

I got lots of attention all day yesterday but the biggie was dinner with a birthday cake and singing of Feliz Cumpleaños. Plus they decorated chair with flowers and gave me a bouquet of flowers to take back to my room in the tree tops! And I will eat more birthday cake today!

Bouquet taken back to my room.
Head Chef or Kitchen Manager posing with me.

¡Pura Vida!

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!

Hope is the thing with feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers 

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


~Emily Dickinson – 1830-1886

¡Pura Vida!

Featured photo is a Red-legged Honeycreeper I photographed at Maquenque Lodge in Boca Tapada, Costa Rica where I hope to be again in July if re-opened.   🙂    See more in my Red-legged Honeycreeper Gallery or also my bigger BIRDS Photo Gallery for many more birds. Pura vida!

Chirping

“El gorjeo” or “tweeting” or “chirping” is what many of the birds are doing every morning now and earlier than usual, before sunrise! But none of the birds are singing as much as the Clay-colored Thrush or Yigüirro it is called here (feature photo), the National Bird of Costa Rica. Yigüirros have started their pre-rain singing earlier this year, which is usually in April. This chirping is why it is the National Bird with tradition saying they are calling in the May rains or the “green season” as it is called by many here. Hopefully this earlier singing means the rains will come earlier! Listen to a recording of song   🙂   And soon the wind stops blowing which is almost constantly now. I AM READY FOR GREEN SEASON!    🙂

In one sense it is a little like “Spring” in the north, but maybe a backwards spring as we move from hot-dry-windy to daily rains, cooler temps, greenness & more flowers. It is a tropical paradise that most tourists miss because they want to avoid rain.   🙂    But most of us who live here prefer it to the “dry season.”

“Don’t let the rainy season deter your visions of outdoor adventures! This is Costa Rica’s most beautiful time of the year, when every landscape explodes in vibrant colors, with blooming flowers and blossoming fruit trees, not to mention cooler temperatures.”     ~costarica.com

 

¡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!

Park Benches Replacement?

In my continued “updating” of the progress on Atenas Central Park Renovation I noticed today that they seem to be working on the sidewalk to the church first and one side has a little concrete wall at sitting level which could easily replace all the many park benches that used to line the sidewalks. An interesting and practical change if they do it on all 8 sidewalks radiating from the center. And when vendors set up along the sidewalks during fiestas, they won’t need folding chairs behind their tables, but can sit on the wall.  🙂

I didn’t know if all sidewalks will have these walls, so I just checked on the official   Facebook Page presenting the remodeling  and sure enough they will! Like continuous park benches throughout the park to bring more people together!

And don’t forget that I have a Renovating Central Park Atenas update photo gallery with all the photos I’ve posted on this blog. You can visually see the progress, even if slow.  🙂   What was once said to be finished by Christmas 2018 will possibly be complete by Christmas 2020!   🙂

“Land forests are the coral reefs of the ocean of air.”
― Steven Magee

¡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!