This past Friday was the 15th of September, Independence Day for Costa Rica, when in 1821 it shed the colonial rule of Spain. In this small but very significant little developing country, patriotism is big and almost everyone wears red, white & blue and many decorate their houses with banners and flags. I wore my national futbol (soccer) shirt, red, white & blue! 🙂
And almost every town of any size has a parade, usually featuring their local schools, and Atenas is no exception! 🙂 I have for several years now been photographing it most years (when not traveling) with galleries for those years included in my super-gallery: PEOPLE, FIESTAS & ARTS Costa Rica. Which of course now includes a gallery for this year’s 2023 Desfile del Día de la Independencia, Atenas. And here is a sample photo from each of the 7 sub-galleries in this year’s parade gallery . . .
The new Central Park Playground has been finished and open for maybe two months and I’m just slow reporting on it. At first I reacted negatively to all the bright colors and what looks like cheap Chinese Plastic, but I think I mis interpreted! It is designed for younger Elementary School and Preschool kids and now I think it is perfect for them! And the artificial turf too! The other day I stopped by one afternoon after many kids would be out of school and it wasn’t raining and there was a lot of activity! It was fun for me to see the creativity of some kids using the space under the tree house or slide and climbing wall to gather as in their “clubhouse.” The hyper little boys had plenty to keep them busy and I noticed for older elementary kids maybe, there was a tic-tac-toe wall with changeable X’s and O’s. Clever! And as expected, the swings were the busiest. I tried not to get any closeup photos of children and their faces for their privacy, staying on the periphery for all photos. Here’s four . . .
Today, July 24 is National Cousins Dayin the United States and for those interested in family history or just family memories, it could be very important, for almost everyone has at least one cousin who keeps up with family memories and history or genealogy and then there are the many times we played together as children, almost always outdoors as most of my old photos show. And there’s a brief article on the National Days Archives site. And the feature photo at top is at a 1948 Hardgrave family reunion with me in the very center.
You may not see cousins much, but you have a lot in common. Spending Thanksgiving at “the kids table.” Avoiding the great aunt who wears too much perfume. Helping Grandpa learn to text. Because cousins don’t live with you, they probably also know a family story you haven’t heard. It’s a good day to find out. HAPPY COUSINS DAY! See my “Cousins Gallery” below, mostly from the 1940″s! 🙂
And though I have no specific cousins pages or stories, they are generally included in my Family History Pages on this website and photos in the Family History Photos Gallery. So “Hello!” out there to all my Hardgrave and Doggett cousins who actually read my blog! 🙂 I have lots of memories of us as children together and should have already written those down! Maybe I will before it is too late! 🙂
This day is part of a month-long U.S. celebration of the outdoors and the benefit of spending more time there. Picnic with your family at a local park. Go kayaking or paddle boarding. Ride on a bike trail you have never explored. Whatever you do, do it outdoors.
This weird holiday may be related to an old custom. In the early 1900s, putting a piece of bedsheet or nightshirt in the larder (food-storage cupboard) was supposed to bring plentiful food. After refrigerators replaced larders, the tradition shifted to pillows. Give it a try, and perhaps the fridge will be stocked with your favorite foods.
And as I expected, it is very modern or contemporary and seems to be geared to preschool and younger primary school kids. My feature shot at top shows a young couple holding up their child to see the installation. Below is a shot of the workers installing the new play things and artificial turf which I guess is better than the gravel base installed earlier. 🙂 I made these shots yesterday and expect it to be several days before it is open for the kids to play on when I will make another cell phone shot of an active playground. 🙂 For new followers of this blog, this one area of the Atenas Central Park is just one of many very slow steps in this small town’s renovating the Central Park here for 3 or 4 years now. You can see all of my Park Renovation photos in the photo gallery: Remodeling Central Park Atenas.
Another fun and silly holiday from an article in the Washington Post — April 12 – National Grilled Cheese Day! And maybe I will make my favorite combination of Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwich (just like Mom used to make)! 🙂
Half the fun of eating a grilled cheese is slowly pulling apart the halves to watch strings of the gooey cheese stretch and finally break. You may appreciate that cheesy reveal even more if you make it yourself. Ask an adult to help you master this lunchtime classic.
A fun holiday for school kids only if you can convince your teachers! 🙂 I discovered in the Washington Post article about fun and silly holidays . . . March 6 – No Homework Day!
At this point in the school year, you may be tired of homework. Share this holiday with your teachers, and they may give you a one-day breakto play soccer with friends or finish the book you started on Read Across America Day, March 2. (We also learned of a No Homework Day in May, but don’t count on getting two of these.) 🙂 I’ll try it on my Spanish teacher! 🙂
Meet the Tayra
And to continue my usual emphasis on nature and wildlife, here’s a link to another Tico Times Wildlife Article “Meet the Tayra” which is Costa Rica’s version of a tropical weasel. The linked article has more of the Guanacaste Camera Trap Videos from which the above pix came.
This celebration is part of someone’s idea to stretch Valentine’s Day into a week. No need to buy flowers or candy for this day, thankfully. Just offer friends and family something that has been scientifically shown to lift their mood: a hug.
New Trip Blog Posts Start Tonight!
Also TODAY is the day that I fly on a little Sansa Airlines 12 passenger plane to one of my favorite wilderness places in Costa Rica, Tortuguero National Park, as mentioned yesterday. So most likely you will get a post from there tonight, assuming that their internet WiFi is as good at this most expensive lodge in Tortuguero as they claims it is. 🙂 Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
So expect a week or more of photos and comments from what travel magazines call “The Amazon of Costa Rica” and one of the few places in the country where travelers have actually seen a Jaguar (from a boat) though they are mostly nocturnal like all the wild cats here. Plus I expect a lot of birds, some butterflies and several other animals, along with the tropical rainforest and rivers/canals and of course some great Caribbean food and 4 good nights of sleep! 🙂
The park staff has finished everything for the playground quadrant except installing the new playground equipment which someone who knows says will be here in January. 🙂 Here’s the area of the playground with swings and monkey bars (or whatever) to go on that gravel area seen from two directions in these two photos.
REPORT ON THE RECENT ART SHOW: I sold more than a thousand dollars worth of photos when all was tabulated, much better than I expected! And I was even more pleased with how many local readers of my blog I have, with many showing up at the art show, and buying something and asking for my autograph in one of my photo books! It is nice to have your work appreciated, even when it is a hobby in retirement! 🙂