Two New Restaurants in Atenas

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:

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“New” Chairs

Okay . . . not really new, but like new to me as my 5 year old rockers on the terrace had become faded by the sun to nearly white in color and the old cushions were dirty, ugly and too small. I threw the old cushions away and hired one of my very skilled gardeners to sand (even in the little grooves of the carvings) and re-varnish the two chairs on his own time (he had earlier painted 3 of my flower pots much to my satisfaction). I am very pleased with his work on these two matching chairs and their “new” look now.  🙂


Sometimes when you are “quarantined at home” the little things make a big difference!   🙂   Social distancing from my house in tropical Costa Rica . . .

I enjoy the small things.

~Michael Buble


¡Pura Vida!

See also the photo galleries of my house:

P.S.   I’m writing posts 2 or 3 days ahead now, but decided last night to add this postscript note that I hope to get up at 5:30 this morning and go walking for birds again on Calle Nueva, so look for that birds post in 2 or 3 days! A friend walked it yesterday morning and saw a parrot and a trogon. Hope I’m as lucky!   🙂    I am so blessed! Retired in Costa Rica!

New Flowerpots

I replaced the ugly yellow & orange pots with these more attractive ones.
And the little round one on left is new with assorted greenery & a peace lily.
The second pot is ornamental grass I cut back for the transplanting,
It grows back quick here! Behind post is a bougainvillea that was in plastic! 

The greenery by the rocking chairs
looks much better in new pot!

And the living room plant looks
better in the new pot also! I think.

My newest indoor plant is this palm in
my bedroom with philodendron ivy at base.

I may have told you that my artist friend Anthony has returned from 9 months of traveling in Spain and Morocco and has moved into the house next door that was occupied by Don & Lynda who moved back to Oregon. Before traveling, Anthony lived on the other side of me in someone else’s casita (a small house most big house owners have for guests or rental.). He is the one who made my garden art bird sculpture. He really decorates well with a lot of plants and that motivated me to spruce mine up a little.

We just had a really good, slow, steady rain this afternoon for an hour or so. Garden loves it!

New Blog in Español Added: Aprender Español en Atenas

No blog here yesterday. I am setting up another blog in Español because as my September 2 blog said, I really need to be using what I am learning with multiple Spanish learning efforts. Since I live alone and write a lot, it makes sense to write more in Spanish since I am not talking with people all day every day. It will be difficult and short for awhile, but hopefully will help my language learning! The title is Aprender Español en Atenas, linked here for your language experience. At least I won’t be so long-winded in a language I’m learning!  🙂

In my second post there I refers to a local book some university students put together on culture and language as the first in a series. This one on music, Dances of the Sun and Moon. I just reviewed it for Goodreads and basically a good idea for teens and young adults, but I will not be continuing the series. See my review for why.

My “Target Audience” for this English blog has been and will continue to be mainly friends and family in the United States, though stats show it is being read all over the world by about 150-200 persons a post!  🙂  It is about my retirement in Costa Rica and the other main audience is people who are thinking about retiring here which is a growing audience and by people already retired here!  🙂

The new Spanish blog is for Spanish-speakers, particularly in Costa Rica, whom I hope will help me in my journey to learn the language. It will NOT be a translation of this blog or visa-verso!

This English blog will continue to be what used to be my “Adventures” blog and “Nature” blog all in one. I’m including some “Spiritual” in this blog but may still restart or continue my old Spiritual Blog, “His Spirit Blog” since it is a more targeted subject and thus maybe audience. Not sure yet.

Pura Vida!

New Frog Species Discovered – My Earth Day Post

New Frog Species Discovered in Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica.
Photo from

In a time when many frog species are going extinct because of fungus and diseases around the world, it is encouraging that scientists have discovered a new species of glass frog in Costa Rica. Hyalinobatrachium dianae was discovered in the Talamanca mountains of Costa Rica. April, 2015.  That is one of my favorite places in southern Costa Rica where I have twice photographed the Resplendent Quetzal from both Sevegre Mountain Lodge and Trogon Lodge. These glass frogs can be tiny and are known for transluscent skin on their undersides, showing their internal organs. Neat! The only glass frog I have photographed was not this cool looking. He was photographed last month in Manuel Antonio National Park. Unfortunately neither photo shows the underside of the frog.

For the ones who read this regularly you are probably ready for a break! I will not have internet connection immediately in the new house since I’m responsible for my own utilities. It is not likely to happen fast! If it is longer than a week, I’ll report back from an internet cafe maybe.  🙂

Moving to a New House

Realtor photo from deck looking at similar neighbor house.

As the unofficial marketing director for Hacienda La Jacaranda (I write about it so much >g<), it may shock you that I am moving away from it. But from the first week when I realized there was some poor construction and poorer maintenance here, I have kept my eyes open for another place, preferably a house. I’ve looked at three other older ones that just were not right for me. Last week I talked with Andrew, a local Realtor, about the possibility again, as a last resort before the rainy season begins and the delivery of my shipped boxes. He pulled up this listing on his laptop and I pretty much knew immediately that it was the one, but scheduled a look inside, evaluated the pros and cons of moving, and decided last night this is the right move. If you’re into that kind of detailed evaluations, you can see my pros and cons chart below – never fool-proof but always helpful to me. Here from the Realtor web listing is the “Virtual Tour” which I don’t know how to embed, so just click the linked words below:

“Full Screen” looks best 🙂

And when I tried to copy photos from the listing, they were too small to share here except the one above, a view of my only closest neighbor from my kitchen window. On my tour we didn’t have time for me to make photos. Of course you will get photos from me later. 🙂
We start paperwork Monday, meet with owner Tuesday to sign the contract, and if all works as planned I will move in 23 April, one day before the next month’s rent is due here, and of course I will lose the deposit by not giving the impractical two-month notice. I’ve talked with the new manager at La Jacaranda and he is not angry, just disappointed. We will stay friends. I like him and I love the grounds here and may come back for photos. It is really the main thing I will miss, all the big trees with birds and monkeys! Just not my mold allergies in the musty, moldy bathrooms that will require new drain plumbing to fix, a big expensive job. 
Saturday I walked over to the house to check mileages to different places with my pedometer and try to get a cell phone photo, but of course the house gate was locked and I could only shoot from the street. This shows the large balcony deck with a killer view, outdoor dining table and chairs where I expect to eat most meals. Use the virtual tour to see inside the house and views of the deck. 
Cell Phone view from outside my locked gate. (No clicker yet!)
Notice the dry season look compared to green season look at top.

Pros & Cons of Moving to the House

1. New, better construction 1. Cost will increase up to $150 with utilities
2. Appears to be better management 2. Poor parking space but I have no car
3. Screens on sliding glass doors to deck 3. Not as many big trees near house as apartments and probably not as many birds & monkeys, but don’t know that yet
4. Bigger deck as extension of living/dining with second dining table outside 4. It is at beginning of complex, near gate, but on three visits, very little traffic
5. Ceiling fans in LR, BR, Office/Guest Room 5. One bathroom (but, single guy, few visitors)
6. No plumbing mold, mildew issues like my apartment will always have (1 of my allergies) 6. No air conditioning 
7. More privacy
8. Larger, more space
9. Office with desk and nice couch/futon bed
10. Kitchen better equipped, nicer
11. Washer AND Dryer in big laundry room with two deep sinks
12. Beautifully decorated! But I can add some of my art. I love their art which goes with mine. Modern nature theme.
13. Equal or better panoramic view
14. Nicer, larger bedroom (& office/guest rm)
15. Nicer, larger bathroom
16. No A/C will save on electricity cost
17. Near entrance gate helps on walking distances and it is actually 2/10 mile closer to Central Park than La Jacaranda, about same distance to grocery store
18. I can plant flowers outside & have more room for potted plants than at apartment
19. I can more safely ride a bicycle from this house and hope to rent one first, to see how it works before buying one
20. The hills are less steep than between apartment and town for walking or biking
21. Best security with guards at entrance gate and patrols 24/7, plus alarm system in house and separate gate to my cluster of 3 houses
22. He will add carport if I get a car

TMI?  Maybe I share too much information, but this blog is partly to help others considering a move to Costa Rica and full honesty can be the best help. I know that such blogs helped me before my move.

And at first, I would never have considered a move to a gated community of probably half expats, but my little nest for writing, a photography & travel base, and rest needs to be allergy-free and comfortable. This is more than I had ever hoped for and I could stay really long term here, though the contract is for just two years. We’ll see.

I try not to publish two posts on the same day – oh well – its done!