Tope Tonight

Washing a Horse in the street . . .
That, cowboy hats and boots, means it is “Tope Time!”
A tope is a horse parade & this year at night, 1st in 3 years!

It is suppose to be about horses, but is mostly about partying & beer!
Lots of beer!

The last time Atenas had a night Tope was three years ago (before I came) and the story is they trashed downtown Atenas so much they had to take a 3-year break. The later it gets the drunker people get I’ve been told and it is not pretty. 

I had an early dinner downtown with Anthony and got just these two “pre-Tope” shots before we walked back home. I am not participating in the Tope tonight. I went to the afternoon Tope in Mercedes two years ago and it was pretty bad in the daylight! So I chose not to participate tonight. But I am hearing the music, noise, band, and an announcer from my house. I may sleep with ear plugs tonight. 
And an announcement about Anthony, my artist friend who lives next door: He is moving back to the states the end of May. He cannot get the art supplies and support he needs here and is missing some of the opportunities he will have living in Chicago. He is retired from a corporate job, but does not want to retire from being a professional artist which he can simply do better in the states! (And he never learned to speak Spanish!) Living in Costa Rica is not for everyone! Pura vida!
And on top of that I just learned today that my landlord has put his house or compound up for sale of which my house is a part. I have to wait and see who buys it to know what happens to me. Possibly nothing will change. Or the new owner could want my house as a guest house or “Mother-in-law Apartment.”  Either way, life goes on.  🙂  And maybe some new adventures.  🙂  ¡Tenga Paz!

Stay tuned for the continuing saga of “Retired in Costa Rica.” Every day an adventure!

ZooAVE and Zoo of a Dinner

We visited Zoo Ave in La Garita today with Abe and Nancy Docktar and then joined Jean and Carolyn for dinner tonight at a local gringo restaurant with a Nashville Band (of retired gringos here) called “FlashBack” playing oldies. An Interesting day!
Flash Back plays for dancing at Augostos Restaurant tonight
Scarlet Macaw at Zoo Ave
Keel-billed Toucan at Zoo Ave
An Injured Toucan rescued and nursed to health
Green Iguana, one of many around the park
Wild Spectacled Owl visiting Zoo Ave
Striped Owl at Zoo Ave
Crested Owl at Zoo Ave
Emu at Zoo Ave
Great Curassow Male at Zoo Ave
Great Curassow Female at Zoo Ave
Squirrel Monkey at Zoo Ave
Spider Monkey at Zoo Ave
Helicopter Damselfly at Zoo Ave
Baird’s Tapir or Central American Tapir at Zoo Ave

Zoo animals are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild.~Jack Hanna

IMPORTANT NOTE: In 2020 this facility has been “rebranded” to eliminate the zoo concept and is now called Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center.

Follow Reagan’s Blog for his view of his visit here!

¡Pura Vida!

Christmas Eve Anniversary! One Year in Costa Rica!

Merry Christmas from my Terrace where I added Poinsettias to a potted palm.
A cell phone selfie.

And the poinsettias, well, they grow in some people’s yards! Year around!
And most of the people are loving and Christ-like year around. Always Christmas!
And I have been here a full year on Christmas Eve!
It is home now! Pura Vida!

AND TONIGHT I DID WHAT I WAS TOO SICK TO DO LAST CHRISTMAS EVE! I went to the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and Lord’s Supper at Iglesia Biblica:

It started with some from the Spanish congregation singing two Christmas Songs in Spanish. Beautiful!
Then with the help of screens, we sang Christmas Carols, most with one verse in English & repeated in Spanish. Nice!
In between the carols the English pastor read portions of the Christmas story from Luke.

We ended with candle-lighting and singing of Silent Night.
Then to fellowship hall for punch and Christmas Cookies plus visiting.
I decided tonight to start attending regularly again, even though I still don’t care for praise bands
or all the Wednesday night Bible studies (too complicated to explain).
But I need the Christian fellowship!

And now that I am home it is noisy with Christmas eve celebrations around town. There are two competing concerts or singers plus fireworks. And last night it was a soccer match celebration. These are partying people here! Any excuse will work for a party!  🙂

I Wish You A Happy Christmas!

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
‘Maybe Christmas’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store…
Maybe Christmas perhaps… means a little bit more!'”
– Dr. Seuss

A Happy Birthday in Atenas!

One portion of the sidewalk I cleaned off. A community project, not the city!

I decided a few days ago I wanted to start a new tradition for each birthday: Do a good deed, service project, or something that helps other people. One I have been wanting to do is contribute to the neighborhood community-built sidewalk on the road leading to my subdivision. So this morning after breakfast I spent an hour and a half, before getting too hot, shoveling gravel and dirt and sweeping parts of the sidewalk. In short, someone left a pile of gravel for the concrete on top of the sidewalk so all of us who use it have to walk around it into the street. So the first thing I did was use my very small garden shovel to move the pile of gravel off the sidewalk onto the shoulder of the road. Hard work! Then another longer section of the sidewalk has a dirt wall along side it that is crumbling onto the sidewalk with each rain or bump of anything into the wall. I started shoveling a drainage ditch between the walk and wall and putting the dirt in the street which will be removed when they come to repave and widen the street. Then I swept the sidewalk and parts of the street. By 8:30 it was very hot with no clouds and I had to quit. But I plan to go back and finish the job! Lots of women and children and old people use this sidewalk and I want to help make it safe and usable!


Birthday Present  to myself is two handmade wooden rocking chairs.
That’s sillas mecedoras in Spanish
Sometimes you just don’t want to sit at the table!
Now I’m looking for a matching small table to sit drinks, etc. on.
That will be mesa pequeña in Spanish. No luck yesterday.


For weeks now I’ve been eating most all my meals at home which are generally better, healthier, but also more work! Today I went for a late lunch to La Carreta Restaurant and had a Casado with a new meat for me, a shredded beef called “Carne Mechada” which is Venezuelan in origin. His English translation of “Meat Loaf” on menu is not a good translation! It was very good and I recommend it! Also walked by the office supply store across from the Central Market to get a printer ink cartridge. 

David & Corrina with their full-time assistant at Su Espacio plus helpers Jason and Roni walked to my house at about 6:35 PM and they later found in my baby book that I was born at 6:35 PM – spooky huh? They are all young and full of life and brought everything for my feliz Cumpleaños party. It was a blast! And Jason even brought a gift, a Pura Vida coffee mug! My Tico friends are my best friends here and I will always remember this birthday party!

And tomorrow morning my neighbor Anthony is taking me to Kay’s Gringo Postres for and American Style Breakfast after we walk over the big hill here at Roca Verde! So you see I am getting plenty of attention on my birthday! And being 75 doesn’t feel any different from being 74! Pura Vida! Really now, how can life get any better? A simply great 75th birthday! 

A Day in Atenas Costa Rica

Waking up to Yellow Bells blooming out my bedroom window
Hacienda La Jacaranda, Atenas, Costa Rica
Yes, I really could see this while lying in my bed this morning!
Same tree where I made some of those earlier bird photos.

Kevin and I eat breakfast on top of a mountain and photograph the vista at
La Casita del Cafe, Atenas, Costa Rica
Pacific Ocean is on the far horizon
Monumento del Boyero – National Monument to Oxcart Drivers
Atenas, Costa Rica
(Yeah, it was cloudy, but not a drop of rain yet!)
“Adios Snowbirds” dinner party before Canadians and Europeans return north
Hacienda La Jacaranda, Atenas, Costa Rica 

Tomorrow we tour of Atenas’ El Toledo Coffee Farm and eat lunch in a family farm home there.

Poolside Birthday Party/Cookout!

Two or our La Jacaranda residents had birthdays this week, a 62 year-old lady and a 2 year-old little boy. It included a little pinata for the boy and a potluck cookout for all! 
Gary from Quebec grilled 1 inch thick pork chops and sausages! Delicious!

The rest of us brought side dishes.

Our Tico couple brought the birthday cake. an old family recipe for a
Caramel Cake – One of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted! Yum!