Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pacific Ocean at Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica

This morning we headed to the beach closest to us, that happens to be just outside the entrance and exit of the Manuel Antonio National Park. The beaches here are not the same as the ones that I visit regularly on the Eastern Coast of the United States. The water seems to be so much more powerful with higher waves. It is quite beautiful and there is a lovely breeze always blowing, and very tranquil for me!!
Here is the video of beach that I took this morning:

There are all kinds of interesting things going on here in this area......guides trying to convince you to take their tour into Manuel Antonio, vendors selling all kinds of souvenirs to snow cones on the beach and those trying to convince you to try parasailing, jet skiing or surfing!!
Beach at Manuel Antonio Park, Espadrilla de Playa

Surfboards for rent

Snow cone vendor

Souvenir shops across the street

Guides directing you where to park cars for the national park

Guy surfing

Para sailing

Fun to watch all the activities at the beach!! Last full day in Costa Rica and going to miss the laid back attitude! Love the slogan that you find on everything in Costa Rica, Pure Vida, and I'm adopting it!! Literal translation is "Pure Life", but the locals use it in all kinds of ways!!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Costa Rica-Hanging Bridges Tour

The next tour that we took was called the Hanging Bridges Tour. It is through more rainforest and there are  quite a few bridges that are suspended above the rainforest that give you excellent views of the rain forest. We learned about many plants, trees, and animals.
Saw some really  different animals and plants, here are a few pictures:
Angelo-our guide

This is what the bridges look like
Jim and I standing on one of the hanging bridges

Jeff, Kay, myself, and Jim on the highest bridge
The four of us at the waterfall!!

Kay at the base of this HUGE tree!
Looking up at the rest of the tree!
4 of us at the Arenal Dam and Lake!

 Very cool tour and I learned a lot! Another great day in Costa Rica!!
There is this one other palm tree that I just have to show you........
Yes Folks....the name of this is the Penis Palm!!!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Arenal Hike

Monday in Costa Rica we visited the Arenal Volcano. We started the hike with a learning lesson by Carlos our guide/naturalist! We learned quite a bit about Arenal which is not the same as many of the volcanos we are familiar with back in the states. It is considered a compound volcano, which I will not go into explanation here, but suffice it to say that is what makes it different!!
Halfway through our hike it began pouring rain....of course it is the rainy season here in the summer time.  We all got quite wet, but were were going to the Tabacon Hot Springs Spa and Resort where we were getting into the hot springs. The Tabacon river runs by the volcano and used to be cool water, but the water heated with the active volcano, so it changed the area quite a bit!! This resort is one of the most romantic places there is! We ate at the restaurant afterwards with a great buffet!! 
Another great day in Costa Rica!!
All of us at the Arenal Volcano

Carlos our guide with our lesson

Stopping for a lesson on the trail

Orchid growing on tree

Short little stop during the down pour

More Soon!!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Zip Lining

Have you ever been zip lining?? If you have not, you must do it somewhere, sometime!!
I do believe I came to the best place in the world to try it out!! We went ziplining at the EcoGlide Park in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. There are 14 platforms with 12 lines and right smack in the middle is something called the Tarzan was scary, but thrilling at the same time.


Here is a picture of the guys catching me for that swing

And a couple more of the zip lining 

 This has been one of the most fun things I've ever done!! Jim, Kay, and Jeff ALL did it!! It was amazing for all of us! Won't do anything like the Tarzan Swing again (no bungee jumping) but will definitely go zip lining again!!!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Costa Rica

Wow....what a beautiful country! Costa Rica is beautiful and reminds me so much of South Florida where I lived the first years of my life, except everything is larger!!
This is the Arenal Country Inn where we are staying. This is the sign out front looking at the volcano that is covered by the clouds

Beautiful flowers are everywhere. This one is right outside our cottage!

This is the view from our cottages looking at the volcano. If you look just above the clouds you can see the tip of the volcano.

Another view of the volcano, from our pool where that beautiful Travelers Palm is located!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

It's another Father's Day and dad is still here with us, although he is not long for this world. He is living in a nursing facility, if you call that living. He has good days and bad days and unfortunately I don't see daddy often because I don't live in Inverness anymore.
Daddy was a strong man of faith, stubborn, generous to a fault, and a loving husband, father, and grandfather! I realize that I'm speaking in past tense, however he is still here with us. The man I go and visit now is not the same man.....yes he has some of the memories, but not all of them. It's interesting the ones that come out on occasion when he is willing to have a conversation! 
The stroke daddy had back in 2009 the Monday after Easter has definitely changed his brain. I love this man more than he will ever know or realize and love that he is still around. However taking care of aging parents is quite difficult and can be challenging at times. We have definitely been through a lot as a family in this past year. Many of my friends are now dealing with their aged parents, much like our family has had to deal with daddy in his situation.
But some of the neat stuff is when we all get together and visit and then daddy does really unexpected things!! 
So as I'm in Costa Rica right now (yes I really am!!), and can't be with daddy I wanted him to know that I am remembering him on this Father's Day and want to thank him for being such a GREAT DAD!!!!
I love you and miss you!!

Dad on wedding day with mom, Betty!

Daddy playing choo choo train with Cheryl and Kay and Jimmy was playing piano with mom!
Family shot at Daddy's 80th birthday celebration with 4 children and their spouses and dad's 2nd wife, Barbara.

Daddy with the grandkids on the day of his 80th birthday celebration, April 2009.

Love this picture of daddy because it has his crooked smile and it was a quite genuine smile. This was cropped from a picture of mommy and daddy on their last cruise Oh how they enjoyed cruising!


"Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time."
~Leo Buscaglia~

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Fitness Pal

How many of us try to lose weight and just manage to mangle or sabotage our best efforts???
I've found a new app for my iphone and it's online as well that has become a huge help! Would like to share with all of my friends and see if it might work for you!
It's called My Fitness Pal and it is customized for you based on the information that you put into your profile. It also allows you to check out the calories of many of your favorite dishes at restaurants and of course this may cause you to re-think your dinner choice!! I am trying to be much more conscience of the choices I am making and really trying NOT to sabotage my efforts at exercise and eating healthy and NOT too much!
They also have have all kinds of cool things is a button that I would like to share:

MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter
It updates with every bit of information you put into your computer or your phone. If you are like me and have your phone with you everywhere it's very easy to check on things or view the calories of that entree you were considering!
Now that I'm retired I can go on my walks every morning without having to worry about getting ready to go into work. This also helping me as well!!
Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!!!