Costa Rica: In & Around Jaco

April 20, 2018
Back around the start of the New Year we decided to plan a trip with Bob and Hugh. We wanted to go somewhere new to each of us, ultimately, we decided on Costa Rica. We flew out on Saturday and we'd pick them up at the San Jose airport on Monday afternoon. Our United flight via Houston was delayed, which gave us an opportunity to sample some BBQ.

Once we arrived into San Jose, we quickly made our way through immigration and customs lines. We traveled light with only two underseat carry-ons which certainly made the process more smooth. We rented a 4WD SUV from Adobe and we were please to easily find them outside after exiting the airport. We took a shuttle to the rental location offsite. Our rental experience was exceptional from start to finish. There were no hoops or hidden fees, no timeshare hawkers, just friendly customer service and a brand spanking new SsangYong Korando. Short of the Hilux, we got in Nicaragua, this was the nicest rental we've had to date.

Jaco is the closest major beachside destination to the capital city of San Jose, so it was an easy choice for our first two nights. We actually stayed just outside the city at Punta Leona. It's a resort community built around a nature reserve that is home to the most beautiful beach in the area, Playa Blanca. It was also one of the most crowded. We didn't stay long and opted to explore the coast line from Tarcoles to the north and Playa Hermosa to the south.

Our room at Punta Leona was basic with all the necessary comforts. Breakfast was included, there was a spread of fruits and typical Costa Rica fare like rice and beans. Plus, eggs any way you wanted them. The first night, we also ate dinner at the restaurant which only served a buffet for $22 per person. It was definitely overpriced, but we were fond of the cheese empanadas so all was not lost.

Playa Hermosa was the sleepiest beach we visited, we grabbed a small bite at a beachfront restaurant. Frank enjoyed a protein smoothie and I had a yummy fish ceviche with tostones. I also ordered a fruity cocktail with pineapple, coconut, tequila and rum. Frank's worst nightmare, but I found it delicious.

Bars and restaurants line the main drag through Jaco. We checked out the resort casino named Croc's. During the day, no table games were open; it was strictly slots. Frank made a donation and we checked out the beach. Warnings are posted everywhere for riptides and the black sand was quite hot. People were few and far between.

We checked out the marina at Los Suenos in search of a cigar bar that no longer exists. Costa Rica is not smoker friendly so it's no surprise it shuttered. The lack of cigarette smoke was a welcome surprise, but Frank missed relaxing with a fat stogie. The beach at Playa Herradura was bustling with locals. They had Sunday funday down pat - they strung hammocks between the trees and fired up grills (repurposed tire rims) and made a day of it.

Tarcoles is mainly known for its croc tours since it's home to one of the world's largest crocodile populations. The river there is the most polluted in Costa Rica. We only drove through the town along the coast and crossed the bridge over the river on our way into Jaco.

Just in time for sunset we found a cozy spot on Playa Pita to soak up the days final rays. Frank was finally able to enjoy his long awaited cigar.

We concluded our day with dinner at Los Chanchitos, it's located on the main highway just minutes from Punta Leona. It was one of our more reasonably priced meals and it was quite tasty too. Fifty bucks bought us guacamole, tortilla soup and grilled seabass. Plus, a margarita, Imperial cerveza and 12 year Flor de Cana.


April 18, 2018

Lucky in Love & More

April 17, 2018
Today marks our 14th wedding anniversary and on April 1st Frank and I celebrated twenty-one years together. I feel like the slot machine has lined up a big win.

Lately, life has felt like we've been living it on fast forward. There are simply not enough hours in the day. We just returned from Costa Rica and we have trips planned to San Diego and Cabo. So, life isn't slowing down any time soon.

And how about those Knights?! The playoffs have already had us on the edge of the seat. We should've expected that, though; the regular season was one nail biter after another. We didn't attend any playoff games, yet, because we were traveling, but hopefully soon! Seeing them clinch their division and secure their playoff spot in the inaugural season was pretty amazing -- anything more, will purely be astonishing.

Playoffs in our Inaugural Season - Wow!

March 28, 2018

Play Ball

March 15, 2018
After a two year hiatus I finally made it back to Phoenix for Spring Training. I love going to the games, it is so laid back and intimate. Plus, the weather is typically gorgeous and it serves as a wonderful way to welcome spring. This year, though, we were met with rain and cooler temps. But, by the White Sox game on Sunday, it was warm and sunny - all was right in the world.

We saw three games in two days. We first caught the Rangers and A's game in Surprise on Saturday afternoon. We bought tickets shortly before the game. We sat in the corner along the third baseline. It offered a neat perspective. There was no one in front of us and I appreciated the lack of distractions. A few innings into the game, it started to sprinkle, much to the surprise to everyone including the weathermen - the sprinkle became a drizzle and turned into a full on shower and the rain fell until about 7:30pm; and then, scattered showers continued into the wee hours of the morning. I've never experienced weather in Phoenix, I come to expect warmth and sunshine. I was a little stunned to see it so wet and dreary.

We grabbed an early dinner with friends at Little Sicily. The company and the pizza were a delight. We weren't sure if the rain was going to let up for the evening game at Camelback Ranch; our friend was able to get us prime seats for Dodgers vs. the Cubs so we remained hopeful it would clear up. At game time, it was still wet, but thankfully, the rain stopped shortly after we found our seats. Which were amazing! I have never sat directly behind home plate before so it was a treat. There was no question whether pitches were balls or strikes. It was my first Cubs game. I've only ever seen them play the White Sox in the crosstown series previously. With Arrieta gone, and Kris Bryant not in attendance there was no eye candy to distract me. I was happy to root for the Dodgers, and even more thrilled when they won.

Sunday, we made a stop at Rudy's Bar-B-Que. Yes, that tasty chain from Texas. We had the sausage, moist brisket and smoked turkey. It was the real deal. Oh, man. So good! It's nice to know we can get a fix within a few hours drive of home.

The White Sox won against the Diamondbacks. We had awesome seats again, this time, third row just to the left of the Sox dugout. It's been so long since I've seen White Sox baseball, only one player remains on the team that I have seen play before, Jose Abreau. They looked great out there. So good, in fact, I think it was the first win we witnessed in Spring Training since we started going ten years ago.

Until next time! Go Sox!

Game Day Ready

March 14, 2018

Bags are Packed...

March 8, 2018
And my teeth are on the move! It's rather impressive how much movement I have experienced in two months time. Besides the gap that continues to grow larger, I have more space between the rest of my upper teeth. Flossing has never been easier. My two front teeth no longer tilt inward. Last month, I started adjusting all three screws in my appliance. Encouraging movement in multiple directions is definitely more uncomfortable, but the tenderness and headache usually only last a day or two.

Eating is only a problem after my weekly adjustments. Once the discomfort fades I can eat without much trouble. Greens still give me trouble and I haven't had steak or anything tough. I try to keep my carbohydrate intake at a minimum, but rice and potatoes remain a large part of my diet. Despite that, I'm losing weight so I'll take it. More recently I've noticed that as my upper jaw expands I'm having more trouble biting into things since my lower jaw sits so far back and under; it's a struggle to have the teeth meet. My next in office adjustment is next week so I'm anxious to learn how much longer I'll have that obstacle. I fear it will be quite sometime, since I was told I'd wear this appliance for six months. I'm hopeful for less time, however.

After being sick all of January, I felt better for a couple days and then my sickness returned with a vengeance. The flu was going around like something fierce so I wanted to stay out of the quick care clinics, I opted for another virtual visit. This time, I was given antibiotics. I didn't start feeling better until day 7 after starting the Zpack. I was sick for six weeks. I still have post nasal drip and a cough that lingers. I don't know if it's allergies, now, or what. In any case, I am very much looking forward to feeling well again.

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