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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Breakfast - Los Jardines Vivero y Café, Grecia

We have eaten lunch a couple of times at this restaurant. I did a blog post on our experience and you can read it here.

Los Jardines is located just east of the Courts of Justice and beside Super Rosvil Liceo (a grocery store) in Grecia. They have a large parking lot with a nice attendant. 

Today we decided to try Los Jardines’ breakfast menu. Breakfast is served on Saturday and Sunday only and they open at 0930.

For drinks, I ordered the limonada hierba buena and for Lance it was the bebida mora con leche. Translation: lemonade/limeade with mint/herbs and a smoothie made with mora and milk. Mora is a sort of blackberry that grows here. 

The setting of this restaurant is so much fun …. lots and lots of plants, kitschy decorations (Volkswagen Beetle, a British phone booth for example). A group of expats meets here for lunch every Wednesday.

And now our breakfasts:

Mine - huevos rancheros with natilla, toast and gallo pinto.

Lance’s choice - ham and cheese omelette, gallo pinto and toast with herbed cream cheese.

My huevos rancheros was excellent. Loaded with red peppers and onions, spicy sauce, the egg is on the bottom of the bowl. Natilla is sour cream (in the small black bowl). 

Lance said his omelette was very good and just the right size. As usual, we can never finish the pinto - it’s so filling.

We’ll definitely return again for breakfast and lunch. There’s an attached garden shop but I haven’t been in it.

Click on images to enlarge.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Doka Estate Costa Rica Coffee Tour and Plantation

The other day we decided to visit the Doka Estate Coffee Plantation on the slopes of Poás volcano. They offer five different tours and we chose the “coffee tour experience”.

Here’s is our driving route to Doka:

As you can see, it is not very far from where we live.


Different brewed coffees to sample while waiting for tour to begin.



We had an excellent bilingual tour guide and our group was small. We started out at an area where coffee plants were growing and learned about seeds, coffee varieties, growing habits and coffee production. We then moved on to the processing plant.

Old wooden oxcart.

Beans drying in the sun.

Different types of processed beans.

We purchased coffee in the gift shop.

There’s a butterfly garden.

Excellent chocolate.

The Doka estate is a full production coffee plantation and has been in operation since 1940. As residents who are surrounded by coffee and sugar cane fields, we found this tour so informative and well done. The setting is beautiful.

Click on images to enlarge.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Eyes on Costa Rica and Weather Records - February 2023

 During February, visits to this blog were received from the following 9 countries:

From the time I started to keep track, the total number of countries and non-independent jurisdictions from which visits have been received remains at 135. Of this number, 13 are non-independent (e.g. the Caribbean Netherlands from which 3 visits have been received).


The following is a summary of weather for the month in the area where we live:

Not much to observe. February with zero measured rainfall was only a tidbit less than that measured in January. High and low temperatures were in the usual range in the area where we live. Several days were accompanied by relatively high winds but all of this is the norm during the "dry season".

As an aside, I might note that we felt a 5.2 magnitude earthquake in the early morning of February 18. It was nowhere near serious. But, it was enough to wake us up.

Click on images to enlarge.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Lunch - Wilfredo’s Restaurante

Yesterday, February 26, we decided to try out a relatively newly opened restaurant - Wilfredo’s. It’s located a short drive from our house:

We arrived just after noon. There was ample parking at the back of the restaurant with a parking guy on site to organize everyone.

There were inside and outside areas. The one we chose was outside but under cover. Other outdoor areas were tables covered with umbrellas but they were open to radiant heat from the sun reflecting off patio areas.

The outside areas were nicely decorated, with plants and some whimsical decorating touches. 

For drinks I ordered white wine and Lance ordered an Imperial beer (popular in Costa Rica).

I had a hankering for a hamburger and I ordered the house burger - hamburguesa de la casa

My burger …. it was enormous, and with fries!

Lance decided on the pollo crispy asiático.

Neither of us could finish our large meals so we asked for take-away (para llevar). 

We’ll be going back here … the food is really good and it’s so close to our house.

Click on images to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Luna Goes Home

This is Luna:

Photo reference: Jorge Alejandro Calderon Solis

Luna was the beloved pet of our Atenas friends, Jorge and Fabiola. We were invited to their wedding in Atenas on November 30, 2013 and you can read about it here.

Jorge recently approached me asking if I could do a memorial portrait of Luna and of course I said yes. His photo reference was excellent, very sharp and clear. This is really important when doing animal portraits in order to capture the essence of the animal.

Here is my painting:

© 2023 Diana F. Miskell

This was done with acrylic paint on wrapped canvas, 14”x18”. I’m not a fan of busy backgrounds because they take away from the subject matter in my opinion. Here I have included a plain background with colours that tie in with the colours of Luna’s fur.

Today we met Jorge and Fabiola at Kay’s Cafe Pequeña Polonia in Atenas to deliver the painting to them. I think they were very happy. Luna was very important to them and we all know how hard it is when we lose our pets.

And they brought us a gift:

… with this lovely card attached:

“Thank you Diana and Lance for such a beautiful detail.”

This is why I enjoy painting so much.

Click on images to enlarge.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Lunch - Reverdecer, Grecia

February 12 was the date of our first wedding anniversary. February 14 was our second wedding anniversary and you can read all about that wedding here and here.

So on the 12th, we decided to try the newly opened restaurant Reverdecer, situated across from the Catholic church, on ruta 118. Translated from Spanish to English, “reverdecer” means “to revive”, “reawaken”.

Reverdecer does not seem to have a web or Facebook page at this time but you can search for it on Google Maps and see reviews, photos, etc.

There is an outdoor patio and ample indoor seating with refreshing breezes blowing through. Service was prompt. We started with sangrias:

This is one page of the menu. Sorry it is somewhat blurry.

For me - creamy tomato soup with croutons and parmesan cheese. 

Lance’s order was pinchos camarón or shrimp skewers. The skewers also had onions and pineapple. I tasted a shrimp - nice and juicy. Excellent fries.

Since this was an anniversary lunch, I wanted a dessert - maceta de prestiño con helados was my choice. In English - prestiño pot with ice cream. You can read all about prestiños here. It was delicious. Feast your eyes on it:

Since February 12 fell on a Sunday, Lance suggested we get there before noon because once  the church services were over, there might be a lineup to get into the restaurant. Sure enough, more people started to arrive. 

I found their operating hours - closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Saturday: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm. Sunday: 10:00am to 8:00 pm. Wednesday and Thursday: Noon to 9:00 pm. Friday: Noon to 11:00 pm. They have breakfast items on the menu if you want to eat a bit later.

We will definitely be returning to try more of the menu items. 

Click on images to enlarge.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Eyes on Costa Rica and Weather Records - January 2023

 During January, visits to this blog were received from the following 11 countries:

From the time I started to keep track, the total number of countries and non-independent jurisdictions from which visits have been received remains at 135. Of this number, 13 are non-independent (e.g. Isle of Man).


The following is a summary of weather for the month in the area where we live:

Winter in Costa Rica is referred to as the "dry season" because, as the name implies, there is generally very little rain. January this year was no exception. However, in the Central Valley away from the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, the dry season is also marked by frequent cold early morning temperatures. At least, they "feel" cold by Costa Rican standards.

We have now spent several years and accompanying "dry seasons" living in the Central Valley (originally the Atenas region and now the Grecia region). Gradually, we have become fully acclimatized. Now, anything less than 60°F (15.6°C) "feels" cold. When we lived in Canada, such a temperature in January would have been considered absolutely balmy. No jacket or sweater needed.

The 55.0°F (12.8°C) temperature that we encountered this January was, with one exception, the coldest low temperature that we have experienced during all our time in Costa Rica - it felt very cold. The exception was on a day trip to the Irazú volcano. At the summit over 11,000 feet (3300+ meters), the morning temperature was in the mid 40's (6-9°C).

Click on images to enlarge.