Search This Blog

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Costa Rica - 2014

Another busy Christmas has come and gone and soon it will be New Year's Eve and a brand new year will be ushered in.

This year, we once again participated in the Angel Tree program. We selected two "angels" from the tree and bought each one a gift. Our angels were a two year old girl and a nine year old boy. I enjoyed buying the presents that they had asked for. I believe there were around 350 children who received gifts and had a great time at the party where Santa made an appearance and handed out all the presents. We have to thank all the volunteers who help make it happen.

Our Angel gifts.
For Christmas decorations, I hung our usual twinkle lights on the hedge. I have a new decoration this year - a tree made from driftwood and decorated with more twinkle lights. It was made by our friend, neighbor and fellow artist, Pete Snyder. He collects the driftwood from the beaches around Jaco and fashions them into trees.
Pete's driftwood tree.

Our friends, Diane and John, invited us to their house on December 21 for Christmas dinner with turkey and all the fixings. Great food and great friends.

Cocktails before dinner at Diane and John's house.


The following day saw us heading to a Christmas party at our neighbor's house. These same super neighbors served us another Christmas dinner on December 25th. It was a sit down dinner, served outside by the pool. All the tables were beautifully decorated. There was turkey, a ham, all kinds of different side dishes, yummy desserts.

Merry Christmas from us, Diana and Lance!

It's so amazing to be celebrating Christmas in a tropical country. It is something I wish everyone could experience at least once.

Feliz Navidad, everyone.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ladies' Lunch

While the informal (infamous?) Atenas Mens Club was busy at their blackjack tournament last week, some Vista Atenas ladies decided to go out for lunch.

We went to Mar & Tierra (sea and land) seafood Restaurant and Bar, not far at all from Vista Atenas on ruta 3. This is the former Bar Rill. Their phone number is 2446-5733. I could not find a web page for them but they are on Facebook. I don't know their hours of operation but they certainly do lunch and dinner.

The restaurant has been renovated and looks nice and open.

Now to the menu - I was only interested in seafood so didn't look at anything else. I ended up ordering the seafood soup and was very glad I did. Big bowl, the broth was excellent. Swimming in this little sea of goodness were clams, shrimp, fish and squid. Lots of cilantro, which I like. When I got near the end, I was sorely tempted to just tip the bowl up and finish off the last of the broth.

Next time we are there, I'm going for the garlic seafood. Total bill for me: six thousand colones or about $12.00 and that included an iced tea. In Vancouver, the bill would have been double and that's just for lunch.

I'm not sure exactly what the other Vista Atenas ladies ordered but I do know the portions were very generous.

Just one teeny tiny caveat: the delivery to the table of all the dishes was not consistent. Some of us were almost finished when others were just getting their order. Maybe this will improve as time goes by. We were a fairly large lunch table that they weren't expecting. Book ahead is good advice and only fair to the restaurant.

Here are some photos:


Lots of orchids!


Vista Atenas Senoras


Friday, December 12, 2014

"Come To Costa Rica"

The latest campaign video produced for The Costa Rican Tourism Board - Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) is here.

It is part of a promotion which is being introduced through various media in Canada and the United States. The ICT itself has an informative multilingual (English, Spanish, French German) website here.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Progress of a Painting

Just for something a bit different, I've decided to photographically chart the progress of a painting I have just started.

The size is 36" x 36", gallery wrapped canvas and I am using acrylic paints. My photo reference is courtesy of Gloria Navarro McDermott.

In this first photo, I have finished my basic background. Ultimately, the bottom third will become grass and I may or may not retain the sky the way it is now. I have roughed in my Brahma bovine with white chalk.


This morning, I started painting the shape of the animal. There is going to be a second cow on the left - just the head peeking out from the grass. Once I am happy with the layout, I'll start adding more paint by glazing and adding layer after layer of paint to achieve depth, shadows and light.

To see more of my horse and cattle art (and sometimes dogs and cats) go here.



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pete's Driftwood Christmas Trees

Our neighbor, Pete, can create just about anything out of anything. This Christmas season, he is making driftwood Christmas trees, complete with white or colored lights (your choice).

He finds the driftwood on the Pacific beaches of Costa Rica, cuts them to size, mounts them and adds the lights. The one I have is size small, but you can get bigger sizes if you want.

Close up of the driftwood.

Here is what my driftwood tree looks like - moving through the light sequences.

The tree looks really great at night. For me, this is very special - it's made by our neighbor and using Costa Rican wood.