07 September 2012

Day-to-day living in the land of Pura Vida!

I came up with a new saying recently that sort of sums up our day-to-day life:  "Retirado es la belleza de hacer lo que quieras, o nada en absoluto!" For our non-Spanish speaking family and friends, it translates to:  "Retired is the beauty of doing whatever you want, or nothing at all!"

I thought it might be fun to tell you a little about our daily life around here. So here goes...

We share Casa Wegner with our two boyz, Randy the Jack Russell Terrorist and Gustavo (The Gooooose for short) the rescued street dog. Gooooose holds no pedigree that we know of, but our best guess is a Miniature Pinscher with some Terrier thrown in for good measure. Da boyz, as they are affectionately referred to, let us live here in exchange for their daily rations, treats, and, or course, the daily belly rub and ear scratching.

Da boyz, get to do exactly as they please, whether it's running across the roof top of the casa, or fighting each other over a stick. 

Chasing black stripped iguanas is a favorite pastime and once they spot one in a wood pile, they will be entertained for hours, and sometimes days, long after the iguana has made it's escape over the wall.  Randy now has 2 kills to his name.  We always try to rescue the iguana and remove him from the property, but we are not always successful.  Here is one of Randy's victims.

Our days start early around here.  The birds start singing around 4:30 AM, but we have an obnoxious rooster in the neighborhood that is known to start his cock-a-doodle-do as early as 3 AM.  If we ever find out exactly where he lives we might have us some nice chicken and dumplings one of these days.

We also have a neighborhood boy we have dubbed, "Calvin", that loves to get up with the birds.  Calvin is an annoying child that whines about everything and he is incapable of speaking unless it is in an ear-piercing shriek.  He screams at his mom, she screams back, et cetera.... you get the picture.

Generally, we love waking up to the birds, but then there is the local coo coo bird with a two note song.  This little guy is out to make me crazy and now John has taken to imitating him for fun.  Ha ha, I've got a nightstand full of a lifetime supply of excellent ear plugs in defense of Calvin and coo coo bird.

About 5:30 AM, the Goooose wakes up and jumps on the bed ready to play with Randy.  Randy will growl at him until he settles back down and then we all try to get another hour of sleep.  When we are ready to face another day in paradise, John makes the coffee, while I whip up something yummy for breakfast.  We almost always enjoy breakfast on the Terraza, looking out over the valley below and mountain range in the distance.  There is this one mountain formation call the "Sleeping Woman".  She can be seen from all over the central valley on a clear day.  From where we sit, it is easy to visualize her hair, eyelids & lashes, neck, breasts and belly.

After breakfast, it's time to catch up with what is going on in the rest of the world, so we log on to the laptops to read the news, answer email and catch up with family and friends on Facebook.  Later on, John will water the potted plants on the Terraza and in the Rancho and let the daily afternoon rains take care of the rest of the trees, bushes and lawn.  Right now, in the middle of the rainy season, everything is a luscious green.

Around 10 AM, I start planning something for our main meal for lunchtime.  We eat very light in the evening, maybe some fruit & cheese, or a lighter portion of lunch leftovers.

Friday mornings we try to make it to the local Feria del Agricultor (Farmers' Market) in the park in front of the local high school.  They start selling fresh fruits and veggies around 7 AM and start taking down the stalls around noon.  You can find all sort of goodies here, including fresh meat, poultry, eggs and cheese.  We even have a couple of expats selling baked goods, like sweet rolls, coffee cakes, and breads.  We usually spend between $25 - $30 U.S. for a week worth of fruit and veggies.  We buy our meats at a local meat market or at the super market, Coopeatenas, and we make all of our baked goods at home.

About once a month we make a morning trip into the big city to stock up on staples and bulk food items at PriceSmart, Costa Rica's version of Costco or Sam's Club.

We eat out at a restaurant at least once a week and frequently meet with friends to share a meal. Lately we've started playing a fun card game with two other couples that are also retired expats from the States.

We continue to work around the house, doing some landscaping, unpacking, and still re-arranging things. This is an ongoing process and we are in no hurry to finish. After all, we are retired.

Lazy afternoons may find us in a hammock reading our Kindles, or snoozing, with the ever persistent coo coo singing, and Calvin's whining adding to our background noise.

We have a plaza in front of our place where soccer games are played regularly. There are community teams playing excellent soccer on Sundays, and then there are pick-up games all during the week in the late afternoons. Some of these Ticos are very talented. I really love it when the dads are out there kicking the ball around with their little kids. It is so much better than having the kids parked in front of the universal babysitter; a TV or PC.

Compared to the geocaching we did when we were in the old country, we've done very little of this fun outdoor activity since we've been here. Now, with the construction of the new casa finished, we will be able to get out and about a lot more. There is still much of this country I want to show John, so I expect we will be taking more and more day trips with a little geocaching thrown in for good measure.

Life is good, and we are so glad we made the move to Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!


  1. And, a couple of days a week are cleaning days (but of course, that doesn't involve me.)

    Since the stone oven has been finished, we can count on one hand the number of loaves of commercial bread we have bought.
    Everything is made and baked at home now.

    There are usually at least two trips into town per week for mail, money, hooch, food, hardware & other necessities.

    The jardineros come every other Thursday because SOMEBODY gave away his lawnmower and string trimmer. This means the doggie toys need to be picked up out of the grass and Da Boyz corraled and chained so they don't bite anybody.

    Trash pickup is twice a week and it needs to be dragged out to the edge of the road.

    Oops. Makin me tired. Must be time for a nap.

  2. Sounds lovely! Can't wait to try some baked goods from that oven! And don't worry about your "Calvin." When I visit I'll give him my stone-cold teacher face. He'll simmer down.

  3. Sounds like a great life and so glad you are enjoying a well deserved retirement.

    Where in Atenas are you two? I am staying in the first house on the right by the pool sign on the south end of town. That's as close as I can describe my location..... Pura vida!