Anyway, here I am. But before I go any further, I'd like to officially dedicate this Blog Monday to our sweet, fun, sassy girl who is eight years old today. Happy Birthday, Sadie!
You will all be relieved to know that during the busy month of March, we were able to check off several items from our "need to do in Costa Rica" list. First up was a much anticipated trip out of hot and dusty Nosara and into the mountains of Costa Rica. To the cloud forests of Monteverde. My mother was here visiting at the time and since I am so busy I asked her to guest blog about it. Here is the experience in her words (you can tell it's my mom because I've never used the word "redolent" - though now I wish I had):
When I first heard the name, Monteverde cloud forest, it called to me as a magical place full of birds and tall trees.Lovely, no? It was, indeed, a magical place. And cold. Very very cold. Perhaps we have turned into complete wimps after seven months of living here, but even after donning all the layers we had we were still cold. I think we even complained about it. Probably too much. The other part my mom left out was how during one of our cold muddy walks, we came across a skull. Then a femur. Then a jawbone. Then another jawbone. Coyote? Panther? Wild boar? Well maybe it was just a small horse, but either way the girl had to bring it all back to our cabin. We eventually convinced her to leave the femur and a jawbone in the forest, but predictably the skull is now prominently displayed on the ledge outside our kitchen window. Keeping us safe. Or something. Definitely redolent with symbolism.
And then last weekend, my family and I drove off on the hot, dry, dusty, bumpy road out of Nosara, with a short stretch of real paved smooth highway where we all opened our windows and breathed, on up the mountainous, misty, cool and also very bumpy road leading to Monteverde.
Once there, we stayed in a sweet small casita on a finca run by a biologist and his family who were also preserving the property with several trails running through meadows, forests and streams. Each morning we donned our rain gear and walked to breakfast down the road, through a bit of woods and onto the cow path. Said cow path was very muddy and redolent of the 40 dairy cows who walked there at least four times a day. One afternoon, Sadie and I actually watched all 40 cows come home on that same muddy path.
I took a walk by myself on the paths and predictably losing my way, slipped, slogged and slid on the muddy paths and fell into the stream. Muddy, wet but not hurt.
Earlier that day, we had a delightful misty walk in the very beautiful Santa Elena reserve. Fauna, as in birds, were few (said to be taking shelter from the rain) but the flora, large trees, vines, bright red flowers, were magnificent. I had found my magical place.
Our other way cool stop in Monteverde was "The Jewels of the Rainforest Collection" - bugs, bugs and bugs. The world's largest private collection of insects, displayed in unusual and beautiful ways. The pictures don't do the displays justice, but I hope you get the general idea.
Another activity we checked off our list while my mom was here was kayaking up the Rio Nosara. Actually the Rio Nosara and the Rio Montana. The trip was led by biologist extraordinaire, Felipe, and it was fabulous. The rivers were both so peaceful and beautiful, bordered on both sides by thick jungle plants, through the rich and redolent mangrove forests.
We saw 28 different species of birds, a nice present for my mother particularly after very few sightings in Monteverde (it was too cold and rainy there, apparently). We kayaked for over two hours, getting out once to stretch our legs and take a short path to the beautiful and completely empty Playa Nosara (unreachable by road). Felipe promises to send pictures of some of the best bird sightings, but I just couldn't let another Blog Monday go by without posting, so I'll have to add his photos later.
Finally, while Grandma was here we checked off another Nosara "first" that we hadn't even put on our list! One evening Ian and I got a little bit cleaned up and went out to dinner by ourselves. Yes, that's the first time in 7 months - the only other time we've been out at night without the girl was for a school fundraiser. We had Italian food (including a wine redolent of an actual drinkable beverage) while Grandma and Sadie cooked together in the casita, took a night swim and had a sleepover. In the morning, Sadie came knocking on the front door of the main house, toothbrush in her hand and "Beary Bear" tucked under her arm, ready to make our morning coffee as usual.
Thanks for the visit, Mom!