Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 22: Wednesday - Back in the good ol' USA!

Mom: Well, we're back! Today, we had a nice breakfast at the hotel, then the Italian hotel owner drove us himself to the airport--he was a crazy driver! We got on plane #1, and flew back to FL via Ft. Lauderdale. Luciano got a present from the Spirit pilot--an AIR MAP that he used to navigate home! Giovanni is bored and says he can't wait to get home. I personally am ready to see Dad, and not be a single-parent any longer! We will board plane #2 to Tampa, but not soon enough. PS--anyone planning to buy airport food in their future should realize that prices are 5x's as much as usual, and should plan ahead accordingly! I feel like I've been mugged, twice! Ciao, ciao!!!

This is a picture of the mountain view outside the San Jose/Alajuela Airport. Yes, the clouds seem to touch the mountaintops!

Here we are on the plane en route to Florida. Costa Rica - Pura Vida! We will really miss it!

And of course, the best part of coming home is seeing DAD!

Day 21: On the road again! ¡Hasta pronto, Sámara!

Here we are saying goodbye to our next-door-neighbors at the apts. That dog is Manchita (Spotty), and she likes to chew on things, like Mom's beachmat, purse and Giovanni's fingers!

Mom: Well, after finding out that the bus a 1/2 hr away was full and had no room, we had to pay a taxi DOUBLE to take us to a city that was an hour away to catch THAT bus to San José! So, after a 2-hr wait in the "outside" bus terminal (playing UNO of course), we were on our way. And, just like the last one, the a/c worked for about 5 minutes, and the rest of the trip was broken. Hello, sweaty Siracusa's!

We arrived at Hotel Villa Dolce, was very nice & big. But, since it is winter here and we are not on the beach anymore, it was COLD! (Well, upper 60s, low 70s and rainy.) After a wonderful take-out pizza dinner, we cozied up in the room, fell asleep and dreamed of happily arriving home tomorrow! Dave will tell you I am always anxious to get home from any country I visit, but other than missing him MUCHíSIMO, I actually don't want to leave! Costa Rica definitely is PURA VIDA & maravilloso.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 20: Monday-- Last day in Beautiful Sámara

Mom: We're a little sad, as we know we are leaving tomorrow! Our last day in Sámara was perfect! Sunny for beginning of day, rained (cooled down) in late day we chilled at the beach with our new CA friends, and by evening, we chilled out with our new Sámara friend, Anthony.
This is a picture of the "Laundry Service" truck. Notice the size of it! (Yes, Luciano is only about 4 feet tall!)

Here's Genevieve and Giovanni playing in the hot tub at the Villas Kalimba pool.

Here's Luciano pretending to be napping on the rocks!

Fortunately, but unfortunately (as this is the end of our trip), we found a wonderful panaderia that makes AWESOME, to-die-for empanadas! We had them for lunch and for dinner. ¡Qué sabrosas! The boys say they don't want to leave, but they really do miss their dad! Only 2 more days!

Luciano: I think that Costa Rica is cool because the beaches have big waves. They are as big as my brother, Giovanni. He is 5 years old. I liked the waves because they were so big, and it’s fun jumping the big waves. The water was really refreshing, but warm. Even when it was cloudy out, the water was still warm. There’s lots of sticks that wash up onto the beach, and then they go into the water, and then the waves push them back onto shore, and it keeps going over and over again. I got hit by a couple sticks, and it kind of hurt.

We met two friends at the CREAR Camp in Costa Rica. Their names were Dane and Genevieve. They had a little brother named Zeke, who was 3 years old. And their mom’s name was Amy. Their dad is named Luke. We had play-dates at the beach with them. One day at the beach, Dane and Zeke found this log, and then the next day, they started painting the wall with sand (and then started fighting with the sand.) And I joined. And then my mom put me in a time-out for throwing wet sand-balls at each other. But then we found these 2 logs, and we started getting on them and tried to hide from the water, because the logs were HUGE. So the water could not make it up to us when we were standing on them. And then the logs wiggled, because the ocean was trying to move them away from shore. Our parents thought that was not a good idea because they thought we would fall and hurt ourselves. But then I found this tree stuck in the sand but a part of it just came out of the sand. So we got on it, and we started hiding from the water again, but this tree did not move. But the fun part we figured out was when the water splashes off it, and it goes up on the log, and it’s fun, because it feels good when it hits us.

Genevieve and Dane had a pool at their house-villa, and we played there a lot. It had a waterfall. Miss Amy made us PB&J sandwiches and gave us piña that Mom and Giovanni ate. We were sad because Dane got sick on our last play-date together. They know how to surf, and one of the days we were at the beach, me & Giovanni got a boogieboard to use. Giovanni actually even borrowed Genevieve’s. Genevieve is fun because she & I made up a great song that was called, “Mr. Blackberry has the Blues.” You can see the video here:

I liked the chocolate ice cream at Coco’s. We would have cones together with our friends (G & D & Z) almost every day! Costa Rica is a place with mountains, volcanoes, tropical rainforests, zoos, buses, and beaches with big waves and crabs. I am sad that I am leaving Costa Rica.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sun: Beach during the Day, Monsoon at night!

Mom: Well, we're winding down our stay in Samara, and I'm pretty sure the boys will be missing it here a lot. Today, we walked to the beach closest to our apt. by Cangrejal. As the tide comes in, basically the beach disappears. As you can see, we had to put our stuff up there on the "palm tree island."

The three of us had lots of fun jumping waves, but we decided to get moving as the tide was really coming in. The boys spent the afternoon hanging out with Anthony, while I worked on my UF coursework. We ventured out to dinner during a "monsoon," and when we came back an hour later, our road was one foot under water! Anthony's dad literally carried the boys across it! I had flip flops on, so I was able to wade through! Now I understand why they call it rainy season down here!
Gio: That's why they call it the rainforest in Costa Rica! (Mom told me that Guanacaste, where we are, is actually DRY forest!) We met & pet 3 doggies at the restaurant. I also met (& hugged) Carolina & Mario's abuelita. We had lots of fun with Anthony today. I'm excited to go home to FL soon for 2 reasons: I miss my daddy, and I want to get new people for Lego Star Wars Wii.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Our Exercise Routine: lots of walking!

Mom: We walk over a 1/2 mile to get to downtown. These pictures are views closest to our apt., probably the first 5 minutes of our walk. we cross a little bridge over a stream every day, and each day the boys want to go down there!

Across that giant horse and cow pasture is the beach!

Friday: Day at the Beach!

Mom: Finally, the sun came out again, and we went to the beach to enjoy! We had a very nice lunch over at the Taylor's casita, went home, came back to teach my last 2 classes, and then everyone came over to our tiny apt for dinner. The kids had fun sharing their electronics (surprise, surprise!)

Gio: At the beach yesterday, Mom rented me a boogieboard. I surfed! A lot of waves took me down, cause I had the boogieboard, and the boogieboard didn't do really good (sic) with the waves. I also borrowed Genevieve's boogieboard because it was easier.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Video Project

Mom: Well, the reason we primarily came to Costa Rica was to help those less fortunate than us, namely to "bridge the digital divide." As an assignment for my UF course, I needed to create an original educational video. Here's what I have come up with so far. Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 14: Tuesday July 6



Mom: Here's a picture of the "older kids" group, to whom I teach technology daily. As usual, we went to Coco's afterwards for our daily ice cream cone, and then hung out in the hammock. Clumsy me, I fell out of the hammock trying to get into it, and Luciano will gladly re-enact the slow-motion version of the instant replay! The little green guy in the other picture kindly visited our next door neighbors' apt., who were eager to have him leave! I thought he was cool (just not inside our homes!)

Day 13: Monday, July 5 -- Howler Monkey video from Saturday

Here we are hanging out in the hamaca at Coco's, our favorite ice-cream place!

Here we are in our favorite spot in the apartment, watching our cartoons, completely en español! Mom is thankful for the little break!

Here we are with Anthony at the CREAR DAY CAMP at El Torito. We are playing a very fun game called Conejo, Conejera--basically Bunny in the Bunny Hole!

Back outside our apt., at Anthony's house, we spotted a Howler Monkey (Mono Congo) eating. Here's a video:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Days 11 - 12: More fun!

Mom: Unfortunately, but fortunately, we have been having so much fun that we have not had time to write! We went shopping for a birthday present for the boys' new friend, and had time to stop for a quick ice cream treat. Lu: On Saturday, we went to my friend, Anthony's birthday party. I liked it--it was fantastica! We had a rice and chicken & chips meal, and marshmallow cake. Anthony says that the best part of his party was the gifts! He got a new soccerball, and we played lots more. We gave him a bouncy ball & ping-pong paddles. Gio: We played Ring Toss, Musical Chairs (Luciano won!), lots of soccer (I scored 2 goals against big kids!), and we helped break a pinata.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 10: Pop Pop Tony leaves for Alajuela

Gio: On our way to school today, we ran into "3-car traffic." We learned how to make a VOKI in Mom's class today. I made a turtle/tortuga voki from a Frankenstein. He did not have glasses, just his only hat. I changed his nose and pretended it was his eyes. He wears a helmet he can see through.

Lu: Today we played the game Uno a lot, especially with our new friends, Antony and Jason from across the street.

Vocabulario Nuevo











Day 9: Visit to Hotel Leyenda

Gio: We went to the hotel to swim and eat. I had a ham & cheese sandwich. It was RICO (tasty)! I also tried 2 BATIDOS (smoothies) and my favorite was the Red Fruit one. At the outside bar, they had Foosball, and Mom & I played against Luciano & Pop Pop. We won 6 - 4!
Lu: Last night, we went to Dona Mayela's friend's house who has a small restaurant on their porch. There we met a little puppy (mini doberman pinscher) named PRECIOSA! She was friendly and we liked chasing her the whole time. She licked us on the nose, and there were 3 of her puppies in a cage. They were cute.

Mom: At that restaurant, we had typical Costa Rican food, that included rice, salad, and grilled chicken and pork. We had a ice-cream & jello dessert. Giovanni of course liked it the best.

Day 8: Too much Shopping!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 5: Sunny Day

Lu: I plan to do nothing today--just kidding! I want to go swimming in the pool, and JUMP WAVES. (I love to copy Pop Pop when he said, "this is my FIFTH sugar!" when he drank his CAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Gio: I slept really well last night, and snuck into Pop Pop's bed. (He thought I was Luciano until I started talking!) I had a really weird dream when I was asking him to do the other Wii game. I want to jump waves today. Today I had fried HUEVOS for breakfast, and I had CAFE with 2 sugars. I'm planning today that I want to eat my FIFTH sugar!!!! Mom: In the late afternoon, we ventured over to La Selva Zoological & Rehabilitation Park, owned by a Spanish woman and Italian man. There we & the kids saw everything up close and personal: vampire bats, a sloth, an anteater, a toucan, several wild "cats", a gator, a croc, a possum, iguanas, 90 turtles, a porcupine, and lots of parrots.