Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Driftwood Forts in Playa Grande

This is not a year round event, but the unusual amount of driftwood on the beach called out to Tom...FORT. A definite kid at heart. Tom's Burton Lumber background gave him an edge in selecting just the right variety of building material. :)

The thatched roof gave the kiddos a little shade from the pure blue skies. Well thought out design.


I added the sheet to really bring the outdoors in by accentuating the colors of the day, lol. Actually, it was just a little extra shade.


Enjoyed by all!

Go Brody!

The Truth About Snakes and Machetes

News Flash: I am afraid of snakes. I thought they didn't bother me at all, until I found one slithering over the picture frame resting on my nightstand. I was just minding my own business, and WHAM, there he was. Looking so innocent. I had no idea if he (or she for that matter) was a pesky garden snake, or a real life '1 step' and your dead snake. I thought I was scared, oh no, you should have seen Reyna, our maid. She was out of her mind with terror. My first mistake was giving her the machete. I thought she would confidently approach the teeny creature and rid it of it's precious little head. I mean, she's a local and these guys are everywhere. No, no. Instead she proceeded to scream at the snake, and believe me, if screaming scared them at all, this snake would have died of fear. She proceeded to wildly hack up everything in sight, including my picture frame. She broke the glass on it completely with the machete, her aim was horrendous. I had to take over, "look Reyna, I want to get rid of the snake, but my picture frames are a precious commodity. It's not like there is an IKEA around every corner here!" I retrieved the machete, and sent her onto a chair to hide. I wielded the weapon with the grace of a Costa Rican lawn mower, approached the snake and chopped off it's head in one foul swoop. It sounds pretty brave until you see how pitiful and small the snake was. Posting pics kind of ruins the story, or at least it makes me look as lame as the poor little snake!

New Years at Guacamaya - Glamping (glamorous camping)

Relaxing, rejuvenating, hilarious, adventurous, new, fun, exciting, delicious, creepy, amazing, glamorous, and wonderful are just a few of the many adjectives I could use to describe one of the most fantastic weeks of my life! Thanks to our friends Martyn and Debi, for the invite that started off the New Year right!
  • Relaxing - Because it is a completely private beach where we enjoyed total solitude and serenity in one of the most picturesque back drops you could imagine, while 'camping' in 5 star safari tents fully equipped with electricity, air conditioning, pedestal bathtubs, down comforters, and so much more. Hammocks - enough said.
  • Rejuvenating - Because everyone took turns cooking amazing food, and NOBODY had to clean it up! The beach came with it's own staff. I took a daily hot bath overlooking the ocean, or showered in a private outdoor shower surrounded by foliage and flowers. B to the E - autiful.
  • Hilarious - Because we were surrounded by good friends and lots of kiddos, which always makes for a few good laughs! Add a few fireworks, bonfires, motor bikes, tractors, horses, kayaks, paddle boards, Manta Rays as big as a bus, gigantic Tuna fish that are paralyzed by the 'cold' water, and lice...well, there was more than one hilarious moment!
  • Adventurous - In every way. Catching the paralyzed Tuna fish by hand. Paddling with theManta rays (even one as big as a BUS), turtles, jelly fish, and general sea life. Making the biggest bonfires known to my children, surprised a plane didn't think we were signalling! Illegal fireworks, and the scars to prove it. Bio luminescent Dino flagellates - Night swimming in the glowing surf. Jet Skiing. Killing a few scorpions fall under the adventure category for sure, especially if you are Amy and you are terrified of the small, dangerous creatures. Of course, there isn't much out there more adventurous than Yoga on a Paddle Board. Namaste.
  • New - The whole week was filled with a bunch of firsts. Elle riding away with the love of her life on a horse. Actually feeling good when I run. Being the first one awake and making breakfast (that's a biggie). Watching a sunset on a paddle board. Saying 'Hello' to a sea turtle on my kayak. Paddling through thousands of Jelly Fish. Eating too much - LOL, that's not a first, but the food was amazing!
  • Fun - because I didn't want the week to end. Family, friends, good food, sunshine, and nature's best playground. Couldn't ask for more.
  • Exciting - Jake would say the most exciting part of his trip was when the dirt bike broke down in Flamingo while he was buying our lice treatment shampoo, and he hitched a ride back with 'save the day Christian'. That sounds pretty darn exciting! Brody would say - riding on a big tractor/digger to collect massive amounts of wood for the biggest bonfire ever. Elle would say - Riding down the beach on a horse. Brooklyn would say -riding down the beach on Daddy's moto. I would say - definitely the seat turtle being an inch from my paddle. Tom would say - that I can't say ;)
  • Delicious - Because we ate the most gourmet and indulgent food the entire trip, which is part of why Martyn coined the term 'glamping'. Turkey, Tuna, Ribbbbbbbbs, Lobster,mmmmmmmmmmm. Fresh fruit smoothies, and homemade desserts, all overlooking the ocean. Seriously people.
  • Creepy - Because it goes without saying that LICE is pretty much the creepiest thing that could ever be! Anybody with hair had it, but Brooklyn and I had it worst. We had unknowingly had it for a few weeks, eek. Thanks to Reyna, one of the property's care takers, for picking them out of our hair one by one. Yuck! Thousands of Hermit Crabs could fall under the category of creepy or adventurous, but with the numbers they were traveling in...I'm going with creepy.
  • Glamourous - Because when I was washing out the lice, I was doing it in my private outdoor shower, surrounded by beautiful foliage and listening to the waves. Also, because when I laid my tired head down at night, I enjoyed the comfort of a down pillow and soft clean sheets. Not the usual 'comforts' of camping.
  • Amazing - The experience over all was so enjoyable. Thanks to our great friends Martyn and Debi, Jake and Amy, and all the kids and crew for such a great week!!!
  • Wonderful - So much so, that I'll never forget!

Guacamaya Beach

We brought in 2011 with great friends!

We can see you Jake!

Favorite play spot for the kiddos = quite a few bonked heads and a couple of good wind-knocked-out-of-you's.

Fully Equipped with all the luxuries of home....not my home, but the home I envision in my dreams, lol.

The inside of our tent...hence Martyn coined the term, "glamping." Well done Martyn.

View from 'tent' patio...

Moto on the Beach

Brooklyn and Jake and unknown in back, out for a paddle.

Those are the wing tips of a Manta ray. There were dozens of them, although I never saw the one 'as big as a bus'.

(to the tune of the old Foldger's Coffee Commerical) The best part of waking up....is paddling with the scary sea life that might eat you or sting you or be as big as a bus...

Lip Sync and Dancing to bring in 2011~ She's her mother's daughter.

Part of the personal fireworks display provided by Jake and Martyn, no expenses spared. Also very illegal, yahoo!

Happy New Year! While we didn't actually stay up for the moment 2010 ended and 2011 began, I woke up in 2011 in one of the most spectacular settings on earth. Feliz Ano Nuevo!

The guys after they came back in from their sunset paddle. Laughing because they are lying? Or just in shock.

"We saw a Manta ray that was so big, it was as big as a bus!"

Check out the goose egg on her forehead....she's always got one as an accessory.

Everything you need...

Our gracious hosts, Martyn and Debi. We love you guys!

Elle loves Ticos, and they love her! Here she is getting her surprise ride, which she loved.

Guys on there way back in from collecting wood for the bonfire. Guys just love toys.

Tom and Brody

Lice treatment number 1, only 4 more to follow!

We tricked the kids into the lice treatment with a 'spa day' theme. Elle really went with it.

The Tuna that was caught with bare hands...

This is Elle as she watches Tom and Martyn carry the fish out of the water. She looks slightly bewildered.

Then the cleaning. Boys like doing gross stuff. Girls like watching it....

The girls watching the Tuna get dissected.

The were disgusted.

Bracing each other out of pure shock, but they couldn't stop watching!

Coming in off the jetski with the fish.

Nothing like a little zen to start your day...

Hermit crabs by the thousands, you could hear the buggers!