Sunday, September 2, 2012

Friends along the way

Part of the grandma trips has been the requirement that the kids and I journal...every day, to document our trip. Usually, along with the Christmas gift of the trip, comes a journal and this year...Kenz' journal was organized with sections which were: friends along the way; foods; experiences and then, just empty journal pages for daily documentation. We enjoyed the "friends along the way" section because it required us to think about the specific people we met each day and how they affected our trip and experiences. So, meet some of the people we met and enjoyed:

Our plane seats were aisle and window on each segment and I wondered why I would have booked something so odd...took me a bit to remember that that middle seat should have been Heidi's, my daughter and Kenz' mom, who could not go because of an accident. But on our first flight from Detroit to Dallas, we met Teri, a woman with a home in LaFortuna, Costa Rica and who referred us to her friend's restaurant. Her friend, Garrapata (which means tick in Spanish) would end up being a great resource. His nickname, tick, came about because of his birthmark on his face. And he used that name as the name of his restaurant where we ate twice.

 Our view from Arenal Palace Hotel and the papaya tree outside of our room.

Garrapata, or Israel, as his parents named him, welcomed us warmly and gave me a complimentary serving of ceviche. We had looked at a couple of hotels earlier before eating lunch at Garrapata's place but I asked him if he had a suggestion of where we might stay. He sent us to his friend, Selim, a Costa Rican named after an Arab friend of his father's. Garrapata called Selim, got us a splendid rate and a wonderful room which we immediately took. Selim treated us like family and introduced us to his family. Our room was splendid...overlooking Arenal Volcano and I would stay again at his place without hesitation.

We went hiking on Arenal and went into town to eat lunch and dinner but, Selim served us our breakfasts, cooking our eggs himself. Fresh fruit...great coffee. One lunch, we ate at Just Good Food, a restaurant owned by an American, Mike Conroy. As it turns out, Mike had recently been bullriding with Garrapata and was surprised to learn that we knew Israel's real name...he did not know it!

Another day, we met Jose, who was trying to drum up business for Punto Fusion, a restaurant owned by a young couple from Medellin, Colombia. We ate there, pictured above, and enjoyed that experience alot. Kenz especially found it distracting that the young owner was breast feeding her child with breast bared.

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