Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dharma

How do we know when we are on the correct universal path? Well, we just are. Our dharma is our path and we chose it before we started this life. I have a difficult time wrapping my tiny little brain around this ridiculously huge concept sometimes - especially when I have a choice to make and I don't know how to make it. Isn't it comforting to know that even if we make the wrong choice, we'll still be on our path? Comforting and disturbing all at the same time, since we often suffer, dislike, grunt, and groan, as human beings, and all the while we've chosen this very path! I find that I'm enjoying the yoga philosophy more than the asanas (postures) themselves lately. Did I really choose to struggle with teaching asanas, and if so, why? Well, my questions will be revealed eventually, I just need to stay focused on the task at hand and be diligent in my studies and practice. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A New Path to Celebrate

Last week I began Yoga Teacher Training. It's something that I've wanted to do for a very long time, and life has finally led me to a point where I can no longer procrastinate. I had just recovered from a nasty cold I caught at the restaurant, and was feeling pretty darn good going into the first couple of training days. On the third 10-hour day, however, I took my spot on the back row, and quickly realized that there were two yogis hanging out in the back of the room who were placed in the back of the room because they were sick; only the back of the room was in the same place where the back row of yoga mats were placed (including mine). Unfortunately, the lack of circulation in the room, abundance of caughing and sneezing, and perhaps even the little yogi hands and feet using my mat during posture learning, created an opportunity for my run-down immune system to become weakened all over again. Today I am at home, wrapped loosely in my blanket with my Cosmo dog and box of Vicks-infused Puffs at my side, just hoping to feel better soon. I think a long nap is in order today.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

11 Days in Los Achiotes, Honduras

My latest travels took me to Honduras. I've been an active member of Engineers without Borders for two years now, and became involved in a water system project in a small mountain town in Honduras. About a year ago, I took over as project leader, and so have been VERY intimately involved with gobs of my time spent organizing, planning, designing, coordinating, fund raising, and finally.........constructing!
We caught a 6 a.m. flight out of SLC, flew to Dallas, then to Miami, and then arrived in San Pedro Sula around 8 p.m. As promised, our Honduran liason was waiting outside the baggage claim with a sign in his hand reading "Welcome to Honduras Jennifer and Matt, Engineers without Borders USA".
We exited the airport with Jacinto, to find a cab and driver waiting for us, who then took us to a nearby hotel.  We got a bite to eat while getting to know our gracious liason, Jacinto, and then went to bed.

In the morning we walked to the bus station with our bags in the rain, and headed out to La Habana where we would be sleeping in Jacinto's organizations' dorms.  We met the whole crew that we'd be working with, ate some lunch, and dove right into business - figuring out a list of the many many materials we'd need to purchase from the hardware store the next day in Yoro.

It continued to rain as we hiked up the hill to get to the high mountain village, and the trail had turned to mud since we'd planned our trip during the rainy season, we knew that there was a good chance we'd be dealing with these conditions, but I don't think anyone was prepared for the never-ending steep tiny trail that led up to the village.  After navigating our way up to the top, we met with the village to discuss all opinions regarding the project.  Since it continued to rain and rain and rain, we decided to head back down the hill and to the City to get our materials.

I started feeling run down and sick by that afternoon and the four hours we spent in the City felt like an eternity.  Luckily, my traveling partners worked with Jacinto to make sure that we had all (or at least most) of the materials on the list, and worked out delivery of the materials.  The hour plus bus ride back to our dorms that night seemed especially difficult and long, but we finally made it and I crashed out for the entire next day.

We awoke at 5:30 am the next morning to head up to the village to start digging.  We dug and dug and dug and dug... all day long.

Over the next several days we managed to dig a hole large enough to construct the spring box, meet with the mayor to ask for the municipality's donation, and begin to build the box.  At that time, it was time for Matt to head back to the States, while Jeff and I stayed and worked to finish the project over the next two days, before we too had to head back.  

On the most frustrating day of the work trip, when I was ready to call it quits and head back early, Jacinto had the best surprise of all waiting for me at home:  sweet sweet Alejandra and Joselynn.  From that day on, they waited outside our dorm every morning for us to step outside to use the bathrooms, and every night for us to return home.  They always had a gift or two to give us, and best of all, lots of hugs and smiles!  Sometimes they'd even bring along their brother, mother, or little cousin.  Oh, how my heart misses them all!


On our last day, we explained everything left to be done, and then headed back to San Pedro Sula to grab a hotel and catch our flight the next morning.  Although the trip was challenging both physically and mentally, I feel grateful to have gone.  I will forever remember the beautiful friendships and the trust built in Honduras.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Discipline

I was thinking about this crazy concept this morning during my yoga class, as I was aware of how much I love practicing yoga, but often times don't have the discipline to make it happen. I've always considered myself a rather disciplined person. I think about two things in particular that always make me feel great when I'm doing them: yoga and biking. They make me feel awesome, they are both free to me, and I love it! So why is it so difficult to make it to class or throw my bike on the car and get up to the trail? Because from there, the rest is all easy, enjoyable, and rewarding. hmmmm. I find the same difficulty lately in being alone. I have the intention, but then I collapse and call someone to hang out, when I could have benefited from that time alone to either be productive, meditate, read, or just reflect. Or else I end up flipping on the TV, when I could be doing something MUCH more productive and good. So how do we find this 'discipline' when it is absent from our lives?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cos and I have been home for exactly one month now, and I am so missing the good people I used to see each day in Costa Rica. I don't have to wonder what they are doing now, because they are doing exactly the same thing they did every day while I was there. That is the beauty of their lives. I'd love to zip back just for a weekend of surf and fun, just to say hello and feel the warmth of the sun on my body again. I've been noticing that Cosmo's black fur is now a shade lighter - in fact it almost looks brown. I think he misses the lazy days by the ocean too. There's not much for him to do inside all day when the weather is chilly here. But for me, I'm busy doing job searching in this crazy economy where everyone and their dog also seem to be looking for work to survive. I often think of packing up everything and heading back down with my tent and a camp stove to wait out the recession a little longer, but alas, I do love these beautiful summer nights in the mountains. I'm back at the yoga studio every week for my volunteer shift. As of today, the studio turned non-profit, which is exiting for the community and especially those who could not afford the steep $12/class. It's nice to have the great energy there, but I have to admit that I miss the energy of Casa Papaya's Gabby yoga practice as well. Isn't it great to be showered with amazing positive energy everywhere we go? Namaste and Shanti.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Yesterday we went to the beach with our friends up the hill. The surf was not great due to strong on-shore winds, but we still had fun paddling around. On the way home, one of the locals was walking and asked us for a ride due to a major gash in his back from being banged against the reef yesterday morning surfing. Since Dr. Tom was in the car with us, we took him up to the B&B to have a look. Indeed he needed stitches, and someone had already tried stitching him up, but two of the four stitches had come out. Cos and I left before Dr. Tom went to work on the patient, since they were waiting for the appropriate instruments to perform the surgery on the picnic table on the patio.
This morning I woke up before the sun and had the pleasure of listening to the beautiful sounds of nature – the monkeys, the birds, the roosters crowing – and then I realized that the reason I could hear everything so well was that the power had gone out and therefore all the fans were off inside and I had full access to the outside early morning sounds.
Cosmo and I went out on the front porch to watch the sun come up through the forest next to the house and to watch the birds come alive with the first light of day. I made coffee and Cos jumped up into my lap so that we could snuggle while I sipped my delicious Costa Rican fresh brew. Oh how we love our mornings. Cos tells me that it’s a new beginning, each day a new opportunity to try again, to do your best. Happy Birthday to my dear ol’ Mom! Once again I am away for your birthday celebration, but we’ll be thinking about you today and wishing you beautiful energy on this very special day.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fun in the Sun and Waves

Yesterday was one of the funnest days surfing so far! I got the beach early to try and beat the on-shore winds, but they beat me. As I was strapping on my leash to my ankle, I noticed that the tip of my board had been bashed in. Que Lastima!! I had loaned it to my friend who allows me to store my board at his store which is on the way to Avellana, but all is well because I had SolarRes for a previous ding when I somehow lost my fin. So I spent the morning repairing the entire tip of my board and I now feel that I could and should be a certified ‘ding repair’ shop! Perhaps that what I'll do if I don't find work in my field when I go back; Jen's Traveling Ding Repair'. After grabbing a delicious bite to eat at a friend’s friend’s house and letting the fresh fish which was caught that morning, rice, beans, and fried plantains digest, I was ready to hit the waves on my newly repaired board, along with everyone else who’d been waiting for the winds to shift. Yippee! I rode more waves yesterday than ever before. Then we went to watch the Costa Rica vs. Mexico game at a local bar/restaurant. I learned yesterday that Mexico is Costa Rica’s biggest rival, which was very exciting, but Mexico won. Que Lastima!!! But all is well because I'm living in Paradise and loving each day. I hope you all are having a wonderful day in your own little paradise! Pura Vida.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This morning I woke up with a super swollen eye. I wasn’t sure if it was from drinking too much wine last night at Casa Papaya in honor of Jody’s birthday party, sympathy swelling for Cosmo’s infected eye, or if the poison from the insect bite/sting that I got riding my bike to Playa Avellanas yesterday had moved all the way around my eye. Based on the few bites that have surfaced on the right side of my eye today, it was indeed the insect sting/bite. We’ll see how yoga goes with a swollen eye today. Our guest of honor from last night will be teaching our yoga class today, as Gabby is attending a retreat in San Jose and driving back this morning. Can’t wait for yet another accent narrating our yoga practice – this one from North Carolina. Jody and Anja have been celebrating Jody’s birthday here in Playa Negra since last Thursday. Turns out, they celebrate each other’s birthdays each year with a cool trip! Thursday evening we all walked down to the beach together for the sunset and they told me the greatest story about being on Oprah. Apparently, two years ago for Jody’s birthday, Anja was trying to arrange a trip to attend the Oprah show. She was on the website looking around for tickets and other info. and left an opinion re: an upcoming show, when the co-producer called her to see if she could fly out the next day and appear on the show in two days! Anja said yes and arranged for Jody to come along (of course), so they were flown out, wined and dined, put up in a beautiful hotel, appeared on the Oprah show with her opinion about choosing to be single still at 40-something, and then flown home! They are sisters, are so pleasant and fun to be around, it was truly a pleasure to have met them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wild Life Talk around the Casita

Gecko talk around the casita: “I heard that she’s really friendly. She didn’t even kill the giant Jumping Spider cruising around in here last night! C’mon in guys, it’s safe. I’ve been hanging out around this shower all morning with her in and out and all she wants to do is take photos and talk. I think she’s loca or she’s really bored or something.” In fact, I think I’m more entertained just watching and listening to her talk to all of us while we just sit here. That stupid flash is about to blind me though. Little ants to each other: “Check it out guys, a gigantic piece of cookie on the bathroom floor! Food party!!!” Big ants to each other: “Check it out guys, a little ant feast! I get the ones covering this half of the cookie, you guys can have the rest.” Little ants: “party’s over guys – the cookie ……whoa, and half of us were just swept into the garbage. Hey, wait, where did the other half go? Run! Big ants!” Bee trying to go into old nail holes in the wooden slats on the house: “I could have sworn that this was my hive. What the h#$l is going on? This must be it - I’ll just try again. Guys, is anyone in there? Can you please help me out here? Bee to the butterfly and other type of bee on the slats: Hey, have you guys seen my hive? I could have sworn it was right here, but come to think of it, I don’t remember you guys…and I certainly don’t remember this dog! Ah, here is my hive – holy sh!t, that’s the wasp’s – sorry about that, I’ll just be on my way.” Buzz. Notes from the Iguanas around the farm: Would you please get rid of that damn dog? How do you think we became so big? Yup, that’s right, because we eat out of the compost pile every night. By the way, did you put that papaya in there cause that was nice! Oh yeah, about the dog. You know, that other little white dog doesn’t bother us, this one………..can you please explain to him that he’ll never ever catch us because we climb trees. Ok thanks. And do feel free to keep putting papaya in the compost trench.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yoga in Costa Rica

Today I’m sore from my Hatha yoga class this morning with Gabriella. Yoga in Playa Negra is much different than our yoga classes in Dominical, where classes were tailored toward the new comer, and therefore more mellow. Actually, there is nothing mellow about Gabriella’s class. She had us doing full bridge pose, head stands, shoulder stands, crab pose, and lots of other inverted poses and twists combined for far too many breaths (in my mind anyway). On the upside though, I take about a 10-minute walk along a path through the farm, walk up a small hill, and I’m there. Did I mention how incredibly stoked I am about being able to walk to yoga rather than drive to get there, as I did in the States? Don’t get me wrong though, I do so miss my studio back at home, including the incredibly knowledgable teachers, and I have a completely new appreciation for oh so many aspects of it. In Dominical, we were able to really practice ‘focusing during practice’ with heavy construction (including sawing metal, heavy pounding, and things slamming to the ground from other stories) going on a mere 10-feet beyond the open air studio. You have to ignore other sounds such as barking dogs everywhere, and cars and trucks zooming by the entire hour and a half, which soon felt completely normal. Thursday night Yin yoga with Julie in Dominical was my favorite because most of the construction sounds had quieted down once the sun set, however last Thursday evening, the power went out only about 25 minutes into our practice. We got to practice for about 20 minutes in the dark until a lighter was located to light the small candles in the room, in order to finish out the rest of the practice by candle light. The candles gave such a great feel, that when I bumped into Julie the following day, she indicated that they had decided to light candles for every Thursday evening class from now on! I gave my full support, as it always seemed a waste to me that there were sweet little tea candles placed nicely along the mirror, but were never lit. Anyway, Thursday evening Yin yoga at Bamboo Yoga studio should be a great experience. Another thing I like about yoga in Costa Rica is that there are so many cool accents - I'm not at all used to that, and I love it so much!!! Julie had more of a British accent, Sofia had more of an Australian accent (i think), and Grabriella is from Venezuela, so I get to hear her beautiful teachings with a beautiful spanish accent. Sigh, I so love the variety in life! Today, during Gabriella’s class, it was very windy and my mat kept hitting me in the head every time a gust of wind came through the studio. There was an abundance of wind gusts today, as there have been since I arrived last Friday. I suppose every practice has it’s challenges and that is what helps to make life interesting and fun. I hope you all are having a fun and interesting practice throughout all of your daily activities today!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Casa La Paz

Last Friday I moved up the coast a good long distance to the Guanacaste area. Similar to last March, I again find myself living in a beautiful little casita with things that I don’t need, such as granite countertops, oversized shower heads, light dimmers, Cuisinart appliances, and night lights furnished throughout. I probably most appreciate the patio space, where I like to hang out every morning and night before and after sleeping. At night, I can hear only the howler monkeys through the wind, and in the morning I hear the wind chimes and the happy birds that surround my space while I eat my breakfast and sip my cafĂ© con leche. At home, I hang out on my deck in the summertime as often as possible, but I’m always having to look at and be looked at by neighbors in almost all directions. Although I do love my neighbors a ton, it sure is nice to stare out at wild life instead for a while. I have a fairly lengthy walk to the surf beaches from here. Although it was presented as a 10-minute walk, it’s actually a good 25 minutes instead. On the upside though, I seem to be staying in good shape with yoga, surf, and walking everywhere. Oh, and I’ve rented a bike for the month, which helps with trips to and from the very few local establishments and to the beach. Once the water warms up to beyond ice cold (due to the currents passing through), I’ll be trying the bike ride to the beach with my 7-foot board in hand and trusty little Cos running by my side. I’ll let you know how that all goes – it’s a shame that I can’t take video of my goofy self at times like these!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dominical Surf Photos

First off, I am VERY hesitant to post these photos, but because I often receive emails from friends asking me “Where are the pictures of you surfing? You need to post some.” I have decided to do just that. Know that the reason I have not done so before now, and only do so by request is that I simply do not feel that I know how to surf yet (and have never had a photographer with a high powered lens taking photos, but my house mate just happened to be shooting my fellow house mate that morning and took some of me as well!). You see, when I first started, my friends told me that it will take ‘a good year’ of surfing before you can really surf. I’m going on my fifth month, therefore I’m less than half way there. Some days I feel like I’m improving, and some days I feel like a COMPLETE beginner! The other day I was having a bad day of surf near the river mouth in Playa Avellana in serious winds, not catching anything, but instead being pushed by the wind out further and further because it was and off shore wind, every time I paddled to stay on the inside, I was sprayed in the face as if I were nailed to the bow of a boat in super choppy water face first. My board, just like the bow of a boat would slap against every single choppy wave and spray me in the face non-stop. Anyway, I found myself a good distance away from the other surfers and there was much sea-life activity that morning. As I was watching different fish boils, and had noticed several large fish riding a wave as I’d paddled out, I saw something large and brown surfacing just beyond me and my board. This motivated me to paddle into the wind, and spray and get back to the other surfers, but even as a got closer to the other surfers it continued to surface. I asked one of my local friends I was surfing with that day if he’d seen it and he informed me that it was a sea turtle. Just as he said it, it raised it’s turtle head out of the water and he was so amazingly cute!!!! He continued to bob around me and at one point he was not more than four feet away from me. What an incredible day to be in the water that day! In Dominical, I saw a huge Sting Ray (is that a Manta ray?) fly out of the water while I was surfing one day. He had about a three foot wing span and was so beautiful. OK, here you go, I gotta go practice my surf !!! Life is so beautiful and full of wonderful little surprises! Pura vida to all.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Six Days of Solid Smiles and Too Much Fun

I just returned from six ever-so-wonderful days of fun due to a much welcomed and appreciated visit from home. Sunday a little playing in the water with the surf boards, then off to the Rum Bar for live music, drinks, and pizza pool side along with a very pleasant Austrailian visitor that shared a cab to Dominical with Shane. Monday a motorcycle ride to Playa Ventanas, where we saw a family of Howler monkeys in the trees just up from the beach, and two natural caves that are about 250-feet long. You can see the waves come through the far end and resonate all the way through to the other end when the tide is just right. After observing the Howler Monkeys, we enjoyed the non-crowded beach and swam around in the bay for a while. Monday night, great Thai food at a restaurant owned by a couple with nine dogs - my heroes! Tuesday, a typical Tico platter for breakfast enjoyed riverside with the crocodile, and then off to stay in the beautiful town of Manuel Antonio, where I was horribly defeated by the waves at Playitas. No harm done though, and we enjoyed a nice sunset over the ocean and walk along the long beach of Manuel Antonio. Wednesday, woke up with a cold, and so hung around the cute hotel most of the day, until we decided to go run a couple of errands and have dinner and drinks at Barba Roja where we enjoyed one of the best sunset views around. Thursday, breakfast at Cafe Milagro followed by a sailboat tour with a group full of other happy tourists, including another couple from Utah (Kaysville and Ogden I believe), and two Canadian actors, one being the talented Peter Keleghan, who played Lloyd Braun on Seinfeld. Peter was in the episode where Lloyd Braun had a nervous breakdown when the David Dinkins election campaign for Mayor of New York City proved to be unsuccessful. Anyway, all very nice people on the tour with us. We saw flying fish, dolphins, and a killer sunset from the sail boat, and some tropical fish during the snorkeling portion of the tour, and of course, a big beautiful Costa Rican sunset to end the cruise off right. Hats off to our most charming and accommodating host, Minor, for serving up lots and lots of drinks, feeding the fish to attract them while snorkeling, and cracking us up with his hilarious femininity! Minor was a wonderful cruise director. This morning, we headed into the national park for the wildlife and more beautiful beaches, but were denied due to an obscure incident which no one cared to explain. However, one of the nice Tico national park workers who had to refuse our entry, led us over to a tree where a mother and baby three-toed sloth happened to be just hanging around just outside of the entrance. They couldn't have been more than 25-feet above our heads! They are such amazing creatures with horrid awful little hair-do's. We had so much fun watching every little deliberate movement while the baby hugged the mother sloth ever so tightly. It was a truly a moment to remember. After my sweet little visitor was swept away by the shuttle this afternoon, Cos and I checked out of the hotel, and Cos decided to chase a cat up the stairs to the second level, slide off the awning, and fall a good ten to twelve feet to the ground! The cat of course made the jump from the awning to the retaining wall without any problem, but Cos just stared up at the cat from the hard ground stunned and somewhat in shock. He'll never learn his cat lessons!

Monday, February 16, 2009

River Life

Today we saw a crocodile hanging out in the river that flows along the yard. I’ll be keeping Cosmo out from now on because he’d be quite a nice little snack for a croc of that size. Last week we saw two River Otters fishing and eating their catch in front of the house, and I could hear them chewing each and every bone in the fish they were eating. Amazing! There are always cool birds flying and floating around, and last week we heard a pair of Toucan’s just upstream from us although I never did get to actually see them. In fact, I find that sipping a fresh cup of Costa Rican brew on the little porch next to the river is a very fine way to welcome in the day if not on the beach! Cos agrees whole heartedly.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Aftermath

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. My housemate (who'd arrived from California this past week) and I decided to go exploring a different waterfall, name unknown. It was actually very close to town, and easy to get to other than the trail finding required. We all enjoyed a fun surf session later in the afternoon, and then went dancing at the local Saturday night hot spot down the road. I was pleasantly surprised to find an abundance of others who were not on El Dia de San Valentin dates, but instead, like us, were dancing their booties and their cares away. The walk home along the beach proved to be a reminder of just how many lovers were enjoying the evening together however; Fugatos (camp fires), blankets, tents, beverages - the alcoholic kind or course, and lots of romance going on the entire way back. I hope that you all had a great Valentine’s Day and spent it doing something that you love, if not with the person that you love!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Doggie Trouble in Paradise

It’s a good thing that dog’s live in the moment, because after Cosmo’s scary and long journey from Utah to Dominical, he’s been roughed up just about every day by the two female dogs living here at the house. They seem to be pretty adamantly refusing to allow him into their pack, and therefore consistently team up on him whenever they see fit. Istra is the alarmist and oft times the instigator, then allowing Coco to go in for the real fight. Last night Coco had Cosmo’s entire body engulfed beneath hers, while she bit at his head and neck. Cosmo, however, being just the right height to nip her legs, got a pretty good puncture in the right front leg. Coco refused to give up until her owner was able to come outside and get her to release him. Business as usual for the dogs the next day, except that Coco's leg was swollen up pretty big and her owner very concerned. Since then, we’ve been trying to establish the picking order with the humans being at the top, and trying to figure out how to help Cosmo become a part of the pre-existing ‘pack’ that Istra and Coco were long before Cosmo got here. I’d love any suggestions you all may have in forcing two alpha dogs to accept the new guy in town who also happens to be alpha, and learn to coexist. February 20th Follow Up Dog's are doing better as long as the vitals are not involved. You know, hunger, food, specially claimed spots in the yard or house, etc. Coaching by the humans is still a must have, but they have a great time playing on the beach together and chasing birds. In fact, other beach doggies insist upon joining in on our long doggie walks whenever permitted!
woof.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Red Eye Flights and Really Bad Roads

After a super sleepy long flight, Cosmo and I arrived in San Jose. Cos was more than a bit shaken up from the 12-hour long ride inside the kennel, flight noise, and transfers, however I could not let the ever so frightened and shaking little guy out as per Costa Rican Customs requirements. He was to remain inside of his cage until we were outside of the airport which meant until we stepped out of the van which took us to the rental car office. Of course I snuck him out right after we got through customs, and he refused to re-enter his kennel, just as I would. So I decided to take him outside to relieve himself, but we were stopped by the airport staff who informed us that I could not take the cart with all of my crap on it, outside of the doors. So in order to check into the rental car desk at the airport so that we could get our ride to the off-site office where our car was supposedly waiting for us, I had to recruit a little help from the airport staff. Man, I'm so lucky that I'm a girl! After showing much concern about getting my dog back into his kennel, so that I could tote him, my 7-foot long surfboard, my large backpack, and my laptop computer back into the airport, a genuinely nice and well meaning Tico offered to watch my belongings as well as my dog. Of course I was hesitant at first, but I threw my laptop and my valuables over my shoulder and thanked him. Once the group of six in front of me finally made up their mind about a car, I quickly checked in and returned to my puppy and belongings, all safe and sound. I tipped the sweet man who had helped me through this hectic process, and off we went in the rental car shuttle. Upon leaving the rental car office with the best directions the counter guy could offer, Cosmo and I were headed down the highway. Not more that eight miles into our journey out of San Jose, our tire was apparently slashed.................while moving! Luckily a nice policeman on a motorcycle helped us change it, and sent us back to the National office for a new one. when I returned to office to inform them that my tire had been slashed, I was scolded for not following the directions handed to me before leaving the office which stated "Beware of anyone telling you that you have a flat tire in order to get you to stop. These people may take off with all of your belongings if you do stop." I informed him that I did not pull off the road until an official police man motioned me off to help me. He then told me that I was not supposed to make any stops, as people are looking for tourists in rental cars so that they can slash your tires, pretend to help, and then take all of your luggage. when I let him know that I had not made any stops, he sent me back to the shop for a new tire. what a biz, eh? Slashing people's tires while moving so that you can steal luggage. Finally, we made it out of San Jose and down the windey, bumpy six hour beach road to our destination. Turned out that the guy at the rental car office didn't know the shortest way to our destination, and so he added two and a half hours onto our drive by telling us the longest way possible. Alas, we were happy to finally arrive at our paradise pad at the beach after traveling for 22-hours straight.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Air Stinks, it's Cold, Some Jerk Keyed the Entire Side of my Car, and I'm SOOOO Outta Here!

I found myself leaving home with my surfboard, laptop, backpack, and this time my dog, and was once again headed for the tropics!!! Luckily we arrived an hour and a half early and there was no line to speak of, because the Frontier counter staff checking us in DID NOT want to let Cosmo come along. First, they insisted that Cosmo was in a large kennel and that the charge for him would be double (which was incorrect). I was then passed on to the supervisor after insisting that I had consulted with both their website and a reservation agent prior to booking our flight, and that the charge should not be double, as he was in a medium size kennel. Second, the supervisor insisted that we need an additional 'mystery' certificate required by the Costa Rican Consulate, but he was happy to inform us that he'd already booked us on the same flight out tomorrow at no additional charge! I told him that I needed to know exactly what the 'mystery' certificate was, showed him a copy of both the airlines' requirements and the Costa Rican Consulate requirements for pets indicating that indeed no 'mystery' certificate was required. He made a few phone calls and then gave us the OK to board just as boarding for the flight had begun. when I arrived at the gate all flustered, he acted embarrassed and told me how strict Costa Rica is on allowing certain things including Hippies into the country. Upon hearing this atrocity, I asked "And how would you define a Hippie, Sir?". He said that it is a very difficult task, and that it is incredibly embarrassing to inform one that they are not allowed based on their judgement. "Hmm. Interesting." I thought to myself. "I'll just bet that lawsuit is currently underway". If anyone has any information regarding this suspicious Hippie rule, please do educate us all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Annual Rabbit Valley Riding Trip

Riders, start your engines!!! Last weekend was our annual Rabbit Valley riding trip and we had a blast. My brother Greg and his friend Neil came from Denver, and the Sonzini's (Mike and Kathy) along with Carpenter Mike, came from Park City. This is a great trip that we do every year, where we meet up for the weekend and ride our motorcycles until either someone crashes horribly, or until we are all sore, stiff, and too tired to ride anymore. Mike Sonzini never seems to reach that point, but the rest of us do by Sunday after riding Friday and all day Saturday.
We all met on Friday afternoon and rode near the Book Cliffs until dark, hit the local brew pub in Grand Junction on the way back for some eats and drinks, where the guys in the group were very happy to check out the sexy college girls alls dressed up in their very skimpy, sexy, little Halloween costumes. Photos were taken, however none would have been appropriate to post on this blog........you'll um....have to take that up with Sonzini.....(cough!)
Anyway, Saturday morning, despite our soreness, and after changing out the tube in Neil's Yamaha, we rode and rode and rode, all over the Rabbit Valley area. The weather was amazing, and by the time we took our lunch break, it was 4:30 pm and we were hungry! The guys went out for another 45 mins or so after our super late lunch break, while Kathy and I tried to get out of our sweaty riding clothes and start putting on warmer, fresher clothing as it quickly became dark. As expected, Mike Sonzini decided to ride back via trails to the hotel in Fruita, and so began that journey since the dark was setting in for the day.
Last year, Sonzini and Carpenter Mike decided to ride the Kokapelli trail back to Fruita from our riding area in Rabbit Valley, and ran into a few..........no, more than a few major obstacles. Loss of trail, terrible rain which then turned to sleet, high winds, the carrying of bikes up steep, unridable hillsides, and Carpenter Mike being blown over by a large wind gust, sending both him and his large KTM flying down the tracks at very high speeds. Carpenter Mike later reported that he was actually watching the sparks fly from his bike in front of him, while his helmet bounced off each and every railroad tie along the track until he finally came to a stop - NOT without much damage to both his body and his bike. Carpenter Mike rode back to Fruita in the trucks with the bikes this year, along with the rest of us.
On the ride way home Sunday, we stopped at Grogg's for a delicious bite to eat and refreshing beverages.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Southern Utah Trip #2

We decided to sneak back down to So. Utah for some more great riding and camping, especially since the weather prediction was looking warm and sunny. We went straight for our previous campsite which sits right along the edge of the huge Gooseberry Mesa. We rode the north rim of the Mesa and included the 'bowles and ledges' off-shoot, then crossed over to 'hidden canyon' which was amazing and everything that everyone says it is. From the hidden canyon trail, we rode back toward the trailhead on the South rim.
My Failed Attempt: Ken's Successful Attept: Sunday we hung out in the sunshine, enjoyed Kenny's gourmet desert bacon and eggs for breakfast, more sunshine, desert scenery, relaxation, and then rode a little loop which consisted of Gould's and Jem's trail on our way out. Kenny wanted to tour the world famous Chums Headquarters located in Hurricane on our way home, but I promised we'd do it next time.
Check out this great video clip that Kenny shot before hitting the road!
Can life get any better than this???????????????????????