Thursday, September 29, 2011

You Mean it's NOT an Island?

Too much Jurassic Park--that's my best guess as to why so many people think Costa Rica is an island. Personally, I haven't seen the movie (I know, how un-American!), but I've heard the story takes place on a fictional island off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. And I'm guessing somehow an island near Costa Rica became Costa Rica in everyone's mind. OR, it could be because everyone slept during their geography classes in school.

Either way, I feel very proud to have always known Costa Rica was not an island and was located somewhere in Central America. (Again, it could be because I haven't yet seen Jurassic Park and had my brain influenced.) I'm not saying I think any less of you if you thought until now that CR was an island. I'm sure there's a country or two out there that I have NO idea where they are or if they are islands or not.

Anyway, I thought I'd bring everyone up-to-date on the exact location of Costa Rica (Costa Rica is green):
And to make things a little easier relationally, here's a map that also includes the US. I've even got an arrow pointing towards CR so you can find it easily.
For those of you interested in a "geography lesson freebie", just to the south-east of the tail of the black arrow above are the Galapagos Islands (those little yellow blobs on the map). I really didn't have much of a clue where those were until my interest in Costa Rica picked up.

Ok, one last map. This is a close-up of Costa Rica, and I've put an arrow pointing to the approximate place where we will be living so you'll know where to go when you want to come visit us.  :-)

So I'm interested to find out if YOU thought CR was an island. I promise no one will laugh at you if you did (at least not very loudly). Please take the poll below--Thanks!

Did you think Costa Rica was an island?
No free polls 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why Costa Rica?

Here is my non-exhaustive, no particular order, top 20 list of why Costa Rica has stolen our hearts:
Awww, how CUTE!
  1. The wildlife and discovering new animals, bugs, birds every day. You never know what you will see!
  2. The weather. I love that where we bought land, the average day-time temperature is in the 70s-80s with a slight cooling at night for good sleeping.
  3. No air conditioning needed. 
  4. No heater needed.
  5. No screened-in porches needed. 
  6. Living is done outside so you can enjoy the fresh air and sounds of the wildlife.
  7. The people. Costa Ricans (or Ticos) are known for their friendliness and laid-back ways.
  8. Cost of living is better than where we are.
  9. The rain forest. We will be living in the rain forest!
  10. The coffee.
  11. You need a 4-wheel drive vehicle to get to our land.
  12. About 20% of the country is set aside as national parks or reserves.
  13. The beaches. Costa Rica has beaches on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, and unless you go to the tourist areas, many times you are the only one on the beach!
  14. Gallo pinto. The yummy rice and beans dish they serve.
  15. Even though the town we will be living in has all dirt roads, there are several restaurants there that rival any 5-star restaurant here, but NO chains or fast food!
  16. If we want chain restaurants, it's only an hour's drive north.
  17. Volcanoes!
  18. Red-eyed tree frogs--quite possibly my favorite animal.
  19. The abundance of outdoor activities--too many to list!
  20. Pura Vida--the good life, or the pure life. Ticos use that phrase similar to how Hawaiians use "aloha". It's not just a saying, it's a way of life.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sometimes it's a No-Brainer

We are back to entertaining the idea of leaving for Costa Rica in 2013. That is when our youngest enters high school--a perfect time for transition! (Although she doesn't think so.) My husband has been back to working mandatory 6 day work weeks with hold-over overtime on some of those days as well. Sure the paycheck looks great when it arrives, but my husband is not looking so great. Throw in his weird hours (he's been up at 3:30 am for the last few days) and driving to work (which is an hour away) in ground zero fog and he's a wreck. It wasn't such a problem in his younger days, but it is now. Personally I don't know how he functions on his limited amount of sleep. I think if I were him I would have moved us already.

So what's holding us back from making the decision? I think it boils down to kids and money. We have three girls, but the older two are old enough to be on their own. In fact, the oldest is on her own. However, our youngest DOES NOT want to move. Don't get me wrong, she loves Costa Rica, just doesn't want to live there. It's a friend thing. Sure, we could uproot her right now (and we've thought about it), but she has a way of making life miserable if she's not happy. All you parents of junior high kids know what I mean. We are still trying to decide which misery is worse! lol   Then the money. The longer Gary stays working, the better his retirement. It's scary to just call it quits and know that's it. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! PS--our youngest doesn't know we're considering the move in two years, so please don't tell  her!

So while we ponder what to do, why don't you enjoy this really cool song I came across yesterday that has quickly moved to my favorite. Here's the video:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My first post

This is my very first post on this blog. Even though I don't have any readers yet, I'm excited to start this journey. This is going to be a great place for me to keep information handy and sort through my thoughts on our upcoming move. Feel free to leave comments or helpful advice!