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Eat, Drink 'n Play

A travel & lifestyle blog featuring good food, good travel and good living. About Me
Leaving home

Leaving home

“How selfhood begins with a walking away, and love is proved in the letting go.” ―C. Day Lewis It’s when they take the bed out of the room that you know it’s all over. A few years back, my youngest kid went to college. And I was a suck about it all. As proud as I was that he was “all grown up,” I hated that those childhood years were behind him. Behind me. Me. Yes, it’s me everyone should be thinking about. The mother. When he left for school, his room stayed pretty much the same. The closet still held his yearbooks, and basketball trophies — the clothes he’d outgrown years ago were still squeezed between his Varsity jacket and lone black suit. The room was still a bedroom — with a bed, dresser, desk. It was still his bedroom. And that made the leaving part so much easier. And now, in just two days, that bed will be packed into a U-Haul and carted off to Alabama. Five hours away. When I tell people my son is moving away, I get a lot of “Wow, that’s exciting. What an adventure.” And what I want them to say is this: “Oh my God, I can’t believe he’s moving so far away.” Yea, again, it’s all about me, right? And yes, I’m excited for him. I am. As the youngest of four, he wants to fly. Be on his own. Start his own life. I get it. He’s got this. But I’m also nervous. And, yes, I’m sad. I’m really just kind of sad that it’s really happening. I... read more
Reverse Culture Shock

Reverse Culture Shock

Every day since returning from my trip to Costa Rica, I’ve been restless and irritated. Thrown back into THIS life, after experiencing THAT life, has really messed with my brain. Just last week I was living in a bathing suit.  I was awake every morning to greet the sun and started the day with a walk on the beach — stopping on the way home to pick up fresh fruit for breakfast. Just last week I was swimming in waterfalls and hiking to volcanos. Just last week, I was calm and happy. Just last week I felt healthy and more like myself than I had in a long, long time. Re-entry is tough. And I think I might be experiencing a little reverse culture shock. I feel as though I am not where I belong, which is weirdly unsettling. As the distance between then and now widens, I feel like I’m losing a part of myself that I was just getting to know, and like. That girl wore two-piece bathing suits and didn’t straighten her hair. That girl breathed slowly and floated without care in swimming pools. Since coming home, I find myself oddly disconnected from the things I used to think were important. Frustrated, even, that so much time is spent hashing and rehashing things that just end up stressing us out. You know, that whole “why are we sweating the small stuff?” thing…Yea, I’m there. My heart is more open to the idea that there is not just one path in life. That we don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations of us. We have to be true to ourselves. Take good... read more

A Different Way

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” -Pema Chodron I haven’t worn makeup in eight days. The pre-vacation manicure I squeezed in before flying off to Costa Rica is long gone. Scrubbed clean away by the sand and salt. The flat iron I shoved into my suitcase during those last moments of vanity before closing up the bag, is still zipped inside –along with about 50% of the clothes I thought I needed to bring. What made me think I would need things from “that life” in this one? This is my second time in Costa Rica and what I love most is how easy it is to just be. Pura Vida, the pure life — it is everywhere, and if you spend any time here, it feels like the most natural way to live. And there are a ton of people doing it. On the first day here at the beach, we met Captain Jack and his wife over beer and Pina Coladas as we watched the sun make its sleepy descent into the ocean. They were on the tail end of their three month stay in Costa Rica. When I asked them what they had been doing with their days since leaving New Brunswick’s cold winter, they were quick to share that they had been doing an awful lot. Taking the bus and exploring the beaches that lined the coast. Trips to the fruit stand or the Super Wendy for breakfast or dinner fixings. Mrs. Captain Jack told me that the thing they noticed most was that they ate so differently... read more
Jungle Love – A Costa Rica Wake Up Call

Jungle Love – A Costa Rica Wake Up Call

On our last visit to Costa Rica, we spent our time in the province of Guanacaste. At the beach. We rented a house at the top of a very big hill in Potrero that offered us spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Here, we spent lazy days by the pool, sipped bottles of Costa Rican beer at beachside eateries, and did our best to explore as many of beaches we could in just six days. We fell in love with Costa Rica. We fell in love with the climate. Hot, yes, but not that sticky-sweaty kind of heat that takes you down for the count by 11 am. Oh, and if you’re looking for that body-draining, dripping climate, just book yourself a visit to Atlanta in August. You’ll be all set. We fell in love with the people and their easy way of living. The laid back just-set-up-some-lawn-chairs-and-a-beach-canopy-and-you-have-yourself-a-bar-on-the-beach was just what we were looking for. Pura vida all the way. We knew–even before we packed our bags to head back to the promise of a hot and humid Atlanta summer — that it was not the last time our passports would be stamped by Costa Rican customs agents. On this trip to Costa Rica, we decided to spend the first few days where everything was said to be greener – in the rainforest. We booked ourselves a cabana at the Chachagua Rainforest Hotel and Haciendo, an eco-conscious lodge located deep in the middle of the rainforest. And with that, the promise of a rainforest experience — aka, living in the jungle — was delivered. We were welcomed to our new home by a chorus of cicadas that were so loud, they sounded electric.... read more
Costa Rica – It’s simply amazing

Costa Rica – It’s simply amazing

Want to be happier? Pack your bags and head to Costa Rica. Consistently ranking high on the “happiness” scale, Costa Ricans know how to live. Not only do they report the highest life satisfaction in the world, they have the second-highest life expectancy … second only to Canada (insert big “hell ya!” shout out to my fellow Canucks, here.) I’m fairly certain that his longevity is due, in part, to Costa Rica’s philosophy:”Pura Vida” — the pure life. This “law of the land” encourages the appreciation of life’s simple things. It’s about slowing down. Enjoying life. It’s about being grateful for your good fortune. For the people in your life. For your health. This laid back lifestyle– along with the abundance of fresh air, the beautiful beaches, and the warmth of the gentle people who call Costa Rica home–are just a few of the things drawing me back to this tropical paradise. In just three days, we will arrive in Costa Rica, for the second time in 13 months. My suitcase will be light — just swimsuits and sunscreen, bug spray and hiking pants, and a Kindle packed full of must-reads — and so will I. I’m looking forward to shedding my expectations of everything. Much of the stress that follows us around is of our own making. We expect so much from people. From our jobs. From ourselves. We set the bar so damn high that the only thing that is guaranteed is disappointment. When I visit Costa Rica, all of those expectations slip away. The clock ticks slower. The sky appears bluer. The food tastes better (and fresher!)... read more