Eat, Drink 'n Play

A travel & lifestyle blog featuring good food, good travel and good living. About Me
In a cabin in the woods

In a cabin in the woods

Oprah has this section at the end of her magazine where she shares “What I know for sure.” And I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what I know, or rather what I thought I knew. So what do I know for sure? Turns out, not a hell of a lot. Growing up in London, Ontario, Canada, I never for one moment thought I would be here. In this cabin. In the woods. Curled up in front of a fire, the Blue Ridge mountains framing the double doors behind me. I never even dreamed I would live on this side of the border. Even when we lived in a city shared a border with the US, it always felt so exotic when we exited our home country and explored the “other side.” Today, though I will always be Canadian, I proudly carry a U.S. passport. What I DO know for sure? Never say never. Two years ago, when we traded in the cul-de-sac two-story for the condo in the “big city,” I thought I knew exactly what the next 10 or so years would look like. By downsizing our life, we gave ourselves more room to explore. We would walk to local bars, restaurants and coffee shops. We would take in the outdoor concerts on the square and take cooking classes. We would sit on our new patio, sipping manhattans and waving to neighbors passing by. We would visit museums, stroll through art shows and make our own wine at the you-brew. And we did. We do. When we moved to the condo, we were moving away from a time... read more
The Journey – Just Busy Being Me

The Journey – Just Busy Being Me

One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice – – – though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. ‘Mend my life!’ each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations – – – though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do – – – determined to save the only life you could save. ~ Mary Oliver Note: I am good. Very good, indeed. After posting this poem, a friend reached out with “Are you ok?” I guess I can see where she might think I was digging through something re: THE JOURNEY… but I just love to read Mary Oliver’s words and this one struck me today. So, no, my life doesn’t need mending, but I do love at the end of this poem where it says “… there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company.” My birthday is next week and it’s always a time of reflection for me. Every... 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