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Eat, Drink 'n Play

A travel & lifestyle blog featuring good food, good travel and good living. About Me
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
Through the trees

Through the trees

I am not an outdoorsy person. Though I really do want to be. I admire my adventurous friends who are snowshoeing in Whistler and climbing steep mountain trails to admire a waterfall sparkling in the winter sun. When the idea to “go for a hike” comes up in our house, my typical response is usually one, or more of these: “I don’t have hiking boots.” “Can’t today. Need new sunglasses.” (Re: the glare that could accompany aforementioned waterfall trek) “I would if only I had the right pants to wear. Can’t wear these!” “Busting out of my sports bra so it’s a no for me.” “If I had the right outfit, I’d be right there with you.” I’ve recognized a pattern in my responses, of course. If only I had the right  THIS or THAT, I could be like the other kids. If only. But.. I have the wrong shoes. The wrong clothes. The wrong hat. The wrong… um.. attitude. So, this past weekend when the Atlanta weather took a turn and presented us with winter weekend temps that approached the 70s (that’s 21-ish for my Canadian pals), I put on my all-wrong shoes and my too tight-wish-they-were-spandex khakis and headed to Panola Mountain State Park. An easy 20 to 25 minute ride from my Atlanta home, Panola Mountain State Park is a 100-acre granite monadnock (which is a pretty rare, isolated rock hill rising abruptly from the plain .. FYI), similar to, yet not as commercialized as Georgia’s own ever-popular Stone Mountain. This 1600-acre park, with its rare ecosystem and visible stone,  was the perfect scenario for my attempt to become one with nature. After a quick... read more
Mindful

Mindful

Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It was what I was born for – to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant – but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these – the untrimmable light of the world, the ocean’s shine, the prayers that are made out of grass? by Mary Oliver    ... read more
From the Bench

From the Bench

I had just settled myself into our empty nest when our youngest son, Dylan, decided to ditch dorm living and move back home. It had been a rough entry to University for him — with pain and back surgery overshadowing his first year of freedom — so while I knew that his return would ruffle some of our routines, I was secretly breathing a sigh of relief to have my youngest child near me again. The kid had barely unpacked his suitcase and I was back into full-time mom mode. “Did you brush your teeth?” “Have you eaten anything today?” “Did you study?” “What time did you go to sleep? You need more sleep.” “When are you going to get a haircut?” “Didn’t you wear that yesterday?” “Where ya going?” “Who’s going to be there?” “Drive safe.” “Drive safe.” “Drive safe.” And so on. Dylan humors me, most of the time. Thankfully he’s well past the eye-rolling stage of teenage-hood, and a tad more understanding of my necessary mothering (I think?) He knows I can’t help myself. He knows I’m  just looking out for him. And I’m sure he knows that one day he will be free from my constant reminders to brush his teeth or pick up his clothes. What he doesn’t know–what none of my children could possibly know — is that it’s not the act of letting go that I struggle with, it’s the being let go of that does me in. And the letting go usually starts with the “I got this.” “Do you want to talk about it?” “I got this, Mom.” “Do you want me to go shopping... read more