25 November 2008

top 5 while being on our own as travel agents

5. a conversation meg had with a customer:
cust: " i can go any time in january"
meg: "well the end of january will allow you to find lower airfare and more choices in                  accomodations so since you have flexibility there are advantages to going then"
cust: "no the end of january is no good, i have my own business and am busy the last week of                  january"
meg: "okay so beginning & middle of january"
cust: "no the first week is no good either i am busy then too"
meg: "okay so the middle of january"
cust: "well no, like i said i can go anytime in january"

4. jens intructions for taking care of her cats included the description 
"sasha- female siamese. fat and sassy with irritable bowel syndrome"

3. the dogs serving as ryans alarms at 1:30 am, 3:30 am, and 5:30 am.

2. email request from a new customer: "we want to see northern carribean, southern pacific, san jose, guanacaste, arenal, montezuma, south caribbean, tortugero, monteverde, jaco, and dominical but dont want to be unpacking everyday" (this was for a 7 day vacation)

1. a hotel called to report that they believed a customer of ours stole the managers tattooed dog & left it in another part of the country. (there is a craigslist lost dog post to prove this) 

24 November 2008

i won a major award

so after a long week holding down the fort being travel agents, the dogs promptly woke me up at 5:45 in the morning. walking 3 dogs that have a difference in weight of about 75 lbs (2 giant dogs, 1 tiny one) we needed to go to our local supro compro (herein referred to as the blue store--this is versus the other supro mercado referred to as the green store which is not quite as good) for a few badly needed provisions--milk, eggs, chocolate ice cream, you know- the neccessities. and after staring at the twelve signs around the lettuce for 5 minutes trying to figure out which one was actually for the lettuce (turns out its "lechuga") i finally go to pay & have my usual conversation w/ the blue store checkout girl:
me: hola
her: buenos dias
me: como esta usted?
her: muy bien, y usted?
me: bien gracias
        -beep, beep, beep---scanning items i purchased
her: cuarenta mil colones
me: bien 
        handing over money all hell broke loose BELLS and WHISTLES galore shock me out of my          figuring out what other spanish words i knew
her: promocion!!! promocion!!!!
      w/ a mixed jumble of words, i finally came to understand that i won a major award, she          points to a christmas tree that has been up since october and says to pick an ornament (rojo or azul) and then to crush it. which took me a while, bc i really didnt think i could be interpreting this properly.. should i be breaking a glass- turns out to be plastic- ornament in their store? inside is the -gasp- major award. 

drumroll please..

"setas de ollas" is written on the paper

im not sure what those words mean but they told me to wait a minute, then a young store clerk comes out w/ a set of small silver pots.  i start cracking up and trying to explain that our house really needed a set of small silver pots (really meghan & i had just been saying so) i dont think they understood anything but that i was the most excited gringo theyd ever seen about winning a $5 pot set in a grocery store.

to this date we have not yet used them but thanksgiving dinner will be memorable thanks to the blue store supro compro christmas major award in november.

13 October 2008

Why would an American watch DC United play Saprissa in Costa Rica?

A minute-by-minute adventure in Costa Rican futbol.

7:34pm – I totally forgot that CONCACAF Champions League group bottom dwellers, recent U.S. Cup Champions, and MLS mid-table holders D.C. United were visiting beautiful Costa Rica to try to even the score against a virtually unknown and very resilient Deportivo Saprissa team.

8:05pm – A visit to espn.com tells me that D.C. United is up 1-0 after only 5 minutes of play. Thank you for Liberian-born Francis Doe.

8:45pm – Medio Tiempo. Meghan and I head for a walk through the sleepy town of Nuevo Arenal to find a local “Tipico Tico” bar alive with conversation, loud whistling and a mysterious green hew on their televisions…Do I dare venture in to watch the game? Well, I will act like I am going in for the Imperial cervezas at 700 colones a piece ($1.26). Meghan how about a rum con fresca?

8:55pm – Why can’t the bartender understand that a cuba libre is a “rum con cola”? I need to work on my Spanish. Did I just hear someone speaking English?

9:00pm – Secundo Tiempo, ok lets see how D.C.’s reserves look…

9:03pm – A dubious offsides call by the Mexican officials takes away a nice header goal by Saprissa off “El Matador” Alpiraz’s free kick. My smile notes who I am supporting, I forgot where I was.

9:15pm – D.C. looks awful! They can barely put passes together, I totally forgot we had strikers, and Saprissa looks strong, fast, and determined…and so do their supporters in the bar.

9:25pm- 60th minute, we found an American who married his 20-something Tica girlfriend not too long ago and lives right by the lake. His name is Gaia and is pretty nice.

9:35pm – 75th minute, Saprissa should have scored by now, and you could feel it as they were knocking on Zack Well’s door many times that one of these had to find the back of the net. We found some young Ticos who spoke about as much English as we spoke Spanish, not much, but they were nice enough to let us watch in their bar.

9:38pm- Not ten seconds after I tried to tell them this was about the time when D.C. gave up crucial goals, sure enough…Cesar Elizondo pounds it in the back of the onion bag. 1-1, shots of tequila on the house, I reluctantly accept with the response “Soy de Washington.” They just smile and cheer me. Salud!

9:42pm – Are you serious?! D.C. is now down 2-1. Again it is Elizondo and again it is because they can’t clear the ball. More tequila is passed around with bigger smiles and louder cheers combined with song. Again “Soy de Washington.”

9:49pm – D.C. finally found their top players and were pushing on the Purple defense. A nice shot with a better save leads to a corner in stoppage time. How awesome would it be if, HOLY SHIT! The goalie missed the Burch cross and it hit off Dyachenko’s chest into the net. I start to scream, then realized where I was. I think the tequila might come back up.

9:50pm – The final whistle blows, the bar is quiet, all I can do is smile and laugh nervously. I buy a couple of beers for our new friends to toast their team’s effort.

12:05am – Good thing it is only about 200 meters to our house. Crazy night!

08 October 2008

meet our neighbor-- the volcano

the volcano did this weird mushroom cloud thing...apparently it built up pressure & blew out a new hole near the top (not too cool to me since i just read Pompeii, esp considering there was a small earthquake here about a month ago).
anyway, we'll put a few more pics up of the volcano when we have a chance but the mushroom cloud one is the view from our desks-yes we look at a volcano all day :) and hte one below it, the white lines you see running down the volcano are where lava was flowing the night before.


05 October 2008

extra! extra!

we went to the rodeo tonight and ryan was kissed by a drag queen bullfighter. the crowd went nuts. it was quite a sight..so mad i didnt have the camera to share it w/ you guys.

just wanted to let the world know, oh yea and ryan has a beard now.

a day at Venados Cavernas

yep thats a tarantula


these caves are near our house, but because of poor road conditions (im being generous with that description) it takes about an hour to get there. we spent the day getting very familiar with our new neighbors (bats, tarantulas, etc...) dont be deceived by the way the photos turned out-- it was pitch black in there! we went through the caves, climbing, and at some points even army crawling on our stomachs in water...came out soaked & dirty but it was a blast





where ramen noodles are harvested.
seriously, it was like ramen noodle palace





see the bat in front of my face?? i didnt! it was pitch black, we didnt know it was there til we saw the photo later

Turu Bari

Ryan climbing at Turu Bari
























Ryans first time EVER on a horse...now he wants one (Giuli--hes all about your horse farm now that hes an "expert")































































































video

suited up to do the Superman---a zipline where you get strapped in laying down, and go 50 mph really high up. it was an incredible view. if i correctly figured out how to upload a video on here it should show up above, and sorry so much footage before i actually went, they took longer to let me go than we thought
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Ryans Tarzan Swing...(excuse my laughing in the background, it was nervous laughter bc i knew i was next)

video

Ziplining at the same time..

video
 

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