Sunday, January 25, 2009

25 Things about Me

While browsing some new blogs on Facebook this morning, I came across this meme.
Rules are:
Once you've been "tagged" (and consider yourself tagged if you're reading this), you are supposed to write a note with 25 things, facts, habits, or goals about you (please feel free post your list in the
comments section of my blog if you don't blog yourself). At the end, you should tag others to pass this on.
  1. Black licorice is my favorite candy.
  2. I would like to be a professional salsa dancer.
  3. I am grateful for my hot, sweet, domestic, supportive, good cooking, affectionate, Mexican husband.
  4. I am dying to have a house to decorate.
  5. I hate animal cruelty, yet I love to eat meat and I have 3 fur coats.
  6. I have enough hobbies to last a lifetime, but love to find new ones.
  7. It is not possible for me to be complacent.
  8. I can't wait to have big boobs temporarily if/when I get pregnant
  9. Being a genuine person is something I pride myself on. I am always Cindy.
  10. I prefer speaking Spanish over English.
  11. I often eat popcorn, salsa or guacamole for my dinner.
  12. If I could change just one thing about my appearance: it is to have clear skin.
  13. I want to be a freelance writer with a successful jewelry business.
  14. I often listen to a song on repeat until I know the words.
  15. I want a big garden to grow my own vegetables, and design flower beds.
  16. I feel very lucky to have the coolest family ever!
  17. Visiting Thailand is a priority for me.
  18. Sometimes I cry because I miss Rare mare and she has to live outside now.
  19. I am a big city, non-chain restaurant eating kind of girl.
  20. I am obsessed with birds.
  21. I am a sun Goddess, but always wear sunscreen.
  22. I never sweat the small stuff.
  23. I often dream of being a singer/musician.
  24. I 100% believe in the "When in Rome" idea.
  25. I want live in at least 2 other countries in the next 10 years.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Craziness at el Tope in Palmares

The Lonely Planet travel guide describes Las Fiestas de Palmares as "a 10 day beer-soaked extravaganza with carnival rides, parades, a tope, fireworks, discotheques, bands, exotic dancers, fried food, guaro tents and the highest proportion of drunken Ticos you have ever seen."
I looked up this festival in my travel book after Marco was talking about it one day at lunch. I had to be involved! It sounded fun and crazy...also very bloggable. I invited myself to go along with him and his friends. (sometimes you have to do that) Thursday was the kick-off day of the parties, and it all starts with el tope, which is a horse parade. Im not able to compare this to any parade I have seen before in my life. Imagine, if you will, 3000 horses streaming by you in a 4 hour period. Yes, 3000 horses. What does that look like you ask? Well, funny you should ask...I have plenty of pics, so sit back and relax. Please start by viewing this short video.

The town of Palmares is only about 30 minutes from San Jose (with no traffic) but with the amount of people coming to the festival, this could take anywhere from 2-3 hours. There are "party buses" that bring loads of people from the surrounding areas. Marco's friend Augusto, or Gusto for short, lives in Palmares and he hosted 8 of us at his house. We arrived the night before to avoid any traffic. That also worked out prefectly because Gusto's mom made us a delicious breakfast of eggs and gallo pinto. This has been a tradition for them for many years. To ensure he has a prime viewing spot of the tope (horse parade) Gusto pays a guy to sit in that spot on the sidewalk overnight and relieves him at 9am. Here it is early that morning, before everyone arrived. Across the street was a Pali (store) where I purchased my drink of choice for the day: Corona! The place was jam packed and we had to wait in line. They stocked the store with extra Imperial Beer and cowboys hats (hanging) Of course I came prepared with my own. wink wink
Here Marco me and Gusto smile as the sun finally came out. I cracked beer #1 at noon. Pacing myself was the name of the game. I did a fine job.
I met some great people (thanks again Marco) This is Ana, she and her boyfriend Diego live north in Guanacaste region and work at the Four Seasons.
We made plans for Ernesto and I to go visit them soon. (Get down here mi Neto!) She is Brazilian and I was picking her brain to see how she got a "real job" here (ie: paying) as a matter of fact we had some pretty serious conversations considering the atmosphere.
Now I was told it was tradition for the cowboys to get beers/drinks supplied to them by the crowd. I also saw the cowboys passing bottles from horse to horse. As you can imagine as the parade went by it got crazier and crazier. Horses going in different directions. Notice the cowboy standing on his horse. (far right)Im not even sure how long the parade route was, but I just kept thinking that there can't be this many horses in this small country. 4 hours of non-stop horses. Amazing!Speaking of crazy, I didnt like this at all when it went by. A blue horse? This girl was with Pepsi. Bad Pepsi! I realize dye doesnt hurt the horse and Im sure it comes right out when they bathe him, but I felt embarrassed for the horse. Im sure he felt it. Pobre sito el caballo. Pepsi's counterpart in red, was rubbing off on this pretty white horse. Nope, don't like it. Not cool Pepsi.
The "people watching" was amazingly entertaining. Besides the cowboys on the horses, the crowd was also in western gear. Here is Juan Carlos (juanca) with his hat that breaks out once a year for the tope. My hat is not exactly western, but it did the trick.
Another tradition is for the cowboys to pick up women on their horses. I knew right when I heard this that I had to get on a horse. I was really being too choosy, it had to be a Paint. Brown and white....and I didn't want an old cowboy. For hours I was watching and finally Diego told me I was being too picky. He whistled and pointed me out to the cowboy and he waved me over. I had to climb over the yellow metal fence.
Once over the fence, I mounted that horse like a pro! HA! (I did grow up next to a horse farm)

I liked the fact that he let me take the horse on my own, where as all the others I saw were riding the horses with the "guest rider" I went down the line a bit and turned around. It was so fun!I shook the cowboys hand and thanked him, he really made my day. El tope was complete!!The tope ended at dusk, by the end of the parade, you could really see a difference...there were a lot of drunk people on horses. I saw quite a few people sliding off. The crowd was just as bad. That quote from Lonely Planet was the truth, "the highest proportion of drunken Ticos you have ever seen." The night just got so funny. Here is a good example: This random cowboy wanted a photo with me.
OK... not that funny....but 5 minutes later I see the same random cowboy like this:
...and then like this:
That is where I will wrap up this cowgirl's story. On a scale of one to ten, I would say this is a 10 for a unique experience, nevermind one of my most entertaining days in Costa Rica to date.
Buenas Noches damas y caballeros! Come and see me sometime!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bienvenido Obama !!

The night before the swearing in Ernesto told me he was thinking of flying to DC for the day. I thought that was a wonderful idea, I wish I could've went with him. He barely made the flight, apparently 94 other Delta employees thought it was a great idea as well. The stand-by list was long. Fortunately both the 630 and 730am flights were "wide open" and Ernesto got on. He was able to take the train right out of the airport to the celebration. He was standing right by the Washington Monument and sent me this picture: He said the energy was amazing...I can imagine with more that 2 million people attending. I love big crowds, I always have. Concerts, rallies, parades..yes, even for Christmas shopping. My #1 -airports. Not nearly as energetic, but we also had a small crowd here in San Jose to watch the inauguration live on CNN. Basically all of the Americans in the office (and one Tico) went to a co-workers house nearby the office and were glued to the TV. Obama's speech was wonderful. I'm sorry. I love him. I really do. Ill leave you with this video, it gave me goosebumps. Love him.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cahuita: The Perfect Beach Getaway!

I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 430am Saturday. Lauren and I made last minute plans to take an early morning bus to Cahuita Beach, 4 hours from San Jose on the Caribbean side.We decided this was a pilot run of our upcoming "cheap" beach weekends. How little could we spend on a beach weekend? We want to prove that we can go to the beach for the same price as staying in San Jose. (the end result being that we never need to stay in the city on the weekends) Lauren bought a loaf of bread and a bag of apples. I brought the jar of peanut butter. We arrived to the beach at 10am. Cahuita is a small beach town that you can cover by foot in 5 minutes. Notice the dirt roads.After walking out of the bus station, we stopped at a couple places to ask prices. We stumbled upon the Cabinas Safari where we paid a measly $10 per person. Private room with bath (hot water) 2 beds, fan and a porch with a hammock! The Cahuita National Park was beautiful, there is a short trail to hike, but we only had flip flops. We were satisfied with lounging in the sand with our books and watching/listening to the Howler Monkeys, and posing on fallen trees. Why yes! That is a new yellow skirt. It is beach-o-licious, isn't it! Yellow makes me happy these days!Something else that makes me happy is gallo pinto, this is why we decided to "allow" ourselves one real meal. Breakfast of gallo pinto (seasoned black beans in rice) and platanos (fried bananas) at Parquecito 2 doors down from our cabin. Breakfast splurge: $5
Otherwise we stuck to our plan of peanut butter sandwiches. "choosy girls choose JIF" While strolling the city, we came across a flea market. On a rack, sitting in the sun, there was this fur coat.
I said to Lauren, "Can that be right? $2 for this?" German, definitely vintage, and for COLD weather. How it got to Cahuita Costa Rica is a mystery. Lauren will be living in NYC next winter. Yes, I encouraged her to buy it. (she models it here) Even after my friend Marco told me about this horrible PETA documentary he just watched about skinning animals. I couldn't even listen to him describe what was being done. Now I'm feeling quite guilty. Poor Lamby-Lamb! I am an animal lover, I swear. I played with this cute little puppy whose "home" seemed to be right outside our place. We couldn't stop playing with him, I wanted to take him in our room, give him a bath, and cuddle with him in my bed.
OK, so where did our money go this weekend??
  • 2 buses $15
  • 2 taxis $6
  • Cabin $10
  • 4 coffees $4
  • breakfast $5
  • water $1.50
  • Internet $1
  • bathroom $.15
  • scarf @flea market $.75 (cream w/ red feathers)
  • green straw hat $14 This was a real splurge and really should not be counted since I could have done without.
  • TOTAL = $57.40

The "without hat" total sounds so much better at $43.40, but oh well. I'm happy with a beach getaway for under $60. Below, you see the hat that broke the bank. You understand why I couldn't resist, right?The blanket I'm crocheting is getting really big! I worked on it the whole 4 hour bus ride. Its looking beautiful and was also very useful as a pillow on the trip home. What projects/crafts have you been working on lately?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hello? Of course Im Applying for this Job!

While reading about the Gaza strip on this past Monday I came across an article where Tourism Queensland is searching for a "caretaker" for Hamilton Island in Australia. This seems too good to be true, but it is a real job. It is a 6 month gig (starting July 1) in a 3 bedroom house (no rent), the pay is $100,000. What you have to do is "experience" the island, blog about it with photos and videos, and conduct some media interviews. This has Cindy written all over it! Why you ask, would Queensland tourism create this position? The goal is too create buzz and encourage tourism to Australia. Buzz has already been created, they announced the opening last Monday, and in the first 24 hours 850,000 people clicked on the Application. Yes, it is going to be a one in a million chance of winning, but you know I am going to give it my best shot!
To apply you must make a 60 second video describing yourself and why you should be hired for the job. Immediately I thought of my co-worker Marco, who is the media and video producer for Habitat LA. I offered him 1/3 of the money if I win, and we drew up the "contract" then and there. He couldn't believe I would pay him that much, but If I was paid $100,000 to do what I love (and live for free for 6 months) what is $33,000? I want his best work, the quality of the video is going to make the difference. Tons of people have already uploaded their videos here.

When my videos is done, I will post and be calling on you for help. It will be very easy. Watch my video. Rate it a *5*, not only because it is a great video but because you want to see me win so you can be sitting here enjoying breakfast with me on my balcony overlooking the ocean.
I promise you are all invited, and what perfect timing, Delta starts new service from LA to Sydney this summer!

Good Day Mate!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vicky Cristina Barcelona-The Movie

Wednesday is half-priced movies and although Vicky Cristina Barcelona came out last year (summer) it had just showed up here in San Jose It was wonderful!
#1 Javier Bardem is hot. Actually everyone was hot in the movie. Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson are both unbelievable actors. Penelope plays the best parts, constantly switching quickly back and forth from Spanish to English. (an ability I long for) Yes it was a love story, but guys you are going to like it too. Especially the part where Penelope and Scarlett kiss! That's all I can tell you, except that I was thoroughly entertained, and wanted to pass it onto you.
Watch the trailer, and let me know what you think. Does it intrigue you to watch?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year: Keeping Busy in the Evenings

When I was home over Christmas I racked my brain for crafts that could occupy my evenings in San Jose. I learned to crochet a long time ago and thought that would be perfect. I bought a bunch of yarn (in my favorite color) knowing I would never the same color here. So wierd, that week Lauren fwd an email of a knitting club she found on Craigslist! Tuesday night we hitched a ride with a co-worker to San Pedro and met Ana y Yessenia at Cafe Sol. Ana and I (in the middle) already know how to knit and crochet and brought a project to work on. This was just the inicial meeting to get acquainted. I have to say I am so happy that we went. I love meeting new people and it was actually a surpirse that they were young (like me!) We hit if off right away and the best part is that it was in Spanish! Love it! We are going to continue to meet on Tuesday nights and feed off each others ideas. Inspiration is in the air.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stolen from one of my new favorite blogs

Stolen from one of my new favorite blogs:
Daily Pep Talk from a Best Friend (via 4 others blogs. you can follow the trail if you'd like) You MUST check this site out and add it to your reader. She is making me smile and consider her words of wisdom daily. Girls especially are going to love me for passing this on. I love Lauren for passing to me!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Earthquake in San Jose again YIKES!

I arrived safe and sound back to San Jose (in first class...thank you Delta) Thursday night. Before leaving I spoke with my parents and they told me there was an earthquake in San Jose that day. When I walked into my apartment I was expecting to see the mess. WOW! This one was must have been scary to experience! People died. I read 5, but Im sure they have reported more by now. A TV would be helpful in this situation.

"The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake measured 6.1 on the moment magnitude scale. The quake, which hit at 1:21 pm on Thursday some 35 kilometers (22 miles) northwest of the capital, shook water out of swimming pools and witnesses said they had not felt such a strong tremor in 30 years. It was felt across the Central American country and also in neighboring Nicaragua, officials and locals said. San Jose residents reported broken windows, cracks in buildings, ceilings and roads. Public buildings, were evacuated, and many people ran onto the streets of the capital."

This is the built in book shelf when you walk in the door. Books and CD were everywhere.

Im sure being on the 3rd floor of a 4 story building is not the best spot during an earthquake. There is a built in china cabinet, and all the wine glasses but 3 were shattered on the floor. Luckily the heavier pottery was ok. Kitchen cabinets were flung open with contents on the floor, picture frames off the wall....CRAZY!

The Habitat office was equally as torn up. We spent the morning straightening up, helping each other.


Related Posts with Thumbnails