Sunday, July 18, 2010

Costa Rica - Pavones

This is the house where we stayed. It had a lanai, a pool and really great amenities. And it was situated on a hill at the edge of a minimally developed area. We saw lots of wildlife within the house's property. A dirt pathway about 200 yards long, bordered on either side by shanties and small farms led straight down to the beach.

A local resident (there are lots of them and they are generally friendly) befriended us and humbly begged for food donations.

My sketchbook fell in the Rio Claro when Jasmine and I took a guided riverwalk (we didn’t actually think we would be walking IN the river!).

Our last full day at Pavones, we went to the internet cafe in town. In addition to internet you could purchase pastries and huge smoothies. The proprietor was serving us until he became distracted by a really good wave. He promptly grabbed his surfboard and disappeared into the beach. While my brother-in-law surfed, Jasmine surfed the web and I drew the surfers at the cafe. Later, I told Michael that I made a drawing of a "salty dog" at the cafe that may have seen one too many waves. He was wearing a baseball cap, had a very tanned complexion and was typing away on his laptop while watching the surf. He told me that he is a surfing champion who now owns a surf business. Imagine that!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Costa Rica - Jaco

In Jaco, we met up with friends and stayed overnight. Jaco is one of several beach towns along the southern Pacific coast where the surfing is excellent. The main strip is made up of surf shops and souvenir shops, bars and restaurants and a few high rise condos. Development is still minimal and the town is surrounded by greenery. The morning sky is gorgeous. I made a few watercolors  the next day at 6:30 am.The sky turned different shades of pinks and blues as the sun came up and chatty tropical birds whizzed through the air.   

The drive to our next destination, Pavones, was beautiful too with lots of agricultural scenery. At one point there seemed to be miles and miles of palm plantations. Random fruit trees grew on the side of the road - banana, mango, papaya and more! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Costa Rica!

A Trip to Paradise!

Can a birthday gift be any better? In the early hours of Saturday June 12th, I packed my flipflops, suntan lotion and sketchbook and met my sister Jasmine and brother in law Michael at jfk to get on a plane to Costa Rica. Not just any trip but a 9-day trip to paradise...yes!

While waiting to board the plane - I made a quick drawing of the jets which were looking a lot like large metallic birds, and pleasantly anticipated the next few days...I knew so many people that had been to Costa Rica who raved about so many different things. And everything is wonderful and the best - from surfing to nature to food to people to cost-and only a 5-hour plane ride away!

When it was our turn to check in at the counter, I almost tripped over my brother in law’s baggage - a 10-foot long soft metallic case containing a couple of surfboards. Michael is an avid surfer and has been to Costa Rica many times in the past. He will be our tourguide.

We landed in San Jose which was in the middle of lush mountains. It was 76 degrees!

We had to wait awhile for our rental car, so I drew the trees across the way. A dragonfly appeared and landed on my sister’s totebag. Hmm, hello to you too! 

Our first activity was to drive to Jaco, about 1 1/2 hours away. We drove through green mountains. 

We stopped at an eatery high up in the mountain with an incredible view of the valley. A lady in a pretty flower-print dress served us casados, or platters of food, consisting of rice, fried plantains, beans, salad and chicken, beef or fish. I had the fish and a mango smoothie -Yum!