The realities of daily photo sharing…A reminder of the USA in Alajuela Costa Rica…

Much of the produce at the Central Market in Atenas appears to be imported when it’s perfectly shaped and mostly clean.  At the feria, the Friday Atenas Farmer’s Market, the produce appears to have been “just picked” with excess leaves and insects still on them.  That’s the produce we prefer to buy.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

The gnarly trunk of a tree in the yard.

In a perfect world, we ‘d have new and exciting photos for each day’s post.  But, in the “real” world that’s simply not possible for us.  If we only posted once a week or once a month, it would be easy. 

Our commitment and desire to post daily make this type of objective ridiculous.  We’d have to be out sightseeing every day to accomplish such a feat.  And like many others, we embrace a pleasant day to day life, it just happens to be in different countries every few months or more frequently during certain periods.

Produce shop in the Central Market.

When locals encourage us to see “this and that” in their country, we smile and say we look forward to seeing many of their homeland’s special features.  We often say, “We are enjoying “living” in your country and relishing in its customs, culture, and way of life although it doesn’t necessarily mean we go sightseeing all the time.

As you live in your homeland, do you go sightseeing all the time…or ever, for that matter?  I can’t recall the last time we went sightseeing in Minnesota where collectively we both spent most of our lives (Tom a native; me a transplant in my early 20’s). 

Various meats hanging in the refrigerated window.  In many countries, we’ve seen meat hanging in the window without any type of refrigeration.

Sure, a Minnesotan might take out-of-state visitors to see the Mall of America or Minnehaha Falls.  Once the visitors are gone, it’s back to the usual activities of everyday life.

For us, there definitely are certain sites we’re anxious to see while taking photos to share.  Some much more than others.  More so, it’s the serendipitous situations we encounter along the way that provide us with the most excitement and intrigue; the people, the wildlife, and jaw-dropping scenery and vegetation.

 There are a few butcher shops located in the Central Market.

A few days ago, having the rental car, we’d considered driving to the beach.  With stormy days predicted for each of the five days, we had the car, it made no sense to drive for four hours (round trip) to get to a beach. 

How many photos of white sand beaches have been posted here over these past five years?  Most likely well into the hundreds.  Spending more time living in beach towns than anywhere else in the world, to our readers, one sandy beach photo is not unlike another.

Costa Rica is getting ready for Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, we love beach scenes.  Also, we love living near a beach or on an oceanfront property as we have on many occasions, comparable to our time in Bali (four months total) living on the beach in a gorgeous villa such as here in Atenas.

Although Atenas doesn’t have ocean views we’re totally content with the lush views of the Central Valley, the rapidly changing weather conditions, the birds, the sounds of barnyard animals and the easy lifestyle.

In the center of “downtown” Atenas, there’s another farmers-type market that is open during the week and Saturdays.  There’s shops, restaurants, and plenty of produce.  We walked through the entire mart but didn’t purchase a thing.

Besides living in a gorgeous home with every possible needed or desired amenity it is exceedingly comfortable to stay in on the days we don’t have transportation nor a desire to get out.  Isn’t that like all of us. 

Of course, we all know people who are constantly on the go, planning every moment of their day and evening when they’re not working or engaged in obligatory tasks.  I often wonder if those people are running from quiet time and their own headspace.  But, I could be wrong.

A discount store in the Atenas village.

We find those quiet times enriching, refueling us for our next out-and-about adventure, sightseeing tour or drive to the countryside.  For us, it’s about balancing our lives with that which we love to do at any given time, whether it’s a lazy afternoon rest on the veranda, a conversation laden hour in the pool, a tour of a popular venue or watching another episode of Mad Men in the evening.

It all matters.  With so much on the horizon, we’re finding the slow lazy lifestyle in Costa Rica rather appealing. Two months from today, we’ll be boarding the Celebrity Infinity for yet another 30-night cruise which will be the beginning of a year of considerable excitement and photo ops.

As we entered the PriceSmart store it reminded us of shopping in Costco in our old lives.

Please bear with us as we present the photos we have on hand at any given moment.  Many will consist of the continuation of tours we’ve done while here which we may have already presented in part, yet to be posted thus far.  They may be out of any particular order and may not match the story of the day.  Plus, some days the “Sightings from the Veranda” are limited.  We make every effort to find something new and different but that’s not always possible.

Yesterday, we drove to the town of Alajuela to find the PriceSmart store (there are six in Costa Rica), surprisingly owned by Costco.  We didn’t realize we’d have to purchase a membership to shop but when we saw how many items we wanted to buy, we didn’t hesitate to spend the US $35 (CRC 20,133.46).

Wow!  Christmas decorations were already on display in PriceSmart.

Although most labels are in Spanish and all pricing was in Costa Rica colones, we managed quite well.  Mostly, we were able to find cuts of meat and cheeses we hadn’t been able to find in Atenas.  We spent US $395 (CRC 227,226) with enough protein to last several weeks.  Luckily, the freezer is large enough to accommodate all of our purchases.

Most of all, it felt especially fun for us to be in basically what appeared to be a Costco store, here in Costa Rica.  The Kirkland marked packages of items brought back memories of our Costco store in Eden Prairie Minnesota where we often shopped.  Actually, it was quite enjoyable.

Goodness folks!  It’s still only September!

We scurried about when we returned back to the villa bringing in all the items, many that didn’t fit into our yellow Costco bag or our Africa bag we carry with us throughout the world.  I put everything away while Tom hauled it in from the car.  Isabel was still cleaning the house, so we hurried and put the perishables away allowing her space to finish her work.

Tonight, we’re making one of our favorite meals, unwich (bread-less Subway-type) sandwiches, with a side of coleslaw and cooked vegetables. We haven’t had these since we made them at Richard’s home in Henderson Nevada in July.  He enjoyed them as much as we always have.  Pricesmart had the gluten/sugar-free Boarshead meats and Provolone cheese something we’d never find in Atenas.

Today, at noon we’ll head to the cafe at Supermercado Coopeatenas to return the car, grab a few items inside the market and return by taxi.  No doubt it will be another good day.

May your day be good as well!


Photo from one year ago today, September 23, 2016:

Sunset reddened clouds reflecting in our pool in Sumbersari Bali.  For more photos, please click here.

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