After all the planning and enough food to feed 50 people, the thing is over! I’m speaking of our annual Fiesta del Arbol.
I have no idea how many people were here. A shitpot full seems about right, and a LOT of them were kids which made the whole thing just great. Kids are soooo cool at Christmas!
We had purchased an artificial tree complete with 1,000 lights. It stands just under eight feet tall, just perfect for our living room,but the thought of assembling that sucker had me not sleeping at night, and I left it in the box in the garage until the last minute… yesterday. I had visions of adding the lights, all the branches… ugh!
I have now officially changed my opinion of fake Christmas trees.
Tomorrow is the big day.
ML has invited Costa Rica to come to our home for the annual tree decorating thing. Well of course she did not invite the whole country, just her relatives which is no more then ten percent of the people here. My son, his wifey and my granddaughter are coming too, so there will be some representation from North America. I invited some childless friends to attend but they suddenly had other things to do. Even free booze could not budge them when faced with 20 plus children.
Lately, my health has taken a bit of downturn. Seems that past a certain age, things begin to break. I am also becoming intimately familiar with the CAJA health care system in Costa Rica which I will expound upon soon in a future post.
I have never been to a Hooters Restaurant. There is no reason for this… just never did. Yesterday though, ML, friends Beverly and her husband Juan Carlos and I went to the Hooters in Escazu. Generally, I avoid the restaurants in Escazu and Santa Ana as they are just horribly overpriced, but ML wanted a salad and to see what all the fuss was about at Hooters, so off we went.
Our waitress represented the average Hooters wait person and saying that, it was clear that this chain was named Hooters for a reason. I also discovered just how easy it is for a person to regress… regardless of how well trained they are… or thought they were.
Maria and I took off for the mountains to buy THE TREE, and brother was she excited! For weeks, she has been saying that THIS year, she wants a smaller tree… smaller being less tall than I (2 meters or about 6’5″). Remembering the appearance of last years tree, I thought she might be on to something, so off we headed to Surqui to do the hunting.
OK… So I am a bit late writing about the last part of the ‘moon. Sue me.
After the few days we spent in DF and Taxco, it was time to again board Mexicana… also known as Mexi-arrogante… for the short flight to Cancun. As you might glean from my comment, Mexicana is not my favorite airline and in fact are probably toward the bottom… not bad considering this was the first time I have flown the airline. They work quick to impress!
OK… So I screwed up. I am not sure why I thought we could properly visit a city of maybe 24 million people in four hours… but I did.
Mexico City is special. I have always wanted to visit, but was scared away by the numerous traveler’s warnings.
Costa Rica is not known for it’s fine cuisine. In general, this is probably a deserved reputation as it tends to be centered around rice, beans, chicken, pork, and beef (tongue especially is very popular here). However, how the above items are combined is within the realm of the cook and that makes all the difference. I find a lot of the cooking here to be really good! Generally, beef here is terrible. I think this is due in part to the lack of vast grazing lands. Also, the concept of aging a steak is not yet part of the Costa Rican culture.
To me, it has always been a wonder why folks move to a foreign country like Costa Rica only to live in residential strongholds of their countrymen and spend all their time at Tony Romas, TGIFridays, etc.
One of the neat things about living in Costa Rica is the variety of cool fruits available here.
Not all are automatically good to my taste. One particular fruit whose name I never bothered to learn for the obvious reason (I hate them) is a golf ball sized thingy that people cook for about two years, then eat with
mayonnaise. Ticos (Costa Ricans) love them!
However… one of the fruits that I truly adore comes only for a short time each year. It is the mamón chino (see photos above and below) and it is truly excellent treat.
They do, however, have a somewhat scary appearance that can intimidate.
The first time I saw them I didn’t even want to touch one much less figure out how to eat it. Needless worry. The spines are very soft and a quick pull apart with the nails on your thumbs gets you to the real fruit!
The fruit itself is wrapped around a seed and you sort or run it around inside your mouth until you have sorta chewed off the fruit.
So if you ever get to Costa Rica… check out the street vendors.
One kilo (2.2 pounds) will set you back a buck.