Chillaxing by the Pool

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There has been some very nice weather here lately in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone giving opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, the views and to just chillax by the pool.  Even Wylder, Rusty and Olivia take time for some sunbathing in the morning.  As we are now in the rainy season, mornings are not to waste as many afternoons and/or evenings are rainy.

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A beautiful day!

We all know that for ultimate chillaxation, a good, cold beer goes a long way.  However, Costa Rica is in its beer infancy, so to speak, with Imperial, Pilsen and several other national brews dominating the store shelves.  Craft beers and brewpubs have recently started making their way onto the scene, but it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the U.S.  So, I have got my butt in gear and started to make my own brew again.

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Bottles are being sanitized for bottling of the first batch of beer.

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Bottling of a batch of Nut Brown Ale is underway.

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Filled bottles are capped.

This first batch should be ready to try around Labor Day, just in time for some more chillaxing by the pool!

Some comfortable cushions are always nice to have when you want to sit on the edge of the pool and get your feet wet!  So, Ellen decided she would make her own with some outdoor fabric she brought in from the States.

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Sewing up the cushion covers

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Here are the cushions with foam inserts ready to have the final seam sewn.

As you know, we grow our own bananas on our property and we recently found this oddity.  A set of conjoined bananas…not sure if they were identical twins though.  This was a first for us!

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….like two bananas in a peel!  They tasted great.

Bananas, Tile and Turtles, Oh My!

The year before we started the construction of our house, we took the opportunity to do some basic landscaping on our lot.  We (really our workers) planted a bamboo hedge along the driveway, a few ornamental plants and a lot of trees — mostly fruit trees, including bananas.  Fast forward a couple of years and now we have bananas coming out of our ears!  Don’t get me wrong…we like bananas and so it’s not a bad problem to have.  Apparently, we have a great spot for growing bananas because the trees really thrive and produce some of the best bananas on the planet.  We make banana bread, banana pancakes, banana cookies, and put bananas in our daily fruit smoothie.  We have given away a ton of bananas to friends, neighbors and even strangers that we meet just walking down the street.  Everyone says our bananas are amazing.  We are lucky!

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Some of the banana trees on our property

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This rack still has a long way to go before it is ready to harvest.

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Unfortunately, it is typical for the whole rack to ripen all at once.  We are drowning in bananas!

In an effort to add some color and beautify the open stairway next to the kitchen, we decided that adding some ceramic tile would do the trick.  We had in mind to use some colorful Mexican tile, but finding that in Costa Rica would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.  So, we got on the computer to search for Mexican tile and found a great online retailer of ceramic tile in San Diego (Tierra Y Fuego).  We had our order shipped to Florida, where the warehouse for ‘Get It Here Jerry‘ is located.  Jerry and Lowell Thomas provide a great service to those living here in the Southern Zone with their freight consolidation business.  Several weeks later, we were able to pick up our order of tile from Jerry in Uvita.

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The wall is ready for the tile to be laid down

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Eddie is applying the grout

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The final result!

One of our favorite things to do is to go walking on the beach.  When the tide is right (near low) we will head down to the beach with the dogs for a nice walk in the early morning.  Usually we are the only ones there at that hour.  Olivia and Wylder love to run around and chase the birds and the little crabs that burrow in the sand.  On our beach walk this morning we had a special surprise.  We saw a group of about 30 newly hatched turtles frantically scurrying from their nest towards the relative safety of the ocean.  Since it was low tide, it was a long way to the ocean!  Beginning now through the next several months is the nesting season for the Olive Ridley sea turtle.  Females return to the same beach where they were hatched to lay their eggs in the sand.  We watched and assisted as needed to make sure all of the hatchlings made it to the water.  Even the dogs helped out by chasing away several hawks nearby that would have certainly snatched up some of the baby turtles if we had not been there.  It was quite a sight to see and we felt like we did a good service to help the baby turtles survive.  We happened to be in the right place at the right time.

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