Happy New Year from the land of Pura Vida!
I spent the holidays in Atlanta and Jacksonville and came home on the 1st. As much as I loved seeing friends and family, I was delighted to get back to a comfortable climate.
All four Delta flights were great. The only downside to the travel was time spent in Atlanta Airport. Yikes! A lot of unhappy people work there. It was weird to be able to add a side-trip to see my oldest brother; with no dog, I could travel at will. It was still painful to be without him and to return home to an empty house. But I did get to hang out with my brother’s family and his dog Shiloh. The photo above is of an exuberantly-lit house in Atlantic Beach; a good example of wretched excess, but festive.
I managed to spend mucho bucks buying things in the States that either can’t be found here or are crazy-expensive. When I first moved in, I bought the usual things (e.g., a dishrack for the kitchen, liquid soap dispensers for the bathrooms) only to watch them rust in less than a year. I bought US-made replacements along with a couple of jars of sesame paste, all of which I packed in my checked bag. As I feared, airport security got concerned when they saw an image of two liquid-filled jars inside a metal rack; when I got home, I discovered that they had opened everything in the bag and, just for good measure, poured the contents of my vitamin bottles all over the bag. Another terrorist attack averted.
Life is quieter than usual here, since most folks are on extended vacations. There’s a reason why Costa Ricans rank #1 in the world on the happiness scale: mostly low-stress jobs and lots of time off. Also, in lieu of summer vacation, here kids are off from December to February. The weather is cool and, much of the time, overcast, but very pleasant in the central valley where I live.
So, dear friends, I am back to writing and working with my travel agent friends. Here’s to a better year in 2018 and some well-deserved respite from the insanity underlying life in the US.
Remember: That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’m counting on you to stay strong and enjoy the good things in your lives.
Feliz Navidad, Feliz Año Nuevo, and Pura Vida!