March 26, 2013

tamarindo, costa rica

The last stop on our Costa Rica trip (click to see the first and second) was Tamarindo. Often referred to as "Tamagringo" for its abundance of tourists, Tamarindo is a popular vacation spot for international travelers because of its reputation for consistent and easy-to-learn surfing. When JP took his six month solo trip around Southeast Asia several years ago he got some experience surfing and wanted to give it another go. And it's always been something I wanted to try. So we decided to cap off our trip by hitting the deck, hanging ten, and taking a few dirty lickings! (Ok, not so much on the hanging ten [which literally means riding the board with your ten toes hanging off the front end!], but there were definitely a few gnarly wipeouts!) We also enjoyed some delicious food, including the best fish tacos I've had in some time, and some more stunning sunsets.

{pretty sunset after a long day at the beach}
{one of man, many surfers}
{hammocks for life}
{admiring the view}

March 25, 2013

family slides

One of the things on my Mom's Christmas list last year was a slide converter "gizmo" (her words, not mine). Basically, it's a tool that plugs into your computer and allows you to convert old slides -- it's true, they used these once upon a time to capture photographs! -- into digital picture files. It's a cool idea and since my Mom is particularly interested in learning more about and archiving our family's history, it was the perfect gift idea. I assumed it would take her ages to go through the hundreds of slides in her basement, but I was pleasantly surprised when I returned home recently and she had made substantial progress. Most are pictures that were taken by my late grandparents, which makes them even more special. Below are some of my favourite photos uncovered so far.

{beach babe (aka grammy)}
{grampy & his lobster}
{my dad, the original hipster}
{me, about a year old}
{how fabulous was she?}
{so in love}
{my adorable mamma} 

March 22, 2013

relaxing 101

I'll be honest, this week wasn't the best. It was mostly just a very stressful work week. However I also found myself a little overwhelmed with life more generally, maybe in part a result of the gloomy "spring" weather we've been having. I was tense and on-edge and I was in desperate need of cheering up and a night (or three) of relaxation. So I thought that instead of my weekly recap post, since you pretty much got the gist of it (and there wasn't much to be remembered!), I would share with you some of my favourite ways to relax after a stressful day or week.

1. A hot bath with soothing tunes
2. A good book, hot cup of tea and a cozy blanket
3. A guilty pleasure show and a bowl of homemade popcorn (or ice cream)
4. A bit of pampering: an at-home manicure or pedicure, or an energizing face mask
5. Some gentle exercise, like yoga, Pilates or a brisk walk

What do you do to relax?


March 21, 2013


Earlier this year, in January, JP's grandfather passed away. It happened kind of suddenly and even though he was 97, his passing came as a total surprise. Until a few months earlier Hiya, as JP and his brother lovingly called him, was still living on his own. He was a fiercely independent man, with enough spunk and enthusiasm to rival men one-tenth his age. A chemist by training (his first job was at a chocolate factory), he actually managed to work fewer years than he was retired -- a life philosophy I respect and admire, and would love to replicate!

The first story I ever heard about the man, who at the time was flying solo living in Miami, was about the time he invented a toy made out of a margarine container, a motor, some scotch tape and a set of markers. With a flick of the switch, the octopus-like contraption would jump to life, a rainbow of scribbles populating the page. In my humble opinion, this story is a perfect metaphor for the type of person Hiya was: he was inventive, quirky, and colourful. He was many other things too, but most importantly, for the last ten years, he was my grandfather. And I will miss him very much.

I already do.

March 19, 2013

montezuma, costa rica

JP and I both agree that Montezuma was our favourite stop on the trip (see our first leg here). It was peaceful and secluded with endless stretches of nearly private beach, but also somehow managed to have the best restaurants of anywhere we visited. Our hotel was lovely, with expansive green lawns and dozens of hammocks strung between palm trees. We spent each morning relaxing with a book on the hotel grounds and then meandered down the beach for the afternoon, jumping in the ocean and getting occasionally trampled by the crashing waves. It was the most relaxing part of our trip, which is probably why we both loved it so much. We left Montezuma with darker tans, suitcases full of sand and perma-smiles. Next stop: Tamarindo.

{our first view of montezuma}
{cooling our feet near our hotel}
{montezuma = heaven}
{enjoying a cold brew on a hot day}
{waterfall swimming}
{endless beach}
{picturesque view and rainbow}