We wake up with the sunshine and the birds singing. It's 6 am and I don't have to get on the subway and go to work. But I'm awake and out of bed anyway. The excitement of my new surroundings has me eager to see what the day may bring. All of the stress is gone and I really can't believe that this is really ours. There is a cool fresh breeze coming from the rain forest behind us. I take a deep breath and I feel my lungs thanking me for finally giving them the pure oxygen that they deserve. The sun is lighting up the ocean and vistas below us. Colorful birds zoom by us. Then 2 toucans (thats 4 cans if your keeping score-thanks Danny) arrive directly on the trees in front of us, about 50 feet away. Seeing toucans in the wild is an incredible experience especially since I grew up in Brooklyn, And later lived in Manhattan.
That morning we get a ride to the local small supermarket in the laid back surf town of Dominical. 3 mangos for $1.50, avocados $1 each, large sized pineapple $1.50. Cascade dishwasher detergent $12.00. $12.00? Yes, it seems that anything imported or US brands are more money than if bought in the US. We were prepared for this and are looking forward to using local products. No more Ragu spaghetti sauce. It's now make our own with tomato paste, real tomatoes, and whatever spices we can add. No more Pepperidge Farm Nantucket Double chocolate chip cookies.....give me a moment of silence. Milk and eggs are not sold refrigerated. Hmmmm, how could that be? Beer is cheaper than soda. Rum and Coke sold in a can = Ceasar smiling. So many fruits and vegetables that are fresh. In NYC I sometimes avoided buying fruit because there was about a 50% chance that it wouldn't be good. Mangos are now my favorite fruit. Ceasar made a delicious mango batida with milk, mangos, sugar, fresh lime juice, ice, and a bit of spice rum. He's starting to make good on his promise to branch out from sangria and make fruit smoothies.
We are starting to get a daily routine which includes an early morning walk. One day we walked down to the beach. We walked down a dusty road, past cows with white herons in some type of symbiotic relationship. The road gave way to a vey wide beach with many coconut palm trees. There was driftwood there that looked like sculptures. Flocks of pelicans flew overhead. We saw 2 other people with their dog and that was it. I did mange to get what I thought to be mosquito bites but later found out that they were caused by chiggers. They are small mites that inject some sort of enzyme into the blood causing intense itching. It seems that I had walked into some grass in a field to get a photo of a large blue heron. It was relieved with a topical cortisone cream, and a Benadryl tablet. Thanks mom and dad for sending me to pharmacy school.
Other new memories from our first week include:
Watching the hawks/vultures quietly gliding overhead and even coming over our pool when we were inside the house. The first time we were just staring and saying OMG! When it circled back we then went for our cameras but did not get there in time.
A small bird flew in one window and out the other.
Asking the waitress at our local small restaurant "how much would it be to add avocado to my side salad". She said "no problema" and just added it with no charge. Similarly, we asked to have a couple of pieces of lemon for our order of fried snapper to go and she just tossed us the whole lemon. Fruits and vegetables are inexpensive and plentiful. Hopefully I have kept myself healthy enough to enjoy a healthy diet here.
Seeing a different kind of insect on our patio every night. There is one that is especially interesting. It looks like a beetle with wings and we find them their laying on their backs, seemingly dead. When we go to move them they suddenly wake up, make a noise while they flap their wings, and then fly off bumping into things. They remind me of person who is drunk or has just awaken from a deep sleep and tries to get up too soon.
Two iguanas. Our cute new pet iguana that hangs out at our pool, and the huge, I'm talking large dog size, Jurassic Park looking, sci-if it's too big to be real, shut my mouth, SMH, OMG iguana that we watched slowly crawl up a tree adjacent to our pool. It then got into a comfortable position, smiled at us, and then enjoyed the late afternoon sun the same way that we were.
Watching the millions of stars in the clear and tranquil night sky.
So far............life is but a dream.
Next time............Buying Our First Car.