World Travels: Costa Rica

It was a long day to Tortoguero. However, it was only about 5 hours of travel. The long hours on the road and then another hour or two by boat made a great recovery day. Once we got to our to our hotel we were able to relax and explore the tiny area we had landed on. There was a great many children running wild through the streets. It was such a protected area; no cars, limited wifi, only quiet. I could see the river on one side and the Caribbean on the other.P1070471.JPG It was lovely. In the morning we went out kayaking. They were sit on kayaks and I must say that I prefer the sit in type. I survived none the less and saw a great deal of animals. A troupe of howler monkeys that were kind enough to howl for us. We saw parrots, toucans, and many other types of beautiful birds. Once we moved into some narrow channels we were able to see caimans. These are like small alligators.  The babies were all nestled in the tall grass and so cute. Well as cute as reptiles could be.P1070534.JPG The only complaint I had about Tortoguero was that it was stifling hot in the room. The first night my roommate and I slept fitfully bathed in sweat. The next night we demanded a stand up fan to have some relief. It did help.

The time there was over all to quick and we had to work our way back to San Jose for our last night together. It was another long drive recrossing the cloud rain forest on the mountain pass. We stopped at a fruit stand and got a tasting of some amazing verity of tropical fruit. I have to say that the ice cream pods (Inga feuillei) are the most crazy thing ever. They are about a foot long and 2-3 inches wide. Inside there are these “peas” that about about an inch or so and white. They are kind of fuzzy and cover a rather large seed. I felt the flavor was alright though you would have to eat quiet a bit to be full.

All too quickly our time together had to come to an end. I had an early flight and took a taxi to the airport. One thing I have to say that both my taxi rides (to hotel and to airport) were fantastic. Super friendly drivers, Dennis and Alex, inquired about my trip and my enjoyment. Many times you find that taxi drivers can be a bit aloof. My trip home took nearly 24 hours and left me exhausted and ill. While life getting back to normal can be a bit of a buzz kill. There is always the opportunity to look back and then look forward to the next adventure.


What’s for Dinner?


I love cooking. I also share. Most people really enjoy that. So I thought I should share the recipes too. (For those who can’t taste test.) I will try to make this a monthly post. I also would love to hear about your favorite recipes or food ideas.

Creamy Cheddar Quinoa Chicken I really like quinoa and I figured this would be fantastic. If it has cheese its good right? The only thing I changed in this recipe was the sesame oil, I used olive oil instead. I also did some baked veggies for a side. I enjoyed it but its a bit… mushy. Good flavor just mushy.

World Travels: Winnipeg, Canada

I finally had a couple days off (I work 8 on 2 off/ 8 on 4 off). My schedule is horrible. No one is able to work that many days in a row and keep their sanity. I have been struggling but fighting back. I hope to get a transfer this year. Wish me luck ‘cause I am going to need it. Well anyways I had a long weekend and my roomie and I decided to visit Winnipeg, Canada. We had been talking about it for some time and actually had days of together so we headed north. I have finally purchased my new truck and I wanted to take it to see if she was worthy of the purchase. She, Beatrice, did not disappoint. The drive was about 3 hours and I have to say there isn’t much in Canada. We drove through swampland and country side until about 40 minutes outside of Winnipeg where there was another small town. I understand that Canada’s roads are crap, I hear it all the time, but seeing is believing. They are really bad. I lost traction doing 30 on a dry road, that’s how bad. However, we carefully made it to our hotel in downtown Winnipeg. We were not able to get our keys but could park and then walk to get some food.
We chose downtown because of a place called the Forks. It is a little artisans place with a bunch of handicraft shops and ethnic food. For our breakfast we had Caribbean and maybe a few local beers. Afterward we were feed and watered we took note of the other food places we would want to eat at and wandered through the stores. Then we worked back to the hotel to get our keys and unpack a bit. Maybe a nap. The room was large and very comfortable. On the way back to the hotel from the Forks we saw a sign for a Cirque du Solei show in the area. Tickets were the right price and we booked for the next night. We had a few recommendations for places to eat for dinner and went out for Tapas and drinks. Food was exotic and good and a pitcher of sangria made us quiet happy.

The next day we awoke early and went to our continental breakfast. I have to say that these other guest were the most rude people ever. Cutting in front of you to grab a fork or piece of toast. There was very limited places to sit and many people, having finished their meals, were sitting reading the paper. Super rude and inconsiderate.

The food itself wasn’t anything to write home about. So we ate quick and made our way to the Winnipeg Zoo. Both of us are big zoo and aquarium fans and we stop at any that we can. This once was a little poorly designed and many of the exhibits were under construction. We still saw many animals such as, polar bears, camels, wild horses, tigers, and many smaller mammals and birds. It was a great way to spend the morning. We returned to the room and walked around down town looking for used book stores. We found a few and wandered. We found a place that was selling shawarma meals, which is a North African dish. You must try it.

We found an Ethiopian place near there and we figured that would be perfect for dinner. Naps were in order to prepare for a long evening of entertainment and good food. This du Solei was called Kurios and was in an actual big top tent. Like the real circus are in. So cool. Our meal at the Ethiopian place ran long and we were a bit rushed to get to the show on time. We were about 3 minutes late and only missed the announcements about no cameras or recording. The next two hours went by way too fast. There was great music, outstanding acrobats, and fabulous tricks. It was beyond imagination and was the perfect way to spend a few hours.

After the show and still floating on a cloud we parked at the hotel and walked to a restaurant bar that was open really late. Beers and munchies were delicious and carried us happily to bed.

The next day we needed to be back in the states to meet a friend who has a food wagon. For breakfast we went to the Forks (better than the hotels) and had good ol’ eggs and sausage, deli quiche, and porgies. All very good! We walked around the park and were trying to kill time to stop in a local brewery before we went south. Happily packed with beer and food we started back south. We stopped at the “middle of Canada” and made it in time to meet my friend to pick up some more food. All in all it was fantastic break from the dull grind of work. However, I am back to that dull grind and hoping for a break again… My mom is on her way up… gulp


Camping at Quetico

The Quetico Provincial Park is a large (1.8 million Acres) wilderness park in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Or at least that is what Wikipedia says.

My roomie and I had a couple days off and wanted to camp somewhere new. Both of us are hobbyist kayak-ers and the Quetico is nothing but water; well and a few trees. The only campground in the park is about 2 hours away. Otherwise you can camp back country. We packed our gear and headed out. This was our farthest trip into Canada we have done.

While we were hopeful for wildlife sighting the road to the campground is rather dull. Our site, my roomie picked out, was amazing. We had views of the lake but no access. However, about 100 yards way was a small beach where we could launch. The site itself was large and I could park the truck and tent and have room for more. We kayaked a few times making our way down little rivulets and enjoyed the warm days. It was relaxing, even with rain through the night. All too soon we came home to reality and kitties.