dear photograph.

you know those fall-in-love-with-this websites?  the ones that have the power to make you laugh or cry (at the same time), want to reach through the screen and hug, slap or pinch the cheeks of someone on the other end?  well, today i found one of those. 

dear photograph is an absolutely awesome concept and i have to give three cheers (with jazz hands and a cartwheel) to this web master (even though you're anonymous- here's my shout out to you).  they mastered this genius idea around an old photograph and a memory.  basically, take an old photo, bring it to the same place in the present and capture the there & then along with the here & now.

there are so many pictures i'd love to "replicate" & my mind is reeling with possibilities.  i would love to take a few pictures back to our first home in san diego, family vacations, sunday night dinners, the lake in wisconsin and my grandparents house in michigan.  on another note, what a great anniversary or christmas gift this could be for family or friends.  snapshots of you and an old friend playing barbies or your parents cooking the thanksgiving turkey?  brilliant.

enjoy looking through it- and who knows, you could become part of the gallery.  i truly hope you enjoy this site as much as i do.


happening lately.

beautiful weather and sunny days.  poolside & parties.  planting gardens full of tomatoes, basil, sweet potatoes, summer squash and cantaloupe.  endless weeding & mole hunting (any advise on getting rid of them that doesn't involve chemicals or lawn bombs?).  rolling in the grass (well, radley, not me) and bunny sightings.  long walks, colorful sunsets and endless days.  tiki torches & evening spa dips.  barbecues, mosquitos, fresh cut flowers, happy hour and biking.

summer's in full swing.  what have you been up to lately?


costa rica eatin'

obviously, when you spend a long time anywhere, you're bound to eat a lot.  and eat we did.  one of costa rica's many surprises was the food.  when reading about costa rica (also dubbed cr), all the travel books warned that within a few days, you'd be sick and tired of rice and bean (or gallo pinto as they're called).  considering my no-meat diet, this didn't bother me too much, but i was worried about a.  he's mr. meat & potatoes.

i did in fact eat a lot of rice and beans...mainly for breakfast.  but never once did i get sick of it.  ever.  a typical costa rican breakfast is, gallo pinto (or last night's rice and beans), corn tortilla (or tamale), fried plantains and fresh fruit.  honestly, you couldn't ask for a better way to start the day.
{breakfast typical}
one of cr's largest imports is the coffee.  it's raved about.  coffee is to costa rica what cigars are to cuba.  so it goes without surprise that they know coffee.  not being a coffee drinker myself, i knew i couldn't leave cr without at least trying some of this legendary liquid.  and for coffee...it wasn't too bad.  a. really enjoyed it.  (small tidbit about me...i don't like hot beverages in the morning.  yep, seriously.  only when it's below zero and i'm frozen to the core, will i order a cuppa hot cocoa.)
{cafe brit, french press}
i did however, help myself to a coffee float.  ice cream and coffee makes a yummy afternoon beverage.  couple that with a lake view and hundreds of hummingbirds and you've got yourself the perfect rest stop.  
{coffee float}
throughout our stay, we ventured away from the hotel fare and into different towns to sample some of the local flavor (that's how you find the really good stuff, right?).  we at ate quite a few sodas (roadside restaurants) along the way and while some were much better than others, all the indoor/outdoor living spaces (that usually came with dogs, lizards, birds and sometimes wild boars) were clean, quaint and very friendly.

one of my favorite dishes was casado.  they took a plantian, split it in half and layered on top: rice and beans, roasted veggies (or meats), pico de gallo, lettuce and guacamole.  in the case of the photo below, sometimes they even got fancy with rosemary.
{veggie rice & beans}
{pepsi, soda}
every afternoon we enjoyed a beverage, or two. one of the best things about tropical vacations?  all sorts of yummy poolside cocktails (and plenty of beer)!  the original and most renowned of costa rica's beer is imperial.  & it wasn't bad at all.
because eating out can get so expensive, and because sometimes you just can't go to a restaurant anymore, we ventured to the market a few times during the trip.  we stocked up on cheese and crackers, fresh fruit, a salsa called lizano (a sweet chili sauce) and the aforementioned, beer.  most of the time we'd enjoy a light dinner on our patio enjoying the views and conversations.
{patio picnic}
{3 liters of soda}
{the costa rican oreos}
{avocado craving, guacamole}
each place we stayed provided us with a welcome drink upon our arrival (best.perk.ever).  one of my most favorite drinks was given to us in monteverde.  my only wish was that i could bathe in it.  it was that good.  i'm planning to make the recipe over the summer, so i'll share my findings when the time comes.
{monteverde lemonade}
a. and i drove a lot.  most of our stay we had early mornings and would return back to the hotel by early to late afternoon.  when we got hungry, there were roadside stands or markets we could stop at to pick up fresh fruit.  if there was on thing i couldn't get enough of, it was the fruit.  mango trees littered the roads and plantains grew everywhere.  there were mounds of pineapple and papaya, but the one fruit i couldn't eat fast enough was passion fruit.  hands down, best fruit ever.

{fallen mango}
{plantains in abundance}
{queen of all fruit: the passion fruit}
on a completely random food quest, we happened upon the best israeli food i've ever had.  actually, i've never had israeli food, so when i heard it was much like mediterranean, we jumped on the chance to chow down at this popular spot in mal pais.  the place is zula's and came strongly recommended by the guy who rented us surf boards.  by this time, we had long understood not to judge a restaurant by it's outdoor appearance and gave it a try.  & it was good.  knock-your-socks-off good.  like o.m.g.  everything was mouth watering.  the pita and hummus (oh the hummus) were divine.  and don't even get me started on the falafel.  heavenly.  who knew we'd find some of the best mediterranean food we'd ever eat in costa rica?!
{smoothie, coke, salt}
{falafel, hummus & frech fries- oh my!}
so there you have it.  what we ate (at least some of it) in costa rica.  and nope, a. didn't go hungry.  unfortunately i neglected to take pictures of the mountains of seafood and ceviche we consumed...but it was all amazing, and totally fresh, as i'm sure you can imagine.  if i had a chance, i'd eat my way through costa rica all over again.