Wednesday, January 21, 2009

OKAY, so I haven't updated in a week, there is so much to say , however this blog is going to be short and sweet. On my birthday I spent it with friends and fam. we had a wonderful BBQ that included yummy food. It was such a perfect birthday I couldn't ask for more. below is a photo of friends lounging on the beach after a swim and surf in the ocean.
this photo is of my birthday presents, on the left is a pair of shoes I bought for myself for dancing (notice how they are not heels, that is because then I would tower over any potential dance partner here) and to the right is the best key lime pie in the world made for me by jill.
this is a photo of the mango guys cart on the beach. he sells tasty sliced mangos with a small bag of sugar you can poor on them. he also does these mock snow cones, however puts sweetened condensed milk on top of it, still have yet to try it. Im just waiting for that super hot day.
the Island off shore is one of many that me and my kayaking partner, todd, have gone out to explore. It is the highlight on my days off, since there is no surf to learn surfing on at the moment. Below Im exploring with my kayaking partner in crime.

this is my new pose that I have to make every time I take a self portrait (those of you that know me, know how little I like photos of myself) however, I do this pose in order to fit in with the locals. every time you lift a camera to take a photo of a tica they turn to the side and stick out their butts as far as they can. I think it may be a latin culture thing.
above is a cave that we found at low tide on one of the Islands, the photos that follow are of the cave (It hasn't been named yet, still coming up with it)
These barnacles were the biggest barnacles that I have ever seen in my life!! the Island is crawling with crabs. not to mention the boobie birds nest here so it is awesome to see them and their young (photos to come.)

this is part of the cave. The colors were crazy and really a work of art!! the photo below is in the cave too. Im not sure exactly what it is, possibly a micro organism, it almost had the texture of coral when you went close to it. the Aqua blue colors were surreal and looked like the walls were ooozing.
so this photo is the yellow snow that we have here at the moment....NOT like the yellow snow at home! they are tiny little flowers that cover the forest floor.

So these are a series of photos from a fashion show that I helped to photograph, in quepos. I was not too sure what I was in for, although the designer margerie is a very talented friend who owns her own boutique, I was presently surprised with how well it all turned out.

this is margerie fixing one of the models hair. part of the fashion show was based on using recyclable materials and I believe that the model in the body paint was representing some sort of mother nature (don't quote me on that though)

THE END......i will post again soon, but that pretty much brings everything up to speed....sort of

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

sorry I haven't written or posted any photos in awhile. things got really busy and now they are dead again. It was so busy that I had to work on the first of january after dancing the night away. I brought in the new year with some friends of mine and some friends of friends, it was a wonderful evening with fireworks and dancing. I can't believe that it is already 2009 and I have been here for two months already. Below are some photos of new years eve in Quepos. from left to right Kevin, Brad, Melissa. We went to eat at this little place that had wonderful food. my last meal of 2008 was a chicken kabob with rice and beans. yum, yum
This was the CRAZY scene in Quepos. sorry the photo is so bad. the people in the middle with the sparkley outfits were dancers, it almost seemed Brazilian, they were dancing to drums and to someone blowing a whistle. After they were done dancing everyone began to dance themselves.
These are some friends of friends. they are a wonderful family that I met, but they don't speak a lick of english. It is quite interesting trying to communicate with them. I feel like someone that just smiles all the time no matter what they are saying. But we all have one thing in common and that is we like to dance.

Okay so for most of you that know me, know that I LOVE vanilla. real vanilla that is. so the other day I had off from work. I went on a spice farm tour that is about a 15-20 minute drive outside of Quepos. It is a very small farm only 27 acres, but it produces very good quality spices. they do everything organic and biodynamic, which means pretty much that the farm is self sustainable and nothing is outsourced. I learned a lot on this tour but won't bore you with all the little details, oooh except two things......first off when you buy "cinnamon sticks" in the grocery store it isn't really from the cinnamon tree it is a relative of the cinnamon tree, real cinnamon is a light brown and is called Ceylon cinnamon. It is hard to come by and pretty expensive. Second, most of anything that is chocolate has vanilla in it, yeah you heard that right, when you buy a chocolate bar or hot chocolate or mostly any chocolate they add vanilla to it. chocolate is actually quite bitter (hence dark chocolate) until you add sugar and a little bit of vanilla. anyways I could keep rambling on and on and on about the tour but I will stop. below are some photos I took on the farm.
above is the way that they measure the vanilla beans, this farm has the largest vanilla beans in the world, when I saw them I couldn't believe it, they are around 10 inches.
this is what they look like after drying them out for a couple of days. oooh glorious vanilla beans!!
They dry them out on these plastic sheets and they get so hot you can hardly touch them. they take all the imperfect beans and make them into vanilla extract. actually when they come off the plant they kind of look like big green beans. Each orchid (the plants flower) has to be pollinated by hand and the process to get them to look like they do here and in store is why they are so expensive.
to the left is cocoa beans (coco) that are drying out and to the right is allspice, that is drying out. the farm produces all different types of spices not just cocoa and vanilla.
above is the cocoa plant or I should say fruit that is what chocolate beans come from.
this is a cocoa fruit cut in half, the seeds are a deep purple but they are coverd in a white sweet part of the fruit. they are about the size of half your thumb.
these are the cocoa seeds that have dried out and are ready for grinding. the farm is so small that they use a big rock that is shaped like an egg (to the left) to grind them, this farm does it just like the native indians in costa rica did.
just a small corner on the farm, with a massive amount of vanilla beans on the table all stacked
another corner of the farm, there is a pastry chef that cooks with all the spices on the farm for the tour. it is the doorway entering into her very small kitchen.
just a pretty flower found on the farm. the rest of the pics are things I saw when walking.

this is a little statue that I found nestled in by one of the cinnamon trees, Im sure a worker but it there for a reason. and lastly a self portrait of myself on the farm.