Saturday, January 24, 2009

Costa Rica Day 1

Arrival: fantastica, all goes well. Day in San Jose, (or is it Juan¿) I walk into town, see many cool thngs. Heck, and oƧthe plane ride I saw volconos, massive mountain ranges adn both the Pacific and the Carribean.

The Museo de Oro: fabulous gold pre-columbian artifacts.T iny litttle frogs made me laugh out loud, they were so cute. Gold people, monsters, birds, lizards, and all possible combinations of same, tiny and precious, all that remains after the looting.

Walk back through the city, they have made a major thouroughfare in the center of town a pedestrians only route, and it was great. Everything you could imagine for sale, all in spanish, with spanglish lowercase, and the trees FULL of conures (little parrots), screeching at the top of their lungs as the sun set. the girl in the tienda said they screem all day long.

Triwed to relax at the student guest house, but too tired to rest.

Out to a nearby resturant, highly reccomended by both my guide book and my driver. Machu Picu.

A Peruvian resturant in Costa Rica, playing Polish music (Roll out the barrel)done by a Mariachi Band. The world is a very small place.

The most fabulous ceviche to start, worth the trip in itself, with the hottest hot sauce I have ever partially avoided. They placed a piece of steamed sweet potato on the plate, not the greatest match with the ceviche, but I understood it´s meaning after I sampled the volcanic hot sauce.

Pisco sours, two of them, a revalation, like unto the oysters that I had for the first time at age 50++---Why did I wait so loooong? I considered a third, but thought; I have to walk home.

And the walk home, through a less than savory neighborhood, terrific, feeling good, till an irregulatity in the sidewalk caused a fairly significant left ankle sprain
and rIGHT knee scrape: fall, cursing, shades of the Portland Fiasco. So now I´m bleeding, Swelling, aND WISHING i HAD A THIRD pISCO sOUR. At least I didn´t bust a disc, right? Right.

¿Also, did I mention a funky keyboard'?

Pictures to follow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hitting the Road

I spent today in Salem, getting lost, and signing papers at my new office. Salem, though it has it's detractors, does seem like a nice enough place. The apartment I looked at was beautiful, the back wall was floor to ceiling windows directly over the Willamette River. It was a bit on the costy side, so I doubt Molly and I will be calling it home, but, man, it was nice.

I leave tomorrow at midnight for a week in Costa Rica, to spend a week at language school, and then a week at the beach with the family. Because I really don't like people that much, spending the first week on a homestay in a little mountain town makes me a little anxious. I can't make small talk on a good day, let alone in another language. Most of my past Spanish experiences involve asking about flujo, or locating the cause of an itch. I keep telling myself I can do anything for a week. Right?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Walking the dog

I'm walking in Forest Park and the Hoyt Arboretum whenever I get the chance- the main trail, the Wildwood Trail, travels forty miles through wooded areas weaving in and out of the city. You can be in the wild, and then come upon a road with a city bus stop. The first photo is of a Monkey puzzle tree, on the Bristlecone Pine Trail.
This is the city, bathed in light, and the Willamette River, from the Wildwood trail near Pittock Mansion.

Heavy moss and lush green in January- Wildwood Trail, again, near the Sequoia collection. I have a goal of walking every trail at the Arboretum, and I'm completed about 2/3 of them so far. None of them are very long, but they wind around with switchbacks and loops, so you feel you've gone a long way though it's over a small area.
And there's the dog herself! Looking very sporty in a new trim, and quite slim, because she walks two miles to my one.

It's a new day

What a wonderful thing it is to see that even while we remain at war and haven't been able to overcome our most atavistic impulses, that we can still have a peaceful change of government in spite of the radically different tenor of the new administration.

Congratulations to all of us!!!