Sunday, April 30, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
We ventured out of Miami on Saturday, April 15th - we had a brief layover in Panama City (no, not that Panama City!) We wanted to grab a bite and thought we should probably hit the ATM in the terminal. When we approached, there was already a lady there using it - so we ventured closer to see what kind of unusual currency they used in Panama. Imagine our surprise when U.S. $20 bills came out! We didn't need any money there, the food in the airport was really cheap. P. got a hot dog, 2 sodas (one for me) and some chips for two bucks! We then flew into San Jose, the capital of the country. I had heard tales of a certain notorious hotel in San Jose and I knew I had to check it out for myself, so P., coolest husband ever, arranged for us to spend a night at the Hotel Del Rey. P.'s fishing buddies were quite surprised that I requested to stay there, but I couldn't resist. Just to clarify, the Hotel Del Rey (and accompanying bar, The Blue Marlin) is, to put it nicely, a brothel. The available ladies pack the bar and casino at all hours of the day, looking for "dates". If they end up making a "Love Connection", they will bring their "date" to their "manager" to arrange terms, then either head out of the Blue Marlin to parts unknown, or head up to one of the (actually quite comfy) rooms upstairs in the hotel. It was a fascinating evening of people watching. I, being what I assume was the only gringa in the place, was actually looked at a few times like I was "working" there (the working girls actually were pretty much dressed the same way as I was - low cut jeans, small t's and such - no outrageously slutty outfits to be found.) Of course, P. made sure I was not on the market (I think he did find it slightly amusing that men were checking me out and wondering what my asking price was!)It was really a much more benign experience than I was expecting - I've seen worse behavior in the bars in Orlando and Atlanta - but interseting nonetheless. Of couse we gambled a little, we blew a whopping $40 between the two of us (no worries about gambling addiction here!)and had a few Imperial (Costa Rican) beers (I'm not as much of a beer drinker as I used to be, but for some reason, when I'm in a country where Budweiser is considered an import, the availability of "exotic" beers at bargain prices is irresistable!) We also spent a little time around downtown San Jose, which offers pretty much what you'd expect to see in a third world country - numerous homeless folks and incredibly zippy street vendors, who could pack up in less than one minute when the threat of law enforcement was near (we witnessed this - they hustled at a speed I hadn't ever seen before once the signal was given that la policia were near.) From what I saw, Costa Rican steet vendors had few unique wares to offer - to me it looked like the same tired necklaces and designer sunglass knock-offs - but hey, they're trying to be self-sufficient, so more power to 'em!
All of this excitement actualy occurred in the first day of our adventure. Bet you're chomping at the bit to find out what happens next...
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
I was going to do a recap of my goings-on of late (at least I was going to a few weeks ago - gee, how time flies!) But another topic has taken over the blog for now. (And if you really want to know what's been going on, in a nutshell, Mom and Dad moved to the condo - after coming up here to see Dame Edna - where Dad (inevitably) got involved in the show, I won tickets to see Wanda Sykes in Orlando, and, having no one to go with, ventured out by myself and had an excellent time, and - being the good Irish gal I am - had a memorable St. Patty's Day, 'nuff said!)But I digress...
I graduated from high school in 1986. So for you math majors, this means that it's my 20 year reunion this year. It's no secret that my high school years were easily the worst 4 years of my life (overall - I did make, and keep, a few really good friends - good enough that I (Miss "I hate kids")actually attended my first baby shower a few weeks ago!) but, since I think I may actually look better than I did when I was in high school and have an adorable, wonderful, smart-ass husband, I thought it might be actually rather fun to go to my upcoming reunion. This idea was totally vetoed by my (3) high school buddies - who all had no plans of attending - I think they were still probably miffed that I missed our 10-year, but I had just (not even a month earlier) gotten promoted from CNN Tour Guide ("Where do Regis and Kathie Lee sit?" - obviously the bottom of the totem pole) to graphics operator in the main CNN control room (I had the worst schedule ever - 6pm - 3am, Monday and Tuesday off - but I knew I couldn't ask on my first day, "Oh, can I have a weekend off?" - I have tried to explain this a million times, to no avail - but I still love my girls!) Actually, 2 of my friends are preggers, and I can understand why they wouldn't want to go (I know I'd need at least a few drinks before I could see any of those people again!)Besides, I'll be moving closer to my friends by the end of the year (I hope, I hope) - so a reunion really is a moot point. SO (boy, I'm verbose tonight!), I had pretty much dismissed the whole reunion thing (besides, the organizer of the reunion copied me on an email about the soiree and the people she also sent the email to I had no interest in seeing whatsoever - which brought me to the conclusion - why should I spend (at least) $200 to spend the weekend with a bunch of people I never liked (and vice versa, I'm sure?) So, needless to say, my June calendar is open now!
But what I didn't really expect to happen is that I am reconnecting with my grade school friends. My absolute best childhood friend in the world found me on Classmates.com a while back, and I was so excited - we've been emailing, sending old photos back and forth, and actuially got together last year, and it's great. Well, she hooked me up with her high school reunion group, and today I heard from a girl I haven't taked to since 1982! It is so exciting and slightly overwhelming to see these people again after such a long time. As a whole, I am way more connected to the Curley Class of '86 than I ever was to the PJPII Class of '86. I've been trying to mask my excitement from my Mom, who blames herself pretty much every time we talk for moving me away from such a great bunch of kids and subjecting me to Boca Raton for my developmental years, but I'm so over all of that - still not gonna give my alma matter $200 though! It was awesome to relive, for just a moment, events like the one you see in the picture (the girl who I just heard from is the one I'm crushing in this photo!) Made me feel a little old...until I got carded tonight buying a bottle of wine!
We are off to Costa Rica on Saturday. Don't know if I'll have time for more entries before then. I am trying to promise myself that I'll return with a lot of cool travel blog entries. Let's keep our fingers crossed on that one!