Gentle musings on a quiet day...A walk along the steep road in the neighborhood...

Each home in our gated community has exquisite and well-maintained landscaping befitting the rain forest surroundings.  We don't always live in such desirable surroundings as seen in our photos in Thailand, one year ago.
"Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica"
Our friend Louise, whom we met in Kauai Hawaii identified this bird as a Hoffmann's Woodpecker.  Thanks, Louise, we appreciate the information.  I took this photo while sitting on the sofa on the veranda while working on a post.  I knew if I stood it would fly away so I stayed put. 
This morning by 5:00 am we were both up and out of bed ready to start our day.  With no daylight savings in Costa Rica, it was already light and we could hear the cows mooing, the roosters crowing and endless varieties of birds singing their usual tunes.  It's a great way to start the day.
Costa Rica is all about lush greenery and other bright colors.
Oh, I don't mean to imply everything is perfect in Costa Rica.  Like any country we encounter in our world travels each has its own problems; poverty, crime, environmental issues and more. 

But, sitting atop this hill, partway up a mountain in this dreamy property,  it's easy to let the realities of everyday life waft away.  In an odd way, the responsibilities and tasks we've been undertaking since our arrival have grounded us as they have throughout this past almost five years. 
We had to walk up some seriously steep hills to take today's photos, easily as steep as they are in Campanario, Madeira where we lived for almost three months in 2014.
In a good way it's been helpful we haven't had access to a car which has kept us on point and determined to complete all the financial tasks and "paperwork" we've had before us. 

By the time we pick up the more permanent rental car in San Jose on the 28th, we'll be prepared to change our focus on exploring and enjoying ourselves more freely, especially knowing we can come and go on a moment's notice.
Many of the homes in the gated community are also gated for an added layer of security, as is the case of our villa.  The main gate is manned by a guard 24 hours a day.
We never wanted our lives to feel as if we're living in some type of dream or fantasy.  It's the harsh realities we discover in each country coupled with those of everyday life that we all experience including occasional illness and discomfort, that allow us those special moments, that unique sighting and that perfect photo that makes this life feel "real" and purposeful.

Embarking on this life is not unlike falling in love.  In the beginning, the adrenalin is flowing, the hearts are beating, and the enthusiasm is difficult to harness.  Now, like after being in love for awhile, we've settled in to a gentle acceptance and appreciation, that far surpasses that initial sense of obsession and heart-pounding passion.
Although not seen in this photo, wherever there are flowers, there are dozens of butterflies fluttering nearby. 
We no longer think about how "brave" we are (we were) to tackle this lifestyle.  Instead, we now think of making logical and practical decisions that ultimately will enhance our experiences.

Oh, don't get me wrong...we haven't lost a morsel of our enthusiasm and excitement for living in the moment nor in imagining the next.  But, it's become like that magical moment when the in love couple are in a crowd, each engaged with others to suddenly look up when their eyes lock in a knowing embrace that only time and memories can understand.  We do that, with each other and, with our lives.
We notice various types of "clay" roofs on the homes in the gated neighborhood including this less rounded style.
This early morning when I found myself peering over the veranda railing mesmerized by the sights and sounds of the vast Alajuela Valley, that stretches much further than the eye can see, a wave of wonderfulness washed over me.

A profound awareness flooded my mind as I was reminded that in our world travels,  we don't have to live close to the sea.  Contentment and total fulfillment may be found inland as long as we're surrounded by nature.
This appears to be an older type roof material, more rounded with an appearance of real clay.
Perhaps, that's why when we select a home for a two or three month stay, 90% of the time we choose houses, not apartments or condos.  The views we embrace at the first light of day become imprinted in our hearts and minds as the purpose and powerful meaning we glean from our world travels.

Today, as always, we continue on, our eyes peeled to the canopy of this rain- forest-lush country, our ears peaked to the slightest new sounds and our hearts filled with the wonders of it all.  We're grateful.  Eternally grateful.

Thank you for sharing it with us!

Photo from one year ago today, August 18, 2016:
The unique shell on the left is US $722, THB $25,000 with the shell on the right at US $808, THB $28,000.  They'd fit in the palm of one's hand.  Interesting to see.  For the last of the seashell photos, please click here.


LDB922 said...

Aloha Jess & Tom,
I think your bird may be a Hoffmann's Woodpecker, female or juvie since males have a red crown. Check out this link:
We loved our Costa Rica visit in April, and I'm excited to see more of your photos as your travel around in the coming weeks.
Aloha, Louise

Jessica said...

Thanks, Louise! As you can see from above, we updated the caption and thanked you for your assistance in identifying this pretty bird. Hope all is well in Kauai, one of our favorite islands in the world, especially for the fabulous people we met in Princeville like you and Steve. Of course...there were the amazing Albatross, our favorite bird experience of all time.

Much love to you both always,
Jess & Tom

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