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February 14, 2011 / puravida2011

Rainy Valentine’s Day?

Happy Saint Valentine, everyone! We have officially caught up on the rain deficit built up in Montezuma, where we had no precipitation, aside from one very light drizzle lasting 15 minutes, for our full four-week stay. It began raining hard here night before last, and continued to rain with only brief respites until today at about 11:00. Yesterday we stayed in almost all day, watching BBC entertainment and streamed movies, with only one short outing to bike to Puerto Viejo for groceries and a stop at the ice-cream shop. It was kind of nice to have a day indoors, believe it or not. Gave our skin a break from the sun, as well.
We watched 127 Hours, a movie based on the true story of the guy who got his arm stuck while rock climbing in the desert southwest. For those of you who have not seen it, it’s a great movie and I won’t say what happens, but what would you do if you were stuck in a remote location, with your right hand between a boulder and a cliff face? Now that I’ve seen the movie I know what to do and I wouldn’t wait until the 126th hour to do it…
In other exciting news I felt my first earthquake this morning. More a rumble than a quake, really. Costa Rica is on a very active fault line, apparently. We were sitting indoors reading at about 9:00 a.m. when the house started rocking back and forth. The door to the bathroom was swinging and the water in our Culligan jug was glugging to and fro. It lasted all of about 4 seconds, but was pretty cool. I thought in passing of getting in the doorway for protection, but it was over before I really had registered what I was experiencing. On Chico’s advice I went to the U.S. Geological Survey’s website and reported the tremor. It hasn’t shown up on their world map, so maybe wasn’t confirmed (or big enough to be notable) but I won’t forget the feeling of having the earth rock beneath me.

If the rain holds off Chico and I will be going out for dinner at a restaurant down the road to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This will be our third time eating out since being in Cocles, and we’ve enjoyed the places we’ve tried so far. Our second night here we tried the Pecora Nera, which is an excellent Italian restaurant just a short walk from our place. The owner is from Livorno, Italy, and his restaurant is ranked among the best in Costa Rica. We had a truly scrumptious meal (ravioli filled with lamb and pumpkin for Chico and I had deliciously rare mackerel with mixed vegetable topping. We shared a yummy albondigas and mozzarella appetizer. After dinner we waited and waited for our check. This is a theme. I don’t know if they feel they are rushing you if they give you the check when the meal is over, or if they just forget about you once their work of delivering food is done, but we always have to be pretty forceful in catching the server’s eye to get the bill. And this is after 15-20 minutes of just sitting once the meal is done. We’re not trying to eat and run. By the time we had finally managed to pay (literally about 45 minutes after our plates were cleared) at Pecora Nera the skies had opened and we had to dash home in a downpour. But still the meal was excellent.
Then we had dinner a few nights later at a small place nearby, where pizzas and meats are cooked over an open grill by a tall, barefoot Argentinian. The food was good and the wait for the check not quite as long here. I also tried my first caipirinha cocktail here, and am hooked. Here’s the recipe:
1 lime
2 T sugar
2 oz. Cachasa (cane liquor) (may substitute vodka or rum)
mint (optional)
fresh ginger (optional)
Slice lime into small segments and put in bottom of highball glass with sugar. Use wooden spoon or other implement to crush the limes, releasing their juice. This action is called muddling. If adding mint and grated fresh ginger muddle those right in there, too. Fill the glass with ice-cubes, then put in the cachasa and stir well. Very delicious and very potent. You can experiment with different fruits and flavors. A little club soda makes it bubbly and fun.

And now I will get back to my caipirinha cocktail and the company of my valentine. Hasta la proxima!



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  1. Carmena B. Zimmerman / Feb 14 2011 5:27 pm

    Valentines Day here, also–and the first warm day in many weeks, but very windy. We are being assured that winter is not over yet. Cocles sounds wonderfull love the photos that you are sending
    and the lime cocktail- I’m going to get those ingredients and try it. All is well here. Mom z

    • puravida2011 / Feb 16 2011 5:51 pm

      Happy Valentine’s Day and happy anniversary to you, Mom Z! I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the Caipirinha cocktails. We’re thinking ahead to our visit to NC next fall and I’ll be happy to mix up a pitcher of Caipirinhas while we’re there. Hope you will be getting some spring weather soon. We continue to be enjoying summer weather in Costa Rica! Love, R & C

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