We arrived in Costa Rica on Monday night after a 3.5 hour direct flight from Dallas, TX. Our flight was pretty uneventful though it was an interesting sight seeing us lug over 10 large suitcases, 2 car seats, stroller, and one extra large surfboard through the airports. We did have a minor setback when checking our bags into Dallas though. We had estimated to pay for a few extra bags, but of course they charged us the top amount for the last two. We ended up leaving one Rubbermaid container with Ricky’s two flat screen computer monitors in it, oh well, just something to bring in on the next trip! My apprehension with getting through customs with all the stuff was totally unfounded, the guys just waved us through and didn’t even get up from their seats. Although the did confiscate Eli’s half eaten apple!
Once we made it outside, we had a friends Costa Rican brother-in-law pick us up with his small pickup truck. All of our stuff was piled high in the back and Eli fell asleep in Ricky’s arms on the 30min drive up the mountain to Atenas. We’ve been very blessed to house sit for a high school friend of Ricky’s who moved down here years ago and married a tica. They have three beautiful children who are staying with his parents who live just down the road. They have been so very helpful to drive us around these past couple of days while we have been meeting with realtors and looking at vehicles to buy.
The house is more than accommodating with 3 bedrooms, large porch with view panoramic views of the valley below, pool and hot-tub. We even saw the Paos Volcano smoking this morning before the clouds covered it up. The only stipulation was that we were to care for the pets while we stayed here, a large blue macaw, 3 HUGE pit-bull looking dogs, fish, and canary. The macaw “Loki” is quite entertaining and speaks both English and Spanish. The dogs took a couple of days to warm up to us and not bark incessantly every time they saw us. Though one dog in particular has NOT warmed up to Eli and I am certain would eat him if given the chance. At least they are outdoor dogs and they do an excellent job of protecting the house.
Ricky’s birthday was on Tuesday and we celebrated by taking the day off and relaxing by the pool. Well, not so much him because he had some work deadlines and has been on the computer and skype most of the week grinding away to support our new way of life. But that’s ok, because we finally made it, we are actually here in Costa Rica living out our dreams!
We started house hunting on Tuesday afternoon when we met with a homeowner I’d corresponded with online who had a beautiful 3 bedroom 2 bath home with an office. The home itself was perfect, everything we needed and more, but the only downside for us at least, was the fact that it was not more private. It was in a nice Tico neighborhood “barrio oasis” and was on a very small lot with all the houses very close to each other.
The next day we met with a German couple who showed us 2 homes. The first was in “barrio jesus” and was another beautiful spacious home but in a neighborhood with homes butted right up to each other, hardly any outdoor space. The 3rd home we viewed was 2 houses on one property, one was a 1 bedroom-not big enough of course, and the other home was currently occupied by the owner. A kind old Cuban man who after some convincing by the Germans in Spanish, said that he would be willing to move into the 1 bedroom and we could have the larger house. Again the home was incredible, but we felt that we would be to close for comfort with the owner living a few feet away. We would also hate to relocate him for only a few months since our plan is to move closer to the beach once we have baby Izzy.
By this point I am starting to get slightly worried that we won’t have a place that meets our expectations and we will have to suck it up and settle. But God is good, and we continued to pray that he would have the perfect place for us to call home. The next morning we met Andrew with Remax Realty Atenas and he showed us 3 awesome homes. Each one got better and better! The first was a nice home in “barrio los angeles” and out in the countryside but slightly in the valley where is tends to be warmer without the nice mountain breezes. It was big and bright and secluded! I was already excited! The second home was just down the road a bit, and was 2 story but a bit older and so were the furnishings. It was also butted right up to another home and 1/2 the house and windows were exposed for the neighbors viewing pleasure.
The final house we viewed was back on the other side of the town up the mountain about 5 or so minutes from downtown. Once we walked in I was BLOWN AWAY! It was a 2 bedroom 2.5 bath with a small backyard, and large private porch with a magnificent view of a jungle canyon below. Here is some information on the beautiful area it is in.
“The neighborhood it is in comprised of 23 lots on 10 hectares (25 acres) at 800 meters elevation near Atenas, Costa Rica. The homes emphasize Balinese tropical architecture, featuring open floorplans, peaked rooflines, deep covered decks and patios, and visually-open wood-and-glass walls. The site is mountainous with fantastic panoramic views: to the northeast, the Atenas Valley with Póas, Barva and Irazú volcanoes in the background, to the southwest the Rio Grande Valley and to the east, the Central Valley with thousands of lights coming alive at nightfall. The neighborhood is located inside the Cerros de Atenas protected forest reserve, dotted with a luxurious vegetation, including many species of precious trees like the Guanacaste and Matapalo, flowering trees such as the brilliant orange Poró and many fruit trees including mangoes, limes, bananas, papayas and oranges. A wildlife corridor extends from the Rio Colorado, and carablanca monkeys, sloths, anteaters, and birds including toucans and trogons are regularly seen from the villas.”
We were sold! The only thing was when we viewed it they owner was still working on some finishing touches to the house and it had not been furnished yet. After meeting with him, he said if we’d like he could have it furnished by the time we move in next week. What an answer to prayer! So we signed the lease yesterday and are planning to move in tomorrow.
The next order of business is to find a vehicle, because it’s going to be awfully tough to get around when you live on the mountainside in the country about 5minutes drive time to town. We did have one SUV Ricky checked out a couple of days ago, but it was not meant to be. So our plan right now is to rent a car next week for a few days to get to my doctor appointment, check out hospitals, and hopefully find a more permanent mode of transportation. We did take a cab the other day and it was like 3 bucks to get from the center of Atenas up the mountain, so if we need to we can manage that for a little while.
All in all we are finally rested and are settling into our new Country nicely and we’re looking forward to each days new discoveries and adventures!