Published: May 11th 2009May 11th 2009
It’s been since March, 2008 that I updated my blog. That’s over a year! I didn’t realize it had been so long. So, just to get a few facts straight:
1. I’m still alive (and well!).
2. I’m still here in San Ramon, Costa Rica
3. The B&B is still here—and we now have super-duper high speed Internet.
4. I’m still doing tours and real estate development.
5. And, I’m still traveling the world when I can!
The photos throughout this entry are various scenes from the San Ramon area.
So, what’s happened in over a year or lately? Well, I’m settling in nicely after four years of living here. No, it didn’t take me the entire time to settle in but now I’m extremely comfortable with life here. I’m more patient, take things in stride, and try to live “Pura Vida,” or “pure life” (well, completely “pure” is a huge challenge for most of us!).
I found that I’m getting into a bit of routine but not in a bad way: Easter and Christmas I go to the beach on the Pacific Coast, I take a few weeks here and there
to visit the Caribbean Coast, I try to take off during the heaviest rains in October, and then there are bi-weekly trips to San Jose for good food and shopping. In between, I’m doing tours, showing clients our real estate, updating our various websites, writing a bunch of articles on living in Costa Rica as an expat, and feeding my 11 chickens, cleaning out their coop and putting them to bed at night (i.e, locking the coop’s door to keep the coyotes out).
The B&B continues to hum along, and now that it’s the “remodeled B&B” it seems to be settling into a pattern such that I know it’ll be busy from November to April, and not so busy from May to October. However, getting many repeat guests has been good as our real estate and tour clients visit a few times a year to check on their home construction or just to visit the land they’ve bought that they’ll build on later. Mae, a fellow expat, who lives up the hill, has been a Godsend as the manager. She cooks (and well!), she cleans, she meets and greets, keeps the finances in order, and most
importantly loves meeting new people. That’s so important in this type of business!
We continue to meet many people through our 4-day/3-night “Boomers in Costa Rica” tour. It’s a gratifying experience to help people make the move here in a way that is relatively easy and avoids many of the pitfalls I experienced when I first got here. Making many friends through the tour has also been an amazing experience. The vast majority of tour clients just want to find a reasonably-priced place to live and enjoy their “non-working lives” in a peaceful way. However, many of our clients also want to contribute to the community and are volunteering at schools, orphanages, and in other settings. For a relatively small expat community in San Ramon (perhaps 80 people tops, hard to say!?), we are certainly contributing significantly to the welfare of the local population.
CR Communities (CRC)
CRC, the real estate development that I own and operate with my business partner and buddy, Preston, continues to do terrific things, is growing tremendously, and most importantly, is delivering high quality products to North Americans, Canadians and Europeans who would like to live in the San
Ramon area. While seeing the overwhelming joy in our clients having found their “dream piece of land” and feeling some peace of mind in having a reasonably-priced and beautiful spot in which to build a home for their retirement provides enough satisfaction, however, contributing to the community through CRC has been the best aspect of living here. When Preston moved here, he as adamant about giving a chunk of our profits to the community and we’re making sure that happens. So far, we have contributed a laptop computer to a local school, have contributed to upgrading the water system near one of our communities, have paid to have about a dozen desktop computers shipped to San Ramon for use in a variety of schools, and most recently have funded the building of two additional classrooms for a school in Magallanes (where two of our projects are). The classrooms are still under construction but when finished I’ll post photos. The project is probably our most important one because San Ramon and Costa Rica in general, desperately needs more classroom space. We cannot wait until students start using the new rooms. It’s a great feeling to know that for years and years
to come students will have a place to go as a result of our efforts.
As many of my friends know, I’m somewhat obsessed with food. No, I’m not fat (well, sure I could lose a FEW pounds I suppose), but I just like good meals and Costa Rica is not exactly known for its food. However, in recent days we have discovered a few new places that are giving us hope for food-filled future. First, Café Kaldi, hidden away down an alley about one block north of the ICE building in the center of town, is gem of a place that I’m actually a bit hesitant to share with the world. Rather than offering just “typical food,” they have an international menu with a large variety of items from sandwiches, pastas, various chicken and meat entrees, salads, and tasty desserts. One of the best items is their nutella-filled crepe with vanilla ice cream on the side. Another new entrant to the San Ramon restaurant scene is Mario’s Steakhouse & Seafood. It’s located across from the University of Costa Rica and a couple of doors down from the entrance to our weekend market. I went there for
the first time a few nights ago and the menu blew me away. They offer various steaks—t-bone, ribeye, filet mignon, and porterhouse—and my neighbors tell me are all delicious. The porterhouse is a large 500 gram slab, and even for me, it’s too much. I had the fettucine alfredo with grilled chicken recently and it was delicious. I’m told the seafood is great too. Apparently the owner moved his restaurant from Zarcero and the service is still a bit disjointed, but it’s definitely worth visiting!
While there is much more to say, if I am going to continue updating this blog, I’ll need to save some for next time. Thanks for reading and please add your comments.
Come on down and visit us and please check out my links below!
www.CRCommunities.com (real estate and more!)
www.BoomersInCostaRica.com (4-day/3 night relocation/retirement/real estate tour!)
www.CostaRicaRealEstate.typepad.com (Boomers’ Real Estate & More Blog!)
www.AngelValleyFarmBandB.com (the B&B!)
There are more photos below