Tag Archives: Quepos

A Visit with Dad

Happy Dad: Rain, Avocados, Sodas & Casadas

My dad came for a short visit and delivered a suitcase full of boat parts.  We were thrilled to host him in Costa Rica even though we were not staying on the boat.

We decided to rent a car to pick him up at the San Jose airport (3 hours away) and to do some recognizance shopping.  At some point before we “splash” we will need to provision the boat and stock up on staples so we wanted to find good “box stores”.  In addition, we were looking for hardware stores (Ferraterias), car stores (PepBoys type places), and big box stores (Wallmart).  We set a few pin marks on our trusty Maps.me app and drove the 3 hours to San Jose.

We managed to find several stores, scoped out a few places to return to and made a few small purchases before my dad’s flight landed.

On our way to Quepos, we stopped by crocodile bridge over Rio Tarcoles.  The theory is when the tide is out (like the image) they can sunbathe on shore and as the tide comes in it is flooded with fish to feed upon.  However, many locals are worried for the safety of crocodile viewers and the crocs themselves.  The bridge is ridiculously narrow and has heavy traffic making it dangerous for tourist.  How many do you count in this photo?  (Answer at bottom of blog)

https://news.co.cr/costa-rican-mayor-taken-task-dangerous-crocodile-viewing-bridge/62990/

https://news.co.cr/costa-rican-mayor-taken-task-dangerous-crocodile-viewing-bridge/62990/

Next, we did a drive by in Herradura to show him where Sugar Shack was anchored when she was struck by lightning.

We caught a beautiful sunset at Jaco beach and stopped in for dinner at Ridiculous Burgers.  My dad had an “all american burger” and Matt and I split a Mahi burger.  Sound healthy?  Well they did serve this ridiculous 6 patty burger shown below to a group of 4 people.

Dinner in Jaco with my Dad

Dinner in Jaco with my Dad

We finally arrived back at the apartment around 2000 and started to unpack.  My dad brought a suitcase full of boat parts, a gray backpack full of important stuff (money, passports), and a Swiss Gear new black backpack for all of his clothes.

He opened the Swiss Gear backpack and realized it was not his.  He thought it was ours which we quickly denied.  Unfortunately, he had swapped backpacks with someone else.  Yikes.  See image below for photo of both backpacks.

Inside this backpack was a Dell Computer with an “Asset tag” which identified the company.  There was several resumes, a hard drive, thumb drives, glasses, medicine and miscellaneous items.  We found her boarding pass, looked her up on LinkedIn and Facebook and sent messages through both social channels.  There was no other contact information.

My dad called Alaska Airlines and the local airport and filled out a lost baggage form.  Then we waited…

Day 1

No response from the backpack owner, so we called her company and left a message on her work voicemail.  Next, I called the SJO Alaska airlines office and to our surprise, our mystery woman had already called and was returning my dad’s bag that same day.  Yeah.  When she arrived, they got her phone number and had her call us.  We made arrangements to bring her bag back and retrieve my father’s bag on Friday (when he flies back to the U.S.)

In the meantime, we need to get him some clothes.  He borrowed a few shirts and flip flops from Matt and off we go into “town.”

We scored some new outfits, met Matt for lunch, walked to the marina and then walked back to the apartment.  My dad is not a big walker and he was shocked to realize he had put in 3.2 miles of walking.  Yeah dad!

Runway Grill For Cold Drinks

Runway Grill For Cold Drinks

Day 2

Dad wanted to check out a local fishing village and fishing processing plant.  Barrio el Cocal is “the” place to go to see the local fisherman.  We swung by a plant that let us look around, watch them cut and clean their fish, and put the heads in storage – all really gross, but dad loved it.

Love the “Pura Vida” lifestyle in Costa Rica…

Pura Vida with Dad

Pura Vida with Dad

Came across a local avocado seller and dad was surprised at the size of the local avocados – these are not your average California avocados.

Dad with local avocados

Dad with local avocados

We stopped  at Bahia Azul for a cold drink and Tiquicia for lunch before heading back to the pad.

After thoroughly exhausting him, we headed back to the apartment for a little R&R before going out for dinner.

Much to our surprise, it has not rained in the first 3 days of my dad’s visit.  Super strange, as it it normally rains every day for many hours a day.  But we finally received some rain in the afternoon for a couple of hours.

Being from California, he had not seen rain in a very long time.  In fact, now he is mostly seeing smoke and ash in the sky from the horrible California wildfires – so rain is a pleasant surprise.

We hopped on the public bus and headed to Manuel Antonio for happy hour.  We were treated to an awesome lightning show (it is only awesome because we were on shore and not on our boat).  Cold drinks overlooking the Pacific at Bar Code 506.

Matt, Dad, and I at Barba Rosa

Matt, Dad, and I at Bar Code 506

Day 3

Time to show dad the boat.  We swung by the marina a few days ago, but we were not able to show him the interior of the boat because we had workers all over the place.

First, we took him to see RumpleTeazer, our friend Keith’s boat which is a 43′ Catana.  I wanted him to see what a “livable” boat looked like before we took him to see our boat which is all torn apart.

Keith was super kind and let us poke all around.  We then walked over to the yard to show him Sugar Shack and to his surprise he really could tell the difference between a 43′ and a 47′ catamaran.  Even though it is only 4′ shorter and maybe 2-3′ skinnier, the spaces feel bigger.  I didn’t get the idea he was very impressed with our boat but who could blame him as it was a total disaster.

We had another casada at Soda Sanchez, our go to spot for spectacular food.  As you might recall, a “Soda” is not a drink but a local eatery.  Sometimes they appear as businesses, sometimes they are on the front porch of someone’s house.  A “casada” is a typical local meal that comes with a salad, veggie, beans, plantain and your choice of either meat, chicken, fish, or pork.  All for the low price of 2,500 colones or $5.00.  Tasty and cheap!

And, to my dad’s surprise, he walked another 3.3 miles today!  I will get him walking and drinking water if it kills me!

It was hard to send him off after such a short visit, but hopefully we have convinced him to come back once the boat is back in the water.

We got a little Capuchin love on dad’s last night at the apartment.

Monkey Love

Monkey Love

The boys contemplating life…

Dad and Matt chatting

Dad and Matt chatting

Short and sweet.  We rented a car to return dad back to San Jose and pick up Wayne.

Costa Rica Airport

Costa Rica Airport

We went straight to Alaska Airlines to swap bags.  It doesn’t look like they are 100% similar because the lighting was different, but they both were black.  Not sure who grabbed whose bag first, but at least they are both back with the rightful owners.

Bag Swap

Bag Swap

Giant sloth at the airport posing for photos

Giant sloth at airport

Giant sloth at airport

Poor Matt had to walk to the marina to get his wallet with his driver’s license (which needed to rent the car).  On the way, he walked past a man spraying bug spray trying to kill the bad bugs.  Unfortunately, one of them ran from the bug spray right into Matt and stung him on his ankle.  All he saw was a big black something and then the pain and swelling started…

Matt's fat cankle

Matt’s fat cankle

Answer: 11 crocodiles spotted in photo

Chompers

Chomping at the Bit – Dentist Visit

Matt and I had not been to the dentist in almost 2 years.  We saw dental offices in Bonaire, Curacao, Columbia, and Panama, but we just never made it to the dentist.   A friend of ours from the Marina recommended a local dentist who spoke English – Dr. Alberto Gonzalez Chacon with Costa Rica Dental Tourism.

We did what all Costa Rican’s do, we sent a message on WhatsApp and scheduled our appointments.  Love that everyone here is so technologically advanced.  Two days later, we walk into his office and are greeted by Dr. Alberto himself (yep, we are first name basis).  A super friendly, easy going professional.

The waiting area has a large comfortable leather couch, pretty artwork, strong AC, and a huge window.

Costa Rica Dental Tourism Waiting Room

Costa Rica Dental Tourism Waiting Room

I went first since I knew I would be the “easy one”.  With no cavities or fillings, it would be a simple cleaning.  He walked me to the back room and it was really modern. More so than my dentist back in Texas.  All the bells and whistles.

Costa Rica Dental Tourism Dental Office

Costa Rica Dental Tourism Dental Office

He walked me through his process, then started with a light numbing spray before he proceeded with an ultrasonic deep teeth cleaning.  Now, when I made the appointment, I did not know what an ultrasonic deep teeth cleaning even was – but now I am sold.

The ultrasonic waves actually crush the hard, calcified tartar deposits, which allows them to be removed from the teeth. Ultrasonic cleaning also results in shock waves or tiny vibrations that help kill bacteria by disrupting their cellular processes.  It is a much preferred process over scraping, takes less time to perform, and you can go twice as long in between visits.

Dr. Alberto informed me of my receding gum situation which I knew about from previous dental visits.  I evidently brush my teeth with all my might and have eroded my gums.  Sound like fun?  I switched to a super soft child’s toothbrush and use the 2 finger rule when brushing several years ago.  According to my Texas dentist, the receding gums have not gotten worse, but there is no chance for them to get better without surgery.

My dentist warmed me to be gentle or I would have to get a gum graft where they take tissue from the roof of my mouth to put on my gums.  It is painful, expensive and sounds horrible.  Dr. Alberto told me about another option.  I can have caps or crowns put on to cover the exposed gum area.  But, either way, I am 10 years away from having to make a decision if I keep up the good dental hygiene.

30-minutes later, it was Matt’s turn.  He had a slight cavity and a possible hole in one of his crowns.  Eek gads.

Dr. Alberto quickly filled his cavity (it was a small one) and told him that he didn’t need to do anything about the crown.  Evidently, the top part of the crown (the cosmetic white part) has a hole, but the metal underneath is perfect and protecting the tooth.

He could have easily added more work for both of us, but instead, he informed us of our options and provided recommendations for future better health care.  I love that he treated us fairly and did not take us for a ride.  Can you tell what state of mind I am in if I think everyone is taking advantage of us (think boat insurance company).

It was $60 per cleaning and $60 for the cavity – paid by plastic and were on our merry way with sparkly smooth teeth.

Thank you, Dr. Alberto!

Dr. Alberto Gonzalez Chacon

Dr. Alberto Gonzalez Chacon

In case you are ever in Costa Rica and need a good dentist, be sure to visit Dr. Alberto Gonzalez Chacon at Costa Rica Dental Toursim – or you can visit him on his Facebook page.

Costa Rica Dental Tourism Contact Info

Costa Rica Dental Tourism Contact Info

View from Unit 7 at Manuel Antonio Estates

Manuel Antonio Estates: Short-Term Rental

How did we end up living with the monkeys at Manuel Antonio Estates?  Well, Sugar Shack was struck by lighting (a story we will share once the boat is repaired) and had to be hauled out. Once she was hauled out, we became homeless because Marina Pez Vela does not allow live aboards on the yard.

The marina arranged a room for us at the Best Western Kamuk at a discounted rate for the first couple of nights.  This was great for the weekend, as they were close to the marina.  But at $68 per night , for 3 months, it would break the already broken bank.

The first three nights we stayed in a small room over a crowded street, but the last night we moved to the top floor which notably had a great view of the beach.

View from Best Western Kamuk Hotel

View from Best Western Kamuk Hotel

The marina connected us with real estate guru, Alvin who showed us a few short term rental properties.  We ended up at Manuel Antonio Estates which offered  AC, wifi, a pool, and a full kitchen. Remarkably, most apartments don’t have ovens.  I have grand plans of baking for our boat workers so an oven was a must have.

We negotiated a lower rate which included all of the utilities, maid service twice a week, and moved in the next day.

Nestled in the trees are 9 apartments overlooking a pool and the dense foliage below.  Once you pass the guard gate, you walk up a hill, past the Rain Drop Spa (top left), to the main reception area (top right).

Then you climb up another hill to the apartment units (2nd row, left) which overlooks the pool.  We have lots of wildlife, including iguanas, geckos, monkeys, toucans, and tons of birds.

Manuel Antonio Estates

Manuel Antonio Estates

The hike up the hill in the heat often requires a dip in the pool to cool off.  With this in mind, it is not a hardship to get home.

Crazy Neighbors

The apartments are located near the Manuel Antonio Park and are nestled in the trees.  So, we have lots of wildlife around.  We’ve seen scarlet macaws fly by and one toucan sighting.  Tons of other birds, lizards, geckos, iguanas, Capuchin monkey family, squirrel monkey family, and even a few dogs and cats.

We get visitors around sunset – they are a playful bunch of monkeys.  Crawling, leaping, jumping all over the place.  The monkeys are so curious, they kept peeking over the roof and hanging from the rain gutters to look at us.  Generally speaking, they are more afraid of us then we are of them.  These are Capuchin monkeys but we also get squirrel monkey family as well.

White Faced Capuchin Monkeys

White Faced Capuchin Monkeys

Waterfall Hike on Property

There is a pretty challenging hike to a small waterfall on the property. The first 1.5 miles is up and down many hills on a paved road.  At the end of the road, make a left at the dirt pile, then right past the tree onto a “water runoff.”  The little, muddy trail down only takes about 30 minutes and you are rewarded with beautiful views, a waterfall, and a refreshing body of water.

Manuel Antonio Estates Cascadas

Manuel Antonio Estates Cascadas

Movers and Shakers

We have moved around a lot at Manuel Antonio Estates.  We started in unit 8 which is on the top floor.  After about 5 weeks we had to move to unit 5.  The top units have a better view, more ventilation and direct sun so they can rent them easier than the other units.  However, we found unit 5 to be just as fabulous.  We stayed in this 2nd unit for about a month when we decided we wanted to move to unit 2.  We had some “unusual” neighbors who smoked a lot on their patio and we wanted to move further away (plus unit 2 had a bigger couch).  As Manuel Antonio Estates busy season came to an end more units opened up.  So, after about a month we were offered unit 7 which is back on the top floor.  Sweet.  Great views from here with a cool breeze.

View from Unit 7 at Manuel Antonio Estates

View from Unit 7 at Manuel Antonio Estates

They were doing maintenance on the pool which is why it is only 1/2 full but normally it is a fabulous place to cool off.

We love our team at Manuel Antonio Estates!  Dorit is an amazing property manager handling everything from repairs, rental cars, tours, and local advice.  Giselle and Reina keep all the apartments clean and comfortable and Tariq runs a smooth operation.  Thank all for making us feel welcome and at home!