November 26, 2008

Catch Phrases from CR I don't want to forget

That's awesome! (a phrase used very often)

Jesus Christ Lizard (because it actually walks on water)

Oh-My-God Bridge (there was a lot of these - no borders, one lane, one wrong move and you're in the water)

Da Sasha? (a phrase used exclusively by Inna, but rather frequently)

Con Mucho Gusto (in response to our frequently used Muchas Gracias, and that's as far as our Spanish went)

Costa Rican Adventures

I'm flying over Cuba on my way home from the tropical paradise of Costa Rica. After 11 days of no service, I'm finding it rather difficult to use my blackberry, but I want to blog before I get back to the hustle and bustle of Nueva York. I love New York - nothing beats it, but vacationing is ALWAYS nice. Our flight is over an hour ahead of schedule, which is great considering I'm working tomorrow and then totally enjoying Turkey Day weekend.

Oh ye, so about Costa was a vacation of many firsts, many extremes, many good people and many good times. I saw a volcano for the first time. Moreover, Volcano Arenal is active and although it was pretty hazy the two times we attempted to see it, we did see the lava flowing. We never made it to Paos because of the crazy rain and wind knocking down trees and blocking the road, but there's always google. We survived a mild earthquake which supposedly rippled all the way from Panama and measured 2 on the Richter scale. We white-water rafted and ziplined (I almost peed my pants, but had a blast). I woke up with a fever of 101.1 my first night in CR and drank Theraflu religiously for the first half of my trip.

I realize that I'm jumping all over the place (as usual), but the last 10 days have flown by and I'm just trying to recollect the details. Issimo Suites was amazing - I've never received such courteous, wonderful and with a sense of humor service as - did there! As with everything there were a few glitches (a toilet that didn't always flush, a mouse that beat me down the stairs), but from the welcome Mojito to the departure chocolates, everything was beyond great - a 10 meter view of the jungle and ocean, a two-floor jacuzzi (not that I'd ever get into one) suite, amazing food and a truly wonderful staff. The owner, Timothy was cool too - he introduced himself, talked with us for a few minutes and went to work along with the construction crew renovating his hotel. Whenever we saw him, he chatted with us, gave us some advice about what to do in the area and proceeded to work. Although, we never saw the monkeys that he promised, we know they were there :). Nothing beats boutique service! Oh and we met some really interesting couples - around mid 40s from New Orleans - the girls are all friends from high school, one of which now lives in CR (for the last two years) because her husband is a developer - the other two couples (one of which are also contractors) came to visit and white-water raft. They were all obviously well off, but very down-to-earth athletic and just all around great. So after Issimo and Manuel Antonio, the attempt to see Poas, we arrived at the all-inclusive Papagayo Hilton.

I don't know what was in the water, but I had the runs, so my all inclusive alcohol option was pretty much a waste after the first day of pineapple malibus and rums. By the way, the pineapple in CR is AMAZING as are the bananas, I swear that's all I ate! So at the Hilton we met more really cool people - a bunch of guys working for the US Coast Guard fixing planes, a couple from Chicago where he sells nuclear medicing and she is a tri-athlete (aka stay at home mom), a couple from Vancouver, traveling with their very adorable kids, where he just created the company that allows hotels to make travel reservations (earning $10 Mil a year in revenues) and she was a really cool Kiwi that hugged the porcelain after one to many shots of tequila (but really clarified the difference between Aussies and Kiwis: Kiwi girls put out, Aussies don't). Oh and Taylor, the 4.5 year old adorable son is "pretty sure that you don't have to pay for a babysitter", every fruit is his favorite and "they travel quiet a bit". As for the Coast Guard, Speedy was hysterical and Nate was a really cool suite mate that missed his photographer wife after being away from home for almost a month (isn't everyone a photographer these days?). It seemed that we were the only ones actually paying for our room at the Hilton, but regardless it was totally worth it - the black sand beach, the volley-ball game that made my necklace snap, the kayaking, the safari of bugs I've never seen before outside my room, the frog in the bathtub and the grasshopper the size of my thumb (I'm NOT exaggerating) on the bed, the hike to the food area on a 33 acre property. Oh and there was Rod the Continental steward that promised me buddy airfares to Paris for $300...a girl can dream, right? And it just hit me, Nate looks like Matt Damon - I couldn't quiet place it
before...anyway they just served airplane food that I won't eat, but I wanna catch some zzz's before work tomorrow...more to come, especially after I go through the 2000 pictures I think we took - the monkeys having sex, the crocodiles, the beautiful scenery and the only other thing that I forgot to mention (well, not the only, I'm sure), colones are worth nothing - all prices are in USD and they prefer taking $ to their own currency and you get a better rate using $ then colones -
weird...oh and we had to pay airport taxes at the airport (in addition to taxes paid when purchasing an airline tickets), my ATM card stopped working (I think they saw way too many transactions in CR and tried calling me to verify, but given the fact that I was actually in CR and with no service (Verizon lying bastards), they probably put a hold on my account - oh well, I guess ill deal with that in NY...and now I actually am flying over Havanna, Cuba and I could see it from the left side window, too bad, I'm sitting on the right. :)

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November 20, 2008

Another cool day!

I´m not sure if anyone is following my blog while I´m away, but I´m so overwhelmed by all my experiences that I must write it down before I forget it all.

Today we went white-water rafting and boy was it fun. It was such an adrenaline rush and just all around fun. Also went to the butterfly garden and saw some really beautiful butterflies and a strekozel. Tomorrow, we´re going Zip-Lining (look it up) . . . We met really cool people from New Orleans and everyone is super friendly despite the dirt roads (not sure what one has to do with the other). I think I´m writing a whole bunch of garbage right now, but it doesn´t matter, I´m having a blast! Off to bed to get ready for another active day, hopefully without any earthquakes or electric outages (as happened during dinner)!

November 19, 2008

A Day of Adventure

So I went to sleep early last night . . . then got up and walked down 4 flights of stairs to wish my very close friend a Happy 25th Birthday . . . except, her birthday is on the 20th and not the 19th, but I guess that happens on vacation . . . which is a good thing :)

So after sending my birthday wishes to two of my friends a day early on FB, I went to sleep to be woken up at about 2 a.m. because my bed was shaking and the cups from my theraflu and tea were dancing on my coffee stand . . . there was an earthquake . . . 2 on the Richter Scale as it turned out, so that was fun . . . then we got up at a quarter to seven to go white water rafting! That´s earlier than I get up for work!!! It was AMAZING!!!! I´ve never done it before, but the 15 mile strech was scary and fun and just all around awesome!!! Now shower, lunch and off to the butterfly garden!!!

P.S. Met some really cool people from New Orleans that are staying in our hotel . . . one of their friends lives here, her husband is a developer . . . interesting stuff . . . anyway, ta ta for now!

November 17, 2008

CR Day 2

So after a loooong day of no sleep, flying, sight-seeing, hot springs and all around excitement, I didn´t sleep half the night because I had the chills and a fever. This morning, I woke up with a fever of about 38 or 101.1 to be exact. After a few advils and some TheraFlu, I felt better but had planned on staying in. I´m glad I took the trip to Monteverde, although the 100km journey took about 4 hours to complete in each direction, given the winding dirt roads (on which one wrong turn can send you flying off a cliff), I missed out on the ziplines, because I felt really weak. I´m using the hotel computer, hence no pics, it´s been raining most of the day today and now, I´m just about ready for bed.

November 15, 2008

Costa Rica Day 1

So, we made it on our red eye flight, drove through some crazy local roads, saw beautiful flora and fauna, had a great and it started raining while we were eating, by the time we were done the rain has stopped! Our hotel is 10 times more beautiful than the pictures. Our room has a view of the Arenal Volcano, we´re heading to the hot springs now and then to see the volcano erupt, if it clears up. Pix and commentary to follow!

Off we go, Ta Ta for now!

November 5, 2008

I'm tired of politics. . .

In response to a blog post, written by an African American peer who is so proud that Obama is now president. What does it have to do with her? What does it have to do with anyone - hard work is rewarded. Chris Rock said it best.

The president elect should be elected based on his policies and what he can do for his country and not the color of his skin, his gender, his age, etc. Minorities are the majority of this country and I hope that Obama won on his merits and not his skin color. Even though, I am more conservative than liberal, I agree with a lot of Obama's policies and strongly admire his leadership skills. I don't care that he's half black or half white. I don't care that he has a Muslim name while he's a Christian. I don't care whether he's a man or a woman, I care that he will do good for this country as a whole, not just the poor and not just the rich. I hope he stands by Israel as promised, I hope that people that work hard get rewarded. Social reform is necessary, but should be based on necessity and the urine test. I went to Business School, I don't care about the details, I care about the bottom line.

November 4, 2008

Food for thought...maybe I'm just hungry

So I finally met the recruiter that's been annoying me for some time. Yet, it's his persistent personality that made me meet him, as opposed to anyone else. He intrigued me, so I guess, in that at least, he's good at what he does. Yes, there's plenty of opprtunity, but when is a good time to jump ship? Am I ready? No. Will I be ready in a year? Who knows? Will I make manager in two years? Possibly, but probably not. A million by 35? A girl can dream...

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November 3, 2008

Another Funny Comedy Club

I've been bad!

I've also been a Geisha (for Halloween that is). I never liked Halloween and as it always falls on a weekday, I've never done anything [fun]. Well, this year Halloween was a Friday and not only did I dress up, I even took a day off work. I wanted to rest and ended up waking up at 7 am, running around and having an unproductive day. We made reservations at STK because it's smarter to pay for dinner than a bottle, but argued with them for hours on Thursday because they refused to honor the request. Anyway, long story [as mine usually are] short, we had dinner, but because we had to wait for our table for an hour, we got free drinkies (ie persecco) then another round of drinks as well as dessert on the house. Someone came up to our table every ten minutes to make sure that we are okay, but in the end wanted to force us to buy a bottle after all. So, we had another round and went on our merry way...

...The entire city was a party zone...everyone was in costumes...or should I say scantily-clad girls and made-up men roamed the streets of was great, I've never seen anything like it...the traffic on Seventh Avenue [parade route] was horrendous...ten minutes a block...but it was Halloween, everyone was jolly, drunk and looked nothing like they do in real life...

P.S. STK has awesome, gorgeous private rooms, the prix-fixe sux, but may be worth arguing with them to order from the menu!!!

What else is new? Had my first photography lesson with Dina. She's awesome, but I'm still confused about the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO...of course, I forgot my keys and was therefore locked out of my house and was therefore without my camera taking a photography lesson. But hey, everyone knows I'm special. :)

Work is crazy again. No its not "busy season," but projections are nuts, the client is insane and I'm losing my mind in the process...(Trying to book a vacation (or two), figure out where to go and on which dates, plan New Year's and Julie's bachelorette) oh and tag my (aperture/shutter speed/iso challenged and blurry) Halloween pix on Facebook. Whew!

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