17 June 2008

Late Fathers' Day

I didn't call my dad for Fathers' Day until Monday, so it's only fitting that I'd wait until Tuesday to post this picture. Have I ever mentioned that my dad is the coolest guy in the world? Love you!

I didn't have any good pictures of the two of us, so I had to use this one. Here dad is doing his favorite thing--cleaning the snow off the driveway!

15 June 2008

Costa Rica Recap, Part 2

Our last day in Arenal we went on a canopy tour of the jungle. They strap you into a harness and you go from tree to tree on zip lines. It was really cool, although you move a little fast to be able to really check out the wildlife around you. Here's a picture of me doing a 'superman' with one of the guides, Antonio.

After the canopy tour we cleaned up and headed out for what everyone assured us would be a 3 hour drive to Quepos, on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. With traffic, crazy roads, 3 road signs (total), and general distance, the trip took closer to 8 hours (including our time at the cevicheria where we stopped for directions and a snack).

When we finally found our hotel, we found our room to be partially unfinished--there was an unpainted wall, outlets and light switches to nowhere, and an electrical box in the bathroom with no cover. There was a minor problem with having no water that night, but we were assured that it would be fixed by the morning. I woke up to Jenna standing in the bathroom door, dripping soap because the water had shut off in the middle of her shower. No shower for me!

We spent the day tooling around Quepos, finding a great little local coffee shop where we proceeded to eat all of our breakfasts there. We still didn't have water at the hotel that night.

The next day we hiked into Manuel Antonio national park. We went on a small tour group and hiked in the back way with a guide. We saw so many cool animals: monkeys and sloths (even one coming down to take his weekly poop) and a jesus-christ lizard (which can run on water). The walk in was through the jungle, really awesome. The tour ended at the beach, which is considered by many to be the best beach in Costa Rica.

After awhile on the beach, we hiked back out and found a restaurant where we could get some lunch and a beer. Apparently, though, it is illegal in CR to sell any type of alcohol on Good Friday. But the restaurant would sell 'sodas' to us. This is Jenna with our 'sodas'--light beer with lime juice and a salt-rimmed glass.

Here are a couple pictures of the rain that hit us while we were hanging out at the restaurant. It was ridiculous!

The next day we were back in the car on our way to San Jose for the night in order to fly out on Sunday. We stopped at this awesome overlook (near Jaco beach) and took some pictures with some other random tourist-types.

While we were enjoying the view, we were burgled by the 2 guys in this car (The picture shows them speeding away).

Here's the story: We had just walked back to the car after taking some pictures, and Jenna switched the lenses on her camera. For the first, and only, time on our adventure, we left the car doors unlocked. I walked toward the ocean and was approached by a guy I'd seen drive up. He was trying to tell me that there were some birds out on the ocean I should take pictures. When I corrected him that the birds were, in fact, in the trees in the opposite direction (toward the car), he started talking about dolphins. About this time Jenna came over to see what was happening. I told her that apparently there were dolphins, but I couldn't see them. I was now bored and turned back to the car. I saw the second of the guys walking between our car and theirs carrying a backpack that looked suspiciously like mine. I checked the car, and sure enough the dude had my bag. I yelled at him (using many choice words that are not appropriate for a family blog) and tried running after him. His friend realized that the gig was up and raced toward the car. I realized that there was no way I'd be able to keep up with them/catch them, and was smart enough to take a picture of the car, in the hopes of turning it in to the police.

Jenna came back to the car, I told her they had my bag, and she responded: "Which way did they go?" We took off after them and I started listing what was in my bag: an empty journal, address book, 2 cell phones that don't work in CR, a fairly old iPod, and a bag full of random crap. Oh, and about 140,000 Colombian pesos which aren't worth the time it would take to exchange them there. I felt a little vindicated, in a way, that the jerks didn't get away with anything too valuable, but then I just got madder as I thought about the principal of the thing.

We found their car parked at a hotel about 5 minutes away. Jenna parked directly behind the car (so they couldn't drive off again) and jumped out yelling at anyone who would listen. Someone from the hotel was able to figure out what I was yelling about and explained it to the rest of the people there, who immediately jumped up in pursuit of the guys who had run away when we drove into the parking lot. They never caught the guys, but I found the car unlocked and stole back all of my stuff. We had a beer to calm down and continued on the drive.

We spent our last night in San Jose, which we'd heard wasn't much to write home about. The people at the hotel told us where we could go to hang out that night, which turned out to be this small, walled-in plaza that had a bunch of different clubs. We ended up drinking too much and staying out all night. It was a good thing all we had to do the next day was sleep on the plane.

That's it for the trip. Sorry it took so long to tell you about it. I guess I can blame it on Colombian time, again.

04 June 2008

Another Take on Sid

Ok, so my picture of Sid is not very good. Check out this link..it's a story about a man who actually raises multiple Sids. I believe their official name is 'Hercules Beetle.'


We decided to free him. He started chewing through the wire-mesh cage that Jenna found in the science lab and we weren't sure he'd actually make it while we were gone to Cartegena for a 3 day weekend. We opened the door of the cage and left him on the balcony the night before we left. He's not there anymore and he actually chewed a different hole in the mesh.