Sunday, August 31, 2008


Cloud Forest Coffee

Ever wonder where the coffee we bring home to Florida from Monteverde actually comes from? It grows on my friend Marta's farm and is harvested by hand every year in December and January as the green berries ripen into red berries.  The coffee berries are then dried out in the sun, measured and bagged, usually in old feed bags.  The measurement is a cajuela, and I'm not too sure how much that actually is - probably around 3 kilos.

After the coffee is dry, the husk of the berry has to be removed and separated from the coffee beans inside.  The coffee beans are then roasted with a light or dark roast.  We take the coffee to be processed in San Louis, where it loses about half its volume.  Our friend Don Victor bags the coffee once it's roasted into 3 kilo bags, and then I repack it all to take it all home to Florida.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Kevin at the Cabalgata in Cabeceras de Tilaran

Kevin participated in several cabalgatas while we were in Costa Rica this summer.  This one was in Cabeceras de Tilaran, which is about a 20 minute drive from our house.  He rode there with Don Carlos and his brother Don Rafael.  Jim, Catie, Tiana and I hung around for a few hours with him and ate lunch there at a little restaurant not far from where the cabalgata was organized.  Kev rode his horse for about 12 hours that day, because it was a 20 km ride each way.  It was dark by the time he and Don Carlos rode up to his house in La Lindora.

Kev is riding his new horse Tormento, who was raised by Don Carlos.  Tormento, as his name implies, was born in a storm two years ago.  

 A cabalgata is a group horse tour on public roads and private farms close to the sponsoring village.  There is a charge to participate and the money raised goes to a charity.  The cabalgata is normally scheduled for noon, but nothing generally gets organized before 2 or 3 p.m.  The video clip shows the cabalgata getting underway.  

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Happy Birthday Kev!

Kev turned 11 at 10:21 a.m. today.  Happy Birthday Kev!  To celebrate, we went to Borders, where he bought a military slang book, and tonight we went out to dinner at Flemings.  We tried to go to Ruth's Chris, but we hadn't made reservations and couldn't get in.  I really can't believe he's 11 already.  How did that happen?


Random Costa Rica Pictures

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Our Niece Dana and Family

Dana just sent me these photos of her family.  Her kids are so cute!  We sure wish they would move to Florida (hint, hint).  

Catie's baby pictures look just like Dana's, and they both have that 1000 watt smile!

Friday, August 22, 2008


No School Today

Orange County cancelled school last night around 10 p.m., and LHPS quickly followed suit. The kids had gone to bed around 9 p.m., so they were surprised this morning to wake up late and find out that they didn't have school. The rain has finally slowed down, but it's still a grey, overcast day.

I've been fighting a cold all week, so today I plan to just chill out and take it easy. We've only been back two weeks, and I've been pretty busy getting caught up on our life here.


Thursday, August 21, 2008


It's Still Raining

We got about 8 inches of rain here today, which is nothing compared to the 20 plus inches some of the beach towns got today. It rained all day today. This morning a huge live oak tree toppled over in front of our neighbor's house, and somehow managed not to do any damage. When we left for school this morning two police cars were stationed at either end of our street to keep traffic away from the downed tree.

Tropical Storm Fay is still parked just off the east coast, and until it moves I guess it'll keep raining.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Fay No Show

We missed Tropical Storm Fay yesterday. Governor Crist declared a State of Emergency on Saturday to get everyone in panic mode, and so I made a half hearted attempt at hurricane preparedness. I know the drill; you need candles or batteries in case the power goes out, non perishable foods and lots of drinking water. We didn't have have any food in the house, or any bottled waters, so off Kevin and Catie and I went to Costco. I also needed gallon plastic bags to make solid bags of ice, which I find work best at keeping your food cold when the power goes out. I filled up some large pots of water for drinking water, but held off filling up the bathtub for flushing. Four years ago we lost power for almost a week, so I've learned it's best to be prepared. The kids' school was closed for Tuesday in anticipation of the storm, and Tiana's school was also cancelled.

Luckily, the storm never even came close to Orlando. We got some rain, and some wind, but no trees came down. There was probably more damage over at New Smyrna Beach, where the storm was stalled for half a day. I called a friend over there today and she told me that the ocean was almost up to the sea wall in front of our building, and that all of the rough sand had been washed away, leaving all the powdery soft white sand behind. Can't wait to see it.

It's still pretty rainy and dreary here.

On a bright note, Catie started her modeling class at Lisa Maile's this afternoon. Look out world!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


We're Coming Home!

We've been in Costa Rica a month, and we'll be coming home on Thursday. Lot of stories to tell! Tiana had a wonderful time with us for the month, and I think that she was amazing being away from her Mom for so long. I'll post lots of pictures when I get home.

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