Friday, January 6, 2012

Our Costa Rica Gift Of Happiness: Day 3, Part Two

Deb and Barbara: This is our "wonky" day: we traveled from El Silencio to Arenal Springs Resort and Spa––and, yes, Deb took another Gravol against her better judgment. Okay, if only someone had told her that the winding road lasted for 3 miles and then straightened out for the rest of the trip, she might not have shamed herself. However, upon reflection, the combination gave us the best laughs of the trip thus far (see photos for proof).

PS Many profuse thanks to our genial hosts at El Silencio for a superb 5-star/leaf stay!!

En route between El Silencio and Arenal Springs, we stopped at an iguana reserve established by the owner of this restaurant to protect the majestic creatures (plus Deb needed to pee).

He says they call him "Papa Iguana".

The rust colouring is a mating call. He waggles that impressive chin to attract the ladies (rivalling Colin's gelatinous basket).

There were literally hundreds of iguanas in the trees (they eat leaves––not humans, although Deb was not entirely convinced of this truth, high on Gravol as she was.)

We thought Deb was fine at this point--although we should have suspected something was up as she wasn't talking.

Yup, there it is. (This moment brought to you by Gravol.)

We arrived at Arenal Springs in the afternoon––too late for further excursions. However, the hotel had other plans... bottle is empty now, display has reverted to a crumpled towel on the floor. Thanks, Arenal Springs Resort and Spa!

The view from our adjoining hotel rooms. Under all that cloud cover in the distance is one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world. Sitting on the porch here was warm and tranquil as we watched gorgeous birds flit by.

Checking out the grounds.

Although you can't tell from this picture, Deb has just unwittingly walked right into the pool, thinking it was a path to the sushi bar. Feet are soaked, but WARM, as the water is fed by thermal hot springs. 

More tomorrow after we come back from our hike and tribal ceremony! Can't wait!! Costa Rica is truly clean, safe, beautiful and diverse. A paradise. We're eating the salad and drinking the water. The drives have been breathtaking. The people friendly and helpful and kind. Woo-hoo!!


  1. EEKK YAY more pictures!!!!!!!! Sorry about your awful bouts of carsickness, Deb!

    Anywho LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures! They are superb! The fifth one with Colin is darling! Digging the giant lizard too! Guess it's the biology major in me.

  2. Hehehehehe. You all are so silly :P

    When I think of those lizards, I have to refer to a Whose Line moment with the lizards newsflash. XD Oh god...I'm so freaking obsessed.

    Can't wait to see more pictures!!!!!!!

  3. I guess Deb didn't want to pee in the forest with the iguana's, eh? Don't think I'd like that either. You guys are so darling. :)

  4. Still loving the pics. Those iguana's are kinda of creepy. But then again i don't like big lizards. Love the pics Of the volcano . Love the pics can't wait for more.Love the pics of that beautiful blue flower. It's so pretty. Keep those pics coming.

  5. HA!! Ak, that Deb cracks me up. My husband and son are wondering why I'm sitting in the office hooting and cackling.

  6. Oh my god, so funny! Silliness and laughter: two more pieces of evidence that the vacation is going well.
    You'll look back at the photos someday and realize that you had taken a picture of a bath towel. I have several pictures of towels, in the forms of camels, dogs, monkeys, scorpions, etc. (Cruise ships teach their stateroom attendants how to make them.) Coffee beans and bananas: Oh, yeah, nice. Towels: hey, that's neat! Deb sticking her tongue out: BWAHAHAHAHAHHA!

    Keep enjoying!
    And tell Colin to calm down. He's getting a bit too wild in that one shot by himself.

  7. As in: I took a picture of... a bath towel. Great! I'll take one of the shower mat next!

  8. Didn't realize the height difference between you two. Love the photos. Iguanas are really ugly and I would rather have Colin's basket.:) Looks wonderful No sun, however?

  9. IGUANAS!!!!! SQUEEEEEEE!!! Lots and lots and lots of iguanas!!!! So cool! Oh, I wish I could see a bunch of iguanas in their natural habitat doing their iguana thing! (I'm always completely enthralled when I'm around someone's pet iguana.) What a quality potty stop you picked Deb! Your bladder has excellent reptile-friendly timing. lol

    Phil's picture taking is fabulous. Barbara, I can easily imagine when you get home having the earlier posts's photo of the few red coffee beans in the greenery and this post's banana bunch picture in little frames somewhere in your house. So pretty and artsy and Costa Rican!

    Oh, Deb, I do wish you could acquire a supply of ginger. Could the spa you are at now hook you up, hopefully? Even just a thermos of STRONG ginger tea to drink during the next journey?

    Also, I don't know how you feel about shiatsu and acupuncture and such, but if you are open minded about eastern traditional care, take a quick look here for the acupressure points tied to relief of motion sickness (before departure and during travel):

    I know the points on the torso would be a little tricky while wearing your seat belt in a moving vehicle, but maybe Colin would be a darling and work on your arms for you a bit? Not that you can't yourself, but his hands are larger and fingers probably stronger.

    Even if it doesn't help you in the strictest western sense of "medicine" and "cure", it could help just from the healing power of touch stand point. 1. You feel like crap -- all weak, wobbly, and disappointed. 2. You close your eyes and lay your head back and just kind of try to check out. 3. You are grounded by the sensation of someone who loves you with utter devotion, your safest person in the whole wide world, applying a firm, slow, healing touch to your arm(s). *shrugs* How can this not mend you at least a little?

    *frowns very deep furrows into forehead* I'm not trying to be ugly to other folks who think Deb's Gravol antics are funny. But, I don't. The whole screwing up while altered by a med think makes me squirm and wince and flinch on Deb's behalf. Seriously creepy. Quite uncomfortable. I'm literally a little queasy sitting here thinking about it. Poor Deb. *gentle hugs* It sucks to have the motion sickness issue be such a blight on your lovely adventure. :(

  10. Oh I laughed out loud at that pic of Deb with her tongue out : )
    I have got to say Deb, I have suffered from motion sickness since i was little. I think I get it from my mom because she is still like this too.
    Having played softball all through highschool i have had to endure many a long bus trips.
    This medicine called Dramamine works wonders!
    I don't know if it is only in america or if it is in canad too. But it has worked for me every long as I remember to take it. LOL
    You should really look into some motion sickness meds. I know how bad it can feel : )

  11. Great pictures again....!!!!!
    Lol at first when i read that Deb had to take Gravol i was like "awwhhhh poor thing.... i feel for you Deb".....but then i just couldnt stop laughing.... (sorry Deb :P)
    Iguanas hmmm....Colin has competition....But I'd prefer Colin's Bakset ;)
    Lol and Btw Deb i am with you....I cannot digest the fact that Iguanas eat leaves and not humans....even if i did I'd stay 50 feet away from them !!!
    lol Loved Colin's "epic" expression in the picture in front of the restaurant !!!!! (Why is so happy anyway ???...I thought Deb was high on Gravol)
    Gosh i loved the picture of the two of you cute !!!!!
    and Barb loved your face in the "checking out the grounds" pic....So adorable !!!
    But the best the one with Debs UNFORGETTABLE expressions....thanks to Gravol!!
    Loved all the pictures..... Can't wait for more !!!!
    Love you guys.....!!!

  12. It's kinda taken on a life of its own and become a running gag, but its origins were in teasing. I've been worrying about this from day one, and now I just finally have to ask:

    Does the basket teasing hurt Colin's feelings?

    :( *worries* *hopes not*

  13. BTW, Kelly in NJ -

    Gravol IS Dramamine. Same thing, different country, different name. That is what Deb's taking that's screwing her up nine ways to Sunday.


    And, some people (like me) discover they are dangerously sensitive to it, and after taking it once never EVER take it again because it has heinous, icky, really not good side effects. Scary, creepy, bad, no no no no no side effects. I hate that stuff. Hate it. HATE IT.

    Ah, hell. It's 2:50 a.m. I've got to get at least SOME sleep tonight because I have a long shift at work today. And, now, I'm gonna have f'ing nightmares about pharmacological phobias.

    It's all google's fault. Google screwed up the internet tonight. Or, I'd already be in bed.

    *stomps off in a wretchedly pissy bad mood*

  14. idea what Gravol is (, but I feel sorry for Deb!

    Although the pics are hilarious - escpecially the step into the pool one! So much happiness! :D I like. It's raining here since days, and I'm pissed off and depressed. -.-'

    And I love the pic of you two, Deb and Barbara. So cute. =)

    P.S. I do like iguanas, but I prefer Colin's basket (no spikes :P).

  15. Love the gravol shot.....How long did it take for Deb to come down...or up....Looks like you are all having a great time with lots of laughs!!! Can't wait for more pictures,this is so much fun!!

  16. I was looking at the pics last night. My daughter wandered over, saw Barb, and exclaimed, "Wow, she's so pretty!"


    I'm going out on a limb here and saying that Colin is not bothered by the basket teasing. I don't know what does ruffle his feathers, but this ain't it. I'm seeing him and Brad in March, and I'm wondering whether he'll even remember it by then. :)

  17. If you ladies don't mind, and I apologize if you do, I just need a freak-out moment. Here's why:

    "Sarah Dezi Powers is in a relationship with Brian Sangster Jr."

    That's my daughter. EEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    She IS open to conversation, and the communication has thus far not been limited to Facebook.

    But still... EEEEEEK!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you.

  18. Okay...I feel silly
    thanks Rigel :)
    I had no idea what we were talking about when Gravol kept being mentioned...
    I should have Googled before I spoke : )
    well at least I am learing new things....
    Good luck with the motion sickness then Deb

    Who knew there were such different and new things with neighboring countries.....
    Can you tell I don't travel much LOL

  19. Hi guys,
    both of us here! We are sitting on our lovely balcony with some lovely wine and responding together to all your lovely comments. If we miss anyone it is the wine and not a lack of love.
    Holly and Kelly, we loved the Iguana's. The stoney Deb was a tad worried they would attack before the sober Barb reminded her that unless I was a giant leaf, I was safe. Turns out, I did not even need the gravol/dramamine! Karen and Lynsdsie we will for sure, keep the pix a comin'!
    Phil: Thanks for the pix compliments, much appreciated. Vacation secret: I brought along four different cameras. My trusty Canon DSLR, my iphone 4S, a cheepo Kodak submersival digetal and a no name chinese HD video cam that I have not even used yet. The workhorse for most of the pix has been surprisingly the iphone 4S which has remarkable quality. (all the photos taken at the falls were with this remarkable little phone. Food photos requried a bit more technology, so I used the Cannon. No flash but very high film speed. ISO setting if anyone is intersted and a little pocket tri-pod to steady the shot during long exposures.
    Note from Deb: Little tri-pod is sooooooooooooooooooo cute! thanks Phil!
    Colin: I brought an etchasketch but have not used it yet. Stay tuned. Because I also brought racy pix of Ann Margaret which have nothing to do with the blog. Just for me.

  20. Kate and Dawn glad our vaca is giving you lots of laughs. I have to tell you guys that every single time any of us has seen that shot of Deb sticking her tongue out we have lost it to the point of tears! !!! In fact we are laughing about it again right now!!!!! Madge we did have sun today, story to follow and the rainforest brought uncharacteristic downpours. Truly if I had to choose I would take amazing adventure over sun but don't get us wrong, we do want the sun. To be specific, Deb is 5 feet tall. (true story) she has gained one full inch in her fifties to bring her to 5'1" for the first time in her life. Doctor said that pilates and yoga and stretching is causing this phenomenon in Baby Boomers. But the stats are this. Deb-weighing in at 5'1" and Barb weighing in at 5" 9 inches.

  21. Rigel thanks for your tips but I think my panic got the best of me. I am actually fine now but I will keep all your wonderful tips in mind for future trips!!!! And Rigel you are a doll to worry about me but I am fine with the teasing. After all, I set myself up for it on the blog. If I didn't want it, I wouldn't post it but thanks for the love.
    Kelly NJ, thanks so much but Gravol and Dram is the same and I am done with it on this trip. Thanks for the empathy.
    Shalaka, glad you are loving the pix and the funny face that has given us so many many laughs!!!!!!!!!
    Colin refers you to every single season of Who's line to see that people making fun of him has built his career!
    Rigel dont' go onto Dr. Google. I have fallen down that rabbit hole myself. xo
    Becki Colin says that he thanks you for your preference. If we can keep the Barb and Deb references down to a minimum I think we'd all have more fun!
    Phil says ditto and also says that I made many typo's in Phil's description of his camera use. Sorry, but I am typing in the dark and my ipad is covered in bugs.
    Barb says Colin is a brat!

  22. Mary-Jo we ARE having such fun. Regard come down-four frickin hours. Dawn you are right about Colin and basket teasing. But you know that BRAD will jump on the basket wagon and Colin will have to endure. Barb is lovely even when she is ugly which is NEVER!!!!!!!!!! Dawn you must explain what you mean by your daughter's relationship. Please clarify and we will jump into the conversation.
    Kelly NJ. do not worry about Gravol. Yes learning is good!!!!! But in fairness we had no idea it was not called Gravol everywhere so rest assured. xo

  23. LMAO at wine-induced blogging. I wanna go on vacation with you guys! I posted a "plea" for lack of a better word on the "Visit Costa Rica" facebook page. I mentioned I'd heard about it from two women's lovely blog. Someone asked for the link to your blog, so you may get more followers. My recruiting skills are at it again regarding some Canadians' gift for fun and laughter. :)

    My daughter, Sarah, is a H.S.junior, and Brian graduated from H.S. in 2011. The "relationship" seems like friends who add little hearts to the ends of their FB notes. But it's a bit more than that. She's a bit more subtle than I am, (but then, so is a guy wearing a fluorescent thong), but there was/is kissing. (Should I be so embarrassed about telling this? It was easier to get her to giggle and tell me than it is for me to talk seriously now. Sheesh...)

    She has a good head on her shoulders, and was willing to answer anything I asked her. She giggled, blushed, and said "MAMA!" a lot, so I am asking the right questions. :)
    She knows how far NOT to go, but it's one of those "my daughter's old enough to date" theories that has turned into fact. The EEEK!! is I hope I'm doing enough to make sure she keeps that good head on her shoulders.
    A mother's paranoia... maybe that's all it is, but it sure helps to get it out.

    Thanks, ladies, for listening, and for the laughs. Keep enjoying your vacation. xo

  24. Oh wow! Lovely and funny pics!

    Oh Deb... what can I say about that photo of you behind Barb, sticking your tongue out... Oh my!

    Phil, great camera choices, I carry four (including my phone camera) when I travel as well. I love the nature shots, they are absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. Of course I love all of the photos with all of you in them! I feel like I'm there with you all!

    Colin, I also vote for your basket over the iguanas, no question about it. I will be seeing you and Brad soon(ish) and will be listening for any teasing from Brad about the basket.

    Deb, I would have gladly held your hand (or probably would have been squeezing it) while looking at the iguanas. They freak me out! The pics are enough for me!

    Barb, looking lovely as always. I have to say that I too laughed until I cried when I saw the pic of you and Deb behind you! Made my day! Possible photo for next years Christmas card?

    So happy you are all having a good time.

    P.S. Dawn, best of luck with the daughter dating thing! I'm sure it will all work out just fine!


  25. Deb - Dr. Google? Never heard of such a thing. I didn't go down any rabbit hole or anything last night. I don't do internet medicine unless it's looking up a real study in a real medical journal. And, that's a rarity just to sate intellectual curiosity these days since I haven't worked in a research lab in years. So, I'm not sure what you meant in your comment. *stare at you in perplexity*

    Anyway, what I was all 3am pissy about was that Google crashed last night for more than 2 hours. ALL THINGS GOOGLE went down: search, gmail, googletalk, youtube, blogger, et. al. (This is a loud, blood curdling NOOOOOOO for an insomniac, let me tell you!) Anything Google was dead in the water from around midnight till after 2am. (There was a rather entertaining Earth-wide, multilingual "WTF?!?!?" going on at #google on Twitter. lol) When the shards of google began to spring back to life, I was relieved to find that I hadn't lost any data anyplace. Believe me, I checked.

    During the google outage, I also repeatedly looped through the following train of thought,
    "Oh, no. Blogger's down. Gmail is down. Barbara and Deb and Colin and Phil are in freakin Costa Rica, and this google crash is gonna fubar them. What if google is down for a long time? What if this is an epic fail on the order of the earlier PSN debacle? OK, OK, think. The ickiness of their having a roadblock to blogging their trip aside, what practical worries are there here? Communication. They are far from loved ones like their kids. Some of these loved ones need tending. Deb's mom. OK, so surely, given that Colin travels so much for work, at least 2 of the people in the party have international plans on their cell phones, right? And, Deb could text Canada from England on her London trip. So,OK. And, I know that at least 2 of the 4 have alternate nongmail email accounts. And, I'm guessing Phil has a work email account. OK, so they aren't dangerously cut off." *Pause 10 minutes to ponder if this is a test run of the SOPA protest, if this is a server crash, or if this is a D.O.S. attack from a hacker collective and to ponder how completely irritated I am at the lack of YouTube for this already sleepless night.* *Lather, rinse, repeat the McGrath/Mochrie/Radecki/Ayoub worried thought cycle.*

  26. Ok finally, I'm sitting and can actually comment. With my only chance to read without the 8:00 am posting is later in the day and by that time my day is in full-drive and I never seem to get a chance to comment. Especially with soccer and prepping for Ukranian Christmas! It looks like you guys are having an absolute blast and I love all the pics. Deb I feel for you with the motion sickness, it's why I always always drive as riding shotgun or back seat makes me sick and gravol tends to send me on a pretty good trip as well so I try to stay away. At least it appears to send you on a happy trip though! I too use my IPhone for 90% of my blog shots and our canon for the rest, the phone now outshots my little handheld camera.
    Rigel your adorable as always, Dawn eeeek I dread the days of boyfriends! My oldest is 12 and the most important thing is still soccer and boys are gross, if only it could stay that way forever. I just gotta mention this as I'm so proud she got a goal in soccer this afternoon, not so odd except she's the goalie. A goal line kick clear across the feild which bounced over the opposing goalies head and right in.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing this wonderful trip ladies, and gentlemen sounds like a blast!

  27. OMIGOSH! Erin, WOW! Please give your daughter an enthusiastic high five from me! That's amazing!!! So very, very cool!!! I hope someone on the sidelines got at least a cell phone video of it. Wow!

    Yay for Erin's daughter!!! *does the online equivalent of carrying her around the field up on team's shoulders*

  28. Rigel, I'm pretty sure Costa Rica has its own phone system, and that it might even have the capability to reach...gasp...OTHER countries! And, believe it or not, the people of Costa Rica are probably willing to let other people, even those NOT from Costa Rica, use it!

    I'm sorry, but we have become WAY too dependent on "on-line," and too closed-minded to what we "used to" use before. Dialing a phone (yep, I said dialing) still exists and still works. My mother's main line dials, and calls do go through.
    No one should rely on just one phone number for an emergency contact, and should never rely on the internet as an emergency contact at all.

    Are you familiar with DBT skills? When you start to lather rinse repeat, pick "BLUE." Think BLUE. THEN, look for every blue thing you can see from where you are sitting/standing. Stops the loop in its tracks. Guaranteed.

  29. Sharon "BLEUCH" ReineJanuary 8, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    DEB- just heard from Church & White- makers of Gravol(R) ITS A WHOLE NEW AD CAMPAIGN!!
    Can't believe they never thought of it b4 -
    Vacation dull?- GRAVOL IT UP!!!

    P.S they also do a ginger version tho 2 me gingertea is best followed by organic ginger capsules. I also recommend OTC pepcid/zantac- reduces stomach acid = less stuff to fro up.
    Also some script drugs work sl different and u may respond better- Metoclopromide or domperidone (NOT the champers- unfortunately)
    Some people use scopalamine patces OTC in the states- U would only need 1/2 of one. I do NOT recommend prochlorperazine- i had a BAD reaction to it so if u have sensitivities- I wouldn't take a chance! Bonine(US) or Bonamine(CAN) is one I used on film sets alot-Meclizine HCL which is the over the counter version of the prescription drug "Antivert." antivertigo/antiemetic agent, specifically in the prevention and treatment of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness associated with motion sickness''

    If it makes u feel better on the boat ride back fro the Dry Tortugas in Key West the ship was like a fricking roller coaster ride ( WITH the chance of drowning!)and eve with ginger ale and 1/2 tab of Dramamine I spent 90 of the 2.5 hrs w my head over the garbage can and a death grip on the railings ( at least I had SOME perchase)
    Oh and finally the old slow deep breaths - in thru the nose out thru the mouth, Hey it couldn't hoit!
    Keep up w the incred shots- its like being there!

  30. Just checking in quickly before I sleep (and while I'm downloading more pics for next post). Dawn: ADORABLE!!!! Thanks soooo much for sharing that. Brings me back. And not to worry -- the most important thing (in my estimation) is listening, supporting and being open. She must and will make mistakes, but she is obviously well grounded. Good luck!!!

    Steph, thanks and xoxo

    Rigel, you are adorable, especially when sleep-deprived. Costa Rica is a very developed country. LIke Dawn points out, EVERYONE and every hotel has a phone (we, of course gave all our numbers to family members). And even so, if every single system in the world crashed, all our beloveds have enough support that no one would be lost without direct access to us for a bit. So DON'T WORRY (PS Dr. Google is meant to describe when we sometimes get caught up in medical googling and read too much bad news. Not all medical facts are medically relevant.) Love your concern!! xo

    And Erin!!! Congrats to kiddo!!! Wow, amazing! Having been a soccer mom for so many years, I know just how hard that shot is!!

    Sharon, thanks for the laughs -- and sharing the motion sickness blues!!

    On to post next blog....

  31. Deb -

    All this talk about motion sickness keeps making me think of this:

  32. BTW:

    If you combine Adam Savage and Tory Belleci from Mythbusters with the fictional character Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, what you've got is a partial approximation of kinda what my son is like.

  33. hey Sharon I should approach the makers of Gravol! A whole new career may be in the offing for me. And thanks for the practical tips!!!

  34. Lovely to read all about your adventures guys! So glad you're having so much fun together! Surprised no one mentioned the amazing-looking gorgeous blue bird streaking across the iguana photo - kudos to Phil, beautiful shot!

    You're all going to need a vacation after this vacation!!
    Thanks for sharing, we'll keep checking in to see how you're all doing,

    Love Sandy & John

  35. Hi, it´s Glenda... I totally understand Deb about the iguanas, Gravol or not.Hope you do not find if I share a story with you about one of my experiences ... A baby iguana was so well- behaved and cute that I continued to snap away until things took a turn, it gave me THE LOOK . Baby Iguana or not, I heeded and backed-off. I knew I would frick out if it jumped on my face or camera lens. As I turned, I looked up and saw a monster of a macho iguana eyeing me from above. Horrors, I was in the mist of “iguana- land.” It was time to leave; besides the sun was setting and the iguana was amongst a zillion branches, so I told the guide “let’s go.” He insisted I make one last effort, so he tried to position the iguana by climbing the tree and rocking the branches. This only agitated the iguana to the point that it lifted his head in alert, turned around, and paused as if contemplating what to do next. I have learned, the hard way, to read an animals’ body language, so this was a sure sign for me to back-off. I was in the process of executing my escape route when my guide shouted, “Get your camera ready!” I screamed to the guide “NO, NO, DON´T rock the iguana.” I knew it would either leap on me or close to me and I wanted no part of either situation. Oblivious to my plea, the guide continued rocking. While all the shouting and commotion was in full force, the iguana decided he had enough, and to my horror, he suddenly took a superman style leap into the air. He landed within a few feet of me .The huge iguana ran in one direction and I, with camera hanging around my neck, ran in the opposite direction. I headed back while my guide was still in the tree and probably laughing.


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