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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pura Vida

If you look up Pura Vida in Wikipedia you will read the following:

Pura vida literally means Pura = pure and vida = life, but "Pure life" in Spanish would be "Vida pura" instead, so the real meaning is closer to "plenty of life", "full of life", "this is living!", "going great", "real living", or "cool!"  It can be used both as a greeting and a farewell, to express satisfaction, to politely express indifference when describing something or even to say "thank you". The phrase has become widely known; this highly flexible statement has been used by many Costa Ricans (and expatriates) since 1956. Some foreigners view the phrase as an expression of a leisurely lifestyle, of disregard for time, and of wanton friendliness. However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, resilience in overcoming difficulties with good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune of magnitudes small and large alike.

Trip to Arenal Volcano and The Springs Resort and Spa.

There is something beyond mystical when I am staying at a luxurious resort and looking out at a volcano.  It’s like combining the prehistoric with the contemporary.  Looking at the forces of nature while soaking in it`s warm juices.  This is something I hope my children can appreciate as they get older and realize what they saw.  Not the resort, but rather this perilous act of nature.

I do believe it compares to the 7 wonders.  The hot springs that this one volcano generates is inconceivable.  The amount of heat that a volcano can remit puts one in awe.  I flew over Mount St. Helene back in the 80`s when it erupted and I remember the gray skies and the smell of the air as the lava dust traveled to northern Alaska.   Arenal has maintained constant activity since the time it re-awoke, after a span of 400 years, with a huge eruption in 1968.  The magnificence of any volcano is daunting but being in the presence of one is fear provoking.


 To read more about Arenal go to:

We spent two wonderful days soaking in the hot springs and the pools.  Too relaxing – you don`t want to move.  Is that possible?  The kids loved it – Jamy was adamant about wearing his snorkelling gear in the hot springs which actually was to my advantage as he came up with a pair of DKNY sunglasses for me which slightly compensated for the prescription sunglasses  I had lost earlier in the week.

  The accommodations at the resort were gorgeous.  And sleeping in a super plush bed was magical after sleeping in the bed at the rental house.

 So, after taking a mini safari ride and experimenting every pool and hot spring we could find at the spa we headed back to the pacific coastline to explore some more of this enchanting country.

We returned to the rental home in Playa Grande and we were greeted by two very unwanted guests in the master bedroom.

The first one was bigger.   These are tarantulas for those not familiar with the world of spiders.  Earlier in the week we came across this critter, commonly referred to as a scorpion.

So having found both these arachnids within one week we welcomed the suggestion by Becky, our rental agent, to move into a condominium in Tamarindo.  Not, of course, because of the spiders, but rather because of repairs that needed to be done on the house.  We were put up in a unit facing this wonderful scene.

Another paradise in this little country the size of West Virginia.  Tamarindo is for surfers and anyone looking for a laid back lifestyle.   The food is wonderful, the people are sweet and the weather is - well - perfect.

For more photos of Costa Rica`s Arenal Volcano or The Springs Resort and Spa you can visit my album on my facebook page or go to the website:

 But for now I am off to a good nights sleep - tomorrow we go snorkeling on a 40 foot sailing catamaran.  This is truly Pura Vida.