Dreaming of returning to paradise…

living in Costa RicaI had a dream last night, in more vivid colors than I could ever imagine in my brown desert town. Yes, there are the glitzy lights of the Las Vegas Strip, but this was different: in my pre-dawn adventure, I was looking skyward at five layers of magnificent, magic-kissed tropics of the brightest greens and the bluest blues. The weirdest part of the whole thing was that I ended up there, I don’t know how, and met some sort of tour guide to this wonderful place through my mother. And to my surprise: Wow! I had had this woman’s name and phone number on my vanity mirror for a year but had never got around to calling. I didn’t feel relief in my dream, oh my, I almost missed finding paradise. Instead, it was more like, look at that: two paths, same ending.

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Shameless Pet Pic: Don’t you want to rescue?

rescue petsAfter kicking the flu and on the eve of having to get up at 4:30 am, I was looking for an easy fun pic to share from some part of my life. But of course: my rescue pets, staring up at me with those big eyes…. I ran across this Instagram photo of my smaller dog, Jax. He’s my runner, the one who causes me an enormous amount of stress when he gets out of the house, something he manages to do with an impressive amount of dexterity. He’s also sensitive, prone to hunger strikes and who knows what else. But they sure do look like angels when they’re asleep, don’t they? Like my other dog, Chase, Jax is a rescue saguate (street dog) I brought home from Costa Rica. It was a long road from our little barrio to his napping on my leopard-print chaise in Las Vegas. (And it took a village, literally.) In fact, it feels like a lifetime ago that I took them to the local C.A.R.E. spay and neuter clinic for stray dogs in little Coco. It’s easier than you would think to bring your rescue pets home to the US. I highly encourage it!

Let me know if you’re thinking about it and would like to hear more!

Locally in Las Vegas, consider donating to or volunteering at The Animal Foundation. It’s a very special place, with tens of thousands of animals that need human attention. Drop in! You’ll fall in love.

Daydream of the week: a stroke of fire over the sea

Costa Rica

Simpler times in Costa Rica.

I know, I know… Every traveler has a million travel sunset photos, each one prettier than the last. But if you’ve read my recent post on my current bout of workaholism, you’ll understand why I needed this shot from Costa Rica today. When I lived there, struggling to start a new life for myself, kickstarting a little company from my one-bedroom house, I was so jealous of my friends who hadn’t lost their jobs in the recession and dove into debt like I did. I gradually pulled myself out by living cheaply in Central America and toiling away with a friend of mine on our little news agency — and then I went back to work, as editor-in-chief of Vegas magazine. This post-recession world is different, isn’t it? Either you’re unemployed — or you’re doing the work of 18 people. I was in the former category for almost two years, the first one hell, the second one bliss, and now I am in the latter.

One day at a time… It’s a jungle out there, and you never know what’s coming up next!

A dear friend of mine started an awesome Sunset Sunday map, so every sunset addict can get a proper fix. I dare you to go check it out — I’m warning you, you might get stuck there for awhile!

Daydream of the Week: palm trees

I grew up mostly in Florida, and one of my most vivid memories is mailing (yes, snail mail) a photo of my family’s new pink stucco house adorned with palm trees to some old friend near Washington, DC, where I lived during elementary school. I so fast grew to love the more tropical lifestyle of Christmases so warm you could run outside and play with your toys that day. To this day, I get a kick out of pastel stucco, and man I love humidity. I love Vegas, too, and will never be one of those people who complain about the heat: I’d rather be too hot for a month or two (yes, it really does get up to 120-ish) than too cold and gray for nine. But my dry eyes and stuck-to-my-eyeballs contacts miss the humidity of both Florida and my adult paradise of Costa Rica, and in the winter when my hands are so dry… I long for that humidity that’s so thick you feel like you’re walking through a cloud. As a Pisces, a creative writer with a wild imagination, I have always loved my daydreams. And palm trees often rule. Here’s a recent photo I took in Costa Rica. Enjoy!

 

It’s a jungle out there!

My Imperfect Paradise in Costa Rica

Coco Costa RicaI love this photo taken outside of Claudio y Gloria in Coco, where I lived in Costa Rica for one year. It is a yummy little breakfast spot right on the beach, peaceful and low-key. It is absolutely impossible to be stressed out while digging into a breakfast sandwich or casado here as the waves lap ashore. What I love about this photo is that it is a realistic depiction of a place that was my own personal paradise. Yes, the grass isn’t the greenest, and there are brown patches. Some people hear the word “paradise” and think only of the most turquoise waters, white sand, and a perfect, perfect world. I loved Coco because I was myself there, down to the last imperfection. I never judged Coco, and it never judged me, patches and all.

Tuning out in Costa Rica: Santa Teresa

Along the main drag of Santa Teresa.

During my last trip to Costa Rica, three girlfriends and I took a little getaway. It’s about time I introduce you to Santa Teresa! The hippy-dippy little beach town is stretched out along one long main road on the Nicoya Peninsula, near Mal Pais, south of Nosara and Playa Guiones, my favorite surf/beach area. We stayed in a rental home outside of town, which some might find isolating but was just the escape we were looking for. Aside from a comical Halloween crab invasion every evening at sundown, the empty jungle beaches were the idyllic slice of Costa Rican paradise I have come to love about the coasts of Costa Rica.

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