Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Art at Auction

I'm celebrating being back from Costa Rica by putting a painting on eBay. I've made the starting bid discounted by $200.00! This is the first time I've put my paintings on eBay.

Title of painting: Red Dog Sleeps by the Light of the Moon, size: 20" x 16", acrylic on canvas. Ready to hang, color wraps around a 2" edge.

See listing at this link: eBay. I hope you'll take a look.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good bye Costa Rica

We took the bus down to Cahuita on Wed. and ate lunch at a restaurant there and then took a hike along the jungle trail that is at the Preserve near the south end of town. The trail goes along the beach and through the jungle out to a point. It took a couple hours! We saw some lizards, leaf carrying ants, a big spider, lots of flowers and unusual plants and a giant blue butterfly that was amazing!

Before we left Puerto Viejo we took a walk behind our hotel. We got to see a sloth! And some beautiful back roads. Then we left Puerto Viejo in the afternoon on Thurs. We took an Interbus shuttle van to San Jose. The 4 hour trip took about 6 hours though! Quite a long day! We stayed at a nice hotel called Hotel Los Volcanes in Alajuela near the airport. They had some brand new rooms and we got one of them! We didn't get to enjoy it very long though as we had to get up at 4:30 and take a 5 a.m. taxi to the airport. We flew to Houston and had a layover of 6 hours. And then our plane was delayed an hour so that turned into 7! We finally made it to Portland and went to my friend Mimi's where we spent the night and drove back in the a.m. on Saturday. Home sweet home. It is always nice to be home after being away! And now I'm looking forward to getting into the studio to do some painting!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Back on the Caribbean side

Last Saturday we missed our bus to Cahuita so we ended up staying the night in San Jose at the Hotel Don Carlos. It is a really charming small hotel with lots of nice artwork throughout. Two paintings I really liked are above. I like the way the moon and night sky are used in the paintings and the deep reds used!
 On Sunday morning we went walking around downtown San Jose and went to a park (see photo) where there was a national museum. And then we went to a public market where there were hundreds of booths inside a large building with people selling everything imaginable! It was very fun to browse the booths.

Then we got back to the hotel in time to catch a shuttle bus. We arrived in Cahuita in the afternoon. We really like it in Cahuita. It is much quieter, cleaner and friendlier than Puerto Viejo. Although it is the slow season now and we hear it really changes during the high season with so many tourists in town. There are a couple main streets there with lots of little shops and restaurants. We stayed at the Hotel Jaguar and enjoyed the beach directly across the street! There is a National Park at the far end of town with a trail through the jungle that goes out to the beach. But unfortunately since the Hotel Jaguar had their high speed internet down, we decided to go back to the Hotel Guarana in Puerto Viejo. It felt like coming home because they gave us our old room back. And since everything was so familiar to us, it felt really nice to be back! And we're really enjoying the sunshine! I'll post some more photos later.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Escape from the rain!

We loved the little cabin we've been staying at in Montezuma. And we liked the Ylang Ylang Resort next door cause they had a great breakfast and free internet, but after 4 days of torrential downpours that only seemed to let up in short spurts, we decided to escape! We left Montezuma by bus and headed toward the ferry. The roads were horrible from the rain. The road was washed out in places and there were downed power lines in a few places as well. We heard all the rain was from the tail end of a hurricane called Omar that was near Puerto Rico...we didn't check that news out so we don't really know for sure. But we do know it was more rain than we've ever seen and we were getting quite tired of having everything be wet! We took an hour ferry ride to Punteranus and then another long bus ride to San Jose. Now we're at a charming little hotel called Hotel Don Carlos in downtown San Jose. We'll take a shuttle over to Cohuita in tha morning. Back to the caribbean side...hopefully to sunshine!
Yesterday we watched some more monkeys playing in the trees and one came down and grabbed a piece of fruit from Greg's hand that he held out for it. That was fun to watch! I'll write more after we get over to Cohuita tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Montezuma, Costa Rica

We’re in Montezuma. We’re staying in a little cabin/yurt right off the beach. To get to the cabin from Montezuma, one has to walk along the beach for about 5 min. There is a main house on the property which the caretaker is staying in. The owners live in Switzerland. It’s been raining in bucket loads almost non-stop here. At times it makes the metal roof on the cabin roar. Other times it is a continual pitter patter sound. But we’re used to it by now. It lulls you to sleep at night. And when the sun does come out, it is gorgeous here. Even without the sun it is beautiful. The flowers are colorful and so pretty, the palms and plants all green and healthy!
We have monkeys that play in the palms around the cabin in the mornings. Big butterflies and hummingbirds come to visit the flowers. We haven’t ventured out much though. Just into town to buy groceries and eat some dinner. The cash machine in town has been broken since we got here so we’re thinking we have to get to the next town to go to the bank. There is a bus that goes there every 2 hours. It is 7 km away.

I’ve been working on getting new greeting cards online at a shop I created at Greeting Card Universe. I have new cards there and I'm working on getting my older ones online now. You can check it out at this link: http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/lgrugercardstore

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

We've been exploring and getting to know this small town of Puerto Viejo. At first when we got here we weren't too sure about it. It is smaller than I thought it would be. There is one main street that most of the restaurants and shops are on. There are side streets too of course and the Hotel Guarana where we are staying is on one of them. The more we explore, and go to the restaurants and talk to people, rent bikes and ride around, go to the beaches and hang out, the more we like it. We snorkeled one day and have been going swimming everyday too. We especially like this one cafe called "The Bread and Chocolate". We've gone there 3 days in a row now.

We're starting to get familiar with things and meet people who live here and now, I will say we really like it here! Yet we are looking forward to visiting the next place. Montezuma which is on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. We've met two different persons that have said Montezuma is their favorite place in Costa Rica. It has been great staying in one spot and being able to explore the area for a week. We will stay a week in Montezuma as well.

It has rained some here. In fact, we've been caught in a couple down pours. But we haven't needed our rain gear at all and we're thinking we won't need it...but one never knows. It is so warm that it feels good to be in the rain. There are lots of beautiful trees, plants and flowers everywhere....very lush and green!

The Hotel Guarana has a Treehouse (see photo)! And it was fun to climb to the top and check out the view! There are also lots of cool art touches around the Hotel that we are enjoying discovering. As well as lots of mosaics around the town.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Travel to Puerto Viejo

We went to Austin, Texas first for 2 days and enjoyed the music scene. And then got up early to get to the airport to fly to San Jose, Costa Rica. We had a long travelling day yesterday. After we landed in C.R. we took a 4 hour bus ride to Puerto Viejo. We had got up at 4 a.m. to drive to the airport. Puerto Viejo is a small town/village on the Caribbean coast. It has a jamaican feel to it. Very laid back and artsy. We're staying at Hotel Guarana, a very nice, charming, comfortable place to stay with little cabinas. There is lots of green jungle surrounding the area with beautiful beaches. I'll try to post some more pics of the village and beach soon.
I liked these boat images and I'm thinking of putting it into a painting with boats in it.

Also, here's a good link to a packing list for Costa Rica. It came in handy for remembering things to bring.