CR Part 4: The Estuary

Tamarindo Estuary, Costa Rica

“An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water where fresh water from rivers and streams mixes with salt water from the ocean. Estuaries are areas of transition between the land and the sea.”
Chesapeake Bay System

…areas of transition between the land and the sea. All of Tamarindo felt like this, really. Cows, horses, crabs, and alligators all mingled together. It seems like an appropriate metaphor for the whole town — tourists and expatriates and Ticos, all interacting and sustaining each other. A great area of transition.

We traveled through the tangled mangroves, quiet and searching. We managed to catch a glimpse of a very shy alligator, catch a spider crab that joined us on the boat for a bit, and cross paths with some rather territorial cows. Oh, and disturb some ubiquitous sleepy howler monkeys, not pictured. One can only take so many photos of angry monkeys, you see.

Tamarindo Estuary, Costa RicaTamarindo Estuary, Costa RicaSpider Crab, Tamarindo, Costa Rica staredown


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CR Part 3: Food

Fresh Pineapple in Tamarindo, Costa RicaWhen I think of Costa Rica, I think of coffee, pineapple, dulce de leche, arroz con pollo, fried plantains, Salsa Lizano, and gallo pinto. My missions trip to Costa Rica in 2005 was my first independent travel experience, and I have a special place in my heart for the people, culture, and food.

This time around was no different. I met a wonderful barista named Lorena, ate fresh pineapple, got my hands on some Salsa Lizano to bring back with me, and met a older woman who runs the closest thing to a food truck in Tamarindo. Dona Rosa has been selling casado out of the back of her station wagon for over ten years!

I love eating while traveling, and I’m privileged to be able to write about many of my foodie adventures while traveling for The Town Dish. You can more read about my favorite spots to eat in Tamarindo over at the Dish now.

Do you have favorite places to travel and/or eat while traveling?

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CR Part 2: Monkeys Abound!

Howler monkeys in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Howler monkeys are a force.

I’ve met howler monkeys before. This was not my first Costa Rican rodeo. It was, in fact, my third. But I had never stayed somewhere where the monkeys were so abundant or loud or close to my living quarters. Lizards also abounded, but they are quiet creatures. Except when they’re attacking and devouring crabs. But that’s another story. (Sidenote: I legit saw a giant lizard eating a crab by the pool one day. There. I said it. Crunch, crunch. Violent and crunchy.) These teensy-tiny monkeys sound like an 800 pound gorilla when provoked. How does one provoke them, you ask? How about staring at them too long? Talking too loudly near them when they’re trying to sleep? Shaking a nearby tree? All of the above. Their howls made me jump and even kept some people up at night. But watching them interact with each other and their babies was worth it.

Howler Monkey in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Howler Monkey in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Lizard in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Crunch, crunch.


Summer White: Diner en Blanc

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia

Now that the madness of the Fourth is behind us, the next Philly summer event I’m looking forward to is Diner en Blanc. I’ve noticed it’s been getting a ton of buzz this year, whereas last year I felt like I just stumbled upon it by a stroke of luck. If you’re not familiar with the event, check out my recap and photos of last year’s inaugural Philly soiree on Town Dish.

When last year’s Diner en Blanc took place, I had just bought my first DSLR and was prepping to go to Iceland. We hadn’t yet moved to the city, but had just signed a lease on our current apartment. We were gearing up for a massive amount of change, yet still took time to enjoy the surprise location of the classiest pop up picnic in the world. I was bummed that we had to skip out on the after party last year to get drive back to the suburbs and go to work the next day, but I’ll make a valiant attempt to make it to the after party this year! I’m amazed and so grateful for how much my life has changed in the past year.

Now that I live in Philly and have some of the essentials locked down (table, chairs, linens, etc), I’ll be able to focus more on enjoying the event, finding (or making!) my all-white outfit, and dreaming up an amazing late summer picnic menu.

Are you signed up for the waitlist? If you want to join me there on August 22, be sure to pre-register as soon as possible!

Chad at Diner en Blanc Philadelphia

Isn’t he beautiful? Gotta make him dress up more often.

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia

Perhaps this is my favorite photo of us.

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia

Those letterpress butter cookies I made were a huge hit.

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia

I love the birdcage veil. I’d been watching her all night, hoping to snag this paparazzi shot.

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia

Chad was thrilled when the dance party began.

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia

And then the party took to the water. Fountain water, that is.

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Costa Rica — Again!

TS Eliot Exploration quoteSo, remember that time a couple  years ago when I decided to do a series called “Flashbacks”? The one that never really materialized? Right, that one.

Well, I’m picking it back up. With Memorial Day almost behind us, the event I’m looking forward to most right now is going back to Costa Rica in June. It’ll be my third time there. I worked there on a missions base in 2005, visited again for our honeymoon, and am headed back because Chad’s company is having their annual summit there. I can’t complain!

So these days, I’m looking back to look forward. Thinking of where I was both times I was there and how I’ve changed since. How this time will be different and how it will be the same.

And yes, I took this photo on the plane on my way there for the very first time, almost ten years ago.