The Tortoise and the Hare.

I am dating a turtle. At least it feels that way sometimes. Whereas I am usually a bit on the hyper side, sometimes trying to do too many things at once, Ross is the opposite. He takes his time with everything, and usually is able to do everything right, which can be so annoying. The whole thinking before speaking thing and being calm and mild mannered works for Ross like 98% of the time. And then there are mornings with me. Take this morning for instance:

I woke up at 7:30Am, we had planned to go out for a 6 mile run around 8. I got into running gear, walked Mango, got Gatorade and toilet paper (we were out) at the pulperia and came back to get Ross around 7:50AM for the run. He was awake when I left, but he had only managed to sit up in bed in the 20 minutes I was gone. By the time he changed into running clothes it was somehow 9:30, I seriously have no idea where time went, but it went. I am not a girl who likes to sit around thinking about a run, I just need to go and get it done! By the time we actually left I was hungry (I didn’t want to eat before the run) and very, very grumpy.

We ran the first 3 miles in silence, which gave me plenty of time to think about how irrational I was being. I really had no reason to be mad at him, he wasn’t doing anything wrong, he was just doing everything at a pace that rivals tico time. It’s a Sunday afternoon, and we have nothing planned minus a Harry Potter movie and some grading/lesson planning for tomorrow. I’ve heard that opposites attract and Ross and I are definitely opposites in many aspects, though we do share a lot of the same interests. For instance we both wanted to run, I just wanted to run sometime TODAY.

What probably bothers me the most is that no matter how slow he moves before the run he is ALWAYS faster than me during it. What’s up with that?

I’m happy to say that the last 3 miles were much better than the first. I guess in the end I realized that it’s worth waiting for, to have him there running with me (and protecting me from scary dogs). And at least he’s a cute turtle:

What do you think, do opposites attract OR do they drive each other crazy? Maybe both?


Fast food, Slow nights.

Have I mentioned before that our gym in Fortuna is right above a Burger King? Ross and I held strong for the past 6 months, but today we finally gave in and ate Burger King for the first time in Costa Rica. And it was wonderful.

I felt a little guilty walking in there still in my sweaty gym cloths, holding a water bottle and towel. Once we were in though, everything changed. This Burger King is one of the nicest places I have been to here. I mean, what it’s lacking in uniqueness and healthfulness is more than made up for in Air Conditioning (the only place around that has AC, not even my gym has AC), flatscreen TVs and WiFi. Yes, the king knows how to keep us North Americans happy (fat, but happy).

I decided not to go overboard and got a BK Jr. quesoburgeusa meal. It was the perfect amount of food for me, though they didn’t include the promised toy, which I thought was a bit presumptuous of them. Ross went all out with the Whopper combo. We shared a apple pie for dessert, it tasted like all things good in the world. It’s funny, Ross and I never eat fast food at home, but somehow this tasted so much like home. I guess we’re Americans after all, we grew up on the stuff.

I hope to god we don’t don’t think we will make a habit of hopping into Burger King after our daily workout sessions, but I really enjoyed it today.

It’s Friday night, and our Burger King lunch excursion is probably the most excitement we’ll be getting. I really feel how slow things are here on weekends when we are not traveling. My weekends at home were always so busy, filled with friends and food and bars and yoga classes and parties and quite the social scene if I may say so myself. Here, we are about a 5+ hour bus ride, at least, away from San Jose and most of our friends. There really isn’t too much to do at night here on a regular basis. So, We are currently sitting at the dining table, I am blogging and Ross is grading exams. Our host mom will be making dinner in a little bit and we’ll probably go to bed early.

I would probably go crazy if I knew this was a forever thing, but since there is only about 5 months left of it I’m trying to enjoy being a little more tranquila than normal. Oh, and there is a recovering little puppy who will be getting PLENTY of cuddles this Friday night.

What are your big weekend plans- let me live vicariously through you 🙂

How Redundant

A Blog update about a blog update.

Just a quick note to let you know I have added categories to the blog, so now you can pick and choose to read only what your interested in. I know most of you are busy with full time jobs and the fast paced American lifestyle, who has time to read blogs about things they care very little about?

FITNESS- this one is obvious. Click here if you want to read about workouts and some mostly unwarranted advice about health and fitness!

GOOD EATS- Recipes, food stories, my love of all things food, etc.

PUPPY LOVE- All about the boys (Mango and Ross)

DEAR DIARY…- Personal stuff, rants, raves, unwarranted opinions, etc.

All THINGS PURA VIDA- All about Costa Rica of course; the good, the bad and the feo!

No hijos para Mango :(

Today was a very sad day for our little Mango.

We took him to the vet in La Fortuna to get neutered this afternoon 😦 I know that the health benefits are so good for him in the long run and for the pet population in general, but man, it’s such a hard thing to do to a happy little puppy!

I was adamant about getting this procedure done since we got him, Ross not so much (boys will be boys). Once we got to the vet today though, I almost had a change of heart. For one thing, Costa Rican vets are nothing like the ones at home. They had a table behind the counter that serves as an operating table and it’s probably the same table they have their afternoon cafecito at. They gave Mango the anesthesia while Ross was still holding him, and almost immediately he vomited. Not a great start.

The vet took Mango on the table, and we left to get an iced coffee, I cried a little, and then the vet called us back in (about 25 minutes later). It was all over, and Mango was in a little crate. He was still all drugged up, but started wagging his tail a little when he heard our voices.

The procedure apparently went just fine, the vet said his balls were so small it was really easy, lol. Everything looks okay so far, just a couple of stitches. He is totally out of it and sleeping now (Ross too, sympathy pain?) so we’ll see how he feels when he wakes up! He wasn’t able to eat for 24 hours before the surgery, so I’m hoping he can stomach something tonight, if only a little rice.

Any tips/advice on making Mango better faster would be much appreciated!

Do you think he will sleep like this again once he’s recovered?

I hope so.

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, you smell like a monkey…

Today is my sister’s 25th birthday!!! True story, when Alaina was little her nickname was ‘MonkeyFace’.

She had a busy year at 24 with graduating college:

Having a baby:

And starting her first ‘real’ job last week!!!

What’s up next for 25??? Lot’s of wedding planning I’m sure.

Yep, these two kids are getting hitched in 2012!

4 years ago I missed my sister’s 21st birthday because I was running a 24/hour relay race. That race was where I met Mr. Ross Donovan:

I don’t know what’s crazier, the fact that I ran a 24/hour race or the fact that Ross and I are still together 4 years later. It definitely hasn’t been an easy year for us here volunteering in Costa Rica but I can honestly say at year 4 we’re still going pretty strong.

HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY ALAINA!!! (my 3rd grade class tried to spell it out today)

Kids these days.

I walked outside this afternoon to find Aytan playing with trucks and doing some browsing:

Since he is only 2 years, and I know for a fact he can’t read yet, he can’t even get away with saying he was “just reading the articles” like someone else I know…

The truth of the matter is, there are just more naked women here. On the TV, in the daily newspaper, on the beaches. It’s very different than at home. Does this objectify women? Promote the machismo atmosphere prevalent? This isn’t only true for Costa Rica though, if you travel the world, most places in Latin America, and Europe for that matter, you’ll notice this phenomenon.

On the other hand, does it mean women are just more proud/ comfortable with their bodies, perfect or not (remember those Dove ads of women in their underwear?) Are we Bostonians still just a bunch of puritans at heart?


It’s been a fun day (but a long day. I am way too tired to be typing right now.) Ross and I woke up to go for a 5-mile run. Mango opted to sleep in, hasta luego Mango!

Mango probably had the right idea. The run was awful for me! Note to self: Don’t eat meat and potatoes (in the form of picadillo, or any other form for that matter) before 10Am and expect to have a good 5+ mile run in the heat. Just don’t do it.

Anyway, we finished the run and rewarded ourselves with cold outdoor showers:

and a swim in our favorite pool:

Played the “where’s Mango” game (hint look for the blue leash):

Came home for lunch (more picadillo) and enjoyed some coffee. STARBUCKS coffee. That’s right. Starbucks! I just remembered today that Ross’ Mom brought us some Starbucks VIA packets when she came to visit. Entonces I had my first Starbucks coffee in over 6 months. I was obviously excited about this:

Today was a big celebration in our town for Santa Santiago. There was a Mass, and then lots of little children on caballitos (little horses)

And then of course, BINGO!!! What’s a community event without 2 hours of Bingo included:

After losing Bingo big time, Ross and I went out for a few of these:

Long, great day. Despite a sunburn and a few bug bites and my brain having to work overtime playing Bingo in Spanish, it may have been a perfect day in La Fortuna. Good night!!!

Friday Frittata

Ross just made the best frittata for breakfast, and thought I would share the recipe!

2 Large Whole Eggs
1 Large Egg White
1/4 Cup of Cottage Cheese
1/2 Cup Broccoli, Chopped
1/2 Medium Onion Chopped

Cook onions in frying pan over medium heat (he used a little butter to caramelize them) add broccoli and cook for about 5 minutes. Mix eggs and cottage cheese in a bowl, add to pan.

If you are super fat conscious feel free to substitute regular cottage cheese for fat free and butter for non-fat spray. I personally like a little fat 🙂

I’ve been up since 5AM this morning for no apparent reason. On days I have early classes I can’t get out of bed. Days I have off I can’t sleep. What’s up with that? Does anyone else suffer from this problem?

I tried to go back to sleep, watched an episode of ER, played with Mango and then harassed Ross until he got up and came to the gym with me.

Then I forced him to make me breakfast 🙂

Since I realized I’m (way) overdue on some TEFL papers and I need to make tests for my 5th grade exam next week, today will be a work from home day. I guess I don’t mind giving up my Free Friday to be a little productive, especially since I have Monday off. This is how life should be 3 weeks vaca, 4 days of work, and then 4 more days off!

I hope everyone back home is enjoying the heat wave? Are you ready to hear me complain yet?

Hecho en Costa Rica

Today Ross and I attended our first Costa Rican baby shower. In true Costa Rican fashion, there were so many pregnant women there it took us almost half the party to figure out who the shower was for (this became evident when opening gifts).

The actual celebration is the same as at home. We started with cafecito: a ton of coffee and a platters of sweet breads and pastries. I’ve been trying to cut back on these and substituting the normal afternoon cafecito for herbal tea and some sort of protein/fruit combo. After indulging today I’m pretty sure I have a sugar hangover and gained 5 Lbs. How did I think it was okay to do this everyday???

One notable difference in the baby shower was in the attendance, by which I mean who was in attendance. I don’t know if this is always the case, but there were lots of men at the baby shower. Ross came, and so did many of the other male teachers and our director. Maybe it was because this was sort of a companero/coworker event, but all the of the guys there seemed to understand all of the baby shower games and protocol like they had done it before.

The presents were aplenty, and the ongoing game was that the guest of honor had to guess who gave her the present before opening it. She gets two guesses (just looking at the wrapping paper, no cards) and if she got it wrong the person who brought the gift got to write on her face in lipstick. By the end of gift opening the poor girl had a face covered in red marks and designs. Luckily, she received plenty of huggies wipes for presents, and they came into use early!

Apparently the person who’s gift is opened 7th is the next to get pregnant (kind of like the bouquet toss at a wedding). Guess whose present got picked seventh?!?! 😦 This of course was a huge deal amongst everyone at the party. They were all very excited and started rubbing my belly and saying that I would be able to say the baby was “Hecho en Costa Rica” (Made in Costa Rica). On our way out the door everyone (including our director) was wishing us good luck! Lol.

When we got home we told our host mother about, and she said that yes indeed it was muy cierto (very true). I hope not. I think this will probably be our last baby shower in Costa Rica. If not, next time I’m playing it safe and not bringing a gift! 🙂

Bring it, Monday

After over 3 weeks of vacation, it was definitely a shock to have to go back to work again today. It was great to see the kids though, and the teaching part wasn’t too bad either. I’m currently teaching my 5th graders about Renewable Energy sources. They are Costa Rican 5th graders, so they obviously know more about this topic than I do. I guess Geothermal Energy IS a little more entertaining when you have a live volcano in the backyard of your school plaza.

No matter how good or bad your workday is, I think it can always help to have something fun to look forward to on Monday. There’s always Margarita Mondays (or Mojito Mondays or Manhattan Mondays, you can choose your own alcoholic alliteration), which are fun, but for me I like to start the work week off as fresh and healthy as possible (if it’s a vacation week everyday is treated like a Saturday, including Monday).

This Monday Ross and I are starting a Harry Potter Movie Marathon. The goal is to watch all of the Harry Potter movies from the start (downloaded on iTunes), and then head to the theaters to see the final.

I’ve been looking forward to the ice cream movie all day, and now that school and my gym workout are done I only have to take a cold *sigh* shower and then it’s time for Movie Monday and chocolate ice cream. Did I not mention the chocolate ice cream before?

Did you know July is National Ice Cream Month (and yesterday was National Ice Cream Day)????

Anyone else have any great Bring it, Monday ideas???