Along the Natchez Trace

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Christmas Eve like No Other in My Life...

I've lived a lot of Christmas Eves....  many I remember vividly...  like in 1947 listening to Gene Autry sing "Here Comes Santa Claus" on the wind-up Victrola. We must have worn that record out!  Later a few were spent trying to construct a box of flat metal sheets into a 3 dimensional doll house or quietly roll a bicycle into the house.  

The kids are all grown and gone...  have kids of their own...  and even their own grandkids...  so they have their own memories of Christmas Eves Past...

Last night was for me, like no other.  Since our kids live in 4 different states and our grandkids live in 5 other states, and our sibling live in a couple others....  there is no way we can spend Christmas with everyone.  This year our solution to that was to live be in Costa Rica during the holidays.  That's not unusual for us, but...  this one was even more different...

I wanted to go to 6:00 mass at the church in Coco, so around 3:30 or so we headed off to town.  It doesn't take more than a half hour tops to walk, but we weren't in any hurry and took the route along the beach...

Good Grief!  What's THAT out there?
A cruise ship was moored out in the bay....
I had to google it when we got home...  it's with the SeaDream Yacht Club Charters.  Not a huge cruise ship...  only 56 couples on board...  from the website it looks quite elegant and exclusive.  I tried to figure out what this one was doing here...  looks like it will be in Panama by New Years.  Sure made our little bay look like a big city!

But bringing us right back to earth...
This Willet was wading along the shore.  We haven't seen many shorebirds, so he was a welcome sight.

And...  Oh Dear..  Looky Here...
Someone backed their SUV into the water to attach their Sea-Doo trailer...  and got stuck!
We had plenty of time so stopped and watched the guys try to get it out.  The tide was coming in...  and a couple of trucks tried to tow it out with a cable..  with no success....
A crowd had gathered, some bringing reinforcements.  Finally, two trucks pulling together got it moving and pulled ashore.  By this time they had disconnected the trailer and pulled it out separately.

Can you see all the water pouring out of the vehicle?
I bet this guy will be a little more cautious the next time...
Well, maybe not...  he wasn't a very good driver on land either.

Continuing on our walk, we headed up to Los Palmas, where friends of ours will be staying come January.  While we didn't actually see the condos where they will be we got an idea of the layout of the land and what's available.  I think they'll like it.

By this time we headed back into town.  The sun was starting to set and the beach turned golden.
It was too late in the day for most of the water activity, and a little too early for the night activity.  Just a nice, quiet walk.

I don't know the name of the church I went to, but it was fairly large, and quite well attended.
I was in the back row...  didn't want to use my flash...  the creche was at the front on the left, and there was even a Christmas tree on the right.  I especially loved the singing...  my favorite was the one about the little boy taking his burro to the manger and not wanting to be late....  in Spanish, of course.

It was only 7:00 when mass was over and the town was just starting to come alive...
Lots of lights...  lots of traffic.
We weren't in any hurry...   knew we'd be taking a taxi home anyway, so headed to one of the many restaurants lining the main street.

While under a palapa, it's still basically outdoor seating...
Here's Bill...  with his Bavarian Beer...   that's my Imperial at the lower right.

We had time to relax and enjoy the street crowd while waiting for our dinner...
That's mine on the left...  grilled octopus.  Yep, the upper right is one of the tentacles....  before you turn up your nose, let me assure you that it was delicious!  And...  no... it did NOT taste like chicken!
The lower right is Bill's sea bass.  We had to ask what that little cup of green stuff was...  it's kiwi foam.  We're still not sure what you were supposed to do with it...  guess we'll have to go back sometime and do it all again.  

The street came alive in the hour or so we sat there...
All the shops were open...  all the restaurants were filling up.  The traffic got congested and it sure looked like everyone was having a good time...

This just ISN'T what it looks like....
Quite a few women were dressed much like this.  But this couple had just left the restaurant where we are... in fact, sat just behind me....  so .....  I think they were just waiting for a cab.

The restaurant person had called a taxi for me and Bill and it came along shortly....
by 9 pm we were home -  not too long before bedtime.

While I didn't have Gene Autry singing or even Bing Crosby dreaming of a White Christmas, I enjoyed every minute of my Christmas Eve.  And I can assure you, I've never had one quite like it in the past.

That's All For Today!


  1. Octopus? but why ... always amazes me when something that looks like an octopus is declared food. Wonder who first said I'm killing that ugly thing and eating it... poor ol octopus...

    Well? you surely go to fascinating places ... what a gorgeous picture of a golden beach ... !

  2. That sounds like and awesome Christmas, nothing quite like new experiences for great memories.
    Glad you enjoyed.

  3. What a great way to spend Christmas Eve. The pictures were great. I once read a book by Nadine Hays Pisani where she describes her and her husband moving to Costa Rica - very funny and informative. Since then, I've loved the idea of going there for a vacation. Besides the great food a beer, I liked how the guy who got his truck stuck in the water was helped by all those people around him. It just seems like a really friendly, beautiful place. Merry Christmas!

  4. Your title sure says it all! I'm sure most of your readers would agree that was like nothing we have ever experienced either! Don't think I will ever eat octopus....just have to take your word on that! The golden beach is beautiful!

  5. I don't think I could do the octopus.

  6. I'll pass on the octopus but the rest of your Christmas Eve looked wonderful.

  7. Only 112 people on that huge ship? Wow. And then the idiot stuck in the sand and water. What were they thinking or not thinking as the case may be. I agree with Carolyn - octopus - why??? But a wonderful different Christmas is something to be treasured. Especially when you share it with your honey.

  8. We lived a number of years in San Jose, Costa Rica and were always amazed how the town closed down for Christmas. Everyone who could headed for the beach or a mountain retreat and it was quiet around the city.

    I had my eye on that Bavarian and would settle for an Imperial also. Great beer in CR and the Ticos are fun loving and friendly people. Have fun.

  9. LOVED looking in on your Christmas Eve! Thanks for sharing all your photos. It's someplace I'll never see in person, so I always like visiting your blog and seeing where you are and what you're up to. Glad you had a wonderful Christmas Eve!!

  10. Wonderful new memories :-) When families disburse it is a good time to start new traditions - we haven't found our groove yet, but your post has inspired me to perhaps look farther than the snowbanks! Merry Christmas. I'll bet your New Years Eve will be amazing!

  11. Sometimes it's an asset to play outside the box. As with you it makes us take a realistic look at Christmases past. You have given a vivid description of Christmas in another country.

  12. The golden sand and the trophy girl--great shots. Some Christmas Eve to have.

  13. You two sure know how to enjoy yourselves. Glad you had a great Christmas and trip. You and Bill have been about everywhere.

  14. What a great time, I could feel it through your story board of it all. Wonderful! The beach was gorgeous too. The suv guy...yea, oh well...

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  16. I had octopus only once, way way back when in college, and some friends and I took an ill fated spring break trip to Baja. We were very poor students, camping on a beach, and decided we wanted a dinner in town--Ensenada. We picked up enough bottles to turn in for a restaurant dinner and I decided to try something I'd never had--octopus. We'd been living on buns from a bakery we could purchase for a peso each, at that time about 8 cents and a few fish we caught. I can't remember what the octopus tasted like this many decades later, however. But your photos brought back the memory of that trip. We had a good time despite all sorts of calamities, like the car would not go over 40, due to something being wrong with it.

  17. Sounds lovely. We spent several memorable Christmas Weeks in Costa Rica. Our little town turned in to a street fair with music and vendors and throngs of people in the streets.