For the Love of a Father – Searching for Paradise
Smile plastered on my face, holding a carrot over my shoulder… a long curly tongue wraps itself around the carrot and ‘click’. Photo taken!
I had never imagined that I would be this close to an adult male giraffe let alone feeding and petting it! What a treat.
I look at my Dads face and his expression is a mirror image of mine! Pure giddy, childlike smirks. We are delighted!
My husband, Darren says I have the spirit of a gypsy. I am always out for adventure and I want to experience new things including moving more than the average person. I can’t argue with him there, though. I do want to move yet again. And this time I want to go to another Country!
Ah, Costa Rica… you are my next conquest. I fell in love with this small peaceful country in my early 20’s while on a back packing trip with two girlfriends. Our adventures were many including a tour of the whole town of La Fortuna with the local police department complete with drinking a few beers at the base of Volcano Arinal.
But why Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has many different climactic zones. Cloud forests, Mountain Ranges, Volcano Ranges, Jungles and sunny Beaches. It has something for everyone! (Except for snow I guess. But being a Canadian and living the last 10+ years in the great white north of British Columbia has filled my boots full of snow! Many times – literally.)
My husband, Darren, sat me down one time and asked me why I wanted to move to a tropical land. I told him that ‘I want to live in the place where everyone is just trying to visit’. That, I believe, was a moment where he actually listened to me and understood my need for the hot sun on my face. Even if for just a moment.
I dragged Darren to many countries around Central America over the years and always compared it Costa Rica. He was getting frustrated with my ‘Everything is bigger in Texas’ mentality. I compared the food in Belize, the Safety in Mexico, and the culture in Panama. I told him about my experiences in the Dominican Republic and India and researched many other countries that were tropical, but still accessible to Canadians who wanted to become expats. Finally he conceded to a family vacation in sunny Coast Rica.
We had many adventures while touring there with our four children and after a month’s long vacation Darren said “I honestly went there to hate it. I mean, I’m sure some beach time was going to be good and all, but I figured it would be a ‘bin there done that’ sort of thing at the end. But, I get it. I see it. Let’s buy a condo in Costa Rica.”
Lick my finger and mark one on the unseen chalkboard in the air. One for Sarah!
I have never lived with my dad, or at least not since I was a baby. We have a great relationship though. I think we have mostly a father daughter friend’s type of thing. He got married to a wonderful woman when I was very young and I don’t actually remember life without her. They are just wonderful, non-judgemental people and have many interests to draw from for lively conversation. My dad also has his head firmly on his shoulders.
This is the reason my husband suggested I go to Costa Rica with him to look at real-estate in his absence. He knew my dad wouldn’t let me fall in love with a dilapidated mess of a place. I was pumped because I had never done anything just with my dad, one on one, as long as I can remember.
My brother had warned me about some snoring issues and Dad’s ubber efficiency to be early for any and all events. So with a pocket full of ear plugs, Dad and I went on our adventures.
Turns out he was worth his weight! Apparently when I look at homes I seem to say barely anything, which would shock all those who know me. I don’t often take a quiet road. He asked a barrage of questions at every site and I listened intently as I looked around trying to see it through my husband’s eyes.
When I met my husband he told me he was a Five Star type of guy. And he didn’t ‘do tents’ when it came to the camping question. Oh, how far he has come. Our last trip to Costa Rica with our Four children we stayed in a hostel for Three nights… on bunk beds! Those of you who know Darren, I know are outright shocked. He did manage this with some grace even when our air-conditioner leaked all over the floor and quit. But in the shared kitchen, when a fellow traveller picked up our bottle of oil to use a splash for his cooking pan, apparently that was enough! He was not rude, of course, but I will never hear the end of ‘That time when that guy tried to use our Stuff’.
Dad and I saw about 35 places in three towns while in Costa Rica. We narrowed it down to two places in the end for us to truly discuss with Darren at home. Facebook Messenger must have been overloaded with all the pictures I flooded it with.
But our trip was not all business. We did go to the Safari. On another day we joined a whole group of ex-pats on Hermosa Beach for many cocktails and laughs.
We went to a bar for dinner and karaoke twice in Playa Flamingo. We walked many beaches in the early hours of the day exchanging greetings with fellow early risers. We had cocktails on the Coco Beach, again with ex-pats, that turned into a tour of their home and a ride back to our hotel.
One evening we ended up having dinner with a gay couple from Germany. Two lovely men, which we had met on the beach earlier that morning while on a ‘One hour’ beach lounge between looking at condos. I wanted to know how he had managed to get a lounger on the beach. Turns out that it came with his hotel and on further conversation their tickets from Germany were cheaper than ours from Canada! Figures.
Regardless, we ended up bumping into them at the restaurant across from our hotel later that night. After exchanging warm greetings while standing beside their table, they asked us to join them. It was hilarious to see them innocently hit on my dad! “Donald, you are a handsome man.” “You look fabulous! You can’t be that old, your skin is wonderful.”
My Dad took it like a pro, thanking them with a little giggle! Throughout our evening our party talked about travels and cross dressing. You know your normal small talk at any dinner.
I think that dinner was the trigger to one of the best memories I have from this trip. Back at our hotel, and over a cocktail that night, Dad said to me that I was a ‘very interesting person’ and that I must keep Darren on his toes. I asked what he meant by that.
He said he was impressed that I could have such a socially sensitive conversation with people who may have been offended by it. Referring to the cross dressing convo with our new German gay friends. And that he has met so many people with me because I have no troubles just walking up to people to strike up a conversation.
He said “I think you’re neat.” And that he would recommend to anyone to travel at least once with your children, one on one, when they are adults. It is a great way to know your children as themselves.
I think that’s an awesome compliment.