Once Upon a Time in Paradise

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It’s sad to think it has been nearly four years now since we made the move back from Costa Rica. Since that time we have planned and been unable to revisit our second home on two separate occasions, both due to natural disasters.

In the past few days I have been going through photo files and reminiscing about our very special experiences there. I loved the photography opportunities almost as much as the people and all the unique places we were able to visit.

As I explore more files I will share more of our time there since many of my new friends here didn’t know me back in 2012 when I first began this blog as a way to share our lives in the beautiful country of Pura Vida!

Once upon a time in Costa Rica, we visited a spice farm named Villa Vanilla Spice Farm. As it happens, this tour was one of the first we took on our original journey to Costa Rica, long before we made the move. Once we lived there I had the opportunity to revisit the farm with my best friend when she came to visit us.

The farm grows orchids, which include the vanilla plant, which is actually an orchid. They also grow various bromiliads, cacao trees, carambola (star fruit), peppercorn plants and ceylon cinnamon trees.  Ceylon Cinnamon    is known as true cinnamon and is the variety you need for real cinnamon  health benefits for blood pressure and blood sugar control. The best part of the tour is learning how the owners and workers grow, harvest and prepare these natural plants for consumption. Tasting was fun too. Near the end of the tour, there is a treehouse with a magnificent view where the tour ends with chocoalate and cinnamon specialty coffees, vanilla cookies and a very special mandarin lime cheesecake. Heaven!

Take a walk with me and I’ll share a few photos with you.

 

And at the end, with the heat finally taking hold, we climb to the patio of the “treehouse” for a cool breeze, tasty treats and a breathtaking view. If you make it to the  Manuel Antonio/Quepos area, this tour is one of the traditional ones but well worth the time and sweating.

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I could sit there all day……and you can when you live there. 😉💕

 

 

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Scenes From A Wedding/The Final Chapter, Part 1

I must apologize for leaving you all hanging about our September travel event to Nebraska for our whirlwind weekend. My oldest got married while Number Two had a new baby arrive. I am going to hopefully wrap up our tale over the next week.

Since today’s #SoCS prompt from Linda Hill is roll/role, it seemed the right time to get back to that day.

Everyone knows all great holiday and celebration events call for at least one ‘emergency run’ to the local grocery, conveninece or liquor store. There is a joke between my husband and myself, stemming from his bizarre sense of humor. Any time I am preparing for a holiday meal or party, he will offer to make a run to the store-any store that might be open- asking if I need him to go out for ‘Jujubes and tampons’. Okay, no, I don’t even like Jujubes and the other item has long been off my list. Simply put, it means any last minute necessities? Usually there is something. It is amazing what corner conveninece stores carry these days…

So, when the call came for last minute ice, additional libations and sodas as the guests were arriving, of course my man volunteered, my youngest going along to give a hand.

What follows are images of their near death experience as a football fanatic, in town for the Husker game, ran a red light and hit a car so hard he rolled his own truck, sliding to within merely a few feet where my loved ones sat in our rental.  We wondered what was taking them so long but no text message came, so we assumed they were stuck in after game traffic. It was a Husker weekend. Tap and hold images to see the caption or just double tap for a larger view.

 

Georgia just passed the zero tolerance for cell phone use while driving law. It might seem inconvenient but it’s a good thing. Too much of this is going on. Just weeks earlier my oldest son witnessed a fatality when someone ran a stop sign. I don’t know that the driver was texting but he was someplace other than in his right mind.  It was devastating for my son to see.

The guy in this truck was on his phone as he attempted to climb out of his passenger window and down to the ground. My son made him hand it over so he could get out safely. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but those vehicles are history. My guys were pretty shaken up.

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You can see how close he came to my husband and son.
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Yeah, that’s my guy directing traffic. People wanted to drive straight through the accident!

Oh, and check out the license tag on our rental. We might have guessed there would be some devilish goings-on for the weekend. 😏

You all drive safely, save the texting for when you are out of your car, and try not to be a rabid football fan. Some of us fellow humans are trying to live a life too.

Be a role model, not a roll over.

Next installment…the main event! I promise. Oh, want a sneak peek? 🙊

 

 

oh Frank…

This post brought to you by…

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I Do Doors! #Thursday Doors

Yes, I see them every day. I appreciate, admire and even photograph them. I just don’t get around to organizing them properly for a worthy blog representation for Norm Frampton’s #Thursday Doors weekly event. You should visit his place for lots of great ‘doorscursion’ posts.

We can always count on Dan for a great selection of doors with a history lesson as well. If you’re a Pittsburgh fan, head on over to his place!

Meanwhile, in my little world…

For yummy tummy delight.

 

 

We found a new ‘old’ little sushi place near home.

And since we left Texas, there seems to be no finding great, authentic barbecue. There’s just no competing with true smoked brisket like they serve at County Line. But, we finally found a place that comes close AND they know how to make hush puppies! 👏🏻

Just go in these doors to Williamson Bros.

 

Yeah, that IS fried okra. 😋

 

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There are more churches than restaurants in Georgia, I swear. Many are so beautiful! I need to do an entire post for them
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Taken in Little Five Points. Sorry about the photobombers and in a moving vehicle. I want to go back!
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Loved this architecture
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Visited a new antique store.
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Where you can find little treasures like this. Furniture a bit pricey.

And saving the best for last!

Our friends at Tiny Doors Atlanta have a brand new door at an iconic venue in Atlanta. I tell you, this gal is on fire with her projects. The crew at Tiny Doors does an amazing job and we love them.  I can’t wait to stop by and see it in person.  Ironically, we actually drove by the Fox just a week ago! Congrats TD!

 

Happy Thursday folks! Wishing you a smooth slide into home plate and the #Free48! Hugs!

‘Unhealthy’ Happy Memories/# vintage food

 

That’s me and my Daddy. I remember that kitchen though we moved quite a few times. I still get nostalgic when I see linoleum. 😉

But such sweet memories. It all started with a conversation about a food addiction I had in high school. One day my parents went off to church, leaving me home not feeling well. I was old enough to open a can and heat something on the stove but didn’t care for many soups. Then along came this sweet old Italian man with a brilliant dream and a master advertising agent.

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Perhaps it was that magical moment in time of being left alone, with a whole can of this cheesy pasta delight with no one to fight me for it. With a handful of Saltine Crackers on the side, I was in heaven-and hooked for an entire school year!

I have lots of these food memories, mostly times inspired by, and shared with, my Daddy. So I figured after I talked about it to hubby the other day that he would run into my old Italian chef at the grocery store and bring him  home for dinner. 😏

I think I’ll wait for a night when I’m really feeling the need for comfort. Then I may just eat the whole can. 🙊

And, speaking of food memories with my Dad, here are a few more. None of them is healthy but all of them are sweet. Thanks Daddy!

 

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Oh my! Beef pot pie. Banquet was best because it had bottom crust too!

 

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Best thing about Saturday mornings at least once a month! I could eat half a can at a time. Oh my..

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Can’t find an image of the original Oscar Mayer garlic bologna roll. My Dad and I sat and he sliced it so we could eat with crackers and mustard. Yum.

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I have no words and couldn’t bring myself to share an actual image of the product. As my hubby would say, “Just another version of lips and ears…”

(We ate it on bread over mayonnaise-open faced style!)

And there were a few things eaten in my house that I can barely talk about and certaintly did not partake of

Can you say “hog head cheese” or “Sardines”? Salted buttermilk?! 😱

Wait! I have to go brush my teeth now. Happy, healthy eating folks!

Thank goodness for Chef Boyardee! And my Daddy. 💕

Rollin’ in the Dough/#SoCS/#Free48

Can you even stand it? The Doughnut craze, that is. How is it possible to have so many bodacious doughnut shops in one city? I have already posted a few of our doughnut adventures over the past few months, but this one is by far the most scrumptious so far. A rep at the office dropped off these tasty treats today.

 

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How could I say no to just one? Can you guess which one I chose?

These doughnuts came from a culinary castle known as

 

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The Dutch Monkey Donut Shop in Cumming, Georgia. Check out the yumminess they serve up daily. I’m beginning to think I’ll never be able to make it through all the delightful bakeries here before I explode! We will definitely be making an in person visit to this wonderful shop in the near future.

So many donuts, so little time!

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Thank you Atlanta! Visit this fantastic city and all the amazing food venues when you can!

This post is a part of Linda Hill’s #SoCS blog prompt series.

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You’ll recognize Dan. He’ll be the one with the ugly team shirt and a bunch of strange people following him…😏