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/Day 2 #SoCS

“In this Kingdom there shall be shots!” And more shots. We killed Mr. Jameson in quick time. 😉

This post is brought to you sponsored by Linda Hill’s #SoCS prompt .

Today’s prompt was dom. Visit Linda’s place for more great posts from talented bloggers.

Back to the Wedding Weekend. I know I left you dangling last time. You will be relieved to know there were no arrests, a few more incriminating photos (which are locked in the family vault for blackmailing purposes later) and we had a fun night. The best thing about Lincoln for me is the variety and uniqueness of the venues that always seem to surface. Being a small city, one can easily hike from one venue to another which,  I would think, cuts down their DUI incidents significantly. However, their auto accident rate is likely substantial as we witnessed first hand…but that was another day.

The place we went to that took us a step back into the 80’s and 90’s was the Arcade Bar. A simple idea really-install some vintage popular video games, skee ball, foose ball and pinball. Put up a bar and open the doors. Even the ‘old folks’ like us love it.

 

Of course getting there is tedious, since we often fly into Kansas City and drive the rest of the way. Even driving from Omaha can be nerve wracking. But the scenery is pretty and the highway pretty much a straight shot. This time of year the colors are just beginning to change to Autumn.

I always love that I can say I have been to Iowa. (But it wasn’t heaven-Field of Dreams reference. See the movie)

We actually spent all of this day doing food preps. And having shots. It was a simple wedding but there are still lots of things to do. They had all worked so hard before we even got there, with family helping to get the yard ready and everyone preparing food. I always love being in the kitchen so it was a bit of heaven for me to be able to contribute. Oh, and Ellie also loves being in the kitchen. We kept pointing her to get out. Tell me, though, how you could resist sharing a nibble with this face?

 

Of course I did! Several times. She is such a sweetie. As are her brother and sister from other mothers…

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Meet Abu and Junebug
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Abu loves a good closeup.

Junebug loves to hide….

It was during the potato salad prep that I found our food blessing for the event.

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Even the potatoes knew it was meant to be…

Willard made his ‘famous’ deviled eggs. Yeah…it’s a family thing.

All in all, a very good day before the big day! That called for a nice, leisurely stroll around the neighborhood at sunset. I have already shared a post about the beautiful church we saw. Here are a few more shots from our walk.

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Lincoln has beautiful tree lined streets and old homes
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The moon making her way into the sky
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You had to know there would be a butterfly!
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Our ‘hotel’ for the weekend. Love this old home.

With such gracious hosts, how could we not have a marvelous stay? They even left candies on our pillows!

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Very exhausted Wedding Planners. Still, we enjoyed some take out Thai food at the end of the day.

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Thanks, Hayley and Ande for being such wonderful hosts in the midst of your own chaos of preparations. The love is so real with you guys. We enjoyed every. Minute!

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Oh, these guys? My number three son, Matthew and his son Noah. This visit was all about some Maw Maw time for me too!

Our next day would bring the rest of the troops in!

Oh, I need to mention again that in another city, number two son and his wife were delivering their baby on this day! 😱💕

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Miracles all around.

Love was defintely dominating the show!

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Scenes From a Wedding/Day One/#1LinerWeds

Nebraska.  The day before a wedding. Food, family, fun times…..

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Eat like no one’s watching
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Celebrate beginnings!
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Step into the night..
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Fly under the light!
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Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?

Whatcha gonna do when your Mom’s with you?

Stay tuned……

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Lincoln Church/#Thursday Doors

Unlike my tenacious blogging buddy, Dan Antion, I don’t have a lot of research to add to this week’s door photo. The First Plymouth Church of Lincoln was beautiful and peaceful. My new daughter-in-law and dear friend introduced us to it while on an evening walk during our recent trip to Lincoln for their wedding. She thought I would like it. I loved it! Just click on the link above to find out more about the services and mission statement.

From their website:

“First Plymouth Congregational church is a merger of two congregations.  On the morning of Sunday, August 19, 1866, First Congregation was organized in what was then known as Lancaster, Nebraska.  It was and is the first congregation to be organized in the town.  One year later, the name of the town was changed to Lincoln. 

In 1869, the congregation completed its first building, a 25 by 40 foot structure at 13th and L streets where the Cornhusker Hotel is now located.  The congregation grew and prospered along with the city…”

There are now two locations of the church.

The church is broadly diverse and non-denominational with intricate architectural accents-a work of art canvased against a bright Nebraska skyline.  There is even a sitting garden with a wall of internment memorials, simple yet significant.

I am sharing it here along with a few other images from our walk. Happy Friday my friends. It has been a long week now that I am once again so away far from my precious treasures…

 

It was a nice evening for a walk. The church was only a few blocks away which gave us a chance to enjoy the beautiful old homes and landscape. Eventually the church rose ahead of us, partially hidden in the shade of the trees.

 

 

Hayley tells me the bells ringing on Sunday morning is really beautiful. I am sorry I missed that.

 

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The tower was so impressive. I am not certain who the images are but perhaps saints or famous religious figures.
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A long distance image of the front door

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I love the quote over the door
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More of the unique sculpture on the grounds

 

The garden has a beautiful view of the distant skyline and is very peaceful.

 

 

As a photographer, it was the architectural details that really caught my eye.  If you ever get to Lincoln, you should at least drive by for a visit.

 

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With the sun setting, we took a few more photos and headed home.  We had a wedding to be ready for!  Next time…..

 

 

Norm Frampton is on holiday until October, but visit the link for this week’s guest host site and more great doors!

Somthing Pretty This Way Comes/#1Liner Wednesday

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Determined to touch every bloom
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To savor every sweet thing possible
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She ignored me for her quest

Her fading, tattered wings speak of a life soon to pass. It’s curious the way that all living things seem to have an accelerated appreciation and hunger for the sweetness of life when the road to eternity looms ahead. We seek to absorb what we can, let go of regret and to leave an imprint that we were here.

I think she has left a beautiful one, don’t you?

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Tears and Beers/#SoCS

When I saw the prompt for Linda Hill’s #SoCS it gave me a chuckle. I mean, who doesn’t love bodily functions? After I considered the amusing possibilities I decided to wait until the day unfolded. I knew we would have an adventure of some kind; and well, my body would be functioning for most of it, right?

My heart has been longing to see this new film and it did not disappoint. Can you guess which bodily functions were working during the movie? No, you scoundrels, not those. 🙄

 

 

Laughter and tears, that’s what. And so many moments nudged them out. This is a great feel good film. Disney does it every time. We can all benefit from Pooh’s wisdom. Especially a Piglet like me. 😊 See the movie and be rejuvenated. If you haven’t read A. A. Milne’s classic book you should.

Now, I know the title of this post wasn’t tears and laughter, so…..

After the movie we were hungry so we headed to mid-town for  a Burger Quest. I called our son for a recommendation and he suggested Grindhouse Killer Burgers and even met us there to spend time with the ‘old folks’!

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The restaurant is themed for B Horror Sci-Fi genre and pop culture icons. We sat at the bar.
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This menu was not difficult to navigate. I love a good old American style option.  Double Decker of course. The other half of the menu shows the vegan and GF options.  The beer? Eventide Blueberrry Grolsch
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Kettle cooked sweet potato chips with Bleu cheese dip
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Yeah….I added the bacon.
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We shared an order of rings and things. 😉
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My treat! A boozy shake. I chose the El Duderino
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It was SOOOyummy…

 

On my new scale for measuring a burger’s worth-The Wahl-O-Meter (named for my favorite Wahlburger), this one gets a strong 9.5! Pure yumminess and terrific service.

We try to plan ahead so we popped over to the local bakery to pick up breakfast goodies. Of course, one might choose to have something for dessert…later on…maybe.

 

 

I hope your day has included some fun quests! Seize the #Free48!

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