14 feet for a week

This past week marked another milestone in our adventure. For the first time in 3+ months our 10 feet were joined by the familiarity and comfort of 2 visitors (and 4 more feet) from home, Yaya and Grandpa Buzz.

The anticipation of visitors from “home” was enough to make the kids seem drunk with excitement. For the first time, they were able and willing to share their new life with someone who knew them from a past life and they couldn’t stand to wait. The countdown started 4 weeks prior to their arrival, I can’t even remember how many times I was asked, “Dad, how many more days/hours/minutes until Yaya and Grandpa Buzz get here?”

“4 weeks guys.” – “One week.” – “5 more days” – “The day after tomorrow” – “Tomorrow” – “Tonight!”

When the day FINALLY arrived, the kids were not happy with us when we forced them to go to bed with the promise that when they woke up the next morning, Yaya and Grandpa Buzz would be in the house. Their van was to arrive around 10 pm and there was not a chance that we were going to let them stay up that late to wait. Begrudgingly the kids went to bed and fell asleep with the same anticipation of Santa Claus, maybe more.

Needless to say, the kids were elated when they finally got to see and hug their grandparents the next morning. It was fun to watch each of their different personalities process the “moment”. Ben was all smiles, Jacob was all hugs and Abby was a bundle of joy ready for anything.

Our previous week had been spent brainstorming ideas of what we wanted to do with and show Yaya and Grandpa Buzz while they were in the country for a short 5 days. Everyone had input and thoughts. It was a fun family process to narrow down the lists and come up with a “plan”. And it was a full and packed plan.

Day one started with a trip to the beach. The boys were dying to show off their surfing skills. Even the small waves and excessive winds could not stop Ben and Jacob from paddling out in the water to find something. It was very cute. While the boys were surfing, Abby took Erin and Yaya on a quick tour of the tide pools. After a lunch at the Diria, we headed home to enjoy the evening at Casa Xanadu.

Day two was an adventure for all of us as it was the first time we had driven ourselves to Avellanas (a 45 minute drive) in Vino. We have visited Avellanas a number of times, but have always been driven. The drive was pretty simple but it was quite an adventure in itself. Yaya and Grandpa Buzz got to see the essence of Costa Rican driving. I don’t think Vino has any shocks left at all, so the dirt roads strewn with washboards were a slow go at times. The washboard roads took a backseat to the excitement though as we witnessed one driver driving the entire way down the road on the wrong side. I’m still a little baffled by that one. Cars and trucks were parked in the middle of the road for a variety of reasons and we swerved around them to make progress on our journey.

Upon arriving at Avellanas, it was perfect as usual. Decent waves, great food and drinks at Lola’s and great views. We enjoyed some surfing (in extremely COLD water), sandcastles, football on the beach, Lolita the pig taking a quick swim and Pesto the parrot.

Day three started with a mellow morning at home followed by a trip on the Marlin Del Rey, a catamaran in town that takes daily sunset cruises (i.e. booze cruises). We had a great time on the boat (though the winds were extreme) and got to snorkel, swim and play in the water during the break before lunch/dinner.

The trek back was beautiful and it was fun to show Yaya and Grandpa Buzz a different view of Costa Rica, from the water. We’ve been on the Marlin before (and will be going again soon with other friends) so it was fun to experience another version of our favorite boat in town. Sunset was beautiful and once we arrive back on shore, we ventured down to Las Brasas (a family favorite) for dinner. It was delicious as always and a great example of a restaurant that most people walk by because it has low curb appeal.

Day four was spent at the Langosta Beach Club which was a new experience for all of us. We have never been, but our friends Brian and Carrie told us about it and we had a great time. I was personally excited to try what has been credited with the “best burger in Tamarindo” and was not disappointed. They were right. Swimming and sand castles followed before we headed home to get ready for dinner. For dinner we took Yaya and Grandpa Buzz to our all time favorite restaurant, Dragon Fly. It was another incredible meal which was not a surprise, it’s always fantastic.

Day five was a mellow day. We had breakfast at home, went shopping in town for a few souvenirs for Yaya and Grandpa Buzz to bring home and took a quick tour of our third and final home that we were going to be moving into the next day. Lunch at Long Boards, a BBQ joint owned by a guy from Denver and dinner at Kahiki’s, one of our go-to favorites. At dinner Yaya and Grandpa Buzz got to meet our friends Brian and Carrie who have become an important part of our world in Costa Rica.

The next morning, Yaya and Grandpa Buzz were up and ready for their shuttle to the airport at 4:30 am. Turns out that it sounded like quite the ride to Liberia. Their driver stopped twice on the 45 minute drive (to pee and to get coffee) and as Yaya said, drove and passed on double yellow lines like it was going out of style. Glad they arrived at the airport safe and sound, though possibly with a few more grey hairs than they came with.

It was a great experience sharing Tamarindo with Yaya and Grandpa Buzz, we’re so glad they came and even more glad that they enjoyed the adventures through our dirty little town. We are now awaiting our next set of visitors at the new house that will be arriving tomorrow. There will certainly be more stories to come shortly!

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