Saturday, August 9, 2014

THE BIRTHDAY GIRL IS AT IT AGAIN

Remember the Birthday Bash for Stef we had last year?    Well.....
it got bigger this year!! 


With all that has gone on this year with health issues, we really didn't get involved with too many events. In fact, we cancelled our annual St Patrick's Day Party this year because Stef was just not feeling up to it, and I felt about the same. 

HOWEVER...
On August 9, 2014


Stef recently finished her 6th and final Chemo treatment and started to feel much better. Today, was her Birthday, and it seemed appropriate that a celebration was in order. I sent out some invitations to some of our Atenas friends to meet at the Guanacaste Restaurant at 6:00 PM. Well, would you believe it, but about 40 friends decided to celebrate with us, and it was a grand time.
                                                                                                                                                                      
 When we got there at about 6 PM, this is what it looked like.
 Many had already arrived!










Now, there should be no need to remind you about our official Social Director.....The lovely and talented..... MERCEDES














 



And,
the delicious Chocolate Birthday Cakes she brought  that are known all over Atenas to be the best cake one could ever put into their mouth. She brought 2 for this occasion in order to make sure everyone got to savor a taste of their delicious goodness.






This gives you only a small idea of all the happy faces that were there to  help celebrate





 After the meals were over, we started on the dessert with the help of Harold & Lisa. Here I am with Lisa and Mercedes (Harold was passing out pieces of cake to some demanding patrons)





And then, someone mentioned Tequila shots. Think it was Melani. Yep, here she is











This prompted our man Marco
 to get more up on the bar





And, he never disappoints us















Stef was looking and feeling pretty happy at this time, and she deserved it



HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE VERY SPECIAL WOMAN, AND THE LOVE OF MY LIFE
SHE WILL BE BACK AGAIN NEXT YEAR!!!!



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Amanda's First Visit in a Long Time

Remember our daughter Amanda? She is our youngest and came here several years ago and stayed with us for quite a while. She then moved back to Denver where she has been living since. 


Well, this gal loved Costa Rica quite a bit, and decided to bring her Beau here to check it out. Also, it gave him a chance to see what this fun-loving girl's parents were really like. 

They arrived early in the morning on July 3rd and went non-stop from there. Took a trip to Jaco Beach, partied with us a couple of times,  and then later to the Nicoya Peninsula for a few days. Over-all, it was a 10 day trip, and believe me - they made the most of it.

I put together this short slide show to give you an idea of some of the events that took place during their stay. I hope that you will enjoy it.


After they returned to Denver, the young man bought her a ring - guess we passed the test :-)



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Postings

Pete & Stef in the 90's

It has been pretty obvious that I haven't posted very much during the last 6 months. Part of the reason is that I got obsessed with FaceBook and started putting a lot of posts on there. Yes, it is a way of instant mass communication, but it is not complete communication. However, that is going to drastically slow down for various reasons and more efforts put into this blog.

Additionally, and probably most importantly - Stef was recently diagnosed with a major medical problem that has absorbed much of my time - And, that is not going to ever stop because I love her so dearly.

In spite of this,- In the very near future,  you will begin to see more posts from me regarding our adventures in Costa Rica. I will also make a concerted effort to do some catching up on some of the past things we have done.

Thank you for your patience

Sunday, February 23, 2014

THE 2014 ATENAS CHARITY CHILI COOK-OFF

February 9, 2014


WHAT A SUCCESS!!!

Last year, the event had over 1,700 attendees and raised a total of $20,000 for the kids at Hogar de Vida - This was an outstanding accomplishment thanks to the many people involved and the outpouring of generosity from many, many people. However, it is difficult to imagine what happened this year:

MANY GREAT SPONSORS  ALONG WITH OVER 2,000 ATTENDEES, AND A FANTASTIC COMMITTEE WHO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER WITH THE SUPPORT OF MANY WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS - THE END RESULT....

$34,000 

YES, THAT IS CORRECT - A WHOPPING 
$34,000 US DOLLARS!!!

This was an outstanding accomplishment. Stef worked really hard on this as Chairperson for the second year in a row. However, due to an unexpected medical situation at the last minute, she had to turn her responsibilities over to Judy Timson. Judy took the reins and made it happen. Congratulations to Stef, Judy and the entire team for an outstanding piece of work because:

IT'S FOR THE KIDS!!!

And, your efforts are sincerely appreciated.

Now, we have just been informed that - the pole has officially been raised for next year!!



This is a link to some pictures we just received:


And, a Video:

More pictures and details to follow:

Monday, February 3, 2014

What a Great Hospital!!!

Costa Rica was recently chosen for being
 #4 in the World for Excellent Health Care

And, I can give you a perfect example of why........

It was time for Stef to take her annual physical. For some reason, she wanted to do this at Hospital Catolica on the north side of San Jose.                       

In the process, some concerns came up from the results of her mammogram, and more tests had to be performed. They also suggested that she see a specialist at the hospital. His name was Dr, Medina who spoke English and had all kinds of diplomas from US medical schools on his wall. I got very concerned about the urgency they put on the subject and got my friend Dr. Roy Mora involved  to help with consulting.so we would have a better grasp on what was happening. (remember Dr Roy? selected as the top medical scientist in Costa Rica by the President?) 

Dr Roy receiving the award from President Laura Chinchilla 


This is Dr. Medina. At first, Stef said he did not have a good bedside manner - But, he is truthful and will get right to the point - After getting to know him a bit, she really liked him - And, knowing Stef, she even started talking to him about coming to the Atenas Chili Cook Off :-)

DR. DANILO MEDINA ANGULO 

Especialidad:
GINECOLOGÍA ONCOLÓGICA
GINECOLOGÍA Y OBSTÉTRICIA


Títulos académicos: 

Médico Cirujano General
Ginecólogo Obstetra
Ginecólogo Oncólogo
                                            Máster en Gerencia Servicios de Salud

After the additional testing had been completed, Drs Medina and Roy explained to Stef that she had breast cancer and that one would have to be removed immediately. Two days later, she was in the operating room having the surgery done. Two days after that, she was released from the hospital.

All I can say is that these doctors saw an immediate need and acted quickly. This was a good decision on their part because a year earlier, there was no cancer and it spread very fast. 

Dr Madina and the entire hospital staff were absolutely outstanding. I don't think that she could have received better care anywhere else. In the US, this operation would have cost in excess of $50,000. The complete cost here was less than $10,000, and this included everything right up to a two day stay in a fantastic private room.

The results of the surgery were that Stef would not require radiation and would need 6 chemo treatments. Now, another price comparison - I heard that in the US, this would cost at least $10,000 per session. She is getting it done for less than $2,000 - And, in another first class facility.

Based on what I have seen of the doctors and medical facilities in this situation, I have only one thing to say:

AM I GLAD THAT THIS HAPPENED IN COSTA RICA!!

The medical professionals here make it obvious that -- THEY CARE


Will keep you updated on Stef's progress














Saturday, December 21, 2013

Another Holiday Wish

Well, Stef got this idea in her head that we should go International this year with Christmas. She took me to  some movie studio here in Costa Rica where we did this video - I really hope you enjoy it. Again - Please have a very Merry Christmas!!


Click here: ? JibJab Christmas 2013 Movie - YouTube


Pete & Stef

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

November 28, 2013

A few years ago, we started a tradition of inviting friends over to celebrate Thanksgiving and to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner. As more and more people from the US decide to settle down in Atenas, the guest list gets bigger every year - That is a good thing as both Stef and I love to see people meet others and enjoy their time here. The more the merrier!!

This year, we enjoyed the company of about 80 friends to join us at our humble abode. I really sincerely feel that they had a good time and enjoyed an abundance of fine food that everyone brought to share. These are only a few of the pictures.





Your's truly and the hostess with the most-est






                                                                             


The group is starting to gather - seeing old friends and meeting new ones.










Ana Cecilia's "world famous shuttle service" is back in action







Mmmmmmmmmm 
Looking Wonderful











We had so much food that we had to get another table to hold it all.









What a crowd -Think we had some hungry folks here











And then, the dessert table that had plenty to go around










A great couple & good friends from Nashville, who have made Atenas their home
We also had people here from France, Italy and Switzerland - Atenas is becoming very diversified









Hey - can you pass me some more food?










More new-comers to Atenas and enjoying it










Some great friends from Germany




Yep, the ol'e house was pretty well rocking










And, then we have some of the kids!!


I think you can agree that we had a pretty good time,
 and finding great food was absolutely no problem 

Until Next Time


Sunday, November 3, 2013

2014 Atenas Chili Cook Off

Don't forget to mark your calendars for February 9, 2014 for the 7th Annual Chili Cook Off - Stef and the crew are already in the planning stages for what I think is going to be the
 biggest and best yet!!



Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hoping That You Have a Fun, Fun Halloween!!

This is a little video that I wrote, produced, and directed staring some local and international stars. - Please Enjoy :-)


video




Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Birthday Girl

Friday - August 9, 2013

Ladies & Gentlemen - Another beautiful sunny day in Costa Rica and the celebration of the birth of my lovely wife. Here's to you Sweetheart


With the help of several of our friends, we were able to put together a pretty nice party for her at one of our favorite restaurants - EL GUANACASTE. By the time everyone was seated, we had about 25 good friends who attended and a good time was had by all. Take a look...




As you can easily see, things started out in a nice subdued friendly way typical of people our age :-)



Good friends and neighbors having a nice conversation









Stef walking around and greeting everyone















Then I gave a little dedication to the love I have for my wife, which may have embarrassed her a little bit, but this girl is the love of my life and I couldn't help it.








Now, this is our very dear friend Mercedes whom I consider to be like a daughter to me. She was instrumental in helping put the party together and baked what people often refer to - as the best cake they ever put into their mouth -  Do you see that grin on her face? Kind of looks like she has something on her mind  - Well, guess what? I am a pretty good judge and was completely correct - SHE DID - But first, let me show you the cake she made.





Now, Does that not look delicious?



Well, Mercedes started to get things rock'n a bit, but she started off slow & easy with Stef and our good friend Bek. Are those Tequila shots they are having? Oh Boy








Then Mercedes gets a few of the girls up to the bar for more. Then, there were more girls, and they were obviously having a good time.












As you can see here, the men are having a nice quiet conversation






But, they got going too and... - It was decided to give Stef another 
Happy Birthday Toast 
 Hope you all had a wonderful night - I know that Stef did


This is Dina Duffy with Marco who is the owner of El Guanacaste - He kinda looks worn out and relieved that we are leaving for the night. Now, you can see what he puts up with when Stef has a Birthday :-) 
Thank you Marco and also to all your great staff.


 I guess that you can see that all of us Seniors know how to celebrate a Birthday here in Costa Rica

Until the next one...








Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Stef's Art Ability - Progressing

As many of you know, that Stef got into painting with water colors a couple of years ago. During this year, she started into painting with oil, and her work is getting rather impressive. This is her first completed piece of work:


I am impressed - she has a new instructor who she thinks the world of. His name is Larry Felder who is another Expat who moved to Atenas with his wife Linda about a year ago. Stef really enjoys doing this, and I am not about to stand in her way because I see a real talent here. - You Go Girl!!!



Friday, May 31, 2013

A Great Pair of Girls

May 31, 2013
Today marks the time when two of our renters headed back to their homes in the US. These are a couple of great ladies who stayed at Casita de Bell for a couple of months and then moved over to our place at Casita Mango, where they stayed for the entire month of May.

Martha & Marcelly

They were born in El Salvador and now reside in the Carolina's where they are in the Electrical Contracting business, and I have been told that they excel in what they do.

These girls were an absolute pleasure to have stay with us, and did a lot to help us out wherever they could. I wanted to let you know about them through this post because they left a very strong and lasting impression with Stef and me about how great people can be.

You girls are welcome back any time.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

FIRE - This is Not an April Fool's Joke

April 1, 2013

We have had one heck of a Dry "Dry Season" as it has not rained in at least 3-4 months. Every year, I understand more and more why the people like the "Rainy Season" much better. During the rainy season, things are green. During the dry season, things are brown, and that spells danger in some cases. This danger came true in Hacienda Atenas yesterday.

During the past 10 days, our fire department has been extremely busy fighting brush fires. Lately, it seems like that anytime day or night you drive by there the truck in gone. In addition, they had a tragedy last week and lost one the firefighters - You can get the details on that from a post I put up a couple of days ago. Stef found out the other day that the Costa Rica Fire Department has 400 paid firefighters throughout the country and 1,400 volunteers. In Atenas, there is one paid person and everyone else are volunteers. Well, it seemed that April 1st was no joke for them either....

It started around mid morning while I was in a meeting on the terraza with a couple of marketing people. Our gardener Noel came around the corner saying "Fuego, Fuego" and pointing to the hill above our house. Sure as we were standing there, something was burning and it wasn't anything small either. I called Ana Cecilia to call the fire department, but she found out the Atenas Fire Department was fighting 3 other fires in the Atenas Area. - After about 45 Minutes, a fire truck pulled in from the Alajuela department. Alajuela is a very large town about 10 miles east of Atenas. Here are a few pictures of what they had to put up with





I guess you can say it got pretty close to our property. In fact, we did lose some Green Bamboo trees up along the road, but my friend Vincent says they will grow back. The firemen got just about everything watered out, but there were some concerns about two very large trees up on the lot above us. The fire got to both of them and they started burning on the inside of the trunks. Things were pretty well over with around 3:30 PM. And, would you believe it? It started raining like crazy for the first time in over 4 months!!!! This helped to extinguish much more of the potential dangers. - Kind of think that someone was looking down on us.

Now, these fires can really throw a scare into some people, and Stef is one of them. She did not care for those two trees smoldering inside. She ended up keeping an eye on them for a few hours from a lounger by the pool and then slept on the chair in the living room the rest of the night.

Gerald, who also watches over our house at night was keeping a keen eye on making sure we were safe. Just as a precaution, about 9:00 PM I called him and asked him to keep a special eye on those trees. He called me back about 15 minutes later and said in Spanish "Bombaro's are on the way" - to me, that meant there was a problem. I met him back at the top of the hill overlooking my house. Here, we had two very large trees. Both burning pretty good. One that could easily fall down onto my house and the other, which could take out the electrical and telephone wires when it went down. The firemen got there and slowed down the fires, but said that both tree's must be cut down for safety reasons. Here they are the next morning just before they started to cut them down. You can tell the size by comparing them to the truck in the picture.


Never a dull day in Costa Rica - At least we are all safe, thanks to our friends, the firemen and the rain.