Family 2014

Family 2014
Family May 2014

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Art science and Costa Rica !

David and I are having a great time at La Selva Costa Rica.  Meeting new scientists and friends and everywhere we look we are inspired!

We are staying in houses at the biological station and use our rented bikes to go back and forth from the air conditioned lab and classrooms used for the OTS class that David is teaching to our little house and the centrally located outdoor dining and hang out area.

Meals are provided and are basic but very good.  The rice and beans combo is served at every meal (even breakfast) but this awesome local squash and other veggies are served and fresh fruits with awesome homemade salsas are out for us at all meals.  (I'm getting the recipes for the salsas!)

Most of the scientists and students here don't get into town but I've been 3 times!  Such a cute little safe town with the basics of a small community.  We have a driver for our course, Carlos, but a taxi is just $5 one way so no biggie.   Today my friends Laura and Andrea and I went into town to get snacks and a homemade piƱata for one of the students birthday party celebration tonight (adding festivities  to the scheduled student presentations tonight). See the pics of the pastries?   Yum!  And they also have Cuban pizza in town and I really want to try that!

Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Eve .... Costa Rica

We landed in San Jose Costa Rica into a peaceful and smiling country!  The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel was funny as our cab driver helped us get going with our Spanish speaking skills.  David made a mistake on a word and said something foul and our driver couldn't stop laughing and said he has the same problem when he tries to say "beach".  Maybe you can figure out what his accent sounds like?  Ha!

Our hotel is just 1 block from the university but the university is locked for the holiday.  The hotel grounds and buildings look colonial and have beautiful gardens and houses where the owners and family live quietly.

Oscar, he hotel receptionist, told us about a local Costa Rican restaurant so we walked there for dinner.  We asked a few locals what to order and we ended up with some fantastic food!  In this region they serve sliced and slightly fried plantains with guacamole, black beans, cheese and pico de gallo. (look kinda like a banana but not as sweet)   All of the restaurants and shops closed by 630 because everyone heads to the mountains, beach or is with family for New Year's Eve.

We slept with the windows open and heard birds and big firecrackers at midnight. For breakfast we had papaya, pineapple, the local breakfast dish of rice and black beans mixed with seasonings called "gallo pinto", eggs, meat and 4 cups of awesome coffee in a screened in porch.  Since we won't be able to have our traditional black eyed peas for good luck today, we had the substitute black beans and I'm sure that will work for us! We will also eat our 12 grapes....  The Costa Rican tradition for good luck in the new year.

We are headed to La Selva Biological Station soon and I can't wait!  Something like 400 species of birds there and now that I am a bird lady I am crazy about birds even more than before!!!!!  2000 species of plants!  We will be at La Selva for 8 days.  I haven't even arrived yet and I'm already hoping to return with the family!!

I'm making drawings and designs for new metal botanical sculptures and will try to share those on my art website...

Happy New Year friends and family!!!!

David and Rene

Sunday, December 28, 2014

kicking off 2015 with a big adventure!

Costa Rica plans.... we finally have time to get our plans down so we don't forget where to go... and wanted our friends and family to know what's up.
We are taking the shuttle to our favorite hotel in Denver on the 30th (Aloft) and will catch a super early flight on the 31st arriving in San Jose around 3pm on the 31st).
We arrive in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, on Dec 31 at 3pm.  Our hotel for our first night and our transport from the airport on Jan 1 to La Selva has been arranged by La Selva.  On New Year's Eve, we are on our own to explore some kind of adventure in San Jose.  We might do a coffee plantation tour and they also have quite a few art museum and galleries and of course good food!
We are going to spend most of our time in La Selva Biological Research Station where David has been asked to be one of the faculty instructors for the course.  I'm David's assistant (he is brave!) so I'll be going with him and the class to explore every day.  I'm bringing my pastels so I can draw and I'm going to collect nature of course! David will be looking for bromeliads and has a local, expert  "climber" handy that will climb trees and retrieve the samples for the students to study.  I'll be on the look out for cool birds, frogs and sloths and who knows what else!
Here's the link to where we are staying.  La Selva ... tripadvisor
Our last 3 days/2 nights will be on the SE border of Costa Rica (almost to Panama).  We are renting our own 1 bedroom beach house right next to a little cove,  Punta Uva,  for snorkeling and beach walking. 
We will take local bus transportation from La Selva to our beach house (about 2 or 3 hours on the bus) and to get back to the international airport (San Jose) we will take the bus to Limon, then for just $45 each, we are flown to San Jose in just 35 minutes! (saves us 3 hours on the bus!). 
All we need to pack are sandals, a few sun dresses, rain boots and coat, head lamp and a few art supplies / books and then find local shopping places and buy Costa Rica clothing.  It's fun to dress like the locals and eat local food. 
We will have wifi and will try to keep up with the blog for those of you that are interested.  I have 2 art events planned before March, so hopefully I can make progress on those and will definitely have some new inspiration for funky nature art sculpture!
If you have suggestions for our trip, let us know! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 was awesome!

So much has happened this year!  We had our 25th wedding anniversary and we had 2 graduations and another coming up in May.  We are so thrilled that our kids, parents and family are happy and healthy!  We love our friends and enjoy them more and more every year.  Wyoming as a home base is perfect for our family.  We love our friends and enjoy being with our boys as much as possible. 

Instead of writing a blog, today we will share some photos that share some of our experiences in 2014. 

I have an art website that tells all about my studio adventures if you are interested.

David will be Botany Chair at UW for another 2 or 3 years then we are off to the next sabbatical but until then we are home base in Laramie so let us know if you are close.  We'd love to catch up!

We'd love to hear from our friends and it makes our day when we hear from you!

Happy New Year and live with intention for 2015!