Saturday, May 30, 2020

Gulfito, Costa Rico 1978

Not much going on around here the heat is going down a little bit. Only 99 today! But it is going down because the wind is picking up again, gusts up to 45 mph. Our AC now comes on about 8 o'clock in the a.m instead on around noon.
I'm also sleeping later and later in the morning. Why get up? I know bad attitude. Getting tired of puzzles - still working on the 1000 piece one.  And beading - though I am going to finish the necklace I'm working on.
Since the gardener cut back the Palo Verde the bushes that were under it are really blooming. Guess they like the sunlight.

Because I don't have anything else to write about I thought I share a little from our book and our trip to Argentina. We were trying to get into Panama from Costa Rica and ran in to a little problem. 

Gulfito, Costa Rica
We continued down the mountain heading for the Costa Rica/Panama border without further incident. Passing trough nice little towns, most of the buildings are of wood with galvanized roofs. The last town before the border, Villa Neily had several stores and hotels and an Esso station. A couple more miles and we were at the border.
We pulled up to the Costa Rican border station and stopped. It was a fairly modern building with a café and tourist office. Bill went inside with all the paperwork. He was gone for a while then came back out looking like he wanted to chew someone up.
He pulled open the screen and came in - no one said anything. He glanced around, tossed the paperwork on the table, pulled the door shut and slid into his seat.  A few choice Spanish words came out of his mouth as he started the engine.
“We have to go back to Golfito,” he said. “We can’t get into Panama without visas and to get them we have to go to Golfito.”
“Where’s Golfito?” I asked.
“Back about 10 miles, then 12 miles down another road to the coast. We have to see the Panamanian Counsel to get the visas, and then we have to get back here before the border closes.”
“Oh,” Was my bright reply as I was hunting on the map for the road to Golfito and the Pacific.
He drove around the building and we were on our way North into Costa Rica again. We found the road okay and started towards the ocean.   We were going through banana plantations. Around a curve and Bill hit the brakes. In front of us was a stream that the road crossed.
“Oh my God,” I exclaimed as I saw the bridge we had to go over. Gil got up from the front seat and ran to the back saying he didn’t want to see us go in the river.  The bridge was one-lane wide (kind of), made of wood planks and it didn’t have any guard rails. We sat there contemplating it, knowing we had to get to Golfito.  Bill, Randy and John Mc got out and walked across it. John Mc jumped up and down a few times in the middle, I swear I could see the planks sag. Just as they got back on our side came a little red car zooming up the road. He didn’t even slow down while crossing the bridge. Probably was afraid he would not make it if he did. This time we could see the planks bounce with the weight of the car.
Well there was nothing to do but continue, after all Golfito was a port town and trucks used this road all the time.
Slowly we crossed. We made it. But there was an awful lot of creaking and groaning under us.  So on into town, over more streams, up a hill and then we could see the water. We drove past the waterfront through the town looking for the Consulate building. There it was - a  white building off to the left.
Bill found a place where he could pull over and stop. He and I got out of the motorhome and walked up to the door. It was locked with a sign on it saying “Closed until 3:00.”  Siesta had struck again.
We traipsed back to the motorhome, fixed and ate lunch all the while muttering about siesta. Then we walked around the harbor for a while watching the banana ships being loaded.  While roaming around the town we met two men also waiting for siesta to be over. They were Maynard, a young, good looking blond who had been born in the U.S. but grew up in Sweden. With him was Pascal (yep that was his name), who  was French. For the rest of the journey we called him “Frenchie.”  He looked like I imagined a Frenchman would look - dark hair and eyes and a short beard. Both were slender and well dressed.  They were on their way to Bolivia driving a new blue Volvo that they planned on selling there. This would be their second trip to sell a car.  We talked with them a while about the road ahead and found out about a nice campground in Panama City.
About 3:30 the Official returned and opened his office.  All of us went in.  He was a short pudgy older man dressed in a wrinkled tan cotton suit.  He took off his jacket and his blue shirt had sweat circles under his arms. What hair he had left was kind of yellow blond and combed over his bald spot. He loosened his tie, sat down behind his scarred metal desk and looked up at Bill - waiting for him to speak.
Bill told him we were driving to Panama and had been sent back to Golfito to get our visas. He handed over all of our passports and the paperwork for the motorhome and the motorcycle. 
The official placed the papers to one side and stacked the passports neatly. He picked one up it was Gils. He thumbed through it looking at all the stamps already in it, and then he turned to the picture and studied it for a few seconds. He looked up to locate the person in the picture. We were all standing in a row watching him.  When he saw Gil he nodded to himself, put the passport down and picked up the next one. As he went through all seven passports he never said a word. Just kept nodding. As he finished looking through them the passports sat in a neat stack on his desk.  After finishing the passports he picked up the paperwork for the vehicles - he asked Bill where they were he needed to see them.  Bill opened the door and started to walk outside. The official half rose out of his chair and leaning to one side glanced out the door.  Nodding he motioned to Bill to come back inside. Stamp, stamp - the paperwork for the vehicles was done.
Smiling he picked up the passports, “It will cost $5.50 for each person for a visa for Panama,” he said.
“$5.50 -  Colón (Costa Rican) or Balboa (Panamanian)?” asked Bill.
“Oh no, $5.50 US,” replied the official.
“$5.50 US each? That’s a lot of money. Why does it cost so much to go to Panama? It hasn’t cost us that much for all the countries we’ve been through. What’s so special about Panama?”
“Panama is a beautiful country,” was the reply. Then he added, “It's after hours that's why it was $5.50 but if we wanted to wait until Monday at 7 a.m. it wouldn’t cost us anything.” Of course we didn’t want to wait. 
Now the discussion began to deteriorate rapidly. It also morphed into Spanish.  The kids and I just stood there quietly hoping we would get out of there soon.
What the heck - now Disneyland was brought up. Disneyland?
Suddenly Bill turned to me and said go get the money - he wants $38.50 for the visas. I left and returned with it. Bill handed it to him; he returned our paperwork for the vehicles and very slowly stamped each passport and called the name of the person it belonged to. Each and every one of us had to walk up to his desk to get our passport.
Maynard and Pascal were coming up the walk just as we were leaving. Bill was still fuming about the price and he mentioned it to them. They nodded and said they had paid it before and the amount would change with the nationality of the person needing it. They also said they had heard he closed down every day so he could spend time with his girlfriend. Later Pascal told us it cost him $10 for his visa.
Once we were back in the motorhome I asked Bill what was said about Disneyland. He laughed and said, “Well, I was saying that the price was pretty high just to cross a border and what made Panama so expensive. He repeated that Panama was a beautiful and interesting country. And that it had the beautiful “Bridge of the Americas.”  I said something like “Not that interesting.”  And he replied that after all we charged $8.00 to go to Disneyland. I said there was more to do there. He said the $5 was for a whole country.  He was getting mad, that’s when I sent you after the money.”
Well, I guess we were lucky to get the visas. Now we had to drive back to the Highway then to the border before it closed for the weekend.  Back across the “Oh my God” bridge.  We made it by 8 o’clock just before closing time. And it cost us another $16 to get OUT of Costa Rica. So far the most expensive transition from one country to another.  Also lost another hour because we crossed into another time zone.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Time flies when you're having fun - or not.

I din't realize so much time had passed since I last blogged. But then I have had a whole lot of NASCAR racing to watch this past week. Including a race tonight and some coming up Saturday and Sunday. Over dose - nothing else gets done. 
But then who wants to do anything when it is this hot out. Thank goodness there is very low humidity. Except that cracks the lips and plugs the nose. Never happy are we. 
 Today is the hottest day and may reach 110. The hottest part of the day is around 5 p.m. so that is what they base the high temp on. 
I have started one of my last two puzzles, both at 1000 pieces. Didn't realize how big they would be. Here I am measuring how much room I'd need on the table. 25 x 18. Took me two days to find and figure out all the edge pieces. Too many of them look just alike and fit where they don't belong. 
 Working on the easiest section first. 
Bill continues to work on the rooster early in the mornings before it gets too hot in the garage. These are a couple of days work. 
 Making progress with the feathers. 
 He must have gotten up real early yesterday morning. 
He also got ANOTHER new drone. A DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. Learning how to use it. Again has to be done before or after the heat of the day. 
I made a couple of new face masks. Took pictures of our lower faces, put it on photo material and sewed them together. Look really weird on. This is the picture of Bill's face before putting it on the material. 
 The finished masks. 
Also been doing some cooking. Our last Hello Fresh meal of the week. So we had three dinners. Skipping next week. Also made a pineapple upside down cake! Yum.
 Going through my beading area I came across another necklace I'd started several years ago. I actually started it with the though of being able to work on it over the winters when we were/are in Mexico. Took it back and forth several years and did nothing on it. 
 It will be red, white, and blue. I need around ten loops of each color. 
 As you can see, don't have very much done. Should keep me amused for a while. 
Las Vegas is slowly reopening. Most everything will be able to open tomorrow. Except the hotels and resorts. They can open on June 4th. But several of the companies are only reopening a couple of their sites. Will open the rest if every thing works out okay. According to the governor Brothels [yes brothels - there aren't any here in Clark county though) and Adult Entertainment clubs cannot open yet. Over 200,000 people unemployed here in Clark county. 
Interesting to see how things work out. We still haven't gone out anywhere, except for a drive in the car. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Trying to find things to write about

So anyway...The NASCAR season is in full swing now. My favorite driver came in 4th yesterday and will drive in three more races in the next three days. Hope he wins one of them. Except for when he broke both legs this is the lowest in points he has ever been.
Another puzzle is done. Now I only have two 1000 pieces ones left to do. Can't find any decent ones that are reasonably priced on line. The ones I like are "out of stock." Lots of blue in this one.
The gardener came the other day and "trimmed" the Palo Verde. We knew he was going to do it but didn't realize it would be so drastic. I'm glad all the pretty flowers that were on it were gone. At least now we can see the plants that were under it.
Bill made this clock many years ago. He bought the wood from a logger in Oregon. I think it is maple burl. The clock had stopped working so he ordered a new one and it is now installed. Pretty isn't it.
So here is what the weird necklace looks like when worn. I'm wondering where to store it. Can't just be folded up and put in a box.
And here is the flowered one after I shortened the band. The vines are more spread out now.
Here are a couple of other things I beaded in the past. - Just sitting in a box now.

Looking for another beading project to work on and still working on my stained glass plant. Bill has added a few more pieces to the rooster.
Today it will be up in the 90's again but at least the wind has let up some. By the end of the week it will be up around 109 - ugh.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Summer she is a coming!

Has been really windy here for a few days but the temps were perfect. That is about to change big time. I prefer the wind to the heat. Check out Wednesday on. Humidity is the number on far right. That isn't "dry heat" it is oven baking heat. 

After I finished the flower necklace I was digging around in my beads and came across a necklace I had started at least 15 years ago, right after I started beading. This is the illustration/directions page. 
There are three different sizes of beads that circle a piece of electrical wire - it makes the form. 
I had everything done but the focal bead at the bottom, and the fringe at both ends. So finally finished it. 
More pictures of it tomorrow. 
Took a walk this morning and saw this, who says Seniors don't have any fun.  If I remember might walk up to observe. 
One of the pretty flowering bushed at the gate to our community. 
This van has been here every time I've walked by. I guess the place he works for is closed. Though none of the "dispensaries" were closed. Along with liquor stores they were deemed essential.
Had a delicious Hello Fresh meal today. Pork chops, green beans and mashed potatoes. 
Tomorrow starts NASCAR again, one race a day for four days YIPPEE.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Finishing things.

Wow! in case you didn't notice it. In my last blog I wrote about a series of books - The Garden of Allah Novel Trilogies.  Much to my surprise I got a comment from the author on the blog. Check it out.
Another sunrise in the desert behind us. Bill is taking most of the sunrise pictures.

One of the hummingbird feeders was empty yesterday morning took it down to refill it. The bottom was full of bees - how do they manage to squeeze through that tiny hole? This year so far we've only had one hummingbird, but he eats a lot.
Remembered it was Memorial Day coming up so got out my patriotic decorations. They will stay out until after July 4th. Did the place mats years ago when I first got my embroidery machine.
Using some of the same designs I made a window hanging. It is on the floor here - but hangs in the patio window. When I made it our front door had a 5 pane side window and it hung there.
Also have some red, white and blue sun catchers for the kitchen window.  (My piggy collection on the window sill.)
Finished the face masks. Here they are.
This is how they look opened up  - like wearing them. I really like the narrow cord elastic, so much more comfortable then the flat elastic. Also using a plastic straightened out paper clip in the top to be able to form the mask around our noses. They have front and back quilting cotton pieces with an interfacing in the middle. Easy to breath through. Wore one on my walk and it didn't bother me too much. 
Bill continues to work on the rooster. He sure has a lot to go.
Took a walk yesterday. A little over a mile. A pretty bush with lavender flowers on it.
I didn't like the way the necklace hung when on so decided to shorten the band a couple of inches. Got it redone with no problems and looks much better now.
Been watching the NASCAR races. Favorite driver finally managed to show some speed. But he needs to keep that up. I don't ever remember him being so low in point standings, except for the year he broke both legs and had to really make up points when he got back to driving. Today's race was supposed to start an hour ago but it is raining again, so don't know it they will get it in or not. Finally came on in the afternoon, Kyle came in 2nd. Oh well. He will drive in four more races in the next 6 days!
We got our grocery delivery at 8:10 this morning. Got everything I ordered except alcohol - deleted from order. And I finally got margarine - Country Crock - still no I Can't Believe It's Not Butter available. For $13 a month we get unlimited deliveries - order has to total $30 or more. Works for us.
Now waiting for a Hello Fresh delivery. Only get them every other week now. Box arrived in time for me to cook one of the meals for dinner. Easy and very good. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Books, sewing and cleaning

Seems like I've been cleaning more than usual, whether it needs it or not! Also sewing the face masks. Finally got some elastic cord, feels much better behind the ears. And reading a lot, a lot.I read this series of three books a few years ago but am rereading them now. There are three books The Garden of Allah Novels Trilogy #1, #2, and #3. I have them as nook books, but imagine they are available in most formats. They are about three young people who go to Hollywood in the 30s to live out their dreams. The 3rd book ends in the 50s. I got interested in them because I lived there in the early 50s and remember the Garden of Allah. Used to daydream about living there. They are a good history of the times and people then. 
Some more pictures from our trip on The Strip yesterday. A creepy feeling with no one on the sidewalks. 
 These escalators are always packed. 
 All the entrances are gated off. Some have police cars with their lights flashing parked in them. 
The Venetian courtyard. 
 The big Fashion Show Mall. The signage kept changing with different messages. 
The Wynn Resort - priorities - the golf course reopened yesterday. 300 - 250 per person per game. 
 Another empty corner with a police car in it. Some of the cars had a policeman in them some didn't. 
 The construction from Desert Inn north and southbound was a real challenge to traverse. Could not imagine how it would be if things were normal.  It would take an hour to go one block. It is torn up all the way to Fremont Street. And Fremont St is also torn up. 
Turning on to Las Vegas Blvd just before Fremont St.  
 Looking down Fremont Street under the canopy.
 Interesting sign. Hope it means the business not the owner.
 One stop shopping here. 
 Usually you can't find a parking space here. And inside it is usually jam packed with tourist from all over the world. 
Oops time to change lanes. All traffic is on the northbound lane for a ways here,.
 Construction never stops here. 
 It is going to be a really big place. 
 The volcano at least still has running water.
 Empty Cesars Palace famous fountains.
 No water show or tourists here.
 And then we turned to return home. 
Kind of leaves you wondering if it will ever be the same.