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There is no wow factor.

I am simply retelling about an uncluttered day.

Each of us longs for one of our own once in awhile.

A fragment of light presents itself like clockwork over the horizon through the east window in the dining room. Otherwise it is relatively dark when I slip out of bed. My biggest task is finding where I deposited my sandals the night before.

The first morning dove coos softly in comparison to the howler monkeys down the road not being the least bit shy waking up the entire neighborhood.

It’s somewhere around four forty-five am by nature’s timetable. I have put my watch away for the duration of our vacation on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

Pura Verde.

On our third visit, I almost feel I know my way around the ‘hood.

I quietly sneak off down the road to the beach with the last of the night’s cool gentle breeze behind my back. I am not totally alone. A few car poolers are jammed into sedan seats with their arms hanging out the windows. Others share rides more comfortably on scooters or motorcycles. The private school minibus waits at a corner as a young teenager literally flies out of her gated complex with her hair wet and her backpack still open.

Everyone waves and shouts, “Hola, or buenos días.” It’s the polite thing to do when meeting a Costa Rican.

A few other ambitious tourists are out, too, and I assume that they are early morning types. Then again, there are the eight or so college age students on the beach in the exact spot I left them last evening at sunset. I will say no more.

On my return trip back up the road a couple hours later, there will be more people of all ages moving around, nosier and looking for activities to stave off boredom.

There are vacationers put in a beach environment for one reason or other who do not do well. It can be a challenge if you are expecting too much.

Since I have done pretty much all the touristy things in the country on other trips, I have no urge to do much of anything. Oh, I do read a lot of mysteries, and this trip I am starting through all of Norwegian author, Jo Nesbo’s books in order. The Snowman is out in the movies, one of his Harry Hole series.

I am a beach walker. That’s my big entertainment. Sometimes I sing myself silly, too, or talk to myself. Lots of time my mind goes numb on purpose and I relax into the bliss of my surroundings.

When I get nearer the town of Tamarindo, which runs parallel to the beach, the surfers are congregating in clusters. They study the waves intently from the shore with the practiced skill like the pilot overhead flying the commuter plane on its final approach to landing on an extremely short runway. I don’t know which gives the most thrill ‒ the rush of surfboarding, or white-knuckling a light plane to touchdown.

The sole woman doing her sun salutations is at peace with her world. Wherever she goes, so goes her yoga mat. I’ve seen her identical twin in my travels elsewhere.

Dogs come and go guiding their masters to speed up the pace.

Today, I am noticing the clouds in the sky forming ripples of pink before the sun rises. That is not always the case. I take a few pictures.

With a low tide this morning, the beach is wider and easier to walk. It’s not long before my sandals are off, and I am splashing like a little kid in the water behind her mother’s back. The sun is coming up now and I am feeling the humidity starting to kick in. It will get oppressive later in the day.

The waves have left behind shells and bits of lava rock, which are lovely to look at. I leave nature behind as a good steward of Costa Rica. I found a real treasure in a conch shell today that I held in my hands momentarily before releasing it.

At the end of my walk I am ready for home, an excellent brew of coffee and a bowl of cereal with local yogurt.

A lot of the day puts me in front of my computer doing uninterrupted writing out on the deck. No one can bother me here, and the phone is on airplane mode.

I won’t deny that I take a nap – should I admit I take a second one, too? – Pounding waves lull me into a deep sleep.

By late afternoon an hour in the pool doing slow laps limbers my body. I refuse to picture the snow accumulation in our yard at home, and instead, concentrate on the swaying palm trees overhead.

After the sun sets in the sky, it is time to find a place for dinner. We have our favorites and I tend to ignore Trip Advisor simply because tourists complain a lot about irrelevant issues when they put their comments down. To me, it is a forum for the discontented.

It has cooled into the seventies. That’s tolerable.

When I retire to bed the younger crowd is starting out for the evening.

Another day has come and gone.

No unpleasant tummy illness from strange food. No overexposure to the sun. A few mosquito bites. No bad news from home.

It is all good.

#Tamarindo #CostaRica #beachlife #internationaltravel

Tamarindo on the Pacific Coast welcomes surfers

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It's the first week in January. Blah, right? To keep the momentum going - besides, the temperature is more bicycle weather - a day trip is in order to the Penn Yan area of the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

I do have a specific plan for today.

One of my favorite places to visit is Oak Hill Bulk Foods on 14A South, and now that it is expanded, what a pleasure to walk the wide aisles. Today, I am loading up on steel cut Irish oats and homemade peanut butter.

Of course, a delicious lunch in the cafe hits the spot - oh, the thick creamy potato chowder - with carefully prepared local foods. While I am relaxing a Mennonite buggy pulls up and a couple of women hop out to do their shopping. It's their territory and many of the farms belong to Amish and Mennonite families.

Oak Hill is not far from The Windmill, but that visit will wait until it reopens in the springtime.

I do make a pass through Main Street and since parking is a plenty, I stop in to the aesthetically pleasing Yates County Arts Center to browse the variety of handmade artwork for sale.

Loving bookstores as I do, Long's Stationary Store nearby is my last stop to wander the aisles for a new journal , calendar and possibly the latest book. Everyone is friendly and helpful, too.

As I leave the store, the wide expansive net of clouds are sinking lower into the horizon and reminding me that the day is coming to a satisfying end.

There are so many activities and spots to visit in Yates County that I would suggest that you take a further look at what is available. Did I mention it is wine country?

#Oakhillbulkfoods #Thewindmill #Longstationarystore #Fingerlakesregion #Newyorkstate

#daytrip #Pennyan #travel #Yatescountyartscenter

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Take a bit of advice from someone who slogged unwieldy suitcases in and out of airports until finally that woman got sick of being a captive without the energy left to enjoy the vacation.

Now call me a minimalist if you wish.

I think and rethink before zipping my suitcase.

My best advice: You don't need to take the kitchen sink, or all the rest of the stuff you "just might remotely need" if you will be traveling anywhere reasonably near stores.

Now on a short trip from a two-three day weekend to two weeks, I use a simple carry on roller suitcase that I can manage with ease without assistance. Of course, a big purse comes in handy, too, for the leftovers. My male readers will find a compact soft sided briefcase will work for your personal item on a plane.

Seriously, think about all the things you dragged along on your last trip that you never used. I would suggest you learn to be a more efficient traveler and pack accordingly.

Share any thoughts in the comment section below.

#suitcase #luggage #travelwithease #traveltip

This suitcase is a rolling wonder.

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