First Adventures

My son helped me drive to LA from Salt Lake City. I flew Riley, Lilyana’s dog, to our rental home in Birrisito, Paraiso in Cartago Province. Micah had arrived the week before, beginning the settling-in process ahead of us girls. I found myself alone with my husband for a two-day vacation. It was an unexpected surprise. What was intended to be a dog-delivery-trip turned into two precious days laughing, resting and enjoying one another’s company without the normal day-to-day interruptions of life. We began a New Habit of settling into two comfy chairs at 3:00 for a fresh cup of Costa Rican coffee, watching the ever-changing sky over the mountains.

That first evening we ordered food from a local restaurant. Even though we used Google Translate to figure out the menu, we still weren’t certain exactly what to expect. Come to find out, Dulce de Leche is a mild caramel!

La Posada de La Luna Restaurante

Getting around without internet maps is an adventure! We grew up with paper maps, but once one gets used to following a real-time map… ha! Trying to follow the ‘little blue dot’ on Google Maps while comparing what we saw in front of us was mildly difficult. But when you consider the snaking complex roads, narrow streets with more lanes than there are lane lines, surprise one-way streets, stop signs IN ADDITION TO traffic lights in some intersections, trying to learn the language of the car horns and trying not to be distracted by the odd signs we saw- you can imagine that all of this combined makes for a different kind of hilarity altogether!

Church Ruins, Cartago

First visit to a hospital in Costa Rica went well. Returning to the states required a negative test. I felt proud as a peacock until I realized the staff had spoken enough English to help me out – so I decided that visit doesn’t really count. (Eye-roll here because I know I’m ridiculous.)

We explored the creek on this beautiful, 20-acre property. The steep trail. The waterfall. The smell of forest floor decomposition. Everything was green and fresh!

Waterfall Hike
Beehive Ginger (shampoo ginger)

I’m in awe of all the details God thought of. The grounds are full of cultivated flowers and fruit trees. I was shocked to hear the wind in the pines. I wasn’t certain I’d ever hear that sound again! In fact, every time I’ve listened to that beautiful sound over the last six months, my soul has sighed with future longing- I had not seen pine trees in Costa Rica so I didn’t dream I’d have a grove to enjoy! As we explored the property, I found poinsettias, roses (another surprise), hydrangeas, morning glories, rosemary and lavender (more surprises!) and countless flowers and bushes I’ve yet to name. I shrieked in delight to find out there are two roosters and some hens with room for me to buy baby chicks to raise! And then the most exciting thing of all! The caretaker of the grounds, Leo, is passionate about growing things- and he is happy to allow me to work alongside him and learn how to care for all the plants and fruit trees. The first thing I’ll learn is how to plant young coffee plants. I’m beside myself with excitement!

Papaya – Not Yet Ripe

More Posts by Life in the Garden


  1. Nena says:

    Love it. I KNOW you will love living there!


  2. Nena says:

    Love it!!! I KNOW you will love living there!!!


  3. Suzanne Bowker says:

    I love, love, love all of this.
    My heart burst with love knowing you are following your dream.
    You deserve all things wonderful and blessed.
    Enjoy the journey my friend.


  4. Eric says:

    Very beautiful! So happy for both of you!


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