not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Running in the Moonlight.

I forgot the most important part of the story!! Last night Pat, Jeni and I decided to walk down to the beach to admire the full moon. It was beautiful and bright. Pat who "simply LOVES!" everything said to Jeni and I "Have you run on the beach through the water in the moonlight!?". Clearly, we both responded No. So Pat grabs my hand and starts running through the water, up and down the beach, yelling WOOOHOOO ISN'T THIS GREAT?!? And you know what, it was the most fun that I'd had in the longest time. Running through the warm water, laughing, holding hands with one of my best friends and just being 100% care free. I'm sure that the shots of tequila helped to enhance the experience, but it was wonderful and liberating all the same.

Rocks and Croc's

Scored some fun little wedgey waves out front yesterday morning a little past six with the outgoing tide. Session was short and we were hungry, so we picked up some Chorizo from the butcher and headed back to the house for breakfast. I made Gallo Pinto (rice, black beans and sautéed onions, garlic, pepper and cilantro), scrambled eggs and panfried chorizo. I love the butcher…the chorizo was over a foot long and only 850colones, which is about a dollar and a half. It was DELICIOUS. Did the dishes and then was exhausted – passing out in bed for well over an hour. Was woken up by a neighbor trying to sell some burritos, putzed around the house and still was exhausted from the heat. I think that yesterday was surely the hottest day yet – absolutely no relief. We opened every one of Adam’s windows, had on the fans and kept taking cold showers. I drank ice cold drinks and even lay on the tile floor. The heat was simply inescapable. Having decided that it was way too hot to do any kind of physical activity, I laid down on the couch to read some of “My Life In France”. Shortly thereafter I passed out, again. I was sweating and in and out of sleep for almost two hours. We had to escape the hot house so we headed down to Vago’s for some internet time, a cold beer and some cool ocean breeze. It was a bit more refreshing down there but still a steady stream of sweat was pouring off of me. Had a sunset session in a crowded but still fun little wave out front. As the sun was setting in the west, the full moon was rising in the east. For a few seconds there they shared the sky. We hurried home and got ready for LowTide Lounges’ FULL MOON PARTY. My friend Lee was DJ’ing and the whole town was out. Ran into some friends from Dominical and the bar quickly began filling up with Jaco-ians and Hermosians. I was only going to have a few beers but before you know it I was sipping on rum drinks with Jeni and did shots of Patron (which were smooth like butter) with Karen and then Brooke. “Party Brooke” was released from the cage last night, and clearly “Party Cailin” was too! We danced and danced and danced. Shawn left hours before I arrived back at the house a little after 1am. Legend Mike gave me a ride home – thank god. When I had left the party was still going strong, but my alarm was going off at 5am for the surf and I was only a few drinks away from seeing double. Four hours after retiring my dancin’ feet to bed I was up and drinking coffee, getting ready for the long walk to the reef. The tide was low but we gambled and went out anyways. Jeff and Shawn were getting some good waves, but for some reason I got spooked paddling out and the session was a washout for me. I don’t know what in frigging hell is wrong with me – I’ve been an avid surfer since I was a little kid, grew up in a family that practically lived in the ocean and bay – and I am TERRIFIED of the water. I mean really…this is no joke, I am scared of mother ocean. Today I was paranoid about hitting a rock on the inside because of the low tide, and then I was sure that there was a crocodile in the lineup (for this I am not crazy, there have been several crocodile sightings at this spot and all over Esterillos and Hermosa). As I said, for me the session was a wash. We got out – stumbled and danced across the exposed reef, and then hurried to Margaritas for breakfast. Back at the house now and SO ready for my late-morning nap. I’m even splurging and turning on the AC in the bedroom! Not much planned for today, just chicharones down at Vago’s sometime this afternoon. Pura Vida.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mucho Trabajo

Well, the truck failed inspection. Not a huge surprise, but for some reason I thought that the universe would cut me a break and let the Cruiser cruise on through. It failed the ignition test because it’s blowing smoke or something. Who knows. I should have it back within the next few days, and in the meantime Lagarto (aka Brett) has been so kind as to lend us one of his vehicles. Woohoo! To get around town we have Adam’s golf cart, so between both modes of transportation we are set. Didn’t get to the farmers market today like I’d hoped but was plenty busy around the house. While Shawn was running errands with Brett I prepared for the little gathering that I’m having here tonight. Nothing too exciting, just a few people from town coming over for some drinks and some snacks. I asked that everybody bring something. I spent the afternoon making hummus, baked pita chips with roasted garlic and crushed red pepper, deviled eggs and egg salad, and a pasta salad with raisins, corn, chickpeas and onions seasoned with fresh herbs, curry and E.V.O.O. mmmmm good. Cleaned the house top to bottom, sipped on some Vietnamese iced coffee and then was inspired to scrub all my yoga mats and bleach the toilets. God’dang! Cross your fingers for a fun sunset surf.

Que Delicioso!

Had a pretty tranquilo day yesterday...two okay surf sessions and just hanging around. We had yoga at 7 in the morning which was great. A wonderful flow, full class and positive energy. Last night Shawn, Newman and I went for dinner @ Jeni's house. It was Eleanor & Bob (Jeni's mom and her mothers boyfriend), Pat, Brooke & Craig, Lee, and Fred & Bridgette. I brought over some appetizers...hummus w/ carrots and beets and little tray of dried figs, dried bananas, marinated olives, sliced apples and almonds. Jeni made the most delicious dinner ever...she really knows her way with exotic flavors and seasonings. On the menu was grilled fish, rice, string bean salad, mango salad and roasted red peppers and eggplant. The string bean salad was dressed with sesame oil along with julienned peppers and some other fun, delicious flavors. The fish was grilled to perfection, and I had several servigs of the roasted red peppers and marinated roasted eggplant. My favorite of the evening though was the MANGO SALAD. The mango was thinly was served with sliced red onions, peanuts, and seasoned with fresh mint, fresh cilantro, coriander, cumin and fish sauce. I know there were a few other things in the mix but thats what I could identify. So delicious. Jeni really creates special things when she cooks. Called it an early night and were home in bed by 9:30. Pura Vida. Today I'm waiting on my truck to get back from inspection...I really want to head into Jaco for the farmers market and stock up but no one in town has a running car...they are all at the mechanic!! Ha! The tide is kinda funky, but hopefully we will be able to get in a sunset surf session.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Feliz Cumpleanos Brooke y Bienvenidos Jeff and Sharon

It's all just been a blur. People coming and going, booking taxis, lining up rooms and emailing information. I was joking today that I need an official job title....and a salary! Costa Rica Tour Guide & Adventure Planner. Jeff and Sharon got into town last night, and it was my friend Brooke's 29th birthday.

Had to drop the truck off in Parrita yesterday for Inspection. You leave it with the mechanic and three days later you get it back. Boom. Brett and the Doctor came along - Brett driving his van all the way there in 1st gear (its the only gear that it would go into), and the Doctor starting up his car with a knife because the key broke off. At the mechanic we picked up Bretts OTHER car that had been worked on and dropped off 3 more cars (also, Cam's car arrived there the day before). I think that Brett and his friends single-handedly keep this guy in business. Anyways, I wanted to bake a cake for Brookes birthday to make it special, I know what it's like to spend your birthday away from friends and family and with her being new to town I thought that it was important. Asked Brett to drop by the MegaSuper and managed to find a box of chocolate cake mix, but there is no such thing as "icing" in I was forced to fend for myself. Made some creamcheese, sweetened condensed milk, powder sugar thing and tried to work it out. Everything was running later than I had hoped (surprise surprise, we are in Costa), so the cake was just coming out of the oven when I was supposed to be down the hill for the party. With my oven mits on holding the burning hot, freshly baked cake and Newman's leash tucked into my armpit we made the journey down the hill to Vagos. My hands were burning, Newman didn't understand why we were walking (I tried to explain my truck being at the shop) and all in all it was a complete friggin tacklebox. Got down the hill, iced the cooling cake, slapped some candles in it and hid it in the fridge. Jeff and Sharon rolled up to the bar the same time that Brook arrived, and shortly thereafter everyone headed in to sing Happy Birthday. It was supposed to be a suprise, but Shawn blabbed to Brooke when she arrived "Hey, you're so lucky, Cailin baked you a chocolate cake!" Way to ruin the surprise Shawnie! Oh well, the cake was delicious...lots of alcohol was consumed and several pizzas were devoured. Jeff and Sharon were stoked to finally arrive in paradise and were pretty stoked on their mini-cabina I had lined up for them.

Skip to this morning, Thursday. Yoga at 7am. I thought that it would be an empty class, but it filled up - even the slightly hungover birthday girl showed up!!! It was a great class followed by Marthas breakfast burritos and a windchopped surf. Even though it was some of the most awful surf we've had since I've arrived, Jeff Pace was stoked - grinning from ear to friggin ear. Oh man, we've created a monster. Tonight going to keep it low key and have some friends over for appetizers and some cold beers. Manana is the farmers market in Jaco and by late afternoon the tide should be right to catch a sunset surf session. Hopefully my car has passed inspection and will be back in my arms in the next day or two. Cross your fingers...on both hands.

Pura Vida.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

7pm...Sleepy Time.

Yesterday (Monday) started off a bit rocky but turned out to be an outstanding day. Surfed in the AM @ local reef break that’s a bit of a walk down the beach. The swell was funky, coming in from two different directions – and I couldn’t quite figure out where to sit. Too far inside, too far outside…to the west, to the east. Bah. Shawn was the only one who had it wired, which of course pissed me off even more. Then after some miscommunication over a drop in with someone I just said ‘fuck it’ and paddled in. I was teaching yoga at 10, and I didn’t think that it was very “YOGI” of me to teach a yoga class while I was steamin’ angry. Rinsed off at the Soda at then Skyped my Mama. My dad was sleeping, which is usually the case when I call nowadays. The radiation has really wiped him out, but all in all he still has a good appetite and a positive attitude. Him and my mom are all mushy-gushy all the time, gag! My mom got a bit emotional talking about all of the people who have come out to help, she said that it just fills you up with such love knowing that there are these people in your life – stepping up when someone’s down. The power in my Dad’s garage has gone out, and for those of you who know our home and my Dad’s garage, you know that this is no simple “work shed”. There is a butcher shop in one part, a workshop in the other part, and the “war room” in the far side. His garage is bigger than most peoples homes, and though it seems to be filled with a bunch of random useless shit, my Dad says that they are his “prized possessions! I need them…don’t touch!” (my mom and I are always trying to sell some of his stuff at our annual yardsale. I mean does someone really need 30 different reels?) Anyways, the electricity is run underground….this is a very old farmhouse that we are talking about, nothin’ is easy to fix when it’s broken. Since Dad’s down and Shawns in Costa, they were stuck about what to do. Well, next day my mom pulls into the house after having Dad at treatment and Joe King is there with a shovel, digging up the wiring. LP shows up shortly after to help out, and then in pull Jeff & Sharon. Shar brought along some homemade pheasant soup that Mom and Dad have been raving about! Yesterday when I called, mom said that a bunch of guys from Dad’s work were there, all digging the hole in the torrential downpour – soaked to bone and freezing, but digging. My Nana flew in from Florida to see him and hang out. She is going to treatment with them this week so that she can see how easy it is. My Aunt Meg is making dinner this week too for my parents, my Uncle Mike (it’s his birthday), and Nana. Because Dad’s diet is limited to all organic, she is making the meal with everything organic…from soup to nuts. Dad’s youngest brother, Sean, is a professional watercolor artist living in Key West. He has a big artshow this upcoming month and has dedicated the show to my Dad. He is an amazing artist, and I encourage you to check out his work:

After the Skype call to my mom I was feeling much better. I’m telling ya, if it wasn’t for Skype I would not be here in Costa right now…when we chat it’s like we are sitting in the same room! I was glad to hear that my Dad was doing well and that there were so many people who have come out to help my family. After our phone call I went down and swept my “yoga studio” @ Vago’s. The days class was muy tranquilo…we all had been surfing a ton and needed a mellow, deep-stretching, breathing-emphasized class. My friend Jeni Sinbrow was in class, a massage therapist who has spent many years of her life here in Oeste. We have an agreement to trade yoga classes for MASSAGE (lucky me)!!! So she offered to come pick me up on the hill mid-afternoon for my massage. Hooray. Before I was rubbed all the right ways we need to take care of some car-troubles. Car troubles you ask? Again, you ask? Yep. Who knew!? Costa Rica, the land of broken vehicles. Amazingly we had an honest mechanic who tested the battery and told us that it was fine (thank god, because a new battery here runs about $160). He told us to just clean the receptors, and that we might have replace a bad cable. No biggie. Woohooo! We stopped at the grocery store so Shawn could buy: literally every box they had of Raisin Bran, and 4 bottles of Agua de Pipa. He’s a simple man. Jeni picked me up @ 2:30 and we headed back to her mothers house. Eleanor has the BEST setup around. You can see the beach from her front porch, and the jungle is her backyard. She has two cabinas, that I have stayed at, a beautiful swimming pool and just good vibes flowing through the house. This house was one of the first on the hill and it’s just magical. Jeni set up her massage table on the back porch and then worked her magic for an hour. I was in heaven. When the massage was over I literally floated down the hill to John Dang’s going away party – where Jeni and I sipped refreshing white wine spritzers and semi-sangrias (boxed red wine, add some juice and a splash o’ seltzer). Both my boys were down there already – Shawn sippin’ on a beer and Newman stealing all the other dogs’ tennis balls. I was whooped from surfing and my heavenly massage, and Shawn was beat too. We called it a night around 6:30 and I was fast asleep by 7. My rule to atleast make it to 8pm simply could not be met! Woke up at 5am, had some pineapple (and so did Newman) and some Tea. The iPod is shuffling through some great tunes and I’m typing up this blog on Shawn’s computer. He’s giving me the “aren’t you done yet I want to check the waves” stare, so I need to get going. Pura Vida.

All We Need Is Love.

Sven Peltonen is doing big things. Huge things. Please take the time to read about it.

Atlantic City firefighter helps out in Haiti

MICHELLE LEE Staff Writer Posted: Monday, January 25, 2010

In his day job, Sven Peltonen spends his time rescuing people as an Atlantic City firefighter and as a Brigantine lifeguard and emergency medical technician.

Now, the 33-year-old Atlantic City resident is using all his skills as a volunteer earthquake relief worker in Haiti, helping orphans and making emergency food deliveries, according to his parents, Augie and Jane Peltonen, of Brigantine.

Peltonen, a rookie firefighter and 17-year lifeguard veteran, was on vacation from the fire department when he took off for his solo trip Jan. 16, four days after the 7.0-magnitude quake struck, Augie Peltonen said Sunday.

“He was watching CNN intently, and suddenly he disappeared,” Augie Peltonen said. “Then, suddenly, we got an e-mail from him saying he was on his way.”

According to Augie Peltonen, Sven’s e-mail said: “I’m off to another life-changing adventure. ... I know I can help people who need it. It’s going to be great to do this. This may be the greatest thing I do. I’m a little scared and nervous, but I think I’ll be fine. ... All we need is love.”

While Sven has traveled abroad before, Augie Peltonen said this was his son’s first time going into an emergency disaster zone, and he left with only a backpack, some clothing and antibiotics, steel-tipped work boots and a cell phone.

Augie Peltonen said Sven took a train to Philadelphia, caught a flight to Puerto Rico and another plane to the Dominican Republic. Sven managed to hook up with a rescue team from the Lifechurch mission of Allentown, Pa., on Jan. 17 and crossed the mountains by van into Haiti to help at an orphanage in Fond Parisien, Augie said. He later moved on to help with relief efforts in Port-au-Prince, the capital city near the epicenter of the earthquake.

The Peltonens said Sven has been text messaging his brother, John Comet, 23, and the family has been posting his messages on Facebook. They also have been learning about Sven’s work through reports by Channel 69 News of Allentown, Pa., and the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jane Peltonen said son Sven called them Thursday on a borrowed phone and told them he could not believe that emergency food and medical supplies were tied up at the airport. “We were all worried, what was he doing? We were afraid he’s by himself with no backup support, trying to give food to the people,” she said.

The Peltonen family later found out that Sven was safe and had joined another volunteer medical group organized by Jeremy Johnson, a Utah businessman and millionaire who brought his own jet, helicopter and rescue crews. The group has been helping out by transporting the injured, medical personnel and food supplies from dawn to dusk, according to the Deseret News.

“He’s a hero, that’s all I can say,” Augie said. “That’s the way he is, he’s selfless, he’s sensitive to humanity.”

Sven’s vacation ends Feb. 3, and Augie Peltonen and Comet said they are unsure when — or how — he would return.

Atlantic City fire Battalion Chief Robert Solari said he was not surprised by Sven’s humanitarian trip.

Solari, who has known Sven for 20 years both as a firefighter and lifeguard, said his friend “takes everything to heart, and he has a very giving and caring personality.”

“I’m sure he’s pouring his heart out, trying to help every individual,” Solari said.

Solari, who also is a Brigantine city councilman, said he looks forward to his return and to hearing his stories.

“We’‘ll certainly do something on City Council for recognition,” he said. “Then, Sven’s the type of person who wouldn’t expect it and not look for it. It’s something he’ll do (anyway). He sees a need and will address it.”

(Photos courtesy of Deseret News, Utah. Click here for the full gallery.)

Contact Michelle Lee:


Monday, January 25, 2010

Princess Poopooly

My buddy Spike, from Panama, sent me this song after reading the POOPAYA blog. Thought that I would share it with all of you!

Princess Poopooly
(Pupule) - words & music by Harry Owens
Princess Poopooly has plenty papayas
And she loves to give it away
Now all of the neighbors they say
Oh mea oh mya
You really should try a little piece
Of the Princess Poopooly's papaya
Princess Poopooly's not truly unruly
To pass out papayas each day
For all of the neighbors they say
She may give the fruit
But she holds on to the root
And so she has the fruit and the root to boot
One bright Sunday afternoon
It was field day in her papaya groves
But I reached the gate an hour too late
The customers were lined up in droves
So let this be a warning
Go early in the morning
And it is true you'll never rue the day
The Princess Poopooly has plenty papayas
And she love to give it away
I mean papaya
She loves to give it away

Saturday, January 23, 2010


So, I gave Papaya a second chance. Andy Welker infamously named Papaya POO-Paya about 4 years ago in Dominical, sitting at Tortilla Flats. We were having breakfast accompanied with a fruit plate, half of which was papaya. LP, Andy and Me all agreed that this fruit is awful…Andy comparing it to a flavor combination of Poo and Swiss Cheese. “POOPAYA” he yelled! The name stuck, and the thought of poo and swiss haunt me everytime I see a poopaya, I mean papaya. Well, everything down these parts is served with limon, including fruit platters. Squeezing a bit of this lime on a banana takes it to a WHOLE other level of deliciousness, so with Shawn’s encouragement I was sure that it could help out the struggling PooPaya as well. The affection came gradually, definitely not something that happened over night – but now, saturated with lime juice, I can proudly say that I love Papaya. Papaya – you are PooPaya no more!

Julia and Drunken Iggy.

I love this town. And I love the people who live here. A new addition to town is a young married couple, Brooke and Craig, along with their two dogs. They plan on living here for the next year. Craig is real laid back and reminds me a bit of Shawn concerning his demeanor around a group of people. Brooke is much like myself, a chatty Kathy with lots of enthusiasm. Every day the high season shows more and more. Town is filling up, the highways are more crowded with lots of rental cars and there’s unfamiliar faces cruising the town. Susan and Iggy arrived yesterday and we got them settled in at the house, we played with Newman and relaxed a bit before heading back to the beach for a sunset surf. Waves were so so so small, and the lineup was surprisingly crowded. The water was a nice 80 degrees though, with a beautiful sunset in this magical beach town. Also arriving in town were two of Shawns friends from Germany…a bit jetlagged after traveling for 30hours, but stoked none-the-less. I decided that I was craving a very NON-tico meal….pork loins, with apples and mashed potatoes!! I love rice, but I needed a break- I’ve been having it with breakfast lunch and dinner, and I hadn’t had mashed potatoes in months and months. We invited the Germans over for dinner and had a meal that would make Julia Child proud (by the way, I just cracked open Julia Childs’ novel “My Life In France”. Its wonderful!). The salad was romaine with pickled red onions, sunflower seeds, raisins and dried cranberries dressed with a raspberry vadalia onion vinagrette. For dinner I roasted peeled, cored Granny Smith apples at 350 degrees for about 20minutes. They were lightly dusted with sugar before putting them into the oven. Once roasted, they were put into a bowl and honey and cinnamon were added. Oh-My-God AMAZING. I want to eat roasted apple-applesauce every day of my life. With every meal. In addition to the muy delicioso apples I made mashed potatoes from scratch. I decided to leave the meat in the MENS hands, with an emphasis on Iggy who afterall is a CHEF. All three of the men went to the butcher to pick up the pork loins, and they came back with a great story! They asked for the loin, and the butcher walked into the back. Not sure if there was some miscommunication, seconds later the Butcher returned with a huge pig leg. He pointed to the spot where the pork loin was and when Iggy shook his head up and down, the butcher got down and dirty – slicing the loin out of the intact pig leg. Talk about FRESH! Iggy seasoned the loin with just salt and pepper – searing it in a hot pan before placing it in the oven. The result…an amazing, delicious meal that was such a treat to have had in Costa Rica – the land of rice and beans. Iggy wholeheartedly said that the pork loin we got from the butcher was the best pork loin he had ever had. The meat came out of the oven, dripping with delicious juices – the perfect temperature, and the perfect cut. Shawn also agreed that it was the best pork loin he’d ever had. And Mom & Dad – I hate to say it, but I have to agree – the best, hands down. The Germans, still sleep-deprived and now full to the gills got a ride back down the hill to Soda Mary. When Shawn came back we all just hit the hay – exhausted and stuffed and ready for the next mornings surf. This brings me to present day, Friday. Shawn and I woke up at 5am, as usual. We played with Newman, made some espresso in the Bialetti - and I surprisingly surpassed my beloved Bialetti and opted for black TEA! Crazy I know, but sometimes I need to take a break from coffee to realize how much I love and appreciate it. Distance makes the heart grow fonder kinda thing. Woke up Susan and Iggy about an hour later – made them a fruit smoothie (papaya, banana and pineapple…with strawberry yogurt) and Iggy jump started his day with an energy drink. We waited around for Iggy as he putzed around the house, dilly-dallying as we waited in the truck. Finally loaded him up, poked fun at Susan for Iggy being “HER husband” and then realized that Iggy should never ever drink energy drinks in the morning – atleast when we’re around. We picked up the Germans and from Esterillos Oeste all the way to our unnamed beachbreak Iggy had the Germans in a verbal headlock. I don’t think that they quite knew how to handle someone so hyper, talkative, enthusiastic and absolutely insane – at 6:30 in the morning. Arrived at the beach and the waves were small and clean. About waist high, perfect lines, beautiful water and only a few people out down the beach. Susan hung on shore and had coffee at the one and only hotel in town. They must have thought she was a guest because they gave her coffee for free and she lounged in their lounge chairs on the beach. Ha – go Suzie! Surfed out, we packed up the car – headed home for breakfast burritos and then cleaned up to head up to Jaco for the farmers market. Loaded up on vegetables, fruits and some Amish sticky buns and then cruised back to Oeste for a much-needed nap. I was out cold, literally drooling, for well over an hour. Susan had gone down to the beach for a walk, and in the hour she walked and I slept – Iggy got trashed @ Vagos. I’m not talking buzzed, I’m talking shit-faced, random-rambling, “I’m so fucking drunk” kinda-trashed. Ayeyaya. Again we taunted Susan “Hahaha YOUR husband”. We brought Newman down to the beach with us and he played long and hard for well over 2 hours. This dog is OBSESSED with his ball. At 430 in the morning when you let him out to pee, he has the ball in his mouth. He naps with the ball, walks with the ball, and dreams about the ball when hes asleep. He swam in the ocean, rolled in the sand, played with the ball and chomped on a few coconuts. While we were at Vago’s we SKYPED Mom and Dad. We carried the computer over to the beach so they could check it out, we walked it over to Vago so they could meet the main man, introduced Newman and then everyone took turns coming up to the computer to say hello. It was great. By this time we decided that Newman and Iggy had both had a bit too much fun so we threw their asses into the truck and headed home. Having missed the fish truck, we were directed to a fish market just across the highway, about a mile from Adam’s house. Pull into a guys house, he opens the fridge to the days catch and we walked away with 5 beautiful filets (1 kilo) of Corvina for 6mil (this is about 12USD). VaVaVoom! Iggy was so drunk he just passed out but Shawn, Susan and I sat down for ANOTHER nice meal. I whipped up some salsa and guacamole to snack on and then sautéed the Corvina {salt & pepp, top with limon…amazing}, rice, black beans and a little salad. Casado. MmMm. Iggy popped his head outta the room briefly, rambled and ranted and raved about having lost his passport – stomped around and slammed doors….and then found the lost passport, under his pillow…where he’d hidden it. Susan did dishes, we played some Dominoes, laughed about the passport thing and then parted ways to read our books. It’s 8pm and it is bedtime. Buenos Noche.

Saturday afternoon, I’m a dozen pages into “My Life In France” by Julia Child and already I’m drooling, completely in awe of someone who shares my insatiable passion for good food and beverage. An excerpt:

“I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth, took a bite, and chewed slowly. The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter. I chewed slowly and swallowed. It was a morsel of perfection. …And I tasted my first real baguette – a crisp brown crust giving way to a slightly chewy, rather loosely textured pale-yellow interior, with a faint reminder of wheat and yeast in the odor and taste. Yum! We followed our meal with a leisurely dessert of fromage blanc and ended with a strong, dark café filter.”

Dear Julia Child, I love and respect you. We’ve been doing a bit of our own ‘cheffing’ around here, as I’m sure you’ve already caught on to. Tonight I believe we are having a shrimp and sausage fra diavlo pasta dish, compliments of Chef Iggy. It’s a shame that he missed out on our dinner last night, but atleast he made it up this morning for the surf. We headed out around 6am and were in the water by 6:45. Ig was a bit tired and a bit hungover, but happy to be in paradise, in beautiful waves in beautiful water. Susie got her complimentary cup of coffee at the local hotel for being such a good “guest” and we traded off some solid sized waves from this new swell. I drove there and back…no one died and there was no whip-lash which is good. I’m “relearning” how to drive the truck (1973 Toyota Land Cruiser w/ no power brakes and no power steering). We’ve had a tranquilo afternoon, trying to stay out of the intense sun and heat that Costa Rica sends with all her fury. It’s usually safe to reenter the sunshine around 3 or 4. Susan of course is outside baking herself like a roast in the 100degree blazing sun. Iggy just left to try his luck at fishing, and Newman and I have been coming up with a yoga routine for this Monday’s class. Shawn and I both came to the agreement today that Newman is officially the best dog ever. Literally. The BEST DOG EVER. He cuddles me in the morning, lies alongside my mat when I do yoga, eats the leftover fruits and veggies, and listens to everything I say. The three of us are going to head down to the beach pretty soon to meet up with Sue and Ig, throw the ball around a bit and maybe have a club soda. Life is tough in paradise.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Livin' In the Hills of Esterillos.

Jan 20th:

Adam left today. It is Wednesday January 20th. He will be returning around the first of March. He left his best friend in the whole world under my care, Newman….a decent sized golden retriever/Chesapeake bay retriever mix. Newman is smart as hell, loving, adorable and fierce. He doesn’t miss a beat, and that includes unwanted people walking down the street afterhours. I feel very safe in Adam’s beautiful home protected by his beautiful dog. As soon as he left I opened all the windows, cleaned the bathrooms, the kitchen, the floors, the fridge and the porch. Newman just followed me around, posting up wherever I was cleaning at the moment. Decided to take a break this morning from surfing, and just focus on some rest and putzing around the house. Shawn is leaving in one week to join Adam on a journey from Houston, Texas down through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua all the way to Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica. SO, Shawn had to get some ducks in order as well. It’s not ALL fun and games in Paradise….

Went to CrackHoe this afternoon. Oh, did I say “Crack Hoe”? I meant to say JACO. Anyways, did some food shopping and stopped for a treat at the Fish Taco bar. They have ginormous, delicious, refreshing Limonada’s and kickass hummus with fresh baked pitas. Came home just in time to unload the groceries, play with Newman and give Newman a bath. “A bath?” you ask…yes, well Newmans only bad habit is running away after monkeys that live in the backyard. Sure enough, Shawn let him out, he sees a monkey and off he went into the jungle. That friggin bastard, I was ready to kill em! He came back, with his favorite ball in his mouth, wagging his tail – completely out of breath and soaked…filthy from head to tail. Lucky me, my mother is a dog groomer – so I have some skills when it comes to cleaning a dirty dog. Now, not only was Newman happy because he had chased a monkey, but he still had his favorite ball in his mouth and he was nice and clean (this dog loves baths. I know, odd). Went for a sunset surf and was delighted with perfect waist high peelers…no one else out except for me, Les and Vago. We took turns in the lineup for a while before people caught onto our good time, 20 tico kids paddling out and some gringos too. An ice cold club soda (with a glass of ice and limes) and then Shawn and I hauled ass back to the house for SHRIMP FRA DIAVLO. I sautéed the shrimp in garlic, onions, olive oil, salt + pepp, and some cayenne and red pepper flakes. Some diced tomatoes and a dash of pasta sauce and we were ready to rumble. Shawn left shortly after for Poker (Wednesday nights are poker nights @ Mike & Marthas…5Mil buy in). I stayed at the house to hang with Newman and Shiva Rea. Shiva Rea is a GODDESS in the yoga world…basically trailblazing FLOW YOGA. I watched her DVD Lunar Flow Yoga and looked for some inspiration for tomorrows 10am class. I’m struggling a bit with the conflict of teaching to a very varied group of yogis. Some are VERY new beginners, others very experienced veterans. To flow or not to flow? This is the question…. I think that Shiva may be a bit too eccentric and flowy for the Soda Mary boys, but who knows, maybe with time they will grow to love it like I do. Wish me luck. Namaste.

Jan 21st:

Surfed this morning at a beach break close by that will remain unnamed. It was perfect, clean and shoulder high (this is measured by SHAWNS shoulders, not mine). There were 3 people in the lineup for as FAR as the eye could see. Literally. Cam, Shawn and Me...and no one else in either direction for miles and miles. Pura Vida. Came home, ate a shrimp taco for breakfast, played with Newman and then headed down to da ghetto to teach Yoga @ VAGOS. Had a huge crew come out and Susan and Iggy rolled up during class. Woohooo. Town is filling up, tourists are pouring in, and HIGH SEASON has begun!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Help In Haiti.

It's been difficult to grasp the magnitude of devastation currently in Haiti. There are already 100,000 dead and the number is rising every day. In this voodoo-infused country where burial ceremonies are sacred, the dead are just being thrown into mass graves....unidentified. When the tsunami hit asia several years ago, efforts were taken to photograph the dead, in hopes of identifying them later for family, friends and records. This is simply impossible in Haiti, due to the concentration and sheer greatness of destruction. In the hours, days, weeks and months to come people will die of starvation & dehydration. There is and will continue to be looting and murder and mayhem. The severity of it all leaves me feeling so helpless, as I'm sure many of you are also experiencing. The least that I can do at this moment is to send money, along with my personal prayers. My dear friend Sven Peltonen is an Atlantic City Fireman and Brigantine Beach Patrol lieutenant. Many of you know him also as my fellow musician, accompanying me on the djembe...always bringing an alive, positive energy to every show. Sven has gone so far as to fly to Dominican Republic and cross the border into Haiti with any and all supplies that he could rally. He is helping out at an orphange, working alongside doctors and nurses. It takes great courage to walk into the face of this monster...something I know that I should do, but am simply too afraid to go. So, bless all of the lost, injured, devastated souls ... and may the volunteers be safe and swift. Hug your parents, hug your dog, be thankful for the food you eat and the home where you sleep .... it can all be taken away in an instant.

We love you Sven.

Millions of people are homeless, missing or worse. And they need your help. There are many ways to donate money, including through the Daily News Charities Inc.

Here is a list of organizations which have been highly rated by the American Institute of Philanthropy through which you can aid those in need in Haiti:

To donate money through Daily News Charities Inc., which will send every dollar directly to relief organizations who are leading the rescue and recovery efforts in Haiti, please send your check, cash or money order to:

Daily News Charities Inc.
GPO 3309
New York, NY 10116

Make your check or money order payable to: Daily News Charities Inc.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Panamanian Paradise

Juan and his cow.

In the mountains of Panama the weather reminds me of Fall on the East Coast. Cool in the morning, warm during the daytime, cool as the sun goes down and cold just in time for bed - so you can cuddle up under a big blanket. There weren't as many bugs as there are here in Oeste, but the few that were there found me. I promise you, if you don't want to get bitten by any bugs - then take me along with you. They flock to me like bees to honey. I had some big welts on my legs and arms, but it was well worth my few days in paradise. The cows, the macaw, the dogs, the river, the views, the food, the family -- made for an epic trip. Our last night in town Spike & Wendy had us over for a lovely dinner at their house, and it felt right at home. Here are just a few photos from our time away. Enjoy.

On Saturday we made a huge brunch, all with food that we had gathered from Juan's farm.

We did Yoga (and so did the Macaw)

Amoung the things we found on the farm, there were these purple bananas. They are not tasty, at all, they smell like cucumbers and are filled with a bunch of black seeds.

Our Group. Juan, Spike, Corralia, Jeni, Larry, Pat, Wendy and Me. GOOD PEOPLE.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

African Mountain Man, In Panama...

Juan and his "pretty cows"...yes, he has ugly ones as well.


Let me rephrase that... WOW.

Juan was born and raised in South Africa. He conducted Safari's in Africa, most of his clients very wealthy Americans. Due to his involvement in political rallies in his youth, he was forced to flee the country. Years prior on a Safari he had met a very successful accountant, who worked for Hugh Hefner, Van Halen, so on and so forth. He left Africa and arrived in a very foreign, wild place.... L.A. His accountant acquaintance got him a job working for Hugh Hefner...taking care of his wild, African animals he had in his backyard. Ha. Juan later became a very successful contractor in the northern L.A. area, creating quite a name for himself and making a good amount of change. Having finally decided that he was done with the rat-race and wanting to reconnect with the nature that filled his youth, he did some research and ended up in Panama. *might I also mention that slicing off all of his fingers of his left hand also had something to do with him leaving the intense American workWorld. Present day...John has an amazing farm, two in fact, with cows that cuddle him, a horse that he doesn't ride whom he only hangs out with, and 3 very funny very eclectic dogs that worship him. He has a river in his backyard and mountain upon which it runs. He grows lentils, eggplants, oranges, naranjillos, grapefruits, avocados, coffee, watercress, dasheem, sweet potatoes, and so so so much more. He makes a mean cup of coffee, so good that I won't even hold the fact that he uses a COFFEE machine against him. He lives a very simple life, in a very simple house. He loves good music and has a passion for his animals. Somewhat of a recluse, I would say his closest friends are the family which live on his property, whom I think he would go so far as to call his own. So refreshing, so delightful and such a treat. We are staying at such a special place...I still can't believe that Juan has been so generous as to share his slice of heaven with us...a loud, rowdy crowd from Oeste, who start drinking rum at noon and have no problem moving right into a home that is not our own. Though it may be a bit more than he bargained for, I think my new quiet mountain man amigo has been thoroughly entertained.

We are having QUITE the adventure thanks to Juan. These damn mountains are just so damn charming, they enchant me more and more with every clean, fresh breath that I take and the beach is seeming such a distant thought. Who knows where the next few years will take me, and in the meantime, I'm just enjoying the ride.

Juan, Larry, Jenny and Boki the Macaw.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Don´t Wear Shorts In Panama.

We are here in Panama. Larry, Jeni, Pat and Myself. It was somewhat of a mini-journey to get here, but we arrived. Surprise, it´s festival week. Town is packed, lodgings are all full to capacity, and the party goes long into the night. The festival: it´s for Flowers & Coffee. I didn´t know that flower and coffee fans were such partiers, but hey - we are in central america...any excuse to drink is fully exploited. I feel lost without my Lonely Planet Panama book - I swear, these books are as valuable as gold when you are traveling in a foreign country that is, well...foreign to you. Found a cute eclectic totally random hostal to stay in last night. It was a tad cramped, Pat and I sharing a twin bed, Jeni in a twin next to us...Larry bunking up with two guys across the hall. I party outside went long into the night, and it was as if the very festival were in our own room. I slapped on some headphones and drifted off to sleep. The ladies weren´t as lucky and had a rough nights sleep. The good thing about our random abode is that it has HOT water. I´m talking scolding fucking hot, hotter than boiling water. And if it´s not boiling hot, it´s ice cold. All in all though, I was stoked to have a hot shower - because it is COLD here. I packed for a tropical location, silly pants, only shorts...but thankfully I threw a pashmina and a long sleeve cardi in my bag right before I left. We went out to dinner last night and for a stroll through town and I wore shorts. Not a good idea. I was getting stares from old ladies, young men, little children and mama´s hauling around their army of kids. Bah. Goddamn shoobie! Who knows, maybe they were staring at me because I had mascara all over my face? The mirror in our bathroom is for someone who is about 6 feet tall....standing on my tippy toes I can barely even see the top of my head.

The plan was to go horseback riding today and to the hot springs, and tomorrow to go white water rafting - though I think that plans have now changed. Pat has a friend who lives up in the mountains, about an hour or so from where we are now. She thinks he would be hospitable and let us stay at his house. It would be nice...I doubt that there is a loud drunken music flower-coffee festival going on in his backyard that would require ear plugs and a strong dose of Nyquil.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How To Clean A Yoga Mat

Our "Yoga Studio" at Vago's isn't the cleanest place in the whole world. Yes, I sweep. I sweep, I sweep, I sweep. None-the-less there are sandy dogs and sandy people who walk through there every day. I have been hosing down yoga mats after every session, but it doesn't quite seem to do the trick. I did some research and found out some good ways to make your mat squeaky clean...

1. Add 3 drops of tea tree oil, two drops of peppermint oil, and two drops of lavender oil to distilled water. Mix thoroughly and place the solution in a spray bottle.

2. In a spray bottle, filled with distilled water, combine 1 tablespoon witch hazel (antiseptic) with 2 or 3 drops of grapefruit seed extract (anti-fungal) and a total of 10 drops of essential oils. You can use just one essential oil, or a combination of 3 or 4. Recommended combinations are: tea tree oil (anti-fungal), lavender (antibacterial and relaxing), citrus or sweet basil (energizing), lavender chamomile and vanilla; coconut grapefruit lime, chamomile and ylang ylang; tea tree coriander thyme and chamomile.

3. In a spray bottle, combine one part water, three parts white vinegar and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wastin' Away in Margaritaville

Yoga Class, Yesterday Morning. Too much fun and way too funny. In the class were the Texas Boys {Pelon, Diaz, and Steve}, Soda Mary Crew {Brett, Adam, Les, Lee, and Shawn}, the Lovely Ladies {Pat, Jeni, and Maria} and some newcomers {Andy, Reds, and Johanna}. Boom. 14 students, not bad. For some the class was a bit advanced, and for a few it was a bit slow - but all in all, I stressed to work at your own pace and listen to your body. Slow it down if necessary, and take it to the next level if you'd like. Adam complained about his balls a few times, and Lester Earl made some fake fart noises when we were all in compromising positions, but Zen was essentially attained during our 10 minute Savasana {when there were THANKFULLY no trash trucks}. To follow-up our early morning yoga session, we trekked down to the semi-secret spot for a mid-morning surf session. No bueno. Long walk, long paddle out, just so-so waves....I almost died on the walk back, with the sun beating down on me without mercy. We made it back to Adam's and I whipped up some breakfast burritos. Tortillas with beans, scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, jalapenos, tomatoes and sliced cabbage marinated in lime with cilantro. VaVaVoom, life is good. Early evening the whole rowdy crew headed up to Vago's amazing house on Canada Hill, with a beautiful view of the surrounding coast and a fancy-schmancy pool. Les brought up his Jimmy Buffet signature "Margaritaville" margarita machine and goddamn, it was a party. As the night continued on and we ran out of fresh limes he began using anything at his disposal...OJ, pineapple juice, and even lemon-lime gatorade. Lagarto was manning the grill - cookin up some sausages, chicken and burgers...all that were topped with Margot's outstanding, so delicious, lick-your-fingers-good homemade bbq sauce {margot is vago's beautiful wifey}. We were loading the grilled sausages onto hotdog buns with pickled jalapenos and some of Margot's sauce....oh-my-sweet-jesus. By 730 it was approaching my bedtime, so I fell asleep in a huge tub {like the ones we use for tubing in the back bays @ home}. Adam woke me up and drove us home in the golf cart, and I fell asleep the second I walked in the door. This morning I was up at quarter after 5, put on my headphones and some Bonobo, and did YOGA. I was just about finished, lying in reclining bound angle, when I hear Adam rip a LOUD fart. Yes, his fart was so loud that I could hear it outside, through a closed door, and over the music pumping through my ipod. At that time I wrapped it up, came inside, and all of us caffeine junkies sat around sipping cafe and making "TO DO" lists for the day and the upcoming week. Without a "TO DO" list, nothing seems to get done....

Anyways, we are all sittin around Soda Stinky at the moment, gettin ready to go to Tres Piscinas {a nearby waterfall}. The cars will be loaded to the top with people and lots of beer, and we may even make it to the Tilapia Farms. Tonight is a pool party and BBQ @ Reds' condo. He is whippin up some shrimp and fish, and making the fixings for tacos. Wooohooo, I can't wait for a night of rest.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back In The Groove

Well, its taken me a few days, but I'm back in the groove. Readjusted to paradise. Surfing twice a day until my arms ache, my shoulders are burning and my lower back is about to break. I stretch, I rest, I replenish {breakfast at margaritas}. Staying at Adam's house...making dinner every night, hanging with his wonderful dog Newman, and listening to some good music - and did I mention drinking lots o espresso from my new big Bialetti?! Had yummy chicharones and my FAVORITE, club soda, at Vago's today, all of the local dogs begging at your feet for some handouts. Hanging out at Soda Mary right now - had a hootenany last night, music music music and lots o beer. I'm trying not to drink, Brett twisted my arm into having a few yesterday. His Texas Boys are in town and they are wonderful : are going to LOVE these gentlemen. As soon as you're better we are going to Texas and we are going to kill things {everything from fish to pigs} and we are gonna eat and drink and LAUGH, because you do A LOT of laughing with this fun and rowdy crew. Today I was put on the MARDI GRAS board, organizing the big festival in town. Been trying to work out the details for places to stay for the people who are coming to town, and sending out emails trying to rally people to come and visit {this is surprisingly harder than youd think}. I have yet to get a sunburn, which my pops would be proud of...but with this said, I look like some pale shoobie. Mechanic was supposed to come to fix the truck today, and surprise surprise he didn't show up. Maybe Manana....

Headed to Jeni's house on the hill for a BBQ, I made some Salsa and the boys are bringing burgers. I imagine that with a few more beers {the guys have been drinking since breakfast} that there will be some nude cannonballs in Jeni's pool. Lucky me, or should I say lucky YOU, I remembered my camera today....

Friday, January 8, 2010

Noah Da Flame

Noah, Taylor and Me...Que Nivel, Dominical, March 3rd 2009
I met Noah last year in Dominical on my birthday. He is really great friends with my friend Taylor, who owns the bar Que Nivel in Dominical, and she hosted my 22nd birthday party there last March. Anyways - Noah is a really wonderful person and a FABULOUS musician. He is a reggae-man! Noah recently signed with a Jamaican label, and he has the music circuit in Costa Rica in his pocket. The beauty of Noah's music and what makes him different from other reggae musicians around here is that he doesn't write about guns or drugs or screwing chicks...he sings about love and life and the beauty that surrounds us. Anyways, haven't seen Noah in a year - and go figure, I'm walking down the street towards the beach and Noah pops his head outta the car and yells "CAILIN!". Ha. What a small world. We sat down, caught up...talked mostly about music and surfing. It was such a treat to run into him, and hopefully he will be on the radio near YOU someday soon (hes already on the radios around here). Check him out, I know you'll love it.

Tio Pelon

So, I'm back in Esterillos Oeste, and I made it just in time to meet the infamous TEXAS BOYS. One of these special gentlemen is TIO PELON {also known as "Drew"}. Today we went surfing and on the way home we started talking about women. Well, the rest of the guys were jabbering on about ladies-talkin some shit, when Pelon chimed in about his luck:

"I grabbed a good one outta the mix and held on tight".

Cheers to Pelon and his wifey...I love to hear about a happily married couple, which are a rarity!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Carpe Diem 2010!

Wow. I was just looking through my photos and I have had an AMAZING year. 2009 treated me so well, and I'm sure that 2010 is going to be great as well. My mantra this past year has been ENJOY LIFE...EVERY DAY, and that's exactly what I've been doing - well, trying like hell! Last January I rung in the new year at Fred & Bridgette's beautiful home in Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica. There was the beautiful Jeni throwing fire, the AMAZING band - Aaron Nazrul & The Boom Booms, and little did I know that from that night on I would have a wonderful, supportive family in the people of Oeste. I spent the following months surfing and eating and discovering my intense passion for YOGA. Taylor who owns the bar Que Nivel in Dominical hosted my 22nd birthday party and the whole town came out for it! When I came home to the States, Shawn and I worked on us, staying warm and finding an apartment. We ate and took mini-trips to Philly for vietnamese food and DiBruno's. I had some amazing shows with Christian and Sven at Coffee.Comedy throughout the season, and I learned how to finger-pick on the guitar. I became close friends with the lovely and wonderful and generous Jim and Eileen. They gave me the confidence in myself to teach yoga, and I was blessed with the opportunity to teach yoga 3 times a week at their home in Ocean City. I worked my ass off, sometimes to the point of a mini-meltdown...tears and all {sorry for this Shawn!}, but I made a bunch of money and used that to fuel a fun filled winter. The fall I spent surfing as much as possible, Shawn being my personal wave forecaster, and Jeff Pace being the motivation to put on a wetsuit. We had great waves this fall, and almost every evening was spent hanging out with my family and eating...a lot. I spent several days on the vineyard at Natali...picking grapes, drinking wine andeating good food. I felt a love towards the grapes and discovered a new respect for the process that goes into producing wine. November took me to an amazing adventure in Ecuador, with the amazingly adventurous adventurer, Pat, My "PIC" {partner in crime}. I got sick in the jungle-had to leave early and get a shot in the butt, drank beer floated with vanilla ice cream and fresh pineapple, ate a plate of Chugchucara, and made some amazing friends along the way {ie BAR from Israel}. I rode a horse up to the tippy top of a mountain in Banos, drank straight from a stream bubbling out of the earth, biked 60km down a mountain, and soaked every night hot baths, one that was 118 degrees fahrenheit. I sailed through the majestic Galapagos Islands aboard a hundred year old wooden sailboat, logging amazing experiences and makin great friends. I returned to Costa Rica, blessed with a beautiful house to watch for a month and a community supportive of my desire to share yoga {thanks to vago for letting me have classes at the bar, pat for being my cheerleader and for my wonderful dry-erase board, and for all of my dedicated students!!}. I had to return home to the States for Christmas for personal matters. My Dad discovered that his brain tumor {first discovered 8 years ago} began to grow, and that immediate action needed to be taken. The tumor is inoperable, and can only be treated with chemo and radiation. Shawn flew home with me and I've now spent the holidays with my family. I've always known how important my parents are to me, but this has made me realize even more how fragile life is - and how you need to be thankful EVERY day for the people in your life. Since the discovery of my fathers situation, we have received endless support from family, friends and even acquaintances. With their love and support we are bound to beat anything that comes across our path. 2009 - you have been wonderful: insightful, challenging, upsetting, exciting....lets hope 2010 is just as great.

Here are the highlights of 2009....some choice photos that I felt were necessary to share. Check them out - and play them as a slide show! (I'm told that you need to put in a password: the password is: cailincallahan)

Click here to view photos

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Today, New Years Day 2010, the only mail that I received was YOGA JOURNAL. It's a sign. 2010 is going to be filled with Yoga, and more Yoga!

Happy New Year.