Thursday, July 28, 2011

costa rica

We just returned from an amazing trip to Costa Rica.
We have been planning this vacation for quite awhile and it exceeded all of our expectations.

We decided to rent a small suv and navigate the country on our own (with the help of a GPS, of course - MUCH needed as the streets do not have names!) In addition to arriving and departing from the capitol city of San Jose, we visited three main areas.

*La Fortuna, the site of the Arenal Volcano
*Monteverde, a cloud-forest region
*Playa Flamingo, a beach on the Pacific side

{click to enlarge}

We loved having our own vehicle (as opposed to a tour company) because we were able to take our time and enjoy driving through the small towns and stunning countryside. Not all of the roads were smooth (as in, driving over an hour on unpaved rocks) but it was definitely an adventure. We were a little worried, after reading all about the rainy season, but we were so blessed that it really only rained one day. We enjoyed pleasant, tropical temps for the majority of the trip!

Costa Rica is a perfect destination for an active, yet relaxing, vacation. We stayed in wonderful, authentic hotels, hiked in national parks, climbed volcanoes, discovered waterfalls, walked across hanging bridges, zip-lined over the rainforest, learned about coffee, and saw all types of wild life. We ended our trip by spending a few days at the coast. Amazing. Best beach I have ever been to. The water was the perfect temperature, fun waves, soft sand, clean, and quiet. We did feel a small earthquake and I panicked, convinced there would be a tsunami, however no one else seemed to be concerned.

We fell in love with the gorgeous land and the warm, friendly people. We felt safe wherever we traveled and Costa Rican people (Ticos) have a lot of pride in their families, country, and their environment.

It is always amazing to travel and see another masterpiece of God's creation. The country is simply breathtaking. We are so thankful we were able to take this amazing trip.

Pura Vida!

Friday, July 8, 2011

like a boss

Oh, this guy?
Let me introduce you to Peter Frantz, CPA.

After 13 months of paying for study materials, studying, paying for tests, and taking tests, my husband is now a California licensed CPA. And I couldn't be more proud.

In full disclosure, he actually finished the tests earlier this year, but the license processing took a while. He can now officially call himself a Certified Public Accountant.

This past year was stressful for both of us. There were many nights I spent alone on the couch with Scully while he studied for hours. Weekends were consumed with studying. Plans were postponed.
I mean, I made dinner every night AANNDD had to clean the dishes.
That's when you know its serious.

Throughout the year, my prayer was to be a patient and encouraging wife. And I hope I was. (most of the time, at least) I tried to support Peter through this process, because I know it is great for his career and great for our family. And we are very thankful he had this opportunity.

So thanks, Peter. No one else can analyze big corporate financial statements AND catch foul balls one-handed at Dodger Stadium without spilling one drop of his beverage. And look cute doing it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

philadelphia: a summary

I dont really talk about my job on this here blog. And that is pretty intentional. One, because although its a great job and I am super thankful, its not really fun blog material. And two, when I get home after working all day, I usually like to ignore the fact that I even have a job.

I travel for work a few times a year. And sometimes, my job takes me to fun places. And sometimes, it does not.

This is the story of the latter.

I spent the last week in Philadelphia. And I (multiple times) had to resist the urge to break out in the Fresh Prince theme song. Everyone now! In west Philadelphia born and raised.....

Overall, although the actual work part of the trip was successful, I did not enjoy Philadelphia. It was humid, crowded, dirty, and sorta trashy. And that is my expert opinion. I am fully aware I stuck to a small radius around downtown and I am sure there are lovely areas of the city. But this is my blog and I can write whatever I want.

All I am sayin' is no wonder the Fresh Prince whistled for a cab to Bel Air.

Here are some cell phone pics. Feel free to use this as your official travel guide to the city. I include lots of detail and honest reviews.

I think this is City Hall. I think.

I had a crappy salad here. I dont remember the name.

This building is probably historic. Dont quote me on that, though.

This was the view out of my hotel room. I think this is William Penn. The most famous Philadelphian. After Ben Franklin. And Will Smith, of course.

This was a nice park. We had dinner at a nice restaurant across the street. I had roasted red pepper gazpacho. It was lovely. And then a huge cockroach proceeded to crawl across the back of my seat. I screamed and had nightmares all week.

Oh! There was one thing I did like. Reading Terminal Market.
Its a large, indoor food market with fresh farmer's produce stands, bakeries, and many different food vendors. There were a number of Amish vendors as well. And I dont know if you know, but I love Amish people. And because I love them, I know they do not like their picture being taken. So I didnt. Just visualize adorable teenage girls in bonnets selling homebaked goods.

By the end of the week, my feet hurt, I was tired of smelling garbage everywhere, and I wanted to come home. So what does one do when they are feeling pathetic and sorry for themselves?

They eat a giant frozen yogurt in bed for dinner and watch trashy tv. My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, anyone?