Gavin Degraw Concert

Tonight I was at a concert with my sister and a friend of mine and we had a great time.
Gavin Degraw was in town and last time I saw him back in 2006, but he put on such a great show that I always wanted to see him again.

From beginning to end he owned the crowd and the crowd loved him. The program was a huge mix of old and new songs.

Concert opened up with Make a move and continued with songs like “Who’s gonna save us”, “Follow Through”, “We Belong Together”, “I Don’t Want to Be”, “Everything Will Change” with many others.

Make a move

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Soldier

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Leading Man

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Follow Through

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I don’t wanna be

Best I ever had

THis was such a great concert. Everyone were dancing, singing and my friend commented that it seemed more like a choir practice than a concert :D

At the end of the concert Gavin takes a selfie with us (the crowd) in the background and lets hope he will be back soon!

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Gavin Degraw on Twitter

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Game of Thrones exhibition to come to Norway !!!

I just found out today that The official Game of Thrones exhibition is to come to Norway end of April !! Venue is still to be announced, but I seriously cannot wait for this one !!!

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Best thing yet… It’s supposed to be free entrance for everyone…

Game of Thrones

In Europe the exhibition will only visit Oslo and Belfast and in total it will only visit 8 cities worldwide!!!

New York City (1/27 – 2/1)
Mexico City (2/15 – 2/19)
Austin at SXSW® (3/7 – 3/11)
Rio De Janeiro (4/5 – 4/9)
Oslo (4/26 – 4/30)
Toronto (5/14 – 5/18)
Belfast (Dates to be announced)
Vancouver (8/16 – 9/1)

I think Ill aim for a selfie on the Iron Throne…

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La Tamalera

La Tamalera means the woman that makes Tamales. You may wonder what a Tamal is, but no reason to get impatient. I’ll get to that all throughout this post.

Tamales are one of the most time-honored Christmas traditions in Costa Rica. Like the rest of Latin America, tamales are a principal part of Christmas dinner. In Costa Rica, tamales are made from corn flour and are filled with many different ingredients, such as potato puree, rice, vegetables, garlic and onions, and shredded pork or chicken or beef, all wrapped in banana leaves and tied with string into squares, and boiled.

Christmas traditions in Costa Rica

After last nights party I slept in. Something that resulted in it being very warm already (26C) when I woke up. So… I decided to sleep some more.

When I woke up again it was already 1pm and Roshy y Mami had started making Tamales.

Roshy and I were put into the time lengthy job of cleaning the banana leaves so they were all clean of dust and other stuff, preparing them for using.

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Roxana washing Banana leaves

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Me washing Banana leaves

mami started cookinge the meat and the vegetables for the filling and the broth.

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Meat cooking and preparing for Tamales

Then we prepared the fillings.
We used Carrots, Prunes, Olives, Red bell peppers, Green peas, raisins and potatoes cut in stripes.
Not to forget:  For each tamal a peace of meat.

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Carrots prepared to be used as filling for Tamales

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Mami preparing La masa (the dough)

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How to fill a Tamal

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Mami filling tamales

Once the Tamales are filled, bundle them up two and two and put in a huge casserole for cooking. They now need 1-2 hours of cooking.

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Finished Tamales – Wrapped and ready for cooking

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Tamales cooking over open fire outside in the yard

Of course, this was a lot of work and a lot of effort inside today, however it was an excellent way to spend the day with my family and learn one of the most popular traditions for christmas.

And.. For dinner. Tamales.. Yummy :D

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Our Christmas Portal

For the full recipe to make Tamales go to my Recipe blog

2o year reunion party wih my high school

I showered, had breakfast and then went out for a walk. At first I stopped by Ana’s place to measure up some of my bikinis that she is making for me. She had a birthday surprise for me. A beautiful blouse she had made for me for christmas.

After that I went to El Sitio for Lunch and some hours working on my tan before I stopped at Jumbo for some nice shopping.

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Piscina El Sitio

When I got back I got the sad news that the dogs adopted dove hadn’t made it. She died while I was outside.

Then I helped Mami wrap christmas gifts for the gifts for the old folks christmas party and once all the gifts were wrapped and Mami and Papi were ready to go I started preparing for my High School 20 year reunion party.

Eddie Alvarez had set up the party at his house and lots of my old school friends were there to celebrate.

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Zoraida

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Cynthia

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Liseth

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Group Pictures

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Group Pictures

We danced and ate and enjoyed lots of delicious food and great conversations. It was real cool to meet everyone again.

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Paola, Marcela and Bryan Bailando Macarena

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Dancing and eating and nice conversations

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Eddie and

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Bryan, Cynthia and Zoraida

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Mauricio, Karol and Paola

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Marcela and Eylin Liliana

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Karol, Mauricio, Paola, Eddie and

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?, Marcela and Mauricio

It was a great party and a great time!

Canas Dulces with Angelica, hanging out with friends and watching the Hobbit at the cinema

This morning when I woke up Mami was already awake and she told me that one of our puppies had just died.  We went outside to check on it. There was no sign as to what might have happened to it, but a fair guess would be either a scorpion or a spider had bitten it. Poor thing. It was just lying there – stiff already. It’s mommy was visibly upset, checking on it constantly, trying to lick it back to life. It was sad.

Mami made us breakfast a bit later we had a very nice conversation. After that I had my shower and I prepared to go meet my friend Angelica and her daughter Mariangel. Angelica is a school teacher in Cañas Dulces  and she had an appointment with one of the parents today to hand over the school pictures and grades to one of the students and they had invited me to come along with them.

Cañas Dulces, In English: sweet canes, is known for its sugar production. Huge fields of sugar canes surround the city.

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Cañas Dulces

As we drove through the tiny city we saw these two horses parked outside the local pulperia. Horses are a common means of transportation in the Guanacaste region. Guanacaste is known as the agricultural region of Costa Rica.

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Horses parked outside a pulperia

We drove past the village and the school and we turned left and onto a small unpaved road which led to a beautiful old house and a gorgeous garden.

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Beautiful Bougainvillas in the garden

Back home in Norway each year for christmas we decorate with small Christmas Stars (Poinsettias) indoors to light up an otherwise dark season. In Costa Rica they grow in bushes that can become as tall as 5 meters. This one is only 3 meters tall :D

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Me

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Angelica y Mariangel

The owners of the house wanted to show us around on the farm and they took us for a walk. They have cattle. I always loved this species of cattle. They have huge rabbit like ears. I am also fascinated by the loose skin hanging down from its neck.

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Cows

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A beautiful calf. It looks like its skin is several sizes too big still.

Once we had crossed the fields where the cows were grassing, we came to the banana plant area and then we walked through the bean and rice fields. It was a gorgeous day and a beautifu walk.

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Banana Palms

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Angelica showing off the beans

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Angelica and the kids with the Espantapajaros

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Caterpillar

We returned back to the house after enjoying the view over the nearby valley and then we bought each our 5 kg farmbred chickens. They were frozen and plucked already, but at very good prices.

After our visit at the fam we went up to the Mirador restaurant to get a view over the Cañas Dulces area, before we got home.

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Panoramic view over Cañas Dulces

Around 3pm we were home and I had not had enough adventures for one day so I took off again in search of my friend Bryan to take him out for a walk. We walked around in the barrio where I used to live, we walked past my old house and into Barrio San Roque where we found a Musmanni bakery where we got some pastry. From there we went back to barrio Moracia and followed the streets behind the Hospital (Enrique Baltodano) and we went to visit our old school friend Marlen.

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Marlen and Bryan

When I finally was done roaming around my sister Roshy, her husband and the kids were on their way to go to the movies and they invited me to join them. Even if I had already seen the film I joined in. Going to the movies is never a bad thing and one can never watch The Hobbit too many times :D

Our new pet the dove, picking grapefruits in the garden and other adventures

This morning I found a baby dove hiding in between one of our dog’s legs.

It was so small that it’s feathers were not yet fully grown yet. It had probably fallen out of the nest in the Grapefruit tree in our garden and our dog, Laika, had decided to take care of it. She was so up for her task that she was growling at the white dog, Gemela. when se tried getting close to look at the bird. She also got angry with her puppies when they wanted her milk (probably cause they sat down on the bird) and that was my call to rescue the bird.

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The dove hiding between the dog’s tits

We put her in a cage and gave her a tiny blanket and Luis asked his mom if he could keep the dove as a pet. When she said yes, I went out to search for a veterinary to figure out what to feed her. I got 250 grams of chicken food for 25cents and instructions on how to feed her. When I got home we mixed the food with water and gave it to her and to our luck she ate. She is big enough to eat by herself, which will mean she has a chance at survival. We served her food in a tiny lid and made sure she was good in her cage.

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The dove in its box

While I was out walking and searching for the veterinary I passed by one of my best friend’s house and dropped by for a surprise visit. We haven’t seen each other since 2006/2007 when I was here for 3 months. Last time I came to visit Liberia, he was in out travelling and we didn’t get to meet however we have kept in touch through skype and email. It was really nice to meet up again we spent hours catching up and when I went home he gave me a huge bag of carambolas (star fruits) to bring home to Mami y Papi to make juice from them.

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Starfruit – Carambolas

Mami was happy to get the Carambolas and I had bought a Papaya, so when I got home it was my job to peel and cut the Papaya and a Pineapple to keep in the fridge, wash the Carambolas and then I helped Mami to pick Grapefruit from the tree in the garden.

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Mami and Luis catching Grapefruit

We picked a whole basket full,  but in the end we were both covered by ants that fell down during fruit picking. Thankfully we found most of them before they started biting…

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A basket full of Grapefruit

About 7:pm I headed downtown again to meet my friend Ana. We had scheduled a dinner date so I met her at her work so that we could leave together. We brought with us a cute 10 year old friend of hers, Eidi Luisa, and headed for a seafood place called Marisqueria Tierra Mar where we ordered lovely pasta with seafood and Ceviche. Great food and a great place.

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Ana’s husband, Jim, joined us later on and I told them about my adventures earlier in the day picking grapefruits. Both their mouths were watering as I told them about how juicy and sweet the grapefruits were and when they offered to drop me off at home I was happy to share from the bunch and give them a few. It was a lovely day and a lovely night. At home everyone were sound asleep and I went to sleep as well.

Puppy love, Swimming pool and the Beach

I woke up at 6:30 and had a lovely Tico breakfast with Mami. Papi was already working in the garden and when breakfast was over and I had had my shower I joined him out there to play with the puppies. We have 3 adorable puppies (what was left of both the litters). They are so cute!

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Deeply focused in what his sisters are playing with…

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And these tow are trying to bite each others ears off.

The one to the left Papi named her Kaiman and Mami named her Dulcita. Seems like there is no hope of them agreeing to the name either. Papi is set on the name Kaiman. They laugh and joke around with it though.

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Roxanas kid Luis’ joined me in the garden to play with the dogs.

At 10:30 I was ready to rumble and packed my bag for a day in the sun and headed out. I walked around enjoying the lovey weather for a while and then headed to the Best Western Hotel El Sitio. They have a lovely swimming pool that they let locals use for a small fee.

I changed and enjoyed the sun utterly. The sun kissing my body and the warmth radiating from it. I ordered a Papaya in Milk smoothie which tasted like from heaven. It was just wonderful.

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At 1:30 I ordered Chicken  Rice and Chips and just a few minutes after my lunch arrived Federico called and asked if I wanted to join them for the beach. Federico had a meeting to attend to with his work so instead of going alone, he brought the family with him so they could enjoy the beach.  Of course I wanted to join them so I ate as fast as I could and just a few minutes after they called again to ask me if I was ready. They were outside the hotel already. I changed and packed in 5 minutes and finished eating and ran outside. In the car I realized I had already gotten a sunburn. Dammit.

Anyways, we were soon on the road and the whole gang was rather cheerful. We stopped to get some water for the trip and then we continued on to Tamarindo. It takes about an hour and 20 minutes to drive to Tamarindo from Liberia. The kids were fed up by then, but when they finally got their way out of the car they were superhappy. Tamarindo is a beautiful beach, but it also has a beach village famous for tourist parties and not only that, it is also a small part of the National park Marino Las Baulas.

We enjoyed the village of Tamarindo and we walked around shopping. We found a store called Papaya con leche where they make custom made bikinis. I ordered one that they will make for me. It wasn’t cheap, but… its gonna be awesome :D

We continued shopping for a while before we went down to the beach where the kids played in the sand and went for a swim.

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Anita playing in the sand

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Isabella

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Noylin and Rebeka walking the beach

We watched the sun set over the Pacific ocean while listening to the waves hit the beach and the mild wind sweep through the palms … A dream come through.

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Sunset at the beach

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On our way back to meet Federico we walked past a few nice restaurants that were decorated for Christmas. I guess Santa will visit at the beach too

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Christmas at the beach.

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Federico was done in his meeting and soon we were on our way home. Not long before we arrived to Liberia

On our way back home we stopped to buy chicken and we had dinner back home at Federico’s place. I spent about an hour there before I went back home to Mami and Papi to spend the rest of the evening with them.