Bay Area Visit
28 September 2011 | Papagayo Peninsula, Costa Rica
Where are we?
September 28, 2011
The Haves and the Have Nots
It’s hard being us. And part of the reason why is because we have so much. I feel ashamed of this often because I wonder…why us? We stop in countries, and we can’t help but become close with people we meet. But on a daily basis, we are reminded of how much we have, and how so many people will never be able to have what we have. And I guess what’s weird about it is that the people that we meet, most of the time, are people that see the way we live. We talk with them daily, or they come on our boat for a cold drink. They are our peers…and they become our friends. We develop deep bonds, and they will always remain in our hearts.
Let’s take music for example…who doesn’t like music? But, I know it might be hard for some of you to believe, but there are people in this world that will never have an ipod. Or a nice little plug-in Bose system to play their ipod on. If they’re lucky, they might have one or two songs of their favorite musician to listen to on their phone. And the only reason they have a cell phone is because that is their only form of communication, since most don’t have a computer, and certainly not a house phone. We are frequently asked, “How much did you pay for that?” It floors us and depresses us that electronics, once you leave the United States, cost double. That is if they’re even available. A car? (Insert sarcastic laugh here) You can pretty much forget it for the average person. It just gets to me sometimes.
After two months visiting family and friends in the San Francisco Bay Area, we came back to the Lisa Kay feeling exhausted and somewhat overwhelmed. Our visit was fantastic, don’t get me wrong! But, it also was an affirmation to us that we are exactly where we want to be and doing exactly what we want to with our lives. I know that is hard for our families to accept sometimes, but just because we’re doing life differently doesn’t make it wrong. Our good Aussie friends, Cheryl and Peter on S/V Stolen Kiss, have the perfect saying, “Those that wander are not necessarily lost.” We love that, and it certainly sums it up.
What a whirlwind our visit was back at our old home. We were blessed with homes to stay in, cars to drive, and love and friendship by all! Thank you everyone! We cherished every moment. It warmed my heart to see Ben, just pick up exactly where he left off with his friends two years earlier. He absolutely had the BEST summer ever!
We literally ate our way through the bay area, knowing we wouldn’t be able to have this or that for at least another year, so we went for it! We sort of had to learn to drive again. I mean, I simply could not go over 50 MPH on the freeway! My foot just wouldn’t press the gas pedal any harder! I really had to concentrate to try and keep up with the flow of traffic, but everything was just whizzing past so fast! Noise pollution, now I get it. Cars, planes, sirens, and the shear noise of people everywhere. I couldn’t stand on a sidewalk and not reach out and grab at Ben as if he were a young toddler. I was not used to the sound of cars flying by. At first we were in sensory overload. But after a few weeks, we weirdly adapted back. Grocery shopping you ask? Can I just say, American grocery stores are obscene. The look, the lighting, the selection, the ready made food, the PERFECT fruit and veggies, the 18 different choices of the same item…I almost cried the first time we shopped. And, California wines…there is nothing like ‘em!
Well, we returned with 10 suitcases weighing EXACTLY 50 lbs each, and $390 dollars poorer in excess baggage fees. Totally worth it though because we know if we tried to ship this stuff in it would have been well over a grand. Thankfully, customs hardly gave us a second glance and we waltzed right back in to Costa Rica! And ahhhh…the quiet, the peace, the beauty of this country. We totally felt like we had returned home.
Our agenda now, as we wait out the wet season, is to stop the leaks we have in our decks. This means painstakingly removing the caulk between the teak planks, sanding, cleaning with acetone, taping off, and re-caulking. Section by section…slowly…back breaking…sweating profusely…day after day. After that we’ll need to replace every (almost) screw in the deck, then we’ll be good to go! (As of this writing we’re over half way done!) But we do have a lot of fun too including meals with friends, surfing with Ben, snorkeling, and paddle boarding with whales???!!! YES WE DID!!! I am still pinching myself, because I never would have believed I would spontaneously be on the water, close with a mother and baby humpback whale for like thirty minutes, even getting in the water to put my head under to hear them communicating! It was unbelievable…and then it was over in a flash when dolphins came by…and that’s when you sort of look back at land and see how far out you are…and blink and say, “Did that really just happen?”
I immediately was taken back to when I was a sixteen year old girl, working at Marine World, and buying a record (yes I’m THAT old!) called Songs of the Humpback Whale. (I also vaguely remember my old ice skating buddies making fun of me, imitating the noise…yes you did Brian!) And guess what? They sound exactly like I thought they would! Once again, here was a moment when I wished all of you could have been with me, and once again here was an experience that reminded me of why we are doing what we are doing!
When someone asks you how are you doing in Costa Rica you are supposed to answer, “Pura vida.” As we reflect back on the 9/11 anniversary, remembering all those people that lost their lives that day, I am pretty confident that each and every one of them would tell you if they could, to follow your dreams. As we enter in to our third season of living on the Lisa Kay, I can honestly tell you that we are living a dream…and are definitely pura vida!