not all who wander are lost.

Monday, March 30, 2009

...because it tastes better out of Liz Kinder mug.

Liz Kinder is a good friend of Shawn, and therefore has become a friend of mine. She's pretty phenomenal, and hey...she's a damn fine potter too. For the past year I have been drinking my coffee every morning, and my tea every afternoon, out of a Liz Kinder mug - and I would have it no other way. The beverages just TASTE better when they greet my mouth from one of liz's mugs. I definitely have a specially made for Shawn. With orange and purple glaze: tall, but still has a rich diameter, and just right. Liz makes it all: sinks, plates, dishes, bowls, pitchers, lamps (b.e.a.utiful lamps), and so on. I have the privilege of dining with these rather frequently because Shawn has them at his house. But I have to say, one the things that I missed most during my 3 months in Costa Rica wasn't the coffee that I put into my cup each morning, it was my Liz Kinder mug. So here's a bit about the lady in spotlight that I stole off of her website (she's also a very clever writer...)

1969 Born December 17.

1977 Jealous of 2nd grade classmate's pencil drawing of a deer; give up hope for artistic career.

1984 Go to Phillips Academy as a boarder; start making pottery with Mrs. Bensley to avoid alternative pastimes that may result in expulsion.

1987 Go to Amherst College, no ceramics, get a Fine Arts BA in painting, take a ceramics class at UMass my senior year, am reminded of my calling.

1991 Move to San Francisco and do anything to avoid getting a “real job”.

1992 Get studio space at Ruby’s Clay Studio.

1994 Go on one of those ridiculous trips: cycling for 5 months with Irish boyfriend from Guadalajara, Mexico to San Jose, Costa Rica; have cliché travelling epiphany about making ceramics my life.

1995 Sell bike to chef, Joseph Manzare; during transaction in seeing my fabulous apartment, he orders bowls, platters and a massive vase for his new restaurant in San Francisco, Globe.

1996-1998 Get so many orders from the exposure I have at Globe. Business is booming.

1997 Apply to graduate school and am accepted, have a huge going away party during which I break my arm falling off the bar dancing to Gary Glitter.

1998 Arrive in London at the Royal College of Art in a sling and start my Masters Course.

1998-2001 Live in poverty in London eating ramen (pot noodles as they say) again.

2000 Trumpets and fanfare (literally) at The Royal Albert Hall, I get my masters degree from the Ceramics and Glass department.

2001 Bunny, my Volvo, martyrs herself to the cause of my ceramics business and gets totaled by a drunk dot-comer in a rented Jaguar. Insurance money goes to buy 2 kilns to set up a summer studio at my mom's in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. I now pot in my bikini for two months a year knowing that both San Francisco and London are foggy and wretched.

2002 Win Merit Award to do Rosen show in Philadelphia and start my wholesale career.

2003 Made pots and tried not to drop friends' new babies

2004 Piled clay, glazes, furniture and loud Siamese cat into my brother's truck and moved to Philadelphia. Had a 5000 lb. kiln installed THROUGH A WINDOW into a
ridiculously massive building that I can't really afford. I am planning to buy it in 2005 anyway...

2005 Becoming one of those boring people who talks about IKEA kitchen options, drywall, plumbing, utilities, mortgages, and the benefits of radiant heat. Despite the cold, I am not missing San Francisco—just my hairdresser, my dentist, my friends
and the scintillating person I was before the above-mentioned topics consumed me...

2006 Gave birth to Jack Peter McDonald on Mother’s Day. (May 14) I married Tim McDonald, his dad, and the love of my life, on October 28 (Jack Peter was the best man). The more you gush about how stunning my son is, the better and more timely your order will be. Don’t hesitate to tell me that I haven’t changed a bit since those pre-pregnancy pictures of me either.

2007 Halloween! Had baby girl, Elizabeth Steel McDonald (Steel)

2008 Trying to keep it all together. Trying to have another baby. Trying not to let my clay/diaper changing induced excema get out of hand. Trying to embrace the fact that my son says the word “backhoe” at least 98 times a day. At least he still will do dress-up too. I think his leotard look is very Bowie...

Vietnamese, Sunshine, Yelling Children and Hail.

What a day, what a day.

We arrived in Philly and ate some Vietnamese...I had an iced coffee {sweetened condensed milk with fresh vietnamese coffee over ice}, hot tea, Pho {vietnamese soup: its broth, usually some kind of meat, and noodles served with sprouts, lime slices, jalapenos and basil on the side. mmm good}, and a Green Papaya salad with Beef Jerky. Afterwards stopped by DiBruno's for some of their fabulous goat cheese encrusted with whole peppercorns, a good parmesean reggiano block, and some rosemary crustini's. Shawn had some stuff to do for work, so I bopped around the city to shop. Well, I bopped, but I didn't shop. Everything in the stores right now is crap. Crap, EXPENSIVE crap. I went to my favorite stores Anthropologie and H&M, and out of desperation went into Urban Outfitter's and Gap. Everything was poorly made, overly priced, and ugly. Resurgance of the 80's? Um, no thank you. After my failed shopping attempts, I met back up with Shawn and his friend Tim's house. Tim and his wife Liz are badass. Liz is a potter (see the blog that I will post in the next five minutes) and Tim is a professor, architect, builder, intelligent extrodinaire! They have two beautiful, talented, fabulous, funny kids (and that's saying something, because I don't really like kids) Jack Peter and Steele. They live in an eco-friendly building that Tim designed and constructed, and they eat good food and drink good wine. We snacked for a bit, sipped some wine, and Shawn chef'ed it up and made some Red Curry for dinner. At 5pm I walked Maude around the town. We soaked up sunshine, enjoyed the 70 degree weather, and Maude sniffed...not finding any place suitable to relieve herself. By 6pm it got crazy windy, and at 615pm it was hailing. Serious hail. Big hail - turning into a sideways, gusting rain mixed with hail. Interesting..... After all the screaming kids left (some neighborhood children were over...all under 4 years old), we relaxed in their cozy living room and played some music. I didn't know until last night, but Tim is also a kick-ass guitar player. We talked about life and travels and food and music.

Woke up this morning, had coffee with Shawnie, and then he headed to school to teach to youth and I headed home for a doctor's appointment. Yoga'ed it up, ate some mango and drank some tea when I got home, and now I'm about to pack up and head to my parent's house. Pheasant for dinner! MmMm!

I'm going to end on this note...though children and cute, and cuddly...they also come with snot and tears. Though children are clever, they are also coniving. Though it's my dream to have a small army of children one day, that day will not be ANY day soon. So in the meantime, I will just visit Jack Peter and Steele at Liz and Tim's, and Fiona at Jill's. I will hug them, love them, and play with them - and then hand them back.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Today is Sunday.

Today is Sunday. I know this because Shawn has to work tomorrow, and I have no gym classes today. So today MUST be Sunday. I'm pretty sure. My {inferior} Moleskin 2009 Daily Planner should be arriving within the week, and until then I will just have to guess as to which day of the week it is (I won't even try for the date...).

Friday evening I had a lovely dinner party! It was a beautiful beautiful SPRING day, spent outside with jeans and a tshirt on, bare feet, throwing the ball for the dogs. Jeff Pace came over in the afternoon and drank some beers and we talked about surfing. Surprise surprise. Later, Catching-up with old friends was long overdue, so Emily Rosenberg & Alex, Jeff & Sharon, Dawn, Paul, Jill, Rochelle, Shawn and I hung out at my parents house (I was house sitting) and drank, ate, laughed, and told {some inappropriate} stories. It was a great time, my only regret was that we all got too drunk, too full and too sleepy...and the night had to end.

Saturday was a lounge-filled day. Shawn and I watched movies, laid on the couch, and ate chili...perfect for the crappy-ass , rainy, cold day. Turns out that Friday was NOT the coming of Spring, it was just some kind of sick joke that Mother Nature played on me. I lay bundled up all day until Shawn and I ventured out to make an appearance at my friend Maryanne's Birthday Bowling Party. Maryanne is hysterical. Truly an oddball, off in almost every sort of way, but the most fantastic, fascinating person you'll meet...especially around these parts. So it was not surprising that when we got to Mar's birthday, we were greet with "Gift Bags" (ya know, the kind that you get at birthday parties in 1st and 2nd grade).
Shawn's bag had: wooden cooking spoon, 2PAC Joint Roller, 2 bags of oatmeal, a party hat with 3 goldfish (the crackers) inside, Fantastic 4 sticker pack, among other things.
My bag had: ovulation testing kit, a miniature pecan pie, little debbie oatmeal cream pie, a party hat with 3 goldfish inside, Fantastic 4 sticker pack, decorative candy cane christmas ornament, glow-in-the-dark earrings and hair pins (perfect for the black-light-bowling-alley), and a few other odds and ends.

Shawn and I didn't bowl...I was feeling under the weather, but we enjoyed our goodies and had a few laughs. It was great to see some friendly faces that I've missed during my winter away.

Maryanne and I, Christmas 2008 Party @ Surfer Supplies, OCNJ

Today is Sunday. Yes, Sunday. I'm 100% sure now because I checked on my 'computer calendar'. Shawn and I are sitting next to eachother on our respective laptops, Shawn looking for blogging away. We are sipping local AVALON COFFEE 'Sumataran Blend' (our latest addiction!!) and preparing for a day in PHILADELPHIA. We are going to eat some VIETNAMESE FOOOOOD (woohoo for 'Valentinos', Green Papaya Salad, and Vermacelli). Also going to stop at DiBruno's for some gourmet cheese and olives and bread...maybe some good salt, and then the fabulous spice shop two doors down for some essentials. MmMmM. Gotta love it.

Coming up, on FRIDAY APRIL 3rd, I have a show at COFFEE COMEDY in Sea Isle City. The show starts at 730pm, music starts at exactly 8pm. If everyone gets there a half hour early we can chat it up, catch up, and drink some cocktails. It's $5 at the door, and it's BYOB. Woohooo for that!! Coffee Comedy also serves up some kickass caffeinated beveragios and sweet sweets. I'm (supposed to be) playing this show with my right hand man, Christian Mahr. He has yet to return any of my 50 phone calls, or 25 texts, but that's usually the way it goes. I'm pretty confident that he will show up the night of the show. I hope. Cross my fingers.

Christian and I, December 2008, Trinity Pub, Atlantic City

Friday, March 27, 2009

tico time

This is my other problem aside from reaching for sunscreen in the morning and throwing my toilet paper in the trash....I'm STILL ON TICO TIME. Ha. I thought that today was Saturday, but my lovely, super-talented, musical friend Charlotte Littlehales (check her out on myspace) pointed out that today is in fact, Friday. Hopefully I work out the whole days-of-the-week-thing by the time I actually have stuff that needs to get done. In the mean time, I'm still killing time on the in-ter-net, surfing, yogaing and gymin' it. Boom. Pura Vida...for every day of your week.

Saturday Semi-Sunny Surf Sess

Today is Saturday. The sun FINALLY decide to shine on down, and the surf's not too bad either. In Costa Rica I highly doubt that I'd set an alarm, pound some coffee and rush to paddle out for chest high surf...but I'm back in Jersey, and now I am happily doing it while putting on a 5'4', 7mil booties and gloves, oh, and a hood. Bah. It's weird, there is certainly something about Jersey surf. It's a magical place for sure.

Well, heading out now, so gotta make it short. But I'll end with something to make you laugh:

Since I've arrived back home from Costa, I wake every morning and my first thought is that I need to put sunscreen on my face. When I go to the bathroom, I look around for a trash can to throw my toilet paper in...until I realize that I'm allowed to flush the tp here. Every time that I walk outside I am STILL taken back by the icy cold air, and I still have not gotten back into the routine of driving a car (3 months without wheels...I feel like I have my learner's permit again). Maybe I'll get down to the beach, see the surf, and think "Damn, it's too cold to surf these small waves" and then come home to buy a return ticket to Costa...but I doubt that will happen.

Pura Vida Everybody. Wherever you are, in the ice-cold northeast or tropical paradise, I hope that you are catching some peelers.

Fall Surf in Jersey, 3'2 + Booties
Photo by the oh-so-talented-and-amazing Rob Kulisek

Dominical, Costa Rica.
Water 83 degrees, Air 95 degrees

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

List Lady

I am a list making fool! It's the only way that I get anything done. Shawn calls my mind the "carnival"'s just pure mayhem, and the only way to set things straight and bring some clarity to it all is by writing lists, and by writing EVERYTHING in my daily planner. Unfortunately my beautiful, purple daily planner (a gift from miss sharonie) was STOLEN on my last day in Dominical. To some, this is no big deal, but for me - it has turned my world upside down. There is no way to organize that madness in my head! I am very specific about the planner that I like. You need to see the whole week when you open a page, but there needs to be enough room for you to write what you need to. Also, I don't want to see the whole month...that's just too much. One week at a time. It needs to be the size of a novel, not so small that it fits in your pocket, and not so big that it's the size of a magazine. Another misfortune I have faced is replacing my coveted planner. Because it is now the end of March, there aren't ANY 2009 planner's left for sale. Why would there be? Who the hell buys a planner for 2009 3 months into it? SO, I have been forced to buy an inferior moleskin planner, with each page being that individual date, and it's so small that it fits into my pocket. BAH.

My mind is a complete clusterfuck.

5:30am, Costa Rica, 2 days before I come back to the States
Me, frantically making a list of things I need to do when I get home.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mis Perros del Favorito

I love dogs. Love em, Love em, Love em.
In Costa Rica, I always find myself having a love affair with atleast one of them.
This time there were several, from all over.
Some had owners, some didn't.
Regardless, these are some of my favorite dogs:

Rambo lived at Callen's house in Dominical. He just showed up one day and wouldn't leave. He is a tick-infested dirtbag, but the super sweet and just wants to be loved. This is him showing up to give me some birthday love at my bday dinner.

Quad Dog
This dude has the ultimate setup...a quad (with bald tires), a guitar, a beach chair, a cooler, and a cool-ass dog. We passed him a few times riding around in Dominical, and this time snapped his photo. The dog just sits on his lap and smiles.

Paloma is Legend Mike's dog. She was put in a burlap bag and then thrown into the river when she was just a baby. She was found by our friend Ben whom later gave her to Mike. She's not the brightest dog, but what she's lacking in brains she makes up for in love. She doesn't listen to any commands, but she knows who loves her and feeds her, and she will cuddle with anyone.

Newman is Adam's dog. Part golden, part chesapeake. He is smart as hell, I swear to god that he speaks english...because anything you say to him he listens and reacts to. He is only 4 but the most well-behaved dog that I have yet to encounter...and he does this funny ass jumping thing whenever Adam says "unicorn". There's also a story about peanut butter, but maybe that is best left untold....

This is lovely Lika. If you stay at Eleanor's Cabinas on Canada Hill in Esterillos (or if you're pat and live next door) then you get the joy of meeting Lika. Lika is Eleanors' Gardners' dog. The gardener isnt much of a social person, you can barely get him to say hello, but his dog is a bundle of love and energy...and she would come over to visit Shawn and I every day, knowing that she was going to get her belly rubbed.

Kissey is one of Ozzie's dogs. She is an old German Shepard, who is as mellow as Oz. She spends her days resting on the hillside, overlooking the mountains...and occasionally playing with the cat, TroubleMaker. Sweet, sweet, sweet.

Jake is Brian's dog. Brian is the manager at Low-Tide-Lounge, and he is the King of Jake's world. Bri will tell Jake to stay...and if he left for a week, the dog would still be sitting in the same spot. He is super mellow, well-behaved, and smart. And he even lets you put ridiculous helmet's on his head when you're drunk. Good boy Jake!

Norma and Henry's Golden
I've known Henry and Norma for two years now, and I still don't know the name of their golden retriever. It's definitely something in spanish, but they always say it so damn fast that I miss it. But, their dog is funny - because it is the ONLY dog in Costa Rica that MUST be on a leash. Ha. She is a stubborn stubborn girl, and she loves to eat coconut husks. She believes that she is the Queen of the Castle. Ha.

Hank is Les's Doberman. Don't let this photo fool you - in the past month he has tripled in size. He is pretty damn cute, and rather well-behaved for a puppy...perhaps a big thanks to that for his 'dog daddy' Newman. Newman has been showin him the ropes around town, and Hank repays him by chewing on his ears.

I know this is about dog's, and I really don't like cats, but Ozzie's cat Trouble Maker is pretty badass, and I don't think that he knows that he is a cat. I believe that Trouble Maker thinks that he is just like his family members (Kissey and Capitan)...a big, hairy shepard. Someone get this cat a mirror.

White Dog
This dog was really scared of people, so it took him until the end of the week to finally let me pet him. That's not's really common for people to be unfriendly to dogs in Costa, throwing rocks at them and such. But once 'white dog' warmed up to me, I almost packed him up and brought him home with me. If I HAD a home I may have, but considering I split my time between Shawn's, my parents, and random couches -- I figured that maybe it would be better for him to stay on the Caribbean.


This little Caribbean lovebug was the highlight of my trip to the caribbean. She had some bad cuts around her neck, and she was always hungry, but he was happy all the time -- always bouncing through town. Our love affair began the day that I arrived in Cahuita, and lasted until the second I left. We would share corn-flakes in the morning, and she would have some of whatever I had for lunch and dinner. She would lay on the ground and watch me as I did yoga, and would follow me out when I went surfing (well, up until her chest, then she'd cry and turn back to the shore). I begged Shawn to let me take her home, and he agreed, but again -- living out of your car isn't conducive to being a dogowner.

Capitan is Ozzie's 9 year old huskie-shepard mix. He has a ton of energy, is uberplayful, and has the most frightening bark you'll ever hear. He wants all of your love and attention, and he also enjoys to drink out of the birdbath. King of the Mountain.

Nomadic Gypsy back in the NorthEast

Me and Margarita

So, I'm home. I think I'm sad about it, but I'm not quite sure. I had the most EPIC trip thus far in my life, so I'd feel bad if I complained about being home...because during my time in Costa Rica, there was not ONE day that wasn't phenomenal (even when I was dying of the plague). Epic. I don't really know how else to explain the trip. And to top it off, my last night in Costa Rica goes into the record books as one of the TOP FIVE nights of my life. Everything about my last evening was magical. After a big final breakfast at Margarita's Pat, Shawn and I packed up the car and headed an hour north to Atena's, where Ozzie's mother (and Oz) live. Atena's is amazing. Breathtaking. Views like nothing I've ever seen before. It is surrounded by mountains and coffee plantations, and the air is so crisp and clean you can taste it. Making it even more amazing is the house where Mama Lee lives. Just amazing...with an arboretum which is attached to the kitchen. Bah. Only an hour South of San Jose, and an hour North of Esterillos...the climate is vastly different. Cool, refreshing.

The Whole Crew: Pat, Brett, Erin, Chad, Adam, Maria, Shawn, Me, Ozzie, Mama Lee, Mama's boyfriend, and legend Mike

Anyways, Oz showed us around Atena's for the afternoon and then by the time we got back the WHOLE esterillos crew started to arrive!! Mama made up some Arroz con Pollo, steamed veggies, a big salad, empanadas, pasta and sliced mangoes (mango season is kicking there...the most delicious mangoes you have ever tasted!!). I drank a ton of wine, and the boys were putting a hurtin on the beer. We ate, and danced, and talked, and cried, and hugged and laughed. UH - I'm so blessed. After Esterillos left: Oz, Me, Shawnie, Pablo and Todd headed out for a night on the town in Atenas. We ended up at a Rodeo..well, a huge arena of people sitting around riding a mechanical bull. I had much too much to drink to even CONSIDER walking down to ride the bull, but Oz and Shawn felt up to the challenge. Shawn's gringo ass was thrown to the mat within SECONDS. Ozzie I believe lasted about 15 or so seconds before biting the dust. Tall men just aren't meant for bullriding I guess. After that we packed up and took and taxi home. The last 24 hours of my 3 month stay in Costa Rica was epic, spent with people whom I love dearly, and am glad to consider family. I know that they will certainly be in my life for years to come.

Ozzie riding the bull.

Silly drunk, post-mountainside-dinner, post-impromptu-williamsburg yuppie-dance-party, post-bull-riding waiting for a cab. Ozwald and Me.

SO, I'm back home now. After a long flight and an even longer time navigating my 10 foot boardbag through the airport and the air-tran, I'm back in Jers. It's too cold for my liking, but atleast the sun is shining and there is hope for warmer days real soon. Waves in the next two days too which is both exciting and heartbreaking: exciting because they will be good and clean, and heartbreaking because it will be fucking freezing, with water in the 30's and air in the 40's-50's. BAH.

Over the next few days I will be writing some more about my time in Costa, so be sure to be checking in -- and if you havent already, check out my FACEBOOK photos! They are amazing.

Pura Vida, and a ton of love to my family in costa rica!

Ozzie and Pat, two phenomenal, quality people who changed my life.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Surfing in the Sky

Surfing in Bejuco today was like surfing in the sky. You could see the exact reflection of the birds and the clounds and the sunshine. The water was so blue that my board blended right in, and you could see to the bottom...every crab, fish, shark, and jellyfish. Surreal. It was an LB session...even shredder-shredfest Ozzie had a 10'6" out there. The waves were waist high, chest on the sets, and perfect clean peelers. We were switching up longboards the whole time, though I must say that Oz was the only one who benefited from the switch-up....he was loving my 9 footers...I wasn't loving his almost-eleven-freaking-feet-tall beast. Good times.

Came home and I made some green eggs (onions, spinach, broccoli...scrambled with some eggs), and beans and tortillas for breakfast. Took a nap, read, and played some guitar. After the nap Shawn and I headed down to Soda Mary for some social time, and we picked up a pineapple because I had a PINA cravin'!!

I'm feeling kinda bummed knowing that I'm going home, but I guess it's about time to get back to the real world. I'm gonna bring the Pura Vida home with me though, and spread the good word and good vibes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bejuco BeachBreak


It's the day after St. Patty's Day. Last night was uneventful...after a great day of mellow surf out front I had one beer to celebrate the holiday, a fish casado at el vago, and then went home and went to bed. We moved out of Adam's though and up onto Canada Hill into Elenor's cabina. It is pretty phenomenal. A jungle view out the back and an ocean view out the front. Very private with tree's all over, a pool, windchimes, and a beautiful spot for lounging. We lucked out for sure. I'm missing the family, but Shawn and I didn't want to overstay our welcome so we mooooveedd on. I must say though, my morning didn't feel complete with Newman to cuddle with, Adam to bicker with, and Les and Ma to chat with on the front porch. I also felt a sense of loss this morning when I had to do my own dishes...Les, the professional dishwasher who has "washed more dishes than any other goddamn person has in their whole life", was not around.

This morning, fully rested, we woke up and headed to Bejuco. And it was so much fun. Chest high, clean, with some umph to it. It's a beach break and the water was CRYSTAL CLEAR. I'm talking clear clear clear, you could see every fish that was swimming underneath you and around you. After that we headed back to our cabina and napped for two hours, swam in the pool, read, and now down at Soda Mary for come chatting and internet time before Tsunami Sushi. MmMm, pura vida.

xoxoxoxoxo cailin

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Long Walks and Logs

Long Walks and Logs:

Yesterday was Monday March 16th, the day before my best buddy Paulie's birthday, and the wonderful Irish holiday...St. Patrick's Day. I began my day with a Bialetti Americano and mosied on over to Soda Mary to hang with the crew. The waves out front were looking pretty phenomenal, but because I'm still under the weather and only surfing one session a day and we were going to head to Corilio, so I opted out. Corilio is an hour drive, then a 40 minute walk to get to. It's a left point break that breaks The part that sucks is that you have to walk for 39 minutes before you can see whether the waves are epic...or horrible. Well 20 minutes into the car ride there I was over it, and 5 minutes into the walk I was pretty miserable. What can I say, the only thing that I hate more than walking is running. And it was HOT out. Hot. And my log weighs a zillion pounds. I definitely lost a few inches over the walk with my longboard sitting on my head. After a half hour the wind turned a bit, the tide filled in, and we all managed to get some fun waist to chest high waves that just broke and broke for quite a distance. Then we started the long trek back...but the wind was howling and holding my board was near impossible. Lucky me my man loves me, so he carried BOTH longboards for the 40 minute walk back. I slept the whole way home, thanks again to Shawn for taking care of everything. That evening the waves were perfect, but I was beat. Defeated. Unable to move an inch. So I cooked dinner. Beet, almond, cucumber salad with homemade balsamic citrus vinagrette, linguini with homemade sauce, garlic bread, and then cherry cheese pie for dessert. To top off our fabulous evening, we headed down for my LAST Monday Night Live @ Soda Mary. There were 6 musicians in the house...the most we've ever had. It made for an interesting jam session. We even had a bass player with an amp! Bah! Going to miss this night for sure.

This morning we woke up early, had coffee (well, an americano for me!), and then headed down the beach. The waves were a tad smaller than they've been....chest to head high (on shawn...and he is 6'3") and clean. I had a wonderful session, getting some of the longest rides I've had in Costa Rica...walking all over the board. It was great to surf with the Soda Mary crew, especially Les. He's always good for a laugh. He recently got a new board and he is shredding on it. Wooohoooo. Came home for Breakfast BURRITO'S. Adam made some brownies, and soon we are heading to the waterfall for some fun. Hopefully I will have some strength to get in an evening session before we got for some TSUNAMI SUSHI. MmMmMm.

I only have 5 days left. Sob. Gasp. Sob. Moan. Weep.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


stole this from my buddy rob kuliseks' blog:

For money you can have everything it is said. No, that is not true. You can buy food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; soft beds, but not sleep; knowledge but not intelligence; glitter, but not comfort; fun, but not pleasure; acquaintances, but not friendship; servants, but not faithfulness; grey hair, but not honor; quiet days, but not peace. The shell of all things you can get for money. But not the kernel. That cannot be had for money. -Arne Garborg, writer (1851-1924)

Casa de Adam

Casa de Adam:

Shawn and I are living at Adam's house. He lives less than a mile from the beach, and only a minute from Soda Mary. Also at the house are Adam's parents (Les and Mama)...their house, which is three doors down, won't be ready for another few months. Plus Newman and Hank, the two dogs. The house is wonderful, and as I mentioned before, AIR CONDITIONED!!! Woohooo! We have an entertainment system, surround sound, hammocks out back and cold beers in the fridge. We've been feasting, laughing, talking trash, reminiscing, and eating. Adam's hospitality is above and beyond, and Shawn & I are enjoying every moment.

Yesterday afternoon, after having a morning session at the secret spot and a brief nap, we paddled out front here in Oeste for a phenomenal session. Waves were solid overhead and breaking a mile out. I love this's like a skate park, with peaks all over, so there's enough waves for everyone. Got some waves all the way to the legs hurt from standing for so long!! Getting in at the end of the session was interesting. The sun was setting and the high tide was high high high, causing a 7 foot backwashin' beachbreak. It reminded me of North the sand drops off, so you can't touch, but you can't paddle in because the water is sucking back into a huge closeout which breaks on the sand. I just waited and waited, timing it just right and getting in unscathed. We headed back to Adam's Bed & Breakfast and I cooked up some fish tacos. MmMm were they good. We had some laughs and then passed out.

Had a rough night. I've been a bit ill lately, and it kept me up throughout the night. Waking up at 530am for surf, I was a bit cranky and groggy, but nothing that a Bialetti Americano couldn't fix! Stretched a bit and then we headed down to the beach. Surf was a tad bit smaller then it was yesterday, but it was still overhead and pretty goddamn good! I had some fantastic fun waves and then we all headed back to Adam's for some homemade breakfast burritos and fried plantains!

Resting up now then heading into Jaco to hit up the ATM (I'm moneyless, so Shawn said he'd lend me some moooolah), going to stop at the Pharmacy, have lunch, then head back into town for a surf.

Pura Vida.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Esterillos Oeste is the Place to Be

Esterillos Oeste is the Place to Be:

Ozzie is 27 years old. His father is from Germany, his mother from Colombia. He spent his youth in Northern California. When his parents split his father moved to Austin, Texas and his mother to Atenas, Costa Rica. Over the years he split his time between the two. An amazing person, with an amazing life story and a zillion travel stories. He has the wisdom of an old man, and an articulate, magical way of speaking. Hell of a surfer as well. He has a crazy, curly fro -- almost sideshow Bob-esque. Ozzie lives his life out of 4 bags...simplicity is key. He has a degree in art, loves to paint on old wood in house paint, and utilize lots of pens and sandpaper in the process. He's moving to Australia for school, work and waves in a few weeks...but before he does that he will be headed to New York City for two weeks to check out some art galleries, some shows, and eat some good food.

Pat is in her 50's. She has a pixie haircut, and never, NEVER is without a smile. Every day is the best day of Pat's life. She opted for an early retirement from her job in a court house, but her social schedule in Esterillo's keeps her busy most days. She only started surfing about a year ago, but she has a passion for it that is only surpassed by her excitement and lifelong love of horses. In September of 08 she surfed 23 days in a row. She has a tattoo of a Macaw on her right leg, symbolic of her new life in Costa Rica. (Esterillos has a prominent and growing population of the beautiful birds). I call her Pat the Paparrazi because she ALWAYS has her camera, and she is ALWAYS taking photos.

Pat, Ozzie and I have amazing chemistry. The conversation is constantly flowing. We are an odd combination at first glance, but we are a great group. When Ozzie and Pat arrived in Dominical, it brought a whole new dynamic into the quiet, simple, asleep-at-730pm household of Bill and I. We were having three full meals a day, fantastic dinners -- coffee with conversation in the morning, music music music, vietnamese iced coffees with some conversation in the afternoon, lunch, exploring, talking, music, talking, reading, visiting John and Mary for some conversation, and then dinner...followed by star-gazing, chamomile tea, and conversation in the rocking chairs on Bill's porch. I talked more, thought more, gained more, and discovered more in those 3 days than I have the past 3 months. Wonderful time, wonderful people. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

Friday morning, we go for a surf and then head back to Bill's to pack up. Shawn arrived mid-morning to pick us up, and we decided to stick around Dominical for a bit, hit up a late-afternoon surf at La Punta, and then head back to Esterillos. The boys paddle out and I decide to hang on the beach. I've been feeling FUNKY, funky lately, and figured that with the huge swell we have coming in the next week that I could use a bit of rest. Pat and I sat 5 feet from our fully-packed rental car, and in a span of 2 minutes the car was robbed. They stole Ozzies backpack, Pat's backpack and my bag. Ozzie had a few shirts in his bag, his 2weekold ipod and his camera. He was a tad bummed, but he said - well, it was just some material things. Life goes on. Pat had everything a woman would need for a 4 day trip - a hairdryer, her makeup, a hot mama dress, a few of your favorite outfits and two bathingsuits. Thank GOD she had her bag with her camera and all her money in it tied around her shoulder. My bag had: my $380 ipod, my watch, my debit card, cash, my DAILY PLANNER that has my LIFE in it, my journal, a dress, 5 bars of wax, and some other odds and ends that I care not to think about. I was pissed. For the second year in a row I was robbed on my last day in Dominical...another ipod headed to the pawn shop. LA DRONE, that is "theif" in spanish. A word that I have become accustomed to saying and hearing in Costa Rica. Damnit. I shoulda known better. Given my company though, I was only able to be upset for about an hour. Ozzie shook it off in about 30 seconds, Pat was upset for a few minutes because her favorite dress was in her backpack, and therefore I felt ridiculous crying like a little baby. We went to Soda Nanyoa, loaded up on Batidos (smoothies) for the road, and we were off. An hour later we were pulling into Esterillos and ran into the WHOLE crew at Azul eating dinner. Les, his beautiful wife, Adam, Maria, and Legend Mike. We ate, laughed, told stories, and hugged it out. I felt like I was coming home to my family. It was nice to catch up and trash talk with my good friends, and it was nice to finally meet Les's better half, Adams' mama. Shawn and I are so lucky to have them, especially because Adam is letting us stay at his beautiful, AIR CONDITIONED!!!!! house in Esterillos. He slept on the couch last night and let Shawn and I have his bedroom...his big, comfy bed....a REAL MATTRESS!! BAH!!! And Newman, his dog...the best dog in Costa Rica, man oh man, we lucked out.

Woke up at 5am this morning to have coffee with the family: Mama, Les, and Adam. We loaded the boards up and headed down to the soda mary secret spot. Well, the reef was firing. Breaking CLEAR ACROSS THE CHANNEL. What channel? No channel!! It was pretty goddamn serious, and I was pretty goddamn scared - there was lots of swell out there in that endless ocean. It's the biggest swell that Costa has seen in the past year. To my surprise, I actually had a dozen waves. Nothing fancy, just dropping in and going like hell, but I got some. Got worked on the paddle-out, hard, several times. But all in all, I still have all my limps and not scrapes or bruises. Shawn didn't get out unscathed. His leash hogtied him and he was drug across the bottom on the inside, getting a nice cut on his leg, a bump on his head, and some leash-burn around his ankles. Supposed to stay this big for another day and then start to dwindle a tad as the week goes on. After the session we headed back to Adam's for breakfast where we feasted on Les's French Toast, Adam's bacon and some fresh pineapple. We had an assortment of syrup, my two favorite being VERMONT Maple Syrup with VANILLA (real vanilla beans inside!) and a Blueberry Syrup that was just mmmmmmm delicious. All of that and it is only 9am. HA. Going to get in a surf session out front this evening. Woohooo.

Only have 8 days left in Costa Rica, but I plan on them being action packed and full of laughter. On the 21st we are heading up to Atenas to stay at Ozzie's place and hang at his mothers bar-restaurant. For those of you who don't know, Atenas is in the mountains between Esterillos and San Jose. Breathtaking views, clean-crisp air and green galore. Oz is going to throw us a big going-away party at the restaurant, then we will crash at his place and leave for the airport the next day. I look forward to meeting up with Oz when he makes his trip to the NYC, and I'm glad now to have a friend (as well as a couch) in Australia.

I'm missing Dominical for sure, but it's nice to be back with the fam in Esterillos. Pura Vida.

Monday, March 9, 2009

esterillos bday love

brett, pat, adam and les sending me some bday love all the way from esterillos. im so lucky to have such good friends.

wine buzz.

so last night i was a tad bit buzzed.

after an uneventful surf in town, we came back to the house. billy napped- i read and cleaned the house, played guitar a bit. ive been a writing machine but as far as writing MUSIC for these words ive been stumped. hopefully christian and sven have something for me when i get home.

as soon as billz woke up he began moving rocks, surprise surprise. lately that has been all that he does...sleep and then collect, move, or rearrange rocks. if i wasnt cooking him food-reminding him to eat- and making him tea, he would simply forget! ps: this is how billy takes his tea: 3 heaping TABLEspoons of sugar, a shot of milk, and oh yea- a teabag, but he only lets it steep for about 30 seconds. ha. sugar water. so...bill moved rocks and i made him tea. callen showed up around 430, just in time to move some rocks and eat some dinner. by 430 i had already drank 2 glasses of wine while i was prepping for the nights dinner. root1: a cabernet sauvigoun from chile. rated chiles number 1 wine, AND it was onlz 14 bucks. anyways, i was slicing and dicing and drinking. listening to music and enjoying my solo time in the kitchen. i made the boys garden salads and i made myself a beet and blue cheese salad with homemade balsamic vinagrette. when i asked the boys if they wanted the beet salad they both went EWWWW....they dont exactly have adventursome palettes. for dinner was linguini with homemade sauce: garlic, tomatoes, red peppers, red onions, fresh basil and kalmata olives. mmmm. drank some more wine with dinner, and a bit more for dessert.

the boys and i walked down to john and marys. they had ice cream and i had wine. john, mary and i talked about good food, good beer, good wine and our favorite chocolate. the boys, who live on tang and boxed mac and cheese, just stared at us with foreign eyes. ha. i fell asleep at 8pm, only to wake up at 130 and not fall back to sleep until some time around 4am. i woke up stressed about returning home - mentally going over this summers schedule: waitressing, cleaning houses, performing, yoga, pilates, the gym, beach time, family time, fishing and recording my 2nd album. when i finished stressing over that, i began to worry about the next nights dinner. an asian veggie stir fry with rice would be great, but i dont think that bill likes soy sauce, cabbage, or anything asian for that matter. maybe id just steam HIS veggies, add butter, and cook him some chicken? bah -- its 3am. its costa rican folklore that believes 3am is the hour of the witches. well, apparently im superstitous, because from 3am until 359am every sound that i heard was eerie and unusual. surely a sign of witchcraft! when the clock struck 4 the witches were gone and i would finally sleep in peace....

ozzie arrives today in dominical, and pat arrives tomorrow. im so excited, i love them both and i need a dose of esterillos. woohoo!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

bah blog catchup....

next morning (march 4th) bill, franklin and i go surfing at 8am. mmm still hurting pretty bad but the point is uncrowded and the waves are clean. we foolow up the surf session with a trip to soda nanyoa, obviously! i opted out of eating, but did have the following: water (lots of it), pina leche, cafe con leche, and orange juice. mmm hydration. the rest of the day-after-my-22nd-birthday was filled with naps, reading, naps and frequent dips in john and marys pool.that evening john, mary, bill and I headed to jeff and kris and callens´house for callen and my birthday dinner. we ate salad, grilled chicken and homemade mac and cheese. we drank CHAMPAGNE!! for dessert was brownies, cherry pie and moraberry pie all homemade by kris, as well as some fantastic chocolate covered strawberries made by mary. mmmm. wonderful from start to finish. cass - a friend of kris whom has become a friend of mine, made callen and i earch a le´i from fresh plumeria she picked from her garden. john and mary gave me a gorgeous turqouise bracelet and my parents left me FAVORITE!! by 9pm, bill was asleep at the table, so we said our goodbyes so that i could put bill to bed.

march 5th: we wake up and surf the point - just bill and i. there are fish EVERYWHERE out there, as big as my 9 foot board, and im definitely a bit freaked -- resting my legs and arms atop my board. the rest of my day is spent with reading, naps and yoga - which now brings me to kris and drinking wine and sitting in the hammock, reminiscing over the past two days....

MARCH 6th:
I have 16 days left in my paradise. SIXTEEN DAYS!!!!!! BAH! This truly is not long enough but atleast it will be getting warmer in jersey. ill be returning to scraple, vietnamese food, the community center, my friends and my family. i have new motivation to work nonstop this summer - allowing me atleast 6 months here next year. as for my days left...tomorrow will be my last day in dominical. party at john and marys in the afternoon and a reggae concert in quepos at night. sunday morning legend mike and oz are picking me up and we´re headed to PAVONES for a few days of swell. after that, back to esterillos for a few more days of costa rican bliss!!

March 7th:
why is getting to the internet so difficult?? i manage to get there about every other day, but only for a few minutes at a time, never long enough to type and post a blog. my number one priority next year is to buy a car down here, which means that my number one goal when i get back to the states is to learn how to drive a stick shift. can anybody help me out with that one??

yesterday was a bust. no water at bills house so he spent all day working on the house. i swam in john and marys pool and read. read read read read and read somemore. RISE AND SHINE by anne quindlen. im glad that i had this book, because this day wasnt really on of my highlights in CR. which brings me to the fact that you CANNOT make plans in costa rica. pavones is off. so yesterday i UNPACKED my pavones bag and resettled myself back into bills house. today, im in the back of john and marys car on our way to UVITA for the farmers market. since i WILL be staying in dominical a bit longer, i need to buy some food. i bought homemade asian miso dressing, 3 loaves of FANTASTIC, AUTHENTIC french bread, basil, lettuce, crisp string beans, yummy little tomatoes and goat cheese!! BAH!! ALL OF MY FAVORITE THINGS that you CANNOT get in COSTA RICA!!! It was also half flea market, so I bought myself some books! woohooo for books: david sedaris, dress your family in cordoruy and denim, tom robbins, fierce invalids home from hot climates, TC BOYLE, the road to wellville and a lonely planet spanish phrasebook -- which callen says is horrible and people would laugh at you in CR if you spoke like that. GREAT...

MARCH 8th:
SO, yesterday john and mary had a huge catered party for all of the ticos involved in building their house. it was super fun and the families had a great time!! finished RISE AND SHINE yesterday, and it was phenomenal. woohoo. i think that david sedaris i will start today. bill and callen went ´rocking hunting´today...still working on bills rock wall out front, i did yoga and ate some of the goodies i got yesterday at the market. i only have one loaf of bread left. ha. my friend ozzie is coming to visit from esterillos to dominical, so that should be great, and the waves will be picking up into the 6 foot range by tomorrow!!! pura vida!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

birthday madness

*i have DAYS worth of blogs written in my notebook, but right now bill and callen are breathing down my neck at the internet cafe, so this is all you get...the day of....

Right now it is two days after my birthday. The sun is setting as I sit in a hammock sipping some red wine and hanging out with kris. She needs to make a few work phone calls so im taking a few minutes to tell you about my past few birthday days….

I woke up and got out of bed. It was 630 am and my 22nd birthday. Bill made me bacon and eggs for breakfast and I sliced up some pineapple and avocado to accompany. I sipped on some French press coffee from san vito costa rica. After breakfast I walked down to say hello to john and mary and to have my ‘morning chat’ with mary. I walked in and they instantly burst into song ‘happy birthday to you…’. It was so sweet but made me feel instantly homesick. I had some cranberry juice with crushed ice, as far as mary is concerned crushed ice is the ONLY way, and chatted for a bit before heading back up the hill. Usually we start the day with a morning surf, but this particular day billy, as well as everyone else, had to go and pay their taxes. SO I grabbed my yoga mat, my ipod, my book and a change of clothes and I was dropped off at callens house. The boys, callen and franklin, played video games while I layed in the hammock and read ‘what is the what’. This lasted for a few hours, and then kris, callens mom, came home from work early to hang out. We chatted, sipped iced tea, and snacked. She made me her world famous chocolate brownies and we discussed my party plans for that evening.

At 5pm kris dropped me off in dominical @ tailors bar (que nivel). Taylor and I then hopped into her car, brownies in tow, and headed to her home in lagunas. What a breathtaking view she has – and a kickass house. Her roommate, a fellow jersey girl who shares my birthday, was there and we began the celebration. Music, brownies, and vodka. Woohooo. We showered and dressed and around 8pm we headed back to que nivel in town. Well, everyone came out for my birthday. Javi, Debbie, bob, the dive shop crew, the bicycle mafia, callen, franklin…everyone. The whole town. I danced and drank and laughed. I stuck with vodka for the evening, occasional shots of tequila, but after every drink I would consume a full glass of water. TOO MUCH FUN. Woohooo 22.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Birthday Blog.

Today is my birthday. I don't feel any different, any older - but it's true...I am 365 days older than I was one year ago.

The journey from 21 to 22 has been an interesting one. Exciting and intense, and there has been much that I've learned about life and of myself this past year...

1. A simple life is a good's as simple as that!! To quote Notorious BIG "mo'' problems".

2. The combination of eating healthy and regular exercise is amazing. Having this control over your mind and fitness is so rewarding -- and has left me feeling amazing inside AND out. Really, all we have in life is our health, so I have made it my #1 concern this year to give my health a ton of love and attention. You ARE what you PUT in your body...mentally and physically.

3. Reading is FUN! Aside from Harry Potter and books by Chuck Palhinuk - the only time I would read would be for my "assigned reading" in school. This year, I have become a feign, and I've been delighted and consumed with almost every book I've picked up. Biographies, classics, fiction, nonfiction...I've read it all.

Which brings me to number 4......

4. My love for the LIBRARY! Knowledge TRULY is power. There is no such thing as bad knowledge, or having too much of it. The library supplies me with an endless source of novels, cookbooks, reference books, magazines, music, movies, documentaries, travel books....EVERYTHING that you could want to read. My free library card was the best investment I've made in years.

5. Perhaps my greatest discovery of ALL of my years has been YOGA. Why it took me 22 years to get into it I will never know...but I'm so thankful that it found me. Yoga, aside from leaving me lean and limber has brought me peace of mind that I have never been able to attain otherwise. It is a whole body - whole mind healer, and I can take it with me everywhere I go.

So hell, PURA VIDA. Feliz Cumpelanos to me!!!!!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009


the plague.
i was dying for a few days there, but now things are starting to look up.
i only coughed for 2 hours last night!

for two days i ate nothing, did nothing (yes, this includes SURFING, NO SURFING!), coughed like crazy, drank a ton of water juice and tea, and slept. lots and lots and lots of sleeping.

lara left yesterday and i went back to live at bills house. caught a ride with henry of dominical surf adventure to the bottom of bills hill, and then WALKED UP in the hot hot heat with my longboard and my bookbag. well, that was more activity than i'd had all week so i napped as soon as i got to bills. the boys (callen and franklin) showed up, and i went back to their house so that i could sleep in the hammock. mmm sooo nice. the boys made pancakes, i ate one and then slept in the hammock for about 2 hours. when i havent been sleeping, i have been reading WHAT IS THE WHAT. it's reallyyyyy good. i will write more once i finish the book. very good. i love anything about africa. and this is a quality book. QUAL.I.TY for sure.

last night bill and i had a small salad, steamed broccoli and spag. he definitely misses dad, and LP. i thought that he wouldnt be soo keen on me coming back to live at the house, that he would want some peace and quiet, but he was glad to see me return and have someone to hang with. so last night over dinner we told funny stories about paul callahan, and reminisced about the 'good ol days' when that crazy man was with us. ha. dad -- we are sorry that you are back in the freezing cold states. hahaha.

this morning bill and i surfed the point. just him and i, about chest high. it was great. a perfect day for me, cause any bigger and i think that i would still be too weak to surf. this sickness really kicked my ass.

right now bill is in town paying his electric bill (it sounds like something relatively easy, but i assure you that something like paying a bill in costa rica could take all day), so i have a few minutes on the internet. hopefully going to get back into my yoga routine and healthy days will follow.

TOMORROW, march 3rd, is my birthday. my 22nd birthday. and for the second year in a row, i will be celebrating in costa rica, solo. i am in the process of writing a birthday blog that ill hopefully get in to post tomorrow. my friend brittany and i are sharing a bday party at QUE NIVEL in tomorrow, and then callen and i are sharing a bday party on wednesday night at his house. kris is making a big dinner for everyone. woohooo, let the good times roll.

missing everyone in the states, but i sure as hell am glad that i am NOT celebrating my 22nd birthday in the snow.

pura vida.

xo cailin