The Monkey House is For Sale

Costa Rica Costa of Living Update: 4 pudding snacks— $2.50

I’m thoroughly excited and a little nervous about building my new home. After living in Costa Rica for seven years—and having so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences—Rob and I are ready to sink deeper roots. There is also the sadness of leaving a rental home where I had so many wonderful memories. When our landlord decided to put The Monkey House up for sale, it was time for us to move on.

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Building a House in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Preliminary House Design

Costa Rica Costa of Living Update: Building a home in Guanacaste— Approx. $125 / SqFt

Rob and I are taking the plunge and building a house. If it were up to my husband, he would build it himself out of underwear and bobby pins. Luckily for me, Costa Rica has strict building codes and—from what I can discern—doesn’t allow duct tape in any of its structures. But before we do anything, we ask around to find a great architect, one that will design our dream home and see it to fruition.

Sandy, my girlfriend who was featured on House Hunters International and in my books, is extremely happy with her architect who just like us, was cut from the final editing of her HGTV episode. It could be because my husband kept yelling “This house makes me happier than a billionaire,” every time the camera was on him. No matter what the producer said, Rob somehow found an excuse to interject the title of my book, “My wife, author of the wildly popular series Happier Than A Billionaire, loves Sandy’s choice of lighting fixtures.” This PR move left us wildly unpopular with the producer, thus our footage ending up on the cutting room floor. Continue reading “Building a House in Costa Rica” »

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Keep Calm and Move to Costa Rica

Keep Calm and Move to Costa Rica

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: One Quart of Knockoff Brand Motor Oil at the Home Improvement Store = $12

When people think of Costa Rica they imagine palm trees, ocean vistas, and hammocks.

Expatriatism promises a simpler lifestyle that doesn’t include a cubicle or constant texts from bosses and coworkers.

After spending a little time back in the United States over the holidays, it appears that Costa Rica has become the “go to” place for anyone wanting to escape and live as a castaway on some far away beach. Most of these folks seem to fit into one of three groups.

First Group of Runaways: The Criminals

I watched a variety of NCIS shows, and somewhere in the script they inevitably discover that the criminal is planning to board a plane to Costa Rica. Other prime time shows have their character—usually a Wall Street financier— skipping out on his firm and disappearing into the heart of the Osa Peninsula. If any of these TV shows are based in truth, my husband’s crazy security plans must be working. These hooligans have not come to my doorstep as of yet. Continue reading “Keep Calm and Move to Costa Rica” »

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Secrets of Costa Rica Weather

Tamarindo Costa Rica

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: 2015 Marchamo on a 15 year old SUV (yearly Car registration and insurance combined)—$220

It’s six in the morning and I’m watching a flock of parrots land in one of the many almond trees outside my house. They disappear behind thick leaves, squawking their way through the branches.

I just moved into our new rental: one rich with dense landscaping and vegetation. Even though it’s only ten minutes from our previous home, it’s remarkably cooler. The almond trees battle back the sun’s rays allowing only a few to pass onto my terrace. When I open all the sliding glass doors, a breeze sweeps through the house carrying the smell of tropical flowers and fruit trees into my living room.

Costa Rica FlowerThis brings me to Costa Rica weather which can vary greatly. You can experience an extreme example of this when driving up into the mountains. The temperature can drop as much as thirty degrees the higher you go. Trees begin to change as well: palms turn into evergreens, tropical flowers turn into thick shrubs. When my husband and I lived in Grecia, we frequently went on scooter rides to the tippy-tip of the mountain just to see the different plants. Continue reading “Secrets of Costa Rica Weather” »

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5 Best Guancaste Beaches

Costa Rica Costa Of Living Update: Boogie Board—$80

Choosing your favorite beach in Costa Rica is like trying to pick which of your children you love the most. I’ve overheard heated debates on which sand is the softest, where the best snorkeling spot is located, or what surf is the easiest to boogie board without smacking your head into a rock.

Since many of you are visiting this area for the Christmas holiday—and are looking to get out of your resort and travel to different beaches—this list should help in planning your excursions. It’s best to fly into Liberia Costa Rica since this international airport is the closet to these Guanacaste beaches. The San Jose airport is five to six hours away from this area.

I’ve compiled this “happier beach list” (my top 5 Guanacaste beaches) by using a thorough investigative team: my husband and I. We are authorities in how to waste a day away. I can sit on a beach (in the shade) for and entire day and feel like it was well spent. Give me a book and I might never come home. Rob will stare into every tide pool looking for new and interesting sea life… and he always finds something. These beach days  clear my mind and help make me more appreciative of the little things. Gratitude comes easy when your toes are dipped into the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Continue reading “COSTA RICA VACATIONS : THE 5 BEST GUANACASTE BEACHES” »

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