Friday, April 17, 2009

Hello. Did you miss me?

I'm back! And, yes, I didn't admit that I was going somewhere because I live in a rather small town and it's unwise to say, "I'm going away," but . . . we've been in Costa Rica for the past week. That's my husband's hand -- holding a branch of a coffee plant to show coffee cherries at different stages of growth. We toured a coffee plantation and came home with a few bags of heavenly coffee.

And, wow, did we have a great time. I only managed to finish 2 books because Costa Rica is so spectacularly beautiful and the wildlife so noisy and distracting that I just couldn't read and fell right into bed at night. This will undoubtedly cause great stress during the coming weeks, but the trip was worth any angst I may have in keeping up. I'm thinking about starting up a blog just about our trip, although it may take me a while to get going. At the moment, I'm working on tossing out the bad photographs.

To keep myself from going crazy, I'll just go ahead and warn you that I have 4 book tours coming up this week and I haven't cracked open a single one of the books. So, I'll just post the info (all 4 are First Wild books, with a sneak peek chapter) and link up to reviews when I get to them. I can tell you I've received all 4 books and they all look fabulous. I've flipped through them and look forward to reading. The titles are:

The Unquiet Bones by Melvin Starr

So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones

The Blood of Lambs by Kamal Saleem, and

So Long Status Quo by Susy Flory

I also have an author interview and a guest post to share, soon. I'm obviously going to have to do a mass delete on my reader, but I hope to begin visiting other blogs, soon. How was your week?

Just FYI, the rainforests are definitely worth saving.


  1. Of course I missed you, but it sounds like you had a wonderful time!!

  2. My week, even though it was spring break, was boring. Except... we did get to see Wicked! Costa Rica sounds VERY fun indeed! Welcome back!

  3. We did miss you and we're glad you're back! Your trip sounds wonderful.

  4. SuziQ,

    Thank you. I missed you, too, of course. :) We did have a fabulous time. I didn't want to come home!!!


    I'm sorry you had a boring week. This is our first spring break trip, ever. My husband has always had a meeting during spring break and this year I said it was his turn to say, "I already have plans" (which is what most people do if they want to go somewhere). I haven't been to a movie in nearly a year. I'm glad you enjoyed Wicked. And, thank you. Costa Rica is amazing! :)


    Thank you! Costa Rica is a spectacularly beautiful country and the people are so friendly. I want to go back!!!

  5. Yes, We missed you. I wondered what happened to you. I hoped it was good not bad. :) I love the rainforests. One day I hope to go and climb a tree maybe? :)

  6. Brittanie,

    Nothing bad! Well, except for that one day that I was out of commission with a major migraine. The rain forest is shockingly beautiful. You can go over the trees or through them, but I don't think you can climb them. I could be wrong about that. We walked past a place where pumas live and our guide pointed out a plant that is good to fix suicidal tendencies, one that cures leukemia, and another that hurts if you touch it and, "About 5 years later, you get cancer in the skin." Oh. Watch what you touch. LOL

  7. I was getting worried about you! LOL...But I'm THRILLED to hear that you were in an exciting place like Costa Rica and not in some horrible place like a hospital! Mmmm, coffee straight from the trees! Sounds delicious...and I've always wanted to visit the rainforest. It's on my to do list ;) Oh, and you are participating in the 24 hour read a thon tomorrow, right? ;) Good to have you back Nancy!

  8. How the heck did I not know you were going to Costa Rica!! I'm glad you had a wonderful time, and YES you were missed. Glad you're back.

  9. Glad you had a wonderful time. And of course you were missed. :)

    Diary of an Eccentric

  10. Chris,

    You know when I don't even approve comments that something is up, eh? LOL It was all good. We had a fantastic time. I had one horrid migraine day and missed a boat ride (if I'd been home, I would have said, "Take me to the ER!" -- it was a doozy) but otherwise the trip was amazing. I'm sitting here sipping on some of my Costa Rican coffee. Mmmm.

    Nope, not going to do the read-a-thon. I have tons to do. Hubby is promptly leaving town, doggone it, and I will drive him to the airport so that's half the day shot. I'll be with everyone in spirit, though!!! :)


    I didn't mention it at all, mostly because we live in a small town. I go out of my way to make it look like we're still at home and always make sure I have as many eyes on my house as possible. I'm a little paranoid, but we were robbed early in our marriage and I don't want to ever go through that again, if possible!

    Thanks! I missed you, too! It was a little odd not blogging or blog-hopping!

  11. Anonymous10:18 PM

    My week was not as cool as your week. I've always wanted to visit Costa Rica, but I'll settle for anything with a rain forest. The documentaries in my environmental science class make them look so beautiful, and I'm sure they doesn't do them justice.

  12. Anna,

    Thank you! I missed all my blog buddies, too. Best of luck with the read-a-thon! I just did a mass delete, but I hesitated on your last post long enough to see that you're participating. :)


    I can tell you I was completely awestruck, if that gives you any idea. There's just such an incredible abundance and variety of life w/in the rainforest that it's difficult to describe. Definitely go, if you can! I tossed out the idea of Costa Rica because I'd heard it's a great place to photograph wildlife and my husband ran with it. I'm so glad he did!

  13. I'm SO glad you had a wonderful time in Costa Rica! It's nice to have a break from the everyday now and then!

  14. I'm glad you're back and had a good trip! The picture is gorgeous. :)

  15. You are such a sweety, and yes it IS worth saving, in fact I love trees so much, that I sent all my books to recycling so that new books won't require cut down trees...I've tried a few times and everytime I went back and got my books out of the recycling bin, but not this time, if I save only one tree, I will be happy ;) Thanks for the inspiration, I needed that! I can't wait to see your photo from your trip on AM3 perhaps? ;)

  16. Yes we did! Costa Rica does sound beautiful. I bet I wouldn't be able to read either. Also, your new header is gorgeous :)

  17. I definitely missed you! :) I so want to travel to Central America: Costa Rica sounds awesome!

  18. You are so lucky. Costa Rica is up on my list of places to visit. It sounds like a wonderful place!

  19. Good for you! A perfect way to spend Spring Break! Don't let the stress of book reviews spoil the relaxation of your week in Costa Rica.

  20. I've missed you, Nancy, but wow! Were you in an exciting place! I've never seen a rain forest, although of course we study them like crazy in third grade. We just finished a story in our Reading curriculum: a trade book called "Cocoa Ice" which is how some of the cocoa beans from Santo Domingo and the pods are processed. Anyway,'re both good to me, and I'm glad you had such a good vacation. Your last picture is especially wonderful.

  21. Glad you're home safe & sound and that you had a wonderful time. I am amazed that you read 2 books in a week while on a trip. I don't think I would get more than a few pages read. In fact, on our five week drive to Newfoundland and back I didn't finish one book. Except for the audio books.

    Missed you.

  22. Of course you were missed!! I can't wait to see all the pictures from your trip. It sounds like it was a great getaway.

  23. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip so much! and the coffee plantations sounds fascinating. I'd like to see a tea plantation one day :-D

    and the rain forests are definitely worth saving!!! let us know when your photos/and/or new blog are up!!!

  24. Laura,

    Thanks! Yes, absolutely. This was my first vacation in a long time and I was sooo ready to get the heck out of Dodge, if you know what I mean. :)


    Thank you and thank you!

    Hi Rainy!

    I recycle by donating and passing my books on to happy new homes, but if you've got the option to put them in a recycle bin, that's terrific. You go, tree-saver girl! :) I would guess some of my Costa Rica photos will eventually show up on Animus3. At the moment, I'm chasing my proverbial tail. I've still got laundry, tons of tidying, a huge queue of books to read and review, blah-di-blah. Just don't hold your breath because I don't want to be responsible for Rainy turning blue. :)

  25. Nymeth,

    Thank you! You know, I couldn't read a thing but my son read 4 or 5 books -- he actually even took one I was reading, read a little before bed and finished it up the next day, then handed it back. Sheesh. I wish I could read that fast. LOL Thanks. That's a Costa Rican bird in my header. He's not very exotic, but I thought he was a beauty. :)


    Thank you! I'll bet you'll make it to Costa Rica, someday, since you're quite the world traveler. It's a spectacularly beautiful (and very, very friendly) country.


    That's funny -- you wouldn't believe how many people have told me they desperately want to go to Costa Rica and I just kind of tossed the idea at my husband, not really thinking he'd like it. I hope you get to go, someday. It's an incredible place!

  26. That sounds like such a magical trip Nancy! I am jealous! I would love to try that coffee so fresh! I can almost smell it!

  27. Oh, I just love Costa Rica! I'm so happy for you.

  28. Jenclair,

    I'll take that advice, thank you. I had such a fantastic time that it would be a shame to ruin the after-effects by getting all crazed (although, admittedly, I'm already doing that a bit -- I have an awful lot of housework to do).


    The rainforest that remains is shockingly small, so visiting it and seeing the diversity first-hand is quite a lesson in what we've already lost. Speaking of cocoa . . . I have a tendency to toss chocolate into my coffee. ;)

    I wish I could have dragged you and your class along. They'd have loved the coffee plantation. Even my coffee-hating 17-year-old decided to give the coffee a try (with lots of milk and sugar, but we were thrilled to see that he'll try just about anything). Feel free to print out that picture to share with your students!


    Thank you! As far as the books go . . . honestly, I hardly read a word. I was about halfway through both books before we left, so I finished one on the flight down and the other in the first hotel, during those brief down times when it was too dark, we were done eating and I had to await my turn in the shower. We had no TV in Monteverde, which I really loved. :)


    Thank you. It's going to take me some time to sort and crop all those photos, but I did get a few good ones. You could say Costa Rica is rather photogenic. :)

  29. Susan,

    Thank you! The coffee plantation was very small and the tour was amazing. I think I've finally decided I'm a coffee person, although I do like mint tea and I'll bet a tea plantation would be just as interesting. I'll definitely let everyone know if/when I get around to blogging about the trip!


    It was definitely magical and the coffee smells so awesome that I occasionally pull out the bag and sniff -- plus, I brought home a coffee-scented candle. How cool is that? :)


    You've been to Costa Rica? Cool! Maybe next time you can tag along with us. Kiddo says he's had all of the Costa Rica he can stand -- he loved it, but he doesn't want to go back, so we're planning to just go without him, next time around.

  30. I missed you very much! I'm glad you had a great trip and even more glad that you are home safely.

    I can't wait for more updates!

  31. Glad you're back! And also good to hear that you had a nice vacation. I have a friend who is DYING to go to Costa Rica and never stops talking about it, so now I kinda want to go too.

  32. Nikki,

    Thanks, I missed you, too! I told my husband I may just ditch him and visit you, at some point, since he keeps going so many fabulous places without me (he's in Portugal, as we speak).

    The updates may be slow in coming. I've got so much to do it's making my head spin.


    Thanks! You and your friend should definitely go. This trip was one of the best I've ever taken -- so relaxing and the scenery was breathtaking.

  33. Welcome Back! What an interesting trip! I hope you'll post more photos.

  34. Robin,

    Thanks! I'm sure I'll get around to posting a few more photos, eventually. :)

  35. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Thanks for the photos! I need to get me husband to make me another soy milk cappacino now!

  36. Teddy Rose,

    We did have a terrific trip! Soy milk cappuccino sounds awful. LOL I just had a mocha. I had to break into my Monteverde coffee. Mmm. Perfect.

  37. Actually, i went back and got them, almost fell in the bin a few times, I just can't give them I guess I'll do my banking on line, save a tree sigh...books have such a hold on me

  38. Rainy,

    I'm not surprised, really. If you love books as much as we do, the idea of pulping them is painful. You can always find new homes for them. It really is a way of recycling, after all, passing them around so they can continue to be read by others. I use Paperback Swap, donate at the library, and often send books to friends on my reading listserv and other bloggers.

  39. Yeah!! Pictures! The coffee looks delish...even in early berry form. hehe.

    Thrilled to see you back online and look forward to more Costa Rican themed posts. :-)

  40. Lisa,

    Our tour guide actually handed us each a coffee cherry, had us peel them and pop them in our mouths. I like the end product better . . . the coffee we brought back is awesome.

    Thank you! I'm tossing in pics, now and then. Still throwing out the bad ones, but I'm only down to 1,980. I guess I need to get a little more serious about throwing out lousy photos!

  41. I love Costa Rica (I spent a semester there in college.) Where all in the country did you go?

  42. Fyrefly,

    We only really went two places: Monteverde and Arenal (unless you count a night in an American hotel at San Jose -- borrrring). We went straight from the airport up to Monteverde, where we toured a coffee plantation, butterfly farm and Cloud Forest. It was sunny and beautiful. The guys did the zip line without me because I was having asthma trouble, one day. Then, we took the taxi-boat-taxi to Arenal. Our drivers were scary on those bits. At Arenal, we soaked up the scenery and the guys went without me AGAIN on a boat ride into another preserve. I missed that one because of a fierce migraine, but I spent some time walking around to photograph the hummingbirds and bunnies. The volcano was visible from our door and just steaming slightly. That's it -- just about 6 days' worth. We're already talking about going back for 2 weeks, at some point. How cool that you got to go there as a student!!!

  43. I did the Arenal-to-Monte Verde road in the other direction, but yeah, those are some terrible roads! I hope you do get the chance to go back... I miss it, and would go in a heartbeat if I got the opportunity.

  44. Fyrefly,

    I'm going to work on making the chance to go back. You're so lucky to have had that opportunity. I would have happily stayed, learned the language, bought a house . . . I just loved Costa Rica.


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