Journeys Notes from the Road

Pura Vida: an introduction to Nosara, Costa Rica

Pura Vida:  It’s a way of life. In Costa Rica, it kind of sums everything up. This catch-all phrase elicits smiles, nods, general agreement that in the end, it’s pure life. Costa Ricans get that distinction between living life and letting it pass by.

We’re smitten. The Costa Rican (Tico) way of honoring life resonates. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself!

As Lalo says, “pura vida is something a person says when everything’s good. ”

Pura vida indeed. The country has not had an army since the 1940’s, a fact proudly emblazoned on t-shirts in the San Jose airport. There is an open-armed welcome to tourists and travelers from all over the world with many restaurants, cabs and hotels taking American dollars as well as colones. Trash is separated into five categories. Only one is landfill. Their land is vivid, alive and thus they don’t want to spend more of it on landfill than possible. Their appreciation for the natural beauty makes toilets in the jungle part of a fragile septic system and they go to interesting lengths to not disturb the flow. Additionally, they have earmarked land near the beach that is off limits in Nosara from development. I spoke with our canopy guide and we agreed that environs like these can’t be bought. They’re precious as are all of the indigenous wildlife and birds.

Our merry travelers talk about their favorite moments in Costa Rica. Perhaps the zip line Beck describes or the Olive Ridley turtle tour at dusk might tip the scales for you. Costa Rica is calling…

Over the next few weeks, I will share recipes and restaurant reviews from our time in Nosara, so stay tuned.

Pura vida: How do you define the good life?

Journeys Notes from the Road

Denver- DNC Day 1 Perspectives & Climate

There are people throughout the airport holding signs that say “Questions?” and are working in conjunction with the DNC and the McDonald employees are all wearing obama t-shirts.

There are three secret service workers standing in front of me. they discussed how wearing sunglasses allows them to see where a bullet is coming from if one is shot out. The guy I take to be a senior official is commenting that the convention center is not very good from a security standpoint. If they need to rush in emergency help, it’s in a gridlock and not very easy to get in and out of.

To my right is a huddle of three people, one of whom said he worked on the Dukakis campaign. They said selecting Biden has been a growing evolution. How he responds with sense. Biden is a dog. At one point he was going to be B’s press secretary. They talked about how Kennedy is doing better.

Our luggage is taking an abominably long time and we find out over the loudspeaker that it’s because Nancy Pelosi was on our flight along with secret service. The flight number is erased from the screen but slowly our bags are making their way along the carousel.

In the shuttle I meet Jamie who is a volunteer in the press office and has just flown in from Washington DC where he works on the Senate Budget in the areas of defense and foreign affairs. David is sitting to my right and he works in the press office with the House Foreign Affairs. The other passenger, Gary is a lobbyist from California. We ride downtown as David and I discuss the Georgia / Russian matter of Ossetia.

We pass street corners flanked with cops close to the convention center. There is a heightened sense of energy and alert in the air.

Tonight after we set up our booth and were back in the hotel, we heard booming cracks outside and ran to the window to see fireworks exploding for a good five minutes. The hotel lobby is playing the Star Spangled Banner.

It is all very kinetic, this energy, this possibility afloat in the air. Stay tuned. Tomorrow we may crash a DNC after-hours party.