7 Mar

Great Food and Embiance at Vista Del Paraiso in Nosara Costa Rica

WIND, CHAMPAGNE, and GUITAR MAGIC are the words I would use to sum up the amazing night that Josh and I had at Restaurant Vista Del Paraiso on Saturday, February 12th, 2011 when we attended a Live Classical Guitar Concert (for the first time EVER!) 

For the 3rd year in a row, my good friend and college, Debbie Bishop invited an Exceptionally Talented Guitar Prodigy by the name of DAVID COTO to bring a bit of Culture to our little jungle world..(Thank You! Deb..)  Debbie first introduced David to Nosara 3 years ago when she invited him to play his beautiful latin melodies at her Vista Del Paraiso (View of Pardise) Restaurnt in Nosara Costa Rica, when a musician friend of David’s recommended to Debbie that she check out his credintials.  Debbie, (as do most listeners) fell in Love with Davids Charm and his incredible talent and tells me that she’ll keep having David come play year after year.. “as long as he will continue to come! “”

 I was truly thankful for this Concert because of the few (if any) opportunities that I have in Nosara to get a taste of some real artistic culture.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ve got monkeys and hummingbirds outside my window, but art and Culture…Not so much

I arrived to Vista Del Paraiso just after sunset (which is absolutely stunning BTW) to find a most elegant scene of concert goers enjoying a delicious gourmet meal under the soft sublte glow of crystal strung lighting.. I began my evening with a wonderful glass of Red Wine (I’m sure you are all shocked) and was surprised fortunate luck (or skill?) of being allowed to sample a small portion of Debbie’s Coconut Broiled Sea Bass Filet before I even placed an order for my meal.. (WOOOHOO)  The Sea Bass was scrumptious as I am sure you can imagine, but I was in more of a poultry mood and since I like variety, (spice of life and all) and since Josh and I

Vista Del Paraiso Restaurant in Nosara Costa Rica

Texas Fried Chicken at Vista Del Paraiso

 never order the same thing, I proceeded to order the Texas Fried Chicken while Josh decided upon the Herb Stuffed Pork Loin – I don’t see how we could go wrong with ANY of those choices.  You?  Well then we’d both be right because, Man they were both a sight for sore tounge… The Chicken was HUGE and never seemed to end with the added bonus of having NO BONE…(Debbie later told me it was a half order) – Then Josh;s stuffed pork loin was tender and delightful…. So the evening began with a tremendous BANG!!!!

This time of year in Guanacaste Costa Rica usually brings with it gusty winds that whip around for a few weeks causing havoc, but this year, the wind has been pretty tame…. UUUUUUNNNNntil the night of the Guitar Concert that is..(Pura Vida)  The wind on the night of the concert was HOWLING, blowing over chairs and nearly my wine glass too (EEEEHHHHH GHAST!) Those Gusty Winds didn’t phase David one bit, he was awesome. 

I will be the first to admit that I don’t know much about Classical Music, much less Classical Guitar Music…..even though I WAS first chair saxophone in my middle school band…Yup, that’s FIRST CHAIR baby…booyaw!!!  So, Despite the lack of musical knowledge in my repatoir, I know good sound when I hear it and when I listened to David play effortlessly his Beautiful Guitar.  I could almost picture myself walking down the cobblestone streets of Spain..(ooohhhh someday) it was inspirational to say the least.

David Coto Vista Del Paraiso Restaurant in Nosara Costa Rica

David Coto

David is 23 Years Old (Going on 60) and was nice enough to speak with me while he, himself, enduldged in Debbie’s unreal Texas Fried Chicken.  David told me that he’d been playing guitar since age 11, ”well 5 really…” he told me..  Why the huge gap?? Well, David’s Father played guitar, and when David was age 5 he asked his father if he could learn to play, but David is left handed where his father is right handed… His father (being the supreme parenting being that I would be) said, I’m not switching over the strings to left handed, it is too much trouble.. “”  After 6 YEARS of BEGGING to play – David’s dad had the divine inspiration to tell him he’d have to learn to play right handed…..And David, of course, learned to play right handed … (Show off!!!) 

I LOVE David.. (truly) He’s talented and this man GETS IT.. Music is his passion, his life and HIS JOB, and David admits that someday when he has a family, he may not be able to perform for a living, but for now…He’s taking the ride… David has won numerous competitions and recognition, but when I asked him how he began competing, he told me that he didn’t personally agree with the way competitions judge a person’s interpretation of a piece of music, but that they are a great way to gain recognition in the music world.. And since Costa Rica isn’t exactly the Mecca of Classical Music – musician’s like DAVID COTO need these competitions in order to be acknowledged.. Competitions….accompanied by INSANE Talent and Ability.. David Assured me that my tiny child-like hands would be able to learn to pluck the guitar the way that he did ïf I just practiced…  I don’t think that there is not enough hours in the day, week, month, year or ETERNITY that I could ever play like DAVID COTO, but I certainly appreciated his effort to tell me I could… (Someday David, Someday)

I thoroughly enjoyed this evening at Vista Del Paraiso where over 40 guests attended and were mesmerized by David’s performance. I had to wonder why more people don’t go to Vista Del Paraiso for dinner, amazing view, amazing food, amazing EVERYTHING ..  BUT I also remember my heydays in Pelada with my restaurant El Fenix where NO ONE knows where the heck you are in Nosara Costa Rica … So HEEEEEEEERE is my announcement people…VISTA PARAISO RESTAURANT…GET THERE… Incredible View, Restaurant, Chef, Champagne, Lobster, Chicken the size of your head, Embiance……… you NAME IT…

As a side note to cap off my elegant evening with David… he asked me my favorite Nosara Question “What is going on tonight Marcia?”- Funny you should ask David…. Why, it is Saturday night and we are headed to  Tropicana DiscoTeque (my favorite dance spot in the Jungle..) David’s response quickly was “do you need a ride??…..And I knew that this was the beginning of a long and wonderful friendship.….

Stay tuned for more from David Coto in 2011, He will be organizing and hosting a Guitar Festival in San Jose in May which I plan on attending… For more information go to the Voice of Nosara article on David…..or David’s Personal Facebook Page…… AND then get yourself up TO VISTA DEL PARAISO RESTAURANT and eat some delicious food…..My recommendation? Texas Fried Chicken BABY…..tell Debbie Marcia sent you… She’ll treat ya right…

Special thank you to Pinar Istek from Voice of Nosara for lending me her Photographic Genious for the pictures on this blog… Thanks Pinar..


Making a List, Checking it Twice…..Find out if it’s Naughty or Nice???

26 Nov

I am extremely grateful for the last year that I have spent retired in Nosara Costa Rica so I thought that the day after Thanksgiving would be an appropriate occasion to reflect and give thanks to some of the people in my life.  Even though the Ticos don’t celebrate this US Holiday Tradition, Josh and Marcia “Super Gringos” had their 2nd Annual Fenix Fried Turkey Extravaganza – and it was DELISH.  I do believe we hold the record as the only people EVER to Fry a Turkey in Costa Rica and we shared it with all our British Friends from Surf Simply School – so it was an appropriate Gringo Feast.

In my last blog about the El Fenix Demise, I introduced the (Marcia’s Personal Favorite Promotional Attempt) category – which we are now going to change to UNSOLICITED PROMOTIONAL ATTEMPT TO GET FREE STUFF! Don’t be fooled by the category’s obviously selfish tone, this is the 2nd highest award that the Coconut Telegraph can bestow falling just below my own SHAMELESS PERSONAL SELF PROMOTION ATTEMPTS. This description means that Marcia is not getting paid for the extremely valuable promotional plug to my international audience BUT should you people be intelligent enough to give me free merchandise, food or a job for the extremely valuable promotional nod….. then you are light years beyond your time and I commend and graciously accept your offer.

DISCLAIMER*********** I want to get serious for one minute (only 1) I sincerely and completely appreciate the following list of people and businesses for being a positive influence on the El Fenix Crew and my personal experience in Nosara over the last year.  I did not mention everyone, not even close, and more than likely I’ll make more people mad by posting my thank you s than anything else (BUT that is also sort of the point, too.. mwah mwah.) Let’s take a deep breath together and see how it goes *******************DISCLAIMER OVER

First on the list and number one for a reason, Surfing Nosara is our first (UNSOLICITED PROMOTIONAL ATTEMPT TO GET FREE STUFF) on the list – (Although honestly, they’ve given us so much.) They are just a bunch of Good Ol’ Boys from the South East US and were by far some of the biggest supporters of EL Fenix Restaurant.  As an SEO Marketing Goddess myself– I can appreciate some good website key words and right now as I say SURFING NOSARA on the blog, I have instantly jumped at least one ranking on Google…So let’s say it again shall we…???? SURFING NOSARA…  haha, fun huh?  Erik, Andrew, Rich, Ryan, James, and we miss you Brandon (and want some of that soon to be famous Craft Beer from Costa Rica)… I thank you all from the bottom of my heart (which is now 5 sizes too small. – Grinch Reference….)

Costa Rica FriendsRYAN GORMAN gets a special thanks for the article he wrote on El Fenix as a business spotlight feature -The video he made brought a misty tear to my eye and at the end…our new slogan was born – PURA VIDA Y’ALL! Yup, there is the truth, we straight jacked this slogan from Ryan (Thank you)

When it came time for the Surfing Nosara Foundation to hold their first ever Hot Dog A Thon Fundraiser – who do you think raised the most money….????? El Fenix of course – we also won best Costume…wait until this year’s wardrobe – and I would like to thank Sarah, for your support as well.

James Reese is also sectioned out with a special notice because he is an awesome photographer and friend, and you always try to stay on the good side of someone who can make you look good or bad in a photo.  (Marcia Life Lesson #1).  James is on my top 3 list of favorite photogs so check out his stuff on their website and  face book page.

Nosara Costa Rica Nightlife and DancingTropicana Discoteque and Estancia Nosara Private Club – Gully and Susana are two exceptional women who have supported me and El Fenix since the day we arrived.  I think we might have missed a total of 4 Saturday Nights at the Tropicana and I will tell you – I HATE missing any night at Tropi.  DJ Pena is the ultimate Dance Master and always plays me some much needed Gringo Musica when yo pregunto. (Gracias Pena) These two ladies are also fans of my special DIVA burrito and my Strawberry Banana Pancakes – so you know they have class.   I ROCKED the Krel Wear Fashion Show that took place at Estancia Nosara last year, (Gully and Susana’s Private Club in Nosara) and it was one of the best time’s I’ve had here yet.  Thanks also to Nina Arias-LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU for organizing the show which she was intelligent enough to have me STAR in again this year (who’s cover girl this year SASHA???).  Look out – December 17th is the date of the 2nd Annual Nosara Fashion show and there are even rumors of a Fashion Week???? Shhhhh….  I look forward to dancing to the music this weekend as TROPI is BACK and I am so excited I just can’t hide it – I’m about to lose control and I think I like it…(Too Much?)  Oh and Susanna…. I expect a Pineapple Bikini Next Year for Annexation Holiday.

Nosara Nightlife Nosara Costa Rica

Bar La Banana – The Entire Family at Banana have been my friends since day one, and I thank you so deeply for your support and for putting up with me. Cecile and Marine are sexy and brilliant and speak 3 languages so of course they are MY friends. There are very few people in the world I can trust, but these girls make the grade.  I love their parents Dominique and Marylene for being so cute and sweet.  El Fenix’s Thursday Night Sunset Party PRE BANANA REGGAE WARM UP – was our best night at the restaurant and – then we would often make our way (with 7 or 8 Hot Nosara Nightlife in Costa Ricapeople) on the golf cart to dance to the music of my friend DJ PAUL DACOSTA. Thank you La Banana – you are my favorite bar hang out and my favorite French Family –

  • I will now also take this moment to announce that I am officially the HOST of Banana’s SUNDAY GAME NIGHT aka The Marcia Show – Every Sunday night at 7pm.  We will have Nosara Weekly Rewind Trivia – where anyone has a chance to have their weekly photos surfaced and made fun of with accompanying trivia questions.  I know we are all hung over on Sunday Nights which is perfect because Banana is serving BOCAS which are the perfect cure.

panchos resort in Playa Pelada NosaraPancho’s Resort –  Despite Nosara’s worst attempts – the Pancho and Fenix crews are pretty tight.  Steve, Sean, Pat and Kurt and Kelsey too– kisses to you all mi guapos… First Impression:  Roll up to check out my new hotel in Costa Rica across from a MINI SUPER, MEXICAN RESTAURANT, DELI and RESORT (w/ a Pool) – SCORE!!! Oh yeah, they have pizza and US FOOTBALL on Sunday and Monday.  We made our famous FENIX TAILGATE Chili for their Superbowl Party last year at  and we had a great time.  They are an amazing family who’s had had an exceptionally difficult year and they have pulled through it all in true jungle style.  I Love you all, and thank you…you are my friends…..truly…Besos y Besos – More Original Poem Birthday Cards to come next year for you all!!

Nosara Spanish Institute – My friend and college Marco Johanning along with his business partner, have  created my only true need in Nosara (besides the Tropicana Disco) – A SPANISH SCHOOL.  You can reference my blogs on my experience in taking lessons at the school –(Gringos go to Spanish School) but I LEARNED A TON OF SPANISH through classes a the Nosara Spanish Institute.  I also thank my beautiful teacher Silvia who is the MOST patient person I know to put up with us for a whole week as Super Gringos.

Nosara Spanish Institute Marco JohanningMarco, I also thank you for your tremendous help and commitment with the Nosara Tourism Chamber efforts, always being there to translate for me when I have no clue what is being said.   Marco also has my respect because he has a vision…and it is not himself….Marco feels that there is a potential here for us to all work together, as do I…and he is my true friend…Thank you.

I met Marco Originally because he has found himself to be very lucky…  and got himself a good Joy Burch Nosara Costa Ricaol’ South Carolina Gal named Joy Burch.  They are both to be congratulated for just having a beautiful new baby girl.  I am also going to thank Joy at this point and give a nod to her awesome YOGA HOUSE in Nosara, because she is one of the most genuine people I know in the world…not only in Nosara.  Thank you Joy…and do your thing girl.

Tim Sampson – our Pelada Neighbor, made life interesting to say the least…Tim, you made the list (I couldn’t put you first cuz they’ll all get jealous.)  Tim went to Panama City with me and Josh and we had quite the time at the Panama Canal.  Tim also drove us on our very first visa run to Nicaragua way back in February of 2010.  Tim’s view on life is much like my own and he was ALWAYS there to lend a hand (and sarcastic remark) to anyone who needed.

Tim Sampson – you are my friend and I miss you – but I’m COMING to Texas Baby!!!!

Photography Costa RicaGraham Swindell makes my List for….. well….Just being Graham.  I doubt that he even knows what an inspiration he has been to me over the last year here…but  Graham, your comments and humor DID in fact keep me going a few times when the going got tough.  Graham  is the Man behind NOSARA SHACK which is a great informational website for Nosara with Surfing Articles, Photography, The Live Nosara Surf Cam, and more.  Graham himself is a photographer and his company is Graham Swindell Photography.  Now what did we learn earlier???? ((Marcia Life Lesson #1 from above) ALWAYS KISS ASS TO THE PHOTOGRAPHERS….Nosara Nightlife Especially one as talented and remarkable as Graham.  Coming from the land of photographers in Savannah Georgia where the Savannah College of Art and Design is housed – EVERYONE who Takes a Photo has a show or gallery but in my opinion….is not a photographer…  I have seen my fair share of photos – but I will tell you with all honesty that Graham takes some of the most brilliant wedding photos and candid people shots that I have ever seen.  Graham and his beautiful Fiance Francela have invited me to what will be my first full Costa Rica Destination Wedding Experience in Nosara and I am So excited to be a part of their special day. I LOVE IT when beautiful people find each other – and they are both STUNNING Specimens…So I appreciate the eye candy too !!

Thank you Graham for your sarcasm and for telling me you “Like your Bartenders To Smile” when you FINALLY do make it out to El FENIX for a drink.  I agree, and I am SMILING NOW…. Mwah Mwah Mwah.  (This is a Halloween Photo -of Graham and Francela- I dressed both of these gorgeous people with my clothes…)

Agua Azul Sportsfishing Nosara Costa RicaShanna and Ryan Kerr-Bombard and AGUA AZUL CHARTERS also make my thank you list.  We Beautiful as Everwent fishing for our Grand Prize from the Surfing Nosara Hot Dog A Thon and we had a BLAST.  Ryan’s boat is the best in all of Nosara for Sportsfishing and he is a master spearfisherman.  He catches the biggest fish I’ve ever seen – His gorgeous wife Shanna is now expecting their first son Hunter and I am so proud of them and happy that they are our friends. Both Shanna and Ryan have graced our Fenix Poker nights with Shanna almost taking down all the guys (this year girl) – Shanna always makes me feel like less of a REDNECK with her funny stories and I LOVE YOU BOTH VERY MUCH.

Real Estate Developer Ryan McNeil

Ryan “Tu Tienes” McNeil – Thank you for making us your spot and for always, always asking for more!!!  We love ya Ryan, and NO Tengo!!!  Haha…

Jason Wilcox

Jason Michael Wilcox “THE DIVA” Fernandez – Jason was our Pelada neighbor who instantly became addicted to our DIVA omlette at El Fenix – with his comment being “Can’t we name it something more masculine?”  The answer was no, and Jason added the dish to his extremely long and drawn out name.  We miss you Jason..and your handlebars!!

Surf Simply Crew– Ru and Gem are the reason we came to Nosara – they were our inspiration (Yup it is THEIR Fault so blame them Nosara.)  They also held their Wedding Reception at El Fenix Restaurant – I mean, where else can you get Fried Turkey in Costa Rica???  We enjoy our time with the Brits as often as we can get it because they are a busy bunch of little Surf Bees.  Becky, Gem, Ru, Sam, ALEX Espir, MATT ARNEY, Harry, New Alex, Martin, Kerrianne, LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Cori – Cori shall remain last nameless.  Her awesome dress shop in Playa Pelada (10 min from Guiones by beach btw) was just steps away from El Fenix with the most amazing dresses ever.  It’s like she read my mind and went shopping.  I LOVE Cori – she’s sweet and caring – and I never see her because if I go into her store I buy 10 things… She has provided me with amazing outfits for every occasion and I LOVE YOU CORI..(Even though you did not walk across the street, not once, for food… 🙂  Had to, sorry)

Yorlign Campos – Mi guapa, tu es muy bonita en mi ojos.  Mi Corazon, No Cambias nada. Yorlign was our bartender, waitress, prep cook, therapist, and friend.  She’s an awesome massage therapist, and MOM. You learn a lot about yourself and trusting others when you live in the Jungle and Yorlign has GOT MY BACK and I Hers – she understands the system and I am teaching her how to play.

That is WAAAY more than I am sure you wanted to read when you first started this blog and There are probably a few people I left off the list but never fear – You will all get your (UNSOLICITED PROMOTIONAL ATTEMPT TO GET FREE STUFF) tag all in due time…..Bet on it.

EL Fin por EL Fenix?????

8 Nov

November 3 2010 Marked the One Year Anniversary of The Fenix Crew’s Arrival in Nosara, so now Marcia and Josh are embarking upon our second Summer/High/Tourist season/Thanksgiving in Nosara Costa Rica.

I bet you never thought you’d hear from me again eyh? ( I speak Canadian now too BTW) I took a little hiatus to reformulate a plan, and now I am ready to start off the local new year with a BANG..BANG………….did I say BIIIZZZZIIIIZZZZAAAANGGG!!!

The title of this post says it all…or does it? It serves as the official announcement that Marcia and Josh are no longer operating Refugio Del Sol Hotel or El Fenix Restaruant (Please, hold your applause until the end ) I am pretty sure that local Nosara Residents had a betting pool for how long we’d last so I would like to know who won and collect my shot(s) from the winner. 

SO WHAT HAPPENED ??? The truth of the matter is that Marcia and Josh packed up their stuff in good ol’ Savannah GEEAAWGIA and moved on a whim to a tropical paradise (ha) and run a hotel and restaurant. We Had NO EXPERIENCE – NO MONEY – NO IDEA of what we were getting into when deciding to RETIRE to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.  We made it further than ANYONE imagined (including us) and to our defense, we came down 4 people strong and were down to only the 2 of us by the end of  three months (VISA RUN)- We could have gone all the way aside from a few unseen obstacles not to mention the fact that owning/operating/marketing/ and LIVING at a Hotel/Restaurant/Bar is well, let’s just say “exhausting” to say the least -UNDERSTATEMENT of the year..

I would like to take this moment in the Coconut Telegraph”s History to initiate a new category Description called Stupid Gringo Button Situation.  Gringos (expats, Canadians, Europeans -anyone NOT TICO)– you know the EASY button Staples Office Supply store? Paint a big STUPID GRINGO right on that button and give it a WHACK whenever I deal with any Costa Rica Utility Institution (special shout out to ICE (pronounced EEESAY)  Costa Rica’s Government Run Monopoly for Electricity, Telephone and Internet) THANK YOU for making every electric bill at El Fenix a true event. (Stupid Gringo Button Situation #1)…………. And now we will institute the next Coconut Telegraph Category Description called (Marcia’s Personal Favorite Promotional Attempt ) – this will be for people, businesses or anything that I want to promote.    The NOSARA SPANISH INSTITUTE and my lovely teacher Sylvia are the recipiant’s of the first (Marcia’s Personal Favorite Promotional Attempt #1) POR QUE = Yo Comprendo Mucho Espanol VERDAD ICE!!!!!!?????

Can you keep a secret?  (My guess would be No) Marcia is NOT a Chef. (Shock, Awe! and Gasp!)  I can cook, apparently better than I thought – but CHEF?  Now let me give you a statistic –IN 8 MONTHS of OPERATION as CHEF of EL FENIX not one single plate ever came back to the kitchen returned for any reason….EVER… (Top Chef Season 12 in Costa Rica – Just a thought Bravo Network) Our plates came back licked clean almost 99% of the time.  I am consistently humbled and a bit amused when I receive compliments on my food to the high degree that I have – and I would like to thank you all very much for your support and kind words.  (Keep the comments coming)

I recently visited with a friend of mine who has known me since I was 13 years old and her name is Tonya Brown. I was telling her how much people loved my food. and how insane I thought it was.  ” I just find that so funny, Marcia” was her response. Tonya and I used to live together as roommates for a period of time and one night in our grand state of being decided to have Potato Night – 5 different types of potatoes for dinner;  french fries (of course), mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, scalloped potatoes, and baked Potatoes.  MMMM it was good but let’s get real…Marcia, A Chef??? C”mon..NO ONE saw THAT coming did ya?

Now we get down to the REAL nitty gritty – “What the hell are you still doing here Marcia?- I thought we would get rid of you by now?” Unfortunately, Marcia and Josh were voted off of the Costa Rica Ithsmus quite early but we’re just so damn stubborn that we just refused to put out our perverbial torch.  (SURVIVOR NOSARA, Costa Rica?? – Just another TV Show opportunity here CBS.)

The following explains it all – it is what was written at the top of the EL FENIX Restaurant Menu.  Our “Mission Statement” if you will.

In Mythology, the Phoenix is a bird of prey representing longevity and rebirth. According to legend, there can only be one Phoenix at a time, it lives for 500 to 1000 years and when it dies in a fire of its own making, it is then reborn out of the ashes. Among some accounts, the Phoenix represents those living in paradise enjoying eternal youth. We chose the name El Fenix because we truly believe we are living in paradise enjoying our own eternal youth. But mostly, the name El Fenix represents our determination to succeed in life and happiness and should we fail …….we will rise again out of the ashes

This always gives me chills when I read it because It consistently holds true…Then and Now…and Until I lived the words, I did not understand their meaning.  We came to Nosara Costa Rica because we believed in A Dream and an Opportunity to be a part of the community of Nosara – TODAY? I still believe in a dream and I believe in Opportunity….but I have an even bigger reason for staying in Nosara Costa Rica for now, something a bit larger than Nosara itself…

Stay tuned as we will soon launch the newest Phase of our master plan to rule the Universe with the new FENIX UNLIMITED. –  A Custom Service Company that will connect you with ANY service you want or need…Nosara and beyond – Customized vacations, airport transportation, house rental, hotels, B&Bs, Resorts, legal Service Referral, Business Consultations, Real Estate Investments, MASSAGE, Personal Training PROFESSIONAL SURF BOARD REPAIR, Event Planning and Promotion, Catering. The list goes on and on…basically,  you should just contact us if you NEED ANYTHING and we’ll put you in touch with the right people….The BEST PEOPLE… Fenix UnLTD’s network of providers and services has you covered – And we will RISE to any occasion.   (Fenix Unltd. Self Promotional Attempt #1) – New Website is on the way – until then contact me through the blog.

If anyone still wants some Jambalaya, Fish Tacos or Fried Tomatoes (and Avacado) – I will be happy to come to your kitchen and cook for you from the El Fenix Menu…as a Private Chef….or even show you a thing or two with a Private Cooking Lesson – In Spanish maybe?  at the Nosara Spanish Institute ??  There is even a rumor of possibly opening for reservations only 1-2 days per week at our secret location!!!

Marcia Banes is an expert in Sales and Marketing with over 10 Year’s Experience in the field.  I’m a Communications Specialist who has held jobs in just about every category you can think of; Sales/Marketing Director, Copywriter, SEO Optimizer, Presenter, Event Coordinator/Planner, Blogger, Chef, Personal Trainer, Manager, Owner and all around GREAT GALl .  I am studying Espanol with the hopes of becoming Fluent In Spanish and am learning quite a bit more about Search Engine Optimization through my recent work.  I am working with the up and coming Nosara Tourism Chamber with the hopes of being their marketing Guru very soon (hint hint)  so watch out for that to grow in the coming months.  Currently, I write web copy for several companies and am starting the FIRST Marketing and Promotional Company in Nosara Costa Rica called Fenix UnLTD CREATIVE which is a subdivision of Fenix UnLimited focused on promotion and events of all shapes and forms.  Wanna play in an exotic paradise on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica? Do you want to get married in a Tropical Wedding Destination aka Nosara Costa Rica (SEO OPTIMIZATION at it’s best here folks!  I’m taking my skills International.)  Nosara Costa Rica is a beautiful Sustainable Tourism Destination Experience and I say come one, come all.  (OOOOhhhh I have really made some of you mad eyh? – Canadian)   I want to continue my work in the International Tourism industry as a social media networker, copywriter and marketing director and currently, I am secretly developing a master plan to rule the universe.  Mwah Hah Ha. 

(Marcia Banes’ Shameless Self Promotional attempt #1 of MAAAANY). I say Happy Anniversary Nosara and all you lucky people past and present who I will come across in my journeys.  I’m STILL HERE, STILL BREATHING, and I’m STILL STANDING…yeah, yeah yeah...Besos Elton.

FINALLY! It’s Party time in Nosara FOR REAL!!

24 Jul

Hey nuttians – long time I know – and I promise to get the last two editions of my Spanish School Blogs soon… I was very sick the last few weeks – thought I had the Denge (mosquito flu) since the number of bugbites on my body could actually be named after all 50 of the Untied States!!!! So Saturday, July 24th – BIG DAY for us here in Nosara It is the Annexation Holiday of Guanacaste from Nicaragua – learn more by visiting or– but let me tell you …..It’s ON.  First, my favorite .Miami Fashion designer Karelle Levy is BACK in Nosara to perform her famous Krel To Go – where she transforms a piece of her hand made fabric into a wonderful fashion peice.  She’ll make you WHATEVER you want.  I have 2 peices done by Karelle and they are AWESOME. So from 2-6 at Mandolina Dress Shop (located just behind Wanderlust Realty in Guiones) Krel 2 Go will be GOING ON.  Visit Mandolina’s Facebook Page  for details.  Also, don’t forget to read my blogs on the big fashion show we held at Estancia Nosara Private club back in January – they will give you an inside into what we are dealing with here… 

After Krel 2 Go – we are all going to head over to what I hear is the best Restaurant in Nosara – El FENIX (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #31 )  where there is going to be a HUGE BASH.  Finally, we have found some music worthy of having a party around and we are SOOOO excited.  Starting at 6, EL Fenix will be serving their delicious menu andthen beginning around 7:30 or 8 – our DJS are going to start Playing some hot Music.  We’ve got Jueputasal from San Jose coming to spin some of his sick mixes – visitt Jueputasal’s Facebook page to listen to some of his work.  BUT IF THAT WASN”T ENOUGH – he’s bringing John Bourke from NEW YORK.  We are going to have Sangria, Beer, People, Fun – you name it….

THEN you’d think the night would be over, but NO….Vamos a Tropicana (Thank you Nosara Spanish Institute for my Spanish Skills) for their annual Annexation Party.  Guly and Susana throw quite a bash for this holiday – they will have Typical food to try and all the bartenders will be dressed in traditional wear.  Susana is going to let me borrow a dress which I hope to wear and she SWEARS I won’t get beat up by a TICA for wearing it….We’ll see but I’m game.  Visit Tropi’s Facebook for more info.   So we are going to be going all day long….Hope you’re ready Nosara..I know we are!!


8 Jul

Day 3 at the Nosara Spanish Institute proved to be another red letter day for the Super Gringos – Brody rejoined the group after taking Day 2 off to go catch some YELLOWFIN TUNA on his charter fishing excursion with his friends on Tuesday (way to go Brode!)- Another Rainy morning proved to make it difficult to wake up but none the less we made it to school. Hahaha – the stakes are raising higher!!!  We also had a suprise visitor, my friend Vana who has been staying in Nosara for a bit and is interested in taking some classes at the School, and wanted to sit in on a class.  They threw her in with the Super Gringos so she could REALLY see how effective the program is (The ol’  “IF JOSH AND MARCIA can learn SPANISH – ANYONE can learn theory.) -not a bad plan if I do say so – because we ARE learning!!

Today we went over A LOT of new vocabulary and practiced changing the verbs to reflect the (I, You, He, She, We, and Y’ALL forms)  We covered phrases for Tiempo (Time and Weather- same word), Numeros, dates, days of the weeks and months.  Something interesting out there for you Non-Spanish Speakers – the days of the week en Espanol correspond to Las Planetas – The Planets – Cool Huh?  Let’s See (and Learn together!!!) Lunes (La Luna – Moon), Martes (Marte -Mars), Miercoles (Mercurio- Mercury), Jueves (Ju’piter-Jupiter), Viernes (Venus -Venus), Sabado (Saturno – Saturn) Domingo – Domingo is the only day that does not correspond to a planet but instead translates to something similar to “Day of the Lord”

As we’ve been in class now for 3 days – I have definitely been reflecting back over my life to see what has brought me to this point. I’m talking about those little moments in my life that directed me to want to Learn To Speak Spanish, so

I would like to at this time, pause and pay tribute to some of the things over the years that have inspired me.  From my earliest cartoon memories – this character made me want to SCREAM the phrase – “ARRIBA, ARRIBA, ENDELE, ENDELE, ARRIBA ARRIBA” -Speedy Gonzales is one of my favorite cartoon characters back when I feel that Cartoons still had value… Saturday morning rocked!!! I would also like to give a small mention to his primo lenta (slow Cousin) se llama ‘ Slow Poke Gonzales because, well, he’s cute – and Super Tranquillo – which I love. – Thanks Looney Tunes for your contribtuion to my Spanish Education!!!

Next on my inspiration list is none other than the MOVIE, the SONG, the LEGEND….. LA BAMBA… Oh yes, You know what I am talking about – The 1987 movie that told the true story of Ritchie Valens -played by Lou Diamond Philips.  This movie sent me into a frensy to figure out what the heck they were saying in that song – it’s so catchy don’t you think?  The group Los Lobos remade the tune and instantly Gringos all over the US were singing in Spanish – Badly.  Since then, I have always wanted to translate that song…..Will it happen??? I guess we’ll find out – or do I feel a Karaoke night coming on????

Perhaps the last inspiration that I will talk about today may seem a bit strange. But yet another famous person inspired my Espanol Education and that is ..MADONNA…?Por que? You ask?? Well, she had a hit song back in the 80’s called “La Isla Bonita” off of her True Blue album.  This video was awesome to me – I loved the Spanish imagery (no matter how obsurd or far fetched) and I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT SHE WAS SAYING.  So to La Bamba and Madonna – Muchas Gracias!!

Now that you know my childhood inspriation for taking Spanish Lessons at the Nosara Spanish Institute just down the road from the best restaurant in Nosara – El Fenix Restaurant   -we can move back to our class!

The rest of the class for Wednesday was spent learning vocabulary and practicing and we need a LOT of practice – We even learned some of the names of the body parts with this awesome worksheet that my favorite proffessor, Sylvia, gave us.   (Love ya bonita!!) I got to practice them en la tarde when I had a client to train at the NEW NOSARA GYM above Banco Popular in Playa Guiones – that’s right!!! Look out folks – Marcia is also Personal Training again – I’m here to get you people in SHAPE – my client was a beautiful Tica named Annabelle who knows a good bit of English – but humored me to practice my newly acquired information on her – Thanks girl!!  For those of you who don’t know me all that well – in a previous life – I was a personal fitness trainer for about 7 years full time.  Yup, my clients would all have a heart attack if they knew I was cooking Southern Fried Food at my Restarurant El Fenix…But man those Fried Avacados are GOOD!! So why not come to Playa Pelada and eat some,  then go to the Nosara Gym to workout with me – !!

And since I am writing you this blog on Thursday Afternoon – I will let you in on a secret….we did make it to school this morning too and I will be blogging all about it – until then…..PURA VIDA Y’all – (I mean Ustedes!!)

Stakes are getting Higher – Gringos in Spanish School Day 2 COMPLETE

7 Jul

Good Morning Nuttians – I am blogging to you early in the am about or 2nd Day of School at the Nosara Spanish Institute!  Brody was invited to go charter fishing with a friend and since he’s so far ahead of us – we all decided to let him skip the 2nd day of school (who bet that BRODY wouldn’t make it – you win???!!!) HOWEVER, Josh and I DID go to school and learned a LOT of information.  

We finally started to cover what I have the most trouble with – TENSES – Basically in the English Language you have the ProNouns – I, You, He, She and IT – in Spanish, I, You, He and She…. Since nouns in Spanish are either masculine or feminine – they don’t technically have an “it” – it is either he or she.  (You will all be speaking Spanish in no time huh) Then you have the plural forms as well.  We worked a LOT on vocabulary and learning how to change the verbs to reflect the correct tenses. 

THEN – we got to go write on the board – YES!!!!  We had to write about our Familia – Who, How Many members, where we live – etc.  Now, I THRIVE on getting up in front of a group and talking (DUH) but josh wasn’t so thrilled – take a look at some of these lively pics. 


Haha – Yeah, Spanish can be frustrating but we are having a great time with Sylvia.  So what will we learn TODAY????? -Stay tuned and keep those bets coming – cuz it’s HUMP DAY and the Super Gringos are still making it to class!!!


6 Jul

WELL HEEEEELLLLLLOOOOOO there nuttians!! Or should I say ?(picture it upside down I don’t know how to type in Spanish!) Hola? It has been a long time since we talked last and as you can see from my title – we’ve had a lot going on.  If you will reference my last blog about the June Events and openings – you will read all about the new Nosara Spanish Institute that my very good friend Marco Johanning opened in Playa Pelada Nosara.  Josh and I have been living in Costa Rica since last November (2009) and are still SUPER GRINGOS when it comes to the ol’ Hablo Espanol so we have been WAITING for the school to open so that we can learn. Josh’s Son, Brody is staying with us this summer and the lucky thing gets to attend school with us!! (Brody knows more Spanish than both of us put together) 

So now the time has finally arrived and the bets are on the table (to place yours call 2682-0287) 

Bet # 1.) We won’t make it to class by 8am EVERY DAY THIS WEEK!! 

Bet #2.) We won’t learn any Spanish!

Bet #3.) YOU DECIDE!!!

I am going to try to take you through the experience because I am a big believer that if you want to live in a foreign country, you should learn the local language – and I have been chomping at the bit to listen to these TICOS talk and know EXACTLY what they are saying. (whahahaha “evil laugh”)  The Institute has several levels from Super Gringo (beginner) all the way up to SUPER TICO (advanced), they also have a condensed program for local residents who would like to learn (which you should).  Josh, Brody, and I are, however, are in what you would call the INTENSIVE Program at the School – how’s that sound??? 4 Hours a day – all week long I will be speaking and learning ESPANOL – watch out all you neysayers we’re coming for you!!!!

Today is the first day and we went to the school located in Casa De Paulina a Villas Pelada -(nice huh?) which  coincidently  is right down the road from the school’s “Official Restaurant” –, Where ALL NSI students receive 10% off EVERY DAY and practice their Spanish Skills with us.  We’ve even had NSI students interview our Staff as homework  so we are very helpful.  (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #30)

 So our day began SUPRISINGLY when Josh got up around 6am (no, not kidding) and went out to the kitchen while I tried to sleep until 7:30.  We got to the school and began right away with our beautiful and very intelligent professor, Sylvia (Pictured Teaching Here) –  the purpose of the school is to teach communication skills so we get to talk ALOT – and ALL in ESPANOL…. AY YA YA!!  We get 2 breaks during the four hours and Time FLEW by to be honest, plus there is AC in the classroom so it is heaven for us!! – I want to SLEEP at the Spanish School, which by the way, you can do at the school as part of your stay.

We covered a lot of ground in our first day and all 3 of us did really well – (seriously, Sylvia Told Us so!!!) Even RICO wanted to learn – (perro estupido) .  Just for all you Gringos Out there – here’s a lesson….. YOU NEVER PRONOUNCE THE LETTER H – Unless it comes after a c – ch…   Hola es pronnounced OLA – not HO – LA.  And the letters K and W are not used in ANY Spanish word  – they are only used in words that are foreign.  AMAZING huh???              

I loved the way Sylvia instructed and she was very positive and reinforcing – exactly what super gringos need!  When we learned about feminine and masculine words and some of the exceptions to the rule, Sylvia left me with this precious gem “El Problema es masculino pero La Solution es feminino”  My answer to that….SIEMPRE….. HASTA MANANA…if we make it on time. Stay Tuned