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Sweat it Out

12 May

Hey nuttians – I recently received an email about a SWEAT LODGE taking place this weekend on Playa Pelada home to the famous El Fenix Restaurant at Refugio Del Sol (Shamless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #27 ).  I know nothing at all about this ancient thereputic technique but it sounds pretty cool, so I wanted to pass along the information to those of you looking for a good sweat (as if the Costa Rican Climate didn’t take care of that enought)  I am posting the information directly from the email I received from Marcelo Orsetti  (Massage Therapist, Yoga Vital Instructor, Therapeutic Temascal Facilitator) who will be leading the sweat lodge.  Here is what it said…

The sweat lodge Temascal is an ancient tool of healing, now offered in its therapeutic mode. This sauna made with indigenous techniques, mixes and potentiates the benefits of many health therapies; thermotherapy, herbal therapy, talasotherapy (immersions in the ocean), prana therapy, psychotherapy and aromatherapy. Benefits: detoxification, respiratory system cleaning, skin cleaning, improves the blood and linfa circulation, deep muscle relaxation, mental relaxation…

For its healing properties is an effective method to stimulate all the internal organs, cleansing our body, sweating large amounts of accumulated toxins. Eliminate chronic physical and mental tiredness. In energetic terms, thus achieving a clean and harmonization of our subtle body.

 Therapeutic Sweat Lodge Temascal – An ancient healing therapy Friday 14th May at 5:15 pm gathering Playa Pelada North

 Investment: $35 or C18,000.

Room for 10 participants. By reservations only: call 2682-0240.

What to bring? Portable water -at least 2 litres, swim suit, towel, warm clothes for afterwards, flashlight. We start promptly at 5:15pm, we enter the lodge at 5:45pm. Ends at 7:15, sharing a table with fruits. At Playa Pelada North, by the river.

If you attend the Sweat Lodge, might I suggest stopping by El Fenix at Refugio Del Sol afterward for a healthy Jambalaya Dinner that will help continue the sweating process – cuz it’s SPICY…(Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #28)


Why I moved to Costa Rica Part 3: The Secret Beach Road to Mal Pais

13 Apr

 So hello again coconuttians.  I am sure that you all thought I had abandoned you, but quite the contrary is true.  I have been anxiously waiting to write about the road trip to Mal Pais that we took a few weeks ago. 

Our 2 VIVs – Very Important Vacationers, Marina and Chelsey return to this blog to enjoy the journey with us as we all take the maiden voyage of the first REFUGIO DEL SOL CAR TOUR.  This is a new service offered at REFUGIO DEL SOL and is a terrific way to see the countryside and visit some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #25 )  

You might remember Marina and Chelsey from my last in the Why I moved to Costa Rica series of blogs entitled simply “Part 2” when we took them to Tamarindo on our very first REFUGIO DEL SOL ATV TOUR. Another excellent service that we have began offering at REFUGIO DEL SOL (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #26 )   These lucky vacationers had a great time on that trip so they were understandably pumped to go to Mal Pais via Car with none other than REFUGIO DEL SOL’s very own Activities Coordinator – Joshua De La Flores at the helm..  So with our trusty Map of Costa Rica in hand we all pile into the rental car and away we go. 

There are two ways to get to Mal Pais according to our map – one way is to go North East to the coast of Gulf of Nicoya and then follow the road along the coast in an Eastern Direction, THEN South to the Tip of the Peninsula.  The other route to Mal Pais is line straight down the Pacific Poast of the Peninsula.  The difference between these routes you ask?  Most people choose to take the first option because the majority of the drive is on what is considered in lamens terms a “REAL” Road.  These roads are represented by a solid red line on the map.  It basically means that there is a “Defined” road whether dirt or paved. (Let’s just iterate that “Defined” Roads mean differnt things to different people!)  Most people DO NOT take the second option to get to Mal Pais because it is considered a “country road” on the map, meaning you’ll be lucky if there is even a road there PERIOD…(Let’s take a musical interlude here and listen to one of my favorite songs on the topic.)  “Country Roads” are represented on the map by a purple dotted line.  Now I don’t know about you, but when I look at a dotted line, I notice that there are spaces missing. In Costa Rica, these missing spaces could litereally represent almost anything; traversing a river (or 10), dodging cattle, fallen trees, monkey crossing – you know, your usual jungle road hazzards.  So needless to say, this way is a more let’s say CHALLENGING route.  Since this is a Joshua De La Flores lead tour – there really is no question about which road we will take….Is there?  I think our VIV Marina said it best when she called it “The Secret Beach Road” so from here forward that is also what we will call the route to our destination. 

We head toward Samara which is already a familiar trek for us, but none of us have been further south.  Our first attraction once we passed Samara, we come upon Playa Carillo.  I was impressed with this beach, it would be the perfect place for a BBQ, family reunion, volleyball, camping you name it.  I have also been told that a big party is held there every year after the rainy season ends to welcome in the summer season.  It is a really flat, long beach that sort of reminds me of a family park back in the states.  

Once we pass Playa Carillo, we know we are coming up to the turn that will put us on the Secret Beach Road but we don’t know exactly where it is.  So we made a turn that LOOKED like it might be the road, but upon further inspection, this is what we saw.  Wrong way wouldn’t you say?  As we start to back out, I notice another sign that says- 1000 colones por paseo – Gringo Translation; $2 Bucks to Pass.  Have we discovered a hidden entrance to the ellusive Secret Beach Road? I must confess, I felt a little bit like Indiana Jones at this point and the theme song began playing in my head.  Just then, a young boy came out of the home and I asked him (In Spanglish) if this was the road to Mal Pais and assured us it was.  I would like to add to the authenticity of the storty by telling you that the boy was also accompanied by a ferocious guard dog. GRRRRRR.  We paid the boy the 1000 colones and he let us pass.  Personally, I love this boy’s spunk.  Here he is, living in a house that just happens to have access to a secret beach road so he figures, hey – I should try these people up to see if they’ll pay to drive on property that isn’t even mine!!!  This is entrepreneurialism at its finest folks.  Bravo young Tico, Bravo.

As we say farewell to our young gate keeper, we enter……. the Secret Beach Road. (Duh Duh Duh)   After a dry riverbed or two, the road started to even out and although it was bumpy, we knew that we were going the right way.  We pass Playa Camaronal and come upon a Golf Course and Spa Resort – not typical for a country road in Costa Rica!  Just after the Golf Course, we start driving up a very steep hillside where we are greeted with a spectacular view of Punta Islita ,a tiny little beach town nestled in a valley cove just past Camoronal.  As we admire our surroundings, we begin to notice something different about the road we are driving on …. – it’s PAVED!!!   What’s going on here – pavement on the Secret Beach Road?  The pavement takes us in front of this amazing looking hotel property called Hotel Punta Islita – which I have since learned happens to be one of the top 25 5-star resorts in the world.  This place was NICE.  I would love to stay there someday for sure. (hint hint Josh) As we travel to the end of the town, we stop to take a photo of this pretty little church.    As we are taking photos with the car stopped in the middle of the road, a man comes out from his house accross the street and started talking to us.  I tell him where we are from and that I write this blog and about the Why I moved to Costa Rica series and the man says “You must know Kelly Patterson then, with the Voice of Nosara Newspaper.”  WHAWHAWHAAAT????? Do I know Kelly Patterson??? I exclaimed.  She’s only the FOUNDER of the Nosara Coconut Telegraph.(WAY SMALL WORLD) We learn that he is an artist by the name of We find out his name is Joseph Kaknes and he is a local artist.  He lives in this little house selling his work and I will tell you he has quite the sweet little spot there in Islita.  But since the sun was almost set by this point, we said goodbye to Joe and started trucking up the next big hillside where we saw one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. In my opinion, Sunset view made the entire trip worth the ride.  This photo doesn’t even come close to doing it justice but I’ll show you anyway.  You have to go check this place out for yourself. (NOW do you see why I moved to Costa Rica?) 

Now here is the point in the story where the trip gets interesting.  Sun is set and we are in Punta Islita, which is only about 1/4 of the way down the secret beach road.  We have no clue where we are going and all we have going for us is our Costa Rican Map.  We continue to follow signs for the cities and beaches on the map and we seemed to be going the right way.  However, once we arrived at a large dry river bed we seemed to be a standstill. We couldn’t tell where the road was on the other side of the river bed or which direction to go.  It was just too dark outside.  Just as we were trying to figure out which way to go, out of nowhere comes this van with surfboards on top.   Cha Ching!  Now this is what I am talking about – Follow the Surfers!!!  They drove accross that river bed and went straight over to the road on the other side – so obviously we were going to let them lead the way – just like Rudolph. 

We follow the van for a ways and come to what is the most interesting part of the “Secret Beach Road.” A portion of the drive actually takes place on the beach itself – super cool yes, but you can’t cross the beach during high tide and we have no clue when tide occured that day.  Once we make the turn we can instantly tell that we are driving on the beach.  That’s right ON THE BEACH, following some van of surfers and having NO CLUE how close we are to the ocean waves.  IT WAS SUPER COOL! I would like to take this opportunity to thank that Van of Surfers – We could not have been more blessed to have run into you guys at EXACTLY the moment we did or we might have never gotten to the beach. SURFERS RULE

After the beach, it is just a short distance to Mal Pais, and basically when you enter the area you come to Santa Teresa first, then Playa Carmen and then Mal Pais.  You can’t really even tell that you are in one place verses the other because it is all one strip of road that you drive along the coast.  There are a LOT of hotels, inns and hostels – one right after the other – and restaurants – a LOT of Restaurants.  We had reserved a room at Luz De Vida hotel right on the beach in Santa Teresa.  The four of us split a two level bungalow with a loft double bed and 2 singles downstairs.  Once we arrived, we ate and crashed after our long journey. 

The next day we went to the beach just straight out about 100 meters from our room.  You know when you are in a big place when they need to give you roadmap signs to get places.  This place was really well kept with sidewalks leading you wherever you needed to go.  (Even though we did actually got lost a few times getting back to our room.) They had a really big pool, a nice restaurant and bar, massage huts along the path to the beach and best yet, they had hammocks at the end of the beach that faced the ocean so I could lay comfortably and watch Josh surf.  Why, here is a picture of me enjoying my hammock now – and what is that beautiful cocktail in my hand???? A rum smoothie from the Luz De Vida Restaurant of course!!  -EEEEXXXXCCCCEEELLLLEEENNNT.  I will tell you a little secret, even though the beach and the pool were absoulutely wonderful; I really just wanted to lay around in the air conditioning and watch 90210 reruns!!!!   I mean, 90210 Dylan, Brandon, Brenda – you all know what I am talking about!!!  

We spent the rest of the day in the pool soaking up the rays.  Then it was time for LUNCH!!!! We drove up and down the strip to choose between the many places to eat and where did we stop??? Of course it would be a place called Rancho Burger.  We passed it the night before and it was packed – and we figure we could go for a nice burger so we ventured in.  SOOOOO glad we did too, the food was excellent.  I got a Schnitzel – mainly because when you see that word on a menu in Costa Rica you gotta know what it is right???   It was a breaded chicken breast and MAN was it good.  (Pictured Left) And Josh, got the Rancho Burger also Great.(Pictured Right)

OOOhhh MUY RICO.  Gringo Translation: MMMMMM YUMMY!!!! 

After Lunch, it was time to head home – so we started our trek back, this time it would be during the day so we could see where we were going. Except this time, when we arrived at the beach portion of the trail, we discovered it was High tide and we’d need to find another way around or wait it out.  Of course, we found another way because we are extremely impatient people.  It wasn’t difficult, the path was designated on the map and we just followed city and beach names until we bypassed the beach portion of the road.  (Although, driving on the beach is definitely my preferred method – ALWAYS.)  

The rest of the way home reminded me very much of my home state of Virginia (not to be mistaken for WEST Virginia.)  Lots of mountains and dirt roads – yup that about sums up where I am from.  It was really a spectacular drive.  Every new hill that we crested led to another amazing view of a cove or beach. It was truly exceptional.  We even got to stop again at Punta Islita (our favorite view point thus far) to take some photos during the day

We made it back to Nosara all in one peace with another successful Refugio Del Sol tour under our belt.  Mal Pais is definitely a destination that we will travel to again if only to view the scenic drive. 

Stay tuned for the next in the series of Why I moved to Costa Rica then why don’t you just move to Costa Rica too????

“Just Grow It” Mustache March Overtakes Nosara

18 Mar

The month of March signifies many different things to different people and cultures.  Daylight savings time (to some uneducated parts of the world), the beginning of Spring and St. Patrick’s Day to name only a few.  Yet, there is a significance to March greater than any of these, greater perhaps than even you or I could ever imagine.  It’s name is Mustache March, an underground subculture determined to break the mysteries and myths of the often misunderstood mustache.  Mustache March is a time to reflect on just how special upper lip facial hair is and to appreciate it’s acheivements through history.  I will be paying my own contributions to this facial wonder by posting photos of my personal favorite mustache men throughout history. 

The mustache has several common abbreviations such as “The stache”, “tache”, “tash”, and one of my personal favorites “mo”. And needless to say there are numerous slang terms for the mustache mostly reflecting its supposed aid in sexual activity. eg. pushbroom, soupstrainer, cookieduster, nose neighbor, flavor saver, mouth brow.  (Send me more – I’m sure there are tons of other slang terms and abbreviations and I will post them.)  Mustaches have been losing popularity over the last several years and are usually frowned upon in today’s society.  Mustache March seeks to put an end to the stereotype that all mustache wearer’s are poligamists or pedefiles – these brave men are standing up against mustache profiling. 

The Coconut Telegraph wants to salute these heroes – and create an environment where they can feel safe to let their staches show.  So we are going to have the First Annual Coconut Telegraph Reader Voted Mustache March Contest – Whew! that is a mouthful – in more ways than one.  Here in Nosara we have a group of able haired men who have shaved it all (except the upper lip of course) for the greater good and the Coconut Telegraph wants to celebrate their efforts and commend their sacrifices.  It hasn’t been easy for these men – the ridicule, the whispers, giggles, mothers pulling their children closer as they walk by and the wost of all, for some of these men, is the early unveiling of their premature receeding hairlines to the world. These things can scar a man to the point of no return.

The contestant’s photos will be posted here on the Coconut Telegraph.  Please send me comments and emails to vote for your favorites in the categories listed below.  Multiple voting is allowed and I encourage readers submit your own categories.  I want to stress that Mustache March is NOT soley a contest – it is a cultural movement (lord help us all).  The only rule in our contest is that there are no rules.. Participants must have a well defined mustache, simple enough.

Now it is up to us – the Coconut Telegraph Readers – to officially recognize their acheivements with the following categories –

Best of Show – This name says it all – best mustache, period…..

Best Fit – Sometimes the fates allow a man to look good with a mustache, better even..

Best Porn Stache – Oh yeah, you know who they are

Best Pedifile Mustache – Sometimes we just can’t shake the image in our heads – no matter how wrong it is

Best Receeding Hairline/Mustache Combo – unfortunately, when you let hair grow in some places…. you notice that it has disappeared in others. 

Best Burt Reynolds Few men can REALLY Pull off a mustache the way good ol Burt did.  I have a special place in my heart for Burt and that is why one of the most famous sandwiches at EL FENIX Restaurant is lovingly named Smokey And the Bandit.  It is a delicious BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich that will give you a reason to take your hat off !  (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attemt #22)

Now for the Contestants:  (Send me your mustache photos boys – you know who you are!)

First, off we have Dave Malban from the Frog Pad in Nosara.  We love going to Dave for all our favorite new movie rentals and books!  Mr Entertainment himself. 

Make sure you cast your votes for Dave if you think he has the Best in Show!




Our next contestant is local Frontman Jason Michael Wilcox “The Diva” Fernandez.  Jason is styling the mustace known as the Handlebar.  Jason’s nickname “the Diva” comes from his addiction to the DIVA OMELETE At El Fenix Restaurant And Bar.  Who can blame him, this omelete is sooo good with avacados, chicken and  pico de gallo and it can also be eaten as a burrito – many locals share his addiction.  (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #23)  Make sure you show Jason your love!


Our third contestant is Jacob Mendalson from Tierra Magnifica.  You may remember Jacob from the International KRELwear Fashion show that I was the star of back in January.  Jacob rocked those clothes like he is rocking his “mo”  You GO Jacob.  C’mon Girls, he’s single. 

We have about 4 other guys to add to the list, Jay, Dustin, Dominick and Matteo – make sure I get photos of these studs so that I can post them for the world to vote on. 

Now here is the REAL fun.  On Wednesday March 31st 2010 – We will hold the first ever Coconut Telegraph Reader Voted Mustache March Awards Ceremony at EL FENIX RESTAURANT starting at 8pm.  We will have prizes for the winners (please donate a prize from your business if you believe in the cause) Drink Specials, and our famous Tailgate Chili (along our full menu).  Wednesdays are also Nintendo Wii Wednesdays at EL FENIX therefore the mustache contestants will be given opportunities to earn more points by winning at DJ Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, Tennis, Bowling and many more of your favorite games.  (Shameless Personal Self Prmotional Attempt #24)


Happy St. Patrick’s Day Week of Festivities!

16 Mar

I am not sure how many of you know Josh and I hail from Savannah Georgia but in Savannah, the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration rivals only the one that takes place in Boston, Massachusettes.  WE LOVE St. Patrick’s Day and are excited to celebrate our first one in COSTA RICA! Last St. Patrick’s Day, we (ok by we I mean I)  thought it would be a good idea to walk a baby pig around Savannah’s Massive All Day St. Patrick’s Day Parade in order to raise money for the American Diabetes Association’s Kiss A Pig Campaign (Yes, I did say pig ).  Being the responsible adult that I am, we partied all night before going to bed at, oh, quarter past NEVER and literally walked around with a baby pig in a wagon the entire day to raise money for Diabetes – now THAT is committment people.  Here is a pic of me and my friend Gretchen and then a pic of the pig. All I have to say is What the hell was I thinking? 

All Pigs aside -There is ALOT going on this week in Nosara so I am going to fill in your calendar for you ok? 

TUESDAY the 16th –

Did you know that El Fenix Restaurant holds Texas Hold Em Poker Tournaments Each Tuesday night at 7p along with 1000 colones Flor De Cana, Beer and the cutest little chef in the world?  (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #17) After playing some poker, you should head over to the Guilded Iguana for Live Music Night then wind up the night at Cafe Lounge/Kaya Sol.  Thanks to Matt and Diane Tuesdays are a big night! **Note** anyone going from Pelada take the Jungle cut to the beach and walk to Guilded and Kaya Sol – it is way faster than driving and the stars are always A-M-A-Z-I-N-G in case you didn’t know. 

Wednesday the 17th –

Now on to the BIG HOLIDAY of ST. PATRICK Himself.  Before the festivites begin we will be holding the very first meeting of the newly formed Nosara Tourism Chamber at L’Aqua Viva Resort at 10am.  I encourage everyone to attend this meeting, which is completely open to the public and will be extremely casual and informal.  You need to bring nothing except yourself and your ideas on how to put Nosara Tourism on the map. Even if you don’t attend this meeting for any other reason than to witness your newly elected official VOCAL 1 -( Me )  in action.  Oh yeah, VOCAL 1 baby. Now I have held a lot of titles in my day, some good – some bad, but no title has ever described me better in my life than the words Vocal ONE!!!  And what does the VOCAL 1 do one might ask?  You know 100% that I don’t have a clue either so you’ll just have to come to the meeting and find out with me.

Next item on the agenda for Wednesday is that El Fenix Restaurant will be having $1.00 off our Meat N Taters Omelet which was inspired by the Luck O The Irish and will serving our new Meat N Taters Plate which you can eat while drinking our 1000 colones beer and Flor De Cana. (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #17) 

Then on to the final event: EL Fenix will have some cabs available throughout the night to take all the anxious partygoers up to the BLACK SHEEP ST. PADDY’S DAY BASH!  We’ll probably be closing the restaurant early so that we can go up ourselves.  I also am sad to say that this will be the Nosara Band Kokopelli’s Final Performance with Nosara’s Favorite Frontman, Jason Michael Wilcox “the Diva” Fernandez (as his REAL FRIENDS know him). TAKE NOTE: El Fenix Restaurant is hosting a farewell party for Jason “the Diva” the following Wed. March 24th – so go ahead and put that date on your calendar as well.  (Shameless Personal Self Promotion Attempt #18)  The Party at Black Sheep starts around 6p but usually gets really moving around 9p or later.  You will certainly be able to find us over at the Car Bomb station, but don’t lose your bet to Josh when he challenges you to a Car Bomb drinking contest 🙂 here is a photo of me from the last Black Sheep Party.  Is that Glitter???  

Now after the Hangover from St. Paddy’s Day, come out to El Fenix on Thursday night to have All you can Eat Chips and Bottomless Sangria for only 5000 colones starting at 6p.  (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #19) Then you will want to hop in one of our cars and join us for the La Banana Reggae Night.  You know that Paul will be there pumping up some beats for us all to dance too. 

The party doesn’t stop on Thursday this week.  Starting at 9pm this Friday, there is a House Party at ESTANCIA NOSARA PRIVATE CLUB.  I was really excited to hear about this one because it is a concert stop on the VIBES CREW TOUR FROM 911 RADIO!!   I am super stoked that there is no cover and I will definitely be getting my groove on to some full Reggae Mixes. If you didn’t know, The Estancia Nosara Private Club is where I became an international runway model in the KRELWEAR fashion show this past Jan.  (Refer to the blogs You Better Work and Waiting for your Call Tyra Banks)  Also, check out the Voice of Nosara website and paper this month where there are tons of photos and an Interview that I wrote on the designer, Karelle Levy. 

And now that we are talking about Fashion Shows, we move on to Saturday the 20th and The Surf Bikini Fashion Show hosted by my girly girl Nina Arias.  The show will be taking place at 8pm at Cafe LoungeKaya Sol and will be showing SURF BIKINIs by designer Desi Morffe.  Innocent Surf School has been selling Desi’s suits for a while and that is where I bought the 2 that I have.  Take a look at how cute I am in this oneThis particular suit is NOT good for surfing.  When I was taking my surfing lessons from Innocent Surf School (Alex E. and Matt A. old skool) I wore the suit “to surf” in, and let’s just say that Alex and Matt knew what they were doing when they sold it to me and the first wave hit me. (HELLO LADIES!!)  I do love the suit though and I do get a LOT of great compliments on it and my other Desi Suit is perfect for surfing.  She even makes reversable suits – hell yes.  Desi will be having her suits at the Innocent Surf School office location for the months of March and April “Pop Up Bikini Shop”- Innocent Surf School moved out of the location because they are now in the Surfing Camp Business and don’t have a need for the office space any more.  You will be hearing more about this camp on the blog, but Ru and Gem and the gang are doing some amazing things. 

We all know I am a fashion whore but  CLUB FENIX with DJ Memo LIVE from the Tropical Garden takes place every Saturday at El Fenix Restaurant starting at 8p and I have to cook some fabulous dinners so I won’t be able to attend the event.(Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #20) Please send me photos!!  EL Fenix has become quite the popular spot on Saturday so if you go over to see the bikinis come and dance with us a bit later.  We also have cabs to pick people up and go to Tropicana…. and NO Saturday night in Nosara would be complete without a night at the ONLY Nosara Discoteque lovingly known to us locals as Tropi.   

Finally, Sunday rounds out the week with Brunch at El Fenix Restaurant from 10a-2p.  After a hard week of St. Paddy’s Activites I am sure a Bloody Mary or Mimosa would hit the spot – and they are only 1000 colones.  We have a great new brunch menu which is becoming quite popular for it’s strawberry banana pancakes and fried macaroni balls.  Mention the blog and I will give you a free Mimosa or Smoothie. (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #21)  

Well that should be enough to keep you busy this week don’t you think??Make sure you go to the Voice Of Nosara’s event calendar at to check out what the rest of March has to offer you.   I hope to see you out and about. 

The Blog Part 3 of the “Why I moved to Costa Rica Series” trip to Mal Pais is coming today or tomorrow.

THIS JUST IN:  right after I sent the blog, I got an email from Friends of Nosara and here it is.  

17 March – 6 p.m.. to 9:30 p.m.

Come join the Del Mar Academy Scholarship Committee in a St. Patrick’s day celebration at The Gilded Iguana Pool Bar.  Raffles, drink and food specials. Proceeds benefit the Del Mar Academy Scholarship Fund with 10% of the funds raised donated directly to Nosara’s local public schools projects.


20 March

Soccer Tournament benefit to repair the bathrooms at the primary school Serapio López.  Register your team of 5-7 by Wednesday, 17 March.  ¢10,000 a team  Games are at night in the dark with only flashlights.  For more information contact “Palancho” at the Frog Pad, 2682-4039 or 2682-0570 or Surfing Nosara, 2682-0570.  Awards ceremony afterwards at Rancho Tuto

Definitely awesome events that were worth a mention.  Sorry they were last minute entries!!

Part 2 of the “Why I moved to Costa Rica Series”

12 Mar

My blog Titled My Best Valentine’s Day ever spurred a lot of comments and I was even interviewed by Surfing Nosara’s Curious Gorman Series as he asked locals what they like to do besides surf – check it out at .  Then it seems that the need  to know what the Nicoya Penensula has to offer is greater than I imagined, so I am going to attempt to fill the void by beginning our Why I moved to Costa Rica Series.  I’ll talk about businesses we frequent like great restaurants, chic stores and trips or tours that we should all know about. (THEREFORE – Please Send me any suggestions of places, or things you want to know about or even better, send me invites to come to your business and experience it for myself.)

So On To Part 2 of the Series: 

Renting the Honda Quads from IQUAD rentals at the Guilded Iguana has now become one of our favorite things to do on our day off from cooking all of Nosara the best food around at EL FENIX Bar and Restaurant (Shameless Personal Self Promotion attempt #13)  This week we had a few hotel guests that were staying with us that wanted to join us for a Quad Trip to Tamarindo, so we took them to Guilded Iguana to rent their own Bad Ass Quads (c’mon Alex I’m shooting for a free rental here!!!) and then be “on the road again” 

Let’s introduce our team of Road Warriors.  First, we have Marina and Chelsey.  Marina is going to be staying at Refugio Del Sol until May because she, like many others before her, has realized that Refugio Del Sol is her “Tropical Refuge From the Sun” and the most awesome Boutique Hotel in Nosara. (Shameless Personal Self Promotional  Attempt #14)   Marina’s friend Chelsey is here on vacation for 2 weeks and her and Marina were planning on visiting  several areas of Costa Rica. However,  once they stayed with us at Refugio Del Sol – they knew they needed to look no further because there could not be any other hotel as beautiful and peaceful as ours or any other hosts as fun and entertaining as me and Josh. ( I personally, feel that they are very smart young women.)  

Now we’ll introduce Keith and Mandy from Chicago, IL.  Keith and Mandy stumbled upon us after viewing our newly designed Refugio Del Sol website which is full of events, menus, and beautiful photography. (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #14)  They too were up for the Quad Adventure Challenge and we gladly accepted them as part of our team.  Unfortunately, the day started off Rocky for Keith and Mandy as within minutes of pulling out of the Guilded Iguana Parking lot with his bad ass quad, Keith ran into a big ass pole!!! (Not what is supposed to happen to a fellow Road Warrior at all.)  Keith messed up his wrist a bit and caused what looked like only minor cosmetic damage to the quad – so bravely, Mandy volunteerd to drive her injured beau to our destination and admitted she might gain back some “country cred” that she has lost by living in the big city.

Leaving the hotel around 10am, we took off for our first stop at Ostional and our friend Frank’s House.  Frank is our meat smoker and provides EL Fenix Restaurant with Free-Range Fresh Chicken,  and also just happens to have house is right accross the street from one of the most beautiful spots on Ostional Beach. (The house was grandfathered in before the laws preventing building that close to the beach.) If you stop by to see Frank he will also sell you some Coconut Water fresh from the tree, along with chemical-free Mangos, Watermelons or whatever he has on hand that is fresh.  The gang took a few photos at the beach and headed off to eat breakfast in San Juanillo. 

We drove down the road to the beach in San Juanillo and discovered there were quite a few restaurants and bars there. One in particular caught our attention called Ancient People, where we discovered a delectable array of treats awaiting us.  We met the owner Mahi, had painted the beautiful art on the walls herself.  I asked Mahi what her most popular item was and she immediately said that people come back for the Cheesecake – although I had my eye on the sign that said Pineapple Cake . Mandy, Keith, Marina and myself ordered one of her breakfast combos that came complete with freshly squeezed orange juice (delightful), eggs, ham and whole grain bread – both of which I have not had in quite awhile.  Josh and Chelsey were very pleased that they got the chicken wrap smothered in Mahi’s sweet chili glaze – mmmmmmm.   (I will be ordering this myself next time.)  While we were eating and studying Mahi’s menu varitey of ice creams, coffees, smoothies, wraps and sweets; we learned that Mahi is also a Tatoo Artist and was about to draw a tattoo on one of the customers that we had been talking to.  By the look of her artwork, I’d say she’s pretty good, but we were all more impressed with her authenic Costa Rican Tatoo Machine. Super cool. 

If you want to stop by and see Mahi, have a smoothie and get a tatoo – you can call 8888-9666.  (Tell her Marcia from Refugio Del Sol Sent you!) 

 Once we had stuffed ourselves full we said farewell to Mahi and San Juanillo and headed through Marbella to reach our second Stop…. Playa Negra and Hotel Playa Negra.  Josh and I stop here on every trip to get a drink and a quick dip in the ocean.  We love this restaurant/bar and this time we have some photos to show. This is the only hotel that is situated on the beach in Playa Negra and they also have a little surf/souvenier shop and it looks like they are building some private cabinas behind the restaurant that are really going to be nice.  The waves in Playa Negra were decent this day, not too big, unlike the HUGE vulture-like pelecans that were swimming in the waves.  I thought they were going to gobble me up. For more information on Hotel Playa Negra, check out their website at or call 506-2652-9134 – and go say hi to Lito. 

We left Playa Negra with the intent to have a quick stop at Avellanas beach just 2 miles (I mean Kilometers, old habits you know) up the road, Josh decided to make a left turn to go check out a development that is being built near the middle of town in playa Negra – that is where the unthinkable happened….We Lost One of Our Own.  (GASP!!!)  Yup you heard it right, we turned left, and Keith and Mandy did not see us through the dust and made a right turn thinking that is the way we drove.  After a few minutes, we realized that they were not behind us and we sped up the road ahead to try to find them.  Josh and I subscribe heavily to the “Leave no man behind” theory of Quad touring up the Costa Rican Coast – so it was our mission to find them.  Mission………………. FAILED!!!    We went ahead, we went behind, we stopped at Avellanas beach – at least 3 times for each of the above until we had spent an hour looking for our little lost sheep.  We were hoping they would stop along the roadside once they realized they were on their own OR very least that they would forge ahead to Tamarindo.  Either way, we had to move on ourselves.  (DISCLAIMER:  Anyone that Knows or has ever met Joshua De La Flores (as he is better known), should completely understand that they are taking their own life into their own hands when they decide to follow him on ANY adventure!)

We warriored on in true Biker Gang Fashion up the dusty trail to Tamarindo,  stopping to fill up the gas tanks at our favorite Gasolina AKA the Air Conditioning Repair Guy – Driving down the main strip of Tamarindo we look to our left where lo and behold we saw an excited Mandy on the side of the road flagging us down. (Hooray – they made it alive!) We had mentioned earlier to the group we would probably stop at the Big Resort with the Pool (The Diria) and like TRUE Road Warriors, they had retained and utilized that information and were hoping they would run into us when we arrived.  Josh and I usually stop here because they have good food, a great view of the ocean and a pool that we can take a quick dip in.  We happily sat down and ordered drinks, lunch and took in the beauty of our surroundings.  I am especially fond of the crazy “Haunted Forest” look alike tree in the middle of the restaurant.

After eating lunch we went to a few local stores in the search of CHALKBOARD paint which has completely eluded us.  It is a paint that turns surfaces into chalkboards that you can write on and I want it so that I can make a Special Menu Item board.  There are so many things that I can cook and want to serve on our menu at EL FENIX that I can’t fit them all on one menu. Selections like Honey Glazed Pork Chops or Smoked Fish Tacos that  deserve to be on their own board anyway. (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #15)  

We knew that sunset was quickly approaching and really wanted to make a final stop at Playa Grande.  We were about 5 minutes from the beach when traffic stopped completely because there was a monkey crossing the road taking his sweet little time doing so.  (LIVE WILDLIFE up close and personal on the Joshua De La Flores Tour! )

Playa Grande is a more private beach than the others and also great for surfing. We like to watch sunset here before we make the trip home.  I think the group liked this stop the best, and I would have to agree with them. With some of our crew nervous about paroosing the crazy dirt roads after dark, we left Playa Grande to head home.  It was a beautiful ride home watching the sunset over the mountains and then the stars were out in full force once the sun went down.  We had to spread out quite a bit after dark because the dust makes it so hard to see but everyone did a great job driving.  We made one final stop at good ol’ Frank’s in Osteonal to fuel up on some Coconut Water before heading into Nosara where we took one final detour through the Nosara Springs neighborhood and ran into a pack of horses grazing on the side of the road – how much more can you ask for on a quad tour – excitement, intrigue, animals, the air conditioning repair gas guy.  The Refugio Del Sol Road Warriors suceeded in their mission and everyone had a great time.

It was overall a great tour and we would now like to announce that REFUGIO DEL SOL officially gives quad tours to our hotel guests as one of the MANY services provided like surfing lessons,  personal fitness training, yoga and massage, wedding receptions etc. (Shameless Personal Self Promotional Attempt #16.)  Josh and I promise not to lose anyone else on a tour and we guarantee you a BLAST!!!

So now I’m sure all of you are wondering what happened with the wrecked quad……..  Unfortunately, the wreck bent the whole chassy and Keith and Mandy were going to have to replace it.  IQUAD was really awesome in the way they handled the situation and we really appreciate them taking such good care of us and our hotel guests.  If you would like to rent a quad from IQUAD (and I know you do) contact Alex at  (506) 2682-0450 or stop by the Guilded Iguana. 

Next Trip????  Tune in to find out!!

TSUNAMI or NOT TSUNAMI…What was the question?

1 Mar

Hello Coconut Telegraph Readers and Happy March to you all.  I felt the need to blog about the events that happened Saturday February 27 here in Nosara Costa Rica for those who went through it with me, and for those who had no idea what was going on. 

First, let me paint the scene.  I own and live at my own Boutique Hotel and Restaurant – Refugio Del Sol, and I don’t know if any of you have ever lived where you work but it is definitely an experience.  I have, on several occasions, made references to the movie the SHINING – where all work and no play makes Marcia …..COMPLETELY INSANE!!!!!  I always tell my neighbors that if they see me running down the street with a hatchet, just leave me alone and let me go. (BTW, Josh happens to HATE my Shining Jokes, I don’t understand why though).  Now with the scene set,  we will move along.  My restaurant, El Fenix which happens to have the Best Breakfast in Nosara – (Shameless Self Promotional Attempt #12)  opens at 7am for Breakfast with a 1000 colones value menu, free coffee and free wifi (shameless self promotional attempt #13) and I usually don’t get up to join the real world until around 9 or 1oa.  However, if my lovely waitress/assistant, Liberty needs anything, she knows she can knock on my door and in just a few minutes, I will step outside with my clothes on from the night before which I have just put back on (inside out and backwards). – So imagine, if you will, how much Liberty loves to knock on my door and disturb my much needed beauty sleep.  On this morning though, Liberty’s knock and her need were MUCH different than usua.  When she knocked on the door like an FBI agent, I asked her through the door I thought I heard her say something about a Tsunami.  so I figured I was still half asleep and had misheard her, I quickly got dressed and walked out the door to get the real story.

Come to find out,  I HAD heard her correctly and she said that our neighbor Steve from Panchos Mini Super/Restaurant across the street from our hotel had come over to warn us that there had been an earthquake in Chile and that Costa Rica was under a Tsunami Warning and we needed to get to higher ground.  Now, I accept a lot of things living in Costa Rica – bugs, scorpions, heat, dust, SPANISH, etc. but I NEVER and I do mean NEVER expected to wake up to someone telling me I was under a Tsunami Warning.  One of the best features of our beautiful Boutique Hotel aside from it’s quaint rooms and beautiful tropical garden is that we are situated only 300 meters from Playa Pelada Beach, (shameless self promotional attempt #13) so we were definitely going to have some water coming through the cracks if we were hit. 

As I sent Liberty off to go investigate the Tsunami on the computer, I went back into the room to wake up Josh. That was also an interesting conversation. “Um Josh, there was an 8.8 earthquake in Chilie and we are under a Tsunami Warning.”  Chile?  Salami warning???  – No Honey, Tsunami Warning.  (I’m just kidding, he didn’t say Salami – but I needed a comic break and I thought it would work)  As I lay in bed and say a prayer,  I decided that it would be wise to pack a bag of much needed supplies – Birth Control, Contact Lenses, Deoderant and 4 of my favorite dresses is what I packed in the bag, in that order exactly.  As an admitted clothing whore – 4 dresses and no shoes is pretty darn good if I do say so myself.     

When Josh came casually back into the room after his own investigation and said he didn’t think we needed to worry – so immediately I BEGAN TO WORRY.  WHAT DO YOU MEAN don’t worry?  Have you heard of India?  Have you SEEN the movie 2012?  At a loss for any solution to calm me down, Josh persuaded me to look online for myself and I must say that made me feel NO better.  I couldn’t get a news report to say anything about the Tsunami threat and half of the pages wouldn’t load because my internet never works – (THANKS ICE – LOVE YA)  As I was online, I noticed an email from one of our favorite neighbors, Coconut Steve, who had sent out a warning email to everyone.  (Thank you Steve – that was awesome!!) I want to take this moment to say that I was  impressed that it was only 7:45am in the Jungle and already 2 of my neighbors had known about the warning and warned us – AWESOME and Good lookin out guys!!  So I open the email and noticed he has attached a report from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center that looked something like this…….

ISSUED AT 0745Z 27 FEB 2010







INFORMATION ONLY AT THIS TIME.                                                                                                                      

There was a link to follow and when I clicked on the link I saw the following image. 

 Now take a good look at this photo – WTF Am I supposed to do with this?  Should I understand what the hell this is showing me?  And what is a Tsunami Watch anyway – should I just stand on the beach and WATCH to see if I get pounded by a wave?  What are all these little dots and colors here on the map and WHY are they all over?  My head started spinning and It didn’t take long to decide that none of my investigation was helping me feel better.  I asked Josh to go find out what the boys at Panchos were going to do and then we’d decide.  I guess in a matter of life and death I am only really concerned with what my neighbors are going to do!!   Josh came back to tell me that Shawn – (the son of Pancho’s Steve that initially warned us of the Tsunami) did not even know what the hell he was talking about.  As funny as it was, we decided that if It wasn’t important to Steve to tell his son, we probably didn’t have much to worry about, so we went back to bed. 

When I woke up around 11am to discover I was not dead – I got up to find out what happened….. The answer….. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Throughout the day we discovered that some knew about the warning and some had no clue.  It was pretty much business at usual at El Fenix and we went through our day as usual – you know, analyzing geographical maps and projecting the path of the tsunami – scientific stuff.  The clencher that we were going to be just fine was when I called my mom to let her know I was ok, because I was sure that she was freaking out about the warning.  My mother watches the Weather Channel religiously to let me know what the weather is going to be like for me, so I knew that she would be worried.  Then I find out that she has no idea about such an earthquake or the warning.  I almost want to say she has weather channel alerts on her phone – so she should have been the first one alerted – so if she wasn’t worried – we were probably out of the danger zone. 

There were a few paranoid tourists who high tailed it outta town (silly rabbits) and there were a few surfers who didn’t get the Tsunami size waves they wanted – but all in all Nosara survived the Chilean earthquake unscathed. 

For your reference:

Here is a link to the Pacific Tsunami Warning site that you won’t understand or know how to read. but it has really pretty colored dots all over (hey I try to be helpful!)

And here is an actual informative link that will give you a summary of what happened around the globe.

Till Next Time…..

Love is in the air – or is it dust? Valentine’s week activities and more!!

10 Feb

Whew! Let me say it has been quite the week since I last spoke to you.  My computer crashed in Nicaragua  (along with everyone else’s apparently), my dog got bit in a dog fight while we were gone (not happiness), my water pump broke (twice) , and then there is the septic tank (which we won’t even talk about.)  But despite all of that I am very glad to be back with you writing about all of the events and happenings coming up for Valentine’s week and beyond.  There is a lot going on folks, so pull up a chair and let’s chat.

First of all, there is a celebrity amongst our midst and his name is Craig Chaiquico.  Craig is going to be entertaining us for the next week with several concerts and maybe an appearance or two at your favorite local restaurant/bar.  This Grammy-nominated, 20 gold album having songwriter and  guitaritst also happens to be one of the founding members of the 80s Pop/Rock group Jefferson Starship.  Now let me tell you,  I am a BIG Jefferson Starship fan – songs like “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” from the 1987 movie, Mannequin take me WAAAYYY back.  So YES, I AM actually THAT old, and I have seen that movie like a million times, and I  still love it to this day!!        Some of my other Jefferson Starship songs are  “Sara” and “We Built this City on Rock and Roll”.  (Which I am playing as I write this to you)   But enough about my 80’s music obsession and on to what Craig is doing here in Nosara.

For starters, he is playing two shows this weekend at L’aqua Viva resort and spa.  The first show is Friday February 12th at 8:15p with a dinner buffet that starts at 6p.  Then Craig is back for a Sunset Performance on Valentine’s Day Sunday February 14th at 5p with cocktails starting at 1p and Tapas at 3p. I personally am going to be attending the Sunday Show after the El Fenix Valentine’s Day Brunch from 10a – 2p (Shameless Self Promotional Attempt #7) Craig’s latest CD called Follow the Sun evokes tropical rhythms, inspired song lines, and soaring guitar expressions.   And if all of that wasn’t cool enough, Craig is bringing down a signed Fender Squire Bullet guitar for a give-away at the Sunday Concert.  (Forget it people – I’m winning this one for sure!) Tickets are available at L’acqua Viva, Frog Pad, and Casa Tucan (Safari Surf  School)  THEN after playing his heart out (no pun intended) for the big Valentine’s Weekend, Craig will also performing a benefit concert at Harbor Reef on Tuesday February 16th – where 100% of the proceeds go to the Nosara Wildlife Rescue.  $35 gets you beer, wine, sushi, shiskabobs (refer to apology #1 in the Marcia Introduces Herself to the Crazies aka I am not a great spell checker – sorry.)  If you would like to learn more about the Nosara Wildlife Rescue go read Ryan Gorman’s awesome article on

Ryan is a terrific writer and this article provides a lot of background information on the Rescue.  Ryan also recently wrote another really touching article about 2 gringos from Savannah who came to Nosara to live the dream and run a restaurant called EL Fenix @ Refugio Del Sol – where I hear there will be a Sunday Valentine’s Day Brunch from 10a-2p (shameless self promotional attempt #8 – I’m hittin’ this one HARD today gang!)

The Voice of Nosara recently did an interview with Craig that I think is worth checking out to learn more about his musical style, inspirations and more.

Now that we’ve covered the entertainment front for the weekend, let’s move on to the important issue of GIFTS FOR YOUR HONI!

Nicole and Me being BAD at her Christmas Open House

Step Number 1 to securing a big kiss from your girl! – You need to go to NATIVIA in Playa Guiones this Friday the 12th from 4p-6p for a Valentine’s Open House.  Nativia just happens to be one of my favorite stores and the owner Nicole Quinones just happens to be one of my favorite Floridians.

I got myself into trouble shopping in Nativia at Christmas when I bought every one of my friends’ gifts there and then proceeded to pick out several pieces of jewelry that Nicole should “strategically suggest” to my boyfriend Josh (who bought them all for me – thanks honi!)  Nativia has a great mix of clothing, art, gifts, jewelry – and that doesn’t even halfway cover it.  Join us on Friday and see what Nicole will “suggest” you buy for YOUR Valentine.

Step number 2 to securing a big kiss from your girl is to head over to my friend Cori’s Dress Shop in Playa Pelada.  Cori has the best dresses in Nosara and I cannot walk into that store without picking out at least 6 things I want to buy (hint, hint Josh) Cori’s dress shop also has the best prices in Nosara, especially since this Sunday she will be selling a huge amount of inventory at CLEARANCE.  I wore one of her little numbers for the Superbowl Party this weekend and….well…. let’s just say the word “score” comes to mind!! The best thing about Cori’s dress shop (aside from the killer clothes) is that it is only 2 houses down from EL FENIX at REFUGIO DEL SOL so it only makes sense that you bring your special someone to Their Special Sunday Brunch from 10a-2p(shameless self promotional attempt #9 -C’mon guys it’s going to be a really great menu so just come to brunch already!) then walk to Cori’s and pick out some fabulous fashions to wear for Sunday night’s Craig Chaquico Concert or your Romantic Dinner Spot.

Speaking of Romantic Dinners – I just got word that the Harmony Hotel is doing a special dinner menu for Valentine’s (the regular dinner menu will not be available that night.)  The cost per couple is $110 and includes a house wine glass or any other house beverage (cocktail, beer or nonalcoholic drink).   It would probably be beneficial for you to make a reservation as I am sure Harmony will be packed with tons star-crossed lovers.

Finally, step 3 to ensuring a big kiss from your girl is also one of my personal FAVORITE gifts to receive – the gift of self pampering.  The best way that I know of to do pamper yourself here in Nosara is by going to the Tica Massage  in Guiones – THIS Sunday, Tica Massage is offering a special Valentine’s Couples Massage 21 hour full body massage’s  for only $100!!!! ( That’s a $10 savings from the regular price) – the best thing about this gift is that you can treat your sweet and YOURSELF to an  indulgent gift- it is a WIN WIN!!!

I did tell you that there is a LOT going on in the upcoming week and it only continues next Friday, February 19th when EL Fenix @ Refugio Del Sol Hosts their First Annual MARDI GRAS party – details to follow – this is a Don’t Miss Event. (Shameless Self Promotional Attempt #10 – I tried to warn you all in the beginning how shameless I actually am – but you didn’t believe me did you?)  So signing off from the jungle – in more ways then one – Happy Valentine’s to everyone if you don’t hear from me before Sunday!