Five days away from Paradise

I really do not travel a lot! There are a couple of main reasons for this. The first is because I live in Paradise already in a tropical beach community with a the “Pura Vida” lifestyle among locals (Ticos), ex-pats (Gringos and Canadians) and tourists (from around the world).  I always feel like I am on vacation even though I am working and have business dealings everyday.  The second reason is that even though we live in the “Jungle” we have unparalleled services like no other developing country in the world.
Travelling is simply part of the Real Estate game and attending seminars and conventions can have a large impact on our business and career. At the beginning of June (2016) I along with 4 other colleagues travelled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a RE/MAX seminar.
From my beautiful home here in Paradise (town of Hermosa in the Guanacaste province) Herb, Chris and I drove to Escazu (a suburb of San Jose) which took us approximately 3 hours. Escazu is considered to be one of the more upscale communities in San Jose and is very popular with the ex-pats. Our broker/owner owns a condo there and invited us to stay there the night before our morning flight the next day. This was very convenient because the condo is relatively close to the airport.  I lived in Escazu for about 12 years prior to moving to Guanacaste which meant I knew all of the short cuts and back streets as well as the best places to eat.  That night we ate at a very good restaurant “Sale Pepe” just a stone’s throw from the condo.
The next morning we headed to the airport and flew to Florida on “Spirit Airlines”, that was an experience and possibly another blog topic. As soon as we landed in the United States we automatically felt the absence of the “Pura Vida” vibe we have become so accustomed to. The expressions on everyone’s faces were cold and impersonal. Once we arrived at the Riverside Hotel in downtown Fort Lauderdale we were greeted by the warm and welcoming staff who all had smiles on their faces and were very efficient in getting us all checked in.
It has been over 25 years since my last visit to Fort Lauderdale and I was pleasantly surprised with the excellent restaurant quality, service and selection along Las Olas Boulevard (where our hotel was located). Another first for our group was using the “Uber” transportation system. We truly were amazed at the fast, efficient, friendly and cost effective way to get around town compared to the regular taxi service. It was like stepping into the “Pura Vida” taxi cab company, super friendly and happy. The cherry on top was the price. It was about half the price of conventional taxi service. Let me tell you that when possible I will be travelling with “Uber” again!
Our 3 days of RE/MAX seminars was an amazing experience. There were agents from Aruba, Nicaragua, Belize, Grenada, and of course Costa Rica. I learnt a lot of valuable information to improve my business and provide more tools in my belt so that my clients have a better experience, whether buying, selling or just gathering information. I was FIRED UP to put into practice what I had learned.
After 4 very good and productive learning days in the United States I was excited to head back home. On our way from San Jose to Guanacaste we stopped at the “La Casona del Mais” restaurant for lunch.  Chris and Herb were very impressed with lunch and Chris told me it was the best “Casado” he had ever had in Costa Rica! It is just off of the Pan-American Highway and if you are in the area you should stop there for an authentic Costa Rican meal (let me know and I will give you directions).
We then headed up to Atenas where my two older children live.  We stopped just long enough to say hi and bye and leave them with some gifts from the states.  It is always so good to see them. Our next quick pit stop was in a small town called “Desmonte” in a tiny hole in the wall “Tico” bar. Here they serve a very unique style of “Chicharron”. This chicharron when paired with an icy cold beer and “Guaro” is like eating lobster paired with a good chardonnay for me. LOL!!!
Shortly after that we were back in Hermosa with my lovely wife Estrella and daughter Samantha. Back to my amazing life filled with “Pura Vida” lifestyle, beautiful landscape with ocean, mountains, volcanoes and jungle. There is no place on earth that could make me feel any happier!!!
Pura Vida!
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