Valentine’s Day in Costa Rica

Breakfast on Valentine's DayI ate all watermelon for breakfast this morning, I didn’t mix it with cantaloupe. But I ate too much, too fast and got painfully full again. Ug, I think I will try eating cantaloupe instead tomorrow. I love the watermelon, I just need to eat it more slowly and carefully. Apparently I understand folks find it easy to overeat watermelon.

The walk today took us up the mountain past the Talamanca Retreat center, where we swam briefly in the “Ol’ Swimming Hole”. That was some considerably colder river water than we get a little further down the river here at the Rio Chirripo Retreat. The last bit of trail to the river was the most jungle-like walking we’ve done so far.

Lunch bananas were well-earned, and there was papaya as well. This seemed to mix okay with the nectarines and grenadias (that we bought back in San Isidro on the bus ride up to the retreat). I ate them all together. I have given up the idea of storing snacks (like these nectarines and grenadias), because the meals are so nourishing. I don’t feel like I need snacks anymore. And certainly I don’t need the energy diversion that more periods of digestion during the day would bring. I’m quite comfortable with three solid meals a day eaten this way.

So anyway, that fruit would have eventually gone bad if I hadn’t incorporated it into one of our meals. They are quite flexible here about what you can eat, as folks needs to be somewhat individual. I’m confident that if I felt like I needed or desired some fruit or green combination in particular at mealtime, they would try to accommodate me. There are a number of people here who have particular food sensitivities or requirements (like an allergy to pineapple, for example) that they are happy to work around.

Afternoon talk with Dr. Graham was a fruit quiz game where we learned about many more of the varieties of fruit found here in Costa Rica. There are amazing number of different kinds of fruit in the world, many of which we don’t see in the United States, because they have to be picked ripe and are then too soft or fragile to. Or perhaps in some cases it is because the demand for these unusual just fruits isn’t there.

Valentine's DinnerDinner was special. They arranged tables for couples for Valentines Day. What was served for dinner? Orange juice, tomato and pineapple soup, and the final course, sun-dried, whole, red peppers stuffed with mango, cucumber, and tomato chunks on a bed of lettuce with a red-pepper, tomato and orange juice dressing poured over top.

Phillip and I and the other three couples on the walking tour enjoyed special tables set up for us in the dining area, with candles and special decor. They put in special effort to make it romantic for us. Phillip and I agreed is was our best Valentine’s Day dinner together.

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