11 July 2015

Must We Ride In This Thing? Wouldn't We Be More Comfortable On Pogo Sticks?

Two of my favorite women on this planet visited us for a week. Marina and Hilary rank in my top-five favorite female Peace Corps volunteers who served with me two years in Burkina Faso. Ali and Naeta, you’re both certainly in that top five. Now in addition to feeling so flattered that my gals came to visit Samara as a first stop on their Central American tour, and despite not having seen them for three years, we picked-up right where we left off, as only true friends can do. 

So the insanity of the 4x4 vehicle is that it bounces its occupants and contents everywhere. Who needs a cocktail shaker? But in its defense, there's no where it won't take you. Ain't no river wide enough . . . The beauty of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) is that they’re game for anything. Bring it. And with that said (as with all true friends), they don’t expect a dog-and-pony show from their host and hostess. Some days were spent merely dangling in the pool. Others were filled with more adventure. All nights were filled with singing and dancing, primarily between Hilary and Jill the Pill. Our Jill has spiraled into deep depression following the departure of Hilary and Marina on Tuesday afternoon.

Now believe me when I say: I can revise a song’s lyrics to revolve around Miss Jill. Sublime tunes work best, Christmas songs contain myriad possibilities. But Hilary can not only revise lyrics, she can improv a tune and lyrics for her dances with Jill. On the loose, gonna chase a fattened goose . . . accompanied by a catchy tune. These songs never ceased to amuse me; and Jill and Hilary grew so close that Jill launched herself into the pool one night to rescue a seemingly-floundering Hilary. The little bitch has never done that for me. 

Jill’s feet barely touched the ground for eight days . . . reminiscent of her first year of life. And as if this dog isn't pampered enough every day of her life, I now suppose that I'll have to pick-up the pace indulging her to the extent that Marina and Hilary have this past week.

So this post is selfishly, largely for me . . . so that I’ll never forget. Rusty, who is now on the list for canonization, drove us endlessly up and down the Nicoya Peninsula. We saw Lola, the pig that allegedly swims. We saw no evidence that this pig held any penchant for water. But Hilary sang, Jill spills champagne but will drink all your Coca-Cola, C-O-L-A, Cola.  Or perhaps that's merely how I remember it. We explored beach after beach traversing in our 4x4 as many high river crossings as Hilary could identify with the GPS phone app.

On the way south from Playa Negra, Hilary took time to offer a cocktail to this thirsty cow. We were ready to hoist Hil and Marina atop this cow, but the spine of the damned thing was covered with razor blades. Clearly we weren't the first with this photo-op notion.

When our brilliant Marina took up DJ-ing she blew us away with her knowledge of country songs. Go ahead, guess which of the following isn’t an actual title of a country song:
  • You're The Reason Our Baby's So Ugly
  • Mama Get The Hammer There's A Fly On Papa's Head
  • My Every Day Silver Is Plastic
  • I’d Like To Check You For Ticks
  • My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love Jesus
Yes, you are correct; each is. But Marina knows the words to the tick song. Do I have to say it? Someone, I won’t name names, turned it into a Jill the Pill song.

We spent the weekend driving one entire day to the southern tip of the peninsula, on a highway known as 160, which might be better described as a goat path with occasional glimpses of beach . .  each one requiring exploration via somone's goat path. This is thirsty work, let me tell you. Occasionally there was a need for ice . . . as in happy hour ice.

Here we see Hilary and Rusty, looking mighty pleased with themselves for finding the ice superstore. You'd think that they just won the ice lottery . . . and for Marina, Jill, and me, they did. God bless an icy on-the-road cocktail.

That Baby Jill is a trooper. Yes, she came along. Hil and Marina wouldn’t hear of leaving her behind, even for a single night. So we arrived at Playa Montezuma and tried to sneak into our hotel a 17-pound terrier . . . reminiscent of the time my friend Danise and I sneaked in a kitten at the Beverly Wilshire . . . inside a suitcase with the kitten mewing. Well let me tell you: for the price of a suite at the Beverly Wilshire, the bell hop will look the other way while you tote in a dead body. Not so true with the little hotel at Playa Montezuma. Still, nothing that $5.00 wouldn’t resolve. Jill has never-ever been turned away . . . from Paris to Central America . . . the dog knows how to manipulate a hotelier (or maybe that’s me).

A highlight for us all, I feel confident in stating, was watching the U.S. Women’s Team win the FIFA World Cup at Bar Arriba this past Sunday night. But there were other highlights. We left our Montezuma hotel via The Doghouse Shortcut Road, which didn't seem to be much of a shortcut and had little to do with any type of dog . . . though one might think that Jill was in the doghouse based on what the girls did to her the morning of our departure. We'll catch a glimpse of Madame Librarian Jill, but she was also patient during her transformation into hippie-chick Jill, in-the-hood Jill, burqa Jill, and baseball fan Jill. Marina and Hil, you've created a monster . . . and we're left to live with her.  

We drove on beach. Ssssh. This is forbidden in Costa Rica, but whatcha gonna do when the river-bed road tosses you out onto Playa Hermosa. Following the U.S. World Cup win, we returned for more dancing with Jillet and a few cocktails. Monday was spent in recovery mode, preparing Jill, Hilary, and Marina for their separation later in the week. Jill took it hard . . . as did we all. Lo que hay.