Driving to Costa Rica

May 23, 2008 at 6:25 PM
We're currently scheduled to start our trip on the 7th of July. It sounds wonderful. Getting lots of disagreement from people terrified of traveling. I didn't know I knew so many people afraid of Central America.


I am very interested in your feedback - any advice, any notes on these countries, any websites you think I should look at?


We're following the route laid out below. I look forward SO MUCH to getting there and seeing what Mexico has to offer.

I will be able to work as much as possible while I'm gone, but not enough to get paid - just enough to keep projects from falling apart.

Here is our trip detila so far - please let me know what you think - I depend on your feedback and advice to do a good job planning.

About the trip - outside advice

Basics about the trip:

We do intend to avoid all the large cities.

We have a big rig and will be sticking to the main highways and tourist areas.

The route will be California to Brownsville in Texas. That's about 2400 within the US.

Then Brownsville to Veracruz to Cancun where we will see Chichen Itza and probably spend a day or two.

We then are backing back to Highway 185 and crossing to the Pacific Coast. This is the fastest, largest road. It is the main truck route as it does not cross a moutain range.

Then down the coast on the Highway 1 (the Pan American Highway) the major route.

We cross Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and into Costa Rica.

It will take about a week in Mexico. One day in Guatemala. One day in El Salvador, 3 hours in Honduras, and we will probably get to Costa Rica without having to stop in Nicaragua.

There is about a hour needed to get through each border.

We will not be driving at night and will be in a secured facility each night, a hotel with fencing, guards etc.

We will not take cash. You can use your ATM everywhere for both US dollars and local currency.

There will be four adults on the trip, Shelley's parents are great drivers since they are truck drivers.

The entire trip LA to Costa Rica is 4400 miles.

I am traveling with Shelley who has done trips like this before and has lots of friends who've done trips like this before, plus she knows Central America pretty well.

More info here: www.tripadvisor.com

Shelley also says that:

"Nicaragua is currently one of the safest places in Latin America. They are trying very hard to have a tourism industry and in order to do that they have to be a safe place to visit. They have invested a ton of money into policing, as well as special tourist police. I personally have been to Nicaragua about 9 times with the kids and it is a very safe clean country. With some really nice tourist establishments. However since we'll pass through it in about a day this may not matter too much."


Delicate Creatures

May 17, 2008 at 11:22 AM
Hummingbirds keep flying into my kitchen through my open picture windows (the paned windows that slide into the wall).

When they come into my kitchen, they don't seem to be able to find the many ways out. There they stay, beating their wings against glass they cannot see, terrified and watchful of the waiting dogs and cats, staying in a soft, whirring hover, pressed up against the window above the sink. I love rescuing them, slowly pulling my hands down the glass, carefully closing my hands enough so that their wings touch my skin. They stop beating their wings then, falling into my lower hand. The feel of holding their tiny flittery-glittery bodies in my palm, and walking slowly outside with a distrustful, beautiful little creature in my hands - neither docile nor tame. Then I raise my hands up, release the bird and watch it fly away.

I've done this four times in the last 24 hours, and I must say it is remarkable how much fun it is to release birds from your grasp. Very exhilerating. I never get sick of it.


The does have their fawns now - beautiful, bright tawny red baby deer litter my path as I drive to town. I count four babies.

The little scrawny babies are stick-like, soft and pointy, every action like a ballerina trying to catch up with her steps. They have no idea how to evade cars, they start hopping higgledy piggledy all over the road when I drive up, even if they weren't in my path -- they'll get there. So I stop my car and wait as their mother runs away - temporarily abandoning her young - It always offends me, but then she calls them to the safety that she has found, and I forgive her.

I love to watch the babies as they learn to evade "predators" like my car.

Wisdom of the Ancients

May 14, 2008 at 11:53 PM
I used to drink a tea called "Wisdom of the Ancients" - it was a purple lapacho I think. But that's not what I'm posting about. I just really loved that tea. I think the company might be gone now, but I sure loved it while it lasted.

I noticed that very few people I know realized that the moon can be in the sky in the daytime.

Except at the halfway points of the cycle (full moon and no moon) you can see the moon in the daytime sky. For instance, today there was a beautiful moon in the sky at 2:30 when I took a break. I watched it while sipping coffee.

The Greeks knew it.

They had a lovely myth about the jealousy between the sun and the moon because the moon can slip around and be there day or night, while the sun cannot wander from its set course and times.

I wonder whether Shakespeare knew it - with his famous discourse about the sun and the moon in Romeo and Juliet as Romeo is being made to leave - I suspect he did.

What kind of people are we becoming when we know everything happening on the mythical Wisteria Place but nothing about whether the sun is flaring or the moon is rising?


This leads me to wondering whether we're eventually headed into keeping all our useful knowledge in our computers only. Also whether that plethora, that virtual cornocopia of information that the internet is - whether it will prove to affect humanity's timeless THIRST for knowledge as previously a plenty of anything else has been known to.

Do we sit back on our information-gathering laurels now and feast without caring what information we take and and what we don't?

I feel like there is less urgency to know and to seek personal knowledge now than there was before the internet came. Does this change in value have a lasting effect?

Does our society become lazy about seeking to know as much as possible on a personal level?

If so, does this have an affect on wisdom? On centers of learning?


Those are the questions I had today.

Chicken Dillemna - Author Unknown

May 12, 2008 at 1:16 AM
If you know who wrote the below - please let me know. My momma sent me this. I nearly peed my pants!


Why did the chicken cross the road?

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE!
The chicken wanted CHANGE!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure -- right from Day One! -- That every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.......

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...

ANDERSON COOPER - CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level.
No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain. Alone-

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth?' That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media white washes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side. That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released e-Chicken2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of the Chicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C % ........ reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken!

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun!!!?

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some more black chickens.