Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Difference a Year Makes

Just over a year ago the Coffee Queen and I put our Saint Paul, MN house on the market.  We had an offer a week later.  Less than two months after that we left Minnesota and headed south.

Sold! Farewell, Minnesota!

A few weeks ago we moved into our new house in Atlantic Beach, FL.  We hadn't planned on buying a house here so soon, but when we saw this cute little house (just renovated) on Zillow we thought, "Hey, what not take a look?"  I have now learned there is no such thing as "just looking" at houses.  We bought the house.  The first (and only) house we looked at.  We're still unpacking and settling in, but we're loving this house.  (And we have real water pressure in the showers.  Never underestimate the importance of good water pressure.)

New house! (Someone's a little excited)

I still can't quite believe that in less than a year we sold a house, moved cross country, and now are living a mile and a half from the beach.  The Coffee Queen has settled into her job (which she loves), and the Little Scoot thrived at his preschool this past year and is super excited for kindergarten (sorry, Saint Paul, we've better schools here, too).

Which all goes to show, don't stay where you are, don't not make a change just because you can't see where the road will take you.  Selling our Saint Paul house was hard after so many great years there, but by letting go of it we've found something new that's great, too (did I mention it's a mile and a half from the beach?).  And that's what I'm learning from this adventure: to let go of the safe and familiar in order to embrace something new.  Scary?  Yes.  Worth it?  Yes.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I hear the ocean calling my name.

This is why we moved here

Saturday, March 7, 2015

I Rode a Scooter Around a Volcano

Last week I traveled to Costa Rica as part of a team from Beach Church here in Jacksonville.  We worked with Pura Vida Missions and Faithful Servant Missions on a variety of construction projects (repairing roofs, laying a foundation for a church, building bunk beds).  At the end of the week we had a free day in La Fortuna, near the Arenal volcano.  After the requisite zip lining, I was intrigued by a sign I saw while eating lunch.

"Scooters for rent"

Well now, that has potential, doesn't it?  After lunch, I checked it out.  Six or seven hours on a Honda Elite was just $35.  Done.  After stopping by the hotel to put on long sleeves/long pants (the lack of my usual gear did make me feel more than a little exposed), I headed west to the volcano.

My ride for the day

The road meanders towards and around the volcano with plenty of fun curves, although I did have to dodge a lot of bicycles due to a big race taking place on the same road.  While I didn't go hiking near the volcano (not when it was such a beautiful afternoon to ride), I did stop by the observation point which had perfect views of the volcano and lake.

Arenal volcano

I kept going on the same road for a while longer, over the dam and along the lake, until I hit a road that was all loose rock.  That seemed like a good point to turn around and head back the way I came.  Back in La Fortuna, I headed over to the La Fortuna waterfall where the road turns into dirt. Then back into pavement.  Then back into dirt.  Then back into pavement.  Then back into...

Anyway, it's a steep hike downhill for a closeup view of the waterfall but well worth it.  You can go swimming in the pool at the base (unfortunately I didn't have my swimsuit with me).

La Fortuna waterfall

To round out the afternoon, I then took the road east out of La Fortuna for a ways, just to see what was there.  Then I turned around.

It doesn't get better than this!
Riding in Costa Rica towards a volcano with the sun dipping behind it, does it get any better?