Pura Vida - Our Costa Rican Adventure

Costa Rica 2010-2011, Centro Americano. Adventures and travels of Greg L. Miller and Kelly Carter-Miller. We are posting the second part of the story. Once a week there will be new posts for anyone who might be interested. PURA VIDA. Thanks and enjoy!

Kelly is on QVC!!!!!!!!!!!!

My amazing wife is a illustrator. Her website can  be found at:


This week her holiday cards were aired on QVC. Her audience... millions. Thanks goes to God and her hard work. This Fall in Europe, we have made a decision to cut her work down while allowing her to oil paint. We will be getting a house with a balcony. It looks like we will be spending time in two countries. Two months in Portugal and one month in Spain. I always wanted to live on the Mediterranean and this year is as good as any other year. Let the good times roll...

As a side note, no matter how successful we become, we will always be here or there for the people. I can't wait to meet all the new characters who are coming in Europe. I also can't wait to visit friends and family for a short spell. The following link has video feed. You can see over 12 cards Kelly made. They have music boxes. Way to go Kelly! Show everyone what a globe trotting artist can achieve!



This is what it means to be a foreign immigrant and to travel. I exist in two worlds, where time means nothing but remains fast. People and places blur. I am American but I am part of everyone. I blur. 
An expat gazes into the horizon. The rain forest is my home, so is the deep woods of Michigan. The Pacific is out front, pine trees and Lake Superior are in the back yard.
Two singularities break down, cognitive and empirical building blocks are reevaluated. A rising phoenix looks to the sky. Sunset bedazzles in blue, pink and orange hues. The fiery ball settles into the ocean. The giant bird takes flight. 
I blur into the crowd, becoming one with the masses. I am a chameleon, forever drifting in the shadows. I am partial clay, meant to be molded and admired. Never to be central stage. All want to be my friend, foe and ally. They all become one. I am a separate island, my shores and beach are defined by circumstances and God.
Light cascades within my depths as darkness recedes. Crimson shades intertwine and create new threads. New thoughts. I am a new person. My awareness is elevated. 
The journey into nothingness has ended and a new experience awaits. I am Greg L. Miller and I am somebody. I am both dark and light, my story has only began.

Day of the Pet Pig

Walking down our street.

My neighbors pet pig. I think its name is Pug.

Joseph, or maybe something like HurHay (not even close), its complicated. Tico's have many names and many occupations. He is a cool neighbor in a very tranquil street. Its his families pet pig.

Keeping it real with culture. I don't know what it means but I like this statue and the pet pig.

 Horseback riders on my street. You have to be careful to not walk in lizard and horse shit. And don't forget dog shit, besides the shit I very much like the street.

A mysterious paved path that turns into many dirt paths. There are many ways to town and to the beach.

These trails are in between many hotels, hostels, casa's and the such.

More trails.

Third world is full of luxury hotels and poor homes. Many people live good and others not so good. Half a block is very nice and the other very untidy.

I walk the beach during low tide. Pondering where my novel 2014 is going. The characters have taken a life of their own. I often dream about them in my sleep and I see future chapters play out. Its so cool. I love my over active imagination! Look where it gets me! I have lived in Costa Rica for 6 months. Even though I love the people and the land, I must soon wander to Portugal. I have wander lust and the world is a small place.

I will never forget the wonderful black and white sand of Tamarindo! I will come back in three years. Next summer I might go to Panama for a month.

These waves are bigger then they look. I often watch them while thinking of Tsunami for 2014.

Kelly wants a Falafel. Its a Muslim cuisine. It leaves a taste reminding me of spicy sweet mustard.


But its a required taste.

This is worth enlarging.

Another night we eat dinner at Voodoo. This nachos cost me a lot. $16. Many expats are saying the inflation in the last year is 23%. That's right. This is the reason we ran out of money and had a hard time. I was not expecting an increase in Central America of over 20% in less then a year. What's going on?

Let's go to another restaurant. This is Kahiki's, we came for brunch. It was wonderful. I'm a Senior Contributor for TripAdvisor, I really enjoy critiquing restaurants in foreign countries. You can check out my reviews on TripAdvisor. They range a few countries.

The dining room.

Our Costa Rica cuisine.

Local artwork.

Quotes I like

Time for some weirdness. Some random thoughts, next week Kelly will surf for her first time. We have been dining out. I'm now a Senior Contributor for TripAdvisor.  I wrote over 25 reviews for local restaurants and attractions in Costa Rica that were appreciated by TripAdvisor. I was told by them my reading audience averages 6000 a week for each review. I like writing reviews as a hobby. In October Kelly and I will be living in Portugal for three months! We will be in Marquette Michigan for a month in September to say hi to friends and family.

Some quotes I like. There were a few from Washington DC but they elude my memory at the moment. One was at Union Station, I really should look it up later.

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake." ~Robert Louis Stevenson.

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. And remember, no matter where you go, there you are." ~Confucius

"The world is a book...those that don't travel only read one page"...expedia

He who never leaves his country is full of prejudices.—Carlo Goldoni.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. – Mark Twain

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. – Lao Tzu. 

Voodoo Bar: Ladies Night

Snapshots from paradise...where the grass is green and the girls are pretty (Guns and Roses). Its ladies night at Voodoo bar. Every Wednesday females drink all they want for three hours. Its only a two dollar cover charge. Males have to pay for their drinks. The women are simply hot! Around midnight two dancers came out. They play a lot of music mixes with a very quick beat.

Kelly my wife.

Dozens of girls from all around the world dance to cool music.

The bar, there were roughly 70-85 couples and singles having fun. There were about a dozen locals.


Dancing and booze!

More booze. I lost count after 8 drinks. She ended up smoking when the people at Addy's gave her a cigarette when I was in the bathroom. Better luck next week.

Costa Rica favorite beer. I had a few beers at two dollars a beer. Its good beer.

Costa Rica dance. I know they are from here and they don't speak English. She girl however nodded in approval when Kelly told her she wanted to draw her image in the future.



Enjoy. The night cost roughly $14. It was fun. We didn't make it to Pacifico Bar where the party keeps going. Maybe next week...

Random Days at Gardenia.

There has been a lot of sun and heat. Its been a steady 85-90 degrees with 100% humidity. That equates to a lot of sweat. I decided to take my camera to the grocery store. Once a week we walk 3 miles to the store. You can either walk on the road or through the beach and trails. We sorta mix the trip up. We walk back with the groceries. Another day a week we walk three miles to Langosta beach. The rest of the time we stick to our community and Tamarindo beach.

A toad in the window.

Something from the wilds on the widow. It has big saucy eyes.

Our roommate.

We walk three miles to the grocery store once a week. It has better meat then the ones in town.

The way to the grocery store can be walked through many busy roads or the beach and paths. Crocodiles one way, fast cars the other. Pick one.

Many miles and much swear. 90 degree weather with 100% humidity.

Locals spend an average of %500-550 a month on rent.

Normal street road. Our street at Gardenia is a nice street.

Statues from 500 years ago according to one guide. Its unclear what culture is here. Some say its Mayans and others Inca's. There are a few local Indian groups that belong to neither.

Normal clay tripods.

The butcher is nearby. My goal is the grocery store.


A church from 2008.

The grocery store. Every big town has one.


Kabbalah has three symbols in the center. I don't know what this is. Its not Jewish.

Random stores and bank near the grocery store.

Surprised to see a full store? Other towns have rotting food in the aisles. This is a clean store. Other stores I would call markets. Its much more expensive here then it is in Michigan.

One US dollar is 500 colognes. This bag of chips cost over $5. Its a small bag.

Over $5 dollars. This is $2 back in Michigan.

Over $6. See a trend?

Looks nice. Not like the other markets.

Hiking back home.

This comes with fried chicken. Its how they eat it here.

The spirit of Gardenia hotel/retreat.

We found one of these in our suitcase.

That's a big pringle can.

Its big.

We walk three miles in the other direction once a week to Langosta beach.

Black sand. White sand.

 Many miles of beach.

Billions of tiny sea shells make this section of the beach. Its soft to walk on.

Its hot.

Billions of sea shells.

Its low tide.

In a couple of hours the waves will be covering all of this. This is sea bed.

Lizards. Three to five feet.

Langosta market.

Back to Tamarindo.

Sea shell bounty.

Tiny sea shells from earlier.